Nothing Worked

I picked up my cell phone. “Hello,” I answered. The voice on the other end of the line said “Hey, I think I’m pregnant,” and I started to freak out.

I solve problems. Ask me a question, I’ll give you an answer. I’m a simple guy.

With pregnancies, I am completely out of my element.

A couple weeks later, we went to the doctor for the first ultrasound and check up. The doctor confidently told us that the baby was six weeks old, and it was just a few days too early to see the
heartbeat. He asked us to return in two weeks for another ultrasound.

I could immediately feel the emotion in my wife’s eyes, but it wasn’t what I expected.

“I’m certain that the baby should be eight weeks old,” she told me in the car ride home.

“Well, you don’t know that for sure,” I replied, trying to stay calm and positive.

But when we went into the office for the second visit, I was filled with anxiety. We walked into the examination room and I prayed “God, please let the baby be alright. God, please let the baby be alright.”

As the doctor did the ultrasound, I kept praying. Harder and harder.

Then, a sad look came over the doctor’s face. “There’s no easy way to say this” he told us. “I’m so very sorry. The baby just quit developing at six weeks.”

Immediately, I went into survival mode. This wasn’t about me, I told myself. My heart was so heavy for my wife. It wasn’t my body that went through physical and hormonal changes. I wanted to help my wife and support her in every way possible.

But as I looked to her and asked her what she needed, this is what she said to me.

“You know, I kind of knew and prepared myself for this.”

Over the next few days, I did watch my wife experience a range of emotions, and I got to be there for her. Thankfully, she is also part of an amazing women’s group at church, where she was able to connect with other women who had experienced the same thing.

I saw first hand the power of community.

I watched my wife grieve and let go of the pain.

But I did not. Instead, out of instinct mostly, I pulled away.

My body did not go through any changes, but I did begin to have feelings of anger, jealousy and confusion. When I saw small children, especially.

I tried to distract myself by any means necessary. Writing. Music. TV. Twitter. Facebook. All of the above. Nothing worked.

I finally reached out to talk to another husband who had experienced the same thing. He listened to me rant. He listened to me express my confusion. He provided support and encouragement.

Not just women need community. Men obviously need community too.

Through that experience, I learned that reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you want to heal.

I’m still filled with questions.

  • Where does God come into this picture?
  • Will I really see this child in Heaven one day?

If so, how will I recognize them?I really don’t know.

It’s alright to have questions for God that remain unanswered.

I take refuge in that God is eternal. Our bodies on Earth are very temporary.

My name is Jim Woods and I Am A Prodigal.

  • Pingback: Guest Posting at Prodigal Magazine Today | Unknown Jim

  • Larry Carter

    Jim, I love being part of your community, my friend.  Thanks for sharing.

    • Jim Woods

      You’re welcome Larry. This was something I’ve been wanting to share for a while and I really hope it encourages others (especially men) to heal. 

  • Jeremy Statton

    Jim, I am sorry about this loss. Thank you for encouraging me to trust God even when I don’t understand and life is impossibly hard.

  • Eileen

    Great post, Jim!   I have one son here on earth with me today.  My other child is already in heaven with Jesus.  I had a similar experience as your wife did.  We did see a heart beat but the doctor said baby was measuring only 6 weeks.  I knew for certain I was 8wks along.  I miscarried a few days later.  The support received then was amazing.  And you are right, it’s not a sign of weakness to reach out (men or women).  We reach to heal!

    • Jim Woods

      Thanks so much Eileen for the kind words and more importantly for sharing your story too!! I really appreciate it!! 

  • Chad Jones

    Jim, there is indeed peace in knowing that God doesn’t answer all of our questions; rather, He says “I Am the Answer.” Thank-you for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your story.

    • Jim Woods

      Absolutely. That is REALLY well said Chad. It was an honor to be able to share my story- and honestly the story isn’t about me. Really, the story is about God and the hope, healing and life He gives us. 

  • Jen Gunning

    Hi Jim,
    I went through 2 miscarriages about a decade ago and they’re still a very real part of who I am today.  I slipped pretty far away from God after the second loss…we had been working with a fertility dr. for several years and it all seemed so confusing that God would open my womb only to shut it again when hope had just started to take root.  I’m so glad you’re reaching out and sharing.  Getting counseling was a turning point for me and even in the middle of my blind rage against God, He was loving me, providing me with a wonderful counselor, faithful and patient husband and flicker of hope that He wouldn’t allow to be extinguished.  Jump forward 10 years and you’ll find me today up to my eyeballs in everything that 7-year olds bring to a family.  Our triplets are the joy of our lives and we know that God never allows the enemy to have the last word.  He is true to His word, restoring double and for what the enemy has stolen.  You and your wife are also loved in the same way and plans beyond your imagination are in the works!  May you be comforted and blessed today in this knowing.  

    • Jim Woods

      Thanks Jen, I really appreciate it! Triplets?? Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing too Jen. I really appreciate it and I know your story will encourage others as well. 

  • Stephen Uchacz

    I have never thought about it like this, my mom had two miscarriages before my older brother and I were born, but I have never thought what that must have been like for my parents. Thank you for sharing your emotion with us!

    • Jim Woods

      Thanks so much for reading Stephen. My hope is that this can encourage other parents, especially dads.  It seems to be something that is never talked about by men. 

  • Jamie Kocur

    Thanks for sharing, Jim.

    • Jim Woods

      Thanks for reading Jamie! I appreciate it! 

  • Todd Foley

    Wow. Jim, it takes incredible courage to share this story, and it’s inspiring to hear you grappling these incredibly difficult questions. But you nailed it on the head: We NEED community, whether that’s just with one other person or an entire network of people. Preach it!

    • Jim Woods

      Thanks Todd, I really appreciate that!! I hope this post can inspire and provide hope and encouragement to MANY!! 

  • Denise Dilley

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jim!  I’ve not lost a child, but I lost my father as a child.  The pain of loss never goes away, but when you’re surrounded by a community of people who have shared loss, it somehow makes a difference.

    • Jim Woods

      Absolutely. Great point!! It was my honor to share my story with you. Thank you so much for reading! 

  • tammyhelfrich

    Great post, Jim. I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy between my two sons. It’s something that is hard for the Dads to understand or help. You captured it well. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jim Woods

      Thanks so much Tammy. I appreciate it!! I hope it really does help other Dads! 

  • Albert Dale Jr

    Jim,  Be amazed at out of the ashes comes something beautiful…There may be many, who without an inexplicable occurence, would not be there for you to know, love, admire!  Both of my BEAUTIFUL girls came along only after miscarriages!  I grieve and cry with you tonight, but declare there is JOY in the morning!!

    • Jim Woods

      Thanks so much for sharing Albert. I appreciate it. I love that, out of the ashes come something beautiful. That is so inspiring and true! 

  • Rachel Kain

    Thanks for sharing, Jim. As the mother of two living boys and two angels–one miscarrriage and a baby boy who died from complications of CHD at 109 days old, I always appreciate it when other people share their stories. They’re so much more common than people realize. My online grief community has been invaluable, as has the relationship with couple from church who lost their son suddenly at a few weeks old. More recently, we sought out grief support for our two sons who have transformed as a result of meeting with a bunch of other kids who have suffered losses as well. Community, knowing we are not alone, is truly transformative.

    Again. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jim Woods

      Rachel, I’m truly deeply sorry for your loss. You are 100% right, finding community is invaluable. You are NEVER alone. So glad I was able to share my story with you. Thank you for commenting and sharing your story as well.  I really appreciate it!! 

  • Cole Bradburn

    Great story, and it is so true how women naturally embrace community while we men tend to withdraw.  I’m so glad you found someone to rant to.  

    My wife’s sister has had three miscarriages, and is filled with the questions you asked.  But on Saturday, God gave them a beautiful daughter, as they had their first child. 

    Reaching out means you want get better, want to grow, want to not be insane (keep doing the same thing and expecting different results).  

    One foot in front of the other, and He will guide your steps.

    • Jim Woods

      Absolutely. Well said Cole. I’m still filled with many more questions. Congrats to your wife’s sister!! Thanks so much for the kind words. 

  • Emily Davies

    Hey Jim, I read this the other day but didn’t get the chance to comment, so just wanted to drop in and put in my encouragement. I miscarried for the second time last year (pretty much to the day) at 12 weeks. I’m not anywhere near ok with it yet and was so angry at God, asking the same questions as you. But I recently read ‘Heaven is for Real’ by Todd Burpo which was a great source of healing for me – it at least gave me hope that I will see my children again and that they’re ok. I can’t wait to meet them. :)  

    In the mean time I have to hope that our story isn’t over and that someday soon we’ll have a family to call our own. Praying for you on this journey :)

  • Maranatha John

    Wow! What a touching story. And I’m equally blessed by all the testimonies on here as well. I’ld like to recommend Dag Heward-Mills’ “Daughter you can make it” to everyone; but especially the women. It’s a great book that will both serve as a source of healing, recovery and strength in every sphere of life, especially in situations like this. It’ll be an invaluable gift for any lady, this Christmas. :)