The 20th of August will always be a day we remember. Not in celebration but rather in memory of what could have been… It’s the day we remember the loss of our 2nd baby. It was an early loss, a miscarriage in the first trimester. Not that this matters, it was still a loss. You can read about my experience HERE. It has taken us years to openly share our miscarriage and today, 6 years later, Mr. Perfect wanted to do the same in a post for dads; “What I wish I knew about miscarriage before we had one.”
Reading this brought me to tears. It reminded me of a “less than perfect” time in our marriage, while also showing me how far we’ve come. I love my husband even more for sharing a dad’s perspective so candidly.
Becoming a dad is life changing.
Something inside you shifts from the 1st moment you hold your baby. With our 3rd daughter, I even had the classic – “It’s a girl” moment, as we experienced the surprise of finding out her gender at birth.
From the 1st moment I held Eliana, I was transformed into a proud papa-bear but, it took me physically holding her to experience this change…
During our 1st pregnancy I found it difficult to connect with my unborn child.
I loved feeling her kick, but the talking and singing to a belly part… That I battled with. I found the concept silly and I was extremely uncomfortable. My wife kept encouraging me, telling me how good it was for our unborn baby. I could see the twinkle in her eye when she asked me to do this… Reluctantly I did it, just to keep the peace. Today, writing this I feel ashamed and I know how ridiculous I was.
After Eliana was born, God blessed us with a second pregnancy, but within the first trimester we lost our baby.
I was sad, but I quickly thought to myself it wasn’t meant to be, let’s try again! My wife, on the other hand, was devastated. Shattered. I was dealing with a “failed attempt”, whilst she was dealing with a child’s death.
This is where things turned pear-shaped… I did not grasp the emotional bond my wife had already built with our child. Nurturing him / her everyday through her body. Experiencing life inside of her.
I had the view that I did not ever see this baby, so he / she was not a real child of mine yet. Please do not judge me, today I know I was wrong.
I wish I understood a mother’s heart better at that time…
A heart filled with true, unconditional, absolute love for our unborn child. Mari-Louise already had a connection with our baby and that’s why she asked me repeatedly to speak to him / her. She loved me and wanted me to share the beauty and wonder of our child.
If only I had embraced our child like she did…
I could have had a little more time with him / her. I could have understood the pain that my wife felt. Above all I could have been there for her. My logical, emotionless approach hurt her and took it’s toll on our marriage. Looking back is was probably the biggest challenge we have faced to date. I truly wish I could do it over.
A women’s capacity to love is unrivalled and a mother is emotionally attached to her children from the moment she hears “You are pregnant.”. At that moment a child is born to her and she is just as protective over him / her as she is after birth.
It is my hearts desire that any man reading this learns from my mistake.
Please do not be as stubborn as I was. We don’t have to wait till birth to become emotionally attached to our children. Just because we do not see oxygen, does that mean it is not there?
Embrace pregnancy like a phase of your child’s life. Please speak to them, love them, play with them. We never know how much time we get with them… Our wives and our children deserve involved papa-bears from the “You are pregnant” moment. With Lia and Ava I was excited from conception and our relationship is all the better for it.
My dear wife, I want to end this piece by saying to you how sorry I am. You went through the death of our baby completely alone. You are strong. I am eternally grateful to you for not holding this mistake against me. I love you. To Lia, our rainbow… Thank you for giving me a second chance and for helping to heal our hearts and our marriage.
PHOTO CREDIT | This post contains photos from our personal collection and some taken by Anje van Dalen from Madison & West Lifestyle Division and Mario Sales.