So what the hell happened?

It is time to reflect a little. Well, “a little”. I’m sure it will be a lot. It is now October 2018. Two years since I moved into my own house after I purchased it. This after I moved out of my now ex-wifes house (it used to be our house) in September.

Two years. Two years since I slept alone in a big empty house for the first time. I missed by dogs that night, and I missed my old house. I had no idea what to expect when I went to bed that night. I was alone and confused. But I know one thing, I slept alone in that empty house for the first time that night in October 2016 because I really wanted a family, and I couldn’t get that with my ex-wife. But let’s make it clear; I did not leave her for it. It was a mutual agreement.

Stuff was painful, and little did I know that it would be even more painful in the months that would come.

I started this blog in April 2017. I was on the mend.

And, so I sit here now with my laptop in a completely different house in a different town. The house I bought in 2016 is already sold. Five meters away from me is my girlfriend with our daughter in her arms having a visitor over. My daughter just turned two weeks old. Two weeks old. My own daughter. People greet me, say congratulations and telling me I’m a daddy. Excuse me, but what? I am?

I got one simple question;

What. The. Hell. Happened?

How did I manage to fullfill a dream of mine in that short amount of time? Did I do all this myself by simply making the right decisions? Decisions are quite something when it comes to these serious matters. They were so hard that it drove me insane. It was so difficult to make the right decisions that one night in February 2017 I simply opened up a bottle of wine and drank it all within fifteen minutes. It didn’t help, but I was desperate. I tore my brains out trying to do the right things. Perhaps I actually did? Maybe I was just lucky? And I know that this is not end of hard decisions. It is simply one hurdle overcome and onto the next.

If I only could send myself a message back to December 2016 and tell myself I was doing the right things and just keep going. But, hey, that’s exactly what I did. I knew what I had to do, and I had to work towards that goal. And I did. I kept going.

There were small and larger elements to my depressive state of mind back then, but the feeling of loneliness and not having children on my own was a large part of it. Feelings of failure and guilt as well. Of simply being a failure as a man. I constantly talked myself down. But when it comes to the feeling of loss of children or missing a child, it was a like a hole in my body constantly bleeding.

Suddenly, now, the bleeding have completely stopped.

Completely.

But I still miss my dogs. I feel like I have let them down. I think about my ex-wife and mourn the fact she is no longer my dearest friend. I don’t miss her as my lover, but I miss her terribly as my friend and confidant. It hurts. I am still filled with sadness and shame when I think about that terrible phone call I had to make to inform my mother about what was going on in my life back in June 2016. However, I am so happy to see that she is over the moon with being a grandmother.

Think about that; my mom is now a grandmother. And that is the most important part of it all, the happiness I see in her eyes. I made my mom so happy.

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The cost of a baby

It wasn’t until I had paid for the baby trolley my mind started to wander off to the past. By the way, baby trolleys are apperantly a huge fucking deal. The size, the color, the wheels – everything. I was asked to choose the color, and I looked at them all sitting there in the store and blurted out; «but they are all in different shades of grey for crying out loud!». So, we chose the dark grey one after considerable time and kilometers driving around the lake in search of that perfect baby trolley. Ironically, it was basically the first one we looked at two months ago, but I’m not judging.

So, anyway, I pulled out my MasterCard and paid for the thing. The whole thing set my card back 1335 dollars. Come to think of it, that’s just 700 dollars less than for my old Volvo. Apperantly, baby trolleys cost a lot of money.

It was when we got back home we started to discuss how much money I had been spending on unborn children since 2013. Through IVF (public and private), travel costs, hotels and now baby trolleys, equipment, clothes and what not.

Back in 2013 my ex-wife went through examinations and an small surgery. This was free though, except for a small fee. Then in 2014ish we started IVF which set me back about 2000 dollars. The medicines (which also cost a lot) were thankfully covered by our more than welcoming healthcare system. Then came travels to the capital, a few hotel stays over night and food. We also took the train a few times down there for reasons I do not remember. In 2014, also due to lack of baby success we bought another dog at 1500 dollars.

After our unsuccessfull public IVF treatment, we went private. I remember paying half of a 7000 dollar sum, split between myself and my ex wifes mother for a three-attempt package which was not refundable at any time. On top of that there would be medication – by now not covered any longer by the public health system. I did the math back then and figured the total cost would be about 12.000 dollars. We only did one attempt though. We aborted everything, split up, and went out seperate ways. The medication, for one attempt, was around 1000 dollars.

Then came everything inbetween then and now. With my latest investment at about 2000 dollars worth of equipment and baby trolleys, the total amount of money I have spent trying to have a baby ended somewhere around 8000 dollars. And, my daughter haven’t even been born yet.

However, I believe I speak for most people that have been in this situation with IVF, adoption or any other challenges in trying to create a family when I say; “I would be more than happy to pay it all again if that’s what it takes. I’ll pay whatever it costs, and I’ll do whatever I possibly can.” And I have. I have suffered economically, emotionally and I have ended relationships for it. And it’s all worth it. Because it was the right thing to do.

You can’t possibly put a price tag on it. Money means nothing.

Messages from Earth

It dawned on me in the shower at 11pm last night.

I am being harassed.

It’s like when people come to me at work, frustrated.

“I’m not angry at YOU”, they say; “I’m angry at the system!”.

So that’s it. I’m being harassed by an unknown force that often finds women to do its dirty work. Whether its the ex-girlfriend from 2003, the ex wife, the ex-girlfriend from 2017 or my current girlfriend.

I am simply being harassed. There are no other words for it. My girlfriend jokes about it being because I had my name removed from the church books. While the idea is laughable, even I start to wonder what the hell is going on.

Last Wednesday we went to Oslo for a risk assessment on the baby. The risk for three serious conditions including Downs Syndrome. For the entire duration of the day – up until the subject changed, I had to endure a never-ending spree of “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want the baby” speeches. Some of them beyond any common sense I should spend time replying to. But yet I spent the first four hours trying to talk sense and logic, and most importantly remaining calm and supportive.

The problems started when they did the measurement of the Nuchal Translucency. I wasn’t sure of the measurements involved, and when the doctor said it was “a bit large”, shit unraveled quite quickly on the way home. This was my girlfriends ticket out. This was my ticket to hell. However, the blood work wasn’t done, so what we really were doing was discussing an unfinished test with a risk asessement for Downs that had not increased more than 3 points (from 140 to 137). Well, that was enough for my girlfriend anyway. So, in a room of 137 people, one of them have Downs. I thought that was a bit of a weak decision to have an abortion on. The real odds isn’t even in yet. Afterwards, I did extensive research on the subject, and anything below 3 mm is normal, anything below 3,5 is also considered normal (depending on who you ask). It also depends when you actually measure it (week 11 to week 13). Some people operate with a 1 out of 10 chance of Downs if the measurement is above 3 or 3,5. In addition to all of that, the measurement was difficult to do and the one who did it was under training. The doctor eventually took over and tried to do a better one herself concluding with “well, that will have to do”. Gee, that was comforting, thanks!.

This is just never ending harassment. All I want is peace, quiet and a normal life with a family to care for and love. But something/someone/ is simply harassing me. It doesn’t help when my girlfriend late at night is so frustrated about the pregnancy that she is on the verge of a breakdown. And I’m stuck in the middle of it all where women in my life goes from crying for not becoming pregnant to crying because they are pregnant. Is there nothing inbetween? Seriously??

And so to you, the one who keeps harassing me; step out of the shadows of hell if you are Satan. Come down from heaven if you are God. I will face you both. Show yourself. If this life and universe I live in is a a mere complex simulation, I ask you to leave your game and face me like a real man. If this is because of something I did in my past life, I am truly sorry for it but enough is enough already. I can’t take responsibility for it. If this is the work of dead relatives, then at least tell me what I am doing wrong. If this is just because the universe wants knowledge and experience, move on now. Find someone else to harass and gain knowledge from.

I want peace, quiet, and comfort.

Stop harassing me.

The Long Dark

Well, I don’t know what this is – but this blog is turning into some form of twisted pregnancy blog. Like if you take a normal pregnancy and all the happiness of it – and write a blog, but then you twist that into something completely obscure and unreal. Some sort of sick joke. Like shit you see on a soap opera, and giggle in silence while you drink a cup of coffee because it’s just not realistic. But in this case it’s all so real. What a way to start the first and only time I will have a shot at fatherhood. I should have been writing down thoughts and wonders about life. Instead I’m just hanging on to my own sanity.

I often thought about how I would actually write such a blog. How my child would look at it when he (lets just use “he” for the time being) grew older and would wonder at the fact that I was writing all this down to someone who wasn’t even born. The question is – can I actually show my child these blog posts? Will he be disappointed in me or his mother? It’s not really suppose to be like this.

And the fact remains still; I don’t even know if this will turn out in the end. Maybe there will be some sort of problem in the next coming weeks and it will all end? So maybe this problem if you may will be nothing anyway.

A major hospital in Oslo called. They offer all women at 38 and plus a more extensive check-up than what is normal. She had obviously talked to them about her feelings because the woman at the other end had repeated the mantra of “nobody decides this for you – it’s your body and your decision”. Which is all fine. I don’t have anything against it. I support womens right to choose. I assume she “forgot” to tell the hospital lady that she had already agreed upon having a child with me (in principle, not like really going for IT), and had second thoughts. But this is how this game works; I have nothing to say in the matter. My opinions doesn’t count. I’m left as some form of Sideshow Bob with no rights, opinions or say in the matter. Half of what is inside her is mine, but yet that part of me is not mine. Its hers and she is in complete control over it and thus also my destiny and well being. My health.

It was last Monday or Tuesday where she wrote to me that she felt pressured into doing this. I went completely insane. I called a friend and spoke (screamed) to her about it. I was trembling with anger. I called my psychologist from last years drama. She was not working there anymore, so I called on further to find out where she was. I set a date with the doctor as well – for the 14th of March. Just in case. I was furious. It’s like signing a work contract and then later on complaining you feel pressured into going to work. The nerve! My friend calmed me down though, and the next day I was feeling alright. I guess because we didn’t speak more about all this when we met. Not then and not yesterday. It’s at those moments I actually Google each week of pregnancy and start to have a glimmer of hope in all of this. Names or sex is still beyond. To imagine telling my mother is way beyond. My own health is shot for the time being.

When this is all over, if it goes well even, I will have to do deal with two things in this relationship; trust and anger. My trust in what women (including her) tell me or promise me is completely blown out of the water. It is zero. And I have lots of anger at her, me and the situation in general that created a matter where the biggest and greatest thing someone can experience have been – at least in this first phase – completely destroyed. Articles online clearly says; “this is the time to start taking photos of your stomach” You got to be kidding me? It’s all ruined anyway. I start taking photos of her now? Last week I tried to touch her stomach, and she pushed my hand away.

And to you, unborn little baby. I am sorry. This is not my choice. I have nothing to say in this matter. I can’t fight for you, I can’t do anything for you. Just cross my fingers that someone in the end will see common sense.

 

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.

 

A Voice in the Wilderness

Dear Adria

You never existed. Well, that’s not true either. You existed as a zygote, splitting into four, five or six parts. And then you were no more. This happened about five or six times. Only in my mind you were more than this.

I often found myself picturing what you would look like, what we would be doing together when you were growing up, how happy my mom would be when I told her about you, and what you would be doing with your life. I imagined our relationship. Me as a father and you as my daughter.

In the end it turned out that you would be just one of the endless mix of cells that never ended up as anything more in this world. Life is a lottery, and you lost. Most do. Most of us will never be born at all. I could say you are just another star in the endless , vast universe that we will never discover as a human race, but I feel even that is a poor comparison to the chances of you being born and being a person. Such are the odds you had against you, and I will be stuck here trying to come to terms with how truly precious life is, even if that’s a cliché thing to say. Because it is. But it doesn’t make it less true. Life is a mystery to me. The odds so low I don’t think most people ever realize.

You know what’s also funny? For each time I went through this – I imagined you a bit different than the last failed attempt. But you were always a girl. It’s like I have imagined six slightly different versions of you. Hows that for parallell dimensions uh. Like I could take a sneak peak into the millions and millions of different ways my life would turn out – and how your life would turn out if you ended up being so lucky.

I used to miss you a lot. I used to imagine you being there with me. At times it was so real I could almost feel you brushing my shoulder. I once sat down watching TV when the sensation of you standing beside me was so real it was one of the heaviest and most heartfelt things I’ve ever experienced. I cried that time. Because I missed you. But I know I imagined it. It wasn’t real. I was in a depression.

I’m out of the depression, but I sometimes get the same sensation. However, it is never as strong. If I feel lonely in a crowd of parents and their children, I can still imagine you standing beside me. I can simply start to miss you or the feel of you, and you show up. You and me together. Like the characters of my books, it’s all a figment of my imagination. I know it’s not real, but you are much more real than my characters ever was even if I know them better than you.

I guess I have come to understand and respect why some can go mentally insane and start visualizing invisible children, animals or even dead parents. When I grew up, a man was walking around the area with a long leash with an invisible cow at the end of it. It was real to him. The desire and wish for it to be real is so strong that it actually becomes real in ones mind.

And that is you, and this is me. I am alive. You never were. You never got the chance. And you will never again get the chance, not with this specific mix of cells between two people that used to love each other. That doesn’t mean you don’t mean anything to me, because you do. You were the closest I came to be a father, and even if I do become one at some point, I will still miss you.

You.

Someone that never was, and never will be.

It doesn’t make it less real.

Not to me.

Merry Christmas.

By Any Means Necessary

No one is really following this saga but me, but I’ll write it.

My wish and desire to become a father at some point is very real, and I damn well know all the pain I’ve been through the past years for dealing with it and the loss of it. The failed marriage impacted me greatly, but I knew what I was doing all along in terms of children. I stuck with my ex wife for as long as she wanted me there. When she didn’t want me there any longer, I left. And I did so with no hesitation. She could not have children. If she loved me, I would have stayed regardless. She didn’t, so I left. I wanted children, and I could not have them with her. I do not regret that decision.

I met someone new, and thought I did all the right things, asking at the right time, trying to pan it all out by the book. She knew my desire and wish to create a family on my own, and she agreed to it. Then she retracted it and didn’t want any more children. That’s fine. I don’t blame her one bit for it considering her story. But I do blame her for not being able to stand firm on a very important decision. That impacted me greatly, and yet again I took some very hard decisions and broke it off. I don’t regret that either, but it was an extremely tough decision when it was going on.

Then I met someone else. I decided to follow my gut feeling. She asked me i f I wanted children early on (which is normally the way you do these things) and I confirmed I did. I did not ask her back. I followed my instincts, and waited. I read between the lines instead. Kept my head cool. Did not speak much about children either. Did not pour my heart out. Maybe I was afraid of the answer if I asked.

I was more up front with her last night. I told her just that – that I had refrained from asking her so bluntly. She asked if I had been scared of her answer. I sort of replied with a “no”, but I guess it wasn’t really the correct reply, because I had been afraid of her reaction. I don’t blame myself for holding back. Not with my past experience this year, but I asked her last night. If children was a possibility in all this. She confirmed that it was. I replied saying that it was all that I needed. She asked me what if it wouldn’t work out – if she would not get pregnant. What then? I said that in that case it was a whole other ballgame. That is something completely different. It can happen. We’re not 25 any longer. Not 30 either. But it is a “risk” I am willing to take. Because I love her. I see what kind of girl she is, and her type does not grow on trees. She asked me what I would have done if she said that she would not under any circumstance have any more children. I replied that it would not normally go as far as this if that was the case (I would have known by my gut feeling) – but if that had happened (like last time) I would have left. The grief of not having children on my own, if it will come to that, will be something I have to deal with on my own, but at least I am in control of my own destiny. I decided last summer, when I met her, that if I would go along with this it would be a risk I was willing to take. I am more in control of my own destiny now. It simply feels better. It is my decision. Not someones elses.

Walking to work this morning felt easy. It was a relief. I did the talk I knew I had to do at some point, and now I have done it. I am in control of my future. If it doesn’t work out, at least I know it was my decision to go down this path.

I don’t think the grief will ever really go away if I am to be without a child. But I can learn to live with it. Deal with the cards I was given. I will have to deal with many horrible thoughts and reflection on my destiny, and how all this ended this way due to circumstances I could not control or know. I could not know that my ex wife could not have children. I will somewhat always blame myself for choosing the wrong person so many years ago, but I can’t change this. The shocking realization that life is by chance and luck is tough to swallow. You can be the man you want to be, you can believe in karma and always try to do the right things – but it might not be enough, and it’s not your fault. It’s not MY fault it ended like this.

But, it’s not over yet. There’s still a few years to go.

If it doesn’t work out, I might end up with a depression again. I might have to go to counselling again. But at least I can say I tried and took the decisions I thought was right.

Maybe none of this will happen, and in five years time I have settled into the life I made for myself feeling alright with everything that have happened. Coming to grips with it, and accepting my faith.

 

A View From the Gallery

This post just came to me while I was out walking the dogs, so I’ll get this down at once (just need a beer from the fridge first – right – done!).

My past year and a half of downright torture can be summed up into phases. A psychologist would most likely go “yeah, of course you daft idiot”, but sometimes I can have a personal ephipany and I need to put it down. Like this one.

Phase 1: Deal with the break up. Deal with anger. February 2016 – May 2016

From that moment when she said those first words of breaking up, I had to deal with it. I had to deal with the fact that we wouldn’t be together. I had to deal with the fact that my life was about to change into something I wasn’t prepared for at all. I reacted with anger. I was angry. I was angry at her. Pissed off. I ofen called her a few profanities and then ten minutes later apologised to her. After a while I retracted into my shell and distanced myself from her. We went to councelling, and when the woman we had said “looks like you two are done”, I thought “finally, just get this done with”. Not once did I try to save anything about the marriage. Not once did I ask my ex if there was anything we could do to hang on and try. I didn’t care. She couldn’t give me the family I wanted. I had just been waiting for the right signal to get away. I almost feel evil by writing this. I was disappointed, and I was angry at her. Angry that she was just being herself. Angry at her sicknesses, angry at her mental state. Angry that she never bothered to help me one bit with anything. Angry that I wasted so many years with her. Angry at myself for picking the wrong girl. And so I used the next months to distance myself. I guess it went relatively easy because she had already distanced herself from me without me noticing. We decided I would continue to live there until I had found good house option and a proper way to move out. She was always decent like that. Very professional if you may. Nothing childish. I sometimes do wonder what happened though. Perhaps out relationship just died out? Did I do something wrong, somewhere? I never really believed her when she told the counsellor I deserved someone better than her. I’m not that daft. But I didn’t care. I just wanted a family, and she could A) not give it to me and B) not deal with it if that had happened.

Phase 2: Untangle myself, move out, move in. Deal with everyone else. May 2016 – October 2016

One of the hardest part of it all was to tell my mother. Like most sons, I care deeply for my mother and I would never want to hurt her. Others do get involved when there are break-ups involved. I told her the situation via many, many words. She understood and she said she supported me no matter what. I told her my desire for children and the entire affair. We’ve never spoken about it again. And so I was ready to move out. I tried waiting for the right moment and the right house. Friends told me to move out at once. I didn’t listen. I waited until I was pleased with my opions, and I was right in the end. I found the right house. During that summer I spent many hours on my bike. Just biking around the countryside. I had to get away. In June I exchanged lots of messages with a girl. We never got anywhere except talking on SMS, but it helped. Thank you. It put my mind on something else. I sent out a message to everyone else on Facebook with “breaking news”. I think I told a very good friend at work the last. I didn’t want to upset her. This period was more about bureaucracy than anything else. It takes time to untangle everything. Some couples never do, and so you get all these weird constellations with women living in houses owned by their ex-husbands and what not. Not a good idea by the way. Well, we had meetings with the bank, splitting up accounts and all of that stuff. All down to the electricity bills. It’s not mentally challenging, but it takes time and it needs to be done right. Plenty of people doesn’t. And so with the first phase being about dealing with the relationship ending, this phase was all about logistics and like I said, bureaucracy.

I wasn’t really prepared for phase 3. It hit me like a brick wall.

Phase 3: Deal with being alone.  Deal with sorrow and pain. November 2016 – April 2017

Up until the fall of 2016 I had been doing alright. The hardest part had been telling my mother and the initial shock I had of the break-up. I had been very clear on what I wanted; a family. My ex wife couldn’t provide one. I felt I had plenty to offer girls – I am decent looking chap, nothing majorly horrible physically. Good education, nice job and I could always pull the author card if all else failed (and I confess I did a few times).

And so I met my now ex-girlfriend. I told her about my intentions of wanting children, and she agreed to the deal. I was pleased, but yet I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t really understand why. I was simply blue. Anything could throw me off and I would start sobbing. I remember one night walking the dogs, looking up at the crisp, clear sky with thousands of stars and feeling like the loneliest person in the world. I was looking in jealousy at parents taking their children to kindergarten every day. I was not able to deal with my job. I did not understand what I did wrong to deserve all this. I lost my hobby of writing – I was not able to write any longer. I felt horrible for my mother who so badly wanted grandchildren and all I did was fuck everything up. I screamed at myself inside my own head. I called myself names. Telling myself I was a disgusting, useless piece of shit (yeah, over and over again). I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I went back to counselling, but this time not because of a relationship, but because of me. The counsellor said to me once “you want a family” and I could do nothing else but nod with tears in my eyes. It was so unlike me. I wasn’t myself. In January my ex girlfriend thought she was pregnant for a few days. I suddenly felt happy,  but she was scared. And then she had a change of heart. I sometimes wonder if we simply pulled both of ourselves downwards. I guess she had a mental breakdown of sort because she had a change of heart about children and didn’t know how to handle it. Like I told a good friend “I did not deserve that”. She must have thought I was one of the most emotional guys she had ever met. And I most likely was. I wasn’t feeling well. I was grieving over the IVF and not having children or a family, and she didn’t really understand. I confessed to her how I felt bad for my mother – like I let her down. My ex just went into defence mode and told me I shouldn’t get children just for my own mothers sake. I should have said; “Jesus fucking Christ, it’s not about THAT!”. In the end I felt she used my grief against me – telling me I was not alright in my own head. Going on the defensive and arguing against everything I said. Like there was something terribly wrong with me. I don’t think I will forgive her for that. But it made my decision easier. Not to say it was easy. I even tried downing a bottle of wine in an hour to see if that would help, but it didn’t. Worth a shot though! But I will say this; she only wants to be loved too. To have stability and a functioning family. I sometimes feel awfully sorry for her. Sorry for her past experiences with men, and sorry for not being the right person for her. Maybe she was right all along, we should have met 10 years ago. I think it would have worked out great if we had.

Phase 4: Rise from the ashes. Look back and accept it. May 2017 – present

A trip to England in March did me well. I was slowly coming back to life. I finished the counselling in May. I started to feel better again. The counsellor said I looked better. Maybe I did? I owe her my deepest thanks for how she helped me. I can still think of certain things and feel very sad, but I’m almost back to my normal self again. I can write (like this) again. I don’t have horrible periods where I want to hide away in my own bedroom any longer. And so I am able to look back at everything and get a better perspective of things. Sometimes I am extremely scared of ending back where I was in January, but I don’t think I will. I don’t live the life I truly want, but I have a good shot at getting it right. One can always hope. I think it’s gonna be alright in the end. 🙂 If not, at least I did my absolute best. There’s shit I can’t control, and sometimes it just happens to rain on someone. It could be me, but I will try my best to run away from it.

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Chapter 8: Confessions and Lamentations

I had just settled into a new house when I met her. I felt more settled by then. Not so emotionally upset any longer. Trying to focus on the future.

She was my age. Very pretty. Local. Two kids. At first I was a bit cautious considering her age and my desire to have my own children. It didn’t take long until I asked her about it. Turns out she didn’t understand what I was asking her the first time around, but a month or so later she confirmed her intentions; she was open to have more children. Because of me. She asked me what I would do if she said no. I replied I couldn’t be with her if that was the case. She cried for a wee bit and said she would go through this once again (pregnancy) for me. I couldn’t believe how someone was so caring and warm as to do that for someone else. I was the happiest I could ever be. Why wouldn’t I be? Everything seemed to fall into place – and quickly.

And so, I got involved. I spent time with her son at 17 and even more time with her wonderful 10 year old daughter. We had Sunday breakfasts together. This is what having a family felt like then. It was great.

However, I often had periods of depression. Often every other day. The IVF had not yet left my thoughts, and I struggled with it. However I was cautious letting her in on everything. She was very open about her problems towards me. From what she told me, I understood she had been mentally abused by two very unstable assholes. For the most part we spoke about her challenges with work, education, money and past experiences with men. I tried my absolute best to find solutions to her problems. I turned my mind inside out trying to find ways she could move forward. From her job especially. In the end, she told me she never asked for my help in the first place…

By February she had some form of mental breakdown. I adviced her to get a sick leave from work and try to gather her thoughts. Looking back (even though I asked her a few times if this was the case, or if I was the problem) she had most likely changed her mind about children. A bit before this went down, there was a few days where we thought she was pregnant. She got her period at the last possible moment. I was actually happy if she was pregnant even though it was way too early. You can plan and arrange an family all you want, sometimes it just doesn’t work. So, to hell with that. To hell with planning. I didn’t care if it was too early (which it was) or whatever. She was scared as hell, and during one conversation one night – she gave hints that she would have an abortion if she was pregnant. It broke me down completely. I imagined this being my only chance at fatherhood, and she wouldn’t go through with it (and from her point of view, I can fully understand). So, during one chat late at night using Snapchat, she gave another hint she had changed her mind. She didn’t want any more children anyway.

It put me in horrible situation. I had gotten attached to her and her little family. Something I really tried to avoid by asking her up front. It didn’t look like she actually understood the pressure she put me under. Considering she was so honest with me about her problems, I had also been gradually more honest with her about mine, and openly spoke about the IVF and the fear and sadness of not having a family. While I understood her, she didn’t understand me – and it felt like she was actually using it against me. Her depression and issues was acceptable, mine was not.

One of the last time I talked to her, she sent me nasty Snapchat messages saying I was mentally unstable and finishing a sentance with; “….and all the sick things you do”. That was it for me. Not acceptable. I sometimes wonder what these sick things were. I once drew a person in Snapchat with ponytails. Another one was a joke where I compared three kids to three beers (sometimes the third beer is the best). Best I can think of really.

In the end, if this is what she got from me, I started to really wonder how crazy these ex-boyfriends really were if she thought I was like them. But then again, she once told me she sometimes simply said “things” she couldn’t “control”.

So I decided to break it off. I had to. She had changed her mind about the foundation of our relationship. Afterwards I felt like I had been in some kind of fight. I felt physically beaten up. I was the lowest point I had ever felt. I sat in my chair at home and held up my arms like someone about to be beaten up would do. Begging for mercy.

There’s a few things you have to be rock solid on in a relationship. Children is one. It’s simply not a subject you can change your mind on. I was standing firm. It’s a dealbreaker. I want my own children, and I will break up with anyone who says they don’t want children or a family. Simple as that.

I didn’t deserve this one. Not any of it. It hurt me greatly. Not just that she changed her mine about the most important subject a couple can discuss, but how she used my most personal confessions and feelings against me – accusing me of being mentally unstable.

A request was taken for weakness. So I let it bleed and set it right.

Chapter 7: And All My Dreams Torn Asunder

The chance was 1/3 from each try. We had three tries. I threw a dice three times to see if I got the right number. I got it on my third try. I figured it would go down that route. How we would be succesfull at last. It couldn’t possibly not work. Things like this simply didn’t happen the wrong way. At one point or another she would be pregnant. In all fairness to the Universe, we would be great parents. It clearly had to see this.

She actually got pregnant while she was “reseting” her body in February 2015. Not from IVF either. It came as a surprise. If she had not been so “aware” of everything, I doubt she would have noticed anyway. She was just a couple of days late. It meant she had to abort her medicine and start all over. It was a chemical pregnancy.  After a couple of more days, everything went back to normal. It cost us another six months. She came to me with her stick that said “pregnant” and her voice was shaking of joy and surprise. I will never forget it.

We went in to Oslo for our fourth attempt in the fall of 2015. Maybe it was our fifth, I can’t remember. I was looking for signs by then. A caravan down the street had the name of what we had planned to name our child if she was a girl. Adria. I took it as a sign. A positive one. The sky that morning before we left for our last attempt was crispy clear, and an a Airbus A340 from SAS streaked across the sky coming in to land at Oslo Airport from New York. I took that as a sign too. I still couldn’t really believe that all of this could be for nothing, so I expected the last attempt to work. But it didn’t. It simply didn’t.

Adria

If it was a girl, we would call her Adria. From Stargate SG-1. We figured a girl might look like her.

We decided to not give up, and went to a private clinc quickly. We bought an IVF package worth 60 000 NOK (excluding medication). The total sum would be about 100 000 NOK. Her mom paid half, I paid half. We tried once. The eggs were developing, but not good enough. They inserted the one which looked semi-promising. It didn’t work. It was perhaps the worst disappointment of them all. She also had a terrible physical reaction to it. The private clinic did things differently, different medication. She got sick. Very sick. We barely managed to get home. At one point I had to take taxis around Oslo to find a specific drug as many of the pharmacies were sold out. I went out of my way. At least I thought so. She was upset because I didn’t tell her “it would be alright”. How could I? It felt like lying. To her, I wasn’t doing my part. I wasn’t saying the right things, and I wasn’t suffering. She was. She was suffering. All I had to to was deliver a cup. Mentally I dealt just as much as her. She just didn’t see it.

My MasterCard bill was growing rapidly, but we still had another two tries left. That was the package deal. If it worked on the first try, we would still have to pay for three. We had gone for three. The clinic was very serious about their work. We liked them more than the state run hospital. They had a different approach to things.

Our next attempt would be in February 2016. I had a trip to England coming up, so she went to the clinic by herself for the usual talks before the attempt started – what kind of dose of medication would work, when she would start and so on. By then we didn’t really work as a couple any longer. The IVF process was consuming us. We talked of little else than IVF and our dogs. It was all eyes on it. All our energy. I read articles online saying it was normal. I took care of the house for the most part. Inside and out. I was doing everything I could.

When I got back from England I found her at home in tears. She had aborted the IVF treatment. For good. She had had some kind of breakdown at the clinic and had decided to not do it anymore. From being “all in” a month ago to completely abort it was a shock to me. It dawned on me she had ideas and issues/problems/thoughts she had not shared with me. About us. She wanted to address our issues. I understood, but replied I always thought it was natural considering how hard the IVF was to deal with. I guess she disagreed. So, that evening – after just being back from England an hour beforehand, everything was off. IVF, children, relationship, marriage. It was all off. From what I could gather she had pushed her body through these tries without actually “being there” any longer. She just went along with it even thought she didn’t want to any longer. How many guys can say they had to deal with a broken up marriage and aborted IVF on the same day?

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I didn’t know what to think. A weight lifted off my shoulders the same night, but I didn’t know what to make of everything. I had been worrying about her for years. That weight disappeared. I didn’t have to worry that much now, she had pushed me away. What now?

It took another six months until I moved out. Simply because we had to untangle our lives and make the best choices. She had to be able to finance the house on her own and I had to get my own place. It was a mess. I bought a car in May with automatic gear change. Not because I wanted one, but because she couldn’t drive a stick, and because my father helped finding the car. He didn’t know anything. No one knew anything, and I had a horrible time telling my parents. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but it wasn’t up to me. I was simply put in a situation where I had to make some choices. I distansed myself from her quickly. I was angry, upset. But one thing kept me going; she couldn’t have kids. This put me in a situation where still might be able to – if I met someone else. That first night after I came back from England I suddenly remembered something she told me once before the third try at the hospital; “if this doesn’t work you can make someone else pregnant if you’d like.” I thought she was joking around. She had actually been trying to tell me something.

I can never name my child Adria. If I am lucky enough to find someone and have a child that is. The name Adria is a symbol to all those six tries which did not go the right way. They were just five or six cells, but in my mind I can picture what the child would have looked like. And that is Adria. It’s a horrible feeling. It’s like missing someone you’ve never met. I can imagine her in my head. She actually feels real, although disappearing more and more now that I have some distance. I’ve met people who simply do not understand the despair and grief of something like that can give you (it’s another story). It is very real. Just by writing this I can feel my face tightening up. Having children is a unfair game. It is simply unfair. Nothing to do with education, being smart or anything. It’s just about luck.

It’s at these moments I am usually putting on Butch Walker’s melancholic album “Afraid of Ghosts” and I think I will now. I could have written this more personal or with more feelings, but I simply can’t. It is simply too hard.

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