He Needs to Get Over it!

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Having experienced six miscarriages I openly admit that my heart hurts. It’s shit. Beyond shit. And it bloody hurts. The pain just does not go away.
Some days I am utterly pre-occupied with the ‘what could have been’s’ and the over whelming desire to have another child.
I genuinely believe that if a female had written those lines, no-one would bat an eye-lid. But I’m a man. A male. And suddenly my feelings become far more insignificant. And the way people react to the emotions shared suddenly changes.
You see, my wife has also experienced those six miscarriages. She hurts. She cries. She gets overwhelmed. And society doesn’t blink an eye lid.
Yet, for the father, experiencing such strong emotions and particularly sharing such emotions, can be met with regular negativity and criticism.
One sentence I hear over and over again ‘you need to get over it’ or if said to my wife about me, which also happens regularly, ‘he needs to get over it.’
Do I? Do I need to? Until YOU have experienced what I have experienced then I really don’t believe you can comment.
The people that say these words have NO idea how it feels to lose baby, after baby, after baby. To watch your wife wheeled away on a hospital bed to be operated on for the sixth time. To see empty scans and missing heart beats.
I married the woman I love, walking down the aisle holding on to her three month bump, smiling on the outside but crying on the inside as she knew we had lost our first baby. That memory haunts me. I will not ‘get over it.’ Ever.
Yes I am a man. But I make no apologies for having the emotions that I do. Society suggests I need to ‘man up’ to ‘be the strong one’ to ‘leave the emotions to the women’ but I don’t agree. Admitting to myself and to other how I feel is a strength. Not a weakness.
 I’m not the same man I was four years ago. Six losses has changed me. In some ways for the worse and in others for the better. I experience anger and frustration but I also remember to search for the positives, to cherish my time with the children I do have and to never take things for granted.
‘Getting over it’ isn’t possible. And if I were a woman that had experienced recurrent miscarriage I’m sure those words would not be said.
Sometimes at a party, I might not have the biggest smile in the room. I might miss a punch line or lose track of the conversation. Sometimes at an event I might not have the best chat or ask all the right questions. Sometimes I might decline an invite. Not because I don’t want to go but because sometimes I need to be by my wife’s side. And my family will always come first.
For the last four years I’ve been struggling with the pain and heart ache that comes with recurrent miscarriage. Out of those four years Jen’s been pregnant 7 times. 27 months! All filled with worry, frustration, fear and disappointment.
Recurrent miscarriage is a horrendous thing to experience. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  If you’ve experienced it too then my heart goes out to you.
 If you haven’t, and you think I need to ‘get over it’, primarily because I’m a man, then sorry. But no. It’s just not possible. And you should feel extremely grateful that you’ll never understand why.
If you’re a dad and have experienced miscarriage, join our closed Facebook group and connect with other dads who have experienced it to.
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9 Comments

  1. James Child on

    Al there is nothing to be ashamed about for having moments where you drift off into a dark place. You’ve suffered horrors that most men never have, and to compound it you’ve had to suffer them over and over again.

    I’d love to be able to give you an answer to your woes. Would love to be able to tell you it’s going to be ok. But you know I’d be lying if I did.

    Don’t man up as why the hell should you. Men don’t suffer the physical and hormonal scars but by god they suffer just as much mentally and emotionally. Your friends are there for you even if we’re too far away to be with you in your hours of need.

    You and Jen are inspirations to many many people, myself included. Whatever the road ahead holds in store for you, don’t ever forget the past and that lots of people out there love you both.

    Take care bud.

  2. Don’t hide it. You give strength to those dads who feel they have no voice. My husband watched me lose three of our babies and he hurt. Keep doing what you are doing, be open and honest. Be the voice for those who feel they have none xx

  3. I think this whole concept of “man up” and “get over it” is crazy! It’s ridiculous that just because we’re men, we shouldn’t be allowed to have emotions regardless of the stress, trauma and difficulties we all suffer day to day.
    My thoughts are with you guys. I look forward to the day you post introducing a baby.

  4. Andrew Clee on

    Those people telling you to ‘man up’ are heartless beings with nothing in their tool kit to help you both go through the horrendous pain you’re experiencing. They’re hopefully the type of people that you are less and less likely to bump into now, not because you’re eliminating them from being within your lives but because more people are beginning to understand that ‘manning up’ no longer means to suppress your true emotions but instead it means understanding who matters in your life and owning your responsibility to support those people you love most…which is 100% what you are doing mate.

    Keep voicing and being in touch with your feelings and make these morons realise they are the minority now. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

  5. It’s a long game we have to play to chip away at the more toxic aspects of masculinity but bit by bit you are helping to do it by being open about your shared experiences and the personal impact on you and in doing so encouraging others to share their and so on and so on…

    Staying quiet when you want to talk is corrosive and dangerous.

    I wish you both well and applaud your efforts to help others.

  6. I wish I could say something of comfort but I am at a loss. I think you are both processing what you have been through in the best way you can. Suppressing emotions and not talking about it is not healthy.

    Sending you and Jen big hugs x

  7. I’m shocked that anyone would say that to any grieving parent, and to tell your wife ‘he needs to get over it’ seems so strange. To me that translates as ‘well of course you’re allowed to grieve, but why should he?’. Those were your children you made together, and as you said you had to watch your wife go through all that physical trauma on top of the heartbreak. My heart goes out to you both and thank you for sharing your story – I’m sure it will help others.

  8. I find it baffling and upsetting that people would even think this let alone say it to your face Al. We went through two miscarriages before our boys were born and I definitely went through a grieving process while keeping a brave face. Obviously it’s hardest for the woman on a physical level but both of you have lost a baby. I don’t know how you and Jen keep trying after so much heartbreak. I don’t know if we would have had the strength.

  9. Thank you for sharing your story, you are so brave being so public about it – I wish I could be. The one thing I have learnt from loosing our 4 babies over the last 18months (three at 10 weeks and one at 8 weeks) is that no one will even come even close to getting it unless they have been through it. A very wise friend of mine, who has experienced reccurant loss said she will carry the pain forever but she tries to put it in a box (the pain is there but puts it to one side and occasionally acknowledges it and then put it back in the box). I have yet to master this! I have no living children and I am newly pregnant again, it is completely all consuming. I keep telling myself to keep going but oh my God it is so hard! I hope to meet you with my wonderful husband and jen when we are all our the other end of this nightmare to share what we have been through to give others hope. We must never lose hope, I know we can get there xx

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