Editor’s Note: The author originally wrote this post for his blog, Double Trouble Daddy, to mark the Oct. 15 observance of national Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
If you saw me pushing a shopping cart or chasing a quick-footed toddler around a neighborhood playground you would probably say to yourself: “There goes a happy Dad of twins.”
What you probably wouldn’t guess by watching me pulling the double-trouble wagon down the street toward the park is that I’m actually the father of five.
No — although they consider themselves part of the family, I’m not including the dog and the two fish.
My wife and I have been very calculated in our relationship. We knew exactly when we were going to get engaged, tie the knot, and even planned when we would start trying to have children. Exactly a year after we said our “I do’s,” we took a trip for our anniversary to San Antonio, Texas. We said goodbye to our friends in Las Vegas for a week and also to any sort of contraception. It was time to begin trying to start our family, and as if right on schedule, it worked and we were pregnant.
The excitement was beyond words. We were almost nine months away from being the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl or boy, and things couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a few weeks later that things took a turn for the worse.
We lost the baby.
It was a long road to the two busy additions to our family we have now. Three times over the course of 18 months we were pregnant, and three times between the five-week and 10-week mark we lost the child.
Our nerves were shot, and our emotional state questionable. Each time we got pregnant, it became harder and harder to celebrate. We could no longer bask in the moment that we were going to be parents, and instead, waited daily for the other shoe to drop. After the first miscarriage, we stopped telling people that my wife was carrying. We even quit mentioning to people that we were trying to conceive.
It hurt. BAD. Each time it felt like someone reached in, pulled my heart out of my chest, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it. I stood solid, puffing my chest out and being strong for my wife. A shoulder for her, and a pillar of support. What I really wanted to do was lie on the floor and cry my eyes out until the pain went away.
After the third time, that’s exactly what I did. My wife and I sat on the couch and cried until there were no more tears to cry. But the pain didn’t go away.
I still feel the loss, but it’s a different pain now. I feel angry sometimes. Angry that my wife and I had to go through such emotions. Upset that ANYONE has to feel the hurt we experienced. Hurt that in a way, we were robbed of the joys of pregnancy. I know that morning sickness, and swollen feet are far from joyful but even things like taking pictures of my wife pregnant, or shopping for baby things early were taken from us. We didn’t even have a baby shower. If we lost yet another, we wanted no evidence around to remind us of our pain.
It’s taken me more than two years to talk about, and if it wasn’t for being made aware of there even being a day of remembrance, I would have continued to remain silent. I’ve moved on in a sense, and am beside myself that we have two wonderful boys that I love with all of my heart.
But I’ll never forget. I’ll never not wonder why. And I’ll never stop squeezing my sons a little tighter every night knowing how blessed I truly am
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