Pain of History
We’ve been trying to conceive for over five years now, and we’ve been through our unfair share of heartache, grief, confusion and anger.
As the man, it seems that I’m supposed to recover more quickly from the grief of miscarriage — the loss of our unseen child — yet the wounds have still to heal despite the years that have passed since the last one.
My friends would expect me to be “over it” by now. They don’t really ask any more. If they do, it’s superficial. I guess that’s just another stereotypical “man thing”.
I should be strong for my wife, and indeed I try. The pain ebbs and flows, but never disappears, for either of us.
I don’t have the biological attachment to the children we have lost, or the baby that is yet to come, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not involved; that I don’t ‘feel’ anything.
Anger at Others
When I’m not lost in my own grief, yet not in a good place either, I am embarrassed and shocked at my reaction to others.
I like to think I’m generally tolerant, yet when it comes to adults and their relationships with children, I turn into a raging bull.
Only in my head, of course, or under my breath. Perhaps occasionally out loud — yet so far I’ve got away with not upsetting anyone or getting myself beaten up.
The woman who aborts her unborn child because of inconvenience.
The parents who treat their children like scum.
Or who flippantly dismiss their life, their hurts, their fears, their achievements.
Who slowly (or not so slowly) saps away their life force.
Who complain about their kids — you know, you never had to have kids. I wish you hadn’t. How dare you treat them the way you do?
I would be much better a parent than you.
Of course, I’m always right.
And it’s totally justified for me to imprint my life upon theirs, and call out their mistakes — the ones I would never make — because of what’s missing in my own.
Sometimes, life seems to stand still.
Of course, all the mundane details continue, but sometimes it’s as if it passes in black and white.
I don’t try to waste my life.
I don’t say that a baby is “the answer”, and would make everything right.
We make the best of our lives — we enjoy them as best we can — yet there’s always an undercurrent of thought of what’s missing.
We walk the treadmill as others walk past.
One couple conceives, bears for nine months, has a healthy baby.
A second couple conceives, bears for nine months, has a healthy baby.
A third, and a fourth, and yet a fifth.
We watch them pass.
They look back with sympathy, even compassion, but they can do nothing but live their own fruitful lives.
We wouldn’t expect them to.
Yet it doesn’t make things any easier.
The medical farce
And we go for “tests”.
And “more tests”.
We are prodded, and poked, and sometimes patronised.
There are many hoops to jump through (they are kindly passed in front of our treadmill).
And it seems to make no difference.
And I wonder if I even have the strength to keep going to the hospital to see the consultant.
Does it even matter?
So we continue to ask “when?”
My faith is weak. Existent, but weak.
And I wonder how many other not-yet-dads go through this.
Month after month.
Year after year.
We have strength, yes, but it only goes so far.
We are called to be fathers. Good fathers. We can feel it in our whole body.
Yet, for now, we are still denied.
Does this confession ring true? Share, write about your own experiences and link them here. It won’t solve the pain but it may provide solidarity. As we wait.