Firstly let me get the sad bit out of the way, I realise that what I am about to speak of is a phenomenon that happens to a lot of people. Many people have things happen that are far worse and my sympathies are with you all, but I can only draw from our experience and however trivial it might be to some who have been told its just not going to happen or that it is their sixth failed attempt, my thoughts go out to you. But this is what happened to us.
We were over the moon to find out that we were pregnant the first time, it lifted us, as a couple we were rejuvenated, there were talks about names, light hearted bickering about wanting a boy or girl, her boobs went up like 2 bra sizes which was obviously fascinating for me! It felt like a great time to be alive. She positively glowed and I was jumping over myself to do anything I could to help (a phenomena that does not come over me very often).
The fateful day, seven weeks later must have been horrendous for her, we were out in the nearest big town shopping and wandering with my son and an old friend who we don’t get to see very often. I think she knew what was happening but she just played it down for the day so as not to ruin it for everyone, she said she was ‘spotting’ but that could be normal. But when we got back (5 hours later! she genuinely didn’t want to ruin our day… very selfless… and a bit British), she explained that it had been very heavy and things were going badly.
We booked in for the emergency scan the next day, it was very hard sitting in a waiting room full of people also about to have their hearts broken. Everyone waited to have their initial chat and uncomfortable looking examination, then there was the scan and then back to the first nurse who had to tell us the news, using lots of soft gentle words that danced around replacing the harsher words that we both knew she was really saying.
Perhaps the only person I felt for more than us was the poor nurse who’s job it was to break that news, the waiting room was full of people with our story or worse and everyone we saw come out was in pieces. I’m not sure how you would get up every morning to go to that job.
We got in the car and had a cry, we had a drive and had a cry, we formulated a genius day plan and laughed, sort of a bit, through a cry. Our plan was this:
Firstly we decided that we were not going to see this as a death or a person who was not to be, we were going to see this as nature understanding when to step in and stop something that was not supposed to happen, we were going to see this as the first hill to climb in the story of how we came to be parents, this was the beginning of a long story, not the end of a short one. I understand that many people would disagree with this but this is what we chose as our coping mechanism.
We knew that this day was always going to be a brutal day for us but we needed to fill it somehow and get to the end of it… So we devised another plan! Firstly we decided to ring the people that we had told early, her mum, brother and one of my friends so that, it was out the way and wasn’t going to loom over us or come at a point when we were not expecting it. Then we decided that we would buy and eat all the things that we had avoided during pregnancy, soft cheese, rare cooked meat, booze, a pack of fags (even though we had successfully quit months before), a trip to the pub, and another, then home. We invited her mum over, we laughed and cried and sang terrible karaoke from Youtube, listened to Tracy Chapman on Vinyl and talked about the future until we were tired and slept well… If you have to have the most terrible day ever, I highly recommend this as a schedule.
After that day, I did not feel sad, and I think we hit our first ‘man’ ‘woman’ difference and I was quite short sighted about it. She became sad and apprehensive and needed to process it over time. My ‘boy brain’ just made the very logical steps… We were happy, now she seemed sad, the sooner we got back to that situation we would both be happy again, and so thats what we should do. I didn’t consider her new fears about going through it again, or her natural worries that perhaps there was something wrong with her or she had somehow failed.
I became sad two weeks later and didn’t really recognise it, I became a bit withdrawn, things irritated me, I found it hard to support her, because I just wanted it to get back to how it was and I thought that she wasn’t trying to pick herself back up, I realise now that that was short sighted and self-absorbed. We eventually had a bit of a blow out argument and it finally fell into place and I hope I was supportive once I grasped the different ways in which we were processing the event. I would love to say that these things made us stronger and more prepared, but I’m not sure they did. They made us slightly more reserved with our excitement this time around and hesitant to plan ahead and dare to look at ourselves as parents together. This is something, I am going to try to work on.
But anyway, that is the sad bit out of the way, I thought it was important to include but I promise to to concentrate far more on the fun stuff from now on like how I can make her throw up by simply walking past her with a cup of coffee!