It’s so easy to forget that pregnancy loss impacts more than just the person that was physically pregnant. I thought it would only be fair to give y’all my husband’s perspective on pregnancy loss. Let’s be honest here, he might have had one of the most difficult jobs of all: saying all the right things, doing all the right actions, supporting my mental/emotional state 100% of the time, AND grieving the loss of his own child. SIMULTANEOUSLY.
-The First Symptoms-
All I had in me was denial. We had been trying so hard and for what seemed like so long and I wanted this baby so badly. I tried my hardest to find alternative answers online; anything that would stray from a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy at this point. I wanted Angie to be part of this important celebration for her dad and thought it would be a great way to get her mind off things. But when it came down to it, I felt extremely guilty for this. Guilty for persuading her to go to the city. Guilty for being in denial. And guilty for just not trusting my (or her) gut.
When I brought Ang to the ER, they did not delay getting the appropriate testing and care she needed (through past experiences, I knew because of this urgency, it was serious). I’m a pretty calculated person and started to come up with probability in my head; 60%- it’s an ectopic pregnancy, 40%- this will be okay. When the doctor came in to deliver test results, I knew it wasn’t positive. He began to relay the facts to us, but it didn’t make sense; it didn’t make sense in my head, heart, or gut. Given that Angie had negative pregnancy tests prior and the timing of all other things, I knew that this was not accurate. I will also say that I very much appreciated the doctor’s perspective, but his experience also helped me to grasp the reality of what Angie and I would have to deal with as a result of this.
It was very emotional for me at first, and I felt immediate grief about the potential loss of this child. I looked forward to all of the memories that I would have with that child (Angie and I had a gut feeling that it was a boy), and that I would never be able to have them. These thoughts immediately flooded my mind. I believe in God and Heaven and I kept getting an image of a little boy with tennis shoes on, looking down at us through the floors of heaven. It immediately caused uncontrollable tears, no matter how much I tried to hold them back.
The morning after our ER visit, Ang convinced me to go into work and have her mom take care of her throughout the day. My work is busy and I thought that going to work would be therapeutic to help me put out the thoughts of what had just happened. Despite the business, my mind kept going back to the thought of that boy in heaven and I had a few moments where I got choked up and tried to hold back my tears. When Angie contacted me letting me know that she had miscarried (and at this point, we were convinced that’s what it was), I felt a feeling of helplessness again. No matter what I did, I couldn’t change what was going on or the toll that it would have on my wife; nothing could change the outcome and as someone who always takes great pride in caring for my wife, I knew I was helpless. Angie and I wanted to be strong for each other, yet we were reluctant to let each other see when we were at our weakest point. For me, I tried to keep my emotional pain hidden, for Angie, she wanted to keep her physical pain and most trying moments away from me. I knew that Angie knew I would always be there for her. But in this time, I also knew I needed emotional support myself and for her mother to take care of the physical parts. I’m so very grateful for the support system we have through her parents. Her mom truly stepped up to the plate in this situation and it helped both Angie and I.
-The Real Diagnosis-
Angie visited her doctor the following day. I wanted to shout, “I KNEW IT!” at the top of my lungs when her doctor questioned the diagnosis from the ER. The only thing I was most hopeful for is the safety of my wife. At this point, I knew that there was nothing we could do to save our baby (and not to say I accepted that, but I had to shift my focus), so I shifted my concerns towards the safety and longevity of my wife’s reproductive system.
My role was to be there for her and to support her through the surgery. Her family was great in helping to support me while we were in the waiting room. During the surgery, I just wanted to remain hopeful that we could move on quickly from this and that my wife could recover physically. I knew that her grief was substantial because of the physical and emotional toll it takes on having this happen. I just wanted this to be the end for her so we could move on and she could continue to live a healthy life.
At this point, I’m so excited for our future and I am hopeful for what’s to come. I’m excited for the potential of a child, not only for myself, but also for my wife because I know she wants it so badly. I know that it’s going to happen and we need to continue to be hopeful for one another. And we will be- we are! Because it’s going to happen. I know that everyone has a plan on this earth and sometimes we have to deal with adversity as a way to fully appreciate what we have in front of us. This experience has helped me to understand that I very much want to be a father. My wife was put on this earth to be a mother. This will happen, I just know it.
Me again (Angie)- Just remember to stay hopeful through the tough times, take care of yourself, and also take care of your idea of “us.” Pregnancy loss and this process definitely impacts everyone involved and it’s so important that you allow the trying times to bring you closer together and become a stronger team because of it.