True Testimony of the Author
"Honey, I'm pregnant! The doctor says that everything's fine and by mid-November our little bundle should arrive."
What joyous news to share with our husband. Then comes the endless months of preparing for this new person who will invade your home. There's the endless cravings and throwing up. You have to buy new clothes because nothing fits anymore. So much to think about and get done. The nursery has to be readied and a layette purchased. There's school to think about and how will we pay for the baby's college and perhaps a wedding! Thousands of thoughts run through your mind. Your whole life and way of thinking begins to chance. This little bundle of joy has already taken over and he/she hasn't even arrived yet!
The days begin to turn into weeks and then months. And then one day you realize things are not right. It may be a sudden, sharp pain or some bleeding that you know shouldn't be there. You try to ignore it but the pain gets worse. You call the doctors and he expresses concern and says perhaps you should get to the office or the hospital quickly. You keep telling yourself everything will be all right but your heart knows differently. And then come the words you've been dreading to hear, "I'm sorry, but you've lost the baby!"
"Lost the baby! How can this be? I did everything the doctor told me. How can my baby just be gone? Oh God, please tell me this isn't happening. Why? Why me? What do I do now? The nursery-how will I ever be able to face it without my baby? And the clothes, what do I do with all the tiny clothes and stuffed toys? And what about all the plans and hopes for the future? What now? Oh God, I need You. The ache in my heart is overwhelming. Will it ever go away? Will there be other babies? And my husband - what's he thinking, feeling? Does he blame me? Will he want to try for anymore children? Is he afraid it may happen again? Look at him, he's so sad and I want to comfort him, but I'm hurting so desperately, I don't know how to help him.
What day is it? I don't really want to live. How can these people act as though nothing's happened? You'd think it had never been a real baby - just because I miscarried and didn't have anyone to hold. But it is a real baby. In my heart I'd already done everything that mothers do with their babies. Bathed it, changed diapers, taken it to kindergarten, watched it play ball! I go in the nursery and subconsciously run my hands over the empty crib. I unfold and refold all the tiny clothes. I wander over and wind the swing and listen to the lullaby it plays.
How can the emptiness in my heart cause such physical pain? Will it ever stop? The worst part is seeing all my friends having their babies. Mind would have been due about this time. I wonder if it was a boy or a girl. What would it look like? Would it have been a doctor, lawyer, mom, baseball player, singer? What color was the hair? What color were the eyes? I have to stop thinking like this! I must pull myself together and get on with my life. But I don't know how to put the broken pieces back. I've lost a part of me. Doesn't anyone understand?"
Does this sound familiar to you? The above account actually happened to me, not once, but twice, exactly a year apart and both times at four and one half months. As devastating as all of this was, the hard part was that no none, not even those in our church, knew how to help and comfort us. We really didn't know how to comfort each other. I didn't know what my husband was feeling. Was he being strong for me? Was he hurting as I was? Questions, questions, questions. My mind was flooded with so many unanswered questions. After 36 years, I still have questions. And I still grieve. I've also come to realize that husbands grieve too. They may do it differently by becoming more involved in their work, or staying gone until late so they don't have to be in the empay house.
Men have emotional needs just like women do. The problem is that they've been taught through the years not to give in to those emotions or else they were taught, "Big boys don't cry!" until they are unable to express those emotions, even to their wife. Men, you don't have to have all the answers. You may feel inadequate to help your wife through a crisis such as the loss of a baby. We just need to be held and comforted. And we need to hold and comfort you!
Grief must be shared. If I don't know what you're feeling, I can't help you. The loss of a child is one of the most traumatic things that could happen to a couple. You may not have miscarried yours - it may have been stillborn or died within days of being born. The pain is just as real! Your loss may have been very recent or years ago as mine was. But loss must be dealt with. Let me encourage you to share with each other and be honest about your emotional feelings. Tell your mate what's going on with you.
Are you sad, depressed, scared? Are you blaming yourself? If you need help working through this, I would recommend that you seek help. Your church is a good placed to start, or perhaps you could find a support group in your area. Above everything, don't let the relationship between the two of you die. You need to have dates with each other and continually work on your marriage. You started out with just the two of you before the baby, and you still have each other.
Thankfully, my story doesn't end there. But that's another whole segment of my life which I'll share later. Please come back soon, as this site is new and will always be updated regularly!!
For more information on how you can help support and promote the work we are endeavoring, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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