To my husband on this Father’s Day, all I can say is thank you. Thank you for loving me despite my faults and being patient as we wait for our miracle. To my husband and all the husbands out there who are courageously standing by their wives as they battle infertility . . . Happy Father’s Day to you. Daddies in waiting are just as important and special as mommies in waiting. Here’s my salute to you . . .

I often share my heart regarding mommies in waiting and how I strongly believe motherhood begins in the heart.

Long before we ever cradle a baby in our belly or in our arms, the seeds of motherhood are planted.

We begin to see life differently. We begin to understand what being selfless looks like. And, we start to grasp the concept of loving another human being far beyond how we love anyone else, including ourselves.

That’s the gift, or the positive side, of infertility. Those walking these dark days know they will appreciate so much more about their journey to and through motherhood.

I often wonder if God knew I needed an extra dose of patience in order to be the best mom I can be to our future family. We never quite know His plans, but we do know that they are perfect.

It’s the same for daddies in waiting too, isn’t it?

I’ve stood by and witnessed my husband be an amazing son, uncle, and friend. I long for the day I can celebrate him with our children someday on Father’s Day as most families are today. I can’t wait to see him hold our newborn and watch as he teaches and plays with our kids.

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I know he will teach our son how to play hockey, how to roast the perfect marshmallows for s’mores on camping trips, and how to treat a lady by how he loves and respects me.

I know he will teach our daughters how she should expect to be treated by a man . . . along with hosting tea parties, playing dress-up, and singing princess songs.

I have already had the privilege of watching him do these very things with our nieces and nephews. 

And, as I type this, the overwhelming guilt of not being able to give him children yet begins to creep into my heart.

As those of you who are struggling with infertility know, guilt and shame can begin to crowd our spirit, steal our joy, and wreak havoc on our faith, our marriage, and our self-esteem.

Take a deep breath. Show yourself some grace in this process.

And look at the man who is standing by your side.

Just as it’s important for God to begin sowing those seeds of motherhood in your heart, it’s equally important that He prepares a father’s heart also.

So, on Father’s Day, instead of getting down and depressed that you’re not throwing your husband a huge Pinterest-style BBQ and handing him handmade cards your children thoughtfully made, instead thank him.

Thank him for being by your side. Thank him for loving you in such a way that keeps you going through the dark times.

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Let’s honor them for handling the stress that infertility brings silently and quietly so as to not cause upheaval in our hearts.

How about we tell him how great a father he will be? How about we speak some positivity into our journey and tell him all of the things we look forward to celebrating and experiencing when we are finally parents.

Future fathers are often overlooked in the journey to parenthood.

Let’s break that cycle today and allow our future daddies to speak their hearts. How often do they really get to do that?

So, to my husband, Adam:

You have loved me through thick and thin. You’ve supported me in more ways than I can express in words, and for that, I will forever be grateful. You sit and listen to me when I vent and hold me when I need to just cry. I remember when we lost our first precious little one, you put your grieving off to the side in order to allow me to process. You have always put others first. You are our silent, behind-the-scenes cheerleader, never wanting to take credit for all you do. There is no way I could have gone through this journey without you. God hand-picked you for me, of that I am certain.

I know, in time, we will become parents in some way, and I know you will be an excellent father.

I’ve watched you spend hours building LEGOs with Ben, decorating tiaras with the girls while watching Tangled, and making them unique snacks when they come to our house just to make them feel extra special. You have slept out on the living room floor with them in forts you built, just so they didn’t get scared in the night.  

I’ve seen you discipline them and teach them how to be good people in this world. I’ve seen you give them little nuggets of truth and love like, you’re special, you’re smart, you can do anything, and keep trying. These will hopefully be truths that resonate with them as they grow up.  

I watched you light up as we told your mom she was going to be a grandmother. You were so proud.

You talked to my belly every night even though that life was still so young and fragile. You held my hand through every ultrasound, and always let me nap when I needed (or wanted) to. You even fed my craving of Krispy Kremes. 

And, you were there sitting silently with me in our living room when we got the call that our precious little one was not going to live. Even though it had only been a couple of weeks, those days felt like an eternity to me. Our lives had changed . . . you were a daddy.

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You handled me so delicately over the next few days and months as we grieved the life we should have had. You calmly approached me every Thursday when that silly pregnancy app reminded me we should have been another week closer to meeting our baby. You took me on dates and surprised me with my favorite things, just to bring some joy and laughter into our lives when the days seemed so dark and gloomy.  

You are not only my precious husband, but you are still a daddy to a sweet angel we will hopefully meet one day.  

You let me cry. You held me when I needed to feel some life around me. You comforted me in the early morning hours when my grief was the worst. 

And, I’ll say to you today what you told me early in the morning one night as I wept over the emptiness and guilt I felt in my heart, “Our little baby couldn’t have been loved more because he or she had you as a daddy.”

So, to my high school sweetheart, my best friend, and my favorite person in the world, Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for all you do for our family. You are special beyond words. You loved our first miracle like no other, and I can’t wait to see you be a daddy again (hopefully) soon.

Thank you for loving us so fiercely and giving so sacrificially to our family every single day.

I love you.

Your wife,

Originally published on the author’s blog

Stephanie Wilson

Stephanie married her highschool sweetheart on a little island in Northern Michigan and is a hope-filled, soon-to-be mama to a double rainbow baby. When she's not working with new parents as a postpartum nurse at the hospital, she loves sharing simplicity tips for life, home, and motherhood as well as her travels around the world on her blog, Lattes, Lilacs, & Lullabies.