I know that there are books and websites out there dedicated to Miscarriage and how to deal with its post-traumatic stresses. This is not one of those. This article does not answer the how and why of the miscarriage. I know that all those resources are available everywhere on the internet. This is only an attempt to answer this question, “Why am I hurting?”
But before I go any further, allow me to tell you my story. My wife and I married young. We were so in love that the moment we got married, we wanted a baby right away. After a month in marriage, we discovered she was pregnant with child. I was excited, and so was she. We straight away started preparing for this bundle of joy who was slowly forming inside of her. To us, it felt like this baby was really taking its time in there. The ultrasound revealed that we were going to have a baby boy.
My wife had started going for antenatal visits with the clinic and all seemed normal. One night she felt something moving in her belly. She had felt movement before, but she told me this one was different. I asked her if it was painful, but she wasn’t in any pain. The next morning, I went for work and my wife went to the clinic to be checked. I was in a meeting when she called my phone, the caller ID showed that it was she who was calling. I put the phone on silent intending to call her as soon as the meeting ended. Then she called again. I rushed outside to pick the call and she just went straight to the point, “they said the baby has no heartbeat.” “What?” I replied. I asked her how they arrived to such a conclusion and she explained. The Midwife told her to go to the hospital and be seen by a doctor.
My heart descended, as I dialled a doctor’s number. To make the long story short, we finally learned the baby died intrauterine at 25 weeks, a missed abortion. The doctor told us to go home and come back the next day for the baby to be expelled. I have always thought that bonding between man and baby is not necessarily strong till after birth. However, I found myself in deep pain after the fact.
I have read (on americanpregnancy.org) that the bond between a pregnant woman and the baby growing inside her is unique. A woman can begin bonding from the moment she has a positive pregnancy test. Bonding for the father may start as he experiences physical signs of the baby, such as seeing an ultrasound picture or feeling the baby kick. However, especially for men, real bonding may not develop until after the baby is born. This is why men may seem less affected by loss by miscarriage.
I asked myself why I was hurting. I hadn’t known this baby. Apart from the ultrasound, I had not known him, and beside the baby kicking, I did not have any serious contact with this baby. And yet I discovered that I loved him like crazy. I seem to remember that I wasn’t hurt as much as I was angry. My heart was filled with anger and resentment. I didn’t know who else to blame, but God. I thought that it was cruel of Him allowing such a thing to happen to me or especially, to my wife and baby. I remember receiving the news of the miscarriage, kneeling down on my knees, looking up to heaven and asking the Father, God, to heal this baby and bring it back to life. Yes, I dared asking God to breathe life back into the dead baby in my wife’s womb. I felt I had the right to ask for such a thing from God seeing I was a Christian and I had never asked for much from Him.
At the same time, I had heard that there was a group of pastor evangelists who had been in the area for some days, conducting crusades and praying for the sick and performing all sorts of deliverances. That night I ran to find the place they were holding the crusade, desperate to save my baby. I came back home to get my wife, who I took with me in the cover of the night for prayers.
When we reached there, there were so many people such that it was very difficult to get through to the stage. But we finally made it, but the pastors were busy laying hands on people and praying for the sick; at the same time many were being invited to the front to testify of what the Lord had done for them. I thought that maybe, just maybe, one of those testimonies would come from me.
When we reached the front, amidst all the commotion, a pastor spotted us and he asked me what I needed God to do. I explained to him what we were told at the hospital, and that I wanted my baby to live. He laid hands on us and declared that the boy shall live. The next morning we went back to the hospital believing that the ultrasound would show a heartbeat, this time. There was no heartbeat, still.
When they finally expelled the baby from my wife, I was not allowed to touch it owing to some African traditional belief that the man is not supposed to touch the dead foetus. I withdrew from everybody else and cried. I prayed to God for strength. I wondered why the same power that was at work within me could not save my baby. I am a Christian, and I had prayed for God to protect and keep my baby alive by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit. I always thought that things like this would not affect me to that point, but I was wrong.
Perhaps I will not be able to tell you why you are hurting, but I believe that the Lord could not have orchestrated such a misfortune. I have come to learn that certain things will happen to us as children of God, but not because God wants them to happen. Throughout that time, I learnt that I loved this baby way before it was born. I understood that the love I had for this baby was a miracle. I understand that there was something about a father’s love that nobody has understood yet.
When Jesus was born, there was joy in heaven. We know this by the multitude of angels who sang praises to God in Luke 2:13-14. This is to indicate how much the Father had already loved the Son. I know how painful it is to lose a baby, the anger and disappointment. Disappointment in the things you have put your faith in. But in the long run, as a man, you are required to lead your family through this grieving process. Allow yourself to be filled by God. It does not help that everybody is expecting you to be strong and brave throughout this process, but the Holy Spirit is your only ally.
After all these things had passed, I found myself on my knees, again. I was praying to God and seeking answers. I didn’t want to ask Him why any of those things happened. No, I just wanted to be with somebody who loved me, cared and was stronger, wiser than I. I had no other place to run to, but back to God. As I prayed, I heard strong calm come over me, as if a hand rested on my shoulders, and palming me on the back, a still, small voice said, “Don’t worry, I am always with you. I have always been with you.” I cannot express how much comfort that gave me.
Right now, a year later, we have been blessed with a bouncing baby boy. He is just what both my wife and I have always wanted. Glory be to God. Stay with God, and do not lose hope. He is right there with you.
Andrew Simwanza is the founder and President of the Chrisma Life Church, currently headquartered In Zambia. He is passionate about the spiritual growth of all Christians, until we all attain to the equity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. He is a husband and a father of one son. He is a speaker and minister of the gospel. His audience, apart from the Church congregants, range from pastors, University/College students and Church leaders. Andrew believes that writing is the one most effective way of reaching the masses with the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. andrewsimwanza.wordpress.com