Posted on August 20 2019
Tears streaming down our faces… it was the third time. After over a year of trying, it was the third time we convinced ourselves we wouldn’t get our hopes up, unsuccessfully. The third time our hearts were crushed and the third time we were left wondering if it would ever happen for us. It seemed like we were being punished for our years of planning and doing it the “right way.”
Before going through multiple miscarriages with my wife, I had no clue how common it was. About 15% - 25% of recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage, with that number skyrocketing to almost 50% when you include women who didn’t know they were pregnant. As men, it can be difficult to know how to feel, how to support your spouse / significant other and how to stay hopeful. I’m definitely not an expert, but there are a couple things that I learned through the difficult process.
LET IT SUCK:
My default setting is to try and fix things. But sometimes things suck, plain and simple. This is one of those things. Don’t feel pressured to immediately go to “it will be alright babe” because at that moment you probably don’t feel that way and neither does she. You don’t have to “make it better” at that moment. We know things will ultimately be ok, but taking a moment to grieve and be hurt is so important. We even know of families that have had memorial services for their lost little ones. There’s power in closure. Trying to speed past the loss can do more harm than good.
KNOW IT CAN FEEL PERSONAL TO HER:
This was tough for me. Imagine feeling like it was your fault. Like your body rejected your child. Like you’re the cause of your family’s suffering. Logically, we know this isn’t true. But emotions don’t listen to logic. There’s an extra level of suffering she might be feeling harboring that guilt. As men, we MUST be sensitive to this. Be that constant reinforcement for her during this time. Even when we might be ready to move forward, do that temperature check with your lady. It isn’t our body that’s being put on the line. The level of reassurance you need to give here, at times, might feel like a lot. If you feel that way, you’re probably going to need to double it. This is a deeply personal loss and should be treated like one.
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR FEELINGS:
Caught up in feeling like you need to be strong and support your lady, you might not give yourself a chance to really deal with the pain yourself. Personally, I felt guilty for having pain because it wasn’t my body that went through the miscarriage. I viewed my role as supporter and protector of my wife during this tough time. But the emotions kept building inside until I just broke down. Even though it’s not our bodies, miscarriages are extremely painful for us too. You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling. Sometimes sharing in the grief can heal more than ignoring it. When you ignore it, the other person might feel like they’re the only one going through the difficulty. No one wants to feel alone at this time.
Though the experience was very difficult for us, it also had another surprising effect - it brought my wife and I closer. Today we have two healthy AMAZING daughters that we love so much. For us, like so many of others, miscarriages will be a common set back before meeting your future little ones. However, no matter what your journey is, if you and your significant other do it together, there’s nothing the two of you won’t be able to rise from in the end.