Miscarriage: The Father

photo 2The mother isn’t the only one who grieves when a miscarriage happens. The father is also affected by the loss of a baby. Every man responds differently; some may feel the loss more strongly than others. My husband didn’t feel the loss as I did. He didn’t feel very attached to the baby because he hadn’t seen a sonogram, heard a heartbeat, or felt the baby move. I think what was harder for him was watching me go through the miscarriage and dealing with my grief. However a father responds, whether he felt attached or not, the baby was his and it is just as much a loss for him as it is for his wife. I would like to give the fathers some advice on how to handle their grief as best I can but since I’m not a guy I’ll be focusing more on how they can support their wife during this time.

HANDLING YOUR GRIEF

1. Express your grief.sad-man-silhouette-on-bench
I know a lot of husbands feel that they have to be strong and help their wives cope so they suppress their emotions. This isn’t healthy. You need to deal with the miscarriage too so if you do feel a sense of loss then you need to grieve as well. That will probably look different from the way your wife grieves and that’s okay. But don’t suppress your grief so that you never face it. Hiding emotions doesn’t make you strong, it only postpones the inevitable break. Own your grief and deal with it so that you and your wife can heal.

2. Talk to your wife.
It is important that you talk with your wife about the miscarriage. Talk about how it makes you feel, how it makes her feel, and how you are handling it. When my husband and I talked after our miscarriage we communicated with each other about how we were responding and coping. I was open about my feelings and explained to him why I felt such a deep sense of loss. And he explained to me why he didn’t feel as attached to the baby and how he felt about it. Understanding each other helped us to bond amidst the grief.

A miscarriage can be hard on a couple but you need each other now more than ever. So stay connected by being there for each other and communicating with each other. You need to get through this together.

Here is a link to an article that was written by a guy who’s wife has had three miscarriages. It is a great article from a man’s perspective. It will be more helpful on the subject of handling your grief. Please take a moment to read How a Man Handles a Miscarriage

SUPPORTING YOUR WIFE

You may not understand all of the emotional and physical struggles that your wife is going through right now and that can be scary. If you are like most guys then you just want to fix it but nothing can be done when it comes to a miscarriage. The best thing you can do for your wife right now is supporting her through her grief. Here’s some suggestions on how to do that.

1. Let her grieve.
Your wife will probably grieve differently than you and seem more emotionally torn up and devastated. She has gone through something traumatic and painful. She’s lost a baby. Let her express her feelings and work through her grief as she needs to.

2. Be patient.
Be patient with her rollercoaster of emotions and moods. Hormones and grief can do a number on a woman’s body. And be patient with the timeframe of her grief. There is no rule for how long someone should or should not grieve. Just be patient and help her wade through all of her feelings and encourage her as she progresses in the process of healing.

3. Take care of her.
Talk with her, hold her, confirm her. Make sure she’s taking care of herself and make sure that she knows you love her. When a woman has a miscarriage she can feel guilty and broken as a female. Let her know how wonderful you think she is and encourage her to not dwell on those negative thoughts.

4. Pray with her.
When I was going through my miscarriage my husband would pray with me. Even though my heart was a little hardened toward God at the time it was good to hear my husband pray. He had faith in the moments that I did not and that helped me to overcome those times of unbelief. So pray with your wife. It will be an encouragement to her to hear you ask the Lord for healing and strength.

5. Be open to how she wants to honor the baby.
If she desires to plant a tree, buy a piece of miscarriage jewelry, or name the baby then hear her out and be open to the idea. If she does want to do something then it will help her progress in her grieving and healing. I’m not saying that you may not want to do anything but it’s something to think about and talk about with each other.

A miscarriage is hard on everyone but in time healing will come. Grieve as you need to and be there for your wife as she grieves. This is a sad reality in life and it doesn’t seem fair but God has a purpose in everything. All we can do is trust Him and rest in His sovereignty. One day He will make all things right and it is then that everything will be okay.

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2 thoughts on “Miscarriage: The Father

  1. Great advice Sarah. And I wouldn’t disagree with anything.

    I would say from my own perspective, I walked around in a cloud. I felt I needed to be strong for my wife. It was out of my control and I hated that. I wanted it to be over and I wouldn’t express any emotion.

    That changed a couple of days into it, we were at the hospital and my wife was having a DNC (sp?). I went out to the car to get something and checked messages. One of our dear friends tried to leave us a message and she lost it. Her emotions broke through the emotional wall I created and I sat and balled for a long time. It felt great.

    Men do get over it quicker. We need to show patience and respect for the healing process. I also felt at times I was protecting my wife from undue emotional situations (ie. other babies, pregnant women). It took time, but we came through it.

    I’m so happy you are taking the time to write about this Sarah. God bless.

  2. Peter, I was in a cloud for a few days myself. I think it’s a defense mechanism. We just try to get through without dealing with it but eventually we do break. And that’s good thing.

    I think it’s just as important for the fathers who go through this to talk about it and share their story.Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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