I learnt different things with each of the different pregnancies and I tried to capture these lessons, at whatever stages these insights revealed themselves.
At times like these, you can be astonished by the strength of your partner, your bond, and the worldly wisdom of your family and friends. At the same time you see your limitations, your shortcomings and where you could do so much better. The occasions when you just don’t have the skills to improve anything, and when you sometimes even manage to make things worse.
There was also a lot to be learnt from the cumulative impact of repeated failed pregnancies, and how the ever-raising stakes test your nerve and resolve as your own desire to become a father increases in step with the disappointments. There are times when you’re scared and unsure if you’ve got the reserves or strength or skills to keep on going but just do it anyway.
We were living in an ever-lasting present where there was no time to take a breath. One minute it was the fun and hope of trying, the next the desperation of loss. Round and round on this carousel we went.
The puzzle of how each new development fits in with your plans for the future is constantly ticking over at the back of your mind. You’ve barely got time to look up, but you know it’s there and you’re going to have to address it at some point.
I had always wanted to be a Dad but I was getting the feeling that it was slipping out of my grasp. Time seemed to be sliding away and the harder I tried the more elusive it became. For the first time in my life it started to dawn on me that my chances of fatherhood might be in jeopardy, as entitlement passed the baton to uncertainty, uncertainty to disenfranchisement.
Three failed pregnancies in quick succession shook the foundations and woke me up to the assumptions I’d casually placed the rest of my life on. You know there are going to be compromises along the way, but when the whole picture looks like it’s sliding out of focus as fast as it seemed to for us, you quickly realise you might need more than a few tweaks to your expectations to keep your head above water.