My Perspective of "Dancing on Daddy's Shoes"

I made a new virtual friend on Twitter the other day. Her name is Silvana Massolo.  I found her on Twitter as I was searching for other potential infertility contacts. Her Twitter logo jumped off the page at me because the cherubic, curly-haired face of Ella is so adorable. Soon I learned that this precious face was the brand logo for a children's book that she was promoting titled, Dancing On Daddy's Shoes.

 Ella as illustrated in   Dancing on Daddy's Shoes

Ella as illustrated in Dancing on Daddy's Shoes

" Hmmmmmph... intriguing", I thought to myself. "Another infertility author."

As I delved a little deeper into my new virtual contact, I sent her a Tweet letting her know that I was an author and had gone through infertility, too, and would love to connect. Soon, we were emailing each other and realized that our connection was meant to be. We decided to talk by phone and then our partnership was solidified. 

During our conversation, I learned that Silvana was actually not the author of this adorable book. She is the marketing and publicist for the author, Gabriel Dietsch. We each discussed our mission to provide support and hope to the infertility community through our books. Before the end of our chat, each of us agreed to order the other's book on Amazon and do what we could to support one another.

My copy of Dancing on Daddy's Shoes arrived just yesterday. Since Gabriel Dietsch wrote the book for his little IVF miracle daughter, Ella, it didn't take me long to read the picture book. By the way, the illustrator, Ashley Lucas, is an artistic genius. Her illustrations are so precious and captivating. How she personified animals and objects in nature will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling all over.  I'd like to share my reaction of this charming book with my followers. 

To quote Dietsch, "This is the story of how your mom and I wanted to have you so much and after a lot of trying and failed attempts we never gave up on that dream. There are always obstacles in life and sometimes you must be persistent with your fight. Luckily, we met a great doctor who specializes In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) which is a simple process that takes part of mom and dad and mixes them up to create a baby. Babies are created in different ways and sometimes parents need a little help and that's alright! Because it brought us our biggest blessing, you."

 Ella and her parents.

Ella and her parents.

But what I LOVE  the most about Dancing on Daddy's Shoes is that it was written from a man's perspective. Gabriel Dietsch opens up about how long he and his wife yearned for his baby daughter, Ella to complete their life. "Our love was big and our hearts were true, But a part was missing and that was you," writes Dietsch.

Most men do not share their emotions regarding infertility, although 1/3 of infertility is related to men. They suffer in silence, feeling that they must be strong for their partners. I understand this first hand because my husband was very stoic about our infertility journey. My husband was an engineer and wanted to fix it. He tacked infertility like he would a math problem or fixing his car. He wanted to figure out the problem and fix it. 

I, on the other hand, needed to cry and wanted him to feel the depths of my despair. I wanted him to relate to me emotionally. There was a disconnect between how my husband and I dealt with our decade long struggle with infertility. Although I love my husband so much and am grateful for our rock-solid relationship, if my husband were able to open up more emotionally, I would not have felt so alone.

I think it is so important that Dietsch shared his longing for a child for several reasons. One, it will help other men realize that it's okay to be emotional over the life-altering disease of infertility. Perhaps other men will be more open with their partners about how infertility is affecting them too, if stereotypical "bucking up" responses were cast aside. Nothing in all of my 5+ decades of life has impacted my life as much as infertility.  It feels more balanced when both partners have similar feelings. In addition, I think that the female partners will not feel so alone in their intense desire to build their families if men are more open. Kudos to you Gabriel Dietsch for owning the pain of your infertility and sharing your extreme desire to become a dad!

Little Ella is so blessed to have a dad like Gabriel. Not often will men write to their daughters in such beautiful language through a magical and poetic style. There is no doubt that Ella will know how loved and wanted she was. The world would be a far better place if every child was as wanted, and I'm sure cared for, as much as Ella. The message to Ella is left very open and readers will be able to have a variety of conversations with their children, including how IVF works. 

However, I think the most powerful message in this book is one of hope and inspiration for those people who are in the throes of infertility... before any children may become a result of their attempts at ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology.) It is clear that Dietsch and his wife struggled for many, many years before assisted reproductive technology... and even more years after they tried IVF.

"No I can't recall. It's been so long, you see."

"We forgot that some things happen when they need to be"

It is so difficult to be patient when one wants to have a family. But if some of the earlier attempts I tried to have a child had worked, I wouldn't have my own precious miracle-son, whom I cannot imagine living my life without. 

And if the other attempts that Gabriel Dietsch and his wife attempted had worked, he wouldn't have had Ella Dancing on Daddy's Shoes. 

If you are struggling with infertility or know someone who is, or if you'd like to have a book to open conversations with your own miracle baby, Dancing on Daddy's Shoes will be the perfect gift. It is available on Amazon. For more details, please visit the website: www.dancingondaddysshoes.com

In-Fertility and Friendship,

Sue