John is Deirdre's husband (her story on the tab above) and he agreed to write for us about his feelings, fears and emotions going through his mind at that time. Thank you John!
I remember when D first told me that she was pregnant, I was so so happy, my mind was racing with the excitement of the news, rocking all over the world was playing on the radio! We had the pregnancy confirmed by the GP, and we bought books, read about what would happen at each stage and we waited for the rollercoaster to begin.
Unfortunately this rollercoaster turned out to be a rocky road. When D rang me from work a few weeks later and told me that she thought that she was miscarrying I was shocked. I’d heard about miscarriage, but to be honest I wasn’t too worried. We went to the hospital for a scan, which I presumed would be ok. The doctor though said that the baby had no heartbeat and all we could do was to wait and see and for D to go home and rest. To days later however D unfortunately miscarried after resting, praying to God to leave our baby with us, feeling completely powerless and analysing every symptom. Leaving the hospital we were surrounded by new parents with their babies and I remember thinking how cruel it was to scan women with problem pregnancies in a maternity ward.
Our heads span with shock after the miscarriage. I tried to keep my spirits up for D, and everyone kept telling me to mind D, that we would have another baby, but the best bit of support that we got to be honest were people who said little but gave us hugs and understood our loss. We went to knock and I spoke to a priest there. I told him that I didn’t know if I was grieving a baby or an angel- the priest replied that I was grieving both, which really helped.
In the next few weeks D began to get on and off severe pains in her left side. Visits and scans back in the maternity ward revealed nothing. It was terrifying for me as I knew something was wrong, yet the doctors kept saying that she was fine. We decided to go on a trip to New York that we had booked months before. We travelled to the airport hotel separately. On the way I couldn’t contact D and instinctively knew that something was wrong. When I arrived in the hotel she told me that the pain was back, she doubled over in the lobby. We rushed in the car to Beaumont Hospital where they sent her by ambulance to the Rotunda Hospital. I followed in the car terrified. When we arrived in the Rotunda they did a scan and we were told that D had an ectopic pregnancy- a twin to the baby we lost a few weeks earlier. I didn’t think at this stage of another loss, I was just worried about D as it was clear that she was very ill. I walked with her while she was wheeled to the operating theatre. She was wheeled into a room there and left on her own, I went in after her because I didn’t want her to be all alone. When the nurses arrived I left the theatre. I walked in a daze to the pro cathedral and have never felt so alone and terrified in my life. It occurred to me that I might never talk to D again. I rang our families, prayed and had masses said.
When I arrived back to the Rotunda D was returning to the ward. The surgeon told me that all had gone well and that I was a lucky man that my wife was still alive. I was hard to balance how lucky I was yet how unlucky we were to lose 2 babies in one month. In the following weeks I tried to bottle it all up, stay strong for D while she was recovering, and while people meant well their sometimes poor advice and clichés did not help at all.
At Christmas time we received a silver angel Christmas tree decoration from the Miscarriage Association in the post. One night looking at it it started to spin and shine really brightly. For the first time since our losses I started to cry- for our little twins and for relief that I still had my wife with me. The words of an old teacher came to me - tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it.
We have experienced more miscarriages since but are blessed with two wonderful children. I will never ever forget our little angels and my heart will always be with them.
Going through something like this as a man is very hard. Men are meant to be strong, to not show their emotions, so I am sure that the support offered by Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland will enable not only the women going through an ectopic pregnancy but also their husbands/partners. Our strength is in sharing.
If your Husband/Partner is happy to share id experience, we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org