Need help for brother in law RE misscarriage - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-11-2005, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I asked my dbil if he would like me to see if there are any papas here who have been through this and whom he can talk to about things. He wasn't supposed to be able to have children and then low and behold he met my sister, the babymaker and badabingbadaboom IYKWIM. She was about 10 weeks along when they discovered that the baby had no heartbeat and seemed to have died at about 6 1/2 weeks gestation (which would have been about 3/4 days after they found out). He is trying to "be a man" and be strong for my sister, but he is dying inside and he is lost between his own grief and hers. Can anyone offer some fatherly words of wisdom here?
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#2 of 5 Old 07-13-2005, 05:19 AM
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... my dw was 14 weeks along with our first when we visited the midwife, couldn't find a heartbeat, and found out that she was sized at about 8 weeks... two days later, she had a natural miscarriage at home (no D&C, thank you), and was laid up for about 3 weeks.

It's really really hard to be strong after that. Especially once the second pregnancy comes around, and where before there was ecstatic joy, there now is hesitation and doubt. My dw didn't want to believe she was pregnant until she was acting all wonky (vacillating emotionally, and also craving a Whopper from Burger King - but we're both ardent vegetarians!). I asked her to take a pg test - which came out positive! Even so, we waited to tell anyone until we were "in the clear", i.e. further in to this pregnancy than the previous one and we had heard the heartbeat at the midwife's office. Now, we're 23 weeks along and the baby is quite alive and kicking strongly almost every day - a little reminder of our blessing each and every day.

Fatherly advice, hmm... Stay positive. That's hard to do, though, because both dh and dw are dealing with the issue of loss. Because we had a natural miscarriage, I was able to dig a grave and physically bury our first child's remains, and have a funeral of sorts, which helped my dw and I let out our grief together. Not all of the grief, but some. Of all things, don't harbor grief, it needs to run its course. I found grieving alone helped me, and when I felt it well up inside, I simply let it come, experienced it, and then experienced it as it left me.

The more grief I let out, the stronger I became, which was a blessing because my dw was absolutely flat on her back exhausted with all of the changes taking place in her body. I believe that having her stay in bed pretty much nonstop for three weeks while I did all of the cooking and cleaning helped her heal more quickly than anything else; she needed her own space to think and rest and grieve as much as I did. Meeting her needs also helped me in a positive way, offering aid when it was truly needed.

Most importantly, though - stay positive. Miscarriage happens, and I learned that is as much a part of life as birth and each of our eventual deaths. Since our miscarriage, so many older parents with beautiful, healthy, happy children, have told us about their experiences - One miscarriage before their first child, three miscarriages before their first child, four children and then two miscarriages. For whatever reason, the time was not right for that child to come into the world, but that doesn't mean that the time will never be right. Don't take it personally - nothing that either parent did could have prevented the miscarriage. Life goes on, and so must we. To everything there is a season.

Once dw is feeling better, the desire may be to ttc immediately. Doctors don't recommend this, but that's only because they want to be able to date the pg from the date of her LMP. Do what comes naturally - it worked for us.

My personal sympathy to your brother-in-law, I know how hard that is.

love & peace. ~f.
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#3 of 5 Old 07-26-2005, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. I wish there had been more replies to this. He could really have used the support, but as we all do, he managed to find his way through it. The next challenge will be when they conceive again. Any advice for him on how not to drive his (soon-to-be) wife crazy with panic would be of assisstance in the future.
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#4 of 5 Old 07-26-2005, 04:53 PM
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(Please read my entire post and understand I am talking to the man in this case as a friend I might talk to and know that some of the things said could be nitpicked to seem like I'm an uncaring jerk. I am very sympathetic to this situation.)

I'm sorry for not responding. I sort of felt it was inappropriate since I hadn't been involved in a pregnancy with miscarriage. What I was going to post and what I will post now.

It came to mind "It's ok for you to be emotional too" Too many times, I've seen it happen where pregnancy, birth, and the depression aftewards are this woman issue that men aren't able to do anything about rather than pull their hair out not being able to solve a lot of problems and not being able to vent their own frustrations (Oh, you are upset? Just listen how upset I am!). There are a lot of emotions that build up. It's ok to be upset, it's ok to voice your frustrations, sadness, anger, and all that. This has taken a lot of work from me to be able to do. For so long, I sat idle with emotions and let them sit inside and it just made me bitter and resentful. (about lots of issues, not just involving my wife and family)

It's great to be supportive, it's great to be an emotional rock, but you are allowed to be sad too and to voice it.

I know it would be rough for me. I again know this might not be the voice of popular opinion but whenever a tragic event happens surrounding my life in whatever capacity I take the appropriate time to grieve and discuss it and let the emotions out but it's important to "move on" Please understand what I mean by that. By move on, I mean every waking moment can't be spend in sadness and sorrow and all discussion can't surround it. The first few weeks I can understand it, but it's important to get back into having a good time with life.

It's easy to get into that downward cycle of "Bad day today, worst day tomorrow" when sadness overtakes you. Please don't take this as "No big deal, get over it" I'm not saying that at all. Grieve, mourn, come together and press on. It's a sad day, it's a horrible horrible thing to happen, but let life push on after the appropriate grieving process happens. Remember in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams gets in Matt Damon's face and tells him repeatedly "It's not your fault" Well "ITS NOT YOUR FAULT" It's not anyones fault. Unfortunate things happen in life, but don't hold guilt that it was anyones fault.

My thoughts are with you. The grief will never pass completely, but don't let it consume you or your marriage. Time has to press on when you're ready for it.
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#5 of 5 Old 08-04-2005, 11:53 AM
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For future reference, these two threads:

Are among the most powerful I have ever read on pregnancy loss and trying again.

The short version of the story is that Wilkers8's first son died in utero. She journaled regularly about her feelings and the events that followed. Her second son was conceived shortly after, and she also journaled about her feelings through that pregnancy and birth.

You can do a search on her posts to find more good threads on the subject.

I had an early M/C years ago and didn't recognize what it was at the time. I always had weird periods. But it stuck in my memory because I felt sooo sick. I just thought i was sick, *and* having a really messed up period. Much later, when PG with my second child, i was looking up m/c symptoms because I was spotting and worried. I read a description of one woman's actual experience of an early m/c and it was like a page from my own diary. I mean there was *no* doubt in my mind about what had happened.

When I found out, I grieved hard for months. It added a whole new level of terror to my pregnancy, and my husband just couldn't understand why I'd be upset over "a bit of tissue that was expelled years ago" :'-( I really got stuck in that grief for a long time, because i wasn't allowed to express it, and he didn't share it... couldn't even comprehend it... it was awful.

Through a thoroughly bizarre series of events, I ended up leaving my husband (for lots of other reasons, but his lack of empathy there sure didn't help), and my girls and I are now with the man I conceived that first child with 9 years ago.

I didn't intend to tell him about that first early m/c, but it ended up coming out anyway. He totally empathized, and grieved with me. We both still carry a lot of sorrrow. Not just for the child we lost, but for how our lives would've changed if I had ever even known I was PG back then. It was a lot *more* grief when it was shared like that, somehow, but it was a lot easier to live through, too.

He and I have not started TTC yet, and won't until custody issues with the kids' dad are settled, but we will, and I'm sure we'll be frantic. But at least we'll be sharing our grief/fear/stress, and I know one way or another, we'll make it through.
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