I’m 43. Last year I was 42 and not for the first time, the discussion about babies came up in conversation one evening with my wife of 9 years. It had been brought up previously and it was then agreed that at some point in the future, we would think about having children.. that was 3 years ago and I remember something about a five year plan: my plan was that I would buy a Triumph Bonneville and enjoy riding it for five years before I had to trade it in for a life less exciting.
These 3 years have flown by, and my bike has just passed its first MOT, and my wife still gets worried when I am out on it, always picturing my twisted body under the wheels of a truck.. lifeless. And always glad when she hears the burble of that sweet 865cc engine coming up the street. Anyway, just remember that I was still thinking last year, that I had a few years left. The conversation comes up and something happened in my brain that said “Why am I waiting to feel ready to be a dad?”. Is ready the point when you stop feeling not ready? It was at that point I realised that I was not, not ready, which is as near to ready as I will probably ever get.
So I said to my wife that we should try.. well you know, start trying – get in readiness for trying. My mind was wanting to stop the feeling of a possible future failure that ‘trying’ can give you. If you start getting to the point of trying, rather than actually being the try, there is less pressure. And being a man of 42 you do worry about things like lazy or misdirected sperm.. you do think that those little fellas must be feeling as old and creaky as the man carrying them around in his wrinkly bag. I didn’t want to be here now, after a year of solid trying with nothing to show for it.
So as a way of easing ourselves into procreation it was decided we would begin after we get our main holiday out of the way (we did not want to interrupt our last overseas vacation with morning sickness, or spend the week tea-total.. not on all exclusive).
The next few months were a blur of fertilisation tests, business-like sex and mild disappointments – I say mild, as we still in the pre-trying stage… giving it a go. However, I have to say that each pregnancy test that followed and was negative was a real sensation of failure. At this point though it felt more like failing to hit a moving target than having worries of infertility, so neither of us were having doubts about our ‘fitness’ – it was like Battleships with a longer delay.
By the way, let me clear up what I mean when I say ‘business-like sex’. It is the same feeling you get comparing rehearsals to live performances. Sex up to this point was the joyous freedom you experience only when experimenting, like at rehearsals (I must just clarify at this point that I am a musician and performer) – it is like jamming.. you have the time and support to express yourself. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, it is part of the learning curve. But in the live performance, it really does matter, so you tend to overthink what you are doing, and come your solo spot, you want to get that absolutely bang on. There is a part of your brain that actively reminds you of this during this period of love-making; a part of your brain you keep having to tell to shut up as it is spoiling the mood.
Now, where was I? Ah yes, the pregnancy tests. Well, I shall leave it there for this week. Join me again to relive the journey to today.