How Guilt Made Me a Better Father

On Monday, my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter stayed home from daycare.

She wasn’t technically sick, but you can’t go in within 24-hours of having a fever over 101 degrees, and on Sunday she peaked at 102. She had actually carrying the fever for five days by then, so we made an appointment with her pediatrician to make sure we weren’t dealing with an infection or anything worse.

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Goodbye, Cellular Babies

When it was time to start our family, my wife and I made a discovery: we couldn’t make babies the old fashioned way.

My wife wasn’t ovulating. Her eggs, though healthy, wouldn’t pop out of the ovary and into the fallopian tube for fertilization. My sperm, for that matter, couldn’t fertilize anything even if they found an egg. Sperm needs to be plentiful, and a specific shape. Great numbers, because so many don’t make the the entire journey to the egg. Pointed heads, because they need to pierce that egg in order to create an embryo. My swimmers had flat heads. They could bump up against an egg all they wanted, but had no way to enter.

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Don’t Throw Dad Under the Breastfeeding Bus

Even though nursing has been scientifically (and repeatedly) proven the best way to feed a baby, there are legitimate reasons not to do it.

Maybe you have flat nipples and the baby couldn’t latch. You work, and your employer offers no maternity leave or pumping breaks (welcome to America: first world country with third world women’s rights). You adopted your baby, and getting donor breast milk is an enormous pain in the tuckus.

(There are more, but you get the point.)

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