I’m very lucky. I don’t have a lot to be sad about. My life doesn’t tend to be filled with spectacular highs, but I take that, because it’s balanced with not having many of the terrible lows which so many other people seem to face.
But this post is about a time I was sad.
One of the first posts I ever wrote here was about finding out Mrs L was pregnant. It was a wonderful moment, an emotional moment.
Just a few weeks after that emotional moment, we had another one.
Mrs L was outside in the garden, while I was inside getting ready to go and play basketball. It was a pleasant, warm late summer evening and we were happy.
Then, Mrs L was walking through the house, very quickly, heading for the bathroom. I could see she wasn’t okay. This wasn’t a usual trip to the bathroom. The word I’d been fearing for the past six weeks was suddenly all I could think of.
I stopped getting ready and sat down, waiting to hear the bathroom door open again. Instead, I heard crying. Soft, persistent cries that seemed to offer nothing but confirmation of my fears. I ran up the stairs and found the bathroom door unlocked, I asked whether I could go in.
Sat, shaking, sobbing was my beautiful wife, face contorted into an expression of pure anguish. I’ve never seen a face so honest. I hope I never have to again. She had bled heavily. She still was in fact. She was apologising through the sobs, already trying to take the blame for something she could never have done anything to stop.
We sat there and hugged each other tight for what felt like a long time. I had never had occasion to be shellshocked before, but that’s how I felt. No tears for me. No tears. Just a feeling of loss, a feeling of emptiness. I tried to imagine how much more powerful those feelings must be for my wife, but I know I never could.
It was Mrs L who pulled herself together first. Began to take the first steps toward getting on with what we had to assume was a pregnancy free life. It was out of hours, so a call to NHS Direct got us redirected to an out of hours doctor. After hearing the events that doctor said that, yes, it was a miscarriage and to expect bleeding for a while and that would be that.
I’m as certain as I’ve ever been of anything that a man’s experience of miscarriage is nothing compared to a woman’s. Nevertheless, I felt completely numb. For weeks I wasn’t bothered about anything else. All I could think of was the little baby that no longer was. My little boy or little girl, gone before I’d ever had the chance to meet them.
We hadn’t even told anyone we were expecting a baby, deciding to wait until the twelve week milestone. All that meant to me was that I couldn’t talk to anyone about the miscarriage. That was hard. I’m a sharer where emotions are concerned, and I had no-one I felt it was okay to talk to about it, aside from the other person who already knew.
Another month passed and Mrs L was still experiencing all of the symptoms of a first trimester pregnancy. It seemed to us a cruel reminder of what could have been.
Actually it was because, whatever had happened, there was still a foetus in there. Our little Creature-to-be trying to tell us that not everything had been lost on that horrible day. A positive pregnancy test and a hastily arranged scan confirmed it.
We were told that it could have just been a bleed from the placenta, but there was a chance it had been one of a set of twins we lost.
I’m not sure why I’m so sure it was the latter. I am though.
I think about it a lot.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the beautiful baby boy we have now, but I will never ever forget the one who got away.
My thoughts go out to anyone who has ever experienced miscarriage. Every baby is a miracle, whether they make it or not.
Thanks for reading.