First of all let me say how proud (if that's even the right word to use) of all the other guys who have posted prior to me I am. I'm finding it hard to write this, but reading the heart wrenching stories you guys have already shared has spurred me on to write my post. Every one so far there is an element, or a lot of each of the stories that resonate with me and what my partner and I are going through. That, for me, has pushed me to put my story out there.
So thank you to you guys for sharing and getting the message out there that its alright to admit that you are finding it hard, maybe even impossible, at times. And of course, trying to put on the brave face and be the rock for the other half when they are physically going through the pain, anguish and mental horror of a miscarriage. As someone else mentioned on their post, it is ok to have moments with your other half, or friends, or family to have open conversations, be emotional and cry if you need to, as you are both going through a scenario you wouldnt wish on your worst enemy.
Right... so here's my story. My partner and I already blessed in that we have a son already (step son for me, but I see him and treat him as my own). Just over 3 years ago (when we moved into our new home together) we had decided that we would try for a baby(s) and complete our little family. It took a little while, but we eventually got to a stage where my other half started showing some of the signs of early pregnancy (bit off with food, sicky feeling, tired, hormonal, etc) so we did the home test and got the faintest of positive lines. We kept it quiet from family for a start till we were a bit more certain and in a few more days we got a negative. Panic set in a bit and we tried pretty much all the home tests you could get from the local shops, and they were all either inconclusive or negative. This coupled with my other half getting lower back and lower tummy pains led to us contacting our GP who in turn told us it sounds like a very early miscarriage. So in the coming days, the bleeding started and "fleshy" chunks were coming away. To say we were devastated was an understatement. It was our first pregnancy together and we had failed. Not knowing what we had done wrong or what had happened to make us lose our baby. During this time, I managed to put up the ultimate poker face and was the rock that my other half needed in that moment of absolute pain. Unknown to me, it was building and building up inside me and I was attending a friends wedding maybe 2 or 3 weeks later (on my own as it was still too fresh on the other half), and after a few drinks and hours of putting up a brave face it hit me (thankfully in the evening once all the formalities had passed) and I broke down outside and around the corner from everyone as I was probably feeling embarrassed about showing emotion over something that nobody really talks about. Probably wasnt the best of timing for it to happen at a wedding. But even as some of my close friends were there to try and calm me down they couldnt get any sense out of me for a while until I had gotten the worst of the built up emotions out of my system.
Some time had passed, maybe around 6 months, and again the other half started showing the signs... and again we got mixed results from a home test. And again maybe around the 4 week-ish mark, she started getting the pains, followed by the bleeding and we knew what was happening. Confirmed it with the GP and we were down for 2 miscarriages within a year. Still just as devastating as the first one, but I think we coped with it a little better this time as we had gone through it before, knew the signs and as horrible as it is, we at least knew what was going on. I managed to talk to her more with this one and was still her rock and the strong one. but no outburst this time as we had spoken about it more openly.
Now we were facing lockdown due to covid near the beginning of 2020, but we're still trying as we want to complete our family. Once again, around April time we are getting the signs and the faint lines on the home tests... We get a little further on this time, maybe 8 weeks, and get the knife through the heard for a 3rd time. As it was in lockdown and mental health struggles are going on with that, this one hit a lot harder than the previous 2 from the perspective that we were further along and as we were all at home, we were probably building each other up during conversations through the day as we were both on furlough so never had that time apart we normally would within a "normal" working day. We were open and honest with each other at every step of the way on this one again, like the 2nd one. But with the added pressure of lockdown there's no mistake it was hard on us.
We're almost up to date! Fast forward to about 3/4 weeks ago. I was working in the home office and the other half comes bursting in with a huge smile on her face and something behind her back. Another very faint but positive home test. This time we're a bit more prepared though and she does another one the next day. Its fully positive... and the next day another one... there was about 4 or 5 fully positive tests back to back which we have never had before. We were told once that you can get a false negative test, but never a false positive. So with 4 or 5 positive tests in a row which we had never had, things are looking really good. We are trying our hardest to manage our hope and expectations and not let our hearts run with these results. So we get a private early pregnancy data scan booked for March. The last week in Feb, she starts to get the pains in her tummy and back and some other symptoms, so straight away we get booked in at the local hospital to get things checked out. They give her blood tests and an internal scan and can't even find a sack! We leave the hospital with some leaflets on ectopic pregnancy (which she has all the signs for exept the bleeding) and another trip back to hospital in 2 days to check the hormone levels in her blood as they are supposed to double every day you are pregnant. 2 days pass and the 2nd test results are back. Hormones havnt even doubled in 2 days, let alone each day. So they tell us to come back at the end of the week and we will have another scan to see if they can locate where the sack is. If they cant find it, we will have to medically induce a miscarriage to make sure that we dont damage or lose her tube that the sack is hiding in. During the next scan, we had already prepared for the worst.... but they have located the sack now. It's in the womb.... but no yolk inside. We were asked to come back again in a few days for another scan to see if there will be a yoke. This was last Monday. And they found it! So naturally we are talking about things again, starting to build it all up and its all sounding positive even though we've had a rollercoaster few weeks leading to this point.
Thursday night last week.... the other half started to get some of the negative feelings in her body that something wasnt quite right. and started to get a bit of blood on the tissue when she wiped after peeing. After talking to some family and friends (one of whom is a trained midwife) we took the advice to try and relax, get some sleep in and if it was the same in the morning or worse, then go to the hospital. Friday morning rolls around... not much sleep had in our house, and early doors we head off the A&E as the bleeding had gotten a bit heavier. A&E pass us over to the scanning department, who dont really give us any help other than there's not much we can tell you. Come back for your scan on 15th of March and if anything survives or not we will know at that point. Now theres a lot more to the hospital side of the story that I'll possibly go into on another post, but this one is long enough (Sorry!)
I should say that the other half hasnt had the type of bleeding that she has had with other miscarriages, but since Friday, she's still bleeding, she can sense that something isnt right inside, and in the space of a week she did 2 date indicator home tests. Assuming that every week that passes, the display will move on from 2/3 weeks to 3/4 weeks, and so on... but we got the same reading.
I should point out at this point, that we still dont know what is happening with this pregnancy, but we are trying to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. So will try and post an update once we find out.
We have the midwife team calling in the next couple of days and as noted another scan on the 15th so we are hoping to know one way or another as it feels like we have been through the ringer this time.
I actually had a breaking point on Saturday where I just felt empty and almost dead inside. All emotion just left my body and the other half could see it and it worried her. I felt like I just had nothing left to do anything and if I was in the house on my own, I would have probably sat down staring into space for hours with nothing in my mind. I couldnt even think about anything. We are both so drained emotionally and physically and feel so muddled in our heads with it all as you try to put on a brave face for work, family, friends, and anyone else you have to talk to throughout your day. I've bounced back a little now, but its all so exhausting.
So there we are. Finally at the end of my story for now. There are loads of things I could have and maybe should have written about on this post but I think thats enough for now.
Sorry if I've rambled on, but I can honestly say that even before I push publish, just getting it all written down has been a help.
As I said at the start, what I read on some of the other posts really struck a chord with me and it was reassuring and comforting to hear that other men have the same feelings during this time where (rightly so) the main focus is on the female, but as we are the head of the support system, it feels like we go through it with them, but not knowing what they are actually going through is tough. I know I drive my other half nuts sometimes by constantly asking things like "are you ok", "whats feeling worst just now" and other repetitive questions where I'm trying to gauge what is going on in her head and body so I can help.
Anyway, thanks for reading and if anyone wants to reach out, feel free to drop me a message or a comment on here and I'll try and help, or just talk about what I have and am currently going through.