Ed Herzog has reached the point in his life where he does not think he will ever become a dad. Here is how he feels about it.
I’ve always been good with children, particularly those under the age of 10. I light up when I’m around them and have a natural gift for entertaining them. Still, I’ve always been a bit reluctant to have my own children, knowing how great of a responsibility they are.
As I’ve gotten older though the desire to have my own child has grown. I remember one time, watching a movie with my niece and nephew cuddled against me and wondering if I would ever have that type of experience with children of my own.
Last year, at the age of 45, I finally got married. My wife and I had had some conversations before the marriage about having a child and we were both interested in having one. Still, we were both shocked to find out that she was pregnant three months into our marriage.
I was thrilled! After years of waiting, I was finally going to become a father!
Of course, both my wife and I knew that we had to be cautious, that in the early weeks of a pregnancy, nothing is guaranteed.
We couldn’t help naming what was growing inside of her. Both hoping for a girl, we took to using the term “frijolita” aka “little bean”. Unfortunately, the pregnancy didn’t proceed normally. Three months in, my wife was having problems with pain and spotting.
We went to the hospital. After a series of exams, the doctor told us that she was unable to locate a heartbeat. The doctor told us that sometimes these sort of situations turn around and that we should wait come back a week later.
The very next day my wife miscarried.
I’m pretty sure that miscarriage ended my chance to be a father.
Granted, it’s still theoretically possible for me to become a father. I’m now 46 and my wife is 38 and obviously plenty of couples have had children at those ages and later. But I don’t see it happening. I have some personal reservations about having a child at my age, knowing that I’ll be responsible for caring for someone into at least my mid to late 60s. I worry about what would happen if I were to die before my child were fully grown.
There’s another reason why both my wife and I are both reluctant to try again. The pregnancy and the miscarriage were both hard on my wife. Very hard.
During the three months of pregnancy, she had a bad case of morning sickness, dealing with severe nausea, and throwing up once or twice a day. Then there was the miscarriage itself. Months later my wife is still struggling psychologically with the aftereffects of the procedures to clean out her uterus.
Even if my wife were willing to try again, I don’t know if I can put her through that again. Either the morning sickness or the possibility of another miscarriage.
I think it’s over. I have to face the fact that I’ll likely never be a father.
Obviously, I’m not alone. There are millions of other men who are in the same situation. The reality is that I’ll never know what it’s like to hold my child in my arms. I’ll never hear my child’s first words, never see them take their first steps. I’ll never get to take them to the park, never get to help them with their homework, never get to hold them when they’re going through a tough time. I could go on but I think you get my point.
The truth is that I now feel a bit a jealousy, a bit of sadness when I see a father with their child. Knowing everything they’ll get to experience that I never will. And I feel anger, lots of anger towards any father who mistreats their child.
I want to end with these words. For anyone who is or will be a father, please treat your children with kindness. Please look upon them as the special gift that they are. Please remember to be grateful for the opportunity that you have. And remember to always tell your children how much you love them. There are lots of men out there like myself who will never have the chance to be fathers. We know that being a father isn’t all fun and games. That you have to make lots of sacrifices and that there’s lots of hurt and pain that go along with being a father as well.
We also know that it’s the most rewarding job in the world. But one that we will never have.