Thoughts on how you and your partner grieved differently

It’s time to start talking about how your relationship was affected right after your loss. We’ll revisit this several times, as new mamas come in and out, and we’ll also look at how things changed as the days and weeks passed.

I wrote this right after Casey died.

On our first night in Galveston, the lead story on the news was a baby who had been abandoned by her mother shortly after she gave birth to it in the hospital. They showed the baby, wiggling on a white blanket, so totally unaware. I wanted to go get it. It was so terribly unfair that she could have a normal happy baby and just leave it.

Rats. Now I’m making myself cry. We went to the gym last night and I weigh exactly what I did at the doctor on my last visit. I can’t believe it. 20 pounds overweight and no baby.

John and I got in several fights on the trip. We never fight, so it was terribly frightening. I felt like my world was cracking around the edges and falling away in dry, crumbled pieces.

Those of you who don’t know my story can read it here.

So tell me — how did you and your husband/partner/baby’s father act differently in the first day or two after your loss?


14 thoughts on “Thoughts on how you and your partner grieved differently

  1. Jackie

    In the first couple of days following our loss, we were both going through the motions of our lives, like nothing had changed. We both knew it had, but were both trying to stay strong. After the funeral, and after my family left (they live out of state), I was lucky enough to have gotten a full 6 weeks off after delivery. I read a lot of books, cried alot, and rarely left the house. My husband, not having the luxury of having time off, went back to work, and it made me feel that much more alone. I knew in my brain that he was having a rough time, but it didn’t FEEL like he hurt as bad as I did. I felt isolated, from the world, from everything, even from him. Luckily, I started to really SEE and UNDERSTAND some of the things that I was reading in the books. We were headed in a bad direction. I saw that, and I changed it. I quit blaming him for being able to be ‘normal’. I realized and acknowledged that he was hurting too, but was trying to stay strong for me. Once I realized and got past that, we were able to grow closer together. I never truly saw him break down until our daughter’s 1 year angelversary. We went to the cemetery, and he couldn’t even get out of the truck, he was just bawling. I knew at that moment, all the things that he had gone through over the weeks/months that I couldn’t hold myself together. Luckily, we were able to acknowledge the differences in how we handled our emotions, and learned to make it work.

      1. Jackie

        I will have to look when I get home. The book still sits on my headboard, even though I don’t think I’ve opened it in 2 years. It was a compilation of interviews and stories from other women that had experienced miscarriages. There were a couple of other books, but that one in particular really seemed to hit home.

  2. Nicole Larson

    We were both in so much shock. My son died in my arms and all I could think was I don’t ever want to let him go because that will be the last time I ever hold him again. My fiance Larry never held Laniel while he was alive because he was to scared due to all the IV’s and tubes. We took all day to say our goodbyes, let our family say their goodbyes, and walking out of the hospital without Laniel in our arms was the hardest thing we have ever done. Larry was alot more emotional, which made me feel guilty. I wondered why is he able to cry, why is he able to show his emotions, ect. I was raised by men, told to stop crying the second I started then in the Military you don’t want to show emotions either…so it’s never been part of my character to wear my emotions on my sleeve and Larry was able to do that so freely. We did argue about how each other grieved, we were both so emotionaly exhausted that we got angry at each other from doing it differently than the other one. Days passed and we slowly became more aware that it was natural to greive so differently, and it didn’t mean one of us was wrong or the other was right. Now three years later we have an amazingly strong relationship due to everything we went through and overcame.

  3. Kim

    I think my husband was able to grieve in a more healthy way–he was sad and cried, of course, but he stayed so strong for me. I fell apart and plunged into depression, especially with our first loss. Also, I became obsessed with getting pregnant again right away, while he wanted to take our time to physically and emotionally heal between losses. Except with our 3rd loss, after our healthy son: I grieved appropriately instead of getting so depressed, and we both decided to try again right away–I guess after 4 years of marriage, 2 losses, and a healthy son, we’ve grown more alike.

  4. Rocelyn Parker

    When we learned that our child no longer had an heartbeat that had crushed us both which we did stand by each other thru the ruff parts my husband still dealt with his greif differently he was home from Iraq alright and then find out he lost his child he withdrew from us and wanted to be alone while I on the other hand sought out counseling for my relief so eight months into it we found out we were expecting but to our surprise we lost him as well so were both doing the counseling and now we can talk about it some it hurts everyday to look at my husband and know how bad he wants a child cause he don’t have any which I do have three who are allready grown and teenagers so yeah we have our moments of ups and downs but were in it together.

  5. Raelynn

    He showed no emotion. I cry on an almost daily basis and spend a lot of time in online support groups. He says it bothers him but he feels everything has a reason. I still miss Carson. I wish I could hold him. Even typing this has me bawling again.

  6. Sarah

    My husband has been amazing. Before I found out I was pregnant, we were having a lot of problems… I felt so disconnected from him, I actually told him to pack up and leave (that and he wasn’t working). But when I found out, I realized that at least part of my feelings were hormonal (with good reason though, honestly). When I told him I was pregnant, something clicked in him, and he realized how important it was to him to have a family, and he busted his butt and got a job. Then when I lost the baby, he was as heart broken as I was. We cried, I cried, he cried, and we cried…

    As a little memorial for the baby, I bought a candle and put his name on it (Rory) with the word “remember” and we light it when we are feeling sad. He lit the candle more often than I did (he gets home from work and a lot of times it was already lit when I got home) and I found that touching. We also had a teddy bear we had bought for the baby, and he put it on his desk, and I’d find him with it a lot.

    Seeing those things helped me realize that I wasn’t going through it alone, and we leaned heavily on each other through our grief. We are now closer than ever before, and our relationship is stronger than ever before. It’s like we got to know each other on a totally different level.

  7. Ariel Callaghan

    I don’t know why, but this is really hard for me to write. I’ve been trying to comment on this post for a week, and I haven’t been able to. I’m not sure why.

    When we lost our baby, I cried for months. I went through all the stages of grief, I wrestled with my guilt that this was somehow my fault. My grief was very vocal and always present in the front of my mind. I was always talking and thinking about the baby and coming up with new ways to remember and honor him. I had a terrible fear of forgetting this little angel.

    My husband was mostly silent. Outwardly, he seemed the same as before the loss, but I know he cared, too. He told me once that he knew he loved our angel because he would have done anything to save him. He only cried twice that I know of: on the night of the loss and at the burial. He cried in the car on the way over to the church, and I remember being deeply touched by his tears. He cried in the church during the burial, and I will always remember the hug he gave me during the Sign of Peace. So I know he loved the baby, even though he didn’t grieve the way I did. Once he even told me that he asks our baby in Heaven for help sometimes, as I do. That meant a lot to me.

  8. AJ

    The day our miscarriage was declared …it was in two-stages on 4/4/13. We had to have a 7am ultrasound at the hospital and then we had a follow-up appointment at the OBGYN at 5:20pm to accommodate around my work schedule. (No one at work knew I was pregnant and I planned on keeping it that way). I asked the technician at the ultrasound if she would tell me what was going on. “Just tell me if there’s a fetal pole or if the sac is empty, please don’t be silent like the emergency technician a week ago.” The sac measured 6 weeks and 2 days on 3/28. The technician was kind and let us know that the sac was measuring the same size as before: 6 weeks, 2 days….and turned the monitor around….empty sac. When we left the office, my husband and I had to go our separate ways to work.

    My husband cried on his way to work. I tried not to feel anything. It couldn’t be real yet. I even told my husband, “let’s just hear what the doctor says.” While I had known for weeks that it wasn’t going to work out I just couldn’t believe it yet.

    At the OBGYN office, we were both a nervous wreck. I was very on-edge. When those words came out of the doctor’s mouth, “from the point that that miscarriage is declared which is today…”, I couldn’t keep it together anymore. I broke down. When we finally left the office, I was hysterical in the parking lot and my husband wasn’t even sure I should drive. “I just want to go home,” I said.

    My husband cried again on the cry ride home, but was calm when he arrived home. From then on, he was the strong one. I am still not sure he’s let himself totally grieve, because I was such a mess. We went onto Facetime to call my sister and later my mother that same night. None of the family knew we were pregnant and both of these women had experienced miscarriages, too. My husband called his parents later. Everyone was in shock.

    Over the month of April, I was in constant tears off and on. All triggered by different things. My husband would cry occasionally. But for the most part we were just trying to function.

    On 5/5/13, on a spur of the moment thing, we planted a tree in our yard. I tried to keep it together but I asked my husband if I could bury the pieces of my hospital bracelets with the tree. It seemed to feel like as we buried the soil around the tree, we were burying our child in the ground.

    Now my husband makes sure “Scarlett” the oak tree is watered. He spends more time caring for it than I do…maybe because I know it’s his way of “taking care.” Because in the midst of the miscarriage there was nothing for him to do; he couldn’t change what was going on. We both felt powerless.

  9. khrissycm

    On 4/15/2013 I had my stillborn daughter at 26 weeks. She was 9inches 14ounces & was a beautiful baby girl. She is my 3rd loss. My two losses at 15 & 16 weeks we’re tough but for some reason her loss has torn me to pieces, not one minute passes without me either crying out thinking about her. I’m so eager to get pregnant again.

    My husband for the first 2 losses rarely cried but was very understanding to my feelings. For my recent loss, he cried almost everyday the first week after her passing. He named our baby girl Sophia Cruz & signed us up to do the March of Dimes walk in Nyc on 4/28. We couldn’t go to her funeral because we didn’t have any money to pay for one and had the hospital arrange for her to be taken to Potter’s field, where she is placed in a mass grave. That broke out hearts more so doing the March for babies walk empowered us. Having my husband grieve with me helped me so much, but after the 28th I haven’t seen him cry but when I do he consoles me & reassures me everything will be okay.
    I been sobbing all day over her items the hospital have me as keepsakes. Its been a little over a month and I’m hoping the pain goes away and we will be blessed with a healthy child. I have pcos so aside of having a successful pregnancy its hard for us to conceive. Within 4years I have got and lost 3 angels. I’m praying for my rainbow baby.

  10. Cathy

    We were in shock and numb for days to find out where there was a heartbeat just 2 weeks earlier there was no more. The pregnancy itself had been a surprise, we weren’t trying and were using BC. As soon as the shock that we were expecting wore off, the excitement started, after all it was only slightly earlier than we had planned by 1 year. Just days before Christmas we found out our baby had died in utero. We cried together, laughed together, and not once did we fight, even though our pastor had said that may happen, no blame was ever layed with anyone other than a very uninformative cold ob-gyn who could have better prepared us when she suspected something was wrong but didn’t tell us earlier! Friends and family held us up, support came from the least expected places. Question for all though and maybe Deanna you can help with this, how does one cope on the day that your baby was due to arrive? Thanks for all you do for Moms of angels!

  11. Shyla Ducharme

    We were in so much shock. My husband cried the night we found out, and again at the hospital saying goodbye but that’s it as far as I know. I cried every day all day and all night for an entire month. After that it was just when I went to bed for another entire month and then my crying became more sporadic. Our “thing” became holding hands as we fell asleep. I could not get myself calmed down enough unless he held my hand while we fell asleep. We ended up taking a 30 day vacation to Thailand to lay on the beach and relax which really helped.