You’re Not the Only One Who Lost a Baby: Pregnancy Loss for Dads and Partners
Nearly 5 years ago, I had a miscarriage. Still, it doesn’t feel as though any time has passed at all, as I can go back to that moment in my life instantaneously…
“You don’t know what this feels like. You can’t possibly.” I screamed at my husband until my voice went hoarse from the bathroom as he sat in our bedroom in disbelief. I was so angry…I was in so much pain…I needed someone to blame.
While I screamed, he sat there in shock….tripping over his words, terrified he’d say the wrong thing while searching for the right words to say.
There were no right words to be found. I was inconsolable.
A year or two after that night we were in the middle of an argument and the miscarriage came up. I’ll never forget him saying, “You’re not the only one who lost a baby.”
His words hit me as hard as mine probably hit him the night of our loss.
In that moment, I realized the depth of his loss as well as my ignorance for feeling as though it was only me who was grieving.
Losing the sibling for our only child is the unspoken pain that impacts us in ways we struggle to admit; from us both gaining a lot of weight to a drift in our marriage.
Our love is deep.
We will persist.
Yet, the loss will always be there and there’s no going back to life before that night I couldn’t stop screaming.
Last week Leilani Rogers, an amazingly talented photographer shared this photo on her Facebook page. It left me breathless.
Then I read the text that went along with the photo and I lost it…
“This is a story about a mom and a dad who went through loss and persistence to get their baby. That tattoo on his chest was done after their first miscarriage, and now his daughter lies her sweet head against it. Both of them a reminder of triumph.” – Leilani Rogers, Austin, Texas Birth Photographer
Pregnancy loss for dads and partners is REAL…even if sometimes they can’t find the words to express their grief.
Pregnancy loss for dads and partners is REAL…even if we, as moms, are the only ones to experience the physical pain.
Their pain is REAL and should be acknowledged!
For some, the loss is the end of a couple’s fertility journey. For others, like this family, a rainbow baby (a baby following a pregnancy loss) comes later.
Leilani shared more about their story as well as additional breathtaking photos, “This sweet young couple has struggled with infertility and loss, so I knew they would be overcome with joy and relief the minute their baby girl was in their arms. I was anticipating it, camera ready. They were very connected during the birth. Dad was very affectionate towards Mom. And I loved every minute I spent with them. To be in the presence of such a supportive partner and strong woman (her labor lasted 40 hours! The first 24 of it medication free and on pitocin!) was such an honor. I admit that I got choked up a few times as they expressed their feelings about finally meeting their rainbow baby. Love my job!”
I don’t know if my husband and I will ever experience a rainbow baby. What I do know is just learning about this couple’s story has healed a part of my heart.
It has reminded me that I’m not alone in my loss, even if my husband still struggles to find the words to share his pain.
I’m not alone.
You are not alone.
And your partner isn’t alone.
Thank you to Leilani and this wonderful couple for sharing their grief, strength, love and rainbow baby!
Resources for pregnancy loss for dads, partners, and moms.
Becoming Dad (Becoming Dad is an online community for expecting and new dads, mothers and birth professionals with a focus on men and their experiences of becoming dad.)
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