It's hard to explain the emotions for a man when it comes to miscarriage as we don’t experience the physical pain, but we do however experience the emotional pain. I struggled with guilt, I felt ashamed... I felt like I had let them down.
I’m looking at the screen and I don’t need the sonographer to say anything, I already know that in the next few seconds she will confirm what my wife and I suspected… We have lost another.
Words fail me. Overwhelming emotions have made me numb and speechless. I want to say something positive, or the infamous words “everything will be ok”, but even these words fail me. This is because I too am in a state of shock and my emotions are all over the place. What I want to do is stand up, walk out of the room along the corridor and through the big double doors into the fresh air and get as far away from the early pregnancy unit as I can. But I have to sit and wait and go through what to expect over the next hours, days or even weeks.
Before our first missed miscarriage we had spent 12 weeks talking about names, whether it was a boy or a girl, how many magpies we’d seen that particular day (it must be a girl), all the fun and exciting things you do when you and your partner are expecting your first child. But what I didn’t realise at the time was that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and we were about to be the 1 in the 4. I was about to start an emotional roller coaster that would last 5 years and contain 3 missed miscarriages, 1 miscarriage and 1 birth of a beautiful girl.
It’s hard to explain the emotions for a man when it comes to miscarriage as we don’t experience the physical pain, but we do however experience the emotional pain. I struggled with guilt, I felt ashamed that I had been excited and talked about things like names and read a story to the baby. Then there was the anger that this had happened and that I couldn’t protect my partner and the baby. I felt like I had let them down.
It was hard for me to handle and I certainly look back on it now and wish I had talked more to the people I love about how much it affected me. Personal experience has led me to go against the unwritten rule that recommends pregnancies are kept secret for the first trimester. I have certainly coped better with the losses since expanding my support bubble during early pregnancy.
Miscarriages have taken away the excitement and enjoyment of pregnancy for me and even as I write this, we are going through our fourth. But one thing helps me get through it and that happened on the 20th April 2017… As I looked down when she was only 20 minutes old, it was just me, her and Robbie Williams playing in the background (the track was ‘Feel’). I looked into her eyes and said, “Hi Emma, I’m your Daddy”, and at that moment I was the proudest Dad in the world!
I hope that talking about and sharing my experiences will help other men come to terms with miscarriage and to share their stories – with friends, family or support groups – and not suffer in silence.