On Father's Day, give men who want to be dads the space to openly grieve
Hopeful mothers have a lot of resources to help cope with pregnancy loss, while men are still mostly left out of the conversation.
The morning after the news that our frozen embryo transfer didn’t work and I wasn’t pregnant, I woke up early to an empty bed. The hopeful feeling my husband and I had entered 2022 with was gone. It abruptly ended with a quick phone call from a nurse from our doctor’s office giving us the information. I found my husband quietly standing in the kitchen, tending to our window’s planter.
We’d been together a decade, married five years, and the idea to keep a tiny garden there had begun randomly and been transformed into a ritual that marked the beginning of summer. Every year, I’d await the day of going to the Union Square New York City market for new things and watching him meticulously add them to the planter.
There’s no Hallmark card section for “Sorry your embryo didn’t stick.” But it’s a real loss that deserves space to be mourned and supported.
But it was March. That time hadn’t arrived yet, and the planter was lifeless, still holding last year’s remnants — except for one small, pink flower that had been discovered that month. It came out of nowhere, alone yet miraculously thriving in a sea of dead shrubs.
We’d been long awaiting a transfer with our one genetically normal embryo after four in vitro fertilization cycles. As it approached, the arrival of the surprise flower had become a conduit of hope — a symbol of our patience and persistence. Despite attempts to remain emotionless, all my dreams began to build up into that one blossoming miracle. If nature could do it, why couldn’t I?