If I had the money and the time, there’s a very good chance I would participate in advocacy day in our nations capital and in my state capital. Aside from money and time one of the biggest obstacles to this is the fact that I probably would be in with a bunch of women with whom I could not communicate. I would feel like a fool sitting there all left out. It’s like a situation where you’re in with the group and people will occasionally toss you a bone to make you feel included, but you can never be a part of the conversation in a meaningful and dynamic way.
This comment was posted yesterday and it got me thinking.
For years I’ve spoken about expanding the awareness outreach to be more ‘male inclusive’. Yet the bulk of the conversation in the infertility universe continue to be women-centric.
Yes, I know, I don’t have a uterus and I won’t even pretend to think I can understand the gravitational pull of a woman’s biology towards motherhood. God didn’t design me to nurture and grow a child, so the lack of a child didn’t hi-light an emptiness inside that yearned to be filled.
But does the lack of a womb mean men don’t feel the connection to parenthood, and mourn the losses during infertility just as much as their wives?
I spent about an hour of the day today working with Elliana on a music solo she has in the Christmas performance at school. As I listened to the warmth in her tone everytime I reminded her to smile as she was singing, I felt a sudden rush of emotion fill my soul.
I have heard this voice before.
I’ve talked about the trip I took to Nashville right after Lisa miscarried. I thought I heard the voice of the baby we had lost—Dublin—nicknamed for the 8 glorious days his beta levels doubled before crashing our hopes and dreams when things suddenly went terribly wrong. His fight made me want to do something daring. Something I had always feared.
So I went to Nashville, and enjoyed years of connection to a part of me that I had been ignoring for a very long time. A part of me that had been lost on back up career plans, and rationalizing the responsible thing to do rather than moving with the fire inside my soul.
Nashville brought back that fire.
Hearing Elliana singing made me realize that I heard her voice back then too. Elliana has suddenly taken an interest in singing. Out of the blue this year, she decided after 8 years of dance she’d had enough.
Despite the popularity of all the pop singers, my little girl has a love for country music. And not just the bubble-gum pop flavored stuff that is frequenting the country air waves, but the old school stuff. She’s even writing her own songs.
The first song she wrote: Music Angels.
Just writing that gives me chills. She was one of the music angels I was singing to all those years ago. Her unborn spirit was calling to me. I had to go find her, but not just in the sterile halls of an infertility clinic.
I also found her in the dimly lit stage of the Bluebird Café where I sang a song that spoke to a vision of a life that would include a couple looking back on a full life together—a life that included memories of raising a child and all of the blood, sweat, tears, love, laughter and insanity that goes along with parenthood.
Now, the lyrics of that song are being lived out. In the final bridge of the song I have posted on this site, ‘So Far, So Good’, an old couple sit on a porch reminiscing, “They both are so amazed, at how it is they came…So Far, So Good”….
I was so amazed to hear my little music angel voice speak to that part of my heart again today.
Guys have an incredible potential to be a part of every aspect of the infertility process. They have a place in their hearts and souls that has the capacity to be filled by the soul of a child.
I know. My little music angel sings to me now, just like she did back in the days when her presence seemed so close…and yet so far away.
Men need to be able to share these stories and be a more involved part of every conversation, without feeling like their contribution is ever secondary in the process.
Otherwise, they my close their hearts and souls…and miss out on filling an emptiness they may not even realize they have.