When I was younger I use to dream of being a Dad. I had the standard fare of Daddywannabe day dreams. I saw my son scoring touchdowns, hitting home runs, and being an all around world changer. I saw me taking him to pro ball games and concerts and having heart to heart guy talks. Being a Dad also meant I would make sure I gave my son the things I never had. In my brain I was following my son from T-Ball to the World Series and it would culminate with him doing some ESPN interview where he praised me as his inspiration and spiritual guide to super stardom. I thought these things would be easy to meet after I was married to a woman who wanted to have a baby. Take the condom off forgo the pill and after a few minutes of lovin’ it would be baby city. I was wrong. After we had our first miscarriage and I realized sometimes a dream is just that, a dream.
To me a child was similar to putting a message in a bottle and throwing it out into the middle of the ocean and never knowing where the message would go or how it would affect the people who find it. A child is a man’s legacy and long after he is gone their child and everything he taught them goes into the world and hopefully makes it a better place. A Dad can only hope he gave their child all they need to make it in the real world.
Shortly after we lost our first child, we started going to a fertility clinic and began doing all the tests needed to make a sound decision on what direction we may need to go in to have a baby. I will never forget our first appointment. A male doctor gave my wife a pelvic in my presence. She was the one being violated but I felt like I was too. This is my wife he was prodding. The entire process of fertility treatment was a huge assault and insult to my ego. I could not help my wife. I could not fix our problem. I could not say anything to make it better. I could not fix myself. Where was my inner Bob Vila or Tim Allen “Tool Time” now? I was at a loss. My dreams were dreams and my testosterone was no match for complex human physiology.
When June would roll around it brought a spectre with it, Fathers Day. Most of us have a living Father we love so it isn’t like Valentines Day and you can just skip it (only kidding don’t skip V-Day) because you have to call your father to call . You have to face this day head on. This day could be a reminder of what you don’t have or you could turn the tables on it. I didn’t like going to eat on Father’s Day because I felt like the other Fathers were parading their children in front of me and taunting my inadequacies in my part to conceive a child. I would get angry at myself. I reminded myself of something my Mom use to say. When faced with adversity and problems she would tell me to rank the issues and fix what I could first while working my way toward the major problem at hand. I decided that Fathers Day would serve as inspiration to move forward with the fertility process and not a reason to start a fight with myself. I began to see things differently. I saw kids taking Dad to dinner on Fathers Day as a reason to move forward with fertility treatments. It fueled me to be even more supportive of my wife and to listen more closely at our doctors appointment as to what was happening and what we had to do. It is very important to turn Fathers Day lemons into lemonade. You cannot control some things but if you give into worry and doubt your perception will become your reality. The truth is that if you can deal with Fathers Day while taking the hard road through fertility hell and use it to motivate you and not weaken you then you are going to be an amazing parent once the journey is through. I wish all of you Fathers in waiting the best. I have love and prayers for you and your spouses.
I was lucky because after five long years we had a daughter. There will be no World Series or Super Bowl but I love picking her out dresses. I know your pain and what worked for me may not work for you but I pray you find your way. Remember there cannot be a Super Bowl if you do not fight through the long hard season with all of its ups and downs. Hang in there and love each other.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I live in Virginia Beach with my wife and daughter. We went through a five-year journey with fertility treatments before our daughter was born as a result of IVF. I published an EBOOK for the Nook (Barnes and Noble) and Kindle (Amazon) titled “The Longest Love Letter”. The book tells the story of my wife’s amazing strength during that difficult time of our life. It is me speaking directly to my daughter telling her the story of unconventional way she came to be born.
I am thankful for my good fortune but I believe that just because you got what you want you do not forget about your peers in the community still dealing with fertility issues. I will forever support others who take the challenge and journey. I hope that my words can helpful and I hope you get what you want and need from “the process”. I can be reached at my WordPress Blog “The Tao of Pig Pen” and my Facebook page for “The Longest Love Letter EBOOK”. The links are below.
“The Longest Love Letter” Facebook:
“The Tao of Pig Pen” @ WordPress: