Yesterday, I attended the funeral for our friends’ 16-year-old son. I noticed his mother in the front row, dabbing away her tears. I thought about the tears she would certainly shed on Christmas Eve this year (and in years to come). Then I remembered—Christmas is for weeping mothers. Continue reading “Christmas is for Weeping Mothers”
This is the concluding post in a series on miscarriage and the Gospel — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
It’s been almost three years since our last miscarriage. Wounds are healing. Yet, I’d be lying if I said those foxes don’t still bark and nip from time to time. They bark, but the Gospel speaks. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 6) — Miscarriage and the Gospel”
This is the fifth post in a series— “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
In God’s kindness, we survived that year. Our son—Living Child #5—was born February 8, 2012, allowing us to spend the anniversary of our loss enjoying our newborn. With his birth, we were finished having children—miscarriage and the little foxes were not.
In December 2014, I accepted a call to be associate pastor at new church. We packed and moved to a new city, to this new congregation, filled with new people.
In January, we discovered that, despite our decision to be finished having children, my wife was pregnant. We hit a wall of conflicting emotions. Pregnancy had grown increasingly burdensome and destructive to her body, especially in the summer heat. We hadn’t wanted another child. Yet, we treasure children. We knew we should want this child. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 5) — Miscarriage and Loneliness”
This post is the fourth in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
The day we returned from the hospital, I headed to store to fill a prescription for my wife. As I drove, I turned on the radio, set to my usual public radio channel. A state lawmaker and the host were discussing some bit of abortion legislation. The legislator quipped something like, “You know, it’s not a big deal. We’re only talking about fetuses up to 18-weeks.” These words hit my heart like salt in a bite wound. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 4) — Miscarriage and Culture”
This is the third post in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
Our daughter—Living Child #4—entered the world in December 2008 with no complications. In the spring of 2009, we learned another baby was on its way, due in February 2010. On a family vacation in July, my wife experienced strange contraction pains. We saw her doctor when we returned. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 3) — Miscarriage and Shame”
This is the second post in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
Despite arriving pale, blue, and breathless—the umbilical cord cinching a death-grip on his throat—our first child lived, as did our second and our third.
We first experienced the death of a child in the womb in September 2007, a year after the birth of Living Child #3. We lost the baby early in the unannounced pregnancy, at only four and a half weeks. The bleeding started the day after a home pregnancy test. Had she not taken it, we might have thought her cycle had simply started late.
My wife and I have nine children, but if you meet us, we’ll only say we have five. That’s because we’ve only ever named five—the five we’ve met, the five who took breaths, the five we brought home. Four of our children died by “miscarriage.”
Medically speaking, miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of gestation; it is the death of a baby in the womb. As with most suffering, I did not expect to experience it personally; it happened to other people. I certainly never considered it from the father’s perspective. Miscarriage seemed to be—before it happened to us—solely a woman’s experience, a mother’s sorrow. Now I know differently. Moms hurt, and dads hurt too. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 1): A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage”
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered,” Jesus assures us. “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” The argument here is not: people matter, therefore sparrows are insignificant. Rather: sparrows are significant, so how much more valuable are those created in God’s image?
God’s voice—not the voices in my head or those of my neighbor—is the final word on the matter: If he values the hairs of my head more than sparrows, how much more must he care for my child—his own image bearer?
And when that child falls to sleep, hidden in my wife’s womb, will the Father in heaven not notice the father on earth? God cares for these little ones. God cares about mothers. God cares about fathers. Both moms and dads have every right to mourn.
I’m writing today at the Risen Motherhood blog, sharing a personal story of experiencing miscarriages as a father. You can read the whole piece here: “Dads Hurt Too: A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”
As you read, would you consider doing a few things for me?