Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dad to Nathan William
December 18th, 2009
New Cumberland, PA

For many years my wife and I have been trying to have kids. We went to fertility doctors and my wife was diagnosed with PCOS which damped our spirit. We didn't give up and kept on trying. After a while we figured that it just wasn't going to happen. We went through a very rough patch in our relationship and even separated for a little while due to differences of opinion. We needed time to figure things out and if being married and having no children was right for us. We realized that our love was all that mattered and reconciled. We decided that it was easier to just not talk about having a child and we we about things without question.
Time went on and we thought everything was normal. My wife was getting irregular menstrual cycles, which is common with PCOS it's normal for a woman to miss her period. Ever since she was diagnosed this had been the norm. Months went by and then my wife realized that she had missed 3 cycles in a row and to us that was out of the ordinary because it was usually every other month that she missed. At that point we took three home pregnancy tests, all of which turned out positive. We called the doctor and scheduled a blood test to confirm. The blood test was scheduled for two days later.
The morning of the blood test, my wife was experiencing slight cramping, it wasn't severe and we thought it was just her body adjusting to the new life inside her. A few hours later I was taking a shower and my wife came into the bathroom with a horrified look on her face. I looked down and saw that her pants were soaking wet. I asked her what happened and she told me that she thought her water had broken. I thought to myself that it couldn't be possible, we had just found out that she was pregnant two days earlier and it was too early for her to have the baby now. At this point my wife started to have contractions and we knew we had to get to the hospital immediately. I called 911 and had an ambulance come.
We were transported to the hospital and the doctors examined my wife's condition never letting me into the room. My wife was scared to death and they didn't care that she wanted her husband, the father of this child who was in dire straights, in the room. My wife called for me, but the doctor still refused to let me in to be by my wife's side. The doctor came out and confirmed that her water had indeed broken and that she was in labor and that she was 26-28 weeks along and that there was no heartbeat. They moved my wife to the maternity ward. After being there for little more than an hour and a half, my wife gave birth to my son, Nathan, he was born still.
They admitted my wife for observation and they sent a social worker to talk to her about what just happened. Normally, when a woman has a baby the father is given some form of identification so that it is known that he with the mother and baby. I was given nothing to confirm that I was a daddy. The social worker talked with my wife and simply avoided acknowledging that the father, me, was there too. I was treated as if I didn't matter. I had just lost my baby boy and no one cared about how I felt.
The next day more of the same from everyone we encountered at the hospital. I understand that what happened to my wife's body was very traumatic and she needed special care to heal. What I didn't understand was the mental aspect. I wondered if anyone cared that I was in pain. I wondered if this was the way all men were treated after an event like this. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. Everyone asked me how my wife was doing with the loss, but no one asked me how I was feeling. Other than my wife and a few close family members, it seemed like no one cared that I was grieving. Unfortunately, I found out that most men are treated the same way I was and it made me very angry.
Since this happened, I've found that it's status quo to be concerned for the mother, but it's taboo to be concerned for the father because the man is supposed to be the strong one. For the last ten months, for the most part, my wife has been asked to go to functions about stillbirth and infant death. My wife has been comforted by many, many people, mostly women, who understand her plight; but when it comes to me, a father of stillborn loss, there's virtually nothing out there.
Hopefully, now that my story has been told more men will come forward and tell their stories. Ladies, please tell your men that there is someone out there who has been through this and is willing to listen. I am an advocate for all men, women, and children. I want to be a voice for the men of stillborn and infant loss. The loss of a child doesn't just happen to women, it happens to PARENTS, mothers and fathers. It's time for that to be acknowledged and for both sexes to be treated equally when something like this happens.
Thank you all for reading my story.
You can contact Brad at


Adriana Davies said...

SO BRAVE! Thank for for sharing your story and putting a face to other Men out there! I hope this will raise awareness!

Lara said...

I'm so glad you shared this story. Thank you.

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I think men need a voice about pregnancy and infant loss as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a dads perspective. I am sorry for the way you were treated.

Lori mommy to twin angels Kinsey & Kylee said...

Brad, Im angered that the Dr.s/hospital didnt allow you in the room-what kind of people are they-not only did you need to be there for your wife during this time, but for you-you needed to be there for you-to have the experience of your child-alive or not being born. I have your email and feel compelled to write you...uplifting you in prayer. Lori mommy to twin angels Kinsey & Kylee-January 27th, 2005

Courtney said...

*hugs* my heart goes out to you and your wife. I thank you so much for sharing your story and the story of your son.

Leslie said...

I want to thank you for sharing your story. I know it's hard for the Dad's to come out & share & I wish my son's father could do it.. it's really refreshing to see a father's perspective.

You ARE a father & I know your son has to be proud of you.

Erin said...

Thank you for sharing with us a father's perspective. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I can't believe that the hospital didn't allow you to be with you wife and didn't acknowledge you at all! I'm so sorry that you had to experience that.

I wish you and your wife the best.

Cat said...

I am so proud of you for speaking out! I know my husband has similar feelings. Thank you for speaking out!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story and most importantly your feelings. My husband was also treated like you were. We talked about the loss together but no one, doctors and nurses included ever expressed anything to my husband. He was hurting just like I was.

Dana said...

I am so proud of you and of course, I am so sorry about your little boy. It is terrible how you were treated at the hospital (our minister and the social worker). Most people were focused on me and just a few asked my husband how he was doing. I wish that healthcare professionals were more educated on how to deal with these situations, and to ask the Dad's how they are coping.

Thinking about you, your wife, and Nathan.

Elainna said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I wish more men were as brave and spoke out. I am so sorry for the way you were treated and for you and your wife not being able to comfort each other during such a tragic situation.

K said...

It is outrageous that you weren't even allowed in the room.

Men love their children just as women do. Men grieve just as hard. I am so sad that you were treated like that. Did you write a letter to the powers that be at that facility? If not, I think you should. It might lift a bit of the weight and it might lead to some changes that will spare another grieving father this additional heartache.

So sorry you lost your baby boy. :(

Haute Momma said...

So brave of you to share! I wish more men had the courage to recognize that they go through loss too!

BBH said...

I'm so sorry for your loss!

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