31

His Loss: My Husband’s Take On Our Miscarriage

IMG_0054

 

This is a post I’ve been thinking about for a while now.  Loss, and the grieving process, is so unique– so nonlinear, so unexpected.  And it can be just as individual between partners experiencing the same event.  I asked my husband, Kyle Martino, to write his most honest, most unapologetic account of losing our baby at nine and a half weeks pregnant.  It was hard for me to read because it brought back the challenges of that time, both within myself, and between us.  But it’s real and beautiful.  And helpful, I think.  I hope it inspires some generosity of spirit, some empathy, some honesty in others.  This is his story:

“I lost the baby…”

 

There’s no way to prepare for those words. I was standing in line to check in to my hotel in Greenwich, Connecticut– the same mindless task I sleepwalk through every weekend– when my phone rang. When I heard those words out of Eva’s mouth, I sprung awake from my traveler’s daze. I was shocked. The first emotion I felt was Guilt. Of course this happened while I was away– every time Eva needs me most I seem to be on a plane or in a different time zone. Almost instantly after Guilt came Anger– her phrase kept repeating in my head over and over. I’m not sure if she kept saying it, or if I couldn’t hear anything else she said over that phrase echoing in my ears and in my soul. Years of shielding myself from emotional discomfort has trained me to move immediately to logic. And so I began the calming method of systematically breaking down the sentence I kept hearing over and over. “Baby…The Baby…lost the baby…I lost the baby… It was her fault. I was overcome with a quick wave of judgment and blame. Why did she let this happen? What did she do wrong? Why did she let me get on that plane? Anger– that hollow, pointless emotion was the shield I was holding so not to feel what I knew I couldn’t handle. Holding on to that Anger distracted me from the actual emotion I was feeling. The sadness. I wasn’t mad at Eva at all, I was mad that I wasn’t there in the moment she needed me more than ever. I walked over to a couch in the lobby and let this sink in. I began to cry for the first time in my adult life. (Yeah, don’t worry my therapist is all over that one.) I cried because Eva said “I”. “I lost the baby.” Of course she didn’t lose the baby. This wasn’t her fault. There was nothing she could do. In fact, she couldn’t have done more to make sure her body was the healthiest it could have been to nurture life. It broke my heart that she felt responsible in that very first moment of grief– and I didn’t understand why she couldn’t see what I did: that having a healthy baby is a miracle, and we can’t choose when and where that miracle happens.

These feelings continued in to the immediate aftermath of the miscarriage. While she re-wound the tape on her pregnancy and looked for errors, I appreciated her body for doing the right thing by closing the book on a miracle not meant to be. We were on totally different pages– which drove a wedge between us. It’s the same difference that existed when Eva was pregnant with our daughter, Marlowe. Eva made a connection with Marlowe well before I did. A tangible bond that only those two people can understand. Eva and Marlowe were Soul Mates the second she heard that heart beat, and if you ask Eva she would probably say even before that. If I’m being honest, I never really accepted that we were having a child until a third trimester ultrasound showed Marlowe waving at the camera. It hit me right there, in that moment, that I would be a Father– but Eva had long been a Mother already. When she called me with the shattering news of this pregnancy, she already knew her baby and had been taking care of it. In Eva’s mind she was already the Mother of two. That connection I was referring to, the bond, it was broken that day– and Eva was absolutely devastated. I know that losing our child was not Eva’s fault, but I understand now why she felt it was. Miscarriage, to the unlucky ones who have been through that heartache, is a very isolating experience. Eva withdrew for a while after it happened. I tried to be there for her, but I wasn’t able to relate to her specific pain. My heart was broken in a different way– and nothing I could do or say was helping. It was only when Eva decided to do something very brave in her saddest moment that the cloud over us was lifted. Eva decided she needed to talk about it…with everyone.

Eva told our story on her blog and put our heartache out there for all to read. When she first decided to, I thought it was a bad idea. I thought miscarriage was a rare misfortune and that the few who experienced it suffered privately with curtains drawn. As far as I knew, miscarriage wasn’t something you talked about. I mean, no one had ever mentioned to me that they had been through it. I had never read of someone’s personal experience anywhere. Was it really safe and smart to tell so many people such intimate truths about your pain? I didn’t voice my concerns with sharing because I had been so inept at providing support in those crucial moments so far– I knew I needed to support whatever desire she had. The decision had been made. She wrote it. Eva’s post went live, and we sat there silently. I could definitely sense that there was a weight lifted off her, but I feared the response could reverse the initially positive effects. Then, immediately, the support came pouring in. And I’m not talking about the “I’m sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine how hard that is” support– (although that was also very much appreciated) I’m talking about the “we’ve been there ourselves, we are here for you if you need us.” support. I was blown away by how many of her readers wrote back with their own deeply sad stories of pregnancy loss. Then, the phone started ringing. Some of my closest friends began revealing to me, one by one, their own experiences with miscarriage. These were people I spoke to every day, and I hadn’t had a clue. It felt so good to talk about what we were going through– and the fact that others not only knew what we were going through, but had found a way past it was so uplifting. What had felt like an action that would add shame to our heartbreak turned out to be the most cathartic experience imaginable. I was able to be honest and talk with friends about the guilt I still carried for my earlier feelings of blame– the insecurity I felt about not hurting the same way as Eva did– the worry I still shoulder that it could happen to us again. A Community was started, a conduit through which Sadness, Regret, Hope, Gratitude and Love flowed freely. At our wedding, Eva’s Mom said something that really struck me at the time.   In her speech she told us, “We are your Tribe. Use us.” In the aftermath of our loss, we established a new Community– a kind of reformulation of our relationships with those already a part of it, and the addition of people met through our shared experiences.

We used this Community to get through the hardest moment of our marriage. I was able to access a lot of understanding through my discussions with other Dads, and Eva got a lot of strength from the strength of the women who came before her in their own grieving processes. The encouragement, compassion, and love we both received from some important people around us gave us the courage to turn back to each other for support and to heal the disconnect that was weakening our marriage. And as with many of our struggles, we came out the other side stronger together in our loss than we could ever be apart. I will never feel the same way as Eva about losing our baby. I have my experience, and she has hers. I have my process, and she has hers. I don’t think about it often– but Eva does. She thinks about the baby we lost every day. And so we move forward, two broken hearts on the mend– with a beautiful miracle of a child by our side, and one other just out of our reach.

 

– Kyle Martino

Share this post:

Leave a Comment:

31 Comments

  1. Shae wall says:

    This was beautiful thank you for sharing your side as s husband and father. When we lost our baby my husband probably felt same way but men don’t generally talk about it. Thank you so much because you’re right it’s not an I it’s a we and we all need to heal.

    01.21.16Reply
  2. Elizabeth says:

    I loved this. The journey is such a different experience for a man than a women and men are definitely more hesitant to talk about it. Honestly, it’s a different experience from one miscarriage to the next (which I pray will not be your experience). I’m so happy that talking about what you went through has been helpful to your family as I know it has been helpful to your readers. You have a beautiful family.

    01.21.16Reply
  3. Nicole says:

    Kyle, thank you for sharing you experience. My husband and I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks 1 year ago tomorrow – as I read your words I could not help but think how much my husband will connect with this. He tried everything to get through to me and could not understand why I felt like I had actually lost a child and why I thought about it every single day. It was not until he started talking about our loss with other couples that he began to understand. Thank you for sharing.

    01.21.16Reply
  4. Jennifer says:

    Beautifully written thank you so much for sharing and giving another perspective on a loss that is so hard for everyone to understand.

    01.21.16Reply
  5. Gianna says:

    Thank you for sharing that. And may I say what beautiful writers you both are.

    01.21.16Reply
    • Am says:

      This. I really loved this blog. I shared it on FB. 😉 I think you have a new follower too…

      03.04.16Reply
  6. Greg Fillmore says:

    Hello Eva,
    Thank you for sharing your husband Kyle’s perspective, and experience in relationship, to what must be the hardest loss, for two married people.
    I saw this humbly, but in many ways human beings are gods, in all lower case letters of course.
    Many of us (but not all human beings have the freedom to) have the ability to choose the person we desire to share the serious commitment of a life path journey together with. Most importantly two people are able to create a new human life. Following our words and the actions we choose toward ourselves and others, making a new human life is the most important thing that two people can choose to do.
    As any of us who have dated over the course of our lives, finding this journeying partner, sometimes is a VERY discouraging process. It is a lesson in failure, like when each of us FINALLY learns who to put together a full complete sentence.
    Our parents were probably thinking “Thank GOD we figured that out together!”
    When you do finally find that unique person who seeks to know the real you, the you past your symmetry (my word for outer beauty, outer beauty is literally a ‘mind trick’, you can do an internet search on how physical symmetry literally tricks the human brain, its fascinating), to find out the inner beauty, the ethics (goodness), reasonable compassion with empathy, as well as a reasonable amount of healthy greed (healthy reasonable ego).
    Many Americans, have challenges with that, underdeveloped inner beauty.
    Filmmaker George Lucas in a 1999 interview with PBS journalist Bill Moyers shared that in his Star Wars stories the Jedi is the extreme of compassion, the Sith are the extreme of greed, For George his question about this is (I am paraphrasing) how can each of us bring into balance healthy compassion, with healthy greed into our lives each moment of the day, so we can bring balance to the force in our own lives?
    It is a neat interview from Mr. Lucas, the anthropologist, who happens to be a film producer, director.
    Eva it is neat that you have a man in your life, who is mature as a man to communicate his feelings, about such a traumatic experience, that you two as well as your family are still enduring.
    The song Thank U from Alanis Morrisette, helps me when life is bringing on the road of life difficulties with challenges, and or loss.
    The harmonics of that song is uplifting, maybe it can be of some small help to your family Eva.
    I am finally able to make some gingerbread cookies, it has been too long! Someday I look forward to baking time, when I eventually find the woman who I choose, with her equally, we will paint nice colors, on each other’s hearts for life.
    For now thou, Alanis and some Emmylou (Harris) are the members of my baking team.
    All the best,
    Greg Fillmore

    01.21.16Reply
  7. Emilia says:

    Such a beautiful post on a non-beautiful topic. It’s refreshing to see someone writing about the effects of this on your relationship, and the strength and courage to move through it, together. Not all get the privilege.
    Many warm thoughts xo

    01.21.16Reply
  8. Dan Woog says:

    Kyle, I’ve always been so proud of you. But never more than today. Thanks for sharing your story. It will help untold millions. You and Eva are such class acts. Keep on keepin’ on. I am thinking of you.

    01.21.16Reply
  9. Riann says:

    Thanks Kyle,
    I’m not a parent yet but I’ve been told from my male friends how they feel about being a parent and when they get that “contact moment” with their kid, that it is very different from women. It’s very brave of you to share your own feelings of your grief, i hope that other dad’s read this and feel they are not alone. My best thoughts to you and your wife,

    01.21.16Reply
  10. Thank you so much for sharing this! I know it will bless so many people. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your baby.

    01.21.16Reply
  11. Ryan says:

    I can’t believe that as long as I’ve known you, and how much you impress me and inspire me every day, that you can still surprise me like you do. Tino, you are one of the most genuine and good-hearted people I have ever met. I love your honest account of your experience and am sure it will touch a lot of people. You and Eva are so true to who you both are and you both make this world such a better place. Thanks for sharing!

    01.21.16Reply
  12. Hannah says:

    This really touched me. I was surprised at how emotional I got reading this… to the point of tears. Thank you for sharing.

    01.22.16Reply
  13. Kyle, thank you for sharing with us. I’m so heartbroken for the both of you. You are both incredibly brave and honorable for sharing. I’m so sorry.

    01.22.16Reply
  14. Molly says:

    What you are doing here is so SO important. Thank you for sharing your story.

    01.22.16Reply
  15. Nicole says:

    Beautifully and honestly written. You’re brave to share your “side” of the story.

    01.23.16Reply
  16. Thank you so much to all of you for your heartfelt comments! Kyle wanted to also extend his thanks to you for the positive feedback to his story. We as a family TRULY appreciate all of the wonderful support from the Happily Eva After community!

    Love,
    The Martinos

    01.23.16Reply
  17. Cathi says:

    This is beautiful – I cried reading it (and I am not much of a crier) it took me back to 3 years ago when my daughter in law had 2 miscarriages within 6 months. It was devastating for our whole family (as it had taken 7 years just to get pregnant) but especially for my daughter in law and my son. It takes a toll on a relationship and it takes strong people to work thru it instead of running from it. You two sound like wonderful people who did just that. After a year, my daughter in law did IVF and it worked with one round and only egg implanted. We all know have a beautiful baby girl to love who is 8 months old. The scars of the lost babies are still there and always will be, but joy abounds! Thanks for sharing your story.

    01.27.16Reply
  18. Rach says:

    Sitting here with tears pouring down my eyes – thank you both for being so open and honest with your story.
    Much love to your beautiful family

    01.28.16Reply
  19. Amy says:

    I have had to tell my husband those same words, and will share this with him, your perspective and candid words impacted me deeply and know they will also help my husband. Thank you for having the courage to discuss a topic rarely discussed.

    01.31.16Reply
  20. Erika says:

    I have been a snapchat follower of yours for a while now, but just came across your blog today and I’m so glad I did because I needed this post right now. My husband and I lost our baby girl at 20 weeks, almost two years ago. We have had our ups and downs since then. At times it feels like we are so much closer because of it, but then at other times, I know that it is still something that we trying to over come day by day. He is not a man of many words, but reading this gives me a tiny glimpse into what he might have been feeling.

    02.01.16Reply
  21. Cat says:

    That was beautiful Kyle. I was lucky enough to have two daughters and when my first was born she was in the NICU because she inhaled meconium before I delivered. Like Eva I was certain I had done something wrong. If I had just gone in sooner, if I had just called my husband earlier maybe it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I still wonder about it and even when we were talking about the second I was terrified if ANYTHING felt off. Happily she was healthy as a horse and so is my older daughter. I hope you all are blessed with more beautiful babies – Miss Lowie is a doll – when the time is right for you both.

    02.08.16Reply
  22. Brandi Alexander says:

    Thank you for sharing your words Kyle. That was absolutely beautiful.

    02.18.16Reply
  23. susan says:

    It’s really nice to hear a father’s perspective on this topic and it’s so well written. Thank you so much for sharing.

    03.01.16Reply
  24. Tabby says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It brought back my allot of memories my husband and I went through when we lost our son at 35 weeks in Aug/2013. Holding our son then was very emotional… my husband is not a big “share his thoughts” person, so this gave me a little piece of mind. We now have our miracle baby boy 🙂 born 10/2014 as you can see we didn’t waste time.

    Thanks again Kyle for sharing your story!

    03.01.16Reply
  25. Shari says:

    How wonderful to hear a fathers perspective on this terrible event. I endured 5 miscarriages and was blessed with 2 healthy children. Each took its toll on my marriage. My then husband refused to discuss his feeling about the losses but I know he had to feel just as bad about it as I did. I came to realize that each loss was unavoidable and had they not happened I would not have the 2 beautiful children I have now. Knowing that I would not change anything.

    03.01.16Reply
  26. Beckie says:

    I have lost two babies. I think of them often. I release balloons with prayers written on them every due date. I expanded the miscarriage and loss section of the hospital library because they had nothing on the subject. I even tried to start a support group in our area, but people did not want to talk about their experiences. I still mourn, though I know I will see them in Heaven one day. My husband mourned differently. He made sure to be there for me and to not be there for me, as needed. He took care of our daughter. But he told me that he feels as a man it will hit him worse when milestones pass….16 years, Ollie and Quinn would have gotten their license…18, they would vote and start college, etc. Point being, we grieve differently. I wish he grieved with me as I do, but God made us this way. Perhaps it is so when one shatters, the other can pick up the pieces. If we both broke, who would pick up the pieces and who would care for our daughter, Hannah? Three months after my second miscarriage, I became pregnant with my son, Owen. I cannot imagine life without him. Though I am sad that I won’t meet Quinn until I get to Heaven, Owen would not have been born if God had not called Quinn home. I dunno, I’m just trying to think positively and I trust in His plan…no matter how painful the execution of His plan may be. Anyway, hope my experience helps. God bless you and your family…on earth and in Heaven.

    03.01.16Reply
  27. Wendy says:

    Hello and thank you for this story. My husband and I just suffered a miscarriage last Sat. Our baby was almost 16 weeks old and I delivered him as I would have had he made it to term. He was my husbands first but my 4th. It still devastated me to this day and it tore him up too. Our son was alive for two hours after he was born. I have never in my life experienced anything like this and he and I are coping the best we can. He has been my rock through it all, even though I know he’s hurt and devastated too. I’m just hoping our marriage and lives can recover from this loss as yours has. Again thank you for sharing your side, it helps me understand my husband and what he’s possibly going through too.

    03.13.16Reply
  28. Callie says:

    This is absolutely amazing. How brave of your husband to share his feelings this way. Thank you both for inspiring a change, a shift in thinking, starting a conversation, and creating a community of healing for all who have experienced this pain. Thank you. Thank you.

    11.10.16Reply
  29. Colleen Ohl says:

    This is so beautifully written – thank you for sharing your feelings so eloquently.

    03.30.17Reply