This forum has helped me tremendously. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first but after some prodding from my counselor I decided to look around and I’m glad I did. I hope this post helps someone the way you all have helped me. We learned about the probable loss of our little “goose swan” (our nick name for him/her) three days before Christmas. We were about 8 weeks along and so excited for our first ultrasound. We had already told her parents we were expecting since we wouldn’t get to see them over the holidays and my parents came up to watch our first child Shepard. We told my parents it was a financial planning meeting so we could surprise them on Christmas with the news. During our ultrasound the baby was not measuring far enough along and the heartbeat was too low. Our OBGYN told us that the pregnancy was “struggling” and likely to fail. We were rocked to the core. Even worse we had to wait for a confirmation ultrasound the following week which obviously loomed over us during what was supposed to be an amazing holiday season. Lauren, being the superwoman she is, handled it better than I could have ever expected. Although she was devastated to no end she managed to keep things together for the holidays and I know she did this out of love for me and Shep to give us at least a glimmer of a merry Christmas. After the holiday we had our second ultrasound which showed no heartbeat. I had to fight down the urge to vomit I was so heartbroken seeing my wife in tears at the news. I’ve had a whirlwind of emotions ever since. Sadness, frustration, self doubt, anger. Mostly there’s a hole that can’t be filled. A knot in my stomach I can’t shake. I find myself daydreaming about “what ifs”. Shepard is so amazing and I wonder what this one would have been like. This makes me feel guilty although I’m not sure why. Maybe that’s part of it. im addition, the thought of having to face reality by telling people is overwhelming. The idea of telling my family is daunting because that makes it real and “final” so I have avoided it which I see now and will address. I know I need some kind of formal closure though and I want it to be personal with Lauren and Shep. Our family. Like a mini “funeral” or grieving time/ memorialization with Lauren and Shep. Lauren had a great idea of making a Christmas ornament with the ultrasound picture and I’m looking forward to sharing that moment with her.
As I’m trying to process all of this I feel like I let Lauren down as a husband. I did good at empathizing and being there for her at the beginning. She even complemented me to our couples therapist about how well I had done. But then things fell apart. I didn’t realize it then but I was pushing my feelings down so I could be her rock and I didn’t let myself grieve appropriately and ultimately drove a wedge between us. When she brought this up I didn’t let her be there for me, and she has tried, I just brushed her off when she offered because it hurt and I was “fine”. I thought if I told myself I was “ok” enough times then eventually it would be true. I also didn’t want to pull her back into grief or make her have to be the strong one. Especially because I know this is harder for her than me. As the days went on I felt more numb and distant and my actions got sharper, my temper shorter. Why hasn’t this pain eased? Why am I still feeling like this? I realize I want to be there for Lauren but I have no words that could ease her pain and it made me feel useless as her husband and a man. I was supposed to be the protector and “fix” the problem but there’s no way to do that. Lack of control hurts and led me to lash out at other things I had perceived control over or could get a change out of, good or bad, just to feel a sense of being able to do something. It made me hyper critical of myself which made me very sensitive to criticism from others, especially Lauren since as my partner she has the ability to hurt me the most which made me scared, and ultimately, defensive towards her. The opposite of what she needed and what I wanted to be for her.
This took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize. And I feel horrible for how I’ve treated her the past few days because of it.
I feel better after admitting to myself that I carried more of this than I thought. That I was wrong, and it’s ok to not feel ok. I thought I was “over it” and told myself I was, but deep down I think I knew all along I wasn’t and didn’t want to face that. I feel a release admitting it now and wish I would have sooner. Lauren had asked me what has happened these past few days. What happened to her loving patient and supportive husband? Until now I haven’t had an answer. Talking with my counselor and this online forum of other guys who have been in this spot, has helped me achieve some true self realization about the above, and thus an answer. It may not fix the problem, but it at least gives me hope and a path forward so I can go back to being the husband she needs and I want to be for her. For that I thank you all for sharing your struggles with me. I am truly grateful.