1. a dot or other small mark in writing or printing, used as a diacritic, punctuation, etc.
2. a very small part or quantity; a particle, jot, or whit
3. My third child
I struggled with what to write for number 3. It would not be correct to say Tittle was born, as he was technically a miscarriage. I've never liked that word miscarriage, but I'll save that for another day.
When we found out we were pregnant after the loss of Oscar and Bella we were around 4 weeks pregnant. When we looked up online how big a baby was at 4 weeks pregnant we found out they would be about the size of a period at the end of a sentence. My wife, being a fan of words, and me, enjoying trivia, decided to use the nickname of Tittle, as it is not a common word and is interesting knowledge.
It turned out that we were pregnant with twins, so the one Tittle became a Tittle and a Dot (as period did not seem like a good nick name for a baby). We lost Tittle a few weeks later, and that is the point of this post.
I didn't bond to the pregnancy the same way my wife did. Because of that I did not feel the loss the same way she did. At the time I didn't mourn the loss of my child; I feared the loss of my other child. It took me by surprise how hard it was on my wife. My thoughts were more along the lines of: at least we still have the one. I have struggled with that reaction quite a bit.
After the loss of our first twins when some one would say "you can always have another" I wanted to hit them. That is what made my reaction to the loss of Tittle even worse. I knew better, or at least I should have known better. That was my child that I lost, how could I not feel that loss? How could I blow right past it and only worry about my other child?
Things have changed now. It took until my son, Gus, was born for me to feel that loss. I think that similar to when my wife told me she had an ok day, I was able to let my walls down and grieve. Once Gus was here I could stop worrying about the pregnancy and reflect on what happened. I was finally able to grieve the loss of another child of mine.
Why do I put these walls up? It just makes the grief that much worse later on. Does not grieving the loss until months later make me a bad dad? I hope not. I try to not live with regret. Instead when I see that I was wrong, or not in the right place, on an issue I own it and try to learn from it.
An early miscarriage is difficult, even more so for mothers. Society does not see them as a big deal, and even caring fathers (I hope I could be described as that) don't always understand. I have heard it said that a women becomes a mother when she finds out she is pregnant, and a man becomes a father when he first holds the child. While that quote is not 100% true, there is some truth to it. So I ask mothers please be patient with us dads who might not get it right away. In time, like me, I believe most fathers will grieve that loss, even if it is differently.
It has been a much different road for my wife and me with the loss of our little Tittle. The destination was the same place though. We are both proud parents of 4 children.
Feel free to leave a comment. I would love to know who is reading these posts. Share this with anyone you think would benefit from reading it. If you are a father or mother who has suffered through loss, speak out and break the silence. The loss of a child will only remain taboo as long as those who suffer do not speak out.