I like to think that it wasn't Mark Zuckerberg who started the conversation about men and miscarriage, but that it was me when I shared my story a year ago. Either way, it doesn't matter in the slightest, but what does matter is that dads are starting to share their stories about their experiences of miscarriage. This is crucial because for too long, dads have been over looked when it comes to miscarriage. "Men are the forgotten grievers in miscarriage' was a tweet I read recently. How very true.
Bizarrely, as Zuckerberg shared his story, it all started becoming very real for me. Again.
Last night I went to bed the happiest man alive. I kissed my perfect baby boy goodnight and fell asleep with my beautiful wife in my arms, cherishing the secret that we had between us. Our secret - that after what seemed like a very long year of trying for a baby, she was pregnant. Very early stages, but 5 pregnancy tests confirmed it and we were beyond words over the moon. We had spent the last few weeks excited and relieved that it had finally happened, but also apprehensive of the future. We had been here twice before and once had been heart-breaking. As always I tried to focus us both on the positive and we fell asleep talking about our feelings and thoughts and excited for the future ahead.
This morning I woke for an important meeting in London. Just as I was about to leave the house my wife called for me. "Al, can you come here a sec" The over- relaxed tone to her voice instantly told me that something was wrong. I was right. She was bleeding. I was instantly transported to almost 2 years ago exactly, to the day we lost our first baby. 31 August 2013. My heart started racing, my throat went dry and time stood still. I wanted to tell my wife that it would be ok, that history wasn't repeating itself. But I knew only too well what may lay ahead. We hugged, we kissed, we held on to each other tight and I told her that we would be fine, no matter what, as long as we had each other. What else could I say? We had to hope for the best. But I felt the dull ache of the past reappear and heard the familiar voices in my head.
I went to my meetings in body but not fully in mind. My mind was with my wife, at home. As soon as I could I called her. I knew instantly that things were not ok and came straight home to find her putting on a brave face and trying to hold it together.
We put Teddy to bed, both kissed him goodnight as we always do and then sat together quietly holding hands. She was miscarrying. Again. She was in pain and I couldn't help. She was hurting and I couldn't fix it. Even having been here before did not prepare me. I was lost for the right words and felt useless. Once again I became overwhelmed with feelings of desperation and helplessness. I want to make everything right. I want to fix it. I can't. I have to accept that I just can't.
I feel angry. I feel upset. I feel hard-done-by.
I feel jealous. I feel bitter. I feel wronged.
I feel helpless. I feel powerless. I feel hurt.
I feel worried and fearful for the future.
I feel stupid for getting excited prematurely.
Why us? Why us again? Why me? Why my wife? She has been through so much. When is enough enough? When will life give her a break?
I know that we have a beautiful baby boy. For whom we are forever grateful. I know there are many that are not as fortunate as us and that we should be grateful for the child that we have together. We are. We adore him. We love him more than words could say. We cherish every day with him and never take him for granted.
I know that by having an early miscarriage, we were saved the upset of loosing the baby further down the line.
I know that years ago, pregnancies weren't confirmed until much later and that today's technology can be a hinderance as well as a blessing.
I know that it happens to so many people.
I know the stats.
I write about them.
I am quoted on them.
What I also know is that none of this makes it any easier.
No matter how early, no matter how common, no matter the statistical data, it hurts. It really bloody hurts.
Through both of my experiences, hearing other dads talk about their experiences has really helped. I figured that it would be great to have a space for Dads to upload their miscarriage stories for others to read. So I've made one. Upload your miscarriage story here.
You can also read my first story of miscarriage here.
This post was first seen on The Dad Network