A Daughters Miscarriage through the eyes of a Father
In 2019, our daughter, Kristin, came into our room one night crying and waking us up to tell us she was pregnant. Kris was scared and didn’t know what she was going to do. Kris’s mind was going a mile a minute, what am I going to do about daycare, how am I going to work, and am I going to be a good mother? Now on the other hand, I can’t tell you the excitement Kim and I felt when we found out we would be grandparents for the second time. We knew that all the feelings Kris was having were normal, but to her, she was overwhelmed and pregnant.
On March 15, 2019, Kris had her first sonogram, and I was given a picture of it. My heart was filled with so much love for this tiny little being that hasn’t even been born yet. To me he/she looked like a tiny little peanut. On March 27, 2019, I went with Kris to her doctor’s appointment, as she came out, she had the biggest smile on her face as she looked as happy as I have ever seen her. I was so excited for her. She said to me “Dad, here is your grandchild and it’s heartbeat is strong, everything looks great" as she handed me another picture of the baby. This picture was so much more defined, I could see its tiny little face and what looked like little buds that would be its arms. I was beaming with love and pride, and I couldn’t wait to meet this little person.
A couple of weeks later, we met the father’s parents for lunch and Kris was happy, but she didn’t seem like herself. This would be the father’s parents first grandchild and they were so excited about becoming grandparents for the first time. They would have been great grandparents; they are such nice people. After lunch, Kris told me she felt like she wasn’t pregnant anymore and of course I told her your fine, you’re probably just tired – how wrong I was. A few days later I received a call from Kim at work telling me that Kris had lost the baby. I was devasted, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could God take my daughter’s baby? Kris was doing everything right, taking her vitamins, not drinking alcohol, and taking perfect care of herself. I was thinking this can’t be happening. My first thought was, ok, this is a dream and I’m going to wake up in a minute. This was no dream; it was a f^&&ing nightmare! I have pictures to prove this bundle of joy is alive, damn it, this is not happening! When I got home, my heart was crushed when I saw Kris, it was all I could do not to burst into tears. You know being a guy and everything I couldn’t breakdown in front of Kris, she needed me, she needed someone she could lean on. I’m her father and I’m supposed to be able to fix things for her and make her life easy – not this time!
As my girls were growing up, I would like to think that I was able to fix most of their problems, my secret to fixing my girls problems was always a hug and let’s go to Dairy Queen to get a blizzard, or off to Friendly’s for hot fudge sundaes. Ice cream fixes everything, sure, it’s good for scraped knees, someone hurting their feelings, and even a breakup with some dumbass jerk, but I knew ice cream wasn’t fixing this. Kris and I went outside, and she just cried her little green eyes out. For the first time, I felt helpless. I couldn’t help her, I didn’t know how to help her, so I just let her talk and cry. She was asking questions like “Why did God take my baby? Why does bad things always happen to me? Why doesn’t God love me?" I got scared when she said “Dad, I don’t want to live anymore, I want to kill myself” As my eyes started to leak, I had no answers, my little girl was so hurt that she didn’t want to live anymore. I was scared out of my mind that when she went to bed that night that she would kill herself, I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I would listen for noises from her room because hearing her crying meant she was still alive. Little did I know at this time it was only beginning, and I was clueless.
The only thing that made Kris smile was seeing my little buddy, Charlie. Charlie has this incredible instinct to know when you need a hug and his words, “Aunt Kristin, I love you, it’ll be alright” as he was hugging her it was too much for me. I had to leave the room to let a little water out of my eyes. There were times I would have to go somewhere and let my eyes leak, but I felt I had to do it alone where no one could see me leaking. I had to be strong for Kris and everyone. I thought that if I didn’t cry and I was strong they would be able to tell me anything and I would be able to help them. Looking back, I probably should have let my eyes leak with Kris, I think she may have thought, “Dad doesn’t care, he doesn’t even cry." I was just as lost as Kris was, but I felt I had to be strong for her. I think I messed up there. Charlie was just what Kris needed at that time. It was the first time in days that I finally saw her smile. I’m thinking “good, we’re on way, things will now get back to normal” WRONG, what did I know?
I knew nothing about miscarriages or a woman’s feelings – clueless. Kris was still talking about killing herself and I had quite a few sleepless nights worrying about her. I would wonder “Is she ever going to want to live again and when will she hurt less?” When my daughter Samantha told us she was pregnant again we were so excited, but I wasn’t sure how to act around Kristin and I didn’t want Sam to think I wasn’t excited for her. As it was, I felt like I was walking on eggshells with Kris. I was afraid I would make her cry again or say the wrong thing. Also, I worried that Kris would start talking about suicide again. Kris did start talking about suicide again and I felt like she was mad at all of us, Sam for getting pregnant and Kim and I for being excited and everyone else just for existing. Kris would wake me up at night crying uncontrollably saying “My baby is dead, my baby is dead” I didn’t know what to do, what to say and it seemed like every time I tried to help Kris, I would say the wrong thing. I couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long for her to get back to herself. You would see glimpses, but she was just so angry and unhappy.
Kris would always say “You don’t get it do you, ladies that lose a baby can try right away because they are married, I can’t try right away, I’m not with the father” I’m the first one to admit, I didn’t understand why it was taking so long for her to get back to herself. I was worried she was going to lose her job, lose her friends, and lose her mind. Kris was just so angry at everything and everyone; I couldn’t help her. Kris was drinking more, she was lashing out at me and her mother, and it seemed like she just wanted to hurt Kim and me. It felt like she wanted us to hurt like she did, but she didn’t realize we hurt as much as her, but she couldn’t see it through her grief. I felt like a failure of a father, I couldn’t help her, she was a little out of control and it seemed like she hated me, but worst of all, she still wanted to commit suicide. Finally, she decided to get help and she was slowly getting back to herself. She wasn’t talking about suicide anymore, she was looking towards the future, and she was really trying to get her life back on track.
In October 2020, Kris decided to move to Tennessee, she said she needed to get out of Maryland, she needed a fresh start. Deep down I knew she had to leave Maryland, but I didn’t want to be the one to tell her “Kris, maybe you should leave Maryland” Kim, Kris, and I packed her up and drove her to Tennessee. Kris is as gutsy as they come. She knew no one, got a new job that she really didn’t know much about, got an apartment in an area that, well, didn’t seem like the best place to live, but she was looking for a fresh start and they don’t get any fresher than moving to a state you know nothing about. Those few days there with Kris went off without a hitch, Kim and I got her setup, and she was on her way to a new life. One of the hardest things Kim and I have ever had to do was leave our little girl in a city where she knew no one and didn’t know where the closest McDonalds was. As we were walking out the apartment with tears streaming down our face, we both knew that this was what Kris needed to do.
One day Kris will get pregnant and have a baby and she will be an exceptional mother; I pray for the day when she hands me that little bundle of joy and I look into her eyes, and I see happiness. My worst fear is that I will die before that happens, and Charlie and Benny won’t remember me, my goal is to live long enough to see all of my grandkids get married, have kids, and have a great life. I know one thing for sure, when I die, I will see three people at the gate; Saint Pete to let me in, my dad who I miss very much, and I will see that little peanut running to me with her arms open saying “Welcome Home Pop, I love you”
If you have thoughts about anything you can enter the miscarriage discussion here. It is open to anyone who wants to share and needs community.
Editors note: these are sonogram pictures I have never shared with anyone other than my family. I had thought they were all lost because in my grief I had gotten rid of everything. Forever grateful my dad held onto them.