A Tale of Miscarriage, Abortion, Financial Stress and… Love

This article is cross-posted from Daddy Files, at which the terrific Aaron Gouveia writes regularly.

A year ago we discovered something was wrong with our unborn baby. It was a roller coaster ordeal that culminated in a showdown with religious anti-abortion protesters on the worst day of our lives. The day we lost little Alexandra.

On an otherwise sunny and beautiful day in Brookline, my wife, MJ,  had the life sucked out of her. Literally and metaphorically. Hearing that our baby had Mermaid Syndrome was bad. Being told she was missing kidneys, a bladder and other vital organs was awful. Having to make the nightmarish decision between a stillbirth and abortion was unfathomable. But the completely unnecessary and unprovoked verbal attack from total strangers was the crushing and cruel blow that sent us over the edge.

I dealt with everything by writing it all down and turning to all of you for support, but MJ suffered in silence. And things didn’t really improve.

Severe financial troubles plagued us. MJ’s medical problems and certain conditions (which I won’t go into here) worsened. We thought things turned around in January when we discovered MJ was pregnant again, but fate is a fickle little tramp. Another miscarriage. MJ had to go in for a D&C, which is never a pleasant experience. Then, last month, we discovered there were leftover remnants which caused a hematoma. Lucky MJ, that meant yet ANOTHER procedure. Which, in turn, translates into a delay of at least three months until we can even think about trying for another baby.

In fact, when I thought about the last four years, I came up with a shocking fact I hadn’t really considered: MJ has been pregnant five times in four years, during which time we’ve lost four pregnancies requiring just as many D&C procedures.

That absolutely blows my mind.

Seriously, it’s enough to make even the strongest among us curl up in a ball and give up. Which MJ and I have both considered at various points. But as hard as it’s been for me, it’s been worse for MJ. Her medical conditions make it so damn hard to function on a daily basis, nevermind work at a demanding job and take care of Will, me and the house. She handles all the finances and anything that requires paperwork. She does everything, which can really take a toll.

Things bottomed out six weeks ago when MJ had to take a leave from her job. I have to admit, I was worried about her because at that point things really could’ve gone either way. The time off could’ve helped her or she could’ve gone insane and spiraled so deep into depression she wouldn’t be able to recover. And that scared the shit out of me because she’s been close to that point in the past.

But once again I was reminded to never count my wife out.

She fought back the only way she knows how: a little bit at a time. She is getting the help she needs and she scratches and claws on a daily basis just to have a fairly normal day. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s ridiculously difficult. Yet even during her own personal battle, she’s remained a fantastic mom to Will and I still hold the title of “World’s Luckiest Husband.”

During a year of awful loss and trying times, it would be easy—even understandable—to dwell on the bad times right now. But instead,  I want to tell my wife I love her. I think she’s incredible. And I’m constantly amazed by her strength and resiliency. As shitty as this year has been, the tough times can bring out the best in people. And my wife is, by far, the best.

I’m proud of you baby. So proud.

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  • rebellious-grrl

    I had tears in my eyes after reading this. Your wife sounds amazing and you are amazing for your unconditional support and love for her. I hope things will get better for your family and MJ’s health will improve.

    Thanks for sharing your story and video of your confrontation with those wack-job anti-choicers. When I watched the video I cheered you on! You were much more composed and articulate than I would be in that circumstance. Every time I see those screaming nut-jobs in front of clinics I want to stop and scream at them too. I just hope the woman in the video will think before she curses and condemns women.

    Stay strong!

  • beenthere72

    Ditto.   What an amazing and supportive husband you are.   I wish your wife good health and future “success”.  

  • lindzanne

     You are turning something incredily painful into a story of strength and hope, and I personally thank you so much for offering something so personal as a testement to why our rights are so important.  Your wife has an amazing partner in you, it sounds like.  My good thoughts and prayers are sent your familie’s way, and may you both have peace and good health. 

  • jennifer-starr

    You are an amazing man and a wonderful husband.  She is so lucky to have you –you’re so lucky to have one another.I will keep all of you in my thoughts each and every day. 

  • blackkatya

    Wow. Your wife is a lucky woman to have such a wonderful husband. My best to you and your family.

  • ness

    Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. You and your wife seem very fortunate to have such wonderful partners, and I send positive vibes for whatever the future holds for your family.