Despite arriving pale, blue, and breathless—the umbilical cord cinching a death-grip on his throat—our first child lived, as did our second and our third.
We first experienced the death of a child in the womb in September 2007, a year after the birth of Living Child #3. We lost the baby early in the unannounced pregnancy, at only four and a half weeks. The bleeding started the day after a home pregnancy test. Had she not taken it, we might have thought her cycle had simply started late.
My wife and I have nine children, but if you meet us, we’ll only say we have five. That’s because we’ve only ever named five—the five we’ve met, the five who took breaths, the five we brought home. Four of our children died by “miscarriage.”
Medically speaking, miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of gestation; it is the death of a baby in the womb. As with most suffering, I did not expect to experience it personally; it happened to other people. I certainly never considered it from the father’s perspective. Miscarriage seemed to be—before it happened to us—solely a woman’s experience, a mother’s sorrow. Now I know differently. Moms hurt, and dads hurt too. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 1): A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage”