Everyone copes with miscarriage in different ways. There’s no one right way, or best way. Some will want to share their grief and heartache, others will want to keep their experiences more private. But sometimes, someone else’s story can touch you deeply and quietly help many who are feeling the same. And this story is one of those.
Dad-to-be Fredrik Eklund has written an incredibly moving account of the loss of the twins he was having with his husband Derek. The news first hit the headlines last year due to his role in an American reality TV show. Fredrik issued a statement confirming the surrogate had miscarried the twins that he and Derek were so looking forward to having.
Now, Fredrik has opened up on how the loss really affected him – revealing it hit him so hard he couldn’t function.
Writing a searingly honest blog post on the Bravo TV website, Fredrik says that even now, almost a year on, he is still ‘broken’, and explains that he and Derek had named the twins and bought clothes for them.
“Last summer, we had several positive pregnancy tests with our twins. We named them. We even bought them clothes and things…well, I did most of it. I was flying so high: I can honestly say those were the happiest weeks of my life. It gave the world such light – such a dimensionality – that everything felt purposeful and right. I felt right. This was my meaning, my time, my place. Our time! A little boy and a girl, him from Derek and her from me. How could something so precious and perfect actually finally be happening? It was too good to be true,” he writes.
Fredrik goes on to say that although the miscarriage in itself wasn’t a surprise, simply based on statistics, it was the emotional fall-out that really floored him.
“I guess the miscarriage in itself shouldn’t have been that surprising after all. I had heard how common it is, how people try again and again, and how difficult it can be. But, what really surprised me was how it hit me emotionally. It hit me so hard I couldn’t function. First, you get the phone call. Then, you freeze. You hear your heart beating in your ears. You lose balance. You sit down on a bed. Everything gets black. You call Derek. Then you cry together. You lose words, because words are empty and won’t do anything anyway. You want to scream. You get so angry. You think of them. You say their names. You think of where they went. You think of the life together that is lost. You open your eyes and they are not there.”
And in a paragraph that will resonate with so many people, Fredrik says that it is hard for men to cope because they are ‘not supposed’ to cry and let the grief take over their life.
“6’5″ tall men are not supposed to act like this,” he writes. “We are not supposed to cry and cry and cry. Cry at work, cry in the gym, cry on the streets – whenever, really. It could come completely unexpected and could happen at any time; the crying would wash over me. Derek took it so much better than me and explained that this was just part of the process; it really is part of becoming a parent, to be able to let go of the control, etc. Let life play its part and let the unexpected lead us.
“But I took it personally. I felt robbed of something so holy to me: our children. The miscarriage came like a sudden slap – perhaps it was because we had been challenged for so many years by not being able to make our own children biologically, or perhaps it was seeing my brother have three beautiful kids. I can’t explain it, but it shut me down completely.”
Fredrik says his grief almost made him pull out of the latest season of his Bravo reality show, Million Dollar Listing New York, but eventually, he returned to work, and had a lot of support. And it was this that allowed him to open up about how he was feeling.
“Everyone working on the show was supportive and gave me time, and after more crying and thinking, a little Fredrik-voice inside whispered: “Talk about it. Let it out. Don’t be afraid. People do care. Don’t hold back. It is common, yet not a lot of people talk about it. Perhaps you can help someone out there that have experienced something similar…”
“So I did. I struggle with it a lot this season, and I’m still broken. It’s better – it’s actually a lot better, because the brokenness kind of tapped into an unknown emotional cord or connected to a sensitive, deeper place within me that I didn’t even knew I had… and that is a good thing. I’ve never been a hard person, but New York (also what I do for a living) can harden you over the years, but this entire experience taught me to admit that I’m sensitive and can be sad too. Very sad, apparently. It’s not a bad thing, it’s actually a good thing to be able to channel sadness and try to work through grief, as long as you’re open about it. It’s really the only way.”
And in a touching conclusion, Fredrik says that he has seen a ‘beauty’ come out of his heartbreak.
“I’ve also seen so much beauty come out of this. People I don’t know, people I thought I knew, people I know now for real – sharing their similar experience. Everyone seems to know what we’ve gone through. My family, the dogs, and Derek (most of all) are closer to me than ever before. I’ve discovered things about myself and the world I never would have otherwise. The world doesn’t seem hostile anymore, it seems warmer – yes, a bit broken, but with a lot more love for sure.”