So here we were, two people who barely knew each other, who already had some animosity and trust issues between them, who lived 10 hours drive from each other, trying to have a baby.
It sounds fucking CRAZY. It is a bit crazy. We are both a wee bit crazy I think. You’d have to be to get here.
I can still remember that day that we had our first conversation about it. The day he said “Let’s do it”. I was standing in an alley way in Surry Hills in Sydney and we were talking a bit about how it would be. I went home and got off the bus feeling as though I was actually separate from myself. In my mind right at that time I saw this little boy with curly hair and I just knew it, that was the boy we were going to have. And that is what kiddo looks like now. Weird. It was a very strange feeling.
I went out the back that day and sat by the harbour and looked out at the ocean and it felt like the whole world was sparkling. I think I was borderline going mad from the stress of it all to be honest. Anyway, thankfully I didn’t completely lose it. I reckon I got close though.
I won’t lie. This whole experience was actually really difficult. One of the things I realised by going through this whole thing was how much I really really wanted to have a baby with a man I loved.I desperately wanted to create a family and it made my heart very very sad that this wasn’t what was going to take place. But I couldn’t see a way out for me. I just felt like I would keep on doing what I was doing and never get there otherwise, meanwhile my back could get worse and things could become more difficult.
I also think I didn’t really want a way out.
I was adamant in our initial discussions that we were doing this as co-parents. I wasn’t at all interested in just a donor. I already knew how much not having a good father can fuck you up and I didn’t want that for my child. Eric was 41 and desperate to be a father so this worked well for us. He was really committed to having a child. He just wasn’t committed to any idea of us at all.
In the beginning I agreed to this and that he could have as much or as little input as he wanted. And I did that because I thought I would be OK with it and because I didn’t want to scare him off with other demands. But I wasn’t really OK with it and that caused us a lot of problems moving forward as he felt like I’d moved the goal posts on him.
In the early stages he also suggested I get set up with IVF with him as a donor in case we had any issues conceiving naturally. Some of our awful arguments since have indicated to me that he also did this to protect himself so he could prove he wasn’t really “with” me when we set out on this quest. That didn’t occur to me at the time so I went down that IVF prep path at the same time.
He came down one week and made a donation (which we still pay to freeze funnily enough as a just in case) and I even separately registered for the anonymous donor list as a back up in case Eric pulled out of our arrangement. I had to be practical but I really didn’t want to have to use that list. It was a one year wait so I just paid my $100 to go on the list and it was done.
We agreed to it in October and we started trying the following month in November. I arranged for a one week holiday from work around when I thought I’d be ovulating and stayed with him from the Tuesday to Friday. I got a positive OPK on the Friday morning. Phew. There was a little spanner in the works though as Eric was sick as a dog with a cold. That sort of body aching can barely move sick and here he was expected to have sex with me. It was all sorts of hilarious really.
That afternoon he took me 45 mins north to meet a friend who was coming to visit. She lived about an hour north of there. My friend and I had actually booked an apartment there for the weekend. It was my first visit to what is now my hometown and it was because of that visit that I decided I wanted to move here. Eric came to stay the Saturday night so we could try one more time. It was laughable really as the poor guy was so sick that he pretty much wanted to die. Needless to say we didn’t get pregnant that month.
In the midst of this I was called to do Jury Duty and elected foreperson (never fall for that) on a rape trial. I could ill afford to take time off from an already demanding job but was obligated to attend being a public servant. There was also the 2WW and the strange situation I had found myself in and it’s an understatement to say that I was wound up tighter than…well…something really tight. And I exploded. I had my first panic attack. I almost had one in court the next day and had to get court adjourned for the day so I could go off and deal with it. It was a VERY stressful time and I pretty much broke.
The following month, December, was try number two. I had expected to ovulate over the weekend and it didn’t happen. I got up and tested on the Monday morning before work and still no smiley face on the test (I prefer the digital OPKs). Something in my head said to just pack a bag and take another test to work and test at lunchtime. I argued with myself for about 5 mins (like a crazy person) and then decided what was the harm in it? No positive test and I just bring the bag home. No biggie.
Of course, I got a positive test!
So there I was at work booking flights and arranging to have the following morning off so I could go and attempt to conceive my child. Ridiculous! Totally ridiculous!
We actually stayed at a resort in what is now my home town as it was closer to the airport and he had his mum visiting. One shag that night and then another in the morning, a buffet breakfast at the resort and I was back on a flight and at work by 11am.
It was THAT easy. Then the real fun began.