We Didn’t Cope, Our Relationship Didn’t Survive.

Losing a child has to be one of the hardest things for a couple to go through. Someone that was part of each of them and that was to be part of both of their lives has gone so suddenly and they each grieve differently for the same loss.
From my observations this can do one of two things to a couple, it can either bring them closer together, a shared experience, a need to protect each other and look after one another, or it can drive them apart, fuelled by misunderstanding and fear of the future.

My experience is that it has driven us apart.

Initially it brought us closer together, the actual birth was a bonding experience for us, but soon after that the cracks began to show. In the days and weeks that followed I withdrew emotionally and started being practical about things, doing what needed to be done. It’s how I’ve always dealt with things – I set my mind to the funeral and what I wanted, thinking about who I needed to talk to and what I needed to get, he withdrew and didn’t want to think about it. Ignored that the funeral had to happen and preferred to pretend that it didn’t. To me that felt like he was ignoring what had happened and leaving everything to me. At that moment in time we needed each other more than ever but neither of us could be there for the other.

After the funeral we pulled ourselves together and pulled together as a couple. I moved out of my parents house into the house I had bought before we got together and had been renovating in time for our baby’s arrival, but he refused to move in until it was completely finished, so I moved into what was once meant to be my family home on my own. I found this hard to understand, I expected him to want to move in, after all it was him that wanted to get engaged a few months into our relationship, and he who wanted to have a baby with me in the first place. He had started to change even then.
Initially he spent his days off work at the house with me, this was nice, we got to see more of each other and got to know each other again. We had both changed through the experience we had been through but we seemed to get back on track, we even decided to get a cat, a fluffy baby, something to fill the silence of the house, something to pour our affections into, but soon after we got her I fell pregnant, and from here on out our relationship fell quickly and irrevocably apart.

We agreed, after the postmortem results revealed my Antiphospholipid syndrome potentially caused her death, and we had established that this was treatable, that we would try again. I was nervous, not wanting to replace my daughter and wasn’t sure how to feel about trying again, he, however pushed for it and I fell pregnant after just three months of trying. I couldn’t believe it could have happened so quickly, but asked him to bring me a test and sure enough it instantly showed up positive. I was over the moon as soon as I saw the line, all worries bubbling to the surface but well overshadowed by the sheer joy of the little life that was already growing inside me. I bounded into the lounge instantly to tell him, expecting a reaction to rival mine, to be met with stony silence. He literally didn’t react to the news. No congratulations or are you sure or even a smile. He sat. His silence hit me like a wall. I was totally shocked at his reaction. He had been the one pushing me to try. I wasn’t sure I was ready, but I was pregnant so I had to be! I left him sat there so I could ring my parents hoping someone would be excited, and they didn’t let me down, they were over the moon that they were to be grandparents again, and hopefully this time hold their grandchild. My fiancĂ© remained sitting not saying anything.

That simple non-reaction was the beginning of the end.

From then on he stopped coming round every day off, I’d be lucky if I saw him every couple of weeks, he didn’t tell anyone, not even his best friend, I was pregnant until I was 20 weeks and even then it was a small Facebook announcement whereas I’d been putting up every scan picture everywhere I could, desperate to enjoy every minute of this pregnancy knowing all too well it could end any minute.
He didn’t seem keen with coming to early midwife appointments either and decided to leave it up to me to tell him whether he should come. I told him that wasn’t on and from then he decided to come to every one but I never felt like he was actually there, he didn’t listen and didn’t seem to care. Midwives and doctors picked up on it when they asked us questions and he had to ask them to repeat themselves or refused to ask questions.

I have now reached 7 months pregnant and we have drifted so far apart I cannot see a way back. Our two year relationship has fallen apart. On the anniversary of finding out we had lost our daughter we lost our relationship.

Miscarriage has slowly broken our relationship. Grief has festered around it slowly breaking down everything we had. How we dealt with my rainbow pregnancy was the final straw, our grief made us see it differently and that stopped us seeing eye to eye. I needed to be a mum to this life growing inside me. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was protective of him, I wanted to shield him from his dads unexcitement. I need this little baby, not to replace my daughter but I need someone to love, he said he did too, but when faced with the reality of another baby he couldn’t cope with it. Only time will tell how he will cope when Jackson finally arrives, whether he will step up and be a dad or whether he will back right off unable to cope with the fact this child is not Effy-Mae. Either way me and my little man will cope, we will be just fine together, a continuation of how it has been the whole pregnancy.

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  • An 'Angel Baby' is a baby lost during pregnancy or early childhood, who sleeps in the clouds instead of our arms.

    A 'Rainbow Baby' is a baby born following the loss of an 'Angel Baby', a beacon of hope after a storm, while not denying the storm happened.

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