The more they tried to pull him to the front, the more Tunji moved to the back of the group of men standing in front of the congregation. He didn’t want the man of God, who was just meters away from him, to catch a glimpse of him at all, lest he asked his wife to come out and say something about him. He didn’t want to put her through that experience at all.
God was on his side, as he managed to avoid the Pastor’s eyes. Prayers said and he hurried off to sit beside his wife. They held hands. Tunji heaved a sigh of relief; another Father’s Day “charade” over and done with.
Now, you wonder why Tunji was so tensed up over a simple show of appreciation for all fathers. Well, less than two weeks before last year’s Father’s Day celebration when all the above happened, his baby dream was cut short. His wife suffered a miscarriage. For three years, they hadn’t achieved a pregnancy and then spontaneously, she had conceived.
The pregnancy went past the first trimester, she was now showing, she had cravings, her clothes were getting tighter and they were talking maternity clothing, and then poof! She lost it one morning, just like that. It was a sad day for all parties involved. Her mother came to stay with her for a week, and then she went back home to be with her father. For several weeks after, they both struggled, but she had suggested they go to church that Sunday morning. Tunji and his wife didn’t know it was Father’s Day. Perhaps if they had, they wouldn’t have gone.
Tunji’s wife felt a strong need to go to church. Yes, she could have prayed inside her home and known God would have answered, but she wanted to commune with God alongside other believers. They went and all that played out.
It would have been hard for her to compose herself publicly to speak about the fatherly nature of her husband…if she had been called up on to do so. She had cried so much during the worship session, her husband knew it was not because she was in the spirit. It was an anguished cry, one that was filled with questions at what God was doing with her life, a bargaining cry, and finally one of acceptance and trust that God’s will be done at God’s own time.
It was simply not the ideal time to be celebrating fathers, but the world celebrated and they were dragged into it.
That day, they went home and stayed home throughout the day, watching movies and eating. They made no mention of the drama until days later, when they could both speak rationally about it.
However, it is to the glory of God that for this year’s Father’s Day, Tunji and his wife are new parents, and this time, they couldn’t even make it to church for Father’s Day, all thanks to their new status as parents, but you can bet it was the best Father’s Day ever for Tunji.
Having experienced both sides of the aisle, four years as a TTC dad and months as a Daddy, Tunji shares his experience and tips other waiting daddies can use to survive this day.
Have your own back
This is the best gift you can give yourself, according to Tunji. True, both husband and wife are involved in TTC. However, the way they react to the journey are totally different, hence the need to be your own first support system. Just know your limits and boundaries and don’t let anyone force you beyond it.
Having your own back is at the cornerstone of getting through this TTC phase as effortlessly as is possible.
A support system can come in so many different forms for men, perhaps those who are going through the same thing, or have been down that road, but it all starts with you.
Re-engage with your spouse
Dealing with infertility on Father’s Day is the perfect excuse you need to re-engage with your spouse. Some years back, a woman, who was then TTC, wrote a poem for her husband, describing his person, not necessarily his fatherly skills. It was different from those of the other women, but it was her truth, her reality and that was perfectly fine.
Expecting the kind of attention and acknowledgement you need right now from your spouse can set you up for disappointment. She is most likely be wrapped up in her own physical and mental battles that are par for the course of infertility. Know that she still cares for you deeply but is trying in her own way to stay afloat and navigate the ever-present ups and downs of her pain.
Therefore, finding an alternative connection point with her at this time can be a lifeline for your relationship. Engage in activities that make you laugh and distract you from the day today feelings you are both experiencing.
Work once more with all of the reasons that you came together and keep your focus in that space. Know that your commitment to one another in this process is paramount.
Stay true to yourself
This last tip is more important than anything else. Stay true to yourself. Please more than anything else, don’t let infertility define who you are. Hold on to all your passions, your strengths and your dreams, because those are the factors that are authentic to you. If you are going to take anything away from this experience, find a way to transform your pain to some greater purpose and use that as leverage for the next phase of your life.
For those of us who are Christians, the mention of Abraham in the Bible evokes phrases such as “Father of faith, A friend of God”, and so on, before you add the fact that, he is also the father of Isaac.
Abraham was, first and foremost, a friend of God, a faithful man, before he became a father. Those were the values which defined him and they didn’t change, even when he became a father at a later stage in life.
TTC Fathers, Fathers-to-be, Fathers live. Breathe. Enjoy!
Happy Father’s Day!
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here