Fathers of Loss Support Series: Pete’s story
Fathers of Loss Support Series:
Meet Pete, Pete cherishes his four children. Twin girls and two boys. His first children, twins, Skye and Angel, were born premature and slipped peacefully away.
After trying to conceive for a couple of years, my wife Tiff and I decided to go down a route of IVF. After two failed rounds, we decided to try two eggs in at once as the success rate was so low. At our first scan, we discovered that we had twins, which was extremely exciting.
There were some concerns, and unfortunately, despite being on bed rest, Tiff gave birth prematurely. The girls soon passed away peacefully.
How I felt then and how I feel now
When it happened, I was distraught, for all the dreams and hopes we had lost in that moment were gone. I was anxious about the future. I was worried about Tiff, and about what our future would be.
These days I am happy. We have two great wee boys who are 5 and 7. We talk about Skye and Angel all the time. They are still a big part of our lives. We have lots of items around our house celebrating the girls.
Looking back now, I wish I had known that I can’t fix everything. After the girls died, I realised men want to fix things that are broken. I know now that the girls dying wasn’t fixable and that only time will help you through it.
How friends helped and how they didn’t
Friends and family who did practical things like making food, and doing the things that needed to be done helped us through. This allowed us time to focus on ourselves, the girls and each other. Saying our girls’ names and not shying away from saying our girls’ names meant and still does mean so much to us.
We had some friends and family who were too scared to talk to us because we were upset. Of course, we were upset! We needed them around us at what was the worst time of our lives.
We also had people telling us we would be ok and that we would go on to have other children. Which wasn’t helpful at all. Especially given the time it had taken to have the girls and aside from all of that, it’s really not the best thing to tell grieving parents.
The grief process
I was very much the doer. Trying to fix things that were broken. I tried to fix my wife. I didn’t focus on me and tried to fix Tiff who was distraught.
My message to future dads: take the time. You’ll get through it. Take the time, listen to your partner. Don’t try to fix things that can’t be fixed.
Feel all the feelings and don’t be scared to do so, especially in front of your partner. Allowing them to see your emotions will bring you closer together and help you realise that you are in this together.
To friends and family it’s not just the mums that need support, Dads need just as much support. Some times we don’t say it, but we need it just as much.
Speak to Dad about their child or children, about their experience and how they are. Ask what they need and be patient for their response. Ask them what they need. But give them time, as it may take them awhile to figure out what they need.
Red Nose 24/7 Bereavement Support Line 1300 308 307.
Last reviewed: 27/1/22