Pregnancy Loss and Fathers

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Millennial Catholic Chris Crawford writes:

Earlier that day, we had excitedly discussed announcing our pregnancy in Mother’s Day cards. She was now inside the hospital undergoing her first ultrasound, while I was in the car, unable to enter the hospital due to COVID-19 precautions.

When the appointment ended, she rushed out, tears streaming down her face. “There’s nothing there,” she said as she grabbed hold of me. “There’s nothing there.”

Her words knocked the wind out of me. This was the start of a difficult journey that has tested our marriage and faith, but ultimately strengthened us in both. I’ve dealt with grief, numbness, guilt and loneliness. There are millions of men who travel this road with me, but there are surprisingly few resources for us.

In such situations, men have a patron to turn to for help. St. Joseph knew difficult journeys. He knew great hardship and wrestled with how best to follow God’s will. In this Year of St. Joseph, I’ve been reflecting on the ways that he is the perfect saint to accompany men who have lost a child in utero.

The lack of certainty regarding the future is one of the greatest challenges for fathers of children lost to miscarriage — especially those of us who have no other children. The loss of a child is devastating in its own right; it also reminds us of the uncertainty about our life’s direction. We wonder now if we will ever have children. If our wives take a positive pregnancy test in the future, we know that celebration may be subdued by uncertainty that claws at our joy.

While we can’t expect clarity, we aren’t left alone. In the silence of prayer and adoration, in conversations with those close to us, we allow God to guide us to holiness and show us the way. We pray for a faith like St. Joseph — the ability to say “yes” as challenges appear, and the grace to respond wholeheartedly to God’s call.

You can read the full essay here.