Being There: A Mans’ Perspective

Friends, today I’d like to share this post with you. It is a guest post, written by my husband. He wrote it some time ago now, and I’ve been holding on to it for just the right time. So, here it is…pregnancy loss in a marriage, from HIS perspective.

We’ve been in this car for nearly 60 hours this week. I’ve heard “Daddy” a lot of times. It’s been enough times that it probably would’ve gotten on your nerves by now. But, as I’m riding in the passenger seat on the way home from vacation, looking back at the not one, but two, boys that call me “Daddy”, I’m reminded of how great our God is. I’m also reminded of how far I’ve come, to hear that word. Daddy.

You know, there was a day that I thought I would never hear that word. At least not directed toward me. Over the years, my wife and I have been through a lot of ups & downs on the road to becoming parents. We wanted a baby for a long time. We never thought it would be so hard. We never thought it would be so heartbreaking.

As for a man, we can’t be heartbroken. We’re not supposed to be heartbroken. Or at least that’s what I thought. That’s what I was always told. I grew up in the country…dirt roads and fishin’ and deer hunting… where boys are taught to be tough. You don’t break down. You don’t cry. You don’t even really show your feelings at all.

I tried to not be heartbroken. I tried to keep everything bottled up, and be the strong one. I was a hard person to get along with at times. Looking back, I can see this now. At one point I even left Leslie, because I wasn’t sure what I needed to do any more. I didn’t know how to be there for her. I didn’t know how to deal with what I was feeling. I just didn’t know anything.

I saw so many of my buddies having kids, and I really was happy for every one of them. But, honestly, it was hard to not be a little jealous. Eight miscarriages will do that to you. Yes, eight. I’ve always been the type of guy that was great with everyone else’s kid. Our friends’ kids loved me. But I couldn’t have one of my own. What was I doing wrong?

There were times during that 7 year stretch that I just wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my life. I always thought my life would include a family of my own, but it was looking like that wasn’t in the cards for us. We did everything that the doctors said to do. Still no baby. I wanted kids so much, and I wasn’t sure if my wife was going to be able to give me one. I mean, I was getting her pregnant . . . that meant my job was done, right? I have been there with my wife through it all…or so I thought.

I questioned things like, did God really love me? Did He really have a plan for my life? Was I ever going  to experience the life of a father? Well let me tell you something ….all my questions were answered when I put God first in my life over everything else.

Let me say this before I go any further. I am a Christian man… I was saved when I was seventeen. But, until a year and a half ago, I didn’t know how to live my life according to the way God and His word wanted me to. All those times I thought I was there for my wife or I had done my job.. I was completely wrong.

Being there” doesn’t mean just being in the presence of your wife.

It means meeting her every need like a husband should. It means being there for her physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It means talking to her about your feelings through the tough times, and listening when she needs to talk about hers. It means being strong for her, even when you don’t think you can. Doing your job? Well, being a husband isn’t a job. It’s a blessing from God, to get to do life with your soul mate. So until I quit looking at my marriage as job, it was never actually complete. All the emotions that we went through, and hope that we lost with every pregnancy, they made us feel like we weren’t doing something right….for each other or for God. And, at that point, we really weren’t.

Men, if you and your wife are going through the loss of a baby, the only thing you can really do for her is to be there for her. Talk to her. Pray with her. Maybe you don’t know what to say or do to make anything any better…that’s ok. Just tell her that. Ask God to show you how to make it better. When you’re in the middle of a loss like that, you and God are all she has. So just be there.

And eventually, when I got my mind right, my God gave me a relationship with Him. He gave me a meaningful relationship with my wife. And then He gave me my sons. We adopted our first son 3 years ago, and he is just like me! My wife laughs at how much he acts like me. God gave me the perfect little boy, in a way that I never would’ve expected.

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But my story doesn’t end there. Toward the end of 2013, my life was changed again. Leslie was pregnant. All I could think was “Here we go again.”  We made it through the New Year, and everything was going good. But it was so hard to not feel in the pit of my stomach that it would probably end the same way. I knew I was never going to let Leslie know how I felt!  I had lost all hope of us ever having a biological child of our own. I didn’t have my mind right! And sure enough, it wasn’t long before we found out we’d lost our eighth baby.
It’s sad to say, but even though it should have…it didn’t phase me much. I had been here so many times and the story was always the same. I mean, I already knew the ending! Then about 3 am the next morning, Leslie got a call that would change everything for us. Her grandmother passed away. That, my friends, was my last straw. I did exactly what I was supposed to do…what God had taught me already when we were given our first son. I was strong for my wife and made sure she was okay! But I was really just going through the motions.
Inside, I struggled with it all week. I knew at that point where I needed to be, and that was with God. We had to give it all over to Him. What I knew was that He would take care of me and my family, if I was only willing to let Him! So, we did. Then, that summer Leslie came to me with another pregnancy test. But, for the first time since this adventure started, I felt calm. Not even scared. For the first time, we had a plan. No medicine, no shots, just leave it all in Gods’ hands. We trusted Him. We prayed constantly for that baby. We trusted God with all our hearts. 8 months later, we had another baby boy.
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Gentlemen, I know that sometimes we have to be strong. We are supposed to be strong. But I hope this story lets you know that we can be vulnerable too. I mean, we don’t have to be a sissy, but we can let go and give it to God. He wants us to lead our families in the right way, and that starts with putting Him in our lives. The moment I surrendered to Him wholeheartedly, and let Him guide me, I saw an amazing change in my home, my family, and myself. My prayers got stronger than ever. We often joke about how we prayed this baby here, but really….that’s what we did!
“What is impossible with man, is possible with God” – Luke 18:27
So many times we listen to people…we let people tell us what we need to do… instead of listening to what God is telling us! Once we listened to God, claimed His word for Leslie and her pregnancy, and believed with all our heart that this child would be born healthy and at term –  that’s what happened.
Miscarriage is hard. Losing a baby is hard. Having your dreams shattered is hard. Not knowing what to do or how to be there for someone you love is harder. But what I have learned is that God will help us through all of that, if we will just let Him.
This is a small part of my life that I hope inspires or gives someone out there a little calmness. If you are struggling with anything…give it to God, pray about it and let God take control.
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Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127:3-5
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2 thoughts on “Being There: A Mans’ Perspective

  1. That is beautiful JW. So glad for you and Leslie and your beautiful little family. Y’all’s boys are absolutely adorable and you are 100% correct, God is awesome and everyday is a blessed gift from him above. Again, so happy for you guys.

    Like

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