Ali, I just can’t imagine at all what you have been through. I’m so so so sorry. I am thankful that Ryan’s story has helped you understand your husband better. That grief gap is so very hard. Much love, Rachel
I recently read your wife’s story when a friend posted it on Facebook. I related to it so much that words cannot really explain. At the end of her blog, there was a link to your story. I then read it. It connected to my heart like nothing I’ve ever read before.
My husband and I suffered a miscarriage in the very beginning of our marriage. I was very young, 17 years old, in fact. He was 21, and in his first year of enlistment in the Marine Corps. We had gotten married on his 10-day leave after boot camp. And we were IN LOVE! I had never had much of a strong family. But once I took him into my heart fully and completely, I felt like I had finally found that family I had been longing for my whole life.
He left to M.O.S. school (job training for the Marine Corps.). He was only allowed to come home for a short period during Christmas of 2004. I had originally thought that was the time that we conceived our first child. However, it must have been on our wedding night. 😉 I found out I was expecting on New Year’s Day (January 1st, 2005).
I felt so terribly guilty after a night of partying to find out that I had a little life growing inside of me… I was also afraid to tell my new husband. Because we had never discussed having children. We knew we both wanted them one day. But this seemed a bit early in our young marriage for this to be happening. I knew I didn’t have much of a choice though. He had left to go back to M.O.S. school already, so I had to tell him over the phone. His initial reaction was “OH S#$&!”… Which didn’t offer much comfort to me at that time! (I was eventually able to laugh about it.)
Over the next few weeks, he grew used to the fact that we were going to have a child. He even seemed to be becoming excited. Everything was going great, all most too great. I wasn’t sick, felt great… I even had more energy than I usually did. I went to the doctor, who figured I was somewhere between 8-12 weeks along….(I figured about 9, because I know when my husband had been home!) a few more weeks past with no incident… I forgot to mention that I was still living with my Mother and Step-Father, (both of who were involved in drugs at the time and weren’t very stable) but I didn’t have much of a choice. I was only staying there until my husband got stationed somewhere and we could get an apartment to move into.
One day, I came home to my parents in an argument.. A pretty heated one at that. I slipped into my room at the back of the house. A few moments after I shut my door, my mother burst in, crying uncontrollably. She told me to pack a bag that my Step-Father no longer wanted me in the house. The way he seen it, I was a married adult and I did not belong at home with my mother. I had been paying rent, working a full-time job as a carhop at Sonic… All while I was finishing my senior year of high school. This was absolutely and totally unexpected. I was blind-sighted by this. I had no place to go… I had no clue what I was going to do.
So I left my room to try to reason with my Step-Father about this. I was going to try to get another month to stay in their home. I would have been leaving Oklahoma to go to North Carolina within the next month and a half. So I figured if I could squeeze a month out of him. I’d be able to figure the last 2 weeks out. My Step-Father was obviously not his normal self. He was visible shaking, angry does not even begin to describe it. I should have known better than to approach him while he was in this kind of mood. But hindsight is 20/20….
What I thought would be a civil conversation turned into a screaming match between the two of us. I told him I would leave, quickly packed a small bag of clothes, toiletries, etc… I grabbed the keys to my car and headed out the door. (Let me say this before I tell you what happened next) my parents had bought my car for me on my 16th birthday. But only under the agreement that I paid them back… Which I did.. And in full. This was the reason I was working a full time job on top of school. I had just put new tires on my car also. But the car was in my parent’s names because I was still under the age of 18. When my Step-Father noticed that I was leaving…in a car that was in his name. He immediately got even more upset. He stood in the door way, not allowing me to pass through to the outside unless I handed over the keys…I felt trapped.
I didn’t know what to do. No place to live, no car, no family around to help me figure this situation out… I was scared. And when a teenager is scared, they freak out. And freak out I did. I screamed and yelled and tried to shove my way through the door with keys in hand. He was not going to allow this. The way he seen things, this was his car, it was in his name, and they could sell it to make money… (Most likely for their drug of choice, Meth)…. So in an attempt to get the keys from me, he shoved me down the front steps of our house. Which was about 5-6 steps, if I remember correctly… It could have been more.
I landed face down in the yard. That also meant I had landed on my stomach. I immediately felt a sharp pain in my abdomen. Which made me cry out for my Mother. My Step-Father, who was obviously high on something, seen my Mother rushing to my side, and he apparently did not like that she was taking my side (at least that’s how he viewed her actions)… He shoved my Mother out of the way, hauled his leg back, and kicked me right in my stomach. All I can remember is the Steel Toed Boot that he wore making contact with my body. I didn’t feel much pain, everything went blurry… I’m still not sure how long I laid on the ground in my parents from yard, bawling uncontrollably…. Once my Mother could get to me without causing my Step-Father to become anymore angry or upset, she came and laid down beside me. I couldn’t move. I could feel a wetness on my legs,back, and lower stomach… I had started to bleed. And it was a lot of blood….
By this time, my Step-Father had gone. But before he left, he disconnected the batteries and some other parts of the cars in the drive. My Mother called one of her friends to come get us so we could go to the hospital. Once I got to the ER, they immediately got me to the back to see the doctor… They took blood… But I didn’t need a blood test to know. To know that I had lost a child that I had not yet had the joy of holding, the joy of seeing for the first time on an ultra-sound. I had heard the precious heart beat. But only once… I wasn’t sure how I was going to tell my husband… I was scared… I decided to wait until the doctors could confirm what I already knew in my heart. I made the decision to not tell my husband right away due to the fact that he was already under a huge amount of stress from the military job and training…
I returned to the hospital 3 days later to have more blood taken… The results revealed what I already knew. I had lost my sweet child. All at the hands of another person. A person that was supposed to protect me as his own. A person that to this day has still not apologized (10 years later)… That night when my husband called, I broke the news to him. He didn’t say much, that he was sorry that I had lost the baby..I remember so clearly what he said…”I’m sorry you had to go through that…but at least you weren’t very far along… We can have another.”
He was very angry about how my parents had treated me. But it didn’t seem like losing the baby was the biggest loss in the situation to him. We hung up after a very short conversation. About a week and a half later I flew to Fort Knox to celebrate the first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife…. I was met at the airport by a taxi service that my husband had arranged for me. After the 45-minute drive to the Base where I would see him for the first time since it happened, our eyes met, I immediately felt better… But it was short-lived. He looked different, worn down and tired. But seemed his normal self all at the same time. His attitude and demeanor seemed to be the same as always. He was loving and kind. And had a lovely, romantic weekend planned for us… I tried my hardest to enjoy it.
But in the back of my mind, I was angry! No… I was outraged! Outraged that he didn’t seem to even remember that we had just lost our first child. Outraged that he didn’t offer any condolences for what I had just gone through… The last night I was with him that weekend, we laid in bed talking about the future… And how he thought we should start to try for another baby. This made me even more furious! How could he just get over it so quickly? Did it bother him at all? How could he want to have another child so soon? It felt like the life I was still mourning, didn’t have any meaning to him at all…. I never said anything about how angry it made me or how badly it hurt my feelings….
The next year we were blessed with a daughter. A perfect, beautiful, and healthy little miracle.. She was what pulled me out of my funk. A funk that I feared would never go away. I am not saying that she took the place of the child that I had lost only a short time before. But she definitely filled a void. And I was grateful. Our family had begun.
But I never understood how my husband could be so cold about my miscarriage.? He never talked about it on his own. And when I brought it up, he would cut the conversation off as soon as he could…. 10 years have passed since that terrible day. The day I lost a child, a part of me that will never be replaced or healed. Its a scar on my heart that will forever remain. My husband left the Marine Corps., we had our second child (third in my eyes), our son, who is more wild and wonderful then I could have ever dreamed him to be!
He and I started our careers, bought 2 houses, started a business… we have continued to live our lives as we planned… I never understood why my husband could have been so rash about my miscarriage. But after reading your story Ryan, I began to understand why he may have been so withdrawn. And now I see. He was mourning the loss of our child too. It was just in a different way than I did….
Losing a child is never an easy thing. Whether it be a miscarriage or abortion before the child is physically on this earth, or if a child is lost many years too early. I am glad to share my story with the world. Maybe my experience will help someone else as you and your wife’s story helped me. It helped me to understand a man I have know for 12 years and married for 10. I thought I know everything about him. But men are as much of a mystery as anything I guess.
Thanks for offering a safe haven for people to share stories like this one. It means more to me than words could ever express.
Ali’s Story: Abuse results in a miscarriage and a grief gap with her husband