223: Perinatal Loss, Adoption, and Creating the Black Angel Mom Community

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By Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D., PMH-C and Katayune Kaeni. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest today shares her personal story and clinical perspective of her complicated journey into motherhood. Her story includes the support of reproductive technologies, as well as the loss of her twin daughters and the adoption of her son. Join us to hear more.

**Today’s episode covers sensitive topics of perinatal loss and pregnancy loss. Use your own judgment as to whether it’s right for you or not at this time.

Jeanae Hopgood, LMFT, M.Ed, PMH-C, is an individual, couple/partner and family therapist, clinical sexologist, author, speaker, doctoral candidate, and occasional adjunct professor. Her Pennsylvania private practice centers people of marginalized identities (specifically Black and LGBTQ+). She helps them heal from family-of-origin challenges, relational difficulties, fertility and family creation processes, perinatal mental health, perinatal loss, healing and healthy sexuality, and realignment of the mind, body, and spirit. Jeanae is also the founder of the Black Angel Mom community, which includes a private Facebook community, a blog, guided journal, and conversation card deck. The card deck can be used by clinicians in therapeutic processing and discussions as a support system for their clients. Jeanae is the mother of twin daughters who have passed and one son earth-side.

Show Highlights:

  • How Jeanae had a lifelong dream to be a mom but knew assisted reproductive technologies would be her route
  • How her next steps included multiple failed IUI cycles, fibroid-removal surgery, IVF, and a pregnancy with twin daughters
  • How she experienced fluid loss, both light and heavy, that prefaced the traumatic loss of both girls
  • How Jeanae made something beautiful out of a tragic situation in giving birth to her daughters at 16-17 weeks
  • How Jeanae handled the tough parts of having her daughters photographed, dealing with the funeral home, and leaving them behind when she left the hospital
  • How Jeanae felt anguish, despair, confusion, disconnection, and deep grief after the loss
  • How Jeanae knew she needed help and searched for healing through grief counseling and journaling
  • How Jeanae and her partner tried two more IVF cycles a few months later–with no success
  • How even support groups didn’t feel inclusive of queer Black couples
  • Why Jeanae created her blog to include others who didn’t see themselves in the support groups that were available to them
  • How Jeanae and her partner were “kicked out” of their shared risk IVF program and were approached about the opportunity to adopt their son
  • Why they chose adoption, knowing this would be the end of their fertility journey; because of the expense, they knew they couldn’t do both
  • How the adoption brought conflicting emotions and feelings about becoming a mother in this unexpected way
  • Why Jeanae created the Black Angel Mom community to be the support she needed
  • A deeper look at where marginalization showed up in Jeanae’s journey to parenthood as a queer Black couple

Resources:

Connect with Jeanae: JHJ Therapy, Instagram, and Facebook

Black Angel Mom, Instagram, and Facebook

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