My baby died

My wife was 12-weeks pregnant and had a miscarriage Saturday, five days ago.

Today, suddenly, it has hit me hard and I need to put some things down in writing to try to make sense of all of this. My wife is out of town on a business trip. Yes, she’s out of town and has been for three days, despite the fact that the miscarriage took place only five days ago. We both agreed that the trip was a horrible idea, the worst timing ever, but it was one of those things where she really did need to go, and I understand that; we both have jobs that are like that sometimes. She was supposed to be home tonight but her flight was cancelled. I guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I wasn’t doing great before, but I was holding things together in a she’ll-be-home-in-two-days, she’ll-be-home-in-one-day, she’ll-be-home-later-today countdown that kept things going. As soon as I found out she was not coming home tonight, I lost it. We got into a fight on the phone, culminating in her hanging up on me and me having a wave of emotions finally hit that has left me reeling.

OK, there’s no way to shortcut this; some background is in order. The most important thing to note is that we have a two year old who is the most wonderful thing in the world. Being his dad has been the best thing that has ever happened to me in life. We had some vague plans that it was maybe getting close to the time when we wanted to start thinking about having another child. Of course, life doesn’t work like that, so the actual beginning of Pregnancy No. 2 was sort-of a surprise. My wife didn’t give me any hints that she thought she was pregnant; she just sprung the completed test with two bright-pink lines on me. I’m ashamed to admit I blew it: the first words out of my mouth were something to the effect of, “Oh my god, we’re never going to have a relaxing weekend again!” quickly followed by something about finances. Despite my acute stress-induced reaction, I was happy. The more time that passed, even after having just a few minutes to absorb this life-changing news, the more exciting it got. There’s lots to worry about (where does a second baby go in our house? where does a second baby go in the car? how do we afford a new car that fits the second baby? but how would we even manage to go anywhere, anyway, with a second baby? and daycare? we can’t afford two babies at daycare, so what are we doing about that?) but having our son around erased those concerns because we saw how good it was to have the actual kid rather than the abstract notion of massive responsibility. The actual kid was so good that it erased those other worries, or at least helped you find a way to work through them, because the good of the kid was more than worth whatever problems came with it. We went from shell-shocked to excited pretty fast.

So, we embarked on the pregnancy. By my calculation, we had roughly 68,000 minutes between pregnancy notification and pregnancy termination. A lot happened in there that I have to leave out but, looking back, it was all so good. There was a lot of greatness in all of that time: telling my parents that they were going to have a second grandchild, daydreaming about how our son would react to his new brother or sister, planning out the new baby’s room and furniture needs, laying in bed at night and figuring out how far apart they would be in school, imagining all the excitement to come in the next few months. Life became about this and everything was good.

Everything came to an end over the weekend. My wife had had a little spotting of blood for a few days. We had paged the doctor when it first started, the previous Wednesday. The doctor reassured us that chances were things were fine. We were 11-and-a-half weeks along and the chances of a miscarriage were very small. Some bleeding was common. Don’t worry.

We still worried, of course, but we felt better. Except it didn’t stop. It didn’t get better. It may have even gotten a tiny bit worse, but it still wasn’t bad. But Saturday morning it really started worrying my wife, which really worried me. She hadn’t even wanted to bother the doctor on Wednesday; that only happened at my insistence. On Saturday, she paged the doctor herself, which really freaked me out. Why is she so worried?

We went to the emergency room. We were worried and scared, but I also felt like things were in perspective: even if the worst happens, we still have each other, we still have our son, and we can try again. This wasn’t even in our master plan for THIS month. It’s probably fine, but even if it isn’t, it still is.

So, we waited. We finally were sent to the ultrasound department. The technician was looking at the grainy screen, marking things. We were looking too, but we didn’t know what we were seeing. Finally, my wife said, “So, what are you seeing, or not seeing?” He non-chalantly broke the news: “This is the yolk sac. But there’s nothing in it. At twelve weeks, we should definitely see something in there, but it’s empty.”

In retrospect, that’s pretty clear. No baby. But the mind works in funny ways in situations like this. My mind immediately came up with fifteen ways that those words did not necessarily mean that this thing was over. (OK, so there’s no baby in this “yolk sac,” but is it somewhere else? We can’t see it, but does that mean it doesn’t exist? Who are you, anyway? I don’t trust you. I want someone else to look.) My wife started to cry, but I was too busy having this irrational discussion in my head to let much sink in. This was not over.

I was totally prepared for the following to occur: The doctor comes in and says that she had reviewed the ultrasound and that things were probably fine. She had heard that the technician gave us the impression that there might be a problem but that was just his lack of training. Sometimes babies are hard to see at twelve weeks but she had seen it and it was fine.

That didn’t happen, though. I was totally unprepared for what actually happened: The doctor comes in and says, “I’m so sorry.” Isn’t that ridiculous? If the most unbeliveable, far-fetched fairy tale of an outcome had occurred after I had been told point-blank that the pregnancy was over, whereby space and time was altered to change things, I would not have batted an eyelash. But the doctor walking into the room and seeming to accept as true that we were no longer pregnant still stuns me when I think about it. That was the instant it became real.

The doctor was wonderful, though. She was very caring and said a lot of good things. My wife had the D&C right then, to get it over with. She did great and her physical recovery has been as good as it could be.

So the last five days have been OK. We spent our time together until she had to go out of town. We both took Monday off, took our son to daycare, and went shopping and to a movie to just relax. It was fun. We’re were both sad. But it seemed like things were still in perspective. We had each other, we had our son, and we could try again. It was OK.

There were numerous horrible moments in the last five days, of course, but they were all fairly short-lived. Telling people has been even worse than the miserable experience I had imagined. We had made it to twelve weeks so we had told virtually everyone, of course. There’s a never-ending source of people to relive this with over the next year.

So why did I lose it today? The best I can figure is this: I’m tired of being OK with it. I’m tired of having things in perspective. I’m tired of telling myself that we have each other, we have our son, and we can try again. I DON’T WANT TO TRY AGAIN! I WANT THINGS TO BE THE WAY THEY WERE! I was happy.

It’s a loss. We’ve all had them. They seem impossible to accept but we do. I know that. It takes time. I know that.

I read some things about pregnancy loss and miscarriages today that probably started my emotions on their journey out of the lock-box I have had them in. They were stories of other parents who had experienced loss, almost without exception in much worse circumstances than my own. Anyway, I’m feeling very upset, I’m on my third day of being a single parent of a two-year-old which, despite my immense love for him, can be very trying, and then my wife’s flight gets cancelled. So, yes, I understand from her perspective that it may have seemed irrational to act upset at this. It’s not her fault. She’s done everything she can to get home after a very trying day, and a very trying week (to say the least), and she doesn’t need me mad at her too. I feel horrible that this is what it looked like to her. She doesn’t understand that I NEEDED her here tonight and that I wasn’t mad at her, I was mad at the world.

So, we both felt like the other was being irrational, she hung up, I destroyed the cordless phone I was holding, and then I finally cried. Really cried, like I have never, ever cried before. I was somewhere, deep within myself listening to the noise coming out of my body and I was amazed. I couldn’t breathe I cried so hard. I finally felt it.

Our doctor said something on Saturday that has stuck with me. She asked if we had any other kids. We told her about our son. She told us that we were lucky to have him and that he would be a wonderful distraction but then, with a note of sadness in her voice, she said, “It’s the people who have another child at home who really realize what they lost in a situation like this.”

That’s it. That’s why I can’t feel like I am starting to accept this. Everything thing about my son reminds me what we lost. The more wonderful he is in the things he does, the more devestating it is to relalize what could have been.

I still have the wind knocked out of me.

Oh, man, my heart goes out to you.

Here’s wishing you strength and peace.

Erm, yeah…not really good at this sort of stuff…hugs??

My wife miscarriaged at 12 weeks as well. He/she (I’m not gonna refer to the unborn child as it) was gonna be our first. This was back in '01.

We didn’t try again for so long. My fault, really. I was a wuss. The wife had no problems trying again, the little minx.

Since then, we have had two kids (girl in '03 and a boy just this May) but sometimes I think back about the one that didn’t make it. When my wife’s not looking, I cry.

Toldja I’m a wuss.

The words “I’m sorry” mean less than nothing at times like these. Still, I am sorry. I’m sorry for your very real loss - the loss of your child, the loss of your dreams, the loss of your happiness.

But I’m glad you finally cried. I’m glad you’re letting yourself feel, instead of keeping it all bottled up in your head. When your wife gets home, tell her what happened. Don’t play some stupid macho game where you try to be strong. Be honest, instead. Tell her your heart is breaking and that you realize she wasn’t being irrational, but that you really, really wanted her home to share this with you. Don’t blame her, but let her know what you’re feeling. Maybe even show her your post.

And give your toddler and extra hug and share a bowl of ice cream. Ice cream tastes good with tears.

I’m so very sorry for your loss.

Anything else I could write would sound trite, so I’ll just say “ditto” to WhyNot’s post.

My condolences to you and your wife, SadDad.

I wish I could offer more.

This happens a lot more than people realize. Some would say that because he/she was not born yet “its not so bad”. I disagree. Losing a pregnancy is just as heart wrenching as losing a child. My condolences Sad Dad

there is a very good organization, Compassionate Friends. You might want to look them up.

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hug your wife for a long time when she gets home and hang in there.

My very first thought was “oh, YUCK!”

Then I saw the byline and that you’re a guest. The combination said: “Things are so fucked up right now, I needed to tell this to someone, just tell it, it’s not about your responses, it’s about getting it out”

But well, we like responding…

I’ve told these stories before, I imagine I’ll tell them again. Those of you who’ve been bothering with my posts for a while can skip to the next one.

In my father’s side of the family, girls are about as common as golden retrievers with a brain: we exist, but we’re so rare that people try to blink us out of existence when they find us. My generation, going up to second cousins, includes 28 guys and 3 girls. My father’s sister was “try #5”: 4 brothers, and finally the li’l one is a sister. She has three sons; she’s had several unfinished pregnancies (one at eight months, another at nine). For those where she knows the sex, they were girls.

My SIL wants a girl. She was very angry when she found out she was having a boy. She’s finally ok with The Nephew, but jeezus, you would’a thought God had cheated on her. The fact that she intends to keep trying for a girl is Good News because it means there will be more nephews… but like I told Mom, “if the girl takes as long to come as Pa’s sis, they’re going to need a bigger house.”

Mom was sterile. Yes, I know that sentence is an oxymoron. Derives from “moron”, which Mom’s first gyne must’a been, and I don’t care that he was The Ob-Gyn in town, back then. Anyway, once I’d managed (in spite of the Doc’s treatments; he insisted I must be a tumor, wanted to scrape me out without “asking the frog”, stuff like that) to be born, I spent several years been treated as a miracle, which wasn’t good: my parents were so intent on “not pampering the girl too much, because, you know, there’s that danger with only children” that they would treat me worse than any sibling-owning child I knew. Other kids would get more than one Christmas present; I didn’t, because, you see, “they didn’t want to pamper me”. Well, I was little but I wasn’t completely dumb. After hearing Mom give that explanation when my aunt asked her why hadn’t she bought me this coat that pretty much every other girl had and “they look so cute!”, I started praying God for a li’l sibling. I did it for two years (started at age 3), then one day I told Him something like this:
“OK, you cut this out. You’re all-powerful, so don’t give me that crap about Mom being sterile, she had me, so it ain’t like she’s SO sterile and anyway Sara was too and she had a boy, so if you want to send me a li’l sib you can. And Mary wasn’t even married! So you CAN. And we’re told ‘ask and you’ll receive’ and I’ve been asking for TWO YEARS and I know a baby doesn’t spend that long being made, so you’re not sending me one because you Don’t Want To. So I’m not talking to you again until you decide to do what you said you would!” (give people what they ask for)
Since I said my prayers kneeling at the foot of the bed, it didn’t take Mom long to find out I wasn’t saying them any more. She totally freaked out. But I wasn’t going to go back on my word… what to do, what to do! A-HA! I started talking to Mary. She’s not God, and it was GOD I had stopped talking to, so praying to her got Mom somewhat off my case, yet I wasn’t going back on my word.
Turns out that during that time, there had been several more miscarriages and whatnot. But finally Mom got pregnant again (yay!). Given the previous problems, they didn’t tell me until she was 5 months along. I listened very seriously, then said “ok”. My parents looked at each other and said “sooo… what do you think?” “I think we’ll see if it’s ok when we see. Eva’s Mom was pregnant and then she wasn’t, so I’m not believing it until I see the baby.” And then I got up from the chair and went back to read whatever I’d been reading.
That night I talked to God again. I told him: “well. Looks like you’ve decided to do what I’d been asking you to do, after all, but I’m not believing it until the baby’s born. Until then, I’m not talking to you again. See ya.”
The baby was born at 1am. I know this because I’d been sent to bed already. The one who arrived two years later, at 11pm: I was the first one to hold him (after Mom, of course), but it was only for a minute because I was really-really-really in need to Go Pee Now. That’s why I was the first to hold him, I’d been on my way from the waiting room to the bathroom.

Middlebro is now The Nephew’s proud Dad. His own reaction when he and his wife got a Bullseye in One was “no way! It can’t be! Impossible!” Uh, hon… you two are 30yo, in good general health, you were trying… [Sesame Street] yeeeees, it’s pooooosible. Poooosible, iiiimpoooosible. Poooosible, IMpoooosible [/SS]

A friend of mine got married in her thirties, the hubby is our age, so they set to trying right away. Her first pregnancy was like this one of yours, no baby :frowning: The second one is a 5 year old who’s got half the Bible Study and Youth groups in the parish wrapped up around her left pinky :wink: She’s cute and She Knows It!

I feel for you. We’ve just been through the same thing twice, once at about 9 weeks, and the other at 7 (or 7-5 if you count from conception, which noone seems to be doing however). They both were going to be our first. When we lost the second, we lost a cat as well, which sucks too.

Anyway, what really helped me was that I took to heart that the first 12 weeks are dangerous ground. Cell-division happens so fast and so often that there is a big chance that something goes wrong, and with my wife being high in her thirties, that chance actually comes close to 50%.

However, it still sucks. There’s not really a better word for it. But I just kept telling myself from early on that we don’t have anything in the bag until there’s a baby in our arms, and that’s helped me not to get too excited, and hence not too disappointed. The same goes for when I told other people about it. I stress that it is very early and there is a good chance that something may go wrong. That makes it a lot easier to tell them when it went wrong.

I have also found that it definitely helps to have told a few key persons early on about the pregnancy. My boss for instance, has always been one of the first to know, so that I wouldn’t have any hassle with staying at home or taking a day off when it was necessary.

Despite everything you wrote (i.e. you seem to know all this already), I just want to say that it really does make a lot of sense to focus on what you have, and what you still may have in the future. Even with the cats, instead of focussing too much on the one that is missing, I just give the other two cats 50% more attention, so to speak. And they are very grateful recipients of that, I tell you. :wink:

That doesn’t mean I don’t still miss the big guy though. He probably fell out of a 3 story window, and while I think he’ll have survived and I hope he surfaces someday, he’s so scared of strangers, and that’s multiplied x10 when he is on strange ground. I just think noone will see him for a good while (he’ll be hiding) and he’ll probably turn into a wildcat of some sort.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble. What I’m saying is, yes, you do know what you are missing, but right now I’d definitely settle for just the one child myself, as it is more than none. And that is something that for us is still a possibility that we might have to deal with.

I think all this is tougher on my wife though - she has all the physical changes that she has to keep going through during the pregnancy and then returning back to normal, it’s quite a roller-coaster and she’s gone through it 2 times just this year. For me it is much easier to find a bit of distraction than for her in that respect, as I don’t have my body reminding me all the time of what is going on (and what isn’t).

But we’re not giving up and we’ll get there. And for you, take heart in that once you’ve had one child, the chance of getting another healthy child has increased considerably, even at a much later age.

I’ve also miscarried at 12 weeks and let me tell you, that was one of the most difficult experiences I ever had to go through. My heart broke that day and, it’s been almost 15 years, and I still look back on it with great sadness. It just plain sucks.

That having been said, I look at it this way:When something is taken out of your life, perhaps God (the universe—what ever you believe in) is making room for something even more wonderful than you can imagine. For me, I later had a beautiful, smart, funny redheaded daughter. She is a joy to me everyday and is my best friend. All the tears I cried were worth it.

I hope you don’t think I’m being flippant with your feelings, but please know you won’t always hurt this badly.

Angry. Depressed. Pissed off at the world. Feel like there’s a load of bricks on your back. More anger. Helplessness. Guilt. Sadness. Anger again. Feel like there’s a load of bricks on your head.
It sucks. The whole thing just sucks.

To make a long story short my wife got pregnant with costly and uncomfortable invitro treatment after we tried getting pregnant for 2 years. Hurray! Then we found out it was twin girls. Hurray! Hurray! They were going to be our first kids and her parents first grandchildren. At 24 weeks complications arose and both were born prematurely March 12, 2005. Ally died 16 days later, Emma 18.

It just sucked, sucked, sucked, sucked. The worst thing that had ever happened in my life.

My advice? Time does heal. But oh so slowly. The pain never goes away. Just gets more dull and not so sharp. The mixed feelings aren’t gone but I can at least control when I have them. Fight with your spouse if you must but make sure it’s about trivial things and both realize it’s about trivial things. Your partner is your best support. You two went through it together. It links you together for life.
Don’t ever deny that child’s exsistence. Don’t try to erase them from your memory. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t think about it everyday or think you are over it. Other people will avoid talking about it and erase it from their memories. You and your wife need to keep it as one of your memories, and talk about it when needed.

Hug your kid.
Hug your wife.
They need you.

Then, get physically active.
Run, swim, bike, box, lift weights, whatever. Get that animal/survivor part of you working.
Do not drink!

For your family, & for yourself.

Honestly, I couldn’t disagree more. My wife just miscarried at about 10 weeks. OUr good friends have a 3-year-old child with cancer. Though we have dealt with a lot of pain, it doesn’t even come close to comparing with what they are going through. Not even the same zip code.

My most heartfelt condolences.

I miscarried at 18 weeks. We’d already heard a heartbeat, and it was at the time the worst thing that had ever happened. Maybe it still is; I’d rank it neck & neck with when my mother died. The only thing worse, I think, is the death of a child already born.

My advice is similar to others – you have had a definite, tragic, traumatic loss. Don’t be ashamed to grieve. Cry, scream, rant, talk, whatever helps. It may help both you and your wife to contact a group like Compassionate Friends, or a grief counselor or therapist. Back in my day there was no such thing, or if there was, I didn’t know. I know now I would have been better off having some therapy.

We were expected to “get over it” and be happy with the child we already had. Well, of course we were glad we already had a child, but we still had a loss to grieve. We put on a brave face to each other and the outside world, and the buried grief did come back to haunt me.

We subsequently did have another child, who is a joy and whom I love dearly, and who would never have existed had it not been for the miscarriage the year before. But I still think about what might have been. For years, I would think about how, had she lived, that child would have started kindergarten, graduated high school, maybe had her first boyfriend, etc. In my own mind, I named her, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone before.

The other thing that, in retrospect, hurts more than it helps, is when well-meaning people try to tell you that “it’s all for the best,” or “it must have been God’s will,” or “you can always have another one.”

However, the day will come when you can remember this time with sadness but not with the intense grief you feel now.

I agree with the entire post. I’d like to add that my prior post may rub some folks the wrong way, and I understand that everyone reacts to certain situations differently. However, my wife’s Godson and her family have had a much larger impact on our lives than did our miscarriage.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t wish either on my worst enemy.

I’m so sorry for your loss.

I’m a jerk. Please disregard my posts, as I think they are just inappropriate given the OP.

SadDad, please know that I am very sorry for your pain and loss. I’ve been thinking about you most of the morning.

The mere loss of a pregnancy, while sad and disappointing, is not even close to the devastation of the loss of an actual child. To equate those things is an insult to everyone who’s ever lost a child. Condolences to the OP but he needs to man up a little bit. He’s coming off as a little self-absorbed to me and I think his thread title is misleading.

I’m there with ya, brother.
(raises fist in a show of solidarity)
to wit…
GrizzWife and I went through 8+ years of fertility treatments and finally found success…
…with Boy/Girl twins.
At week 20, she was confined to bedrest due to unexplained spotting.
At week 28, she was hospitalized due to a small rupture in our son’s sac
At week 31, unexplained contractions started and our children were born.
However, due to poor medical decisions made during delivery, our daughter died three days later. Our son (the smaller one with the ruptured sac) will soon turn six and is doing quite well, thankyouverymuch!

The reason I tell you this bit of history is to let you know that it’s ok to feel the way you do. Every time I lay eyes on our son, I think what it would be like to have a female version of him right along side. It ain’t easy. It ain’t supposed to be.

Parents who go through the loss of a child/infant/unborn child have a different kind of mourning experience than others.
There’s not enough room here for me to into detail about our kind of loss and how to handle it.
But, if you want to email me, please feel free to do so. I just might be able to help.