Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness - from a father's perspective
By CCM Market Development Senior Manager, Dominique Robin
Fixing leaky pipes, mowing the lawn, paying bills, sharing the privilege of raising our daughter, catching things that creep and crawl, swooning Sarah with my “dad bod.” These are just a few of the awesome things I get to do as husband, and father.
With God’s help, it’s amazing what can happen to a man once marriage and children come along! After five years of marriage and nearly three years of fatherhood, I think I’ve finally found my place.
That was exactly how I felt until August 31, 2018 – the day my seemingly perfect world dissolved into what felt like a nightmare. The day my beautiful wife had a miscarriage.
In the book of James, God urges us to consider our trials as pure joy, knowing that our difficult situations will develop faithful perseverance (1:2-3). If we’re honest, trials are not awesome, and I’ve yet to see a pillow with “James 1:2-3” stitched in it.
But if God loves us enough to deal with the topics of pain, tragedy, and loss head on, we need to do the same with each other. While you are welcome to read on, the remainder of this article is written directly to husbands who are struggling to find their place during the difficult times following an unexpected loss of an unborn child, or stillborn infant.
Be honest with God and people He brings into your life
A few weeks before the miscarriage, doctors discovered a tumor on my left kidney. I remembered thinking the child would be a welcomed distraction in the event the tumor was malignant and our worst fears came true.
In the first few days after we lost the baby, I was so confused and angry that God would take away the one thing we had to look forward to. In such a gentle way, God used a close friend to remind my wife and I of the everlasting hope we have waiting for us in heaven.
God heard my honest cries for help, and He surrounded our family with people who would lovingly remind us of God’s character, and truths from His Word that brought so much comfort and peace to our aching hearts. Certainly, this is one of the inherent benefits of the Church, and why Christians are urged to never “neglect meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25).
You are allowed to grieve
The Psalmists, Solomon, Paul, Peter, even Jesus himself openly broached the topic of grief. Men have largely accepted the lie we are not allowed to feel pain or grieve.
There were nights after the miscarriage that I would wait until Sarah was sound asleep, go to the guest bedroom across the house, cover my face with a pillow and weep. Adding to the pain from the loss were my feeble attempts to cover it up, eating away at me.
The next time you are holding back tears and fighting the need to grieve, remember two words: Jesus wept (John 11:35). David correctly notes in Psalm 34 that the Lord will be close to the brokenhearted, and will rescue those whose spirits are crushed. God will comfort you, he will rescue you from this.
Lead your family into a lifestyle of trusting and worshiping God
“How is Sarah supposed to believe in the God of Romans 8:28?” That is an actual journal entry of mine a few days after the miscarriage.
As difficult as the loss can be for husbands, no one would argue it is immeasurably more difficult for wives. And amidst a tragedy, husbands still have a continued responsibility to lead the family into a lifestyle of trusting and worshiping God.
In our home, I found the best way to model that is simply to live it out personally, and pray for my wife. How can anyone do such a thing during such a difficult time? No one can. But when the broken and weak child approaches their Heavenly Father, God will manifest His sufficient grace and perfect power in our lives (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Ultimately, when we approach God with the worship and trust He is worthy of, God Himself will take care of giving us the desire and power to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13), even during the difficult times.
While I don’t know your situation, how many children you have on earth, or have in heaven, I do know God has an inexhaustible supply of kindness and comfort for your family. Please accept these words of practical encouragement from one husband to another, trusting God to supply your every need.
Prayer: Father, thank You for comforting the brokenhearted in a way that human words cannot. Thank You for the perfect work You are doing in the lives of those who love You, and are called according to Your purpose. As we delight ourselves in You, give us the desires of our heart. Amen.
Dom is husband to an amazing wife, Sarah, and father to an astronaut-in-training named Sophie. He and his family live in Brevard County, Florida.