Garret's Thoughts

Some of the first thoughts that crossed my mind after I found out about my infertility were:

  • I am failure.
  • It is my fault.
  • I am not manly.
  • I am inadequate.
  • I deserved this.
  • I suck.

 

I thought that I had somehow deserved this fate. That it was punishment for not taking care of my body or for not living righteously enough. I beat myself up a lot. There was so much frustration and impatience over not having a baby yet, that I needed something or someone to blame. And I was the easiest person.

What I would say to myself or others after knowing what I know now, would be to accept that I had absolutely no control over it. Remind myself that I would not have blamed myself for having been born with a missing limb or any other sort of genetic defect. Although I don’t know if it is something I was born with or something that happened later in life, I needed to realize that I was not at fault for this. I would never blame Mill if that problem had lied in her ovaries, so I needed to not blame myself either.

I did feel a little guilty that I didn’t do more to find out, but even trained professional doctors also didn’t think to test me either, so I needed to give myself a break. By nature, I’m a perfectionist and very critical of myself, so it was difficult for me to move passed the guilt and blame.

And unfortunately, I feel like the stigmatism will never end. Because the idea that the size of your penis or how fertile you are determines how manly you are has been ingrained into everyones’ mind. The whole masculine culture stems around what’s in my pants. “How’s it hanging, Garret?”

I believe this hyper focus on male anatomy originated from the minds of prideful men that use it as a mask to hide behind in order to make themselves feel better because they themselves are insecure and lacking something. The sad truth is, there will always be people like that who will stoke the fires of this stigma.

But for everyone else, I want to say, just remember the worth of a man is determined by the integrity of his heart and the choices that he makes. To describe or rank a man based on something that he has absolutely no control over is absurd.

I would tell the world that sometimes destructive forces can be a means for constructive ends (to quote my beautiful wife). I have really taken this concept to heart because I believe God has been teaching me this lesson in many different ways. Life is an opportunity to learn by experience. Our experiences aren’t always pleasant, but that doesn’t make them any less important. With the right attitude and faith in God, any experience will ultimately be for your benefit. Millika and I have had this attitude all while going through this experience and it has brought us lots closer together and to our Heavenly Father.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

We'd love to hear your story of struggle and how you found hope when it seemed all hope was lost. #HopeDay

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