This weekend a woman in my baby bump group expressed her sadness because this weekend would have been her previous pregnancy’s due date. She experienced a miscarriage last year. That particular pregnancy for one reason or another was not viable and resulted in the loss of a baby. She became pregnant again in the late fall and is due this summer alongside me.
The sadness of loss, the grief of losing the baby, is completely understandable. But, what seemed to upset her more was her husband’s lack of grief. “shouldn’t he be sad?” she questioned, “I wanted family time, and he wanted to watch the game”.
She wasn’t selfish in wanting some comfort in a time of sadness, but she was selfish in expecting her husband would express the same emotions. Our emotions are our own. No one else’s.
Then she said something that stood out to me. “Is this a burden women carry alone?”
Interesting thought. All our emotions are ours alone.
For most women, the “realness” of the pregnancy probably sets in much earlier than it does for men. For one, we’re actively affected from the moment we know we’re expecting. Our bodies are impacted and change. I stopped drinking, I changed my workout routine, etc. Dads — well dad doesn’t have to do any of that.
And for many men, that moment of “realness” may not come until there is a child placed in his hands.
In that way – yes this is something women carry alone. We view the pregnancy differently. The reality of what happened is closer to us. There is a slew of emotions a woman may go through when she experiences a miscarriage that a man simply won’t. She may feel she did something wrong, ate something wrong, wasn’t healthy enough.
That doesn’t mean a man won’t experience grief, or sadness, over a miscarriage. It just means he will experience it differently. He may grieve at the time of the loss and then not bring it up again. He may not allow his feelings to become outwardly visible. So as wives we may look at him as if he’s not feeling anything at all.
But do we have to feel alone? No, I don’t think so. We can always ask our husband for comfort. We are always free to sit next to him on the couch and say “Babe, I’m hurting will you hold me?” And I can’t imagine he wouldn’t.
Men are not mind-readers – we must ask for what we need sometimes
Men are not women – they will not express our emotions, and certainly not the intensity of our emotions.
Men do not carry the child – women carry alone.
Until next time,
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Image Credit: David D