Hey there. I’m Lauren’s better half, Pat, and you occasionally see me in the background of her Instagram stories or Snapchat doing house projects. I’m not good at writing, so Lauren had to proof-read this a bit for me so things made sense 😉 But this is my experience in dealing with the two miscarriages we’ve gone through during our marriage.
A Male Perspective on Miscarriage
I want to share a male perspective on miscarriage in case there’s another man out there going through the same emotions. We often hear the woman’s perspective, and I know my wife is very open about sharing hers on here. But I feel the men can often be forgotten about…I know it wasn’t my body going through the actual process, but I still felt the crushing pain from the loss. Today I want to share my experience in dealing with our miscarriages, and also give some advice on how to help yourself through it.
Some of you may know the backstory of when we were trying to get pregnant, but I’ll sum things up in case you haven’t heard it before. I am extremely pro-life (although I believe a woman can do whatever she wants with her body..that’s not my place to judge), and therefore feel life starts at conception. To me, that’s the exact moment God breathes life into that child. I remember being so excited when the first pregnancy test came back positive, after months of trying. At some point we went to the OBGYN to confirm the pregnancy, and I remember the exact moment we saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound. I immediately started crying because, to me, it showed the awesomeness of how life starts. I know some might say to wait until the first trimester is over to share the news, but since I wasn’t the superstitious type, I shared immediately with family and close friends. I was so excited to be a father…it’s something I’ve been wanting since the day we got married. I can remember laying in bed that same nights we confirmed we were pregnant and thinking about baby names.
A couple of weeks passed, and I remember getting a phone call from Lauren at work. She was bleeding, bright red blood, which I knew wasn’t a good thing. I tried to stay as positive as possible in order to keep her calm and in a good frame of mind. We went to the OBYGN’s office for an ultrasound to see what was going on. The picture came up on the screen, and I can remember him saying, “I’m sorry, but I can no longer find a heartbeat.”
A million emotions immediately came over me. Shocked. Scared. Upset. Angry. I had no idea what happened, but I knew I needed to comfort my wife who was sitting on the table bawling her eyes out. What do I do now? Do I cry with her? I didn’t even know how to process this. I’m not one to usually show emotion like this, but I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I didn’t know what to say or do. This wasn’t something I ever imagined happening, and I wasn’t prepared to help myself or, more importantly, my wife. We made eye contact, and it broke me. The look on her face was crushing to my already fragile heart.
I don’t think a word was said between us for the rest of that day. Devastation was an understatement. But I knew I had to put my emotions aside and be there to help her. Neither of us knew what to expect. I had no idea what to even say to her. Do I say I’m sorry? Let’s start trying again? God had a different plan? (For the record…those aren’t exactly things you say to a woman who is losing her baby). Watching the woman I love be completely broken was destroying me inside. I decided I would keep reminding her how much I loved her, and be there for whatever comfort she needed.
As we went through the miscarriage process, I felt so helpless. Watching my wife in agony, not knowing what to expect, was so difficult because I didn’t know what to do for her. I remember running to the store to buy her Motrin and a heating pad for her back. I just remember going through the motions and being thankful that my mother in law was there as well because I physically didn’t know what to do. I wanted to be supportive for my wife, but I was also dealing with some heavy emotions through it all. I tried to block out my emotions to help her through, and decided to deal with them later.
Over the next few days, I knew I needed to work on myself. I dealt with a lot of inner turmoil during my long commute to work each morning. How do I deal with this? I know there is nobody to blame…unfortunately these things happen in life. But why us? Was I angry? Angry at God? Angry at myself? Angry at my wife? I was so confused. And upset as hell. We lost a life…our first child together. A gift from God so uniquely designed. Ripped away. Am I going to see this baby in Heaven? I’ll never know if this baby was a boy or a girl. I’ll never know what this baby looked like. We’ll never get to experience the joy of this pregnancy.
We tried getting pregnant again for 9 months after the miscarriage before it finally happened. There were a lot of ups and downs, and it was a very difficult time for us. I knew I had to stay supportive for her, but we had some really dark days. That’s really difficult for a man who wants to stay strong for his wife. Thankfully, 9 months later, we finally found out we were pregnant with our son. I’ll never forget that moment in the ultrasound room when we first heard his heartbeat…we both cried tears of joy together and were so thankful.
About a year after our son’s birth, we decided to try for our second. It didn’t take long for her to get pregnant, but I wasn’t expecting what happened next. The story started off the same way…we saw another heart beat at the ultrasound to confirm pregnancy, and then a short while after I received another phone call at work that she was bleeding. We were actually leaving out of town for the weekend, but the OB confirmed that the baby still had a heartbeat. Lauren’s bleeding worsened while we were out of town, and sure enough she miscarried again the day after we returned. This one hit me really hard, and a lot of anger was involved for me. I was pissed off, but I didn’t know at who. How was this happening for a second time? I didn’t understand. I still don’t understand. I became very nasty when we received those same comments from people…the “God has a plan” or “everything happens for a reason” sentiments. I refused to believe God’s plan was to take our baby from us. I started backfiring responses right back out of anger.
After our mourning process, I decided I needed to do something to change our emotional state. I decided to focus on us as a married couple. I started working out more, and we would watch a lot of comedy to keep our moods light (Impractical Jokers was always a favorite). I realized that keeping my mind busy was the only way to deal with the pain I was experiencing from the loss. I gave it to God and said, “dude, we’re gonna keep trying and I know you’re there with us.” Thankfully, a few months later, we became pregnant with our daughter who is now here with us.
I decided to get our two lost babies tattooed on my arm as a physical reminder of their short time with us. I often look down and smile at their memory. I have four beautiful children, two of which I just haven’t met yet. But I love them just as much as I do the two here on Earth with us.
My advice if you’re a man experiencing a miscarriage with your significant other:
Reassure her that you love her and are there for her.
Find something that makes you both laugh when you’re having a hard day.
Do something physical that reminds you of the ones in heaven.
Have faith and positivity in the next pregnancy.
Thank you for letting me share my experience with you. I hope someone finds this helpful in the future.
You can read Lauren’s account of our first miscarriage here, and tips on how to help someone going through a miscarriage here.
(Photos by Victoria Gloria)