men and miscarriage

Men and Miscarriage

When we talk about men and miscarriage we immediately think of the mother, the woman. The caregiver. The soul crushing ripped out feeling Mum must be feeling at the time. Now I understand for the woman it’s an excruciatingly soul destroying experience to have the child that’s growing inside her lose it’s life. My wife, she describes it as a part of her has been lost that she can never get back; the love that was building up, inside her, for her new child; gone. Fluttered away like a pack of butterflies from a flower in the summer.

It’s not an easy feat getting over a miscarriage. Ronnie in Eastenders a couple of years ago depicted the scenario extremely well. Fraught with the idea of her dead baby, she chose not to accept it and proceeded to pass off Kat and Alfies newborn as her own. Now this is extenuating circumstances but the principle is the same. It’s just extremely; actually no, brutally tough on mum whatever the situation.

But what about Dad? Dad gets off lightly, I mean all he has is the idea that he will have a child in x months and now he won’t. No hormones, no weird food imbalances, no going through the motions. Dad gets off lightly.

Or does he?

Us men aren’t very in tune with our emotions and we always like to have the notion that we have the situation under control but really; we haven’t the foggiest. We have no clue. The idea that we were going to be Dad again, or a new Dad is an exciting prospect, in fact it’s deeply woven into the fabric of society as a man’s purpose in life. Settle down and have children. Most of us want that, any man that tells you he doesn’t hasn’t matured enough yet, or has a partner that he doesn’t trust fully.

So what is a man without purpose?

Well. Here’s what happened to me on our miscarriage. I cried a little when I first found out, but sucked it up because men don’t cry, or at least that’s what I was raised to believe. I had a driving lesson that day and we tore the road home up. That day, giving my wife a hug when I got in, the helplessness I saw in her eyes, the confusion, the emptiness. It literally ripped me the fuck up inside. Ever been in a situation where you know the person you love uncontrollably has something terribly wrong and you can do absolutely nothing to help? But perhaps hug them, even if you know that wont help one bit?

Yeah, so there was me. In helpless mode, feeling numb, working on auto-pilot to best serve Natalie in any way I possibly could. I had absolutely no understanding what she was going through, I couldn’t, I still don’t.

Anyone who says Men don’t feel emptiness at the time is wrong. I did. I was going to be a Father. I was the proudest Father on the planet. I’d told all my friends, all my family, hell, even the people on the street. And now? Empty. That whole idea and the self fulfilling happiness that came with it was replaced with confusion, anger, emptiness, helplessness and a shed load of bloody numbness. But I had to be strong for Natalie. Christ, it’d be useless if I broke down too. Who would help my partner?

The coming weeks would suck in their entirety too, the love, the support and the empathy would come flowing for Natalie, and I’d watch the endless cuddles and the outstretched arms from empathic friends.. and I’d get a “oh, you ok too mate?” perhaps from one, maybe two people. “Yeah, I’m dealing” I’d say, all the while wishing I could curl up in the fetal position and rock myself crying to sleep

That being said all through the process Natalie was a strong woman, and yes, she supported me whenever she could, and yes, not for one moment did I feel less loved, and yes, she did remind her friends that I was going through an utterly crap time too. She was my rock just as I was hers.

So the next time a couple has a miscarriage; spare a thought for the man too. Give him a hug, get him to open up to you. Don’t just look at him as if he’s a solid chunk of emotionless steel that feels no pain. We hurt, we cry, we have powerful emotions. Help us realise that if we already don’t.

Thanks for listening 🙂

 

 

men and miscarriage
Raymond is a Mental Health activist and cryptocurrency enthusiast. He fuels his activism by taking to the web and trying to create core change in the way people interact. As an ex-Community​ Manager, Raymond has a unique approach to communication and relationships and believes the way forward in life is improving the interactions between one another. Raymond started his blogging activities as a way to heal from a chequered past, and through this, his blog has become something far more empowering than he ever imagined. And thus, The Relationship Blogger Magazine was born.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband and I have experienced two miscarriages and I have always wondered what it was like from his perspective. At first, I’ll admit that I was a bit selfish in the grieving process. I felt that he couldn’t possibly know what I was feeling and that for him the loss wasn’t nearly as great. However, I have come to realize that he was going through it just as much as I was. In some ways, it was harder on him. People always asked how I was handling it, but never asked him. People gave me a few months to grieve and forgave me when I was just having a rough day dealing with it all, but they never gave him such a courtesy. I was given two weeks off of work, while he was expected back the next day. Men need to be allowed to express more emotion without judgement and ridicule.

    • Exactly right! Although I don’t think men will ever understand what it’s like to experience miscarriage. But we’ll try! And it’s about time we gave up this “stiff upper lip” nonsense and let our emotions run wild. Thanks for your comment – lovely to hear differing perspectives on it!

  2. Hi Ray,
    I agree with the other commenters. I think a lot of men can gain support from your perspective. I am sorry for your loss because it IS a loss.
    Thank you for visiting my site earlier today and liking my post.
    Janice

    • Thank you Janice. I really appreciate your sentiments!

      Funny you should comment – I was just in the process of linking you to my first blog on warrior forum – I think you’d fit well on there. I don’t know if you know but I read you regularly. Your info is incredibly insightful 🙂

  3. Your story sounds exactly like myself and my other half. We are really close and are trying to support each since we lost our baby on Saturday. It’s tough and my heart is broken, but I feel soo sad for him as it was his first baby, our first baby together. We were soo excited. And now we are just trying to find a way through. But yes, people don’t mean to, but dad’s can get forgotten in the comfort aspect.
    He is an amazing stepdad, and I’m so sad he’s had to go through this.
    Thank you for posting this.

    • I actually shed a tear reading this. I’m really sorry you’ve had to deal with this. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. We were super excited too, and then boom! Life has a funny way of throwing you curveballs. As for your man – keep communication lines open! Don’t let him clam up! It’s what we tend to do when we’re hurt. I loved reading the warmth you expressed for your partner – you two are lucky to have one another.

  4. Five days ago (07/18/17) my world was shattered when the doctor told me there was no heartbeat and he/she was no longer growing. I was supposed to be around 12 weeks but it was the size of 6-7 weeks. It was my first ultrasound because they said I had to be within a 10-12 week range. My heart actually broke more for my husband. Knowing I had to call him at work and destroy his world because he wanted to know everything and I couldn’t hide it from him until later. We hadn’t told anyone yet because we wanted to see the baby on an ultrasound first. And we’re young. We’re married at 19 & 21 (I’m the older one.) It was our first baby and you don’t know how excited he was. He had a baby app on his phone & knew exactly how far along I was and what size the baby was approximately. It was endearing. When I told him I thought I would die. As soon as he got out of work he would go with me to mine & sit at my job for my whole 8 hour shift just so I knew he was there. Then we’d get home and cry and hold each other, he’d sleep for 3-4 hours and he’d go to work. Two days ago I had an emergency D&C and he had to leave to work 10 hours away the next day which is killing him but I encouraged him to go. The emotional pain is horrific, the loss gargantuan but his love and support even from afar is what’s keeping me going and getting me through this nightmare. In my case even though I hurt, I worry so much more for him. I can’t imagine what he feels because he has to see how heartbroken I am and he lost something great too but he won’t break down to be strong for me. My heart is shattered and I feel so alone. He’s far and our baby is gone.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. Words cannot express properly how you must be feeling right now. I’m sorry.

      You sound like you exist in a very supportive relationship. Hang onto that! Share your grief together and it seems as if you’re doing that already. My wife supported me as much as I did her. It made the hurt so much easier to bare.

  5. I recently had a miscarriage I was 8 wks I thought but I had bleeding and then I lost the baby I was on my own at the time it happened I didn’t even go to the hospital I didn’t know what to do I just felt alone my husband just closed up and has been closed up ever since we hardly communicate unless we are playing with our son. Just thinking this may have destroyed us ?dont know what to do

    • Hi Natalie! I appreciate your comment.

      Have you tried forcing him to communicate? Next time you talk to him you could ask him how he’s coping with the miscarriage? How does he feel? Ask him if there’s anything that he would like you to do. I always ask my wife that when I’m at a loss with what she wants or needs.

      Failing that you could always seek therapy or couples therapy? I’m no professional and I think if he won’t open up then therapy is the next option 🙂

      I’m really sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now, and just when you need your partner the most he isn’t there for you. Grief is a really tough one because people deal with grief in different ways. Just remember that time is a great healer also!

  6. Thanks for writing such an honest article. I lost my first pregnancy 17 years ago, and while I have since had a beuatiful daughter, there’s still a hole left in my heart for the child I lost. Of course not as raw, but I have an awareness that I should have 2 children and I only have 1. At the time it happened my partner wasn’t very supportive, he didn’t come home for a few days after and when he did, he didn’t know what to say or do. I knew that he was thrown by the loss, but he would never talk about it. I agree that men need to be considered at these times as well, it’s also their child, their loss.

    • Thanks for your warmed response there, Vicki. You’re right – men deal with it in particularly different ways, like you say, walk off for a few days. Sometimes I wish we were far more in tune with our emotions than we are, but, you know, it’ll get there.

      I’m sorry to hear of your loss – My wife, Natalie explains to me exactly the same as you do. It’s a distant memory for me, but to her, it’s a part of her that should be there.

  7. Thank you for this. My man and I are currently going through this. I am a mess.. I am so heartbroken, empty and devastated. I have been trying to stay strong and be supportive but he is my rock. I know he is struggling too but he is acting tough for me. Thank you for this post, it is incredibly brave and generous of you to share with us all.

    • First of all I’d just like to say I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you or your man must be going through right now, and if this was a room I’d give you both a HUGE warm hug.

      Yup. I agree with you totally. As much as I suffered I just had to be there for my wife. I couldn’t imagine in a million years the torment that she was going through (or you for that matter) — she described it as something akin to losing a part of herself. It is interesting though how friends and family handled the situation with me, though. I felt a bit like a loose end. No-one wanted to talk to me.

      But alas, this is why I write 🙂 – break trends.

  8. My husband and I just had our 2nd miscarriage. I’m trying to find ways to comfort him and help heal his heart while he does the same for mine. What do you think would have been a blessing for you? I feel helpless as does he.
    I am so sorry for you and your wife’s loss. I hope this blog helps bring some light into one of the darkest places life can take you, it certainly was helpful for me to have a better idea what my husband is experiencing and may face with our loved one’s and the potential for them to miss the giant fucking hole in his being.

    • Thanks Amy!

      Firstly I’m deeply sorry for your loss. It’s never easy.

      What greatly helped me was time and space to grieve. Talking about things helped me overcome a lot. My wife telling me how she was feeling, and also her asking me to describe how I was feeling.

      Space and time — not space from each other, but allowing your partner his own space to talk about how he’s feeling with you. And vice versa! Sometimes we’re all too busy trying to be heard to listen to anyone else. That’s not a judgement though, we all do this!

  9. Thank you, that’s what we have been doing. He shuts down and talking can be hard for him. So as you said I am trying to give him his space but also trying to get him to talk about it without pushing him.
    Luckily my sister and brother in law came to stay with us this weekend. My brother in law mowed our yard and is doing a lot of things to help my husband around the house because we are moving (so the timing was overwhelming on many levels). My husband took off of work to help me, and didn’t have time to do things I physically can’t help with right now before he had to go back. He works 6 days a week in 10hr shifts. So far our family has been being supportive to us both, but I am worried about him.
    Thank you for your advise, this is so hard.

    • Remember and self-care though! You’re the one going through this. I know some women that have spent all their time worrying about their partners and forget to grieve themselves. It was never an issue for us who was the important one – only that I needed my space to grieve also. You probably do this anyway, I assume from what you said you’re an intelligent woman 🙂

      Give him time — the only thing you can do for him is just be there. That’s all that’s required. Be there and answer his questions, and hug each other and share that moment of grief.

      I will say as well as Miscarriage we had a very traumatic birth of our Son when he finally came, and it took me two years to properly get over that! It’s a process, it’s time, you’ll both get there. You sound like you’re in a good supportive family anyway 🙂

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