Guest post #2: Doug speaks up

Doug’s been threatening to post to my blog for a while now, and tonight while I was at work, he decided to drink heavily and draft a post.  Since he’s more of an out-loud charmer than a writer, I’ve edited it for spelling and grammar, but left the content as close to the original as possible.

One request to my sisters in blogland: I don’t want your comments on this.  I want your husbands’ comments.  Girls, f you want to tell me how awesome and sweet and thoughtful Doug is, pick any other post of mine to do so – I’ll get the message.  But let’s leave this one to the men – they need those feelings of solidarity and compassion just as much as we do.  (And please encourage – nay, force – your men to read it and respond.)

I told Marie I would do a post for her blog; I always envisioned it to be in the later stages of the blog, a thank you to all her readers, all her friends that have been along for the ride.  So tonight seems to be that night.  So to start this off, I would like to thank everyone who has been there, and has helped her along the way. Though I may never meet some of you, know that you have friends in San Diego, who will gladly open their home to visitors or send an occasional chocolate bar!

One of the blogs Marie reads recently had her husband do a post, and, well, I have been thinking about it a lot – not only what he said, but myself in general.  Every story has two sides. Though I tend to always keep it to myself: I have never really opened up about the miscarriage. I have put it out of sight, out of mind, so to speak, until now.  So as I sit here with a rather large glass of Crown Royal and a beer chaser, I plan to go out of character, to actually talk (well type).

A monkey once said, “It doesn’t matter; it’s in the past!” Granted, monkeys don’t talk, and though Disney has done some magical things with talking animals, the past means more than that deranged monkey leads on.

My past isn’t perfect; my mom will gladly tell anyone I screw up more than most. In the same breath, she will say Marie is the best thing to ever happen to me, and, well, she’s right. Marie has been there for me always, and what this whole experience – if you can call it that – has showed me is that we are one hell of a team.

It didn’t feel like that in the car when she threw her phone; it didn’t feel like that when I couldn’t help her.  It didn’t seem right that I was helpless, to help the most important person in my life. For the past few years, I have helped where I could, being supportive, and recently making sure she does her blog every day.

That feeling of helplessness, even now, makes me sick.  Though it wasn’t my body, and I didn’t have the physical attachment to the pregnancy, which at the time seemed like a good thing, the aftershocks are what got me. Sorry, that’s not right: the aftershocks are what get me every damn time.

I never had a problem with pregnant women, other than the obvious, annoying, hey-look-at-me crap. Being happy for someone else wasn’t hard, with the exception of some personal cases. Then why am I so bent out of shape still? At first, it sucked, but I was fine. I could go day-to-day, and I could suppress what I needed to for Marie.  Since moving back from Seattle, it’s been harder to suppress the feelings: the jealousy, the rage, the selfishness. I make shallow comparisons to other Dads and want what they have. I often find myself thinking about how different everything would be. I don’t really show emotion, and on the inside, it’s tearing me up. I can’t honestly tell you the last time I saw a little kid in the store and not felt like I have been cheated. I look at the parents who leave the kid on the other side of the store to get something they forgot, and it pisses me off so much.  I don’t know why, but why wouldn’t you want to take your kid with you?  

I often wonder if it will ever go away. This empty pain of yesterday, yesterday being the day that Marie threw her phone at the dashboard. The day that my cocky, nothing-can-touch-me attitude went from who I was, to just a cover. 

Some days are better than others, like anything else.  Some days are struggles, where being locked in a dairy cooler and freezing is a relief.  It’s weird to think that everything could be so different if that past had changed just a little.

We’re more of a team today than ever, and part of that is because of you. Thank you again so much for being there, wherever “there” might be!

D.

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7 Responses to Guest post #2: Doug speaks up

  1. elizabeth bolton says:

    :). I know u said not to comment, but for one reason or another it made me happy to hear, uh read, from the man behind the scenes. Good things are coming your way.
    Elizabeth Bolton

  2. Jason says:

    Um, I don’t have a husband to make read this post, can I comment?

    Doug, don’t worry about “being a guy” and hiding everything. Part of being a guy is being human and humans have emotions. I think you expressed yourself pretty well, here, but I get the feeling this is just scraping the surface for you.

  3. Saundra says:

    Yeah, what about us that don’t have husbands?

  4. Shmerson says:

    Hi Doug.

    I’m very glad you wrote this, and I also think Marie’s idea is great- it think we husbands (and life-partners in general) to women who have been through MC tend to think a lot about our role as supporters- even though we don’t always know how to help, as you wrote- and forget that we also need to be helped.

    Since my post I have done another thing. I understood that the best way to help myself is to offer help to others. I posted a note on my facebook telling the whole story, emphasizing how bad the habit of not telling anyone about MC is. I wrote something like- if we don’t tell our story, there’s one less couple to help the next couple going through it. More than that- if we don’t tell, other couples won’t tell, and then the next couple feels they are totally alone, helpless, cursed with some rare condition that nobody knows of.
    We used to know about 2 women that had a MC. after we “told the world” we found out about dozens of others (not counting the blogosphere). it means people will talk about that only with someone who “joined the club” and that has to be stopped. And it can be, by talking about it with everyone who would listen. Why not? Think of you and Marie as a couple that will help any other couple. You two can now help so many, doesn’t that already mean you are stronger? And by accepting this role, you help yourself also.

    One last thing, and I quote you: “I often find myself thinking about how different everything would be”. My wife’s “due date” is about now. She had a tough night a few nights ago. Then, I had an epiphany: We need to remember that the world we are talking about when we think of “what could have been” is purely a construct of imagination. We have no proof. We think it’s just logic, but it’s not. The world in which my wife didn’t have a MC is as real and as relevant as the world in which there was an alien invasion three months ago. Both could have happened. Both didn’t. We don’t know what our lives would look like today had either of those things happen.

    But for some reason, we pretend we do. And we always pretend that the other world, the imagined world, would have been way better. In other words, we imagine an irrelevant world just so we could feel bad by comparsion . why are we doing that?

    P.S. mmm… Crown Royal…

  5. Mr. Milk says:

    Hey Doug,
    Glad to hear from you. I guess a lot of us husbands/boyfriends/whathaveyou are in the same boat. I agree that the worst part of all of this is the frustration, the sheer helplessness I feel when Cookie is hurting, when CD1 comes around again, waiting for our next appointment with the clinic. We haven’t experienced the pain of MC, but we’ve both experienced the ‘we should have had a baby by now’ feeling. This past Christmas was particularly bad, as it marked roughly a year since we began trying, and we felt like there should have been one more tiny person around the tree that morning, but he/she wasn’t there.

    Generally speaking, seeing a pregnant woman only sparks a tiny twinge of jealousy in me, momentary and fleeting. I beat myself up just a little bit for being upset by someone else’s happiness. I know that the Facebook updates, the friends of friends having babies hurt her more than me. There are times, though, where it all gets to be too much. Some months ago we were making our way through the rat maze that is IKEA, and of course right at the very end they make you walk through the kids/babies section. And there were so many couples shopping for cribs, and so many toddlers checking out ‘big kid beds’ or playing with the toys, so much ‘new family’ that I think both of us were close to tears.
    I’m glad to know that my wife has this support system; her fellow IF bloggers who let her know that she’s not alone, that others are going through what we’re experiencing. Thanks Doug, and the others who have written guest posts recently, for telling your versions, and for letting me know that I’m not alone, either.

  6. Elphaba says:

    Okay, I made Mr. M read this, but he’s being shy. I will get him to comment. Men!

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