This week Project Pomegranate offers our “Prepare Yourself, Father’s Day is Coming” Blog series, noting how difficult the Father’s Day season can be for those who have struggled with fertility grief. Welcome to Wednesday’s blog post! Also, check out our new book of devotions, Though the Darkness Gather Round!
Fathers’ Day never meant much to me. It was a time to get a new tool or tie for my dad, but other than that, I didn’t really think about it much. Yet, I always dreamed of being a father. Ever since I can remember, I have looked forward to playing with my children in the backyard, taking them to ball games, and taking those epic road trips to see nature’s wonders – all of those things my dad did with my brother and me.
After about a year of marriage, Erin and I decided to expand our family. That was 2003, and I can still remember the joy I felt when she told me she was pregnant. I was riding high for about a week, then the struggle began. Miscarriage. Tears. Confusion.
I thought, “We can pick up the pieces, try again. We are still young – this happens to everyone.” A few months later, we try again. PREGNANCY!!! then complete depression…miscarriage. This is not ok, this cannot be happening. We give it another go. NOPE. What is wrong with our bodies? Is it me? Is it Erin? Probably both of us? Yep. Doctors intervene, tests, drugs. Nope, more miscarriages.
Finally, in 2005, we catch lightening in a bottle and are able to get pregnant and maintain it for 37 weeks. Thirty-seven terrible, awful, literally gut-wrenching weeks. I watch pregnancy tear Erin apart, and I pray over and over that both she and this little, magical being will make it through. They make it, just barely. After 26 hours of labor, I cut the cord and get to look into the wonderful, magical eyes of my daughter. I am overwhelmed by love. Nothing could have made me so exhilarated or frightened at the same time. Six years later, I felt that overwhelming love again when meeting our son in his birthmother’s hospital room.
Father’s Day as a holiday still seems a little absurd to me. Since Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were painful for many years, Erin and I aren’t good at recognizing these holidays for each other. I probably won’t get a tie or a new tool. Heck, I may not even get a card. But that’s ok.
This Sunday, I’ll use this chance to reflect on our struggle and say a couple of prayers – a prayer for solace and hope for those currently struggling or mourning and a prayer of thanks for the two crazy, messy, loud, adorable kids I have the privilege to parent.