Hope for the Dads

I do a lot of reflecting these days.  I find taking a step back and trying to look at things from a different angle.  The trigger to do this reflecting can be varied.  Today is one of those days where I find myself doing more reflecting than others.

I got up this morning and sat down with a coffee.  I opened Facebook and the first thing that popped up on my feed was memories from this day last year.  News.  Beyond Excited.  Worth the Wait.  These were the headlines.  A year ago, our little family was growing, and it brought with it so many emotions.  It had been a long journey.  At the time I thought we had been through tough patches, expensive processes which created other pressures and now we were on the other side of that.   There were some nerves involved.  Being parents to a new born again was going to be a whole new challenge. 

Fast forward a year and I have found my thoughts drifting through those tough patches that I had felt a year ago.  Wishing that they were in fact the toughest things we had faced as a family.  Unfortunately, they are nothing on what my family and I have been through in the last year.  Shock, disbelief, heart break.  They are the headlines of the last year.  They are not the only headlines though.  The most important headline we have right now is Hope.  Hope for our family to remain strong into the future.  Support each other. That is not the only hope though.  What I have found in the last 7 months has been a hope that others who experience similar heart break to us can get through it. 

During the countless IVF cycles and losses that we went through I had this thought that men don’t have a support network or groups they can be open in.  Maybe this is a hangover of toxic masculinity.  The fear of being vulnerable.  The fear of being judged.  Unsure of how or who to talk to about infertility and the process they are going through.  I hope that I can help break the stigma that is associated with IVF, Infertility and neonatal loss.  In the last year I have had so many people reach out to talk about their own situation.  Failed IVF, successful IVF and loss have been regular topics.  For some, I am the first person they have ever spoken to about this that is not their partner.  We are rapidly approaching 2020 and so many people in our community still feel unable to open up about their struggles. 

This hope is how I turn what could be a trigger for grief into something positive.  Something to look forward to and drive me.  It still hurts.  I am wiping tears as I type away at the keyboard.  That is all part of the journey.  I know that it is ok to feel like this. I hope that others out there know that it is ok as well. 

In the last year what I hope for has changed so much.  I reflect more now than ever.  I have grown so much.  How I judge happiness has changed.  What I hope for has changed so much.  If I can help give someone else some hope when it feels like there is none then I am a happy man. 

Scott Peeler-Hammond