When enough is enough
It might be a coincidence that it's Friday the 13th, but I doubt that by now. This morning my wife woke me up: "Honey, I'm bleeding." It indicated what later today turned out to be her fourth miscarriage in two years. There are no words for our emotions: anger, sadness, despair, disbelief, fear, and whatnot.
During the day, my emotions race; more anger, hope, more disbelief, frustration, pain. "Not again!?" "We don't deserve this." It's a crazy train of thoughts that takes my focus off things for hours. But then, around two o'clock, another feeling develops. I feel alone — a lonely man with his grief. We haven't shared the news of our latest pregnancy with anyone. Thus there's no one with whom I can share my worry. Also, I don't have someone on speed-dial in the same situation that can ease my mood.
It seems like my wife has a whole support group that knows what it's like to have a miscarriage; a sister, mother, best friend, lady she happened to meet, and an old friend that has walked an even more impossible road than us, and her list goes on. To me, it feels like there's no male person I can talk to that really understands my situation.
Don't get me wrong; my friends are super supportive. Each in their way. They show empathy, try to cheer me up when I'm sad, and tell me it's OK for now if I have had enough.
I cannot be the only man that is open to others about this shitty childless situation, who is willing to talk the hard talks and confront his pain. I have Googled my ass off looking for information, places, or tools to find some meaning or a road through the murky waters of hospitals and endless waiting. But I haven't seen anything substantial that soothed my mood.
So, today, I decided that enough is enough.
I am going to build that place for other men. I'm going to write down what I think makes sense on this road towards having a baby when things don't come naturally. So that other men, especially those that are just starting their journey, will have at least some information to base decisions upon. And mostly, have someplace to go to while their female partners walk their road. So that amidst all the waiting and uncertainty, know that they're not alone.
What I'd like to build
Over the past two years, I learned the hard way about the process of getting pregnant. We've been hopping hospitals and seeing a plethora of doctors. Heck, we've even consulted specialists in two other countries because their approach is different from the one used in The Netherlands. And nothing so far brought us what we've wanted for so long: a healthy baby. Alive and kicking. But it taught me a lot, and that's what I'll try to share in the near future.
I'll try to cluster the information around four topics. What I learned about
- the process of getting pregnant;
- the biology of the human body;
- what can go wrong when trying to get pregnant;
- options you have to try to influence things for the better.
All of these topics have influenced my relationship and messed with my emotions somewhere over the past two years. To be honest, I'm not even close to fully being able to deal with it all today. But since it seems there are like a gazillion places for women to go to with their problems and there seems to be none for men, I can at least start to share what I think might help you out. Maybe someone else that knows better will come along and help us all move forward.
So, this is for the men struggling to make sense of it all,
the men longing,
the men endlessly waiting,
the men having no clue whatsoever,
the men being cursed at thanks to hormones,
and for the men that need a good laugh about all the shitty situations life can put you through when having a baby isn't going like you would.
This is for the Not Yet Dads.
Ps. Dads and Not Dads are very welcome along the ride. Ideally, I'd like all men to be in this boat together. Hence, www.notyetdads.com. Let me know if you've got tips, a story to share or any other input, I'll reply to every email.