The day I found out I miscarried the world around me vanished. The doctor's words and condolences and explanations came in and out of focus as I tried to digest my reality: a positive pregnancy test, an ultrasound, and no heartbeat. My 2-year-old daughter sat beside me in my mother's lap while I sobbed and as my provider talked next steps. Once I got home I wanted to be left alone, but my partner knew there are some grown-ass things a partner says to his partner after a miscarriage... things she absolutely needs to hear.
At first, my partner didn't say anything at all. In our silence, curled up in our bed, we mourned together. While he couldn't understand exactly what I was going through, he sympathized as best he could and tried to support me by simply being present. That presence was very necessary, too, because I was scheduled to have the D&C the very next day. I wanted to bury myself in a cocoon and shut everyone out, but my partner wouldn't let me. He was there, with me, in sorrow.
He'd lay his hands on my shoulders and look at me with kindness and compassion in his eyes. He knew when to say the words I didn't know I needed to hear, and when to simply sit quietly and let the space between us hold our pain and frustration and anger. We had never experienced a pregnancy loss before, but his support was innate. He knew me, his person, and because he knew me he knew how to comfort me.
I endured another pregnancy loss before my son was born, and in those moments I held onto the things my partner said after my miscarriage. I knew that while pregnancy is often unpredictable, and loss is painful, we were going to make it through together. So with that in mind, here's what every partner should say when their person is facing a similar pain:
"I'm Here For You"
Sometimes simply knowing someone is there for you can be the difference between feeling like you'e all alone and realizing you have all the love and support you need. There were times when I didn't believe my partner and didn't want to hear how "there for me" he was, because I was hurting so profoundly. But he didn't stop telling me that he was present and going to see me through this loss. He didn't stop telling me what I so desperately needed to hear.
Our marriage survived that pregnancy loss because he never stopped trying.
Make no mistake, suffering a pregnancy loss is no one's fault. There's nothing you, or your partner, could've done.
But for me, personally, hearing my partner simply say that he was sorry for the situation I was forced to face, sorry for the pain I was feeling, and sorry for the loss I felt, was helpful. He couldn't understand exactly what I was going through, but that loss impacted him, too. He didn't say sorry for something that wasn't in his control, he simply said sorry for what we were both dealing with... together. And that helped me remember that the pregnancy loss wasn't my fault, either.
"I'll Take Care Of Everything Else"
When you're mourning a loss, you don't want to think about, well, anything else. Simple responsibilities like meals, laundry, and errands get in the way of self-care, and at a time when it's most critical. Having a partner who understands that you need to focus on yourself and, without prompting, takes the wheel on the day-to-day dealings of adult life is something every person grieving deserves.
"We'll Keep Trying, If That's What You Want"
My partner didn't ask me if I wanted to try again immediately after I had miscarried, because that would be insensitive and he knew better. When I was processing the pregnancy loss the last thing on my mind was another pregnancy.
But the decision to try again was an important conversation that needed to happen at some point, and I'm thankful that my partner was strong enough to bring it up at the right time. By being in tune with my emotions and handling the topic with care, he reminded me that our journey wasn't over.
"You're Not Alone"
The most important thing every grown-ass man should tell his partner who's suffered a miscarriage is that she's not alone. Ever. Reminder her that while you may not completely understand what she's going through, you're there for her in whatever capacity she needs. If she needs to laugh or cry or scream at the world, you'll be there to laugh with her or wipe her tears or help scream into the void. You won't judge, you won't discount her feelings, and you won't disregard her needs.
At the end of the day, you can't take away what happened, but you can be there for her. And that's what matters.