If there is one thing I learned during our trials with infertility it was that you must have hope. You need something to cling onto that will get you through when dealing with the invisible bitch called infertility. For me the thing that gave me hope was dragonflies. I know that seems simple. It’s a bug for cheese sakes. Most people would get hope from God, or a loved one, or anything but a bug. I am sorry but it was dragonflies for me. I never paid much attention to dragonflies until the last cycle my wife and I had with IVF. I had low expectations for the IVF to work. We had already had the litany of things many of you may have been forced to endure from failed cycles to with so few eggs cycles to miscarriage. There was a small part of me that found strength in that last cycle because of my amazing wife’s steel will to beat down that invisible bitch. I wanted it to work with all of my heart but I was more concerned that my wife not to have more crushing blows of disappointment to her heart, soul, ego, and psyche. I was standing guard over her and praying like crazy for the best. Who am I kidding I had long given up praying for it to work by then. The invisible bitch can do that to you, crush your faith.
The day we did the egg retrieval there were complications. The doctor brought me back to my knocked out and not knocked up wife in the sterile room that they performed egg extractions in. I walked into the room to find that there were as many as a dozen nurses and doctors looking at my wife’s nether regions while she had her legs up in the stirrups that you poor women are subjected to. Many of the gawkers were interns and were in college. They brought me there to tell me that even though there were as many as 30 to 40 eggs they could only get to two. The doctor then proceeded to tell me that her intestines were lying in a way that if they continued to move forward they could lacerate her intestines or liver and a possibly fatal scenario would unfold. They asked me what I wanted them to do. I have a degree in Administration of Justice so what do I know about fertility science? I guess the question was really do you want us to risk killing your wife to get her eggs. My answer was “hell no” and quite frankly I felt I should have never been asked the question but in retrospect I understand why they had to ask. We were dealt a huge blow. Our last cycle had two eggs and anyone that has done IVF understands that we would be lucky to even have an opportunity to implant. My wife was taken back to the recovery room and I was going to have to break this news to her. I went outside to get some air and clear my head before breaking the news. That was the first time I noticed dragonflies flying near me. I noticed the flying dragons but paid little attention. I broke the news about the egg count to my wife and wiped the tears.
A short time later we were lucky enough to implant both eggs. It became a waiting game. The day of the implant I saw dragonflies in our backyard. A couple of weeks later we were pregnant or rather she was pregnant. We were cautiously optimistic because we had been there before and had horrible results. A short time later my wife started to bleed. When I went to be by her side again I saw dragonflies. My wife had a sub-chorionic bleed and was placed on bed rest for nearly eight months. She could not leave the house and was alone most of the time. A couple of months passed and one of my wifes dearest friends died suddenly in her twenties leaving behind three children. I did not want to give her the news but I knew I had to. I saw dragonflies the morning after her friend passed and the day we buried her. I only saw dragonflies on days that tested us.I saw them again when my wife developed kidney stones. The last time I saw dragonflies was as I loaded my newborn daughter and wife into the car. I saw dragonflies only a few times over the next four years. I found hope and was instantly relaxed every time I saw the dragonflies. They only came around during hard, tough milestones. I think the dragonflies came for a reason. I love dragonflies now. They give me hope.
This summer I see dragonflies everywhere. The picture above is one I took in my yard. I like to think these dragonflies mean that many of you will finally beat the invisible bitch. I HOPE so. Struggle is about hope. Hope feeds dreams and dreams can become reality. I hope you all find your dragonfly. I hope I am right and more couples than ever will realize the dream of parenthood. I love you all and I am sending dragonflies your way.