When word got out about the miscarriage a lot of people sent me some very nice messages. Most were concerned mainly with how Heather was doing, which I understood. She was the one who had to learn the baby inside of her body no longer had a heartbeat, she was the one who had to undergo the D&C, and she was the one who had to be sore and uncomfortable afterward. Despite this, a good number of people also inquired about how I was doing, and I really appreciated that. While the Mom has to endure the hardest part, a miscarriage is still very hard on the Dad.

As hard as this all was, however, it could have been a lot harder. After getting the news I found myself thinking in a very gallows’ humor sort of way, “If there’s one thing that prepares you for a miscarriage, it’s losing a child.” Yep. Losing Maddie definitely put this into perspective. But it still stinks. Especially when Heather and I spent so much time preparing for what our life would have been like after the baby arrived.

One of the ways we did this was by discussing potential baby names. We debated them (“What about Eleanor?” “Really? Eleanor Spohr?”), made lists of our favorites, then pared down our top picks to our absolute favorites for a boy and girl. Sadly, I’m not sure what will happen to those names now. Even if we do get pregnant again, there’s something about giving a future child a name originally meant for another that doesn’t sit right.

We also spent a lot of time wondering about the sex of the baby. We knew that this baby would have made us either the parents of three girls or finally given us a boy. Those are two very different kinds of families, and we talked late into the night discussing each:

Me: “I think a family of girls would be cute.”

Heather: “You think never getting to use the bathroom again would be cute?”

Me: “It wouldn’t be that bad.”

Heather: “Yeah, it would. I’m a girl. I know. You know what would be cute though? A boy.”

Me: “You wouldn’t think that if you knew what boys do in the bathroom.”

Heather: “Ew. Maybe just girls is best.”

I eventually got a strong feeling this baby was going to be a boy, and started to get excited about the prospect of having a son. Of course we’ll never know now if I was right, but part of me will always wonder. Was this pregnancy the son I was supposed to have? Or was it to be another beautiful girl?

The hardest part of this though just might be what it will do to any future pregnancy we may have. It’s sad/funny… when Heather told me she was pregnant I gave her a little speech about how she needed to enjoy this pregnancy. It would be her last, and since her previous pregnancies were so stressful, she needed to savor and enjoy the experience as much as possible.

And then this happened.

There will be no savoring or enjoying any future pregnancy. There will only be white knuckle fear the whole nine months. I’ve met some blissfully naive people who say stuff like, “I love ultrasounds! They’re so fun! You get to see the baby! How cool is that?” and I’m glad things have gone so smoothly for them. But ever since our first ultrasound with Maddie we’ve never been anything but scared out of our minds during an ultrasound, and that will never change.

I’m hanging in there, though. I’m doing my best to move forward and hoping that, with any luck, our hardest days are behind us.