About three times a year I get myself into a right state over one particular thing. Sometimes there is a trigger, sometimes there isn’t; this time there was.
My wife and I started dating when my youngest was around 18 months old, meaning my eldest had just turned five, her kiddos were four and eight. From the moment I met her I knew we were soulmates, that she would be my forever and we would grow old and senile together. I believe it more than ever and there is nothing I would change about our life together.
Well. Maybe one thing.
A baby of our own. I would give anything to have that little dream come true, but it isn’t going to happen, for various reasons.
And it is so damn hard sometimes. I feel as if I missed out on experiencing something amazing with her, because we met when we were both done having babies. For us it isn’t as simple as forgoing contraception and having sex at the right time of the months – we have no sperm – and that is quite the issue when it comes to the conception of a baby!
We aren’t rich – we make ends meet – but we are by no means well-off, which means opting for a sperm donation and IVF are out of the picture. Private sperm donation would realistically be our only option, but for us it isn’t an option. Well, not for me.
I have an anxiety disorder. My wifey being pregnant would cause me enormous amounts of anxiety; everyday I would be waiting for something to go wrong, for a miscarriage, for a stillbirth, for my wife to die for some pregnancy related reason. Yup, being pregnant was fun for me! Having gone through the anxiety mentioned above for two of my own pregnancies, I vowed to myself I would never go through that again, hence why I had my tubes tied when I gave birth to my youngest. It would be bad enough to go through it myself (and the miscarriage part I did, twice), but I don’t think I could handle that happening to my wife, to our family.
Pregnancy isn’t even the worst part for me – the first 12 months are a special type of hell. You see, my nephew died of SIDS when he was four months old… every single morning of those first 12 months I would race to my children in the morning, to make sure they were still alive. I had an Angelcare sound and movement monitor and while this provided me a lot of reassurance, it didn’t stop the anxiety.
Going back to why private sperm donation wouldn’t be an option for me. Because I have had my tubes tied and IVF isn’t a possibility, that would mean my wife would be the one getting pregnant. I would love to see her pregnant – I love the photos I have seen of her pregnant with her kids – she looked damn sexy in fact… but to me, her being pregnant would mean she was pregnant with her baby. Not ours.
I know it’s a selfish way of thinking, but it’s what my slightly messed-up brain does. I know technically it would be our baby, because we would be raising it together, we would be the parents…. but when it came down to it, I wouldn’t be able to ignore that the child wasn’t genetically mine.
If there was a way for us to have a baby that was genetically mine and hers, I would be more than happy to jump on board. Actually, if that was a possibility, we would probably have a baby already and maybe have another on the way.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to completely move on from this. Maybe 99%, but never completely. It’s so damn tough. I always wanted to get married and have kids with the love of my life, instead I had children with two men that weren’t it for me, effectively ending that dream of mine.
There is absolutely no way I regret that though. I cannot (and will not) imagine my life without my precious kiddos, they are the little loves of my life and I know it sound cliché, but along with my wife, they make life worth living. Besdies, if I didn’t have my babies, I wouldn’t have met my wife, it’s as simple as that.
Sometimes being an adult is so bloody hard, especially when there is no easy answer to a problem!
I feel guilty for even viewing this as a problem – that I would love a baby to grow our family, to add to our four kids we have between us – when a lot of our friends are having trouble conceiving their first. I feel as if I have no right to complain, no right to feel sad that we won’t have a fifth child, that we won’t be a ‘yours, mine & ours’ type of household. We are so blessed to have four wonderful, healthy children, that we are both called mum hundreds of times a day.
I’m going to try and find a way to move on from this, to actually appreciate just how lucky we are. I know it’ll be hard, it will mean rewiring my brain to a certain extant… but I have to get there one day, right?
(and this, dear chums, is why so many of my stories feature pregnant women; I can’t experience it myself so I live vicariously through my characters)