So this month is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month, and my wife Jo asked me if I would like to share my story from a man’s perspective. Like me I’m sure there are a lot of men out there who turn to Google sometimes for reassurance, sometimes wishing we hadn’t. That said, I’m not one to blog and I’m not as open as Jo is (even though I admire her for it) and so I have put this off all month if I’m honest. But miscarriages are unfortunately so common that I believe more people do need to talk about their experiences, if only so that others realise they’re not alone and hopefully find some comfort in that.
I like to think I handled our miscarriages reasonably well, like most men I’m sure – trying to stay positive for Jo and not getting too emotional around her as I knew it would only make her sadder. I’m also a great believer in the fact ‘there is always someone else out there worse off than you’.
This strategy was working pretty well until our sixth miscarriage. I completely broke down in front of Jo with this one. It was horrible as Jo was so doped up on pain killers in hospital that she almost couldn’t react when it happened and didn’t seem at all present in the moment, instead this time comforting me as I cried. It was the second time I’d had to retrieve ‘the products of conception’ (the hospitals term) from a hospital toilet bowl so that it could be tested and I couldn’t keep in the heartache anymore. I think it was because we’d both been so positive the sixth time, and got the furthest we’d ever got that I finally buckled and let it all out when Jo sadly miscarried again. We thought we were out of the woods with this one and so had finally allowed ourselves to start thinking about the future. I think that’s what added to the pain, as all of those dreams suddenly ended just as they were starting.
Before this I’d pretty much managed to stay positive each time, reassuring Jo that next time would be different and if I ever needed to cry, I’d wait until I was in the car on my own – on the way to work maybe. I tried not to think about it too much though as I knew it would only make me upset. But every now and then, I think it’s good to cry and get it all out. The one song that really used to do it for me was ‘I Wish’ by R Kelly. I don’t really know why, as even though it’s a sad song, it doesn’t relate to our situation what so ever (especially since we don’t even live a ‘thug life’) but it would always get me for some reason. Over a 5 year period I avoided it like the plague as it became a trigger, causing me to panic when my iPhone started to play it on shuffle, me rushing to skip the track as quickly as possible. I guess I spent those 5 years generally trying to avoid thinking or talking about it too much. When friends and family would mention it I’d try and draw on some positives, something new that we were going to try next time, and then try and change the subject so that I didn’t bring anyone or myself down.
But things change. And after 5 years of trying, I never truly believed that we would ever actually get our baby – but we did. And for that we consider ourselves the lucky ones. It’s only since Jo started blogging that she’s been contacted by other women going through the same thing (and sometimes so much worse) that we’ve realised how common miscarriages really are. I think it’s important that people know of our happy ending though as hopefully it will help spur someone else on who’s currently going through this.
Although it’s now sometimes easy to forget about our journey, now that we finally have our baby, we try to remember that Max is lucky number 7. He’s managed to do what our other 6 babies couldn’t. But if it wasn’t for those 6 babies, then he wouldn’t be here now. He owes a lot to those angel babies, and for him, so do we.