They say “becoming a mother” starts with conception, whilst becoming a father happens at birth. This I do relate to, as all I see is a wife that feels incredibly nauseous in the morning, then again in the evening and that sex life you once held in such high regards, gets demoted to ‘rare-pitty handjobs’, cause the nausea makes everything else impossible (and the risk is honestly not worth it… unless you’re into that). On our first doctors visit, I got an incredible insight to distinguishing a girl pregnancy vs a boy pregnancy. Apparently, a girl pregnancy gives your significant other (that being your wife/girlfriend/no label/”it’s complicated”) a level of nausea, no college hangover party can compete with. Whilst a boy, causing less nausea, does lead to “pimple outbreaks”. Both suck…
We decided to go to a doctor after wifey conducted many hours of research, because as we were going through the process of a miscarriage, we were with a doctor who couldn’t have given less shits about us and simply saw us as a number. I still remember sitting in the office, after going through ultrasound with the doctor saying “the baby hasn’t grown, it will most likely not happen”. Fiance at the time (now wifey), broke down and I was gobsmacked. “What do you mean, it won’t happen?”, “These things just happen, but you can try again soon” – almost annoyed at our presence, we rushed through the door. Fiance went straight to the exit, whilst I danced in limbo between having to pay the bill and wanting to consult my fiance. At this stage, nothing you say can make her feel better. I learnt that in scenarios like this, you just need to be there. Hug, pet her, tell her you will get through this and that you will always be there for her. Then after she’s calmed down, find a way to buy cupcakes (red velvet) or flowers and see if you can squeeze in a nice meal.
After our doctors appointment, I had to rush straight back to work, where looking at excel sheets and getting lost in the lines lead to almost zero productivity. I think my boss noticed this too and pulled me into her office. She was incredibly understanding after hearing my story, told me that she herself had gone through a miscarriage and that many of her friends have too. This was important, because at the time, I’ve done little research and thought of a miscarriage as something extremely rare. I think fiance thought the same way, that’s why she was so hard on herself.
Knowing that this is common, doesn’t make the idea of loss any easier on the mother, but it does help to highlight the fact that even though she feels like she is the only one in the world that has gone through it, she isn’t. As a boyfriend/husband/no label/”it’s complicated” you will feel little to nothing, your sadness will be mostly focused on your significant other because she is sad. At least that was the case for me. Fiance didn’t quite have a baby bump yet, so the reality of “hey, I’ll be a dad soon” never struck me.
I left the office to go home and spent time with wifey, which was difficult, because as an idiot fiance at the time, I didn’t really have anything smart to say and if you are like me, someone who dislikes awkward silences, you sometimes blurt out random shit that is neither supportive or conducive to facilitating a healing process. “You know, there is a new episode of Scandal out”…… “Are you fucking serious??!”…. *wifey gets up, goes to bedroom, slams door. And here I thought I could’ve just thrown up an episode on screen to make everything just go away (we did later that night go back to watching a few series, but that is besides the point).
A woman sad or scorned is seeing things her way, there is no point in trying to give her the “man advice, step by step guide on what YOU would do”. Just shut the fuck up, let the terror rain for an hour or two, or more if necessary. Then go bring gifts and start the conversation with “hope you are feeling better, is there anything I can do?” (You’re welcome).
Anyway, so just 9 days after finding out, we headed to our doctor, who is a superstar, with a killer sense of humor. This is the doctor we went to straight after we experienced our less favorable run in with 0 EQ doctor number 1. “Ah you’re back!” “Yup, the pregnancy test we did 9 days ago said 3+weeks” “Perfect, follow me, let’s do a ultrasound and see how the little one is doing”. We followed in silence, waiting in anticipation for finally some good news after two mishaps. After he covered the “ultrasound” wand looking thing with a glove and added some lube, we quickly gained sight of what he deemed a “healthy looking pregnancy” with a little shape the size of a blueberry. “Now lets see the other side, as he scanned the other side of the uterus. I held my breath for a second, anticipating whatever may come, not quite knowing how to react, should there be a second one (respect to those of you anticipating twins/triplets etc.). “Nope, nothing there” – an unnoticeable sigh ensued.
“You ready to hear the heartbeat?” – AND I held my breath again.. Out of nowhere, the entire room was filled with a strong flutter of a heart beat going at 126 bps (which we were told is “solid”). It weirdly reminded me of a whale watching experience in NZ, where the dude held some sort of sonar stick under water and we could hear the echoes of these beasts through the depths of the ocean. The same enigmatic “depth” here was filled with a heartbeat, which made the whole ordeal a lot more real for me. I can’t explain emotionally what I went through, but the tears that were running down my face now (damn onion cutting ninjas), were tears of relief more than happiness, that finally, there was a chance that everything would go right.
With my new found perceptions of “let’s see if this works out” to “this is happening”, I started chaotically engaging in my initial wave of research for the first trimester we were going through. From which multivitamins to take, how to make sure my wife eats well to what should I name my kid – all thought processes which I will explain in additional updates.