on miscarriage

First reaction: I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

There’s not much you can say to make this better. Sure, millions of other people have gone through the same thing, but that is them… not me.

My wife and I hadn’t expected baby in the first place. In fact, we were actively using the pill and somehow it didn’t make a difference. At first I was pleasantly surprised when my wife gave me the news, and then in the following weeks I went through a rapid series of emotions (shock, fear, anguish, awe, worry) that culminated in a fundamental shift in mindset. After two weeks, I was ready for us to have a baby. Prepped with a new short term financial plan and new long range goals for myself and our family I was going to take the world–and win. We told everybody that we were pregnant (including family, friends, co-workers, and strangers and we started looking for ways to save money so that we could move into a house. We spent more time together than ever before and were both very diligent about diet and exercise–our baby was going to have all of the advantages even in womb.

At 7:00pm on a Saturday, I was at work finishing up some web pages and got the worst call of my life to date… “I’m bleeding (sniffle) from…… there”.

I still don’t remember getting up from my desk and running home, but I was in a full sweat by the time I got to the front door of the house. We called the doctor and got some reassurance, waited, call again, waited and finally went to the E.R. at 10:30pm. Somewhere around 1:30am Sunday morning, a foreign exchange resident told us, “Things just aren’t right in there, it’s weird, have you had a miscarriage like this before?”

T h e    W o r l d   S t o p p e d

I didn’t really even understand what she meant until my wife started crying and the resident left the room. Because it was a weekend, it took three days and several tests to confirm that what had been our greatest hope was dead.

Several months later, the aftermath is not over. I told so many people that I couldn’t possibly tell them all about the miscarriage–it would be too awkward. I told very few people at the time it happened, and as a result, people that haven’t seen me in a while ask how things are going with the baby. It’s tough to see them struggle when I say there won’t be a baby, but what else can I do?

The best help I got was in a personal note from one of the Partners at my company, he had gone through similar trials of his own and his advice was something to the effect of “you won’t forget this ever, but you won’t hurt forever either.” And he was right.

I’m not all healed on this by a long shot, but I am on my way and the feelings of guilt are starting to fade. I don’t get choked up when I see an infant on TV anymore and I’m not so jealous of people with strollers. I know now that my first reaction–throwing myself back into normal life–was a bad one and that I should have taken more time to mourn properly. I also know that I didn’t do such a great job in supporting my wife…. since I wanted to push everyone away I assumed that is what she would want too. I was wrong, and I’ll be there for her the next time tragedy strikes home.

We never did go to the support group our doctor suggested, but that’s just for ‘them’… or so I thought.

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