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.