Guest / Limited Access /
Men and Miscarriage

My wife started feeling strange during our vacation. That is to say, she didn't feel anything. Those annoying quirks of the first trimester had disappeared.

A quick visit to the doctor suggested nothing was wrong, but just to be sure, she went to the ultrasound technician. It was a Friday morning, my brother's birthday, when she called and told me the news.

I knew something was wrong before she spoke. She never calls.

We had thought she was at 11 weeks, but the technician told her (quite coldly) that the fetus had stopped growing at week six. We had no child.

I didn't feel anything.

Truthfully, I didn't know how to feel.

A failed pregnancy is surely a shared hurt, but with one key distinction: men are more spectators than participants. That dissonance results in confusion about what to do, say, or feel, which for some, I'm sure, comes off as callousness or distance.

I can only speak from observation, but women who have been through the terrible loss of miscarriage experience at least some physical pain. In contrast, a man's suffering is mostly theoretical—I had no tangible reference for what had happened.

And all of this was exacerbated by the overwhelming sense that the pain was not "ours" but "hers." People wouldn't ask how I was doing, but rather, how my wife was feeling. And why not? The miscarriage happened to her—not me. Why should they be worried about me?

It's not fair to say I felt ignored. My parents and friends were all concerned with my welfare, but certainly more people asked after Mallory. I don't feel bad about it or resent them; in my state I actually preferred that the attention be deflected. But it does highlight both ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueWhy Our Body Destroys Itself
Subscriber Access Only
Why Our Body Destroys Itself
The science and spirituality behind the latest Nobel Prize in medicine.
RecommendedPatricia Heaton: My Career Floundered, Then Flourished Because of Faith
Patricia Heaton: My Career Floundered, Then Flourished Because of Faith
Q+A: The star of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and ‘The Middle’ reveals the prayer that changed her life.
Trending‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
Editor's PickWomen’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
Women’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
What pro-life feminists actually have in common with their pro-choice counterparts.
Christianity Today
Men and Miscarriage
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.