What are you thankful for this year? Maybe you are thinking: "I have nothing to be thankful for" Maybe you are thinking: "I have a ton to be thankful for" Or, maybe you are in between, where you can only think of a few things, but not a lot.
I went shopping that day to buy some presents for my wife. We were planning on going on a romantic date. We had the babysitter lined up. I bought my wife a new outfit. It was date night!
Then I went home. Everything was going fine. We were getting ready and then it happened.
The miscarriage happened. The little baby inside my wife's womb had died.
We prayed. We reasoned. We hoped.
But it happened.
So there I was. The husband of this beautiful woman who just had a miscarriage and little did we know how much this would rock our world.
I used to hear of people having miscarriages, but I really did not know how to relate. As a Pastor you help people in a large variety of situations and many of which you most likely will not face personally, at least you hope you won't!
After the miscarriage process I kind of shut down. I still looked normal on the outside but I was torn up on the inside. I made mistakes when dealing with this miscarriage.
People told us "oh, I have had one of those before" "it happens to most women" and they act like well just get pregnant again, but what we have found is that most people never really deal with this loss properly.
I know I didn't.
My wife and I were so excited about this new little baby coming into the world and then instantly he or she was gone. We hadn't even announced that we were pregnant yet, but we were about to.
As a husband I think to myself about all of the other husbands out there and how they have handled, are handling or will handle this situation with their spouse. So I write this to spread hope to them. I write this to encourage them. I write this as a guide to them.
3 Regrets from the husband of a miscarriage:
1. TRYING to be Strong
When the miscarriage happened I took the road of little to no emotion. I thought to myself that I needed to be strong for my wife. In hindsight I should have just mourned with her instead of trying to be her knight in shining armor. She didn't need a knight. She needed her husband. She needed to grieve this loss with her husband. She needed to see my tears, my sadness so that we could heal together.
I am a Pastor; I am supposed to be a Shepherd. Shepherds are supposed to be strong. Shepherds are not supposed to be weak. In the process of trying to be strong I grew hardened. I did not plan it this way. It just happened. If I would have just grieved and mourned this loss with my wife I think that it would have made it much easier.
If your wife recently had a miscarriage do not do what I did. Mourn and grieve this loss with your wife. I do not believe that I had the same level of sadness that my wife did because she physically felt the loss, but my sadness was still there.
Regardless of how manly you are it's ok to sometimes let that guard down. It is especially ok to let that guard down if your wife needs you to.
I can honestly say that I would not take this strong man route again.
2. Hiding our situation
My wife and I decided to hide our miscarriage.
We did not necessarily do this on purpose. Like, "let's hide this thing so no one will ever know."
It was more of the fact that we hadn't announced the pregnancy yet and in regards to miscarriages it's an unspoken rule to kind of just keep it to yourself.
That is so ridiculous.
This is against Scripture:
Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
How could people weep with us, encourage us, or comfort us if they did not even know what we were going through.
I believe that Satan wants us to hide our struggles from others because he wants us to feel like we are all alone and that no one cares about us. This opens up doors for self-pity, anger, bitterness, etc.
If you are the husband of a miscarriage do not hide your situation. Share it with others. Share it in your Church. Share it with your family. You do not have to live on an island during this miscarriage. Plus, the chances are there are dozens of other people in your church who can empathize with you. You would be amazed how many people in your circles of influence have gone through a miscarriage and you sharing your story may open up a door for them to share theirs.
Christianity is not meant to be an island. We are a body of believers. During a miscarriage share your struggles with the body!
3. letting fear REIGN
After the miscarriage I got scared. I began to believe these lies from Satan that if I did not live a perfect Christian life then something else like this might happen.
I remember when I was a teenager and had a car wreck. After the wreck I thought to myself "I had a wreck because of the music I was listening to while I was driving." Ok, maybe I shouldn't have been listening to that music, but that is not why I had the wreck. I had the wreck because of a lapse of judgment in my driving and a lapse of judgment in the lady that hit the side of the car I was driving.
After the miscarriage a similar fear crept into my life.
This fear overcame me for a long time.
I believe it was a stronghold in my life by the devil.
I struggled with having joy and peace in my life because I was focusing so hard on making sure that I was completely right with God at all times, because I did not want anything else bad to happen to me, my family, our ministry, etc.
So I began to overthink everything, apologize to everyone for everything, worry about everything.
I was trying to be this super perfect person instead of just resting in the Grace of God.
I was becoming super religious instead of super close to my Heavenly Father like I should have.
I was trying to do works instead of resting in the arms of my Heavenly Father.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
This verse has really been helping me to break this cycle I was in of trying to live perfect. I am saved by Grace through faith and it is by nothing I have done or can do, I just have to accept the gift of Jesus. I am God's workmanship and because He saved me and loves my I have a desire to do good works. Not out of duty but out of my love for Him.
When you go through a miscarriage or anything for that matter it is not necessarily because God is chastising you.
Some things just happen because God wants them to happen.
As humans we are never going to have all of the answers.
We just have to trust in God during the good and bad times.
If you are a husband of a miscarriage don't make the same mistakes I did.
Mourn/Grieve with your wife. Tell others and be encouraged by them. Don't be fearful.
If you have never been saved or do not have a personal relationship with Jesus you can find out more about how to here: True Hope.
October was declared as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. In his declaration he stated:
"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them."
So what exactly is pregnancy and infant loss?
Well let’s look at it a little further:
MISCARRIAGES (stats from healthline.com):
Your doctor will classify your condition as a:
- blighted ovum (a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins)
- complete miscarriage (where the products of conception are expelled from the body)
- ectopic miscarriage (egg implants in places other than the uterus, most often the fallopian tubes)
- incomplete miscarriage (rupture of the membranes with dilation or thinning of the cervix)
- missed miscarriage (the embryo dies without your knowledge, and does not deliver)
- recurrent miscarriage (the third or more consecutive, 1st trimester miscarriages)
- threatened miscarriage (where bleeding and cramps point to a possible upcoming SAB)
STILLBIRTHS (stats from empowher.com):
- According to the World Health Organization, 4.5 million stillbirths occur each year worldwide.
- The Lancet reported that more than 7300 babies are stillborn every day.
- Approximately 1.2 million stillbirths happen during birth, usually because of delivery complications.
- 1.4 million stillbirths happen before birth, usually because of maternal infections or fetal growth abnormalities.
INFANT LOSS (stats & graphic from nwsids.org):
- Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) encompasses all types of death where an infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly. SIDS is one type of SUID. The graph below shows the relationship between the two:
- According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage -- most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant.
- About 15% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage.
As you can see this month is a big deal.
What we have found is that these issues are regularly neglected leaving individuals left to deal with it on their own.
We want to change this.
This is a life factor that can make or break an individual.
My wife and I had a miscarriage last year and it was one of the hardest things that both of us have ever faced in our lives.
There are millions of others out there that have struggled with pregnancy or infant loss, but these situations are not hopeless!
This month we will be spreading hope and awareness on this issue to the individuals all over the world that need strengthened and encouraged with these life factors through:
- Stories - This month my wife and I will share our story of having a miscarriage to encourage others that have gone through it or will go through it in the future. In addition, we will seek out inspirational stories from others and share them on our site or podcast.
- Awareness - We will spread awareness about these topics.
- We will highlight resources, speakers, authors, etc. that are working to spread hope on these topics.
What is your story? Have you gone through a pregnancy or infant loss? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments below or send us a note.
We hope you will be inspired to overcome and succeed regardless of what you are going through.
Sean & Jackie Teis