Tag Archives: Dragonfly

Infertility: You Are Not Alone the Aftermath



Sometimes you get what you want and you would think all will be well but then you realize some ghosts just cannot be exorcised. This particular post is not your typical infertility blog. This blogger for those that do not know is a man and he blessed enough to have an IVF child with his wife. I have a great bit of respect for my infertility circle and understand the sensitivity of those reading a blog about the pains of infertility from a person lucky enough to already have a child but in infertility there are many stories and this is ours.

The common gripe you hear from those that suffer from infertility is being angry and or jealous of your friends when they are pregnant while you are trying to just get pregnant. It is an understandable human trait be frustrated when you can’t have what its seems everyone around you attains with ease. Why would infertility haunt you even after you have a child? I am an only child as is my wife. We both admit we never considered having siblings as kids but we both grew up in neighborhoods where kids our age were out at all hours. Just step outside and join the nearest group of kids and you did not have time to consider you were a single kid.

In 2015 most everyone is time starved. Both parents work in most households and in many cases the schedules are opposite of each other. Playdates have taken place of stepping outside and joining up with a group of neighborhood kids. Playdates are a mixed bag because not only does the date include the kids it includes parents that do not always know each other. Some people are comfortable with that (myself included) and others are understandably not. Finding a playdate family is nice but rarely is it a regular event. You may be like us and find yourself in a beautiful neighborhood with wonderful neighborhood and kids galore but schedules just don’t seem to line up and the kids sometimes only catch glimpses of each other when they are just going in for the night. The kids have schedules too. Kids do so many things these days from sports to arts to school activities. As a group we have taken our time starved adult lives and handed them down to our children with their own time starved schedules. What is the hell does this have to do with infertility?

When you are an only child you notice when your friends have siblings and siblings equal a play partner. Siblings equal that lifetime partner in crime and person you can share secrets with. The single child knows nothing of sibling rivalry or the politics of sibling civil war. They don’t see sharing toys, space, TV, and mommy and daddy. They only have the why: “Mommy and Daddy why don’t I have a brother or sister?”.

We were honest with our daughter. We explained in the best terms possible that we barely held on to her and that because of infertility issues she will be an only child. She gets it sometimes but then one of her friends has a sibling and is no longer an only kid and she realizes she is the only kid in a neighborhood full of kids that has her own room, playroom, ton of toys, but when it’s thirty minutes to bedtime she has no child to play with. She looks at Mommy with big eyes and innocently mentions that she is the only single kid. The infertility that my wife kicked the ass of over six years ago reaches out from its grave and crushes her. Now my wife does not feel the pain for her and I but our daughter too.

My wife understands everything. She understands she was fine as an only kid. She knows full well the fortune of having one child. She also knows our daughter is not trying to hurt her feelings when she tells her she wishes she had a sibling or there is no child for her to play with. My wife takes it all to heart. She is reminded of the feeling of being a failed woman and now it is compounded because she thinks herself a failed mom to boot. She went from failed woman to failed wife to failed mom and even though none of that is true the spectre of infertility has a way of making you believe lies. You hear new things from people when you talk about infertility that happens after a child is born. You hear that your life is great and you should feel lucky to have what you have but now you see the world through your childs eyes and admitting to them you are not able to give them something they want is painful. As the husband all you can do is console. You are a chained dog to infertility as the man. You would destroy anyone that hurt your wife but infertility is intangible so like a dog tethered to a tree all you can do is pull at the length of your chain and bark because you will never be able to bite.

I look for ways to console but they are fruitless. I sometimes find myself thinking I am intruding on others when set up playdates for my daughter. I worry when I think my little girl has not found her lifetime friend yet even though she is only six and all good things in time. She has great friends in the neighborhood and lifetime friends so far but eventually grade differences split kids apart, friends you only see every few months stay friends but the kids grow apart to at least some degree. Infertility reminds me that I will always be looking over my wifes shoulder to make sure it is not pulling her down. It reminds me that when you think it is no longer a factor in your life your child is sad because she doesn’t understand that the older kids move on and another can’t play because it is late and they are getting ready for that crazy schedule all kids seem to already have.


At this stage infertility is a teaching moment. It causes you to step up your game as a parent. You learn to be more honest with your kid. You learn to find new ways to keep them occupied and work harder to make new friends at her school and her activities so maybe she finds a friend that will be the Thelma to her Louise. This is where you teach her to never give up on things and to find ways to not let the dark things in life crush your dreams, hopes, and self-confidence. Infertility never goes away but it does not have to win. Twenty years from now infertility could haunt her and even though she will have been well versed in all we told her about in the first two and a half decades of her life she will feel the same pains a person just discovering infertility feels. I hope she never knows that battle. She is not alone if it happens. She is not alone figuring out that single children are fine. She will never be without us next to her watching her grow and make friends. My wife too will never be alone because as long as a breath comes from my lips I will never let it win by taking her out emotionally.

This is my third year writing a blog for this annual Resolve event. I will never forget where we were and how we felt. We are fortunate we had a child but I still see hurt in my wife eyes from time to time as she enters a new level of the infertility struggle. No matter where you are in your struggle you are not alone. You are important and you are loved. Below are links that will help you to better understand infertility. Please consider surfing the web for others personal stories.

In 2011 I wrote The Longest Love Letter. The E Book is the true story of our infertility journey. It leaves little to the imagination but is the most honest thing I have ever written. It is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



Infertility: Hope Is a Dragonfly


     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.