A Dad's Grief 

Ok so yeah I’m not a Dad, you caught me out! This is just my take on a Dads grief. I am not saying I am right in what I write it is just merely from my point of view.
I have to say that Ste has given me mountains of support since that fateful day. If it wasn’t for him I would have crumbled completely. He’s the reason why I managed to keep going and why we managed to arrange a funeral for Ethan.
Anyway this isn’t about me this time……
Now something you should know first, not only have me and Ste been together for a long time now, I have also known him for a long time and I have never seen him upset. Like ever.
I remember the day we found out, (at the first scan) my hand squeezed around his. I turned and looked at him, may be I was after re-assurance I don’t know. As I looked upon his face though I knew he felt the same as me. He didn’t have to tell me. We were petrified for our baby’s safety. Speechless and scared together, we raced to the next hospital. Ste drove in silence, I just held his hand. He was my husband and I didn’t know what to say.
After the second scan when we sat in the room, that’s when it happened, my husband was speechless and tears ran down his face. As I wiped my own tears from my face I looked at him and for once, I didn’t know what to say to him. He was as lost as I was, then he said it, he said what I was thinking…….”what did we do wrong?” (Or words to that effect) I wanted to say we didn’t but in that moment I honestly didn’t know. He was as heartbroken as me and I didn’t know what to say. I just wanted to comfort him, my poor husband next to me with his head in his hands, we were gobsmacked.
I don’t remember us getting home and I can’t imagine Ste noticed the drive either.
I remember him washing my new car for about 3/4 hours that week while we waited to deliver Ethan. He just looked so lost, he kept himself busy yes but it was like watching a robot. Going through the motions of heating up dinner and putting pots away. He was doing it but not really there.
Something that has upset me since having Ethan, not many people ask how the Dad is doing in all this commotion of your baby dying.
I mean yeah I carried Ethan and gave birth to him but my husband had to watch me go through all this, it must be awful.
I remember someone once said to us it was awful hearing the silence from his cousin who lay in the corner of the room. I agree. Silence from a baby is the worst noise in the world. My husband walked away as this friend said this to us. All he said was he’s wrong. Apparently when I left the hospital I screamed whilst I left my baby lifeless in a cot with a nurse I didn’t really know. May be that was it for my husband.
I can’t imagine what he must have gone through, whilst grieving for his son and watching his wife suffer along side him. People comforted me whilst Ste put the kettle on for people visiting.
My husband rarely talks about how he feels about Ethan, unless I ask him a direct question. I have to read between the lines so to speak and it does make me sad, however I do know this. My husband loved our son deeply and misses him just as much as I do. Apart from the fact that he’s his Dad he also has Ethan’s handprints tattooed on his chest, which to me speaks volumes. He wouldn’t do that if he didn’t care.
Watching my husband suffer as he did, more or less in silence was worse than hard, it was awful.
My husband carried our sons coffin on the day of his funeral. That to me. Is a real man, a tower of strength.
I love you Steven Shepherd. Thank you for your strength in helping me in our continued journey of life after Ethan.
To finish off this final blog, I asked my husband if he could share his thoughts and feelings. I asked him a few questions and these are his replies. The fact that my husband has taken the time and agreed to star in my blog really does mean the world to me.
How did you feel when you found out at the scan that Ethan had severe heart defects?
Wounded/devastated/numb. It was like bad dream, everything hazy like it wasn’t real.
How do you manage in everyday life when people ask you how many children you have?
I tell them I have 3 boys, 2 living 1 not. I’m not hiding Ethan and I’m not savings others feelings, whether that be awkwardness or sorrow to deny my son’s life. He was born and took a few breaths and he died. Sounds harsh wrote down but that’s what happened. He’ll always be my son.
How did you cope watching your wife giving birth to your son and afterwards?
Numb and in shock. The hardest moment of my life and I don’t think anything will top that. The sadness in her face and grief is something I won’t forget, even if I don’t talk about it, it’s something I live with.
What’s the most important thing to you since loosing Ethan?
Carrying on with life, yes we had a child who passed away and that’s devastating but life goes on and to not carry on would impact everyone around us negatively. Sometimes it’s hard, but I’m stubborn and push on, I’m not one to show my feelings which makes it easier as people don’t ask questions.
Anything else you want to add or advice for other Dad’s that have lost a baby?
Be strong for your partner and family offer support, try to carry on and don’t become distant. If you need to help and support don’t be afraid to ask, you can’t put yourself in a position where your mental health starts to be affected so swallow your pride and seek help if needed. Speak to friends and family and most importantly your partner – whilst this wasn’t something I did often the one or two occasions I did helped me.
Thank you for reading my blogs this week.
Emma xx

6 thoughts on “A Dad's Grief 

  1. Mummy of 5 miracles

    What an incredible man and my heart breaks for both of you. I just couldn’t imagine being in that situation but the fact you have each other is worth the world. I think too often people forget that Dads go through this too so well done on such an insightful post x

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