Husbands and other Alien Life Forms

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus indeed.

I certainly knew my husband and I weren’t feeling the same way in the weeks following the baby’s death.

I was obsessive, moody, charged with emotion. He was calm, steady, maddening okay. Sometimes I just wanted to make him feel worse, pick a fight, increase the drama so we could stay upset, like we ought to be. Later I realized that relationships often work this way–only one person can fall apart at a time. Once I understood that it was more like a teeter totter than an unbalanced scale, I managed better.

How did you and the baby’s father manage in the days after the loss? Who grieved more? Did it cause friction, or did you find a deeper more meaningful place together?

14 thoughts on “Husbands and other Alien Life Forms

  1. My husband felt that it was his fault. He cried one night apologizing for not wanting a child like I did until now. He felt that God had to show him how much he truly wanted it.

    Now, a few months later, he has moved on and I continue with the vicious cycle of sorrow and helplessness. He can see my pain but can’t truly touch it. He hurts but had completely moved on. I seem to be holding tight to my loss, afraid to let it go.

  2. I’d say that it seemed as if I grieved a lot more. He didn’t really seem upset at all after our first loss. After our second loss he didn’t either, but one day at work he broke down in tears and left early. I found it kind of strange that he did that at work with his boss and never with me. Maybe he had to be strong for me? We never really talked about it much either. I came on the boards and read some books. He just went on as if life were normal.

    I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know thier due dates.

  3. Outwardly, I grieved more. I don’t know what was going on inside him, he was very quiet just as he normally is when something goes wrong. He did make a point to be physically present with me, and I recall him sitting out on our patio and holding me when I was crying. He listened to all my rants when people flat ticked me off, and he let me be me. When I sobbed during sex, and had to stop, he completely understood and let me do this. One thing he did struggle with was naming the baby. It took forever for us to pick a name together, and I felt it was important that we did this together since it was our baby, not just mine. When I had the second miscarriage early, he didn’t want to name the baby this time, and I named her, but asked him if it was okay. I didn’t ask to name the baby of the first miscarriage as we hadn’t thought to do that, so one day I just crowned him Aaron Alan (not knowing the sex of that one). Sometimes I wanted him to say something, but he didn’t. He was my protector, though. He shielded me from people, from questions. He went with me to every doctor’s visit, never leaving me alone. Mostly, he was with me, just with me. Recently, we were at Red Robin and let balloons go (they give you balloons for your kids, so we took extra for our three in heaven). He seemed annoyed that I kept reminding him I wanted him to pick one to let go. He did do it though, knowing I needed him to.

  4. I completely broke down after my miscarriage but although my husband was always strong for me he never ever mentioned the baby – he said it never seemed real to him as I never looked pregnant! Although he supported me, listened and cuddled me when I was in tears, I felt totally alone and frustrated as he just didn’t feel the same way as me. Why would he not cry with me? I felt like the baby had meant nothing to him.

    A few months after my miscarriage I began to feel more like myself again and more positive about the future but then my husband fell apart, he became very depressed and has just finished a 6 month course of anti-depressants. We have never really discussed the reasons why he became depressed, (he said that life became very bleak and he could not see light at the end of a dark tunnel) – he doesn’t talk about his emotions easily. I suspect that when he didn’t have to be strong for me, reality hit home about the baby and he couldn’t cope with his own feelings of loss.

  5. This is a long story, so hang in there…….

    I was raised Cathollic and my husband was raised Quaker. When we met, I was a fairly regular church-goer, but he was not (there were no Quaker churches in his area, but I suspect he wouldn’t have gone anyway, he did go with his parents when he was home). When we got married we agreed that if he wanted to we could go to a Quaker church or find a church together, but until then I would continue being Catholic. As I became more involved in my church, he became a more frequent visitor. Once in a while I would ask him about joining but he was very non-committal about it. Until after my 1st m/c. we had been married 7 years and all of a sudden he decided he was ready and wanted to become Catholic. During our RCIA classes, I became pregnant again and we were thrilled. Shortly thereafter I discovered I had miscarried again. We were devestated. He admitted to me that he thought maybe the reason we lost the first baby was because he wasn’t devout enough. That’s why he decided to join the church.

  6. I am incredibly lucky. My husband was wonderful, I would have sunk and died without him.

    In the weeks after, he was ace, if I was sad I could call him, talk to him and he would listen or just hold me. He didn’t want children before I got pregnant but now he wants to try again – although he has also told me that he doesn’t think he go through that again more than once. He says the greatest source of his suffering was having to watch mine.

  7. With our first loss, my husband was angry and anxious to blame someone. Anyone but me (and him). My mom had gone through surgery and had needed extra help. He blamed her for putting too much stress on me. In a way it made me feel better because I felt like he was protecting me. We did talk a little, and we each wrote a note to our baby. He was with me for the u/s that told us our baby had left too soon and the d&c. He was my rock.

    The second loss was much different. I felt that I was going through it alone. He didn’t want to talk about it with me or anyone else. He left me alone over the weekend of my birthday when he knew I had to wait till Monday to find out if our baby was going to make it. He was angry all the time. I was in so much pain that I didn’t even want him there for the d&c. I asked my mom to come with me instead, and I told him not to miss his class. He took me up on it, and in a way that made me hurt/angry because he didn’t even offer. I felt as if we were in a vicious cycle of trying to hurt one another for a long time. I went to all my drs appts alone except for the genetic specialist. I didn’t even tell me most of the time. I went back to the place where I was before I married–depending mostly on just myself and my mom for my support (and the brds).

    My husband has finally admitted that he never recovered from the 2 losses, and he’s scared to try again. I don’t think our relationship has ever recovered, at least not from my standpoint. I love him, but I know that I’m the one who takes care of me.

  8. I grieved as far as tears a lot more. My husband stayed strong for me and that’s what he told me. I knew when he looked at me that he was just as sad but worse I knew he felt sorry for me and I hated that feeling. The experience with both of our losses brought us so much closer and I would have died without him. He was truly the only person there for me besides my mom and dad.

  9. My husband did cry quite a bit with me in the early days. But part of me thinks he cried because he was sad to see me hurt so much, not so much for the baby. He was incredibly strong and supportive, held me whenever I needed to and kept his distance when I just needed to be left alone. He tried to comfort me by telling me that he had a dream of our baby, he dreamt she was a girl (we never knew the sex) and she told him to say “It’s alright Mama.”

    He also was convinced that our second pregnancy was the same soul of the first baby, just a new and more perfect body. I don’t think I personally believe that, but it was comforting to hear him talk about it in that way.

    After we gave birth to our son, my husband then seemed to forget about it. He was surprised when I became sad and moody around the two year anniversary of our loss. He thought I didn’t think about it much anymore. I guess he doesn’t, but I do.

  10. we had been trying to get pregnant for awhile. When we finally did, I got scared. I was worried that I might not be a good mom. We confirmed the pregnancy two days before leaving for san francisco. It was supposed to be our third honeymoon(we both felt like having a third honeymoon.:D). We found out that we lost the baby three weeks after she stopped growing. It was in San Ramon. We went to see a doctor to get a sonogram just to see how much she’s grown. She was the wrong size. I cried in the sonogram room. I just stopped crying enough to walk from the sonogram room all the way out of the clinic. The moment the door was shut I cried. I cried so hard my husband had to half-carry me to the car. We were supposed to drive over his friend’s house but we went back instead. He called his friend to cancel dinner. We went back to the house we were staying at. And I cried for the rest of the evening. He cried for a short while as he held me. His eyes were dry by the time he got up to settle a lot of things. He was the one who cancelled everything and rebooked a flight home. In the beginning he understood me, but at one point I felt he was tired of being strong all the time. Sometimes he would hold me and tell me that he needed me. I think it was his way of telling me that I should snap out of it because he needs his wife back. Whenever we saw baby furniture or kiddie clothes he got this faraway look. This week a kids furniture shop opened in his office building and he couldn’t stop talking about the bunk beds with the apple carving. When we had his friend’s baby shower at home he steered the conversation whenever anyone started asking me about babies. He protected me from my crazy mother after the d&c when she forced me to fall into hysterics by saying mean things. He talked to all of our friends about it, emailed them too, and made sure no one asked me about the baby we lost in the weeks that followed my d&c. He hated seeing me cry. We also fought about it some. He keeps telling me that there is no point in lingering with grief when there is nothing anyone can do to bring her back. He is sad that we lost her, but he has accepted it. a few weeks ago he felt that i should have accepted the loss already. I haven’t. And it frustrates him to not be able to make me happy again. He understands that I am sad. But he doesn’t understand why it’s taking so long for me to accept that she’s gone.

  11. Deanna, the way you described it was esactly how my husband and I were at first. I picked fights with him a lot the first month after our loss. It was like a part of me wanted to continue to feel distraught and terrible. Now, it’s been almost 4 months since the loss of our daughter at 21 weeks gestation. We don’t talk about it much. I’m on prozac, my husband saw a psychologist to help with his grief issues. I feel bad that I can’t be there for him. When he falls apart I fall apart even worse. I cannot help him with his grief.

  12. My wife and I buried our baby boy today. He was our second little man, 4 years younger than his brother. My wife did not feel the baby move for about 24 hours and knew that something was wrong so we went to the hospital. There they confirmed what I have been scared of in both of our pregnancies, no heartbeat. He was born yesterday morning at 4:00 a.m. CST and the reason for the death was apparent, the cord was around his neck. Gorgeous little boy, looked exactly like his brother when he was born. I have always been a man who keeps emotions in check and hidden away. I do not worry about things, because everything thing has a time and season.
    Now my only issue is this: How do I comfort my wife? I know that men and women are different and I realize that we handle pain/issues differently. I am hurting over the loss of my son but my wife carried him for 8 months within her and there is no denying that mother-child bond. She is hurting deep and I am mothering her and protecting her to the best of my ability but I need some advice. Is there anything particular that I can do to share some of her pain? What do I say, how do I say it? It is killing me to see the woman I love go through this torture. If this is out of place in this forum, I apologize.

  13. Jonathan,

    The main thing is to listen and not give advice to her. Just hang on to her and make it understood you will give her all the time and space she needs and that you are hurting too.

    Mainly we get upset when husbands try to act like nothing happened, or if they tell us that we should be better by now.

    Hang in there.

  14. I’ve just miscarried for the fifth time in the past 2 years. My husband never talks or says anything about the pregnancies. Tonight was the first time that he actually asked how I was feeling – four days later. This has been a pattern. Apart from one occasion, I’ve ended up going to the hospitals by myself. I feel betrayed by his lack of support. I can’t believe how alone I feel. I’m starting to realise that all this pain I’ve been going through … my committment to making this marriage work … may not be worth it.

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