Chrysalis

“I don’t want to do this” she repeats to me; “I don’t want to do this.”

We’re about to take a left off the main road. Minutes from being home. Home. What a concept. I live either here nor there. My things are in my house, my heart in another. Not complaining though. Housing issues is the last thing on my mind.

I decide to go again. Use all my arguments. Common sense. Feelings. Social and political. Religion even. Funny how the atheist (me) is more pro-life than the proclaimed Christian (her) is. But yet I can slightly understand the fear in her. Her fear is without doubt real. Her face is often in deep thought.

I rattle through some arguments based on our common economy and the state of the world. I speak with my brain. Then I switch to speaking with my heart.

“I’ve been through too much already. I can’t go another round. Seven years of heartbreak – I can’t do it again. If you do this you will have my support and love. If you don’t do it, I can’t promise you anything. I might need your help.”

She doesn’t really answer, although she says she understand. Seconds later, we’re home. Before we exit the car, I give up and say;”

“Fine, whatever. Do it. Just do it. I will pick up the pieces of my life and put them back together once more. Turmoil is nothing new to me when it comes to this.”

She doesn’t really say anything.

“I’m not going with you if you will do it, I can’t. I can’t see my only chance  of fatherhood end like this”.

“I know,” she replies.

I walk around the house like a zombie. I sit down. I get up. I sing a few Aerosmith songs in my head and laugh when I for some reason do the live version of Mama Kin off this live album from 1998. I am slightly scared I am going nuts. This is all too surreal. Just surreal. Being at that private clinic together with her. The doctor greeting us. How those pictures just popped up on the big screen. Two arms, two legs. Heartbeat. So easy. So accidental almost. So easy. So this is all it took? Surreal! No one can make a movie about this. It’s not realistic!

How many times did I sit beside my ex wife almost like this? Too many. I’ve seen too many ultrasounds. Too many times a doctor studying a big fucking needle before she inserts it into my ex wives vagina and suck out eggs like a machine. Two eggs, three eggs, four eggs. She’s screaming out in pain and agony. Then she is ushered out again in a wheelchair, and we head back home. Come back in a few days to insert one or two of them (if lucky), alright? The nurses always talking about “the golden egg”. I still get pissed when I think of those cliches. It’s just more pain. More ultrasound images of needles and small embryos on a screen. Even a print-out of it. A souvenir. And then we head back home with our heads full of stars and hope. And so we wait for a few days or so, and then comes the never ending disappointment. Nothing. Just nothing.

We did this for so long. So much disappointment. It was all there was. Disappointment.

And now this.

“It looks like a normal pregnancy” concludes the doctor. He refers us to Oslo for another check. She’s after all not 25 any more. Norway takes care of its pregnant citizens. And now I have to go to Oslo again. Not with eggs in a machine and a tiny hope in my heart but with a real chance. The tables have completely turned, and I have a serious issue actually trying to hold on to all the twists and turns I’m being served. It’s like I’m in this reality show where someone is just twisting nobs and pressing buttons to see how yet another curveball will be handled by yours truly.

A day later she calms down a bit. Tells her father about it. Her mother too. They do not react with shock or disappointment. Just hopes. Hopes of her doing the right thing. We all agree. The shock was too much for her to handle. I understand. There’s still time to do the right thing, and if she doesn’t decide – time will decide for her. There’s comfort in that.

It’s surreal. On Facebook I read about a friend facing an ultrasound a few years ago. They were told there was no heartbeat. And I just gaze at a screen and the doctor says “look, that’s the heartbeat”. So easy, but yet so fucking difficoult. I know how it can be. I’ve seen how hard it is. Seven years of it.

I go again.

For the last time I go again.

It will be alright this time. I can’t imagine anything else.

 

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Shadow Dancing

I’m about to go down that certain road again, and to no choice of my own.

Just like last time I was clear, confident and made sure I got the right answer. The “yes” answer. The “yes I would like a family and I would like children” answer.

This time around I was even more on edge than before. I desperately wanted to do it right. If there was a certain insecurity about the issue I would pick it up like a boat searching for the coastal lighthouse.

And I did. I stored every hint and talk about it in my mind. There was no insecurities. And months later, I came out and asked. I told her the whole story (although we had touched upon it) and I asked her. “Children is important to me”.

Just like last time, the relief I felt when I asked and got the right reply was heartfelt and sincere. I had done it right, I had played my cards right. My gut feeling had been right.

“Yes I would like to” was the answer, with a follow up “what if it won’t work?”

I replied that it didn’t matter, because I had taken my decision. I only wanted to be in control of my own destiny. If it didn’t work out, by biological reasons, that was fine. It was thing and I would deal with it accordingly.

I was happy. Truly happy. I got involved with her daughter. Her family too. Never before have I felt such happiness and confidence in my own ability to make the right decisions. Never before have I been so sure I had done the right decisions in the past. I did everything by the book, and was proud of it. And here she was, a girl I could trust. A girl that wouldn’t let me down. A girl that I asked one of the most important questions you can ask, and she agreed to it.

A few months later and she became pregnant. I knew it before she even knew it herself. My understanding of human biology is perhaps further advanced that most people bother to think about. My happiness reached a whole new level. My love for her daughter grew day by day. I felt like a father. I felt like I had a family. And my struggles would now be crowned by the ultimate victory and joy. Pregnancy. I was to become a father.

Things started to unravel quickly after the two lines on the stick appeared. She backtracked. Unsure. Scared. Confused. She’s suddenly telling me she wakes up every morning in panic. She feels like she doesn’t want a child after all. Too much worries. Too much struggle. Too much of everything.

And this is where I am today. Stuck in a state of confusion. A limbo state where I do not know if I should laugh out of happiness or cry out of desperation and despair. A state where the unthinkable is being discussed; abortion. I am not against abortions. I believe in a womans right to choose, but not like this. Not like this.

Because I asked. I asked.

 

I pull out all the arguments I can possibly do. I act all professional, trying to speak sense into her. But nothing works. I go to the verge of threatening her. I am in tears every time I think about it. I try everything that I can to explain. This is the most important and biggest thing a human being can experience, but I am not even allowed to be happy. I can’t be happy. I can’t tell anyone. I can’ tell my mother.

I asked. I can’t believe you are doing this to me. Because I asked you. I asked you, and you said yes.  I did everything right. I do not deserve this. I did not deserve it last year, and I do not deserve it now. What wrong have I done? And now I’m involved. Strong feelings for both of you. I love you both dearly, and now you are doing this to me. I can’t believe you are hurting me like this. Not you of all people. Not you. Please no, not you.