The Forgotten Dads of Infertility and Miscarriage

Dawn Davenport


Father's Day for the Infertile Dad

Where does the man in your life find support for his grief over infertility or miscarriage? Does he feel this pain?

Fathers, or more specifically prospective or wannabe fathers, are often forgotten in the world of infertility. We women talk and share our grief and frustration with our infertility struggles or miscarriage losses, and as a result, we usually find support. Not so for many of our partners.

Society doesn’t encourage men to show grief. Male friendships often don’t allow for active grieving either, especially for a loss of something that isn’t “concrete”. The death of a spouse or child is easier to recognize as a loss rather than the death of a dream or a miscarriage. I think this is particularly the case with men.

In addition, many men feel like they have to be strong for their wives. When an IVF cycle fails or a pregnancy is lost, they want to be the shoulder their wife can cry on and the rock that offers support. But who supports them? Whose shoulder can they cry on?

Father’s Day is around the corner. In honor of the dads-in-waiting, I share with you this poem. Please share it with others this week so that these “forgotten dads” will be remembered on Sunday.

A Father’s Grief
By Eileen Knight Hagemeister

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief.
Since “men don’t cry” and “men are strong”
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test.
And field calls and visitors
So that she can get some rest.

They always ask if she’s alright
And what she’s going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
“My friend, how are you?”

He hears her cry in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
And dries her tears and comforts her
But “stays strong” for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew.
And try to be so very brave-
He lost his baby too.

Where does the man in your life find support for the grief he feels over not being a dad?

Image credit: NYCandre

15/06/2015 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 2 Comments

2 Responses to The Forgotten Dads of Infertility and Miscarriage

  1. Avatar Greg says:

    Thank you so much Dawn for writing about this topic.

    I’m in a strange place in that I’m not a dad in waiting. I’m a never will be a dad. This Fathers Day is extremely difficult as a few weeks ago I had a second opinion that confirmed my infertility is something that cannot be treated. Even prior to that diagnosis this calendar year has been me working through a deep depression.

    The myth about those who are infertile is that we are bitter and just want what others have. The reality for me other infertile men and women out there is that holidays like Fathers Day are a reminder of what we and our bodies are not capable of producing and that is children and a life that passes on a legacy to the next generation.

    I recognize that I’m in the minority of men who is outspoken and open about their infertility. I don’t expect other men to be like me but my hope is that by reading my story, reading other men speaking out and pieces like this that they understand they aren’t alone in how they feel.

    • Dawn Davenport Dawn Davenport says:

      Thank you Greg for sharing your pain. I believe it will help other men to feel less alone. I’m sorry for the diagnosis.

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