Now let me point out, a lot of this was more invasive and difficult for my wife, but I can only paint this story from my perspective, but the clinic have been amazing. Dr Reddy, the consultant at Cotswold fertility has been amazing to us. This blog is just to try and give some perspective into what its like to want something so bad, to have something that is natural become very clinical and have yourself feel very isolated.
This story starts off in the most cliched way. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl move in together. Boy and girl marry. Boy and girl buy a house and then Boy and girl decide to start a family. That was a few years ago. We couldn’t just go straight down to “business time” as the Flight of the Conchords put it. My wife has a heart condition and we had to ensure her health was just right so that the risk was minimised. So we knew this wasn’t going to be a conventional pregnancy. The clue was when we sat in a room surrounded by an army of Dr’s, in what felt like some hideous version of Dragons Den, where we had to pitch and having permission to make a baby, but we got the green light and we were all set to go, January 2016 was going to be an amazing year.
But it didn’t pan out like that.
At some point, we had to have that awkward conversation. “Something isn’t right.” and straight away I went through every cliched manly thought, “maybe those late night bed room alone times have left me dry.” or “Well maybe cycling does have a lot to answer for.” but I tried my best to suck it up and go to the clinic.
So we went through all of the chats and then came the day I had to provide a sample. I won’t be too graphic here, but its not like the movies. You can ‘collect’ it at home and then you have to get it to the clinic in as fast a time as possible. Now my friends know I’m a worrier, as is my wife. So imagine us two, in a car, in rush hour with a sample, trying to get across the city. Depositing an investment indeed.
So a nervy few days went by while we waited for the follow up. I cannot lie, as the Dr had my results and read them out, I was sat forward, nervous.
“I can confirm Russell your scores are perfect.”
If this was a film, I’d have danced out the room. Instead I looked at the Dr, blushed a bit and said.
And then you realise you have to put your stupid preconceptions of what it means to be a man to one side. As it dawns on your wife next to you, that if its not me that’s the problem could be her….
Ultimately, as I’ve told my wife many times; we are a team, I love her more than I can say, its her I want a family with, no one else. I will stick with her, and we will make this work.
Since that meeting (i’m not going into our details too much as its not important, nor is it my right to share that.) we have been on something called ovulation induction. Basically it involves lots of injections and controls when the woman ovulates. I’m a bit thick so i can’t explain it too well.
Basically it means our life is like the episode in Only fools and Horse where Rodney is exhausted from the pressures of meeting the diary his wife sets him.
It makes something that involves a lot of fun, emotion and pleasure bloody stressful and exhausting.
Then comes what is known as the two week wait. Where you wait to see if its worked. Its bloody horrible- you try to relax and think about anything but.
In the meantime, you and your wife, have to see babies seemingly everywhere, Dads playing with their kids, expectant mothers having baby showers and in one moment where my wife’s twitter post went viral, horrific and ill conceived adverts.
.. and try talking to it with people. I think the last time I did was with friends and I’m a man who plays rugby. Because of what happened to my dad, I try I really do to be open and talk if stuff is on my mind but I don’t always get it right.
So I broached it in the sensible way obviously. On a stag do, with beer. Other times I’ve discussed it by text to people and you get the well meaning but miss placed “Relax guys it’ll happen.” To which I have to be well meaning and fight the urge to want to punch the person in the face.
Because its not easy to relax. We do and we try, but it takes something and makes it regimented.
We have other friends who feel bad for wanting to talk about their kids or feel bad as they don’t know what to say to us, because they struggle to empathise.
To them, all i’d like to say is, we are not monsters, all my friends have amazing kids and seeing them and hearing about them, gives me hope that one day I can bore you back about how I planned to vicariously live through my son/daughter when they become England rugby captain.
On a serious note, if you take the time to listen to us, it means a lot.
So today was the end of the latest two week wait.
The test was….
Negative, for now.
Sorry, no happy ending yet.
This is our fourth cycle of Ovulation Induction. We have 2 to go, they are done every other month. I still choose to hope it will work. If it doesn’t we have IVF. If that doesn’t then adoption. We believe we will be good parents, so we won’t give up on this.
But that doesn’t mean its not hard at times.
So there you have it. I honestly don’t know if this blog has a point. I just needed to write. I don’t even know if anyone will read it but I hope so.
But all I can hope is if anyone else is going through it, remember you are not alone. Its ok to want it. Its ok to be upset at times. Its ok to find it unfair. People suck. But they don’t mean to. Some people will be amazing just by being themselves.
You can and will get through it. Find an outlet, it doesn’t matter what it is. Unless its illegal, I’m not endorsing becoming a smack addict. Find something that helps you. For me its running and cycling because, as my wife tells me, I’m not content just having a cake. Although they do help.
Except you over there, if you tell me to relax.. that doesn’t really help.