Please check out Mera’s Mission, as they were responsible for prompting this piece that focuses on what the struggle is like from a hopeful father/husband’s perspective.
Through my eyes:
Miscarriage. One of the many conditions that can occur on the road to parenthood. I don’t think the discussion is often had from the male perspective. Furthermore, I’d say it is more than fair to focus the lion’s share of attention on the female view point seeing as how the woman is the only one in the relationship left to suffer the physical effects of this event. That said, I made an attempt to articulate how my male mind processed things that I went through and what I felt during these traumatic experiences:
Fear- after our first time getting pregnant and subsequent miscarriage, I was scared when I saw the positive pregnancy test. I was afraid of having to see my wife suffer. I feared the possible crushing feeling of losing our baby.
Helplessness- during our 2nd miscarriage, I watched my wife writhe in pain. The expressions on her face, the body language she displayed looked nothing short of what must have felt like being ripped in half. The fact that I couldn’t take any of that pain away, was brutal. The fact that I couldn’t do anything to prevent the loss of our 2nd little one made me feel like a failure as a partner and protector.
Depressed- after our first loss, I kind of went into a type of just-deal-with-it mode. Probably because of my profession, I just told myself to suck it up, be a support center for my wife and move on. I think the suppression of those feelings contributed to having a more difficult time dealing with it the next two times it occurred.
Rage- after the 3rd time, I was furious. I wanted to burn down the entire world. My wife and I want our son to have a sibling. We want another child so badly. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING AGAIN?! It was the longest and quietest car ride home in my life.... But with a cool down period, and a post doctor’s appointment workout (where I think I tried to throw a barbell through the concrete floor) I realized that the crippling anger was a form of mislabeled extreme depression. I was so incredibly sad about losing another little one. I was devastated that our son was so excited that he was going to be a big brother, and now we had to explain to him that he wasn’t. I was crushed personally and knew my wife was crushed as well. I know that the world is not a fair place, but this seemed so unreasonably unfair that it made me crazy.
Hope- luckily, my wife and I talked through all of it. We made sure to express all of our concerns; had downright ugly conversations about how much we hated this process; how jealous of others we’d get when we’d see families with multiple kids; how we need to be prepared for tragedy to strike again, but also that we are committed to seeing this through and that we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed again.
As we’ve opened up to close friends and family, our support network has expanded and it’s been incredibly helpful. The secretive nature of this topic is incredibly detrimental to the healing process. Once we realize that this happens all too frequently and start talking about it, we’ll be better off. As men, there’s a true benefit to getting things like this off of your chest. From my experience, not acknowledging these emotions can have some pretty adverse consequences mentally.