One Miscarriage, One Man, One Woman

Personal Story of Miscarriage

Men and women grieve differently when it comes to a miscarriage.
Men and women grieve differently when it comes to a miscarriage. Photo © REW

This is the story of a miscarriage. Sharing stories of miscarriage often helps those who are grieving heal, and those who may be in the midst feel connected. The miscarriage portion of this story was written as the events actually occurred. My husband and I wrote separately about our feelings concerning the miscarriage a few weeks later.

Dedicated to Miriam Sabra

Once again we have lost another pregnancy.

We found out that we were pregnant three days after our anniversary. It was a great feeling! Considering that our last pregnancy was an ectopic pregnancy, a tubal, we had to go to the High Risk OB quickly.

I started spotting a few days later and tried to ignore it. I went to the Emergency Room on Friday. They said that my hCGs were rising a bit slowly, but we had a great ultrasound and to not worry about it. I had an inkling that something wasn't right, but I tried to tell myself that I knew too much about pregnancy and was being a hypochondriac. Then I would tell myself that I am the one who always tells everyone to listen to the mother, that she knows more than they do. Well, I was right, I did know.

My regular prenatal appointment the following Monday said the same thing. They even pointed out that the gestational sac would be expected to be irregular for someone who had been bleeding for 10 days.

It was perfect. We even saw movement of the fetal pole.

Kevin had been out of town finishing his doctoral dissertation. He got home Saturday night and we spent a quiet evening inside. The next morning he got up to go teach religious school while I stayed home with the children.

While I was cooking lunch for the family I had a strange feeling and ran to the bathroom.

It was like all hell broke loose. I sat down and blood clots that were huge and hard started coming out, about 30 seconds later Kevin came in the door. I started crying, after trying to tell him that everything was okay. It had to be okay, I kept promising him a baby. We decided to call the doctor who said to go back to the Emergency Room.

We got there and my bleeding was listed as heavy, and my blood pressure was about 82/37. Considering I was still anemic from my liver rupturing a few months before, we went for the D & C.

I actually felt better when I woke up. Kevin took me home and we began our recovery in earnest.

Today, a few weeks later, I am still okay, and dealing. I am weepy and angry, and poor Kevin never knows which. He is sad, too, in a different way and for a different reason. We have managed to learn to grieve differently and yet together. It's really good to have him with me.

An expecting father who suffers loss can feel like a failure for not being able to provide the "perfect" conditions necessary to produce a healthy baby. Perhaps it was the time you yelled at your partner, simply because you were aggravated by some external event. Or, maybe you should have simply made your partner stay in bed for the first nine months of pregnancy. If only you could have had some sense of control, you would have known exactly what to do.

Maybe it was bad genetic material — those blue jeans were indeed much too tight! If only the older siblings could have stayed under your control and miraculously found it in themselves to behave for the sake of their mother's pregnancy. The sense of ineffectiveness can simply be overwhelming.

After a loss, a man can try to comfort his partner. But, how many hugs, how many words of love and comfort will it take to fill such a great emotional chasm? Nothing seems to quite make up for the loss of a potential child. What might they have been like? What greatness might the future have held for you and your baby? The overwhelming sense of loss of the unknown can eat away at your psyche, as easily as termites eat through wood, leaving behind a fragile shell, with all of your future plans taken away, leaving nothing but a vacuous void. The loss of what might have been can be as great as any pain you have ever felt.

In the shadow of such pain and loss, how can anything you say or do possibly make you partner's grief any less?

Sex can seem rather unappetizing, too. After all, that is what started the whole fiasco in the first place. Your partner may seem just as pretty and beautiful, but she might not seem as tantalizingly sexy right now.

Why ravish her if you will only hurt the both of you? Why suffer needlessly again? Maybe your partner thinks you are a big loser for not being able to reproduce properly. Heck, everybody else is having babies and you can't. Why would your partner want to try again with a loser? If only the pregnancy had made it, you would have a baby, and you and your partner could still be just as lustful as ever!

Now all you might have is a sense of loss that only time can heal. Another baby won't be able to replace the one you just lost. Something unique is gone forever.

The miscarriages that I have had have all been different, I have been unfortunate enough to have had more than one. Some have ended peacefully on their own, and others, due to emergency situations have ended with surgery. Either way the loss is great. The physical pain doesn't compare to the shadows of emotional scars.

I have often found myself wondering the classic - "Why me?"

Guilt. Why did I pick the toddlers up to carry them around the zoo?

Did I forget a prenatal vitamin? Was it the aerobics that I did? Why can't I have a baby? You begin to feel like everyone can have a baby but you. Is there something wrong with you? Genetics that are out of place? An improper place to grow a baby? Was it the hormones that your mother took in the 60's to prevent you from being miscarried? This guilt can eat you alive.

I look at Kevin and he seems oblivious. He must not care, or he's thinking that he should have married somebody with a womb that works. Maybe if I try again then I can make him love me again... He doesn't respond to my sexual advances. When I cry I feel like he is looking at me with eyes that say, "This again? Can't you get over it?" I long for his comforting touch, it doesn't come. I fall asleep crying into my pillow, alone again.

Will I ever have a baby to hold?

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