Memories That Never Were

My wife asked that I write my perspective of our recent miscarriage. I was afraid to do so because I don’t share. I hold it in till it goes away. I needed this. Thank you for asking me to do this. I love you. 

The sonogram from the day our world fell apart

Sitting at the kitchen table with my kid, working on the home work waiting on Mom to finish dinner, the sun setting out the window. Or packing up for a family trip to go camping… in the back yard because our little one is too scared of the dark to make it in the woods. To sit down next to the bed at night just to watch our kid sleep. These are the memories that never were that I had torn away from me.

One week before I found my self racing to the doctor fighting back a freak out filled with sobs and hoping for just a simple scare, my wife had said on multiple occasions that she just didn’t “feel pregnant”. I passed this off as “just a good day” for her symptoms. I mean who would complain about NOT having nausea, being tired, tenderness everywhere? Plus, “you are pregnant, duh, we saw our little bean like 2 weeks ago!” 118 beats per minute from that tiny heart. I would tell her everything was fine and to relax, and later that day the symptoms would eventually return and she could finally exhale a little and relax. Finally, she couldn’t take it and needed to go to the doctor to make sure our Bean was okay. 

I had come home for lunch that day and used all my break to spend some time with her. She told me she was going to the doctor to make sure but the thought never even crossed my mind of what we were about to encounter. I told her to call me when she was done and let me know what they said. After this, everything gets blurry. I remember getting back to work and only an hour or so later getting a call from her. Hearing her voice crack, she told me they had not found the heart beat through the external ultra sound and were going to do an internal. I felt every bit of blood fall out of my face, as quickly as turning a glass upside down. With out hesitation I turned of my computer, went to my boss and simply said, “I have to go, I have an emergency.” Not even giving my self time to finish that sentence, I was already turning around to leave his office. 

I missed 3 different exits on my way. I was physically behind the wheel, I was aware of my surroundings, but I was mentally blank. It is so strange, I wasn’t thinking, at all. My mind had frozen with fear. I couldn’t even focus enough to ‘hope for the best’. This is the only time in my entire life that I have entirely gone blank like this. Finally, I snapped back to this world and made it to the doctors office. Still not entirely aware and no where near prepared. I rode what seemed to be the slowest the elevator up to the third floor and busted in the door and just walked up the counter and all that came out was my wife’s name. The nurse jumped up and walked me through the door, and back to the room she was in with out saying a word, I don’t think all I could hear was the thousands of thoughts now, my mind trying to catch up. 

Laying on the couch with the warmth of our babies body heating up my chest. Fighting over who’s turn it was to change the diaper. Getting to finally understand a love beyond any feeling imaginable as it has always been described to me before. I had no idea I was about to have to forget all of these memories that I had already made for myself long before they ever even happened. Loss is inevitable in life. We will all lose something or someone in our lives. Nothing I have ever lost took so much away from me so quickly. 

We never even got to start this journal – that is the picture it came with

I walked in to an empty exam room where only my wife sat. I looked into the saddest eyes I have ever seen and felt my heart tear into shreds as she could only shake her head no. No. There was no heart beat. No. There was no good answer to why. No. There was nothing she or I could do to change what we had just learned. No. I couldn’t make all the memories I was dreaming of come to life. No. The doctor couldn’t perform some miracle and give me back those memories. Our baby didn’t make it. Our baby, our baby we never even got to meet, to hold, to put our finger in its hand so it could squeeze it like the smallest but most powerful hug we had ever felt, had died.

I have not cried like I did in this moment ever. Nothing has ever hurt like this hurt. I have lost family, friends, co-workers – never has it felt so painful. 

Over the next few days I battled between sadness, out right anger, denial, pretending things were normal when I was out in public, trading off with my wife who cried and who held the other so they could cry. All of this while accepting that in less than a week it would be official, they were going to take our baby from us. This is how this procedure, the D & C made me feel. I knew it was a terrible way to view what was happening, but it was all my heart would let me feel. Someone was going to surgically take our child from our lives. Terrified of how this would affect my wife afterwards, to have a constant day in and day out reminder with absolutely no escape, no chance to pretend she isn’t physically and mentally in pain. How can this be? 

As she recovers from this procedure, knowing how badly she hurts, everywhere; mind body and soul, destroys me. I try to understand what she must feel – Imagine someone shadowing you everywhere, making sure that you never stop thinking about the worst thing that has ever happened to you. Every second saying “Hey, don’t forget about this…” Not to mention this person is ripping apart your insides at the same time to add physical pain to the mental anguish.

I used to have the joy of taking care of her because she was growing our own little human. Now I take care of her because it was taken from us. Something as happy as watching a dad and his daughter walking through the grocery store brings tears to my eyes and my heart skip followed by sadness. This is not easy for either of us in many of the same ways, but some very different. I have my ‘husbandly duty’ to protect my wife from any and everything…and now I am helpless to fix this. She had the physical procedure, and yet we are both in pain. We are both recovering. Who takes care of who? This is exactly what people mean when they say the best way to make a marriage last is team work. I couldn’t survive this with out her. And she with out me. 

 Ornament  in honor of  our Bean

I have only just started to accept our state of things. I am able to begin to look to the future. We will make it. There will be another chance to start dreaming up new memories while we wait to meet our new addition. I know this in my heart. But for now, we heal. We recover. We love each other and trade off who holds the other and who cries. And I will always remember my memories that never were. 

Thank you for listening…I needed it.  

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