Late Term and Child Loss

Therapy Question?

I went to my first therapy appointment last week.  The therapist was very nice and I felt like she was genuinely interested in helping me with my grief process. However, since the appointment, I feel in some ways I have taken a step back.  I am thinking that it is due to reliving that day we found out Ethan no longer had a heartbeat and the day he was born sleeping.   I think about Ethan each & every day but over the past few weeks, I was not so much going back to the days in June -- for me, I had gotten to the stage where I miss him so much & just want him back in my belly growing! 

Is this normal to feel like I have gone backwards?  I am still undecided if I will go back - my schedule may answer this for me as I am having trouble figuring out a time when I can go back right now.  Life is not easy right now! 

How did you feel after your first therapy appointment?  If you felt similar, how long did it take for the appointments to help you?  

Thank you for your help!! 

Re: Therapy Question?

  • I went to therapy maybe a week or two after my loss.  I went for two sessions, and found it very upsetting to go and relive all those emotions.  I also felt like I was being pressured to get a job or invite friends over...I just felt like she was pushing me and I was in no way ready to look for a job when my daughter had just died.  After the second week I didn't go back.  

    I think if you have a good connection with your therapist it can be helpful.  Maybe I just went too soon after my loss.  I found that going to a support group is much more helpful for me.  

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    BFP #1 Jan. 2011 - mmc Mar. 2011 
    BFP #2 Aug. 2011 - My sleeping angel Stella, born April 21, 2012 
    BFP #3 Nov. 2012 - mmc Dec. 2012
    BFP #4 April 2013 - mc May 2013
    BFP #5 Sept. 2013 - EDD 5.24.14
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    It is totally normal to feel that way. Something I used to tell clients is that coming to counseling can be like removing a scab. No matter what you do, the scar will always be there in the end. But you want to make sure the wound is nice and clean before you let it heal, so you don't get an infection that will spread to the rest of your body. If you've let it scab over without cleaning it, it could give you trouble later. So sometimes you have to rip if off again.

    This is not to say that you haven't done a good job healing. It is wonderful that you have been able to miss Ethan and remember the joy of having him growing inside you. Only you know whether or not the wound needs to be cleaned at this point. It might, if you still have strong feelings of guilt or something. But remember that it's normal for that acute sadness to come in waves, even without therapy to bring it all back!

      Our Angel Patricia born sleeping 3/30/12 at 31 weeks
    Our Fighter Anna born early 1/8/13 at 26 weeks
    Hoping to bring home #3 due 9/9/15
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  • I began therapy about a month after my 2nd late loss.  I felt the same way as you.  It sucked and I was devastated all over again.  I continued going weekly over the next 4 months and everytime was bad.  It wasn't as bad as the first time, but I always felt that is was making my healing harder/longer.  Reliving things over and over, discussing the life that would never be again, etc.... It drove me mad and my anxiety was at an all time high.

    I ended up stopping all together.  I didn't like how I was feeling each time I left the office.  Some may say that you need to feel worse, before you can feel better.  I personally didn't want to keep peeling back that bandaid.  I didn't see the progress.

    I think you should give it at least one more shot.  You can drive the session.  Maybe talk about something a little less painful, work on ways to lessen the grief or tools to relieve the stress/anxiety.  If you still feel really bad, then re-evaluate.

     Our baby boy,Logan, was born still at 19w3d on 7/1/2011
    Our 2nd baby boy, Mason, was born still at 20w3d on 1/31/2012

     After a much needed sanity break... we are praying for our rainbows

    ((BFP 7/29/13))  ((EDD 4/12/14))  It's BOY/GIRL twins!!!

  • I think that grieving is a process. It is not something that you step on to the next day a feel a new emotion. It is perfectly normal to feel "better" one day and then feel as though you have "stepped back". There is nothing wrong with that. You will do it your entire life. Nothing will magically make you forget you had Ethan. You will love him and think of him forever. There is not "steps backwards", just moments of joy in remembering your little guy and moments of sadness in missing him.

     Hope this helps. I know there is no right thing to say, but know I am thinking of you and be gentle to yourself.  

  • Thank you so much for helping me! I appreciate it very much!!  I know there is no guideline to grieving.  Just have to take it day by day and step by step.  Thank you again!  
  • Yes, I think that sounds normal.  Early on shock/denial protects us from feeling the full brunt of the grief.  But you do have to work through it eventually and I think therapy is a great way to do that.  You will eventually move forward.  The book Good Grief by Westberg was helpful to me to understand how I was feeling.  I actually had as much trouble at 8 months out than in the first month or so.  I got stuck in grief and could it really helped to have a counselor help me understand what was happening and how to move forward.  

    It is a long road, but it will get better.  You will miss your baby forever, but you will eventually feel like you can breathe again.  We are all here for you.



    We are so thankful that our second daughter, Lillian Elizabeth "Lily", was born healthy and happy on February 11, 2013.  We love her to pieces.  

    We lost our first daughter, Hannah Grace on May 4, 2011.  She was buried on May 14 during a beautiful service at my home church. We are grateful that if she could not be here with us, that she is healed and whole with the Lord. We look forward to the day when we will get to meet her. We love her so much.

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