When my husband and I had our first miscarriage, I was afraid of what it would do to our relationship. I have heard countless stories about how trauma ultimately destroyed a marriage. Would he blame me? Would I blame him? Was a letting him down? Does he care? Does he see how this affects me? Am I loving him enough? The questions became my insecurities. It was not easy to grow together, grieve together, or heal together, but because we remained hand in hand, our relationship grew the year that we lost three babies.
The night that we lost our first baby, I chose to sleep alone until the miscarriage was entirely over. I felt like I needed to do this alone. The days after I felt so confused and lonely. I am glad that I didn't choose to continue facing that alone. How did I get past my insecurities? I became raw with my husband and opened my heart to him in new ways. I talked to him about every fear, every emotion, and I also felt those emotions with him. I cried with him; I got angry with him. He started to do the same with me. Vulnerability is hard and can often feel awkward in the beginning, but I found a level of security and peace in my relationship that felt like the rest that I needed during that season of grief.
Shortly after we found out that we were pregnant again but that it was an ectopic pregnancy and I would need to have emergency surgery to remove our baby. When we lost our first baby it felt more like a fluke. 1 in 4 women lose a baby in the first trimester of pregnancy. It felt more ”normal,” but when we lost our second baby, it no longer felt normal but my fault.
Along with sharing these emotions with my husband, we started communicating more effectively. We didn't wait for the other person to know what we needed and we didn't dance around what our needs were. If I needed my husband to be with me and spend time with me, I said it. If one of us needed space, we said it. We had to remember that we were on the same team. We had to be understanding and open. During grief, it is easy to push everyone away. It is easy to feel like no one will understand or that you are in some way, a burden. At times it was easy to believe that is how my husband felt about me. I had to continue to speak the emotions out loud. In my head, they made so much sense but hearing them spoken they sounded exactly what they were, silly. Don't build a cage in your mind that you become trapped in, and if you do remember that you are the only one that holds the key.
When we lost our third baby, I didn't even know I was pregnant. It ended before it really even started. I felt hopeless after our third loss and even a little shameful. I felt like I know longer had the right to try. Actually, that was said to me. I was also told that secondary infertility wasn't real. I had two babies, so I was selfish to want or expect more.
The best thing that my husband and I did for our marriage was to let go of other opinions and remember that what we chose to do next was only our decision to make. Nothing else mattered. That sounds so simple, but during seasons of grief, it is easy to find your identity in the negativity. I'm the one who can't keep my babies alive. I'm the one putting us through all of this hurt. Maybe I am selfish for trying again.
My husband was the person who reminded me of who I was and helped me see and recognize the lies that I was believing. He loved me, prayed for me, and helped me through the pain, depression, and anxiety that comes with multiple miscarriages.
We talked, we talked a lot. We prayed; we prayed a lot. We sought counsel from trusted mentors, and we did it all together. We protected each other, and we put each other first. Our season of loss and the babies that we lost were not mine or his but ours. We both had different needs and emotions, but we always walked the same path in our journey to healing. If you are experiencing the loss of a child, I encourage and pray that you and your partner face this trial as one — Hand in hand.