'I tried to play the strong man when my wife miscarried – but I was crumbling inside'
Brett found it really difficult to talk about his feelings after his wife Alice miscarried
My wife Alice was about eight weeks after her first pregnancy when she turned to me and said she no longer felt pregnant. At the time, I didn't know what a rollercoaster ride was ahead of me.
We got married in May 2014 and fathered in October, excited about starting a family together. But our dreams were shattered when we visited the early pregnancy clinic and received the news that Alice had miscarried.
I sat by her side and didn't know what to say or do. I stared at her and watched her world collapse. It was absolutely overwhelming.
As a man, I felt that I had to be the strong one and be there for my wife. I tried it first when we both sat crying and asked why this had happened. Most of all, I thought that I couldn't protect her and that I couldn't protect our baby. I felt embarrassed (we'd already talked about names), ashamed, hurt, confused, and angry. In the Duchess of Sussex's heartbreaking report of her own baby loss, she mentions her husband's tears. I know these tears too well and I know the pain he will go through and which will stay with him.
Meghan wrote about Harry's pain from the miscarriage she suffered - Getty
But it's not a pain that we talk about as men. It is not a pain that we are asked about. Understandably, the focus is always on the mother. Everyone who supported us in our Bath home asked, "How is Alice?" But when my mother-in-law said, "How is Brett?" it meant everything to me. It was like confirmation that two of us were actually going through the grief process.
I don't want to take away from a woman's physical and mental agony of losing a baby. But it is so important that we realize that the male partner is also going through this mental agony and can struggle with it just as deeply.
When we suffered our second miscarriage a few months later, it was no different from the first. People tell you, "At least you know you can get pregnant" and "You can keep trying." But that doesn't help at all. It's like your loss doesn't matter - and we're talking about losing a child.
I have not spoken to my friends about the pain I was suffering from. I just felt able to share it with Alice, the person I was going through it with. And I couldn't find any support for men in my situation.
Brett, Alice and Emma, now three
It was only last year that I decided to speak out. I contacted the Miscarriage Association and asked if I could tell my story since no one had asked me to. Until then, I don't think anyone outside of my family had any idea what I was going through. I had kept all these feelings inside, mainly because there is still so much stigma about men and miscarriages. Nobody openly discusses the fact that men experience all of these emotions when they lose their unborn child; These men's grief can be just as deep. That you look your wife in the eye, see the devastation and know that there is nothing you can do about it, because you also collapse inside.
After a third miscarriage, our beautiful daughter Emma, now three, was born. But in April of this year, we lost another baby during lockdown just before our 12 week pregnancy scan. At this point, the partners were not allowed to be present at appointments, so I had to park Alice in a rainy hospital parking lot and give birth to our child alone. I was so emotional that I couldn't even drive and had to stop to cry. It was one of the hardest moments in my life. But again I didn't talk about the pain.
As men we have to start talking; to know that there is no shame
As Rosa Silverman says
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