WARNING: Super emotional post… You have been warned!
This started out as a venting post, about the things that really grind my gears, but then I found I was writing a rather long post about the miscarriages. So I decided instead I’m going to write about the husband’s perspective on this. My wife did a wonderful job with telling about her journey through this ordeal, and you can read her blog here.
Cathy and I had a rather rough year in 2013. We were both going through a lot of stressful events at work. We were having to deal with friends and family who were pulling away from us. Then we discovered, twice, the pain of miscarriage. It’s not something that I would wish on any couple.
As a husband, You go through this period of extreme happiness at the discovery of the pregnancy. If you are like me you even begin prepping for the baby. You buy books, begin reading, read every article you discover online, and begin dreaming of what the little one will be like. You start with these wonderful plans for the future. What you are going to teach them. What movies you are going to introduce them to. You hope that they will turn out just like you, but better. You have big hopes, dreams, and so much love for this life that is only microscopic at this time. You spend hours daydreaming of what you will do as a father, and fretting about the horrid things you may do to screw up their lives…
Then there is a period of almost constant terror. When things happen that you don’t understand and you are told are not normal with a healthy pregnancy, you begin to over analyze and live in this state of dread. You dread the dreams that you have dreamed in the last few weeks will not come true. You fear that you wont be able to take care of your spouse through the pain if it does happen this way. You bargain with God. You yell at God. You wonder why God would do this to you, and then remember that is an absurd thought.You drive back home from a camp you are working at when you get the call from your wife that she has bled constantly. You tell her to go to the hospital and you will meet her there. You make the 35 minute drive in 20 because you were maybe speeding a bit too much. You leave the hospital late that night with nothing new to show for it, only more questions. They tell you that everything appears to be fine, but in the back of your mind you know it isn’t. You try to stay hopeful and positive so that everyone around you can’t see the cracks starting to form in your armor.
Then you get confirmation that the horrible event has happened. You sit in the doctor’s office trying to tell yourself that everything will be ok, when it most certainly is not ok. You were, after all, just going in for a regular check up after the hospital visits. Then the doctor comes in and tells you that nothing changed in the weeks since the hospital. It’s not good. All the while you fight back your tears and emotions so that you can be the “strong” one for your spouse. You try to figure out what you and your spouse will do now. You tear off your “I am your Father!” star wars t-shirt when you get back home and hide it in shame in the back of your closet. Then you just sit and cry. There is nothing else to be done.
Then begins the private pain. You may not be like me. You may be very open with people when it comes to your pain, and all that you are trying to drag your spirit out of. I was once told by a pastor that I worked for that “Nobody wants a depressed spiritual leader.” The pastor I worked for after him told me, “we [those of us in church leadership] live our lives in a fishbowl, everything you do will be scrutinized. They have no forgiveness for us either.” I know both pastors were meaning well and trying to help me professionally, but I think what was told to me has made me overly guarded and closed off about my emotions. I don’t think it’s healthy, but I know people place unfair expectations on their spiritual leaders. But the pain begins regardless.
You don’t feel the depth of pain that your wife may be feeling. But it is still an immense loss. If you elected do so, you sit in the hospital with your spouse waiting for the doctor to begin the d and c surgery. You comfort her the best you can, but you are in that pain as well. You are terrified about the horrible things that could go wrong, but probably wont. You worry that they made a mistake in the office the other day and the life is still growing. When things go well you laugh and joke just to help you hide how much you hurt. You return to your life like nothing happened…
As I have said before, it’s hard to move on from pain. You end up carrying bits of it with you from that point on. You do move on though. You try again. You want to talk about it with others, but you don’t know how. You find little places here and there where you allow people to share that pain with you. As a man it’s much harder though. Men aren’t supposed to show when they hurt. It’s a horrible societal norm which I think hinders our species. This was my hurt though. We went through it twice over the course of this past year. The second not as bad as the first, but still painful. I think because we didn’t let ourselves hope or expect too much. We aren’t going to leave it at that. We will be hoping for our future as a family, and I for one know that it will happen. One way or another our family will grow. Whether it be through adoption or natural means we will be parents. You have to move on. You have to try again.