A while back Chris, wrote a guest blogger post about miscarriage from the dad's perspective. After Fathers Day came and went, he, of his own free will (I swear!) suggested he write another little post to check in with the babyless papas out there and re-engage that side of the conversation. Where does the dad fall in this? The physical repercussions are shouldered by the female in this experience and so often it feels no other choice is left to the male (or non-pregnant partner) than to blaze forward while still being available to care for the emotional and physical needs of their partner. Just because Chris talks less about our miscarriage and doesn't have the physical reminder of doctors appointments or blood work, doesn't mean he fell in love with the idea of the baby and felt the subsequent loss any less deeply. This was very apparent as we lived through our First "You're Not A" Father's Day.
Here are his reflections :
Guest Blogger Post #2 : The Husbands Perspective (Pt 2)
Father's Day has alway coincided with my father's birthday. We always have a barbecue to celebrate the coinciding occasions and this year was no different. However, this year I noticed all that dad energy in a very different way.
I was caught off guard when a close friend of ours, Jeremy, text me :
The sweet sentiment and the hilarious emojis made me surprisingly emotional. Something about being recognized as an almost, but not quite father got to me.
I heard the echo of myself telling Becca: "It's ok, we are young and there is plenty of time, we will have kids when the time is right." I truly believe those words, but in that moment when I saw that text, the truth was that I was sad. It reminded me that our journey is not yet over and we have more hurdles to overcome.
It also got me thinking. How do we men who at one moment in time were ready to identify as fathers characterize ourselves now? I imagine us as a group of Peter Pans "Lost Boys" who, as the story goes, fell out of their prams when the nurses weren't looking and were sent off to Never Land. Perhaps that imagery is a bit too literal, but it was the idea that kept popping into my head. What happens when the life you thought was prescribed for you is taken away by a twist of fate?
The Lost Boys are trying desperately to hold on to memories that are fading whereas I for the most part have tried not to desperately clutch to what happened. Despite my efforts it still emerges for me when I least expect it. While I was musing on Peter Pan, I read a version in which at the end the Lost Boys are adopted into Wendy's family, but Peter Pan refuses. He is in Never Land forever. One thing that has become clear to me is that staying in this in-between emotional Never Land is not going to work for me. Perhaps Peter was too afraid to open up his feelings and ask for the support he needed and so perpetual limbo was his only choice. Living though my first not-Father's Day reminded me to keep that dialogue open with the men in my life that love and support me. It's not easy to do. Guys don't really sit around talking about babies or lack thereof, but if we don't share that part of ourselves in the context of this experience I fear we will be stuck in Never Land forever.
Sure, I could probably just keep barreling ahead never reflecting on these things, but I don't think that would do justice to the kind of man and father I strive to one day be. I wanted to write this today just to recognize for all the guys out there who have been in this situation, that it is hard. It is hard to not know what will happen next. It is hard to watch your partner suffer. It is hard to be somewhere in between husband and father. We may be the Lost Boys of the miscarriage story, but we are living through it and trying to figure it out just the same. I have found that speaking my side of the experience out loud and having it validated by Becca, family, and friends has helped me move forward a lot.