When I got pregnant for the first time, it was after just a few months of actively trying to conceive. Our positive test came just in time to make a Christmas announcement to pretty much everyone who was important to me and my husband. I was only about six weeks along when Christmas came around, and we knew well enough that the general rule is to wait until your first trimester is over before telling other people that you're pregnant, but we also figured that we had a fine chance of having a pregnancy where nothing went wrong at all. Famous last words, right? In our excitement (and the convenience of having our loved ones assembled for the holidays), we told people.
It just so happened that we lost the pregnancy on Christmas day, making for a holiday spent in the hospital, followed by Chinese food that barely had a taste and an evening alone together. But by the time all ways said and done, we learned that your relationship after a miscarriage can be even stronger than it was before.
Despite the research that supports couples growing apart after experiencing a miscarriage, my husband and I never pulled away from each other. Just like parenting our son brought even closer together as a unit, so did experiencing the loss of our first pregnancy. While I probably felt it much differently than my husband did, as I sat listening to the doctor, my face puffy from a day's worth of crying and feeling so stupid in one of those hospital gowns that never freaking close properly, we still ultimately went through the loss together.
Because no one else knows exactly what you're going through when you survive a miscarriage, your partner may be the one person you'll feel most comfortable talking to about the loss and your feelings surrounding it. And since it's likely a new kind of loss for you both, there is a kind of "bonding" that happens as you try to make sense of it all together and move forward, both individually and as a couple. Here's how jointly navigating this painful experience can actually make your relationship so much stronger:
1. You Are Both Dealing With A Loss, Not Just One Of You
Yes, you may have been the one to go through the physical loss of the miscarriage, but you both lost your growing child (or whatever the pregnancy meant to each of you; it was lost). Dealing with that together, because you're the two people whom the miscarriage as impacted the most, can be a thing to bring you closer rather than further apart, as long as you let it.
2. It Gives Your Partner A Chance To Take Care Of You
There is nothing wrong with just giving in to your grief and allowing your partner to be there for you to the very best of their abilities.
3. You See Another Side Of Each Other
When I had my miscarriage, I saw a strength and maturity in my husband that I hadn't yet seen too often before that, and even then I realized how important it was for him to be able to show those parts of himself.
4. It's Likely A New Experience For You Both
As parents, my husband and I have grown closer because parenthood was something neither of us had tackled before. Likewise, if a miscarriage is something you and your partner have never suffered before, then you can very well grow closer because of the mutual experience. And, on the other hand, if you suffer multiple miscarriages (seriously, can I send you some chocolate, please?), your connection to your partner can be made stronger by the fact that no one else understands the complicated accumulation of grief, and the weird road of emotional ups and downs you two have been on together.
5. You're More Likely To Take A Step Back And Work On Your Relationship While You Recoup
While taking a break from trying for a baby and focusing on your relationship for a while might not be exactly what the two of you want to do right at that moment, the time when you're recuperating from a loss, before trying again (if you decide to), can be surprisingly important and valuable time spent with your partner.
6. They're Really The Only One To Talk To About It
As much as your friends and family want to be there for you, it just might not be happening. Your partner is the one who has felt this loss with you and for many women, they're going to be the best person in your immediate life to talk to about it.
7. Surviving The Miscarriage Could Make You Stronger As Individuals
Getting through the loss of a miscarriage makes you stronger in the end, and if you're stronger as individuals, think of the awesomeness you'll have between the two of you when you come together.
8. A Certain Unromantic Reality Comes Into Your Relationship
I'm all for romance and fairy tale stuff when it comes to relationships, but sometimes life events make you realize that coming down from your high horse of perfection is necessary to bring realism and real life into the dynamics of your relationship. And the thing is, that always ends up being infinitely more romantic.
9. You Learn To Show More Emotion With Your Partner (And Vice Versa)
Before my miscarriage, I had only seen my husband cry a few times. Watching your partner show emotion both physically and with their words is something to remind you of how raw emotions can and should be in a relationship.
10. You Get The Feeling That You Can Get Through Pretty Much Anything Together
Working through a loss like this is no easy feat for anyone, and if you're anything like me, you'll probably remember it on every anniversary of the day it happened (annnnnd pretty much every other day too). And that's totally fine. But after working through the initial feelings of loss, I could feel an air of optimism somewhere in there between me and my husband, that we could brave other hardships together and get through those too.
11. You Learn To Take Turns Taking Care Of Each Other And Being Taken Care Of
Like I said, there is nothing wrong with allowing your partner to care for you. It gives you a moment to allow yourself some needed weakness and vulnerability (which the strongest people know is necessary to regain new strength), while letting your partner feel needed and useful. And on the flip side, getting through a miscarriage hits different people at different times — there will undoubtedly be moments when you're feeling stronger than your partner, affording you the opportunity to take care of them in their too.
12. Your Partner Is The One Person You Won't Expect To Hear Cliché Condolences From
Chances are, your partner will be the one person who knows that it's best to just leave tired condolences at the door and just be there for you. If that means pigging out on pizza and ice cream while you do the Netflix thing, then so be it.
And if it means crying and talking it out with each other, then that's what they're there for too. And if they slip up and let out an "I'm so sorry for your loss" type of line, it probably won't sound so cliché and empty coming from them.