Loss of a Baby or ChildTherapy for Loss of a Baby or Child
Healing After Loss of a Baby or Child
Having trouble pulling yourself together after this terrible loss?
Feeling unending waves of grief?
Friends and family unable to understand why you can’t just move on?
This loss has overturned the natural order of life, leaving you dazed, paralyzed and disoriented.
You aren’t alone — I can help you get through this.
The loss of a child of any age is often referred to as one of life’s most unspeakable events.
Even if you’ve had other losses in your life, losing a baby is different and you may find yourself surprised at how you are reacting. There is no predictable course of grief and the bereavement journey is not a straight line.
It is a very personal experience. You probably feel that there is no one who can possibly understand what you are feeling and experiencing. In many ways this is true. Every single loss has its own identity and no one shares your same story and experience.
This is a profoundly sad, yet transformative experience in you and your partner’s life and the impact may be far reaching. Acknowledging the impact, finding a voice to your sadness and being receptive to support are all paths to healing.
I have many years of experience helping clients like you who have suffered the devastating loss of a baby or child. I can help you find your way through the grieving process.
Having a miscarriage can be a very lonely and confusing emotional experience. You may not have told others that you were pregnant and you may not want to explain the details of your miscarriage. This limits the emotional support you would otherwise receive at a difficult time of your life.
If you have already shared with some people about your miscarriage, you may have found that many do not grasp the full extent of your loss. Some people downplay the significance of what happened. Most people will not realize that, along with your baby, you have lost your dreams and hopes of what this baby would have brought to you and your family.
People often do not recognize that their usual, well-meaning comments of “You’ll get pregnant again” or “It was only a miscarriage” or “It was probably for the best” may just increase your loss and sense of isolation.
You may find that some people will not approach the question at all or quickly change the topic if you bring it up. These people usually do not know what to say, and because they are afraid to say the wrong thing they would rather not say anything. Others feel uncomfortable around emotional pain and, therefore, may distance themselves from you.
Death of a Child
The death of a child is one of life’s most unfair and tragic experiences. The excruciating pain you are carrying is unspeakable.
Everybody deals with such a loss in his or her own unique way. Lives and circumstances are different, but everyone will go through a process of deep grieving. Most people find it helpful to understand about the symptoms of grief and the grieving process.
The experience of losing a child has changed you forever. You will not see the world the same way you did before your loss. But, after traveling a long road of hurt and healing, you will begin to feel normalcy again, even if it does not seem possible at this time. It will be a different “normal”.
The road you have started on will lead you back to your sense of self again. Drive slowly, there is no timetable. Sharing this journey with others may bring you great comfort and a strong feeling of connectedness. Some couples choose to see a therapist together.
Your grief reaction will be unique and different from that of others. The following are the most common reactions following the loss of a pregnancy or baby:
- feelings of loneliness and isolation
- irritability, anger
- guilt, blaming yourself
- hopelessness, helplessness
- appetite disturbances
- sleep disturbances
- difficulty concentrating or focusing your attention
- difficulty remembering information
- feelings of emotional numbness and emptiness
- a sense of chaos, disorderliness
- a sense of despair about your future
- difficulty formulating goals for the future
- a frequent need to talk about the death and the details of what happened
Each person goes through the grief process in a different way. You may take a longer or shorter period of time allowing yourself to feel the emotions of each stage. You might not experience all the feelings that others do.
At first it may be difficult for you to accept your miscarriage or the death of your baby. You may even deny it to yourself. This denial will gradually subside as you allow yourself to express your feelings.
During this stage you may feel angry at the unfairness of what happened and you may displace this anger onto others, such as your partner. If you turn the anger inward you may blame yourself and feel guilty. Be gentle and forgiving to yourself and you will be able to move away from these feelings.
You will feel intense sadness and a great sense of loss. You may not have the energy or feel like doing much, which can increase your feelings of loneliness. The more you are able to reach out and connect with others the easier it will be to endure the pain.
Please remember that acceptance does not mean forgetting. It means that you can begin to deal with the reality of your situation. Slowly you will be able to look into the future with hope again.
Difficult Situations During Your Grieving
- seeing babies or young children
- new babies in the family or among your acquaintances
- baby showers
- seeing or knowing pregnant and nursing mothers
- thoughtless comments, even if the person means well (“So when are you going to have a baby?” or “You just need to get pregnant again!”)
- family get-togethers, holidays
- doctors appointments with your ObGyn
- working through the grief process after your perinatal loss will help you face these situations more easily as time goes on.
For some tips and other resources on dealing with the grief of losing your child please see my Resources page.
I will provide you an environment of support, warmth and encouragement.
I will give you the space to deal with your grief and develop skills in order to face your life after your loss. I will help you find hope, and a new meaning for your life as you learn to go on living.
Understanding the Unexpected Aspects of Grief >
If you’re feeling immobilized by grief and want help making sense of your loss, I’m here to help.
Barbara Fane, LCSW, BCD
Counseling in Monmouth County after loss of a baby, or child, miscarriage or still birth.
Sharing sorrow heals.