CW: pregnancy loss, miscarriage


In the waning days of last November, my wife presented to me a set of terrifying, exciting, jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, perfectly parallel pink lines. She was pregnant. We were going to have a baby, our first. Whoa.

She told me this news as I was walking out the door to go to work. Do you know how surreal normal life feels after receiving shocking news such as that? It felt like my body was on autopilot while my brain tried to make sense of the fact that, over the coming months, my wife was going to grow a whole human— wild. 

On top of the overwhelming reality that we were starting a family, we were also faced with the task of telling our friends and family. A task we found both extremely exciting and daunting. But, it was only a few weeks to Christmas— the perfect time for exciting news like that. We planned and planned on the most impactful and exciting ways to tell our families through Christmas gifts that heavily insinuated the new family addition, as well as a not-so-subtle, “anonymous” letter addressing everyone. Sharing the excitement of a new baby with our families, especially over the holidays, was a lot of fun. But, believe it or not, it was more fun to tell our friends.

My wife and I are blessed with the most amazing, supportive, and loving friend group anyone could ever ask for. It is a huge group of people too, and it seems to never stop growing. Twenty-two strong have stood beside each other through all the highs and lows of college and trying to figure out how to be functioning adults together. 

Getting to share in this new excitement with our close-knit friends was incredible. There were lots of screams, lots of tears, and lots of talk about who we had to name the baby after, and who was going to spoil our baby more (I guess these are the perks of being the first one in the group to start a family).  

After telling our family and close friends, we began to branch out and tell our coworkers and further removed friends. After a while, we’d finally covered all our bases, and told just about everyone we knew about the exciting news; we could finally relax. 

Then, a week after we had finished telling everyone and sharing in collective, blissful, excitement, my wife suffered a miscarriage while we were attending a friend’s going-away party. 

My wife ran out of the bathroom and told me she needed my help with something, pulling me away from my conversation. Following her into the bathroom, my brain began to register shock and then devastation as  I realized the baby we’d been shouting from the mountaintops was dead. 

My vision blurred, and my knees struggled to stabilize the rest of my body. My heart sank. My mind raced. Is my wife okay? We just finished telling everyone. How are we going to tell them this? My wife and I hadn’t even seen the guest of honor at the party yet. We left the bathroom with broken hearts and dreams. We put on a facade as we greeted the guest of honor with a smile, thanked him for his congratulations on our pregnancy, and forced a laugh at his jokes about us being parents. Behind my smile and unfocused eyes, all I could think was: We aren’t pregnant anymore.

The hour-long ride home held no words. I don’t think any could have been spoken if we’d wanted to. The air was choking. My wife cried until she fell asleep, and I bawled and cried out to God more than ever in just that drive. 

Our excitement and expectations were crushed. It was an empty, helpless feeling. Although we never blamed God, we couldn’t help but ask him, “Why?” 

The grief that followed was unpredictable. It felt like facing an enemy who knew my every move, while I had no idea what it was doing. The crash of emotions was hard enough, but then thoughts of invalidation began to creep into my head. Am I making too big a deal about this? Should I feel this sad? These damaging questions always seemed to strike me when the tides of grief had receded, with the sole intention of keeping me down. It was like, after slipping and falling, getting kicked in the ribs as I struggled to stand back up. Of course, these questions were lies. No, I was not making too big a deal about the emotions I felt. Yes, I had every right to be devastated. My wife and I had just lost a child. 

And, we were now faced with another daunting task: telling everyone about our loss. To be honest, this was partially motivated by the fear of having to hear more congratulations and talk about our baby from others, when we both knew our baby was gone. 

We told our friends first. It seemed emotionally easier than our family— and it wasn’t easy. But God began to draw near to us through the support of our amazing friends. They gathered together and sent loving messages, gifts of flowers, cards, lotions and bath bombs for my wife, books on miscarriage grief, lots of meals, and, my favorite, they all wrote us letters. One for my wife and I to read every day for a month. Each written with a different verse in mind and uplifting words. 

The letter that’s stuck out to me most, so far, was written by my friend Sam. It simply told us that Sam loved us, and his attached verse was Romans 12:3–12. Here, Paul is describing all of us as the body of Christ, and explaining we don’t have the same functions, “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (v. 5). 

Sam’s letter brought me to tears. My wife and I were not in this alone, but instead were surrounded by an entire body to help us through this when we were incapable of carrying ourselves. This is how Christ wants us to be to one another: ready to uplift and serve one another in love. 

While trying to navigate the days following our loss, amidst the fear, anxious questioning, and grief, I found myself growing even closer to my wife. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more on “her team” than I have since the miscarriage. Both of us intentionally loving, caring, and supporting one another as waves of grief hit us at different times. 

Perhaps strangely, God also felt close during this time. Strangely because part of me still felt hurt and confused, wondering if God did this to us. But his presence in these moments helped us both to feel that he too mourned with us, and he never abandoned us. 

Through our difficulties, I’m thankful for the amazing group of friends God has blessed us with. I’m thankful for an even stronger bond with my wife, and to have God’s abiding presence. 

But, even with our amazing support groups, life isn’t just peachy keen. The grief of our loss still haunts us, and wafts into our hearts occasionally. It is hard to see others who are blessed with healthy pregnancies, excitedly anticipating meeting their bundle of joy without thinking about how big our baby would be if it were still growing. The pain and grief unfortunately don’t just go away. And honestly, I don’t know if they ever will; it just doesn’t seem to work that way. But that’s probably how it should be, right? Loss should never be something we totally get over, even as we are healed from it.

If you’ve gone through a similar loss, please know your grief and pain are valid. Please also try to allow yourself to be loved by others. Try to be open with your suffering, even if it’s uncomfortable. I’ve found it’s so important in this season to allow others to pour back into me. If you don’t have a strong support system of friends or family to reach out to, I’d suggest going to a trusted pastor, a mentor at church, or maybe even the parent of a friend. 

Your pain is not a burden you have to carry alone, and there are so many people who would like to help you carry it. Many local churches and organizations also host Pregnancy and Infant loss support groups— finding one to visit could help you feel seen during this time, and help to support others through similar experiences. 

And of course, and maybe most importantly, openly grieve to God about your pain. He feels it too, and he wants nothing more than to hold you and cry with you during this time. 

Another letter from a friend gave the simple reminder that death was never a part of the original plan. Jesus wept with his friends, even though he knew of the coming resurrection (John 11:35). He is with us in our grief, even if it feels like no one else can be.

If you’ve never experienced something like this but know someone who has; love them. Your support through tangible outlets, or even just your quiet presence, will mean more to them than you likely will ever know.