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A dad shares his emotional story of dealing with miscarriage.

'How would we bounce back from this? This wasn’t how things were supposed to go. Not for us.'

A dad shares his emotional story of dealing with miscarriage.

"Having children is going to be great! Nine months will fly by, and we’ll be parents. How exciting!" This was our thinking before it happened.

It was early August, and my wife and I were trying for our first child. We thought of all the possibilities of names, of the different transformations we could do to our guest room, and of the extra joy that would be present within our lives and in our family’s lives.

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We figured that if she ended up getting pregnant, it would work out perfectly: She could go on maternity leave during her summer break (she’s a teacher). So we checked ovulation charts and tried to time everything perfectly. We changed our diets and drank minimal alcohol and caffeine; we wanted everything to be just right.

At first, everything felt perfect.

We started taking the cheap pregnancy tests. Once they started reading positive, we sprung for the higher-end ones just to be sure. Everything was working out just as we had planned: We’d have our summer baby, and my wife would have plenty of time to stay home with the kid.

We hadn’t planned on telling anyone until the first trimester was out of the way since the most risk typically occurs during this time period.

Then we went over to some friends’ house to watch football a couple weeks prior to our "planning to tell" date. They started asking questions once they saw that my wife wasn’t drinking. (She doesn’t drink much anyway, but for her to not even have a glass of wine was odd to them.) So much to our chagrin, we ended up telling them. Then we went home.

We were getting ready for bed that night when it happened.

My wife yelled my name from the bathroom. She came out in tears. Something was wrong. There was blood. We googled it. It might not be that big of a deal, the internet said, but we called the doctor, and she said to come in the next day.

I remember that next day like it was yesterday. I had a job interview for a job that I was really excited about at the exact same time as her appointment. I bombed the interview because I was so nervous. My wife went in, and they took her blood. They did an ultrasound. The baby had a heartbeat, they said, but it was very faint. She would have to get her blood taken again a few days later to compare.

A few days came and went. One of our good friends from out of state was visiting, and we were planning on going to dinner with him. We told him ahead of time about the situation, so he knew that we might receive good or bad news sometime during dinner.

We were nearly finished with dinner when the call came. Things were not good.

They told my wife that it wasn’t a viable pregnancy and there was nothing they could do. She could take pills or let her body do the work. We said goodbye to our friend and went home.

The next week was hard. I remember holding my wife, crying with her. Our dreams, our plans — they were shattered.

Photo via iStock.

How would we bounce back from this? This wasn’t how things were supposed to go. Not for us. I was doing my best to be strong for both of us. This was the worst thing I’d ever been through. I couldn’t imagine what she was feeling. It was hard to eat. Hard to sleep. Hard to function, let alone be strong enough and assure my wife that everything would be OK.  

During the next couple weeks, friends, family, and our church pastors came and prayed with us and sat with us.

People tried to offer us encouragement. Things like "everything happens for a reason" or "it doesn’t make sense now, but it will." None of these things were helpful (other than the people being present with us).

Eventually, we learned how common miscarriages are and how many people experience it throughout their lives. The numbers (10% to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage) were very eye-opening.

No one talks about miscarriage. It’s taboo, but it shouldn’t be. As human beings, we need to talk about these things more openly and grieve together and grow together. Our struggles and our triumphs are what bring us together.

It’s been nearly two years since my wife and I experienced the tragedy of miscarriage.

Reece, our son, is now 11 months old. It’s crazy to think that if we wouldn’t have been through what we had, he wouldn’t be here with us. He is our joy and sunshine every day, but we still mourn the loss of our first child.

But now, I often wonder what I can do to help other people, especially men whose partners are going through this same thing.

Photo via iStock.

As men, we’re often so sure we should be strong that we don’t show emotion. But I will share what I learned in that moment when we got the news: It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to let someone else pick you up.

It’s OK — and helpful — for all of us to be vulnerable. It’s OK to grieve and to mourn when life feels too heavy to bear. We will all become stronger together, and apart, if we let ourselves feel.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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