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A Husband's Perspective of Miscarriage

Sunday is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. While I've written about my own losses some (Precious Lives Worth Remembering), I think it's important to hear from the perspective of the husband and the dad. Because it deeply affects them too. This November will mark 11 years since my first miscarriage. I asked Kyle if he would share his experience, and I'm so thankful he did. 

There are certain moments, throughout the course of your life, where the thought, “This one is going to scar you.” flashes through your mind.

It may be in the middle of that conversation, breaking up with your first real love.

It may be hearing the words, “It’s terminal…” and the rest of the diagnoses, the rest of the future you’d planned for, all of the emotions that had been building to hear the news seem to be swept up for the time being, just that ember burying itself down into your soul saying, “This one is going to scar you.”

It may be hearing you’ve failed, that your dreams are not going to turn out the way you’d expected, that you’ve just been let go, that you’ve lost someone suddenly in an accident…

For me, the words, “There’s something wrong…” were the harbingers for one of those life-changing moments.

Throughout the course of our time dating and as an engaged couple, Carrie and I loved talking about the future and what we prayed it would hold for us. One of those things is that we knew that we wanted to be young parents. So, only a couple of months after tying the knot and beginning to figure out what it meant for us to be newlyweds, we received news that we were expecting.

Now, to some people, it’s just baffling as to why we didn’t spend at least a year or two figuring things out, traveling, and doing a whole host of other things. Our response was simply, “Yeah, we didn’t want to do those things.” And of course, we felt the Lord prompting us to simply trust him and his timing.

As fall began to settle upon the West Texas Plains, Carrie and I began to make plans for the coming months to prepare for our first bundle of joy. One thing that we’d planned and looked forward to was taking a trip to her family’s farm in southern Alabama to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, that November, seven of us packed into Carrie’s folks’ van and made the trek do the Deep South.

It was a great holiday spent with family. Plenty of food, plenty of good weather, plenty of fun spent with Carrie’s family at both the family farm and in the city that would become our home years later, Mobile, Alabama. However, towards the end of the week, Carrie began to not feel too well.

In all honesty, I wasn’t too concerned at the time. I figured it was just a matter of travel or a common cold, something along those lines. But, on the trip back to Texas, Carrie began to fall more and more ill. It was at a truckstop outside of Dallas that we knew something was definitely wrong. Meeting friends who lived in Fort Worth at the time, we quickly got her into the ER. After the initial intake exam and an ultrasound to check on the baby, that’s when the doctor’s words cut deep, “There’s something wrong…” In short order, we discovered that Carrie was in the middle of having a miscarriage. No heads-up or time to prepare, no thoughts beforehand on anything like this even being possible. Just those words ringing in the sterile confines of her triage room and the absolute heartbrokenness that would soon follow as we sat and prayed in our friends’ living room, there in Fort Worth. Still 300 miles from home, we delved into the sorrow together.

Our family already home, we spent the next days crying out to the Lord and asking him to do something, anything, to reverse what was going on. There was a sense of guilt to add to the sorrow, that there might have been something we did wrong in the whole situation - that we could have prevented this from ever happening, maybe if we had just decided not to go to Alabama. However, things progressed and, after a couple of days, it seemed that things were over. Carrie and I, as sad as we were, headed back home to Lubbock - our future in preparing to be parents the following spring suddenly cut short.

Over the coming days and weeks, we began to let people in to what we were experiencing, at least to the best of our abilities. Just a couple of weeks before Christmas, I broke down on a Sunday morning, telling my youth students about what had happened and asking these sixth to twelfth graders to be praying for both Carrie and me…but especially for Carrie. What I began to realize, with each passing day, is that there was nothing I could have done (or we could have done) to prevent what happened. But, on top of that, there was nothing I could do to “fix” the emotions that we were both struggling with, as we mourned what seemed to be a missed opportunity. More than anything, I wanted to take all of the pain upon myself, alleviating the storm of emotions that my wife was walking through. In hindsight, this would have been incredibly detrimental, as our sorrow and mourning drew us closer together and closer to the Lord, knowing that only he could be the one to mend the brokenness we now felt.

As the months progressed, Carrie and I found ourselves healing. Getting to take part in a mission trip to Thailand, enjoying springtime and then summer and our first anniversary, being on staff at the same church, serving and ministering to families and students from birth up through grad school! And yet, there was always this gnawing in my heart that I couldn’t make the situation whole. I could never do “enough” to completely heal Carrie’s heart. I could never be “enough” to fill the void she felt, to overcome the sadness she was wrestling with. It wasn’t until the early part of the following summer that it seemed the Lord spoke to me and said, “Stop. Just stop. Carrie is mine just as you are mine, just as your future children will be mine. I will be the one to heal, to carry, to bless. Stop and rest in me.”

It seemed like we arrived at this place at almost the same time. After walking out medically what might be going on, Carrie went through a process of counseling that was a breakthrough for her. Emotions that she had never even known had found themselves into her heart were suddenly released and a new sense of freedom, of joy and happiness were birthed in her heart. In seeing how the Lord was truly taking care of my beautiful wife, I found new joy, new passion to worship and to trust in our God.

And then, almost a year to the date of when we found out we were pregnant the fist time, we found that the Lord had again given us a child in Carrie’s womb. We prayed and prayed for the Lord to redeem what had been lost - to restore that original joy in planning for what our future family might look like, to give us the strength to trust in him and not give in to the natural fear and anxiety that might come up again in the course of Carrie’s pregnancy.

May 12, 2008 - the Lord fulfilled those prayers and so many more when we welcomed Laura Kate Wiley into the world. As I blessed the day, looking at my wife and my newborn daughter, I simply thanked God for his love, his mercy, and how he redeems that which we lose.

Ultimately, we know that all of the heartache we ever experience in this life will be put right in eternity. We live in that freedom by drawing near to him through his Son, who has given us that access through his body and blood, given for his people. We rest in the truth that we can “be still, and know that I am God.” We rest on that promise. And that he is good.

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