Thursday 5 January 2017

Miscarriage from a dads point of view.

I originally published for the now defunct Dadzclub website, but as the site is now closed and the new management have failed to respond for nearly a year. The WayBack Machine also has a copy too. Click here  - if Phil wants his story removed I shall do so.

advice and support is still avaliable via email or twitter @hooker1uk and 

Paul's story

Until I met my partner, children were the last thing on my mind. Eventually, the bond between me and her son from a previous relationship became so strong it changed my perspective on wanting children.

I brought the conversation up at first, mainly to see if it was a good idea, as we had been together for quite a while in a stable relationship, and her little man had chosen me to be his father. (it made me cry the first time he called me dad! Yes, I'm soppy)

We both agreed, and had just moved into temporary accommodation when we first tried. She took a test, and it confirmed we had a baby on the way. We were immensely happy. In fairness everything was going really well for us. Until one day I got a call from my partner while at work, sobbing down the phone begging me to come home. I did, to the disagreement of my boss.

When I got home she was crying her eyes out. She had miscarried, something I had not thought about or could begin to understand, Hugs and saying "It's ok I love you" was all I could do at that point.

A trip to the doctors confirmed we had lost our little bean. I was still unsure what to do, As if I had let down my partner, son and our little angel. It hurt, almost as much as losing my parents. A strange experience for anyone who has experienced loss. I usually try to keep going, smile through it and take stress out on the bike.

Eventually the hurt and anguish subsided for us to approach the subject again.

The day she fell pregnant again was filled with happiness and worry. I will admit I was scared  in case it happened again, I was unsure how we would cope losing another baby. Sadly my worries were confirmed a few weeks later, my partner experienced extreme pain in her abdomen and bleeding, I rushed her to the A&E where all they could do was offer her painkillers and book her into the hospital's early pregnancy unit the following day.

When the day came, she had a scan, and had to take some medication, Then she was to come back again. Two days later. The second visit confirmed our fears, we had lost another baby.

This time the emotions going through my mind were the most extreme feelings of pain, loss and inability to cope. I openly admit I've battled with depression from a young age, this threw me over the edge I had fought so hard to keep away from. I thought about suicide, even how, where and when. The only thing that stopped me was a photo of my son, which brought other emotions of how silly I would be if I joined my parents in the land of the not quite living. I went home and put the thought of suicide to the back of my mind, locked up in a box to stay away. That day I felt better for being there to support my partner.

Eventually, our first daughter was born. Our little miracle was so sweet and amazing. She had a tough time to come into the world and nearly didn't make it. But the staff involved with her emergency C-Section were amazing. I can’t thank them enough. Seriously, they rock.

Down the road we lost two more angels equally painful, numbing, and emotional rollercoaster’s. But eventually baby two was here, and at time of writing this she's shouting at Mr Tumble.

One thing that I realised really quickly was how most people rush around mum to check how she's doing, if there’s anything they can do. Usually ignoring how dad feels, what's going on in his mind or worse. Is he ok? Please, don't assume a man is ok just because he seems to be. It may sound arrogant but most would be appreciative of being asked in a situation like this, even if they do not show it.

Guys if you are going through it. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @Hooker1uk I'll help where I can. Paul

Phils story

My wife and I had been trying for a baby for a little while, because her cycle was a little messed up so we’d not had much luck.

In September 2009 we found out that she was pregnant, it was a real shock but a very welcome one, we walked around in a bubble for about 2 days, not really believing she was pregnant, 5 tests and a trip to the docs later confirmed we were.

Everything was going fine, she had all the symptoms of early pregnancy and we had our 12 week scan booked.

The wait seemed like forever, but eventually the day arrived. I remember getting out of the car at the hospital and saying to Jo, “today we get to see our baby”

We waited for what seem like hours in the waiting room, surrounded by lots of other couples all looking as excited and nervous as we were.

Eventually we got called in, and the sonographer explained what she’d be doing and looking for.

She applied the gel to Jo’s tummy and started to move the probe around. Nothing.

I really wasn’t sure what we were supposed to be seeing but I couldn’t see anything baby shaped. I could tell from the look on Jo’s face she thought something was wrong.

The sonographer had to do an internal scan. She measured something, it didn’t look like a baby and it didn’t look like the pics I’d seen of other peoples 12 week scans.

“We have a birth sac but your baby isn’t 12 weeks old, is it possible you have got your dates wrong?”

From the measurements she’d just taken our baby was about 6 weeks old. There was no heartbeat.

We had to book another scan for a week’s time, the baby should have grown and we should have a heartbeat.

We both walked out feeling a little numb, but it was entirely possible that we’d got our dates wrong. After possibly the longest week of our lives we went back for the scan.

After another look the sonographer confirmed what we both feared, there was no heartbeat and the baby hadn’t grown.

She confirmed the miscarriage, almost matter of factly

Jo was devastated, I didn’t really know what to do except put my arms round her and give her a hug.

We got taken into a little side room until the doctor came to see us.

Jo was taken into hospital 2 days before Christmas to have what was left of our baby removed.

I felt pretty useless as they took her to theatre, an hour later she was back on the ward and I took her home that night.

Neither of us really knew what to say, Christmas came and went, neither of us were particularly in the mood to celebrate.

I was very upset initially, felt very down and pissed off, why had it happened to us? There are plenty of people who don’t deserve kids, they clearly don’t want them yet they manage to have them why can’t we?

We also found out a few people we knew were pregnant, we’d have been due at the same time as them, for some reason this really hurt, I remember feeling very jealous and angry that they were having a baby and we weren’t and then thinking that was totally irrational but it still really hurt.

At least you know you can get pregnant

If I had a pound for everyone who said that I’d be a rich man. People don’t know what to say, but I know we can get pregnant but we were pregnant and I want the baby we just lost.

What if we don’t get pregnant again? What if we do and have another miscarriage? Why didn’t our baby grow properly? Was it something we did? Is there something wrong with us?

I went through all of these, probably not as much as Jo but I was still angry and upset that we’d lost the baby we had so badly wanted.

I found that within a few weeks I felt that I’d got over the miscarriage while Jo was still really upset. I found it hard to understand how she was still so upset months later, after my initial anger and upset I was almost matter of fact about it, yes it was a shame but I guess it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t anything we’d done and it’s more common than you realise.

It wasn’t until we started talking about trying again that I really felt upset again, I’d told myself that perhaps I didn’t want to be a dad, I was happy with the life that we had and that having a baby would get in the way of what we enjoyed doing and that I didn’t want to give that up, looking back I just put a barrier up, told myself I didn’t want to be a dad and convinced myself that was the case.

I knew how much Jo wanted to be a mum and talking it through made me realise how much I really couldn’t wait to be a dad.
We tried again, Jo got pregnant fairly quickly. The first few weeks were horrible, waiting to get to the 12 week scan, Jo said it ‘felt different’ this time which we took to be a good sign.

The 12 week scan arrived and we got to see our baby, this time everything was fine, to see her moving around was just the most amazing feeling that I can’t really describe properly.

I’m now 2 weeks into being a dad and loving it. Phil.

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