How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

IOUD, Part Two

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Continued from IOUD, Part One

It was 4am. Staring at my phone, waiting for a text from Avara. Finn flopped around in his sleep almost as much as my mind jumped from outcome to outcome.

‘Gonna rest a bit until doc comes in. You gotta sleep. So wish we were home.’

With that, I gently fell over next to my son; his breath on my face washed away any energy I had left…

At around 7:00am, Avara crept into the guest room after her long night touring hospitals. I’d moved to one of the bunk beds so both me and Finnegan could sleep. When she slipped into bed with me, it almost felt like a dream. I opened my eyes and we looked at each other. What was left to say? Words would only be the spray off the waves over the tides in our hearts. So, we just held hands and closed our eyes once again.

We let it go.

If this is self-medicating, I DON’T WANT TO FEEL ANYMORE, GUYSSS.

We spent the next two days playing pretend and eating barbecue. Canceling the trip wasn’t something we could afford emotionally or financially. We did our best to enjoy the final days in Texas, and when I say “enjoy” what I really mean is eat quite possibly the best pie we’ve ever tasted in our lives from a small diner named Blue Bonnet Café. And by “eat” I mean “stuff four pies in our mouths.” Texas wins the barbecue and pie baking portions of our country’s beauty contest.

Avara’s pain subsided. I could tell she was trying not to think about being pregnant but I defy you to try ‘not thinking about something’ sometime. Good luck with that. She was kind of glowing over the idea of being with child. She wasn’t fooling anyone. I’m not even sure she wanted to.

Then we came home and made an appointment with our OB/GYN, the same man who assisted us with delivering our son. We needed someone sane enough to sort out the confusion. He’s dealt with pregnancies, birth and infertility for over 4 decades. To meet him, you’d think he was a cross between a mad scientist, and a kind grandfather. His competence puts you at ease, but his mind moves around in ways that are not easy to follow. The level of chaos he has to deal with on a daily basis is mind-boggling.

Avara did the battery of tests again. Her hormone levels had increased, but hadn’t exactly doubled. Apparently, as the pregnancy tissue grows, so does a specific hormone in your body. The rate of the hormone elevation is roughly double every two days. Her belief in her pregnancy, however, became exponential. She just kept telling me she could feel our baby, and didn’t need a blood test to confirm it.

This guy helped a lot. He’s a professional. Can’t you tell by his hat?

We came back to doctor’s office two days later to talk about the test results and what we saw and didn’t see. I don’t enjoy telling people what to believe and crushing hopes, but I was trying to be as pragmatic as possible. Looking too far into the future, with as uncertain a situation as this was, could’ve led to shattered hopes or unreal expectations. We had to take it one day at a time.

But I kept quiet, and spoke only when it improved the mood or brought common sense to the table. No point in being too chatty when you’re on a tightrope.

Avara took the day off work to come to this appointment. My wife wanted to see her little girl. She was in a fairly good mood. The office staff acknowledged that we were there for a consult and possible “D n’ C” (D & C for those keeping score at home), or as I like to refer to it, the Definitely Not Cool. Let’s call it that because if I call it anything else, including it’s clinical name, I may break this computer or drown in my own salt water.

The doctor came in for the sonogram. No baby on the screen. We decided to remove the IUD. It was still in its original home. We looked again, still nothing.

Now, this is the part where it gets tricky. What can we, human beings, rely on if not our own sense and intuition? Still, denial is a gluey substance. Facts these days can be used to paint any picture or sell any story. Avara seemed to know she had life inside of her. I couldn’t deny her that. But where was that life? Did it have a chance to thrive? And was there a life in the first place or had this all been a case of miscarriage followed by a body that was extremely receptive to creating a paradise for some lucky zygote?

Our doctor told us the Definitely Not Cool was the way to go. To his credit we’d done three rounds of blood tests, and ultrasounds. He had been more patient with us than most. He even consulted his partner on it and that guy was stunned we had waited this long. Our doctor explained that, by this point, we should’ve seen something conclusive. An egg sac. Something.

We let it go. We agreed.

Our transformer couch was still in bed-mode, so we took advantage.

Or rather, I let Avara make up her mind. We are a team but this was not my body we were talking about and, unlike some, I refused to be the man telling the woman what to do with her body. It’s a novel idea.

My wife waived the valium and our doctor didn’t blink an eye. She told him, “I won’t freak out, but I can’t promise I won’t cry.” I know many women have had this procedure. I wish I could come hug each and every one of you. It was one of the worst things I’ve had to witness. Truly.

We came home and I held my wife. There was no way to exorcise this process out of ourselves. We were numb. And in grief. But I was also angry.

I said, “I want to go beat things and run fast.”

She said, “I just want to cry and go to sleep.”

We probably could’ve used a dose of each other’s advice, truth be told.

Avara went to work the next day. I know. Can you believe it? She’s a bit of a martyr that way, but her busy day probably helped keep things in motion so that she could breathe a bit. She asked me to call in for the lab results. The material gathered (read: remains) from the Definitely Not Cool was taken to a lab and analyzed for an egg. No dice.

This meant she had an ectopic pregnancy and our final course of action (our least desired, too) was a drug that dissolves the tissue. It was a low-level chemotherapy, a little shot of death. After all of that, a shot that would end everything. Hadn’t it been enough that our contraception failed, blood tests were taken ad nausea and my wife was literally scraped and sheared of her womanhood?

But she was right. She was pregnant. Our doctor’s office, a place we had been so excited to visit, to witness a beating heart, to learn the sex of our baby and confirm life, was now an unfair place that just kept taking from us, over and over.

It’s been about a month since that late night in Texas and a few weeks since those more recent steps. It has taken me this long to write about it, and even now I am riddled with guilt for experiencing grief over a theoretical baby that mightn’t have existed at all. Moreover, I’m writing about it, asking myself why I’m posting this. How do you end a post a like this? Why even write a post like this?

So, I can let it go. Now.

I owe you one, IUD. But you owe me and my wife a whole hell of a lot more.


116 Responses to “IOUD, Part Two”

  1. Anwen says:

    If me, a total stranger is having a little tear to myself, you are completely justified!! Thank you for sharing. I hope some good somehow will come out of this. No idea how, but when crappy things happen, you’re owed some nice stuff, right?
    Anwen x

    P.S. the more I read about Avara, the more I think she’s some kind of superhuman. X

  2. An Idle Dad says:

    Oh yeah, writing down loss is a key. We had a somewhat similar situation once, it wasn’t until writing it down a year later did I even begin to move on.

    Good one, mate, you’ll be right.

  3. Brandy says:

    Tears. And a little perspective as I sit here in the dark nursing a fussy baby. I’m so sorry. Man am I sorry. I had a definitely not cool with my first failed pregnancy. It was awful. Just awful and I was on valium. Avara is a rockstar. I really wish I could say something profound but it just fucking sucks. Plain and simple. I hate that it happened to good people. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Carl says:

    So sorry to read about this news. Having experienced this with my wife twice I wish I could tell you how to best comfort and help her as you both grieve this loss. It’s hard, man. I’ll keep you both in my prayers.

  5. Kish says:

    Aw I am so sorry, Charlie. Big hugs to you and Avara.

  6. Tina Reher says:

    thank you for sharing this and I’m so sorry for you all to go through this.

    As a person who went through 3 years of “WHY THE F*CK WON’T THAT MINUS TURN IN TO A PLUS!?!?!?” I understand the grief of something that never really was but still feels so real. I spend a lot of time writing about it too (though that was just in my own journal, but eitherway getting the stuff out of my head on onto paper helped me sort through it all) and it really helps to allow one self to feel the grief, and the anger and the whatever else feelings come along.

    On the up side, going through those 3 years, the following IVF and all the fun that doesn’t come from that (still it did get me over my fear of needles), the pain and heartbreak to find out that the tiny little girl inthere would be born with a wonky heart and the worries that comes with that (we might still have a smidge of PTSD from the hospital stay at 3 months) life has made sure that the relationship between We-the-parents have been tested beyound all limits and I’m pretty sure we can deal with anything as a couple now.

    Right at the moment of all these things happening? Oh I was SMAD! (sad+mad)Can’t count the number of times I had myself a good angry cry in the shower where no one could see me being less strong and brave.

    I wish the best for you all and hope that the light at the end of the tunnel will show up sooner rather than later.

  7. Krystal says:

    My heart goes out to you and Avara. I am so very sorry you have both had to endure this, it sounds as if it’s something no one should ever, ever have to experience.

  8. Jason Feffer says:

    Still praying for you, Avara, Finn and the rest of your family. As writers, we write to process. You post because you know that someone will read this and realize he/she is not alone, that someone else has gone through the same nightmare and somehow had the courage to face it.

    I have never experienced anything even close to this, so I can’t even imagine how you all must be feeling. But please know that there is a random dude in Chicago weeping with you.

  9. Andrea says:


  10. Luna says:

    I am very sorry it turned out this way 🙁

    Take care!!

  11. Eric Rutkowski says:

    As I lie here with our new bundle of joy snoozing my chest while reading your story, all I can think to do is send some good thoughts and Internet *hugs* your way.

  12. Julie Marsh says:

    Last night, my IUD baby fell asleep with his head on my stomach, and I thought of you guys. I know I could have been in Avara’s position, and I knew it then too – that flurry of days where even I prayed a little bit, knowing that this time was far different from the other two, and it was hanging by a thread.

    I’m so sorry. For the fragile hope, the eventual pain, the utter ordeal of it all. How I wish you’d had a different ending.

  13. Asher says:

    I’m so sorry. It’s weird to feel so much empathy for you guys when I’ve never met you, but I’ve been reading this blog for so long I feel like I have. Your wife is a super hero (and you also get to be one this time). I wish only the best for your family and for a future filled with joy.

  14. Seattledad says:

    How gut wrenching that must have been. Sorry man. I hope writing about it has brought you a measure of peace.

  15. Rachel says:

    I am so sorry. I wouldn’t wish a loss on my worst enemy. Thank you for sharing this story.

  16. DorkDad says:

    Equally impotant are any words offered with the intent of conveying any semblance of sympathy and/or supportbetween virtual acquaintances over a digital medium…

    There’s no eduquette book that outlines what to say during times like these to a dad-blogger who you’ve never actually met in today’s brave, new, boradband world. I don’t imagine there are any appropriate words even in the best of circumstances.

    Instead I’ll just say my heart is breaking for you.

    That and offer you a virtual, supportive fist-bump, ’cause you know… dudes an all.


  17. “Ugh” times a million. I’m so sorry.

  18. Alynn says:

    1. Very sorry to read this. My heart goes out to you both.
    2. 3 preganancy losses for me – 2 ectopic. Both ectopics were treated with the cancer drug I suspect you are talking about. The drug wiped me out for a week and left me with even greater respect for cancer patients.
    3. This sucks big time and there is no way around that. Several years and adoption of a most precious little girl later and it still hurts. However, I believe there is a gift in every horrid situation. It doesn’t at all diminish the suckiness, but it does help. For everyone, the gift is different and you have to be willing to look for it. For me, it’s that I so appreciate every minute with my daughter – even the temper tantrums and poppy diapers – because I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who can just magically get pregnant. (It’s not that I don’t think “ferts” don’t appreciate their children. I just think I personally appreciate my daughter differently than I would have if it had been easy.) You’ve just gotta get through the immediate crisis and look for the gift.
    4. Be good to each other.
    5. (((Hugs)))

  19. […] For PART TWO, Click Here. Previous Entry » « Next Entry […]

  20. I just want to hug Avara. And bring you pie. Much love to your family. All of you.

  21. Mandey says:

    I cried. I wish no one ever had to go through these things. Your wife is an incredibly strong woman, and lucky to have such a solid and loving support system. You are all in my thoughts.

  22. beta dad says:

    Sorry to hear about this, Charlie. All our best to you and Avara.

  23. Caleb says:

    Jesus. I’m sorry, man. That really sucks.

  24. Lucas says:

    I’ve been in your shoes like this before too. it’s an incredibly hard situation and can be so isolating. All the best to you guys.

  25. the grumbles says:

    I’m so sorry guys. More pie.

  26. I’m so sorry for you both. Avara sounds like such a remarkably strong women and it has always been very obvious how proud you are of her. At the risk of sounding like my mother (and many others like her) this too shall pass and you will come out stronger in the end.

  27. Alicia says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to both of you.

  28. Danielle says:

    I’m bawling my eyes out for you and your family right now. Reading the things like this makes me feel like such a heel when I get frustrated with my twins or dare to even think how life would be different without them. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I wish all of us reading this and supporting you from far away could take that pain away. Hug the heck outta Finn and give Avara our love.

  29. Dude, this sucks! I know how bad it sucks b/c I’ve been there before. Allowed to think for 12 weeks that we were pregnant (not IUD related) and to find out after a week of pure agony that it was gone. They didn’t give me the option of D&C but made me wait it out for 3 weeks! The worst month of my entire life!! Totally NOT COOL! Regardless of how it happens – or why it happens – it’s still a loss that a family must work through and for that I pray for peace.

    • Judy says:

      same thing happened to me at 16 weeks. my ob-gyn told me it would be like a bad period. that i’d have cramping. they should tell you the truth. i had contractions, i dilated, and my dead baby fit into the palm of my hand. thanks, doc.

      charlie, i’m so sorry for you and your family. my baby would be 8 now and while it still hurts sometimes, i SWEAR it gets better.

  30. Geez, Charlie. I’m terribly sorry for all of this.

    Thank you so much for writing about it, with such honesty and openness. Next time you find yourself minimizing what you do here by virtue of this being mostly a humor site, remember that sharing your heart about this touches real human beings out there. Many of them have felt the same gut punch, the same anger and sorrow and guilt, and speaking about it draws people together. Sometimes demonstrating that it’s okay for a dad to struggle and feel these things is far more important than giving someone a laugh about parenthood.

  31. Amy says:

    Saying sorry doesn’t seem like enough. 🙁

  32. FirstTimeMom #Jamaica says:

    wow. so sorry man. last year april i had to do a D ‘n C too. the doctor put me to ‘sleep’ but i woke up in the middle of it screaming n begging him to stop coz i was feelin everything. thankfully i passed out shortly afterwards but it was worst than givin birth. that pregnancy wud have been the first child for hussy n i but God gave us a gift in my now four months old son who was born almost exactly one year after. i admire ur wife n u for lovin her so much. keep it up man

  33. The Mom Jen says:

    I’m sorry for your family having to go through this. Much love your way!

  34. JeninCanada says:

    *hugs to you both* Having been there and chosen the D&C (no ectopic for me, just a super-womb) and the resulting aftermath, all I can say is keep in touch with Avara. You say you can let it go now, and maybe you’re right, but rarely does letting go happen all at once, for either party. Not talking after our IUDidn’t nearly ruined my marriage, though our situation is admittedly different. I’ll spare you any ‘everything happens for a reason’ sentiments as sometimes, bad things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it, no rhyme or reason behind them.

  35. Thanks for sharing your story, Charlie (and Avara for giving permission). I hope it brings comfort to someone who is needing to feel less alone in a lost pregnancy grief. Hugs.

  36. Alex says:

    You put the most beautiful and gentle words to a situation that is neither. I only wish you hadn’t had the experience to require them. Take care, all of you.

  37. Very sorry to hear this, Charlie.

  38. Kia says:

    Sorry for your loss, hug for your brave and strong wife

  39. Liza says:

    I just want to double what Amy and Whitney said up there. Sorry does in no way seem like enough. Hugs aren’t enough. Choosing to share such a personal story, though, on such a public platform (not just a blog in general, but a blog as big as yours) is going to touch so many people in so many ways. I’m so sorry this happend to you and Avara, but being that it did, I’m glad the people in the same boat can find you and hopefully, even just a little bit, find some solace.

  40. Hannah says:

    I am so, so sorry.

  41. MainlineMom says:

    So incredibly sorry. I do hope it helps to write about it. I really was never able to do that. One failed pregnancy and I concur on the definitely not cool term. Never feel guilty for grief.

  42. yaya says:

    Thank you for sharing. Someone very close to me went through a miscarriage and then, much later, was so excited to discover she was pregnant again. Only to learn it was a trick…it was a molar pregnancy. It was exhausting and frustrating. Sharing your story helps validate the frustration and sadness that so many feel when going through something like that. So sorry.

  43. Megan says:

    I am so sorry you guys 🙁

  44. Christi says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through all of this. After 3 MC, including a D&C that required outpatient surgery and general anesthesia and one that required the hated little pill, I understand and empathize. I wish your wife (and your family) nothing but the best and a quick recovery, physically and mentally. It’s impressive to me that you are able to share your experience so eloquently. Thank you.

  45. Dena says:

    I lost a pregnancy just over a year ago. “Definitely Not Cool” is a great turn of phrase for that particular procedure. Horrible how unstoppable some things are – I truly felt wonderful (*fantastic*!) up until the minute I didn’t.

    Thanks to you both for sharing your story, BIG hugs to Avara – that feeling of life is an astonishing, amazing thing, and hard to let go of.

    Deeply touched and impressed at how stoic, sensible and supportive you were throughout, Charlie. It means so much! The strength each of you has, magnified in being together and being a family, is *huge*.

    (And great job Finn, in helping Mum and Dad!) <3

  46. Kathy V. says:

    I’m so, so sorry. I’ve been through miscarriages, and they never fail to break your heart in ways that you didn’t know it was possible for it to break. The body heals much faster than the heart does. But you’ll be okay, and your beautiful family will be okay. Much, much love to you and to Avara.

  47. Kandys says:

    I’m so sorry! Hugs to both of you!

  48. Pam says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! 🙁

  49. I’m going to probably need to hug you guys in real life after this one. I’m so sorry.

  50. Connie says:

    Never feel like you can’t grieve the loss of a child. Having Ben through this myself, it helped to give my baby a name, have a memorial. I think the worst for me was not having a locus for the sad. God bless you both.

  51. Tina says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My (now ex)husband and I went through an ectopic pregnancy that nearly killed me. I would like to tell you more, but the tears are welling up right now and I’m at work.

    Hang in there and hug your wife. You both will grieve in your own way.

  52. Melinda says:

    I am just so very sorry. Any words I could think of aren’t the right ones. Thanks for sharing your story.

  53. padraic says:

    Wow…long time reader, always love the smiles this blog brings, but damn, this was sad, moving, heart wrenching. I always think words on the internet have the emotion stripped away, but this was so moving to read…I can’t imagine the strength it took to write. I’m so sorry for you guys, and thanks for sharing.

  54. Amanda says:

    Do not ever feel guilt for feeling grief. You two love and adore your son, and that which you lost you would have loved just as much. All parents who have lost a child in some manner (even in such early stages) grieve not just for the life lost, but the potential of that beautiful little life as well.

    I truly hope writing is helping you, and you and your family are in my heart.

  55. Otavio says:

    I’m very sorry to hear this and to imagine the pain you two are probably feeling right now. We’ve been through a very similar situation last year.

    My wife and I were so sad, and nothing anyone could say was any help at all. It felt like a private tragedy whose dimension only the two of us could understand.

    Our baby already had a name, although we don’t really know if what was there was a real baby or not.

    However, a few months later, my wife was pregnant again with our second child:!/4030

    I wish you both all the best

  56. Andi says:

    My husband and I have been though this very situation and I understand your loss. Our thoughts are with You, your Wife and Son.

  57. Sigurrós says:

    I´m really sorry to hear what you and your wife had to go through. I hope you will manage to comfort each other while you work through your grief.

  58. Babe_Chilla says:

    I’m so sorry for you all. That is so unfair it’s insane. I had a m/c once after getting pregnant on the pill. I didn’t even know I was until I was going through the m/c. I know that feeling of “how can I be this upset over something I was trying to prevent happening and didn’t know about until too late anyway?” The answer is, you just can.

    The only thing I can say is that you guys are amazing together and as long as you can share in the emotions of this, and take care of one another, you’ll make it through. It’ll never get easier, just, different. Peace will be made in some way. I hope it’s fast. Time heals all wounds but she can sure be a slow bitch sometimes.

    I hope Avara is medically alright, even if she isn’t emotionally yet.

    As for why you share? You share because this is your medium, you know we care and many of us have been through this. Absolve yourself of any guilt, this was a major life occurrence and you have every single right to go through the gamut of emotions and process it how you need.

  59. serena says:

    Writing is therapeutic, you wrote to help you sort it out, to figure out how to cope. Im so sorry Charlie. I can offer no advice, no ideas on how to cope. I myself like to cry and hit things. You are both in my prayers. It sounds like you two are an awesome team and helping each other through as best you can. Sending love to all of you.

  60. Melinda says:

    I am so, so sorry guys. The same thing happened to us years ago. I think the worst part was feeling like my own body had somehow betrayed me. It messes with your mind in ways you never thought possible. I’m glad you guys have each other and the little guy. It helps. Much love and happiness are being sent your way.

  61. Jen says:

    I feel like I have nothing useful to say. My heart hurts for both of you. You’re both absolutely justified in your hurt and anger. I’m glad you shared your story with us and I hope it helps you in some way. Hugs to all of you.

  62. I don’t know your exact pain but I do know a part of it. I only can say you are both so brave, so wonderful, and I am just so, so sorry.

  63. Shame says:

    I’m going to call BS on this one. I don’t believe it for one moment. I think it’s an ugly attempt to gain page views because you’re running out of content. Shame on HTBAD.

    • Arianna says:

      Shame on YOU. Someone pours their emotion out so they can have a place to put it and this is the reply? You’re disgusting. I’d be willing to bet my bottom dollar you have no idea know how difficult it is to talk about this kind of loss. A post like this deserves support and love so once again, shame on YOU.

    • Miranda says:

      And I think you’re maybe a miserable human being,”Shame.” So, evens?

    • I’m going to call BS on your empathy meter and ability to censor yourself from spewing your hate all over the internet. I think you’re an ugly attempt to stir up controversy because you’re an a-hole.

    • Shame, How dare you? No, really… How fucking DARE YOU?!

      You know how people always say “What is WRONG with people?!”

      Congratulations! IT’S YOU!

      Please leave the internet. No one wants you here.

    • mandy says:

      What the actual fuck? You’re disgusting. Shame on you.

    • the grumbles says:

      Charlie has very delicately shared their family’s story, and waited until he could do it justice, with dignity, and stiill allow a little bit of privacy. Wecome to assholeville: population you.

    • You know what I like to do when someone *might* be in pain? Shit all over them.

      Congratulations for being so smart and savvy you didn’t fall for a blogger you hate-follow’s real life tragedy and instead kicked them when they’re down. Hope that improved your life in some way. Oh wait…it didn’t? Well, shit.

    • Nick says:

      Wow, dude. Just … wow.

  64. Haley says:

    So very sorry for your loss. You are so brave to share something so personal here with the world.

  65. Alicia says:

    I am sorry for your loss! How wonderful that you were supportive and compassionate towards your wife! Many women don’t get that….

  66. I’m so sorry, for all of you. You did a great job telling the story Charlie, and it’s not a perspective we see a lot. It has tremendous value. It also confirmed you’re a pretty awesome husband and father. And that pie is never an inappropriate response to difficult life situations.

  67. OT and ET says:

    thank you for sharing this. i am so so incredibly sorry for your loss. we are 20 months post-miscarriage and i still haven’t fessed on my blog. i think about writing it at least once a week. baby Else (as we started to think of her in those few precious weeks that she “was”) still weighs on my heart every day. so just thank you for this. for being brave and sharing.

  68. Pedro Veloso says:

    So sorry, Charlie. I’m very, very sorry to hear that…
    The best we can do is be here. And read you. And laugh at your jokes. Which I will

  69. Miranda says:

    So sorry for your loss. This little life, however brief, mattered. All my best thoughts to you and Avara.

  70. Sukhdev says:

    You would be amazed how many of us have gone through similar experiences. They give us the depth and width to embrace life in a more compassionate way. “it’s not the life you live, it’s the courage you bring into it” -Yogi Bhajan. God bless you and your family.

  71. Laurie says:

    I want to give you all a huge hug! I am so devastated for you and just so sorry you had to go through this hell. Avara is one tough chick! I have had 3 “definitely not cools” while they were for a different reason and not pregnancy related, I know how awful they are. Ugh, seriously, not that anyone does deserve that, but you guys don’t deserve this. So incredibly sorry.

  72. addie says:

    When I had my miscarraige, hearing other women’s stories helped so much. Sharing your pain is cathartic, and odds are this story will help someone else sometime. You have many blessings. The saving grace for my pregnancy were the fact that i could concieve, it would not have been viable anyway, and at least it was only a few weeks. Comparing it to how much worse it could be kept it in perspective…or at least kept me from dissolving in my grief.

  73. Dude, this is not at all how I wanted this story to end. I’m so sorry. I hope you and Avara know you’ve got tons of love and thoughts focused right on you. More pie.

  74. When I saw your post I rushed to read, knowing you had to have good news if you posted. Oh man, so sorry for your family’s pain. I really love you guys, strange since I’ve never meet you. Hope writing about it helps release it – I’m sure you honesty has touched many. Peace be with you.

  75. Chris says:

    What more do you add to this outpouring of love than to just say sorry for everything you’ve gone through.

  76. Tottums says:

    I’m so sorry, Charlie. There are no words, except your own, which were very eloquent.. Thank you for sharing your story. Ignore the trolls, they aren’t worth pie.

  77. Staci says:

    So very sorry for your loss. My “Definitely not Cool” was just that. It took me months to recover emotionally and I still miss my baby 4 years later. Prayers and hugs to you and your wife as you go through the motions in the days and years ahead.

  78. Andrew says:

    I love this website and what you provide to everyone. I share what you post with my wife and we both laugh till we cry. We also both cried for you and your family because of how close your story relates with us. We are deeply sorry for your loss.

  79. I have nothing to add that hasn’t been said… and only wish words were enough to make things better. However… the support and love, we your people, have for you and your beautiful family is sure a sweet light to gaze on. Prayers, hope and all goodness, friend… And as a fellow parent, it is hard to not read that and want to reach through the screen and give somebody a hug over there. xoxox

  80. Dan says:

    Man I feel for you two. What can I say but hang tough man, things happen for a reason and God works I’m mysterious ways. Be each other’s strength.

    Oh and don’t feed\mind the trolls, they’re loney and insignificant.

  81. Alexa says:

    I had an ectopic pregnancy caused by an IUD. I found out after going to the ER shortly after my daughter’s first birthday for what I thought was a run of the mill “Oh God, this is the worst pain ever” pain. Pregnancy hadn’t even crossed my mind until the ER doc said he was going to switch my pain meds because the pregnancy test came back positive. That was when I called my husband and said he needed to get there right then. After the ultrasound, they flatly informed us that it was ectopic, and the pain I felt was the fetus rupturing through the fallopian tube. They went on to tell us we’d have to “terminate” immediately.
    In less than two hours, I went from strange pain, to OMG I’m pregnant?!? (roller coaster of happy and worried feelings) to it’s what? to “oh my God, we’re going to lose the baby we just found out about”.
    They wheeled me into surgery immediately (thankfully my OB-Gyn came in to do the surgery- made it much easier having a familiar face). The next morning I woke up and the life I had just discovered inside of me was gone. It hurt to hear words like “not viable” “fetus” and “terminate”. The shock and pain from that event in our lives has always stayed with us; I now strongly discourage friends who are considering an IUD. The .0001% chance of weird happenings because of it aren’t talked about in enough detail to let a person know how earth shattering it is to be a part of that tiny group.
    Reading your story made me relieve the whole nightmare, but with some perspective. It hurt so much to have it dangled in front of our faces and snatched away the next moment, but after reading your story, maybe it was better that way. At least, for us, it was over quickly and decided for us. It hurt and made us angry at the time, but you and your wife showed strength in your situation that I don’t know many people to have.

    I don’t have any positive message to end this with, because that junk infuriated me when I was in the midst of my situation.
    I’m sorry.
    I’m so, so sorry.

  82. jedi_master_boy says:

    Hey Charlie et al,

    I’ve been following you guys for some time. I share what I find with my wife because we can relate 90% of the time. Unfortunately, we can relate to you in this instance as well. What follows is shared with permission from my better half, since Charlie, you have given me the courage to share something we don’t often do 😉

    A few years ago, my wife and I found out we were expecting our third child. We were elated, making plans, choosing names, hoping for a girl to balance out the two boys we already had, the whole nine yards. I had to work on the day of my wife’s first ultrasound, so she said she would stop by the store afterwards to tell me what all was found.

    When I saw the car pull up, I could tell something was wrong by the way she carried herself when she got out. I went on break and out to the car to hear about the appointment. She, through her tears she told me she had a blighted ovum. How this nightmare occurs is the egg and sperm fertilize, and everything forms… except the baby. So my beloved had to undergo the Definitely Not Cool procedure to remove everything that was supposed to house the baby that never formed. About a year later, we welcomed our third son into our family and are expecting boy #4 in the end of October/beginning of November.

    As much as it doesn’t seem like it now, the hurt and the anger from the lost hopes and dreams does subside. It doesn’t ever really go away, but it does stop bugging as much. I sincerely hope all else in your lives is going well and look forward to reading (and relating) more from you in the future.

  83. Jennifer says:

    I was hoping for a good ending to your story, so hard 🙁 I’m so sorry for your loss.

  84. Caryn B says:

    I can’t even imagine how painful this is for the both of you…There aren’t words to express how sorry I am for your loss…

  85. I hate this.

    I am so glad you shared, though having to experience it first hand to be able to write about it is something I wish wasn’t a reality.

    Many thoughts and well wishes.

  86. Jayme says:

    I checked my reader all weekend, waiting for part 2, hoping it didn’t end this way. I’m so, so incredibly sorry.

  87. That sucks man. And even the stories of things that end sadly deserve to be told. That’s real and honest and it’s part of being any parent. I’m so glad Avara found out before things got more scary. Huge hugs to the both of you.

  88. Coco Cana says:

    You wrote this post because writers write their pain. We write our sorrows, we write our triumphs, our dreams, our discoveries…we write what might be of help or comfort to another on a similar path – because if we don’t every word that is clogging our brain begging to be written down will one day explode all over some poor, unsuspecting stranger sitting next to us at the doctor’s office. You are a gifted writer. All the funny is hilariously funny and all the pain is equally as heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for the pain you and your beautiful family are in right now and for the loss you feel deep down in your soul. There is no need to make sense of it or question why you should even be feeling this pain because regardless of “logical answers” you feel sorrow because you went through a sad experience. It’s ok to NOT let it go too…until you are ready.

  89. Grief is a subtle saboteur, Charlie…so don’t feel guilty that she sucker punched you. She also leaves shrapnel that will sometimes worm it’s way out at the most inopportune times.

    We also experienced an ectopic pregnancy after doctors had assured us for weeks there was no way Katie was pregnant. The grief over a child that we were assured did not exist felt shadowy and vague – but so very real. (Turns out the hospital had switched tags on the blood samples by accident…)

    Write. Write it all. Your 007 trick-pen may be your only defense against that crafty assailant.

    My heart hurts for you & Avara & Finn – know that you are cared for!

  90. Evonne says:

    So, so sorry to hear that this is the next part of the story. Thank you for sharing it with us all. You have touched many hearts and as the saying goes ‘joy shared is joy multiplied. Sorrow shared is sorrow divided’. Please don’t feel guilty for grieving. Go easy on yourself, life just plain hurts sometimes and we need time to heal. Blessings to you and your precious family.

  91. Nick says:

    Charlie … is it ok if I ask questions about things I’m confused about? I don’t really know a lot about these types of pregnancy abnormalities, so I didn’t understand some of your story. But, I don’t really know if it’s inappropriate to ask those questions, so I’ll wait to get your permission.

  92. Jana says:

    Oh Charlie… I’m so sorry. Sending love to both you and Avara. ((hugs))

  93. Jason says:

    Takes a lot of courage to open up and share your story.

    I wish you all nothing but the best.

  94. Gianny says:

    Now you know what it’s like to have a family of 4 and just because life is life it happens to be that the youngest member fulfilled his mission very quickly. So grive, feel, accept and then move on, knowing that it is real, it happened and it is ok to feel sad as much as you want for as long as you need.

  95. James says:

    Thanks for sharing that. Aren’t the mums to our kids astounding creatures? Send me your snail mail address and I’ll post you some proper British tea. You can make her a decent brew.

  96. Kim says:

    I am so very sorry. I wish I could hug you both.

  97. Outlawsphinx says:

    I have suffered through two miscarriages. The second one ended in the “Definitely Not Cool.” To be honest, I mourned more for the second. The first I could just pretend I just had a really painful period and call it a day. The Definitely Not Cool made it more real to my husband because until he feels a baby move inside me, it is more of an abstract idea.
    You have every right to mourn. Every right. I’m so very sorry for your loss and hope you two turn to each other for comfort. Best Wishes.

  98. Kathleen @ksugarandspice says:

    My heart is heavy for what your sweet family had to endure. The bougainville is perfect and beautiful.

  99. Kathleen @ksugarandspice says:

    Sorry after closer inspection, crepe myrtle tree. It is lovely.

  100. Aunt LoLo says:

    Oh. Just…oh. I’m not a regular reader, but I subscribe and had time tonight to read through the small pile of blog posts that have accumulated over the last…few months.

    Please tell Avara…it gets better. I got the nudge well over a year ago that it was time to expand our family. It took me nearly 9 months to work up the guts to go through with it. Five weeks later, I started bleeding. My miscarriage was confirmed, but in the resulting ultrasound an enormous 10 cm cyst was discovered. After months of blood work, surgery, and recovery…I got pregnant again. This time (so far) has a happy ending. I’m 21 weeks along, with a little girl.

    I have a post so similar to yours. I don’t even know if I ever published it, or if it’s hidden away in my journal full of crap too crappy to say out loud. But, what helped the most…was realizing I WAS NOT ALONE. Instead of standing out among my peers, I was actually hard pressed to find a women that was NOT touched by issues similar to mine. But, like your wife, most women struggle…silently. So, would you just tell her…it gets better?? Give her a hug, and let her know that an army of women is behind her, because we’re the women. That’s what we do.

    So, no, this isn’t the end of your story. Just the end of a really crappy chapter.

  101. twobusy says:

    Hi. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this – or known about it – until just now (thanks to your HuffPost reprint). I don’t even know what to say other than I’m sorry… which feels obvious and sad and inadequate but honestly: for the life of me, I can’t think of another alternative that makes sense.

    I’m sorry.

  102. Sara says:

    Looking at the post, seeing this almost happened a year ago…I’m truly sorry. I was 23 when I had my IUD put in and it was hell after the first year. My husband and I decided that with him at 21 and in the military and me at 23 with a medical career (that took up 60 hours a week), a baby wouldn’t be the best option for us. So I went ahead and looked into methods of birth control with my doctor. Being allergic to adhesives, I couldn’t have the patch. I thought I’d forget to take the pills. The shot and its effects scared me. I didn’t want to have my husband play ring toss with the nuvaring. I went for the IUD at my doctor’s suggestion. I’ve never had kids and now with the damage the IUD has done, I might not ever. My doctor didn’t tell me that the mirena was for women who had already had a child. It caused cervical scarring when they put it in, because they had to manually dilate my cervix. I had no idea til 2 years later (or about 6 weeks ago) when I had it taken out. I had many cysts that formed because of it. When they popped I thought I was going to die, the pain was that bad. I’m much like Avara. I handle pain like a champ and only go to the hospital when I HAVE to. The day I got the IUD removed was the worst day of my life so far. My cervix has swollen up so badly because of infection that they couldn’t find the strings to remove it. It wasn’t misplaced, so surgery wasn’t an option. Already painful to the point of doubling over and feeling as though I was going to puke every time they touched it, they had to manually push back my cervix to remove this hellish device. I thought the hell would end there, and I desperately wish it had. I figured with the torture device removed all I had to do was take some antibiotics and call it a day. But no, life has a way of throwing a nasty lemon juice and salt brine on the wounds already inflicted. Blood tests showed that I was pregnant. About 4 or 5 weeks along. Because of the infection and the IUD, the Definitely Not Cool had to be implied. I’m not much of a cryer. Being in emergency medicine kind of hardens you to life’s worst moments in order to give them the best care you can, but those are other people’s worst moments. Not mine. I cried before. I cried after. I even cried during. Sadly my husband couldn’t be there to hold my hand during the Definitely Not Cool. His Sargent had to come get him from the hospital for “review” (in all reality it was for mental and emotional support and so the MP’s didn’t arrest him..) because he had punched the preforming doctor because he had been so emotionally cold about the procedure. He punched him in the face, might I add. So all in all, we lost our possible first child, we lost 80% of the ability to try again and there are just no words..

  103. Sad says:

    I’m so sorry. 🙁 I am so glad your wife has a partner like you. Reading things makes me really grasp the fact that I don’t and never will.

  104. Jaimee says:

    Charlie, all I can say is I empathize. I have not had an ectopic pregnancy, but I have had 3 regular miscarriages. With every one there has been a sense of disjointment, if that makes sense. The hopes and dreams you cherish, to have them shattered in an instant. The shock and grief and fear that follows. And the knowledge that if you tell people, you will likey to get smothered with sometimes false sympathy or looked at with total incomprehension. I have to say I don’t which one hurts worse. The other one that always annoyed me was when whoever it was that I had just told, looks at me like they expect me to break like glass if they say something. Sometimes I would have to restrain the inclination to shake them while saying, “If i haven’t broken yet, I’m not going to.”

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