Even though people, especially men, don’t like to talk about it, the loss of an unborn child has an emotional toll on the dad as well as the mom. Lots of people offer support to the mother and they often receive it well. However, having experienced this pain myself, I realize that the same is not always true for the father. Because of that, I’d like to share 5 words of advice for dads going through the pain of miscarriage.
1. It’s a terrible thing and it’s okay to feel bad about it. The anxiousness that you feel is normal. You’ve lost your child and it’s as real as losing any other member of your family. Acknowledge the loss. People may encourage you to simply move on. What they are really saying is that you should act as if it never happened. In my opinion, that’s terrible advice. Acknowledge the life that existed in your baby. If you do, you are helping the healing process for both you and your spouse.
2. You can’t fix it. The man in us wants to take charge of anything that seems broken and try to fix it, even if all we have is crazy glue and duct tape. Fixing things is often how we cope with uncertainty. But this is not something that you can fix. Nothing that you can do right now will bring back the child that you and your spouse have lost.
3. You are not alone, even if it feels like it. Before my wife Kathy and I went through our miscarriage, I really only knew a few people who had gone through it. However, as we experienced our loss, the stories started to come out. I was surprised to realize that as many as 25% of all pregnancies end up in miscarriage.
4. Take care of the girl. In other words, understand how your wife deals with grief and allow her to go through it.
Here are some tips in helping with this:
A. Don’t tell her how she should feel. It will only make her upset with you.
B. Don’t tell her that everything will be okay. It won’t be.
C. Let her know, in whatever way that works best for you, that you are there for her no matter what.
D. Be willing to talk about it. Go on walks and be prepared to listen.
E. Keep in mind that she might emotionally connect sex with the miscarriage, so be sensitive.
F. Remember the day of the miscarriage, even in small ways.
5. Finally, pray like you’ve never prayed before. Unashamedly ask the Lord for guidance and wisdom. He knows what it’s like to lose a child.