It's rare for dads to share their thoughts about miscarriages. This man did.

I remember the rainy winter night vividly. Our unborn baby was dead.

Three days prior to Christmas 2009, my wife and I lost our baby. I put on a brave face for my wife by saying everything will be OK, and I told my inner circle that we'll dust ourselves off and try again — but privately I was a mess.

I know that about 15-20% of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage, but that didn't ease our immense pain.


Oftentimes the stories of miscarriages are shared through the perspectives of the women who experience them, and rightfully so. I didn't have to endure the physical pain and emotional pain that my wife and countless other women deal with.

But as a man, I want to share my version of the events to help others who are going through the same thing. The emotional pain and feelings of loss and helplessness following a miscarriage aren't something men talk about that often, but it was incredibly difficult for me. Simply put, I experienced a roller coaster of emotions during that time.

1. Sadness.

I didn't eat, I lost a lot of weight, and I spent a lot of my private moments in tears. I knew I had to move forward, but I didn't know how. Looking back on it, I know the main reason I was so sad for such a long period of time was due to not knowing if I should grieve — at least publicly.

I felt as if my role was to be the strong one. "This happened to my wife's body, not mine," I thought. "This can't be about me and my feelings." Society seemed to agree. Nobody asked how I was feeling. It was as if I was a bystander instead of an active participant in creating the child we lost. As the weeks passed, I fell deeper into despair.

If a loved one outside the womb died, I'd be given the green light to grieve. So why is it so strange for a man to grieve for a loved one who died inside the womb?

I couldn't keep up the charade for very long, and eventually the floodgates opened (which made me feel a lot better).

Embracing my sadness was hard for me to do, but things improved once I did. GIF from "Inside Out."

2. Anger and disgust.

I would hear stories of dads who have little to no interest in raising their children — and I would become enraged. How could someone father a child and not want to be involved in their life? Sure, many dads today are great — but I couldn't get the bad ones out of my mind.

It was almost as if the only way to rid myself of the rage would be to create a reality show called "Deadbeat Island." All the crappy dads of the world would be banished there to complete tasks like remembering their kids' birthdays or changing blowout diapers until they committed to being active fathers. But alas, that type of programming would never see the light of day.

Enjoy your stay on Deadbeat Island, buddy.

Some days were worse than others, but my main coping mechanism was to remember that it wasn't about the other guys. I would be the best dad I could be if I had the chance. That's what kept me going.

3. Fear.

When we became pregnant again, I experienced a level of fear that I haven't experienced in my lifetime. Every milestone was met with a brief sigh of relief followed by more intense panic.

"Whew! We passed the six-week mark ... but we still have to make it through the first trimester."

Every day there was something new to be afraid of — but mostly it stemmed from my fear of experiencing that devastation once again. It was like walking on an emotional tightrope for 40 straight weeks. My wife felt the same way.

From an emotional standpoint, this is what every day seemed like for my wife and me.

4. Joy.

After what seemed like the longest wait ever, I finally became a dad in January 2011.

You're looking at the happiest moment of my life.

I cried joyful tears, I laughed, I sang, I danced, and I completely lost my mind in excitement during that first day. The love affair only grew from there.

Sure, it's never easy waking up in the middle of the night to change diapers or soothe a fussy baby, but that's what I signed up for. I wanted the chance and I received it, and that made me very happy.

Being the best dad I can be for my daughter and her baby sister inspires me to be a better man.

My daughters are now 5 and 2.5 years old.

I wasn't the greatest guy before a became a dad, and that miscarriage was the wake-up call I sorely needed to improve.

Today I talk less and listen more. I give more hugs than handshakes. I'm less, "I've got it all together," and more, "We're all in this together."

Sure, I'm still a work in progress (aren't we all?), but I figure if I'm aspiring to be the best dad I can be for my daughters, why can't I aspire to be the best human being I can be for everyone who cares about me?

I don't have all of the answers, but I can state that my overwhelming passion to be a good dad stems from the fear that I'd never have the chance to become one.

I'm not naive. I know there are thousands of people all over the world who cannot have children. But once the chance to be a father was taken away during that December night, I didn't think about that. I think about it now, and my heart goes out to the families who encounter those challenges.

No matter your gender, please know that you're not alone. Riding the emotional rollercoaster of miscarriages can be easier if you know that others are going along for the ride with you.

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular