All of us have made some real blunders in life….it's what we do with them that counts!

Posts tagged with "TMI Tuesday"

I can say times were different when I was growing up. Fathers were different. I can’t ever recall hearing of a stay-at-home dad or hearing of fathers being overly involved. When my son was born, my father told me not to make the same mistake he it did. He told me about being involved with my son and to, “make it count.” I think I was a bit ahead of my father and started making it count before my son was born.

My wife and I had tried unsuccessfully for years to have a child.  We finally had to see a fertility specialist and spent our own money to have a dream become a reality. I remember the day I found out I was going to be a father. We were actually planning on a trip to Yellowstone National Park and had almost everything ready to go.

I have heard many special stories about how wives told their husbands they were pregnant. When you have waited as long we had, there was little time for anything special. She just told me, “I think I am pregnant.” I of course was in denial and said something stupid, “Are you sure?” She replied back to me, “Well you look and tell me what you think?” She handed me the pregnancy test and it was a positive. I don’t think either of us believed it until she took 5 more pregnancy tests.

We didn’t go to Yellowstone. We decided to stay home instead. Missing out on a vacation and non-refundable deposit wasn’t so bad; after all fatherhood wouldn’t wait. The vacation could wait, my future child and excitement couldn’t.

Even though I already had a degree in Social Work, during the pregnancy I read everything I could about parenting. I wanted to be the best father possible. I helped plan for the pregnancy, purchase necessities and tried to do as much as possible to know our child before he was born. I had read how important it is for a father to talk to their unborn child for early bonding. I wasn’t sure if it would work or not but I thought I would give it a try.

Late at night, I would read to my wife and unborn son in bed. Amazingly, he would react to me reading out loud. He would kick if my voice got excited or become still if I started to whisper. He gave me a life lesson before he was born. My son taught me that he is always listening to me. He hears me when I speak. He might not like what I have to say but he hears me because I am important to him. I now try to always do the same for him. I listen because he is important to me. I listen because I am his father.

The day Xander was born I was in the delivery room along with many other people. My son only cried for a minute and looked towards only two people when they spoke. My wife was the first one to hold him and her warmth and familiarity silenced his first cries. After their bonding, the nurses took him to start their exam. I was able to hold Xander’s  hand and I spoke softly to him during most of the exam. The entire time I spoke, Xander never turned away from the voice he knew as his father.

I bonded with my child long before he was born. The things I did before his birth helped me to realize that fatherhood doesn’t have to be overly complicated. A child needs consistency, patience and love. The only complications a father will ever have are the fears of not being good enough.

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Laughter is one of the simplest thing a person can do to help their mind, body and soul. Laughing is believed to help strengthen the immune system, slow down the effects of stress and increase mental well-being. Truthfully, who doesn’t like to laugh? Laughter is contagious. It is better to laugh with friends than to laugh alone.

Children learn humor from the world around them. They often don’t realize they are being humorous without our reactions. A child’s development with humor is contingent on a parents ability to laugh at themselves. If we can’t laugh at ourselves a child won’t accept others joking  with them or about them.

I know, for myself, I want to appreciate all the laughter around me. One of my motto’s is, “don’t dish it out if you can’t take it." I believe we need to laugh at ourselves and laugh loudly. When I am laughing at myself I know that I am making others feel more comfortable. I can give some credit to my grandmother for this believe. She told me,

"If they are talking about you then they are talking about a damn good subject and they aren’t talking about anybody else!"

I actually missed a day and a half of blogging. I felt guilty over not being here and sharing. It is the time I spent on here writing to others I often feel most connected to the world.  I write about parenting, my son, and my own personal experiences. I am human though (often a fatal mistake) and have bad days. Yesterday, was one of those days. It was a day where nothing seemed to go right.

The day started with my alarm clock not going off (I blame this on updates for a  program on my phone.) I always consider it a bad sign when I don’t wake up in a timely fashion. I quickly got dressed and went to check on my son. I had thought I would quietly check on Xander but wasn’t expecting to trip on a ball in the playroom. I think the obscenity I yelled is what woke him up.

My day was already off to a fine start. Xander had peed through and didn’t want his diaper changed.  After our first confrontation he allowed me to change him as long as I let him pick out the clothes he wore. When we got downstairs I burnt our toast, spilled a cup of milk and couldn’t find the remote for the DVD player (I considered just going back to bed.)

The day went on with me dropping a box of books, losing the remote 3 more times, having a dog pee on me (yes I said on me) and just feeling like nothing was going right. The defining moment actually came later in the day when I discovered I had my shirt on inside out. Of course, I didn’t discover this until I was out in public. I looked down at myself and noticed I could see the threads on my shirt. Upon further examination I saw that I had a tag on the outside. A normal person probably would have died from mortification. I thought it was humorous and started laughing out loud in the middle of the store. I knew that I needed to get a fresh outlook on things and this was my opportunity.

As I sit here writing about how bad things felt until I discovered my shirt was on wrong, I realize it is just a matter of perspective. Things always go wrong in our lives. We are always going to have good days and bad days. I have to remember that I am responsible for how I feel and no one else. I choose to laugh at myself. I know when I stopped and laughed I felt better. I was able to have a fresh outlook on things and knew that I was going to make the most of everyday. I know that my son deserves it as much as I do.

0 point dada for having a bad day, 5 points dada for taking a bad day and making the most of it.

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I was asked recently what’s the one piece of advice you’d give a first time dad to be? I thought about this question and I broke it down into a  simple philosophy, “Make it count.”

I stand by this philosophy. The social worker in me knows that many men will not comprehend it. I have thought about this a lot and I ask myself why men might not understand this and I have come up with what I feel might be part of the reason. 

Stress and worry in today’s world is to the point of being unrealistic. As men, certain expectations are placed upon us. Men are told that they should be strong, self-assured, and self-reliant. Men often worry that they are failing in one or more of these categories. We become stressed over who we are as well as how others perceive us.

I understand the concept of stress. I wish I could say I didn’t.  I believe it has it’s place and time in our life. The problem is that it can consume us, it is a  double edge sword. We can receive emotional relief through the process of   thinking about what is currently bothering  us but at the same time we can emotionally blackmail ourselves to not move forward.

I know that we want the best for our children but I feel that if we decide to stay focused on problems we are robbing our children. Some people might disagree with this but I have seen parents so consumed over finances that they literally forget a child’s in the room listening while I am there. I have seen adults get so anxious over their marriage they blame the child for being the root of the problem. I have also seen people get so frustrated over life in general they don’t even miss a child when they might actually go missing.

I am not saying I don’t worry. I am not saying I don’t stress. I am saying that I don’t want to pay the high cost associated with keeping these emotions all the time. Worry is a negative emotions and like all negative emotions they are harmful in the long run to our well-being. I have made a conscientious decision to try to focus on the positive in life.  

What does focusing on the positive mean to me exactly? I have to be willing to find solutions to problems. I will often use visualization techniques for solutions to what is bothering me. I will focus on the problem and look for solutions of what I believe would be the ideal outcome.   

My son is three-years-old  and beginning a life long journey on emotional stability. I want him to know I worry about things but I never want him to believe I am always anxious or stressed. As a parent if I can learn to express myself and my emotions in a way that is healthy. He will be able to the same. 

If I want to make every moment count with my son. I am willing to think about my actions and how they affect him. Parents are the first real motivators in a child’s life. I like to remember that my son is a strong motivation for me not to stress or take things personal. He is the future and what I do today affects him and the way he looks at the world. I want to give him the most positive experiences possible and that often means looking at myself first.

After all, things might not always be clear in life but we have to be willing to look at the people around us to know we have reasons to make it count!

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Looking back on one’s life isn’t always pleasant or fun.  I think though, it’s how we process and decide what we want to do with the events that have shaped us that make us a better person.  I share pieces of my life because honestly I can’t hide my past any easier than I can grow taller (except for boots of course.) I have begun telling you about what I have learned and the process of having Xander (TMI Tuesday).  As long as I feel I am helping someone and people truly want to hear my story I will go on.

Being afraid before one’s child is born is normal.  I realize now that my fear wasn’t always so normal.  I think I could be obsessive and worry myself into a frenzy where I would often find myself throwing up, just from stress. I was so afraid of things that had not happened and might never occur. 

As a social worker I would often hear mothers talk about father’s lack of involvement.  I recalled listening to children tell me that their parents didn’t understand.  I even thought about schools reminding me that children were often difficult because of their parents. The fears, while irrational, had been burned into my mind long ago.

The day I graduated from high school was a day of excitement and trepidation.  I was excited because I started the journey as a young man.  I was filled with dread because my future was unknown.  When I walked across the stage to receive my diploma I was struck with awe at the thoughts of the unknown though.  My thoughts were all on things that could come to pass since I would not be lucky enough to leave home to go to college.

The fear I felt did not leave me anytime soon either.  Later that night, after graduation,I casually chatted with some friends (more like acquaintances for I really didn’t let people know Me.) and spoke of the future.  We talked about how we would all remain friends and see each other real soon.  We spoke as young men and women speak of our hope and of dreams.  I was so good at faking the truth by this point it was easy for me to just say what people expected me to say.  I was so good at making up excuses that no one noticed as I politely declined going to any of the popular parties to enjoy solitude.

I did meet up with one friend and we started by discussing about how we were going to conquer the world.  We had a bottle of vodka and one of whiskey and we drank the night away staring at the stars and the moon in the sky.  The more we drank the more mellow our talk became.  I started talking about fear and about how I felt so alone in the world.  I spoke about feeling alone most of my life and that I was always afraid of things that might happen.  I think, as the bottles slowly emptied, it was the first time I ever acknowledged aloud that I was alone and on my own.   

Those events now help me to understand that fear is something we all face.  I was afraid of the not knowing and the fear of not understanding normalcy.  I was afraid of never being heard.  I think, most of all, I feared myself and what I would see if I ever stopped long enough to examine inside myself.

Fears are not often ration based.  They are based on what we know and the world around us.  It is very easy for us to stay in distress and much harder for us to stay in hope.  Right before Xander’s birth the irrationality of my fears had found me once again.  I wasn’t afraid for the conventional reasons but I was afraid for the “might be’s”.  I was anxious over the thought of not being enough, not being heard and even loneliness. 

I have shared this much of my life today and its here where I choose to stop for now.  Luckily though, on my journey thus far, I have realized I truly am enough as long as I continue to try.   

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Looking back on one’s life isn’t always pleasant or fun.  I think though, its how we process and decide what we want to do with the events that have shaped us that make us a better person.  I share pieces of my life because honestly I can’t hide my past any easier than I can grow taller (except for boots of course.) I have begun telling you (TMI Tuesday - Sharing a Little and TMI Tuesday – Sharing a Little More) about what I have learned and the process of having Xander.  As long as I feel I am helping someone and people truly want to hear my story I will go on.

As I watch Xander stumble and fall in the klutzy ways of a 3 year old, I wonder if he too will fall as hard as I have in my past.  I often think how I want to keep him safe from danger.  I want to keep him a little boy that is full of smiles and laughter.  Currently I sit here and stare at a picture of him and I can see the one thing that just might make the difference.  He has a twinkle in his eyes.  They glitter and sparkle with enthusiasm of youth.  They take the mark of hope.    

I remember when I was young there was a time I wanted to feel hope.  I wanted someone to tell me everything would be okay.  It’s amazing how when you examine events in your life you can see turning points so clearly.  I was 17 years old and I was no longer thinking like a boy.  Boyhood dreams of being a fireman or an astronaut had long since died.   I kept moving forward thinking I would soon leave home.  I went to school each day and the prospect of college kept me motivated enough to face the tomorrows.

I had applied to schools that were far away. Checking the mailbox at home was becoming a ritual.  I would get various college acceptance letters from around the state and country and was excited about each one but none of them felt right.  One day, I opened up the mailbox and was truly happy for a short fleeting moment.  My hands actually shook as I opened up the envelope and saw in my type “CONGRATULATION FOR BEING ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO.”  It was actually somewhere I wanted to go.  It was far enough away to leave my problems behind.  It would be my  future and I was happy about life.

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Looking back on one’s life isn’t always pleasant or fun.  I think though, it’s how we process and decide what we want to do with the events that have shaped us that makes us a better person.  I share pieces of my life because honestly I can’t hide my past any easier than I can grow taller (except for boots of course.) Last week i started telling you a little bit (TMI Tuesday - Sharing a Little) about what I have learned and the process of having Xander.  I asked everyone to be patient with me and I would share a little bit each week.

When I found out we were go to have a son I had to measure, in many different ways, what i wanted out of life and how I was going to handle it.  I am not perfect by any means and I don’t pretend to be.  Currently, I am a superhero in my son’s eyes.  Our children until they grow up have rose colored lenses.  As far as my son’s concerned I can fly, I can move tall buildings and even see and hear when not present.  I know though he will grow up and I will lose my superhero abilities so for now I will be the superhero he wants me to be.

When I was growing up things in my life started out rose colored but at some point things changed for me.  I can’t explain why but I don’t dwell on my past anymore.  I have tried to learn from it.  I often think my parents just did the best they knew how.  I have long ago forgiven any past transgressions and love my parents dearly and I wouldn’t hurt them for anything in the world now. 

I grew up the child of alcoholic parents.  My dad was rarely home.  He was always on the road working to support my mother and I.  It is regret my fathers lives with to this day and has apologized to me more times than humanly imaginable.  It was a life lesson I have learned from my father.  He has told me more than once, to be there for my son and not have to live with regret later in life.

I was an only child.  If you are a only child you will relate to how “overly responsible” we can be.  While my father was gone I was the one left to pick up the pieces.  I would make sure that we were tucked in bed and everything was put away each night.  I didn’t dare tell anyone any of this.  I thought like a child, with grown-up responsibilities, and was certain if I told I would be taken from my parents.  I have learned time and time again from being a social worker, children are often very protective of what they believe to be true and right.

Being so young and having so much responsibility and freedom came at a price to myself.  I took my first drink somewhere around age 10 or so.  I was drinking and getting drunk after the nightly chores over the course of the next few years.  I would be considered at this point a functional alcoholic.  I would go to school and mind my own business.  I made good grades.  I was always on the honor roll.

I won’t go into all of the details of the things that went on at home.  I will say that there was daytime and nighttime.  They were distinctively different from each other.  I just looked forward to a time when freedom might come up without penalties.

I have shared this much of my life today and it’s here where I choose to stop for now.  Writing about one’s past is painful.  I am no different than anyone else.  I just have made a conscious decision to live each moment to the fullest.  It serves me no purpose to hold grudges.  It serves me nothing to be bitter.  I just am a man trying to make it in the world and never forget to love life to the fullest.

I haven’t chosen to share this for sympathy.  I choose to share to let people know we all have a past and we each have to decide what we have learned from it to make our children’s future brighter.

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TMI Tuesday

I thought on Tuesdays for the next few weeks I would share a few things about what I have learned and the process of having Xander.  If you are willing to hear some of this over a few weeks I will be willing to try an share some of this. 

Now that I have son I look back on my life and I reflect what I have learned and what I hope to learn.  I feel that I have come so far and that I have so far to go.  I know that having our son was a experience in and of itself.  It was the greatest joys and greatest sorrows of my life.  Having a child should be a joy for any man.  It should be a time of celebration and rejoicing.  I wish it was that simple in my case but it’s not. 

I remember when I turned 25 and I thought I had all the time in the world to have children.  I was young and still had, like all young people, the feeling of immortality.  I am sure that most people know the feeling I am talking about.  It’s the feeling that nothing can ever hurt you.  It’s the feeling you will live forever.  I was married, had a career, had friends, had a life but I wasn’t whole.  I had all of those things but was still missing something. I just didn’t know what it was.

The years rolled on and 30 came.  It was a good year but a depressing one.  I look back now and think to myself the big 3…O.  I was fighting more with Melissa and it seemed like it was a never ending battle.  We had people asking us all the time why we didn’t have a children and they blamed us for not having a child.  It was the start of a very long road that would change me in many ways.  I was often bitter and would find myself hating life for personal reasons.  I know that doesn’t make sense but it’s true.  I would snap at people for no real good reason and take it out on myself and others I cared about.

The years never slowed and 35 came.  We were now at a fertility specialist and we were both being tested.  We were being told we had a grim outlook for ever having children.  We were finding out that insurance wouldn’t cover anything and we were to the point of hardly talking to each other.  Life was no longer fun.  The ironic part is we did talk about having children nonstop.  We picked out names.  We picked Xander for a boy.  We choose Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer because we really liked the show and Ian his middle name from Ian Fleming who wrote James Bond.  If it was a girl we had chosen Aarissa for a first name.  It was a combination of mine (Aaron) and Melissa’s name.  Elizabeth would have been her middle name after my grandmother.

It wasn’t until we got pregnant that things took a turn for the better and worse.  I started to feel mainly better but was overly stressed from all of the life’s complications up to this point.  Working as a social worker and watching other families fall apart and seeing children being so abused didn’t help matters for me.  Something had to give for me and I gave up being a child abuse investigator.  I could no longer deal with the stress of seeing the day to day pressures of it.  Not with me knowing I was getting ready to have a life in this world that I had to protect.

Someday I hope I can make Xander understand all of this but I am not sure I ever can.   I can tell you this, I have no right or place to judge anyone and I won’t.  I won’t teach my son that.  I know he is always watching me and I want him to be a good man.  I ask him to respect others, share, be kind and I have to do the same otherwise I would be hypocrite.  I cannot ask him to do anything I cannot do myself.  I know he is going to make mistakes in life but I can certainly try not to have him make any of mine.

Women often think they were born to be mothers and they never stop to think that maybe men were born to be fathers.  I think all men were born to be fathers.  We just have to be given the opportunity to be one. 

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TMI Tuesday - Labor of Love

I thought today I would share something a little personal.  Since I know time is fleeting and we only have today, I have done something for Xander from my heart.  I have letters written to my son that I give him on his birthdays.  I have pre-written these letters far in to the future.

I have been trying to work on other letters for important events.  Events I hope I am there for but life has no guarantees.  These letters to my son are my legacy for him.  I don’t know if that makes sense to people.  Truthfully, I don’t care what anyone else thinks about me doing it.  I want to make sure I am there for Xander’s graduation, his wedding, his first real job and his first child. 

Writing letters like this is truly is a labor of love and I am still working on them.  When I started this project, he wasn’t born yet.  I had to think what did I want to tell him?  What should he know?  I decided that each year on his birthday I would give him a letter.  I would tell him what I expected of him and what I didn’t expect in that coming year. 

I thought today I would share one of those letters.  I  read this to Xander on his birthday this year.  It had been written over two years before with some editing near his actual birthday.  I know at this age this don’t mean anything to him but I hope someday it does.  Oh, and for those of you wondering…I am old school…a letter like this needs to be handwritten on paper and sealed with a kiss.  I do have copies of them on a disc but on paper is where they mean the most.

January 2012

Xan,

Happy Birthday son! You are three years old today and you have grown so much in the past year.  You are becoming such a big boy! You say and do so much now on your own.  I am writing you this letter for a reason son.  I am hoping someday you will read this again and know this was a letter of love. 

Dada and mama want you to have the best and to be the best that you can be.  I thought if I could tell you what I expect from you while you are still at home it might help someday.  I might even have a word of wisdom or two.

Let’s start with what I expect of you in your third full year of life.  Xander I expect you to have fun, laugh and play.  I expect you to ride a tricycle and kick lots of balls.  Enjoy life!  Learn everything you can this year.  Xander you need to give hugs freely and always say “I love you” without contempt to family and friends.  I know you will give plenty of smile and laugh as much as you can.  My expectations of you are to see the world with innocence and always know you are loved.

I think I have given you the hard things.  I know you will do great things but with those great things there is a counterbalance.  There are things I do not expect you to do and they are equally as important. I do not expect you to hit or hurt others without provocation.  Your mother and I saw you hit a little girl August 20th, 2011 for reason unknown.  You went and told her you were sorry then you stole your first kiss. Momma and I were lucky enough to see that moment and I am able to record something that many people cannot (your first kiss).  I don’t know how come you hit the little girl but I suspect you did it because you liked her.  Xander that is never a reason to hit. Never hit because you love someone.

I also don’t expect you to lie to us.  We might be upset with things you have done but I make this promise, it will always be better for you to own up to your mistakes with us.  Things will always be easier if you just admit you are human and can make errors

I sincerely hope son that the things I have written down will help you in the coming year. Remember this: enjoy everything, remember the moments and I love you son with all my heart.  Dada

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I have a lot of new followers and thought that today on TMI Tuesday I would take the time to share with you a little.  A few things that you just might have missed about me.

I am 42 years old and a stay-at-home dad by life choices.  I have been married for 17 years this year to, a wonderful wife and mother, Melissa.  I have a Bachelors of Social Work and I use to work in a Department of Family Services.  I was the one that investigated things most people don’t want to know about.  It was while I worked with children of abuse I had some of my epiphanies on life, the universe and everything (I finally learned the answer might not really be 42 but I hold out hope)

  1. Often people are  taken for granted.  I have seen first hand the devastation a unexpected death of a child can have on a family.  Don’t take things for granted because there might not be a tomorrow.
  2. Our children are going to grow up and become more difficult at times.  I have seen people that do not know how to deal with difficult situations let alone their own children.  Difficulties will erupt in the best of families and the way we deal with them will have a lasting impact on our kids.
  3. Listening to a child truly is as hard as lecturing a child.  You think this would be a simple concept but it’s not.  I have seen many people be unwilling to listen to their children  over simple things such as ‘what’s for dinner?’ Children have amazing things to tell us if we could only remember we too were once a child and wanted to be listened to .
  4. We teach, they learn.  They learn, they teach.  Children want to share with us things they know as much as we want to teach them.  I have seen a 3 year old be able to teach that no matter how bad things can be they had hope. 
  5. Seeing isn’t always believing.  It’s amazing how many things we see right in front of us and tell ourselves it’s not true.  It’s easy to live in a rose colored glass world and forget that for many people shades of smoky gray is the norm.  In my experience it is in that smoky gray where people fool themselves the most.  It is here where people tend to accept things they shouldn’t.  I have heard, “I was only hit once, it won’t happen again, I couldn’t leave because they need me, I had to stay for the children.”  I believe it’s the smoky gray world where people start saying they can’t ever do better.

I formed these believe because of things I saw and heard.  Things most people, I pray, will never see.  Things I will not allow my child to see because I want him to sleep at night (unlike myself at times because bad dreams can follow you; long after the facts) 

I am far to much of a realist to not know bad things happen outside our home.  Therefore; I listen to my son, I hold my son, I kiss my son good morning and good night and all the injuries in between.  We had far to hard of a time having a child one time than most people will ever have ( See Our Story - Nartional Infertility Week - Don’t Ignore about having Xander if you want to know more about that.) 

He is my heart, my soul and I will keep him safe because that is my job as a parent.

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TMI TUESDAY

OK….I seriously don’t understand people sometimes.  I try to be a good person overall.  Yes, I have my flaws, who doesn’t? We live in a older neighborhood in a 100 year old house. We are a relatively quiet family.  We don’t throw loud parties.  We mind our own business for the most part.  I don’t let my three dogs go wild and I even pick up there poop so what did I do to piss off the lady next door?

Here’s the scenario.  Over the last two weeks it has been “clean up days” in our city. This means you gather your major trash and place it to the curb and they will come pick it up at the end of the two week period (fallen trees, leaves, old couches, furniture etc..) We put out a few things and on Sunday they came and picked it up. 

I walked around to the front yard a few minutes after they had came and picked everything up. Our neighbor saw me and said to me, “I have been trying to catch you for days!”  (*&$#@ Lie….she just talked to me yesterday) “Your tree is in my yard and hitting my window when the wind blows I need you to cut it down before it breaks it.  I already got my landlord to cut all the other trees on my side down”   I just said ok….not one other word came out of my mouth and walked away.

I was angry because

  1. She had seen me and my wife and Xander multiple times in the previous days.  In fact she sees one of us almost every day.  
  2. She waited to tell me until they had just moments ago picked up the trash.
  3. Now I would have to cut this tree down into small pieces to get it into the trash container over several trash days.

I already refuse to let Xander go to that side of the house when her three dogs are out.  They are big dogs and they bark constantly (non stop when they are out…we never complain) and they can bite….she also never picks up the poop and that side of our yard STINKS (we still never complain!)

I am trying to take the high road here and be a better person about this.  I want to know what do you all think?  Do any of you have crazy neighbors?

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I thought since this is National Infertility Week this would be a good time to share a little bit of this.  I’m Aaron and I’m 42.  I have been been married to the most wonderful, beautiful wife and mom Melissa for 17 years and we have a barely three year old son Xander Ian. We are some of those parents that others talk about.  You know the ones I am talking about right?  The ones that by the time they are thirty still don’t have kids and all of their friends basically do.  Yes, we are the ones they talk about, sometimes to us and sometimes behind our back.

To us:

  • "When are you going to have children?"
  • "How come you don’t have kids?"
  • "You just like enjoying your freedom and want to enjoy your youth."

Behind our back:

  • "When are they going to have children?"
  • "I wonder what’s wrong with them and why they don’t have children?"
  • "There just being selfish and enjoying there freedom without kids"

Truth be known, we never gave it much thought or the hurtful comments people, and sometimes family, made until we turned 30.  We had already known each other for almost a decade by that point and been married for 5 years.  We started talking about children more and more and thought it would happen at any time but it didn’t.  Melissa wound up at the gynecologist and learned that it might not be so easy in 2003.  It was in 2005 that we made the decision to see a infertility specialist for the first time.   

I will be the first to tell you that life is not fair and neither are insurance companies.  In most states, including the one we lived in at the time, almost none of it was covered by insurance.  We had to pay for almost everything ourselves. Insurance companies don’t consider having a child a medical necessity and (yes I am going to knock men right now) they will cover viagra but not the drugs that help the body to release an egg.  By insurance company standards having a child is not a elective option.  No one could have told us, especially Melissa, that she wasn’t meant to have children.  We got to deal with depression, anger, sorrow and a whole list of emotions.

I won’t bore you with all the details in between but it was in May of 2008 we came to the end of our long journey.  It was at this point that we had actually given up and resigned ourselves that we would try to adopt.  Melissa found out she was pregnant.  Our son, our only son, Xander Ian was born 9 months later on his due date without incident (I might add without being induced. Xander knew he had to be on time.) 

I am grateful for our son but trying to have our son was one of the most emotionally draining roller coasters I have ever been on.  I had good days and bad days and everything in between.  

I would tell anyone that’s going through infertility problems today. Listen to your significant other (I wish I had done that more) this is probably the most important piece of advice I can give anyone.  If you are going through this with someone it is very easy to fight, blame each other and at times hate each other.  Truth be known, you are each going through the same emotions so talk and support each other.  You are going to hear a lot of crazy stuff from a lot of very insensitive people and by having someone to hold onto you will stay sane.

Infertility is one of life’s blind spots.  You never see it coming until it is right on top of you.

For More Information Visit Resolve or the NAIW

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