I came home this afternoon and my husband said to me, “I wrote something today. You can use it for your blog if you want.” I took a double take. For the past 7 years of blogging there have been a total of 4 occasions where he has wanted to write something. And it’s always been when I’ve asked him. “We need the partner’s perspective! Pleeeeease!” This time he initiated it. Today was hard for him. He was thinking about the miscarriage we experienced many years ago. Between our 12 year old and our 7 year old. Over the years we have spoken about it sometimes. But not a lot. It’s painful. But it’s still there. And for men…it’s often unspoken. He has written this for all of the men, partners and family out there who go through miscarriage and loss on the other side. Without physically going through it. The pain is still there. And it never leaves you. Here is what he had to say about it…
“A few years ago, Meg wrote a post about miscarriage, her own experiences and loss. She also wrote about how we need to talk about it and how people need support through this. When she wrote about it she probably thought I wouldn’t have much of reaction, but when I read it I cried – a lot. That feeling of loss and it’s different for everyone, was something huge for me that I didn’t really know what to do with. I had a friend who had a stillbirth, I’ve known people to lose their children quite young and I have worked in schools where students in their final years of high school have passed away. To me, I felt like I shouldn’t feel grief, I almost felt guilty that I felt so bad for losing something that hadn’t even taken a breath.
We had a miscarriage between our two oldest boys, but that was quite early in the pregnancy and while still tough, I could compartmentalise it to some degree. To lose one at 19 weeks and to see what Meg had to go through was one of the most heart wrenching things I’ve seen. I thought about writing this today as every so often I think about our little fella that didn’t get a start. Today was that day and it tears me up. I cried on the way to work and on the way home – I went to the beach and a board paddle (my meditation) to help process what I’m feeling. As I write this, I keep welling up. It hurts and it hurts bad.
Family, with our children and our partners is something that we create, build and help nourish over the years. We take guidance from our own families in how we deal with things. My dad is a protector, I know I’m one too. I mightn’t show it sometimes but the fear of something bad happening to Meg or my three boys scares the shit out of me. I think that’s why it hurts so much when I think about our little man that didn’t join the tribe of men we are raising. I couldn’t protect him and I feel like I failed him. It sounds cliché and macho, but everyone has something they feel or do instinctively with their loved ones. Meg’s parenting and breastfeeding to natural term was, well, natural. To me it always looked instinctive – and to see her face when someone thought she should do something different told me that if she was a mama bear, now would be the time run.
As mothers you have this amazing bond with your baby prenatally and post. I can’t imagine and won’t ever get close to feeling what Meg felt that day and what others go through when losing a child through miscarriage, birthing or at any age. I do know that it is ok to talk about it and when it comes up, us guys may not verbally say it but we need an outlet. We need someone to hug, to have a beer with, to say “mate I’ve been there and it sucks”. So, while we may think we are or actually are the big, hairy, gruff and tough dudes who take no shit and nothing fazes them, it is so relieving to know I can say to Meg “I am not handling this”. I urge you to check in with your partner (whomever that is – I wrote about men, because that is who I am and can relate to) and let them know it’s alright to hurt. It doesn’t get any easier, but you’re not doing it alone.”