It took me a long time to accept therapy after losing Poppy. Two years after losing Poppy I hit a really bad place. At this point I needed to ask for help and my GP and Bereavement Midwife were incredible. My Bereavement Midwife was so relieved that I finally asked for the therapy sessions. She refereed me straight away for Psychotherapy.
All content is my own thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experience from my own journey of baby loss. This post may contain affiliate links, please see the Copyright and Disclosures page for more information.
I think that my biggest fear of accepting therapy was that I was petrified of the pain going. Pain, aside from love, has always been my biggest connection with Poppy. People outside of the Baby Loss world have trouble understanding this and almost feel that we are torturing ourselves. But finding the understanding of this feeling from people who have lost strangely brings me comfort.
As with most referrals I had a wait before me so my GP increased the antidepressants I take for the interim. She also prescribed me a medication for if I needed help to control a panic attack. My GP felt if I was able to go into the psychotherapy sessions feeling a little more stable I could possibly get more from them. When I finally got my appointments through my Bereavement Midwife was unhappy with the wait time. She recommended that they were brought forward. Thankfully my therapist was able to do this by me having sessions at random times.
I was incredibly nervous before starting the sessions. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Due to Covid I was unable to have sessions face to face. I had the choice of video call or telephone and I chose the latter. I think I chose telephone as it felt not so personal. It meant that I would be able to detach myself and just concentrate on what I was saying.
Before each session I was agitated and very nervous. Then afterwards I was very unsettled for the rest of the day and often the following day. I can describe it as feeling out of sorts or feeling detached from myself. Some weeks my head would be a jumble of thoughts but every time I was exhausted. Psychotherapy is a talking therapy. I did most of the talking with my therapist helping me to look at a feeling or event deeper.
validating my feelings
What I feel I gained most from these sessions was acceptance. Acceptance of my feelings, acceptance that I’m not an evil person and we did what was right for our daughter and acceptance of me. I think the last is the most important. My therapist made me feel valid and that how I feel is important. There was no judgement just a guiding of my feelings and emotions and why I feel the way I do.
Over the course of the 6 sessions which I was allocated we talked through my family, the whole of Poppy’s journey and my rainbow journey. My husband and children were a big part of all of our discussions. At times I felt very frustrated that I could not easily recall things that had happened. My biggest frustration was recalling the weekend we were in hospital being induced, labour, birth and making memories. I just couldn’t get the moments in order and I wanted to say so much more but couldn’t delve deep enough. I spoke this through with my Bereavement Midwife and she pointed out to me that this is a reaction of Trauma. In a way this comforted me. I know it’s all there but just maybe my brain is trying to protect me.
Once we came to the end of my sessions my therapist felt I need help in managing my anxiety as the impact on my day to day life is huge. I feel exhausted from the constant whirling thoughts in my mind. The flashbacks, the constant array of emotions and the inability to just be. These are just some of the impact it has on my daily life. So together we decided that I needed to seek a referral for CBT. – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. My therapist feels I need to come away from the Baby Loss therapy and use CBT to help manage my thought process. I can always return to the focus of Baby Loss therapy after.
So after finishing my psychotherapy how do I feel? Honestly I don’t feel it had the impact I hoped it would. I’m pleased I have done it as I know how I feel is valid and I have every reason for the thoughts and feelings that I have. Now I can move onto the next stage and hope that this will give me some relief from the exhaustion of my mind and body.
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IF YOU NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT:
Arc – Antenatal results and choices.
Petals – The Baby Loss Counselling Charity.
Tommy’s – Baby Charity – Together, for every baby.
Sands – Stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
Baby Loss Support Links – A dedicated page I have put together of a range of support links.
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