The days in Evanston could fly by in a blur if you are suffering from a miscarriage. In our North Chicago-Evanston therapy practice, we walk alongside women who have seen their hopes of motherhood dashed. We grieve with you and hold space for you. When you are ready, we will be here to help you heal.
It doesn’t matter if it happened two weeks ago or two years ago. Life may have lost some of its colors for you. You feel that it may be some time before you will find joy again. Happiness used to bubble up in your life yet now it seems to have gone flat. Blame and guilt plague you. If only you had or your partner had, or your OB had been able to do something.…. Your anger rises as you think, “This isn’t the way things were supposed to happen.” We agree with you, and our hearts break with you.
While we grieve with you, we want to encourage you that healing is possible. Slowly, step by step, healing happens. Would you like to know how?
What happens in your mind and body after a miscarriage
Even if you lost your child early in your pregnancy, you probably bonded deeply with them. It’s likely you changed habits to take care of the life growing inside you. Perhaps, you stopped going to after-work happy hour, stopped drinking coffee, or started upping fruits and veggies in your diet. You began to orient your life around your child.
But now, you might feel that your body betrayed you. What was all of your work nurturing your child for if it ended like this?
Researchers even call what you have experienced with your miscarriage a post-traumatic stress disorder. This 2019 study found that…
nearly a third of women who experienced early pregnancy loss met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder one month later; around 18% met the criteria nine months later.
Here are some of the ways your emotions might be affecting your body after a pregnancy loss:
- trouble sleeping
- difficulty concentrating
- loss of appetite
- frequent episodes of crying
- broken or suffering relationships with family or friends
- self-harm/suicidal attempts or actions
Many women find that they have an unshakeable sadness. Our Evanston therapists understand that you have deep sorrow. After a miscarriage, you may find that depression sets in and overwhelms you. You used to enjoy Sunday brunch with friends (the highlight of your week!), but now you have no desire to go.
Your anxiety may also start to kick in. Your partner may also be no stranger to intense feelings of constant, unexplainable stress.
Reach out to us if you would like to talk to someone about whether you are experiencing depression or anxiety after a miscarriage.
Helpful Evanston Therapy Advice for Healing from Miscarriage
Reconnect with your partner – A pregnancy loss can create a wedge between you and your partner. It is important that you find a way back to each other for the future health of your relationship.
Realize that your partner probably had a different attachment to your child than you did. Consequently, they may be processing this loss differently. The non-child bearing partner tends to bond more closely with the child after 20 weeks when the child begins to move and kick more. Allow them to have different emotions from yours; it doesn’t mean they are disinterested or do not care.
Though it is all too easy and quite common, you will want to resist the urge to blame one another. Healing can come through finding ways to process your shared pain (even though the pain may look different). A more open heart toward your partner can begin to rebuild the bridge between you.
Increase your self care – Even though you are carrying the weight of many emotions, your body is also recovering from the miscarriage. Give yourself time and space to heal well physically. The end result? You will also feel better emotionally because your body has been cared for.
Maintaining the good habits you may have started at the beginning of our pregnancy will also help you heal. Drink plenty of water, continue eating meals full of healthy foods, and try your best to get many nights of good rest.
Take proactive measures to heal your anxiety – Sometimes having information can ease your anxiety. You may want to request a specific test from your gynecologist. This test helps to determine the likelihood of having another miscarriage. If you think the results of this test might give you more peace and less stress, talk with your gynecologist.
Reach out to a therapist at Evanston Counseling – We are here to share your grief. In time, processing your emotions about the loss of your child will help you heal. Our therapists would be happy to accompany you on this journey.
A few tips for Partners, Family Members and Friends: How to help
You may want to reach out to your loved one to lessen their heartache. Here are a few simple tips to help them heal:
Evanston Therapy Tip #1 – Acknowledge their loss. Let the elephant in the room take up space. Part of acknowledging their loss is to realize that you have your own grief. Give yourself time and a place to deal with your own sorrow. Allow your loved one to talk and share without interruption. They are probably not looking to you to solve their problems; they just need their loss to be seen and their grief to be heard.
Evanston Therapy Tip #2 – Just showing up might be the greatest gift. Your presence can be all that you need to give. Throwing in a load of laundry, taking care of the older kids, or setting up meal delivery will give your loved one time to rest and recover. Or just sit and hold her hand. This Georgetown University Nursing program article says, “But what most women say they need is just to receive your love and concern.”
Evanston Therapy Tip #3 – Find a creative way of remembering the child your loved one lost. This article suggests you:
- Donate board books to a local children’s hospital in the baby’s honor
- Plant a tree in the child’s honor
- Send a card on the due date or on the anniversary of the loss
- Give a gift of a star named after their child
- In the future, acknowledge the baby’s birthday
If you’re feeling anxious about life, fertility, or motherhood, call us at (773) 983-8444 for a free, 15-minute phone conversation with one of our Evanston Therapists. We will listen and direct you to the right person to help you with your anxiety. Or you can schedule a time to chat with us here.
Are you looking for therapy for anxiety, life transitions, or relationships? You can read more about how our therapists can help here. We look forward to meeting you!