The thrill of knowing you're having a child is the most overwhelming experience for both a woman and a man, especially your first. You spend hours talking to a growing abdomen, playing it music and just holding it. The excitement grows daily and your mind runs riot with a thousand different thoughts. Friends and family call daily, there is laughter, there is celebration, there is constant talk with your partner - there is so much love.
My son Charlie died. He died before I could look in his eyes and know he was my boy, before I could kick a football with him, before I could hold his hand while he looked up at me, before I could take him to school on his first day. Charlie died and the world around me fell silent. There were still calls from friends and family for a while, there was still drinking but not to celebrate, there was no more laughter, just tears - where could all that love disappear to.
How do you deal with all the feelings, the emotion, the loss? How is a man supposed to react? Isn't a man supposed to just move on? Where did my wife go? Where did my dreams go? Why is it so hard to drag myself out of bed each day?
Needless to say I didn't deal with the loss of my son Charlie, I still haven't dealt with the loss properly 13 years later. I have learnt however that men are allowed to feel the heart break of loss of a baby just the same as women and I now know that although it will always be painful it doesn't have to define you. Sands helped my wife a great deal, she dealt with her grief separately to me, I needed help too but didn't know how to get it even though it was right in front of me. I needed a hand to guide me but it never came, I think I needed another man to say it was alright. I can tell others now to seek help, find it, you really need it to help you heal.
Sands has a dedicated Men’s Support Line which is answered by male Volunteer Parent Supporters who understand the grief and confusion you may be experiencing, as they too have had a baby who has died Click here (http://www.sands.org.au/male-parent-supporters) to find out more