When we were called into the sonogram room shortly after we’d arrived, the sonogram tech found what we had just hoped and prayed would not be the case! Our baby wasn’t moving. Had stopped growing. Was laying there perfectly and peacefully still. Lifeless.
It was devastating. Without question, this was the hardest trial we’d faced as a married couple of just over four years. The weeks and months of getting “back to normal” after the loss of our sweet baby were trying, to say the least. But because of that trying experience, I was able to lean on my husband, my family, and most importantly, our Lord and Savior.
So back to what I started to say a minute ago— What do I mean “act how I expected him to?” Great question. How should I expect him to act? This is not a scenario that they cover during premarital counseling, or in marriage books, or in Husbandry 101, and actually as I found out, it’s a scenario that very few people even talk about! After my miscarriage, it turned out that probably every third woman with whom I walk life had had one before. WHAT? Why had nobody ever said anything?
Anyway, I guess I expected my husband to mourn with me. And he did, to an extent. But he hardly ever cried. (He actually cried once, and it was the moment we found out Anna wasn’t growing anymore.) I was crying left and right! He didn’t really want to talk about what had happened, and it’s all I wanted to talk about! He wanted to resume life as normally and as quickly as possible. I wanted to enjoy my pillow nest in my bed with my limited supply of pain pills and stay away from reality as long as I could because I thought I’d be a wreck in front of anyone who gave me a hug or asked me any questions about what had happened.
I could tell that, for about three or so months after our miscarriage, whenever I said anything about Anna or our loss, my husband would talk with me, but would keep it as surface-level as possible. I was doing my best to respect his manner of dealing with it all, but finally I broke down to him one night and sobbingly asked if I was going through this hurt alone! “Do you feel any pain at all from all of this?” I asked him. “Do you even care?” I questioned dramatically, in true womanly form…
And that’s when he told me something I least expected to hear.
Of course he cared. Of course he hurt. But he gently explained to me that he felt like it was his role as the leader of our household to also be the rock of our household and to stay as firm and as unwavering as possible for me. Since I was so emotionally delicate, he felt like it was his role to be strong and steady for me. Hence his lack of crying, lack of discussing, and wish to get back to normal ASAP.
Wow, I actually get it. That explains so much!
I also asked him in my dramatic inquisition if he felt like he’d grown any as the spiritual leader of our household, since that is his number one role as a husband to me and a father to our children, whether they're here on earth or not. Since I had slowly eased back into work and had really “trimmed a lot of fat” as far as my schedule and work load, I had more time to get into the Word during my recovery. So I was telling him and asking him about all I had learned, like all the time. Which I thought was great!
But when he answered me on the question of if he felt like he’d grown as my spiritual leader, his response was simply this: “Please let me be your spiritual leader.”
So after my husband made clear to me where he was coming from emotionally and spiritually, I had a major behavior shift (which wasn’t necessarily easy.) I did my very best to respect him and his methods as my rock and my leader. And I have to say, it’s been very rewarding. I admit, I’m not the most respectful of wives, but The Lord taught me that is one of my roles as a godly mate! God has really strengthened us individually and as a couple. And after our little tearful (on my end) chat that one night, he better understood my need to talk about Anna and our situation. That was my healing mechanism.
Our marriage is ten times stronger than it was this time last year without question. I’m not saying we’re perfect by ANY means. Oh no, no, no! We have a looong way to go. But God is showing us things about each other, about Himself, and about the fragility and preciousness of life. And— bonus— He has given me strength to talk to others and share my story with people I don’t even know! The Lord has used my miscarriage to bring amazing people into my life, and I pray that He uses me to speak into the lives of others who are going through a similar hurt. I also pray that my husband will be able to minister to the husbands of women who have experienced miscarriage.
I encourage those of you who are experiencing hurt after miscarriage to open up to someone. And to figure out where your husband is coming from, because he’s going to act weird! I can almost guarantee! I completely understand that it’s natural to want to keep your hurt inside, but I can speak from first hand experience that opening up was a huge part of healing for me. I found a quote by the amazing C. S. Lewis that really spoke to me as far as opening up: “I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”
Praise The Lord!