I'll be honest...I'd always imagined it differently. Where I grew up, there is a meticulous order you abide by in regards to the roadmap of your life. You go to school, hope to get into a good college, graduate, get a job, work, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after. I suddenly found myself in a situation where I thought I had everything I'd ever dreamed of wanting, but something was missing.
The older I get, the more I find I know less and that I ultimately don't have full control over my life. And that’s okay. The journey to fatherhood was one based on faith. I persistently believed in the good lord to bless me in a way that even I knew I couldn't understand.
I knew the pressures I was feeling were likely based on a cultural status quo that is forced upon many couples, which is that you have to become parents very quickly or you aren't following your correct path. And yet...I struggled. Perhaps it's because I couldn't come to grips with the reality that I might never reach fatherhood and it crushed me. Through everything, I had faith.
The morning I found out I was going to be a father, I was still half asleep. My heart began fluttering like I had just run a marathon. I had prayed for this moment many times, but it didn't seem real. What did I do to deserve such amazing news?
My wife awoke before I did and entered the bathroom, a norm in our household. I felt her rise awake, but I thought nothing of it. I just rolled over and went back to sleep. I may have been dreaming, but I thought I heard some mid-summer allergy sniffling coming from the bathroom. Nevertheless, I slept.
About 10 minutes later, I felt her five fingers gently poking me awake asking me to come help in the kitchen. I got up like I had been awake for hours, bright eyed and bushy-tailed. I wasn't. I'm not sure what I was thinking. The smile on my wife's face indicated there may be pancakes, so I didn't question her intentions. My contacts were still in the master bathroom, so I couldn't see anything.
I followed her into the living room and kitchen before I saw something blurry on our kitchen table. Pancakes for two? As I got closer, I saw everything I'd been waiting for for the last 13 months. My whole world turned on its axis and, yet, it seemed like it was upright for the very first time. I couldn't contain my excitement and we embraced with the most memorable hug and kiss...one I'll remember forever. For this we prayed and, for this, God answered.
More so than many, I understand that the road to the result is not always one that's easy. If I can impart any advice upon anyone else who may be struggling, it's this: Don't give up. There will be times when patience is tested, times when you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel. The truth is, God has already paved the groundwork for your life and you're simply walking in the direction He chose.
At times, yes, it can be difficult. When others persistently ask you when you are going to have children, knowing in your mind that you've been trying for months, it can prove to be a knife in the stomach. For some of you who never considered whether this could be hurtful, it is. Now, those you ask will likely never say anything or act that you did anything wrong. It doesn't mean that it hurts them any less.
Everyone has struggles and it's often the case that they don't want everyone to know when they're struggling. The truth is some are embarrassed, as if having issues make them less of a successful person. I can tell you, issues having children doesn't make you less of a man or woman. It makes you human. Like all humans, we feel. And sometimes it hurts.
Don't let your misguided embarrassment prevent you from seeking guidance. After telling my parents some of the things I went through, I felt as if a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Your emotions aren't yours alone to continue fighting. Sometimes we need to solicit the help of our family and friends to fight with us, so we can rest.
We don't always know "why" we are tested, so it can be trying to the point that we begin to question our faith. Never do this. Continue to have faith and never fight alone. No one should ever have to go to the doctor, too embarrassed to discuss their worry or anxiety for fear they might be judged.
Judgment, like embarrassment, is often misguided. Not everyone who says something hurtful means to say something hurtful. Just like it's other's responsibility to watch what they say, it's just as much your responsibility to communicate with them when your emotions may be wearing thin. I can't stress this enough.
For more information regarding infertility support or questions about infertility etiquette around those who may be struggling, please visit Resolve, The National Infertility Association. Get the help you need so you can have the life you've always wanted. Continue praying, as I will for you.
Thank you for reading and I hope you'll be back. Some of the other blogs I will be referencing in future posts are listed below, so be sure to check them out:
(Modern Dads Podcast) citydadsgroup.com/blog/podcast/
http://athomedadmatters.com/ by Mike Heenan
https://www.lifeofdad.com/ a Social Network for Dads
www.whithonea.com/ by Whit Honea, author of The Parents' Phrase Book