How a Man Handles a Miscarriage

by Marcus Brotherton on February 25, 2013 · 241 comments

in Fatherhood, Marriage, Relationships & Family

couple

Expect a rollercoaster ride.

That’s all I can say. Climb into the car near the front of the rows, buckle your seatbelt, then grip the chrome handle in front of you. Clack. Clack. Clack. The car is nearing the top of the first high hill now. Get ready to raise your hands and scream.

The first time we were pregnant was 10 years ago. The very same day we first announced the pregnancy to friends, my wife, Mary, began to bleed. What a day of highs and lows it was. That morning, people were so happy for us, then that afternoon we stood at the front counter of an emergency room, our faces ashen. Mustering the lowest, most-controlled voice I possess, I said to the receptionist one short sentence I will remember forever: “I think my wife is having a miscarriage.”

It’s an odd thing about miscarriages. They just happen. Sometimes there’s an underlying cause that can be addressed, but often there’s virtually nothing that anybody—no medical doctor, minister, or magician—can do to prevent them. They occur in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies. Doctors will tell you that it’s the body’s way of cleansing something that wasn’t meant to be. There’s no rhyme, nor reason. Just mystery, and vagueness. Something to wonder about, but not understand.

Yet each one is heartrending. And a man finds himself in a unique spot. He’s often the silent sufferer, the one called upon to support and encourage and comfort. Yet inside he’s as equally torn up as his spouse or girlfriend, as unsure of what to do next, as grief-filled, discouraged, and aching. How can a man navigate this difficult season?

Mary and I spent four hours in the examination room. Mary lay on a gurney. I sat on a chair beside her. Doctors and nurses came by to draw blood, ask questions, write on forms, look, probe, touch, and talk. During those hours there were uninterrupted spells of quiet. Mary and I sometimes looked at each other, but it was hard to talk. We were sure we lost. There was just too much blood.

We learned a lot during that trip to the E.R. Normal gestation is about 40 weeks, which we already knew, but, technically, if the pregnancy ends prematurely, it’s called an “early pregnancy loss” up to about week 6, a “miscarriage” up to about week 20, a “stillbirth” up to about week 37, and a “premature birth” from then on, (it’s called a birth even if the child dies). This was week 10 for us.

Toward the end of our stay, the doctor scheduled an ultrasound. I have often wondered why he didn’t do this first. I surmise he was convinced the situation was hopeless. But finally he did. Mary and I were emotionally pushed over the edge by then, completely exhausted, and anticipating a slew of sad phone calls to family and friends.

The ultrasound room was warm and dark and quiet. Then, to our complete surprise, the doctor cleared his throat. “I don’t know what to tell you, but there’s some other unknown reason for all the blood today.” He pointed to the monitor and grinned. “Because there’s your baby’s heartbeat. Strong and healthy. Your child is still alive.”

I will never be able to describe it. I could write until I run out of words, but I will never convey the emotion of hearing those startling and wonderful words. This is a rollercoaster experience, remember, this process of having children. Sometimes it’s best to just hang on for the wild ride.

We named that child Addy. Today she’s in fourth grade. Loves drawing and Barbies and reading. Just last night she sidled up to me on the couch and gave me a mischievous wink. “Dad—” she said, “what’s a horse’s favorite thing to put on his sandwich?”

I shrugged.

Neigh-o-nnaise.”She whinnied like a horse, grinned big teeth, and added in her best Las Vegas comedian voice, “You’ve been a wonderful crowd. I’ll be playing here all week.”

That was our first pregnancy, the one where we nearly lost Addy. To me, that put all future pregnancies into perspective: it’s such a fragile thing to have a child. And when you see your child growing up, you can more easily imagine your other children, the children you’ve lost. Stay with me here, because there are huge highs and huge lows, like I mentioned, and it certainly hasn’t been all after-dinner jokes for our family.

A year and a half after Addy was born, my wife became pregnant again. This time, again, she started to bleed. We anticipated the worst. This time there was no unexpected, miraculous change of course. No heartbeat. Nothing. Not after the bleeding started anyway.

We had been so fortunate the first time around. This, now, was our dues paying, we figured. Somehow, seen from that perspective, it seemed easier to cope. We were pretty sure it was a boy, although we never found out the sex. In our minds, we named him Luke.

So that was our first miscarriage.

A year and half after that, Mary became pregnant a third time. Again, she started to bleed. We were moving to a different city when it happened. Everything seemed in such upheaval just then. There were too many changes in our lives to fully process. Again, we lost the baby, this time at 9 weeks. We grieved in the moving van on the drive to our new house.

For weeks after that, nothing seemed in its right place. It was a girl—that was our hunch anyway. In our minds, we named her Skye. Like the color of a warm summer day.

So that was our second miscarriage.

After that, we got serious. Really serious. More serious than we had ever been before. We went to doctors and specialists, and they put Mary on a hormone therapy. The therapy was our ace, we were told.

Sure enough, Mary became pregnant a fourth time, and everything went fine. Amazingly fine. Not-even-a-hiccup fine. Our son, Zachary, was born in 2008. He’s in preschool today. Loves soccer and bulldozers and Legos and chocolate Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen. He’s an amazing kid, a delightful blunderbuss of winsomeness and wit.

Three years later, Mary became pregnant again. We were so smug. We had the hormone therapy, after all. No way could anything go wrong. But it did. Mary miscarried on Mother’s Day, 2011. I hope this isn’t too much information for you, but we saw our child that time—partially developed—tiny and gray and still. In our minds, it was a girl, although we never found out for sure. I called her Macy, but my wife has always called her Nikki.

So that was our third miscarriage.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about how a man might handle a miscarriage. I’d never try to give anyone a “step-by-step plan” to coping, so I’d rather call these six notes I’ve made to myself about our miscarriages. Hopefully these principles apply to any man going through this situation. Hopefully they help you or someone you know.

1. You grieve.

And that’s good.

That sounds pretty basic to say, but I think some men overlook the simple fact that a miscarriage is a serious loss, and afterward, grieving is mandatory. Flat out, there’s no other way to cope except to grieve.

You and your significant other have been excited. You’ve been reading naming books, pricing cribs, checking out strollers, and painting your spare room. All that translates to excitement. And now the excitement is no more.

The famous psychiatrist, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, outlined the 5 stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance—and a man can expect to experience these in various forms.

Expect to grieve. Expect to feel lousy. Expect the world not to be all right.

2. You’re tempted to apologize.

But don’t.

Sometimes you wonder if you should have told people. Even if you should have allowed yourself to feel such excitement yourself.

It’s okay to have been excited.

It’s okay to have told people.

And, no, do not blame anyone for the miscarriage. Including yourself or your wife. It is no one’s fault.

When Mary was a few weeks along while pregnant with Macy, I was right in the middle of releasing a new book. I was so stinking proud; I even announced our pregnancy during a radio interview. I wanted the whole world to know. After we miscarried, I felt so stupid for not keeping my cards closer to my chest. What an idiot I had been. That’s what went through my mind.

It was my mother, actually, who wrote me a short note after the miscarriage that said, “You celebrated the start of a new soul, and you invited the world to celebrate with you. Never apologize for inviting people to see something of wonder and awe and profound beauty.”

3. Your job is to love.

Hardship can either rip couples apart or bring them closer together. Decide early on that you and your wife are on the same team, at least as far as it depends on you, regardless of what difficulties you encounter.

It’s particularly important to support the other grieving partner during a miscarriage. Let her know that no matter what happens—whether you go through another miscarriage, or you can’t get pregnant, or you decide to do fertility treatments, or you hope to adopt—you are going to get through it together, and you’ll work through everything together, come what may.

As a man, be the first to take the initiative here. Reaffirm your love for each other during any time of sorrow. Let her know you’ll be at her side no matter what.

4. You commemorate, or not.

Mary and I have known couples who’ve miscarried and held memorial services afterward. We’ve never done that ourselves, but it seems fitting, particularly the further along a pregnancy is.

Other couples we’ve known have planted trees in commemoration of their lost child, or had plaques installed on park benches. Some parents write letters to the child. I say, commemorate anyway you wish. Or don’t. Whatever feels best for you as a couple.

After our third miscarriage, because our children were of the age by then where they knew about the pregnancy, we decided to hold a family celebration day. We bought a fancy doll for our daughter and a cool toy truck for our son. We went out to eat at a restaurant, and had a movie and ice cream night later on. We explained to our kids why we were doing this. We wanted to remember the child with joy. And, frankly, we wanted to cheer ourselves up.

Whatever works best for you.

5. You don’t replace the child.

People sometimes say things like, “Well, just have another kid. Then all will be better.”

No. That might be part of your solution as a family, and people are well-meaning in offering their consolation, but having another child will never replace the child you lost.

That child will always be autonomous in your thinking. A separate being. And should always be thought of that way.

6. You keep going.

Each couple needs to decide what it means to “keep going.” For some, it means they’re done, but they won’t be defeated—at least not forever. For some, it may mean some serious planning and adjustments. Infertility clinics. Adoption.

Having more children doesn’t lessen the loss you felt at having lost a child. But it can be part of the solution. Part of the overall process.

How did we keep going? After five pregnancies and three miscarriages, we were convinced we were finished with trying to have any more children. We waited a year after our last miscarriage, just to make sure, and every ounce of common sense told us we were done. We were getting older. The hormone therapy wasn’t a sure thing. At the end of that year we were certain. I made an appointment to have a vasectomy.

They make you have a consultation first, those vasectomy clinics. I had my consultation, then, on the drive home, I felt so uneasy, so torn in my spirit. I wasn’t afraid to have the procedure. In fact, it’s again on the list of things to do. But we were wrong. We simply weren’t done—that was the big thought that kept coming back to me.

Four weeks later, Mary was pregnant again.

We’re nearing the end of that pregnancy right now. It’s a girl. We know this for sure. So far, doctors say, everything looks just fine.

We haven’t decided on a first name yet. But both Mary and I are sold on a middle name. It’s a reflection of the one factor that’s kept our heads from splitting apart during our wild rollercoaster ride of having children.

I might add that I believe in science. In the best doctors and the newest procedures and the slickest hormone therapy procedures. I believe in everything medicine can do to prevent miscarriages.

But, still, her middle name will be Faith.

 

Have you and your wife/girlfriend ever suffered a miscarriage? What was it like for you? How did you best cope?

_______________________

Marcus Brotherton is a regular contributor to Art of Manliness. Read his blog, Men Who Lead Well, at: www.marcusbrotherton.com

 

{ 241 comments… read them below or add one }

201 Franco September 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm

After a year of so “trying” my wife on a whim took a test and boom pregnant. It was a long journey to get there, Months before she was diagnosed with endometriosis and had a lapro procedure to clean it out. Weve been told that she should be pregnant or on birthcontrol in order to control it.

So back to the pregnancy. She had spotting throughout the first few weeks, we were told that’s normal. after getting a thumbs up from our MD we took a short trip to Florida for a business trip. As we were in a theme park my wife suddenly began to bleed nonstop. We came up with some excuse to tell people about her getting sick and fled in a cab to a hospital. ER, emotions up and down, my wife passes (what she thought was the baby as she was in the bathroom of the hospital) turns out it was a blood clot. Ultrasounds are all good, fear/pain passes, joy returns. We return home follow up with MD all is good. See the heartbeat for the first time. Two weeks later at the visit no heartbeat. Next day DnC. 3 weeks have passed and certainly ups and downs. Other than the security guard at the airport Xray machine I have not told anyone about the pregnancy out of respect for my wifes wishes. The reality is I have not told a single soul of the miscarriage and this is the one and only place I have let it out. im ok with that but wanted to tell someone some AofM it is you. I mourn but reality is I need to be the rock. Although the loss hit me hard its the feeling of helplessness that I can not make my wife better that gets me. After everything we had been through I just want for her to be happy and pregnant and other than lending some sperm when needed there is nothing else I can do. This article is amazing as are the comments. The only advice I can give to the men is to continue being the rock. When life knocks you down you get back up, there is no other choice. Trust your faith in that there is something greater that we are unable to comprehend and no matter what religion you believe never lose sight. to the women, know that we men are and always will be there for you even if we have no idea what we are doing, everything we do is out of love and like the article mentions well get through it together! Keep the Faith!

202 Jordan October 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

After googling on how to cope with loss I came to this article. Maybe it will be therapeutic to share my experience..

9/23
After weeks of an obsessive wife peeing on sticks to check ovulation and getting negative results, I was awaken (at 6:15am) to a squeal coming from the bathroom. “Read this!!”, she said. As I look (while whiping the sleep out of my eyes) I see the result “PREGNANT” She is already onto her 3rd test to make sure. I then head to the store for more test I mean can we trust the digitals, no, we need to go old school. (it was positive as well). Finally I head to work and nothing in this world could knock the huge smile off my face that day. Text messages back and forth all day with the wife talking about my excitement, planning the house renovations, how and when to tell. The whole week was bliss. I downloaded the pregger apps, started reading the baby books, and that night named out little bean, June Bug in anticipation of the June 1st due date. Sure I felt silly talking to my wife’s stomach but I didn’t care I was bonding with my baby!

9/26-27
We came up with creative ways to tell our parents and siblings. So much excitement, so many happy tears!

9/30
I received a text saying “I’m bleeding”. First response was that may be normal, i read about implantation and figured this was the case. I scoured articles and forums reading of woman with similar symptoms and all was well since there were no cramps. She went to the Dr to have her blood checked just in case. That night the bleeding kept up and small clot popped up. My wife said I think I’m miscarrying. No way I said, this is all normal its gonna be fine. Later that night the bleeding stopped. I thought everything is ok its all going to be fine. Stay June Bug stay!

10/1
Bleeding started back up but I was convinced this was fine. I read tons of stories of similar symptoms and healthy pregnancies resulting from them. 6pm the phone call from the Dr. Straight to the point: You miscarried.

Heartbroken we embraced each other. As the physical pain met the emotional ones, I felt helpless watching my wife suffer. Be strong I told myself, she needs you. The past few days have been terrible. We understand the % of pregnancies ending in miscarriage, we realize it was natures way of telling us the baby wouldn’t be healthy, we know this shows we are capable of making a baby… it doesn’t matter.
We lost our June Bug and it sucks.

203 Adam October 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm

8 weeks. Today was the appointment we have been waiting for. Such excitement, anticipation, imagination. The visit was going really well. The doctor is funny, reassuring and calming. Lots of medcial questions. You’re going to get a “doggy bag” of all kinds of baby stuff today the doctor says. Time for the ultrasound. The moment we have been waiting for, lets see our one finally. We wait. There are smiles and laughs which slowly turn quiet until the quiet starts to pervade the room. There is the sac she says. I see it. Just black, I know these things can be hard to see so I keep looking, waiting… Its not there. Blighted ovum she says. Lots of other things were said, what my wife will experience medically in the next few days or weeks.
Lets go home. Time to cope. So sad to think of the little one. She came into the world and left without saying a word without hearing a word. We never got the chance. Persevere, stick together. Its going to be tough.

204 Mike October 31, 2013 at 11:22 am

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and thank you to all who have shared their stories in the comments. My wife and I went in for our first midwife appointment yesterday, and learned that we miscarried. The process of finding out and testing yesterday was trying and difficult. Now as I sit here, trying to get work done, I can only grieve and cry. We were supposed to be at 10-weeks, but now we face a new reality. Thank you for the advice and providing a supportive environment to gain perspective.

205 Neil November 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm

My wife looked down after going to the toilet and noticed a small peanut shaped object. She hadn’t known she was pregnant and that was when she found out. We had already had one child and were thinking about trying for another. We went to the doctor who confirmed this is what had happened. As a man I was supportive and a rock but felt like a bear had chewed my insides. We went to the seaside and I took what was left of our new life and wrapped it in a tissue, said a prayer and buried him/her in the sand. My wife stood back a 100 meters or so and I had to do this on my own. This was the beginning of the end of our mutual feelings of trust and shared sacrifice. She fell apart and I caught her as a good man should, but I never had the chance to properly grieve and I grew to resent her for it. We had another child about a year after the miscarriage, and my wife developed post natal depression. Her behaviour was terrible and it tore a wedge between us that has not healed. The message from this is simple. Be involved in the grieving process and allow yourself to feel the pain instead of burying it for the sake of your partner. It will bite you in the ass if you don’t take care of yourself as well.

206 clem November 7, 2013 at 1:16 am

My wife just lost our baby, its been less than 2hours since it happened. I am torn with emotions, unable to sleep and at a prolonged state of anger. Angry at the world, but mostly at the doctor who was supposed to check on my wife. I am even too angry to continue typing.

207 Matt November 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm

It has been almost 7 months since we had our miscarriage. Over that time we have switched to a specialist to find that my wife has endometriosis and PCOS. We have one surgery done and still trying with no luck yet. With having difficulties to get pregnant again and the due date of the baby we lost my wife has been having more bad days especially since her younger sister is having a baby in a couple months. Is there anything that helped your wives cope?

208 Colin colz November 14, 2013 at 5:44 am

When we found out that my girlfreand was pregnant it was all shocking becoz we were all young but we decided to keep the baby we never told nyone even our parents each day we grew to love our baby we named shona only one day in the tenth week cynthia my girlfreand started bleeding in the bathroom things happened so fast the bleeding was heavy and had clots she passes out a baby like thing we could see evrything tiny little boy laying in the blood cynthia was in pain she even refused to go to the hospital that was the most painful day of our lives to lose shonah now ts three years since that we still trying for another baby hope just one day my girlfrend ll get pregnant and fil that hole shonah left

209 RJ November 14, 2013 at 9:56 pm

We have been through three (that we know of, suspect at least two or three more) it sucks. we want children but it seems like we cant. this article helped. thank you

210 JW November 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I was in the Army when my wife miscarried. It’s a horrible experience for everyone. You get so excited and hopeful; your heart starts to fill with love for this new little life that you created together. Then it’s ripped away from you, and you’re left shocked, angry, confused, and sad all at once, and you can’t let any of it out because someone has to be strong for your woman, and that someone is you, but oh god, it feels like someone put your insides through a meat grinder.
I was lucky; in the Infantry, you’re surrounded by brothers, and believe it or not, a lot of them have gone through the same thing. It’s amazing to watch a group of hardened soldiers instantly transform into a support group, but that’s what happens. They even signed a sympathy card for my wife. The whole platoon (there wasn’t much room left on the card toward the end).
But I know it’s not that way for a lot of men. I guess the best advice I can give is to go find someone to talk to, and talk to them. Tell them exactly what you’re going through. Your best friend, a buddy at work, a support group, hell, even a stranger on the bus. It helps. Believe me, it helps. What doesn’t help is bottling it up, because it’s going to boil to the surface at some point, and you might regret it when it does.

211 sharron December 8, 2013 at 9:01 am

Real life testimony: I lost my job in 2011, since then I have been
searching for another job opportunity but it was not forth coming, not
until I saw how a lady, Melisa shared a testimony of how she was help
by this great man, Dr.Emobeifo. I decide to give him a try, I
contacted him and explain all my problems to him and he told me what
to do I did al as instructed by him, he cast a spell For me just after
24hours of his spell casting I was called for interview were I
submitted my Curriculum Vitea (CV)when I arrive the man said he has
long be waiting for my arrival and immediately I was served a letter
of acceptance and resumption without interview. I was shock and could
not believe what happened. In February 2012 I got my first promotion,
in August I got another, and early this year I was promoted as the
director of works in my Office. All thanks to Dr. Emobeifo I’m
grateful Sir, more power to you and your temple of final solution.
Contact him for any of the followings (1) guarantee win in court case
(2) bring you ex-lover back (3) get promoted in your office (4) death
spell (5) regular miscarriage (6)making your luck to shine (7) to be
recognize anywhere. He is gifted. His email is
(emobeifospellcastertemple@gmail.com)

212 Tom December 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Thank you for the article. I have been trying to keep it together and support my fiancee. I’m struggling and now it all makes sense. I’m grieving. Sucks to be right in the middle of the holidays going through this.

213 Charlie December 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I currently live in KC for work, but my wife still lives in Houston. We got the news we were pregnant last month, and we were so excited. This was our first child. Fast forward a month, on Dec. 9th (my wife’s birthday) my wife goes to the doctor and they tell her the baby has no heartbeat at 8 weeks. It doesn’t seem fair that she gets this news on her birthday. Devastated, I drive 12 straight hours after work to make it to Houston to be with my wife. Things looked even more grim now that my wife has started to bleed a little bit. We’re told there could be a small miracle that the baby will have a heartbeat or that they were wrong with the gestation period, but it doesn’t look good. Reading this article and some of the comments helps me cope a little bit, but I feel so helpless that I can’t make my wife feel better. She is taking this so hard. Silently, I am as well. We really want this baby, but I also realize that it may be too late. We’ve had a lot of support from family and friends, but the pain still lingers. I feel your pain Tom. All this happening right in the middle of the holidays seems like some twisted form of humor.

214 Laura December 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm

We lost our baby two days ago. Total shock when we found out we were pregnant at (43 and 40). I had not had a period in months due to extreme low weight due to illness. Docs said 1 in a million chance at my age and weight. Blown away, worried cuz i have poor health, but getting used to idea. Started connecting to baby thinking it was meant to be and now our little one is gone. So sad.

215 phill December 13, 2013 at 5:09 am

this just killed me.
we lost our baby 2 days ago, and to start this article with ‘ours survived’ is brutal.
I’m very glad that your daughter is alive (truly), but this feels like the worst kind of rubbing my nose in it.

216 Jonathan December 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

@Phill, I felt the same way at first but continued reading. My wife and I miscarried 2 days ago today…hardest thing I’ve ever had to sit through, and though the beginning of this article seemed like what you described, it really shed some light and put things in perspective.

@Marcus, thanks for sharing. I can relate…as most men who’ve been through this can. I find the part about “replacing the baby” and “apologizing” to be very dear to me. I’m finding myself doing that now; feeling like an idiot telling everyone, buying things, and whatnot. In addition, feeling like I want to start over. This shed some light. I need to remember that no one knew this was coming, and anyone in the right mind would be as excited just as much. In fact, when we would share to our friends about the pregnancies and follow it with “don’t tell anyone yet” some would ask why not but not in a disrespectful manner, but more like “why wouldn’t you tell?” And they’d pose the question…”The same way you’d want people to be happy, wouldn’t you want people to support and help you through grief if need be?” It was a good point and we have seen the love, support and care people have given us through this time.

Thanks for sharing.

217 archer December 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Thanks for this article…we are currently going through a miscarriage of a very wanted baby, it’s horrific to think about what my wife’s body is at this moment going through.
It was early, but it was ours. We were getting excited, starting to plan – and then the phone call from my wife’s boss…she fainted in a meeting and was on the way to hospital.
We’re strong, we’ll get through this – but it hurts like hell, and I want it to end so we can properly start grieving instead of dealing with the medical side.

218 Dan December 23, 2013 at 5:59 am

My wife an I lost our son last October (he passed away less than a week before his due date). We have since brought a beautiful daughter into the world. I thought this would help fill the feeling of loss I have but it hasn’t. I love my daughter but I still have a feeling of all encompassing grief for the loss of my son. Do you have any advice?

219 Zach December 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

We had a misscarriage at 10 weeks. On the day of our 8 week appointment, first sonogram, picture frames in hand to put that fuzzy little picture to tell grandparents, doctor says “Missed Miscarriage”. Highest of highs to lowest of lows. Digging out of the low was extremely hard. Hardest thing ever. But happy to say we are 7 weeks pregnant again and hopeful for the best. This story gives me hope – thank you thank you thank you. Love this.

220 Benjamin December 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

Thank you for this article. I first read it on November 7th in the surgery waiting room as my wife was back for the “procedure”. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who’d been through this.

221 Rick December 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

My wife miscarried at 12 weeks on our first pregnancy. It was twin boys and one of them didn’t make it and they think the one decaying brought down the other one as well. it was very tough to take. I was able to hold it together and keep strong for my wife until I went back to work that day to retrieve my laptop. I ended up breaking down when my boss asked me if everything was okay. I’ve never felt grief like that before or since and I’m grateful my boss was the kind of person who I could open up to, though I felt guilty for laying such a heavy burden on him so unexpectedly. Later on, my wife and I had a good, cathartic cry together and we started the healing process. In the years since then, we have had two awesome kids who are in their teens now, but from time to time I still think about the two we lost. Neither of us felt comfortable about having any sort of memorial service for them at the time and I wonder if we made the right choice and if it was fair to them, but I guess we made our decision and live with it. I just focus on cherishing the kids I have and being the best dad I can be to my kids and I’ve found some measure of peace with that.

222 Lee January 2, 2014 at 3:36 am

Dear Marcus and all of the other men and women who have shared their stories here — From the bottom of my heart thank you all so very much. I only wish that this post had been around a couple of years ago so that I could have shared it with my (sadly former) husband. Over the course of our 8 year marriage we lost 7 children in 6 pregnancies, all ending near the end of the first trimester. I work every day toward making my peace with the Universe over never seeing my babies beyond tiny flickering heartbeats on an ultrasound monitor or day 5 IVF embryos magnified but still in their dish. I wish that my husband had been able to express his grief more fully. Sadly, instead he chose to end our marriage a couple of months after the last loss. He has been on a streak of destructive behavior since then, culminating in recently conceiving a baby with a random ONS hookup. I am so grateful for all of the men on this post who are willing to face their grief and struggle through it at whatever stage. Please continue to reach out to your sweethearts, family, and friends. You are absolutely doing the right thing.

223 Rachel January 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm

On Oct 23, our 3 year wedding anniversary, my husband and I found out we were for sure pregnant. We had taken a pregnancy test the night before and thought it might be a false positive. A 6am walgreens run and two different types of pregnancy tests later we had our answer. I was pregnant and we were shocked but on cloud 9. Our anniversary was amazing. We were so happy and so excited. The next day I started bleeding. The dr. said as long as I didn’t start bleeding heavily or having abdominal pain then I should be fine. By Saturday, the day were.going to tell our families, I started bleeding and we made our first trip to the ER. We called our parents and told them and asked for prayer. Not exactly the way we wanted to tell our parents. Lots of pain, a blood test, exam, and many hours later we were told that my hcg levels had gone down and that we were having a miscarriage. We were devistated. My husband is in the military and a strong man and I have never seen him so broken. Even though our sweet baby was still so small we had already fallen in love with him. We ended up spending lots of time in the ER, OB office and even in the ambulance a couple of times. My pregnancy wasn’t a miscarriage it ended up being an ectopic pregnancy. We were told the baby wouldn’t survive and in an effort to prevent future fertility issues I was offered a chemo drug instead of surgery to treat the pregnancy so my tube wouldn’t rupture. My husband has walked me through the hardest couple months of my life. The treatment didn’t like me and I had a lot of complications including going into labor. My husband even thought he was going to lose me at one point because things got so bad. He has literally been by my side through everything, praying with me and holding me when I needed to cry. When I couldn’t be strong. I am now taking a pregnancy loss Bible study called Threads of Hope Pieces of Joy and it is really helping. Right before Christmas we got the news that my blood work is finally normal and look forward to the future. We still have our difficult days. Especially since my coworker conceived 1-2 weeks aftrr we did and her pregnancy is healthy. We are relying on God to get us through this. Clinging to our faith and each other. Like many of you my husband went into take care of Wife mode and because of that he put his own grief on hold. Since I am learning to embrace and work through my grief I am trying to find ways to help him with his. There isn’t nearly enough material out there for you dads which makes me sad since it is not just us women who suffer. I did want to encourage you guys to continue being there for your partner. You don’t have to be perfect or even put together just be there to love and support each other and talk to each other. Thank you all for stepping up to the plate for the women in your lives. The role that you play really does make a difference and I pray that God helps each of you through thle time.

224 stan January 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm

First of all let me thank everyone who have shared there story here, it really helped.

My wife and i had been married for fifteen years and we are still believing God for our first child. we got married in july of 98 , it was september that same year while in a prayer meeting my wife misscarriaged it still vivid in my mind as if it was yesterday. we were both young and mourned the loss but somehow get abit passed it thinking that we can try again.
then there was the second and the third and uncomprehensible the fourth and we cried we grieve and question how can this be? those misscarriages reall cause a tollon our marriage physically and emotionally. my wife is somewhat a silent griever and deep down inside i know its tearing her apart. I wanted kids so much. the pain was sometimes so unbearable.
we believed that we would have more pregnancy becuase of the promise God gave to us, then there was the fifth, six and seventh misscarriages, you won’t believe this but it is true it had left us devastated and a break down in our marriage and nothing could soothe the pain that we still bares today. there are times i would be travelling on the bus and see parnts with thier kids and can’t help my self from crying.

in 2007 we suffered the lost of another child misscarriage number eight. it would of been perfect to close this and say our baby boy or girl is finally here but its not but we are trying and that is the hope that kept us together as well as the children we lost. so when our marriage was not going so well we came to realized that what binds us is greater than the pain that could of destroy us.

today we are still beliveing with faith that we will hold our own children. please stand with us in prayer. thank you.

225 Adam January 10, 2014 at 10:18 am

Thanks you for all everyone who shared their story.
My wife and I Just had our second miscarriage in the same year.
In both cases the embryo stopped growing at 6 weeks 1 day.
The last one seems to be the hardest for me. We when in for what we taught to be a 7 week first time visit. The Dr. did an ultrasound and everything was great.
We even heard a heartbeat. Then they told us that we were only 6 weeks along and are day when things took place must be wrong. Then the feeling a fear washed over me. So the Dr. asked us to come in for an 8 week check, and at that check there was no longer a heartbeat… and no more development past 6 week 1 day.
I still want to have a child, but every day I have the fear that it may happened again. And top thinks off I have a good friend who just gave birth one week after our last miscarriage. My wife and his wife would have been due less than one month apart. I’m so happy for them and at the same time I so angry.
That the hardest part. Trying to put on a happy face and keep thinking positively. When everywhere you look there are TV ads for baby stuff and everyone around you have pregnant and happy.
If you read this I’m sure you may have notice that I’m finding it hard to more on.
I just take it one day at a time. That all I can do.

226 Anthony February 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm

We had a miscarriage July of last year. It’s torn her apart emotionally. I’m not sure if it wasn’t as devastating for me or if I’m just suppressing it. Her friend is about to have a baby and her sister is pregnant as well. I’m not ready to try for a child yet and I worry she resents me for it. She seems to think it will cure her but I know better.

227 Bill February 15, 2014 at 7:20 am

We found out a week ago my fiancé was 4 weeks pregnant but unfortunately she started bleeding right after and we found out we lost our baby today at 5 weeks the day after Valentines day. It would be our second child but wasn’t to be we are devastated. We were trying only for 8 weeks but had already started talking names and now we will always know it as poppy as it was the size of a poppy seed. RIP poppy we will always love you

228 Jennie February 18, 2014 at 2:29 am

I lost our second child on 2/5/14. My husband helped me grieve that day. By the next day, when I admitted my overwhelming grief, anger, and confusion, he told me to find a support group. He refuses to talk about that child or the first one we lost in 2012. Handling the physical pain alone was tough but I did it. Trying to handle the rest with no family support is daunting.

My recommendation for men is as follows: if you don’t know what happens during an mc, get online and read about it. Don’t make her have to explain it to you. Saying the words aloud about passing tissue and blood –our child — it’s almost impossible to type it. I didn’t want to hear it said.

Do the housework. Even if you hate housework. I had to shift from our bathroom and lying down b/c he would not wash the dishes.

If you can take the day off from work, do so.

My miscarriage happened at home on a work day. If you know someone who can stay with your wife/gf/partner, and if she needs someone with her, arrange for that.

Sit in the same room with her.
Don’t make her ask you for company. If you are sad, tell her. She will feel less alone. She will not judge you for crying.

Please don’t make jokes about having a food baby after dinner. Yes, my husband did this. Twice. Not funny.

229 Stewart February 20, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Yesterday….I feel will mark me forever, as a man, a dad and a husband. Even as i sit and type this I can’t hold back my tears. I am so very grateful to be blessed with an amazing wife and 3 beautiful girls. Carie and I did not plan on having another but I remember thinking and hoping should was pregnant again as I noticed her period was late. After 3 weeks or so she took a test and sure enough…I’ll never forget her face as she stood by the wood stove that morning in her pajamas with a cup of coffee in her hands and I asked “Sooo?” she began to smirk and then cry putting the cup to her lips to cover her face. But I knew!! We had very different feelings about it at first. I was ecstatic and she had to warm up to the idea of another labor. We decided to wait to tell anyone ” I am getting older now, and I just want to make sure things go okay ” was her thought. So we did.We waited about 5 weeks. We first told our 3 girls, on a Friday morning over breakfast. I recorded there reactions on my phone as a keepsake. Amelie was 6, Olive 3 and Idie 10 months.We told them the news and said ” what do you think!!? “…”good” was Amelie’s reply. Saturday we went public, first starting with Carie’s parents, then my own. Then calling our siblings, and friends and so own. Word travels fast, and it never gets old.
Fast forward 5 days….My life has changed.
Im amazed that someone that I’ve only known of for a little over a month, that is only an 1 1/2″ long and weighs 2 ounces can have such a grip on my heart. That beautiful little soul, an amazing, tiny, profound piece of artwork can shake me to my core. I so wish i could have been your father, I LOVE YOU
Dad

230 Brandi February 25, 2014 at 2:17 am

After 20 years of knowing I wanted a family and ten years of struggling with infertility, I gave up after hormone therapy and an IUI resulted in a 6 week pregnancy that ended, heartbreakingly, in miscarriage in 2009. I subsequently divorced and in September 2012 married my high school sweetheart. I had accepted I would never have children of my own. In December 2012 I discovered I was pregnant. Overjoyed. Scared to death. In January 2013 I started bleeding. I was 6 weeks pregnant. I was started on progesterone, and we then made it to 12 weeks, no problems. At 16 weeks I had an exam that was done improperly, and I,unknowingly, developed a healthcare acquired infection called chorioamnionitis. After experiencing fevers and back and belly pain, I expressed my concerns to my perinate. I was labeled and hyperanxious and dismissed. Three days later I started bleeding, had fevers up to 101 with tylenol and experienced severe back pain and transient abdominal pain with an odd continual belly discomfort. I started calling my OB and Perinate first thing, 8 in the morning. Over the phone my doctors diagnosed me – despite my objections – with the flu. I had my flu shot and had zero respiratory symptoms. They refused to see me, and called in an order for tamiflu, all along ignoring my pleas to be seen, at the very minimum to be sent to a lab for diagnostic labwork. By 1:00 pm I couldn’t get my fever down and I had started cramping. I was scheduled for an ultrasound at 4, we left right away. In transit (the hospital is 30 miles away) I went into full blown labor. I was advised to keep my US appointment, When we arrived at the office, I was not allowed into the office, my husband and I were told I could not expose other moms to my feverish symptoms and that there was nothing that could be done for me, anyway. We were directed to go to another hospital, and report to L&D. En route, we were called and redirected to the ER, where I was left in the lobby to labor in front of other patients and family members after coldly being told “We can’t do anything for baby but we can take care of momma”. My husband ran to the office of my OB because the ED refused to call the MD to let them know that we had arrived, and the front end staff refused to relay the message. He then reported to the floor where I work, and informed the charge nurse that I was in trouble in the ED lobby and that nobody would help me. A call from my charge nurse to the hospital supervisor resulted in me being moved to a room, where my clothes were taken from me, an IV was started and labwork was drawn. When I expressed I felt I needed to urinate, I was handed a specimen cup and left to navigate my IV to the bathroom alone. When I stood up, my daughter fell out of me onto the floor. I nearly passed out from the blood loss, and my mother had to step over her to assist me back to the gurney, When she yelled for help, the nurses scrambled in, took a look at wat happened, and scooped my daughter up into a plastic bucket and took her away. I had to ask my mother to catch them so as to not allow them to throw her away. My doctor showed up an hour later. It was 4 pm. I had not had any interaction with him since I had initially started calling at 8 that morning.

Her loss is devastating to me. I don’t remember much about the next several months of my life.I am now dealing with depression, but I have gone back to work, unfortunately, in the same hospital in which she passed away in. I am functional professionally and practically. My personal life, however is a shambles. I was blessed to have exclent luck with fertility medicine, and my husband and I are expecting our son in April. However, I am scared out of my head. We started bleeding at nine weeks. At 29 weeks I started bleeding and having contractions again, and ended up in triage where I finally stabilized. I am coming up on the one year anniversary of her birth and her death. I am struggling.
My husband accuses me of “not getting over it” and has said that she doesn’t have a birthday – that she wasn’t alive. He has acknowledged that he doesn’t grieve her, and is angry that I do. He thinks that this baby replaces her….

I know how blessed I am to have my son on the way. I am setting up his nursery and I love feeling him move, and I can’t wait to hold him and see him breathe and move after he is born. I long to hear his voice – I want him to cry when he takes his first breaths.I never want to hold a pale, limp, lifeless child again. I am devastated at the loss of my daughter and I miss her. Now I have to figure out how to deal with my husband’s attitude toward her, and sadly I have come to the conclusion that she deserved so much better than him. So do I. How am I supposed to learn to deal with his cold indifference to her?

231 Glenn Hadley February 27, 2014 at 10:07 am

My wife just suffered our first miscarriage – and they were twins. I have NO idea what to do with myself.

232 Simone March 10, 2014 at 9:02 am

my hubby experience our first miscarriage over the weekend, at 11 weeks. this was a bit nerve wrecking for me. i took it on more than he did i am not even sure. but he said he is hurting also. we having been trying for a while then we stop and then it happen now to get this. i am now starting to blame him and i am even beginning to hate him and i see myself getting angry at him and my kids that we have before. everything around me seem not to be making sense. i feel like i just want to be alone. and its affect me and my family. i think i need some help or some advice. we planned a burial i couldnt even help i wanted nothing to do with it. my hubby decided he would and after he did he went into a shell. so what do i do.

233 Wes March 13, 2014 at 2:53 am

Yesterday, I was on the phone with my wife when she was on her way home from work when she got into an accident on the highway. She was just over 8 weeks at this point in the pregnancy. She was fine and got out of the car to inspect the damage to her car and the car she hit. After having the car towed away, her mother suggested that she go to the hospital to get checked out just in case something happened to our peanut. I knew such a small accident couldn’t truly hurt the baby but I was still nervous knowing there would be a check up but I knew how relieved I would be once I heard everything was fine. I ran through the scenarios in my mind, the good and the unthinkable, and I came up with reactions I may have for all of them. Since I am away for work right now, I cannot accompany her to the hospital. This is already making this extremely tough for me but I wait. I got the call after a few agonizing hours and asked “is it good news?” when I heard her say “no…it’s bad news, there’s no heartbeat” I slipped into a state of disbelief and all I could muster for 2 minutes was the word “what?”. All evening I just tried my best to stay positive with her, but as soon as I hung up it was all just too much to bare. Basically, the world was ending for me and there was no light. It’s been only 27 hours since the news but feels like 2 weeks. We found out today that the embryo was dead about 4-7 days ago so the accident was not a factor. This brought peace of mind to my wife but it’s still awful for both of us. After only 8 weeks and only 3 weeks of knowing she was pregnant, I already started to feel that connection and I cant even describe the loss I feel in my chest. It must be 10 times worse for my wife. When I come home Friday, we will finally be able to grieve together and hopefully be able to move forward quickly.
The stories I have read have helped me cope and have also brought back those feelings which I suppose is good. Thank you everyone for sharing and staying strong. After reading these and talking with my mother I do know that it could always be worse and we will get through this.

234 Grogan March 17, 2014 at 12:06 am

I’ve been thru two miscarriages. I am still without child and they combined have been the greatest struggle of my entire life.

The English language doesn’t gave the words to describe the pain that you and your wife will have to endure-should this be your fate.

As the man you simply have to stay strong! Because as bad as mine were for me I’m sure my wife went thru more.

I got a call at work from my crying wife, that’s all i needed to here. Before i knew it i was Speeding down the road. A twenty minute drive turned into 5 i was outside myself. They tell you a miscarriage so soon you won’t see the baby. Lies. I did my wife didn’t, because i hid it. Making it my cross to bear.

I buried him by myself while my amazing wife showered after miscarrying in our bathroom. She didn’t know and will not ever, she had gone threw enough.

I will bear the mental anguish because she was strong enough to bear the physical. She is far stronger than I.

I feel this is a mans job. Sometimes i allow myself to talk on the matter, but staying strong for my wife is my primary objective and will always be.

235 Grogan March 17, 2014 at 12:49 am

The mans only job is to take care of the woman. Stay strong and be her rock, because she’s goin thru so much more! Mental and physical passion, wondering what she did wrong.

We live in silent pain. And it will stay that way until o die, no regrets

236 Jazz March 29, 2014 at 6:05 am

I was searching online for how to help my husband cope with this loss and i stumbled on this.
Its been 5 months since we lost our twin baby boys but the pain is still there. The fact that it was a long battle doesnot make it any easier. From the difficult first trimester spotting then all well. Then discovering that we are expecting twins suddenly was overwhelming but i was spotting so was put on bed rest. Two months later bleeding picked up and i got hospitalised. After having two major bleeding episodes, blood transfusion i developed infection and my doctor decided c section. I delivered twin baby boys we named them Ismael Isaac. Both of them died within a week as they were premature. My husband started having panic attacks dealing with my hospitalisation of one month and then babies loss. He is still suffering i can see that. I am also suffering but i do vent it out through tears and talking about it with friends family. I dont know how to support him best. He loves babies regardless of whether they are of humans, animals or plants. I cannot fathom the depth of his pain but i wanto be there for him.
May God bless all of us who have gone through these painful moments and reward with us better substitutes. Amen

237 Bubba March 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm

My wife and I had been trying for almost 2 years to concieve naturally. We finally turned to IUI. Our 4th attempt we see that lovely little positive! Excited and elated beyond belief. Only for it to come crashing down.
We were 5 days from her being 12 weeks along.
It was last Monday that my wife texted me at work saying she was bleeding and we had an appointment with our new OB/GYN Tuesday night so we were just gonna play it by ear. 20 minutes later I get the we need to go to the hospital call.
We go to the ER and they run test and send her off for an ultrasound. The technician said nothing. Not a word except the ER doctor will talk to you. Then and there I knew our little Nugget wasn’t with us.
They could not find the baby’s heartbeat and said my wife miscarried.
They have us schedule an appointment with her OB/GYN for the following morning.
11:30 we went to the doctor. They confirm what ER had said that the baby had no heartbeat and if she hadn’t “passed” they baby by Friday they would do a DNC. Less than an hour after we got home from the doctor she began bleeding horribly. My wife couldn’t bear to look so the two times after she knew something had come out she had me come look. The second time I saw what I presume was our Nugget. I called the doctor’s office right away and they had us come back and sure enough the baby wasn’t in there anymore.
They schedule her for surgery the next day to remove whatever was left in there.
Thankfully both of our families were there for us those couple of days.
By Thursday it was just her and I left alone to sort through this emotional roller coaster we had sadly had to endure.
Nothing never could or will replace our Nugget.
No one ever plans for this and there is no ideal way to deal with it.
I still don’t think I’ve fully processed it just yet since I have been focused on her.
My heart feels like it’s been shredded apart. I’m constantly fighting back tears or feeling the urge to punch a wall.
Everyone says “things happen for a reason” or “she’ll be pregnant soon”. These things don’t help and all that I keep saying is WHY?

238 Taylor April 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

I am So angry my wife had another miscarriage. I was so hopeful this time but it feels like someone is sitting on my chest. I can’t breathe, feel sick to my stomach, heartbroken I can’t explain all the emotions. As hard as this is for me I know that it is 10 times harder on my wife. I’m trying to keep it together for her but it’s getting tough. We talked about names, if it would have my wife’s nose or mine, were it was going to sleep on its first night home we even discussed how we were going to tell everyone. Now all that happiness and excitement is gone and all that is left is grief and sadness. My wife is my whole world and seeing her crying and upset makes me feel so small and powerless because there is nothing I can do to fix any of this. I know that these are just bumps in the road and I’m not giving up hope but the letdown is enormous. I want someone to blame, someone to yell at scream at throw things at but there is no one. I know it’s no one’s fault but it would be so nice to put a face on this disappointment.

239 celia April 5, 2014 at 11:50 am

I know this is a man website but i need help. My partner after 2 weeks of our misscarriage hes becomr very angry he will start an argument over anything can any of you helpme

240 Laura April 7, 2014 at 2:33 am

Hi, this was a really moving article, not least because of the support you gave each other.

What if your partner can’t do point 3 though. I thought I’d had a miscarriage in March and my boyfriend (we live together) ended things 2 days later. I then had to have emergency surgery 5 days after this for what was actually an ectopic pregnancy. He hasn’t hugged me or done anything to help (it was an unplanned pregnancy but still we’d talked about having children in our future). It’s so hurtful and I just don’t know where to start getting over either of these heartbreaking events, let alone at the same time?

241 Dave April 7, 2014 at 11:57 pm

My partner and I were expecting. We were in week 10 of the pregnancy. She started spotting and then day before yesterday, she passed something that she thought was a clot. At the hospital, the doctors told her that she needed to be in bed, legs up,and that the baby’s heart was beating normal but it was very low in the uterus. Another day passed, more bleeding and pain. Today, she went in for more examinations, no heartbeat on ultrasound. A miscarriage. We so much wanted to have this child. The big problem for me is she lives in another country. I left just 4 days ago and all was perfect. Although we are able to see each other all day long on Skype, the inability for me to hug her and be with her thru the time she spent at the hospital made me very sad. All I could do is tell her I loved her over the telephone and that we would get thru this together even 2000 miles away from each other. Due to obligations, I cant get back fast enough to see her this week. So we skype video thru this as best we can all day and all night together. I am sad. I have never been thru a miscarriage before. And I am learning how to deal with this type of loss. Although the reality is a man never really knows what to say to his partner and all you can do is make sure you assure each other of your love. And I have tried to do exactly that, while I keep my personal emotions as restrained as possible. I try to be the rock. I have 2 grown adult children from my first marriage. I think about what life would have been like had I lost one of my children in a miscarriage 20 years ago. They have both brought me such happiness so I reflect on this lost baby today, and what happiness that child would have brought me and my partner. I guess all we can do is move forward while keeping a special place in our hearts for this little one we lost today. And I know we will.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter