A Man's View on Miscarriage

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"A Man's View on Miscarriage" by Jason Weirich (CatholicMom.com)

Via Pixabay (2015), CC0 Public Domain.

Miscarriages are one of the biggest mysteries that we all encounter. Sometimes, doctors can identify a reason for the unexpected loss of life, but more often than not, there is no explanation. The expectant couple is sent home without much at all–no information, no support and no baby to hold.

As a man, we do not understand the physical or mental pain that women endure when they experience a miscarriage. Doctors sometimes offer support group information to the mothers, but as a man, I have not encountered many resources for fathers that have walked down this road.  I hope that this writing will be enlightening for both men and women as we navigate the pain of miscarriage.

My wife and I have experienced at least five miscarriages. Amidst all of the pain, we have one beautiful, amazing little girl. I say “we” experienced this because men experience pain, too, when there is a loss of life. When women experience a loss, men are usually clueless in how to help them. Their hearts are torn to pieces by their loss. A woman’s heart aches for the life that was once in their bellies and what that life could have been. A man is searching for the right words to give comfort and reassurance to his wife.  

As a culture, we tend to measure women on how many children a woman has or doesn’t have. If I had a dollar for every time folks asked us “You only have one?” or “When is the next one on its way?” I could retire instantly. People might have good intentions by asking, but they do not see the big picture that God has painted for each individual family. Each family is different and created by God’s divine plan.

The following are tips on how to help men in journeying through the valleys of miscarriage…

  • Don’t assume you know how a man is feeling about the loss. We do not always like to talk about our feelings, but we do need to process our grief. We are trying to find a balance between helping ourselves and helping the woman we love. Ask us how we are doing. We do not need a long conversation, but check in with us on occasion to make sure we are ok.
  • Do not state that “this was all part of God’s plan.” I think this is one of the most crippling statements that people hear when they experience a miscarriage. While we know this, we are just as upset about the sudden loss of our child.  Try not to add to our trauma. Everything is blurry and nothing’s making sense. We need faith (not fluff) more than ever during this place in our journey. Pray with and for us instead.
  • Give us some space. Everybody needs some time to get away and clear their mind. Whether a guy enjoys reading, writing, hunting, fishing, or golfing, it would benefit all parties involved to give him some space. It is in the time away that we can re-gather our thoughts and come back home with more strength and clarity. 
  • Allow us to be transparent and vulnerable. This is very dangerous for us men. We want to be honest about all of our hopes, fears, dreams, and struggles but this is often frowned upon in society. We are often told to “suck it up.” This is a good mantra for when we have a slight headache and need to go to work. However, this does not work with any of our wounds. We are all wounded and we need to present these wounds to God for healing and to others for guidance. This is where confidentiality is key. If a man shares his pain about miscarriage to you, this is not something to discuss with your friends, your mother, or others. Respect our hearts and minds–especially if we are usually guarded.
  • Love us. We are called to love each other—especially the domestic family, regardless of how big or small, that we have been blessed with. Find our love language and continue to make an effort to reach out to us. Some men love encouraging notes while others would prefer to have quality time with their special lady. Don’t give up on us; we need you.

I am open to continuing this conversation. If you or someone you know has experienced a miscarriage and need a place to turn to, please feel free to comment here or contact me through my own blog. 

Peace be with you!

Copyright 2016 Jason Weirich

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About Author

Jason is the founder of Java and Jesus. He loves Jesus, coffee, his wife & daughter. He enjoys helping people experience freedom in Christ. Java and Jesus is a resource and not meant to be a replacement for the fellowship & community that one experiences in a church. Blogs, podcasts, & spiritual direction are a few of the resources that are offered by Java and Jesus.

7 Comments

  1. When it comes to a culture, “measuring” (I would suggest both women and men…The Donald is a prime example) based on how many children It’s a bit of a difficult thing because the reason for the measuring AND often the suffering, is that children and family are wonderful, a gift from God. So, the need to be sensitive doesn’t negate the natural impulse to know and rejoice over a large brood.

    After starting a family I was shocked to learn that nearly 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in early miscarriage. It’s my own “statistic,” having 4 children and two miscarriages. The loss of our babies was also devastating to my husband and he had difficulty putting his pain in to words. I am grateful for my Catholic faith that confirms God knows and understands and suffers with us. Our suffering is never in vain.

    My father’s only sister had one son and lost her husband when her son was 1 year old. A family member, the husband of her cousin, became an excellent father-figure in his life and the same man reached out to me when I lost my father when I was 18 years old. He bought me a calculator for my first Accounting class. I will never, EVER forget it.

    I am very sorry for your loss and hope your love for children and family life is a blessing to many others, perhaps even someone near you that is struggling in one way or another. God indeed has a wonderful and unique plan of love for each of us. It is not consoling now, except by faith, to know your children are in Heaven…maybe praying you (or your spouse or your daughter) through the Pearly Gates! : )

  2. I a so sorry about your loss. I share your burden as I have had two miscarriages and our eight child left this world way too soon at two hours old. Grief is a journey that one does with God alone. I so appreciate your article. I am the co host of radio called Miscarriage Matters and we address mourning of men as well as women. There is also a mentoring program for men who have lost a child.

    • Ellen:

      Thank you for the ministry that you provide to men. We can act rough and tough but we always need people to encourage, love, and support us.

      Grief is different for everyone and I am so thankful for God’s unwavering hand in the darkness.

    • Priya:

      Thanks for sharing. I think the hardest were the first, the middle, and the last. The first is a shock, the second zaps hope from you, and the last one because it is the most recent wound.

  3. Yes, there is an awkwardness, often an uncomfortable loss for words. My (supremely caring & supportive) husband said, after the first of our three miscarriages, “Everybody asks, ‘How’s Steph doing?’ and that’s understandable…but not one person has said, ‘Hey, how are *you* doing?'”

    • Steph:

      I know how that is! Definitely! I am sorry to hear of your losses.

      We ask a million questions as men (and fathers) during this journey but so few ask how we are. We don’t need coddled; just some compassion and empathy.

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