by Sam Holt
There seems to be a conspiracy of silence when it comes to miscarriage. It's just not something that women or men seem to talk about. The reality is that miscarriage is very common and if you talk to people who have had children most will have experienced a miscarriage somewhere along the way. Miscarriage is most often a result of serious chromosomal abnormalities and not a result of something the mom did or did not do.
Loss of an unborn baby often affects men and women in a very different way especially if the loss is in the early stages of pregnancy. Having interviewed hundreds of new dads around the world it is apparent that a loss in the first trimester of pregnancy is nowhere near as traumatic for a man as a woman.
This comes down to the fact that from the time a woman knows she is pregnant she will start thinking about the embryo as a real person -- one with a face, fingers, toes and a name. Guys on the other hand are more likely to be thinking about how their life is going to change or just be in complete denial that there is a pregnancy in motion!
Loss in the second half of pregnancy can be equally as traumatic for men as it can for women. Not only do men feel a sense of loss themselves but they also need to deal with their grieving partner and for many it can be a very tough time.
My wife experienced a miscarriage after the birth of our first child. It was in the first trimester and we found out at the first ultrasound when the sonographer was unable to detect a heart beat. Excitement quickly turned to despair and it was a very unpleasant experience walking back through the waiting room full of pregnant women, paying the bill and heading off home.
For me -- I was disappointed but not upset but I did find it difficult to know how to comfort my wife who was very upset at our loss.
For men dealing with our first miscarriage, we need to take into consideration our partner and ourselves.