Guest Blog-@mhchronicler’s Story
I have never written anything outside of school before, so this is something a little new to me. I have been asked to write about miscarriage, specifically my experience from the guys side of miscarriage. I don’t want to take anything away from the women that have suffered from miscarriages, because that is not my intention.
Having a miscarriage and the aftermath of a miscarriage is a horrible and emotional nightmare for the women going through one, but I am going to talk about the man’s experience of a miscarriage, hopefully I can raise some awareness and offer some comfort to both the men and the women out there.
1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage during their lives and around 1 in 100 will experience multiple miscarriages. The chances are that somebody close to you, a friend, family member or even a colleague has suffered from a miscarriage. I had no idea how common miscarriages were until after my wife and I had gone through multiple miscarriages.
For every miscarriage mum there is also a miscarriage dad, ok I understand some fathers walk away when women get pregnant or the fathers may be absent for other reasons, but what I’m trying to say is the miscarriage affects fathers as well, but differently to the mums. We do have feelings, it does affect us, even though we may not show it the way the mums would like us to express how we feel, a lot of the time it hurts us more than we will let on.
I found it so alarming how common miscarriages are, but how little they are spoken about and how little I understood! I was so mad at how unprepared I was to deal with my own emotions but also support my wife. I just didn’t understand how I felt, how to express how I felt and what to do.
One of my worst experiences was that I was upset within myself and grieving the loss of another one of our angel babies, even though I didn’t show it all too well. However very few people immediately around me didn’t understand why I was upset and grieving. I was left feeling alone, confused, upset and mad, but then came the worst feeling of all, I had to watch my wife go through another miscarriage and see how it tore her to pieces inside. I felt useless not knowing how to comfort her because she was struggling a lot,I just had no idea what to do and how to show her that I was grieving also without completely breaking down, what she was going through must have been much worse than what I was experiencing.
People would often ask me how my wife was, but very few times would anybody ask how I was, I felt my feelings where being ignored and that I was expected to not be affected, when in reality I was hurting a lot. Most people who hadn’t suffered miscarriages had no idea how I felt or how to comfort me, but I found talking to people did help me more than I would have thought.
Talking allowed me to vent, but also other people whom had suffered miscarriages or fertility issues around me opened up to me with some of their stories. Speaking to them and hearing what they had gone through helped me feel like I wasn’t alone and even though not everyone understood, some people did. Sometimes it would even feel like a little community of miscarriage survivors and people with fertility issues, I know it sounds funny, but it really did help me not feel so alone.
I used to be so mad (sometimes I still get a little annoyed) about how common miscarriage is and how unprepared I was to deal with my emotions and support my wife at the same time. My wife would often question why we had miscarriages when there are mothers out there that drink, smoke, take drugs during pregnancy and still have babies, but we couldn’t get ours to stick, sometimes it would eat her up inside to the point of seeing a baby or a pregnant woman and she would break down into tears. She was right though it is not fair, it SUCKS!
But just remember that even though you might not have been able to hold your baby that doesn’t mean your not a mother or a father. Being a mother or a father isn’t about the number of children you have at home, it’s the love and the care you have for that child regardless of whether they are still with us or not.
Honestly though dwelling on child loss alone can be so hurtful and destructive, if you have gone through or you are having a miscarriage, please talk to someone, it really does help. There will be somebody who will be able to comfort you even if you don’t know who that person is, it could be a family member, a friend, a colleague or maybe even somebody you haven’t met yet.
If you know somebody who is going through a miscarriage, you cant fix it so don’t try to, and definitely don’t try to suggest reasons to why they lost their child because you might not realise it but it can be really hurtful and you can make them feel like what has happened might be their fault.
A few people would try to suggest to us that maybe my wife couldn’t carry boys, as we know for definite one of the pregnancies that we lost was a boy, this would get me so mad because it feels like they were trying to put blame on us. In reality, we had seen a fertility specialist and he ran numerous tests on us both and our angel boy, never once did he mention gender of the babies being any issue as to why we suffered miscarriages.The specialist found no reason as to why we were suffering miscarriages, which was a blessing as it means we should be able to carry and have babies. It gave us no reason as to why we had suffered multiple miscarriages, so we felt a little lost. The most annoying thing I found about the “maybe you can’t carry boys” statement was, the boy we lost had something called trisomy 16. Babies with this always die in the womb as they are not viable for life, so regardless of him being a boy he would not of survived, so when they knew why our baby died, suggesting gender as a reason really made me angry to the point of arguing with family and telling them to find me some scientific proof of this. Joanne from the village that had miscarriages and only had girls doesn’t count.
All you need to do is just be there, tell them you are sorry for their loss and listen to them, they will tell you what they need even if sometimes they don’t say it straight away, they will eventually open to you and start to grieve. If you have had a similar experience to them, when they have calmed a bit and they are able to talk a little better share your story, it will help them feel like they are not alone going through their tough time.
One thing I did for my wife which I think really helped her was, the Mother’s Day after one of our miscarriages, I had a child loss Mother’s Day card made for her. I knew that Mother’s Day was coming up and that she was going to find it incredibly difficult, so I got her this card and wrote a little message to her telling her that even though we cant hold our own children yet she is still a mother and that I was going to be there for her if she needed me. On another occasion I ordered a book for my wife called Finding the Rainbow by Rachel Mcgrath which seemed to really help my her justify the miscarriages.
My wife and I have suffered 4 miscarriages with no children so far, but we are currently 30 weeks pregnant with our rainbow twins, they are a rare high risk type of twin and after 4 miscarriages it is so nerve racking and scary. It is hard to get excited because there is a high chance we may lose these babies, but we are keeping our fingers crossed this time we will meet our miracles.
Thank you for reading this and if you find any comfort from it then that is amazing but please don’t suffer in silence, just speak to somebody, you deserve better than feeling sad, angry and alone, you deserve to be HAPPY!
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