Guest / Limited Access /

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 IssueDon’t Miss Steven Curtis Chapman’s Point
Subscriber Access Only
Don’t Miss Steven Curtis Chapman’s Point
Even his happiest, most heartwarming music has been fueled by tragedy and pain.
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
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.