A Father’s Day Toast to the Infertile Dad

Dawn Davenport

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infertility father daysMost of the consultation requests I get are initiated by women. In fact, so much so that I was rather surprised when I received an email from a man asking for a consultation. He and his wife had been trying to conceive for five years, and he wanted to review their current options. When I told him that the easiest way to schedule was to suggest a few times that worked for them, he somewhat sheepishly said that he preferred to talk with me alone.

“Bill’s” wife had various health conditions that combined to make it difficult for her to conceive.  Bill needed a place to talk and ask questions without the burden of protecting her.  Towards the end of our conversation, Bill said, “I know it’s not the same, but the thought of another Father’s Day without hope, makes me feel like sh_t.”

Infertility strikes couples, so regardless of semen quality, the Bill’s of the world are infertile by virtue of their commitment to their wives.  Bill’s need to say “I know it’s not the same” reflects the unspoken truth—we discount the impact of infertility on men.  Make no mistake; infertility is an equal opportunity pain in the heart.

In honor of the Bill’s of the world, I offer this toast.

Here’s to unplayed games:
Tackles not made.
Softballs not pitched.
Frisbees not thrown.

Here’s to the untaught skills:
Changing the oil filter without getting oil all over the garage floor.
Getting to Level 3 in Super Mario Bros.
Treating a woman like she’s the most special person in your world.

Here’s to ungvien advice:
You’re beautiful no matter what some pimpled faced 13 year old jerk says.
Sometime the bravest thing you can do is walk away.
There’s always next year.

Here’s to unlived moments:
Showing your child to your grandparents for the first time.
Teaching your child to ride a two wheeler.
Walking your daughter down the aisle.

So this Sunday, amidst all the revelry, gosh-awful ties, and welcomed hugs for Dads everywhere, give this toast, at least in your mind, to the infertile men of the world.  Because Bill was wrong–it is the same. Infertility makes us all feel like sh_t.

Image credit: sean dreilinger

16/06/2011 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 9 Comments



9 Responses to A Father’s Day Toast to the Infertile Dad

  1. Michele Scott says:

    What a beautiful tribute. My husband and I had unexplained infertility with potential challenges on both sides, so we always considered it “our” problem. It affected us differently. But now that we’re adoptive parents, I can see how our “no” to prayers for pregnancy became a “yes” to adoption. I pray that the Bills of this world who have so much to offer to a child get the chance to do so in some way. Visiting from ICLW (#26).

  2. Joanna Madine says:

    Thanks Dawn.

  3. Suzy says:

    Father’s Day is so hard. I asked my dh if he wanted to go out to lunch. He reminded me that he didn’t for the same reasons I don’t want to on MD.

    Thanks for the post!

    ~Suzy
    ICLW #53

  4. Misty says:

    Visiting from ICLW. I often forget how much this has affected my husband. This is heartbreaking for him too. I’m glad you wrote this post.

  5. Keiko says:

    Dawn – what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and for reminding us to celebrate the men in our lives who may find this day painful too.

  6. randi says:

    This was the most meaningful thing I’ve read about infertility in a long time. I’m forwarding it to my DH right now. Thank you.

  7. Michael Barr says:

    Well said Dawn. For what it’s worth, I was one of those guys who went through all the infertility treatments (four failed rounds of IVF to be exact), and didn’t have anyone to talk to… so instead of completely losing my mind trying to deal with it, I set out to write a book to try and do something positive with the experience. You can find it here, if you’re so inclined: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SC1NLQ

    Mostly women have read it thus far, but if I can get it in the hands of some men dealing with infertility, I certainly hope it helps…

    Keep up the great work here!

  8. Marci says:

    I’ll never forget my husband coming home night looking sorta depressed and defeated. I asked him how was work and he said that he’d been in a meeting and before it started, the guys had been talking about late night putting kids to bed and one of them turned to him and said:
    “You’re so lucky you don’t have kids.”
    He replied with a sickly sort of laugh, “Yeah. Lucky. Heh. Heh.”

    He didn’t say it, but I realized he had an instant flash of all the things he was missing out on coupled with the stress and pain of everything we were going through to get pregnant.

    Lucky. Yeah.

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