Monday, December 5, 2011

When bombs explode

The STBX and I conceived a baby on our wedding night. It was totally not planned. We were going to wait a couple of years to have kids actually, so when I was a few days late less than three weeks after we came home from the wedding, I nearly had a heart attack! My shock and fear quickly melted into surprising bliss and excitement and by the time we went for our first sonogram, I was already in love with the tiny being growing inside of me. I thought it was the most romantic thing in the world to conceive a child the night we got married. The STBX wasn't exactly as thrilled as I was, but he seemed genuinely happy about the change of plans after the initial shock wore off. Seemed.

I remember driving to our sonogram appointment like it was yesterday. I can hear our conversation and laughter in my ears. I can feel my slightly bloated 9-week stomach under my hands. I can smell the car. It’s like the memory is as real to my senses as the present moment is. We were both grinning from ear to ear and talking about how excited we were to hear the heart beat and catch a first glimpse of our precious baby. He was driving and I kept leaning over to kiss him and be affectionate. We hadn’t argued at all in weeks. Things were going great and I remember thinking to myself, “I knew we would be better after the wedding nonsense was over! And now we are going to have a baby; Life can’t get much better than this!”

I had no idea about the bomb that was just waiting to go off on us at the doctor’s office.

I remember lying there half naked, exposed, the STBX on one side of me and the nurse on the other. The doctor kept moving the wand around and around searching, but there was no baby on the screen no matter how many uncomfortable swirls up towards my uterus he tried. The silence was deafening as we all stared at the empty screen for what seemed like forever. I remember squinting my eyes over and over again to fight back the tears and maybe try and will what I felt in my heart to exist to just appear before us on the screen. Nothing happened. After an eternity of staring at nothing, I just started wailing over and over again “Where is my baby? Where is my baby?” until I was convulsing in hysterical sobs. The poor nurse tried to comfort me, because honestly, the STBX didn’t really understand the implications of the doctor saying phrases like “empty gestational sac” and “blighted ovum” right away. He was like a deer in headlights staring at me and didn’t know what to do. I would like to think that he was horrified and scared. I would like to think that in the chaos of such an emotional bomb going off on us, thoughts like "You're actually not going to have a baby" overwhelmed him and broke his heart. 

But, such was not the case at all.  In time, I learned that his inability to comfort me in a way that should have been naturally reflexive in response to our newly built dream blowing up in our faces had to do with his inability to have empathy for me and what I was experiencing. He couldn't empathize with my devastation. With my grief.  I learned this definitively after I went through the traumatic ordeal of a D&C to medically handle the miscarriage a few days later, and he acted like taking the day off of work to bring me to the surgery center was a huge inconvenience to him. We argued the morning of and he basically admitted to me in the heat of the moment that he barely viewed the loss as anything more than one would view a glass of spilled milk. And he wasted no time telling me to “get over it all ready” a week after the surgery. I was still bleeding when his heartless words cut me like a knife to the heart. 

I didn't know what to think after that. In the aftermath, I wasn't just heartbroken over losing a baby that we hadn't even planned for, but I was heartbroken because it was painfully obvious that the man I married wasn't there for me the first time I, as his wife, needed him to be a strong and supportive husband. It was our first test as a married couple, and I couldn't ignore the fact that we had failed. For some reason, I trudged onward anyway thinking that something else would come along in our lives to fill the void created by his lack of empathy. Nothing ever did.   


  1. I read this and can relate. I remember getting out of the car in the parking garage on the day of our 1st ultrasound and saying to my husband, something is not right this isn't going to go well. He had been laid of the previous week and things just didn’t seem right that day. Sure enough I was lying on the table and the ultrasound tech was quiet, there was for sure a baby in there, she wouldn't let me look at it, but no heartbeat. I was 10 weeks. After the initial excitement of finding out I was pregnant I didn’t embrace it. I wasn’t excited I felt no connection with this thing growing in my stomach. So when she told me there was no heartbeat, I took a deep breath and said I knew it. We walked down the hall to see the doctor; she gave me two options, go home and let things happen or come back the following day for a D&E. I choose the later. I just wanted it to be over and by the next evening it was. The next day was our 3 anniversary and driving to dinner I said to my husband, is it horrible I feel a huge sense of relief? We would later find out that my miscarriage was the result of a uterine birth defect that was fixed by a RE after 2 surgeries, and some hormone therapy. A month after my 1st pregnancy’s due date we found out we were expecting again. This time it felt completely different no anxiety, no uncertainty and I was in love for the start, it was perfect, my son is perfect. My point is that everyone handles this things different. We didn’t cry over the miscarriage, I was working 3 days later as if nothing happened. To this day I am not sad about it, it is normal and common and 1 in 4 women experience it. Am I a bad or emotionless person because I didn’t cry? I don’t think so I just knew it wasn’t right and carried on.

  2. Thank you for sharing! Yes, I think all women experience miscarriage differently. I have actually read of a woman experiencing one loss horribly like I did, and then experiencing another loss at a different time in her life with a lot more acceptance and peace in her heart that it just was the way it was meant to be for whatever reason. I think it really depends on the person individually, the cause and type of loss and when and where in her life it happens.

    The biggest thing that sticks out for me now, looking back over that time, was that my husband wasn't there for me emotionally. He didn't have any empathy for the loss I was going through and he didn't even try to. That hurt more than losing the baby.

    Hindsight is 20-20.

  3. I have had 2 friends experience this and it is devastating! My childhood best friend had this happen to her on her first pregnancy, it was the first I'd ever heard of it, and her husband was more devastated than she was! It was definitely a sign and you are right, hindsight is 20/20!

  4. Awe, I am sorry for your friend and her hubby!

    Yup, this was my first pregnancy too so that was also part of why I didn't cope very well with the loss. And to have to have surgery and everything, ugh it was awful. When I was coming to after the procedure, I was crying (and had been as I was coming out of it) mumbling "Am I still pregnant?" and other such nonsense. It was so sad. The recovery nurses wiped my tears and took care of me so nice since I was alone until the STBX came back to pick me up. Yup, he didn't even stay there while I was having the D&C!! He went home to do whatever and then came back when I called to say I was ready to go home. Such a jerk!!

  5. Wow, I am so sorry you had to deal with this so soon into your marriage and to experience that lack of support must have been downright scary and sad and raise lots of questions. Obviously, you are better off now, moving onward, without him, but still a very terrible reality, and I'm so sorry you had to handle that, basically alone.

  6. I just recently discovered your blog. Do you mind me asking how old you were when you got married and how many years were you married?

  7. Jolene, it was seriously so scary to be a newlywed and be going through the hardest thing ever completely alone. I was terrified that my husband was not who I thought he was (that part turned out true) and scared that there was something wrong with me and I would be facing fertility issues (not true!).

    Robyn, I was 25 when we got engaged, 27 when we got married and I am now 29. I'll be 30 in a few more months. We were together a total of 6 years, engaged for 2, married for 2.


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