Having experienced six miscarriages I openly admit that my heart hurts. It’s shit. Beyond shit. And it bloody hurts. The pain just does not go away.
Some days I am utterly pre-occupied with the ‘what could have been’s’ and the over whelming desire to have another child.
I genuinely believe that if a female had written those lines, no-one would bat an eye-lid. But I’m a man. A male. And suddenly my feelings become far more insignificant. And the way people react to the emotions shared suddenly changes.
You see, my wife has also experienced those six miscarriages. She hurts. She cries. She gets overwhelmed. And society doesn’t blink an eye lid.
Yet, for the father, experiencing such strong emotions and particularly sharing such emotions, can be met with regular negativity and criticism.
One sentence I hear over and over again ‘you need to get over it’ or if said to my wife about me, which also happens regularly, ‘he needs to get over it.’
Do I? Do I need to? Until YOU have experienced what I have experienced then I really don’t believe you can comment.
The people that say these words have NO idea how it feels to lose baby, after baby, after baby. To watch your wife wheeled away on a hospital bed to be operated on for the sixth time. To see empty scans and missing heart beats.
I married the woman I love, walking down the aisle holding on to her three month bump, smiling on the outside but crying on the inside as she knew we had lost our first baby. That memory haunts me. I will not ‘get over it.’ Ever.
Yes I am a man. But I make no apologies for having the emotions that I do. Society suggests I need to ‘man up’ to ‘be the strong one’ to ‘leave the emotions to the women’ but I don’t agree. Admitting to myself and to other how I feel is a strength. Not a weakness.
I’m not the same man I was four years ago. Six losses has changed me. In some ways for the worse and in others for the better. I experience anger and frustration but I also remember to search for the positives, to cherish my time with the children I do have and to never take things for granted.
‘Getting over it’ isn’t possible. And if I were a woman that had experienced recurrent miscarriage I’m sure those words would not be said.
Sometimes at a party, I might not have the biggest smile in the room. I might miss a punch line or lose track of the conversation. Sometimes at an event I might not have the best chat or ask all the right questions. Sometimes I might decline an invite. Not because I don’t want to go but because sometimes I need to be by my wife’s side. And my family will always come first.
For the last four years I’ve been struggling with the pain and heart ache that comes with recurrent miscarriage. Out of those four years Jen’s been pregnant 7 times. 27 months! All filled with worry, frustration, fear and disappointment.
Recurrent miscarriage is a horrendous thing to experience. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If you’ve experienced it too then my heart goes out to you.
If you haven’t, and you think I need to ‘get over it’, primarily because I’m a man, then sorry. But no. It’s just not possible. And you should feel extremely grateful that you’ll never understand why.
If you’re a dad and have experienced miscarriage, join our closed Facebook group and connect with other dads who have experienced it to.