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Donna's Pregnancy Journal ~ a story of pregnancy after infertility

A Man's Perspective
~ A Message From Lionel

Hello, by now you've met my wife, Donna, and our son, Adam Kristopher. Donna has asked me to write and tell you of my experiences with the rapidly changing world I now live in.

You may already know that I am an Ambulance Officer in Auckland, New Zealand's largest metropolitan centre. When I met Donna all those years ago (about 5) I never really considered having children. I wanted Donna for who she was not because she had CBH's (child bearing hips for you ladies) and never really considered the idea of children until Donna said she would like to try. I thought about it and decided the only drawback was having to get a shotgun if it turned out to be a girl. Who would have guessed the effort we would have to go to get to this point here.

Anyway, everybody kept saying your life will never be the same once you have children; hold off as long as you can. To tell you the truth, I was starting to believe them and wondered if I was doing the right thing or was I just doing it because that's what they expect of you and because when you get married you have children. In my family, all of my siblings were either unmarried or marrying with a child in the oven so to speak. Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging. I'm just saying that I felt there was historic and cultural pressure to procreate.

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Meanwhile back at work, the misery merchants were soothsaying about my future and how there is no sex after marriage, and there is no life after children. I again thought about all this and looked at all the experiences I have had in my life and decided that these were very sad and unhappy people. Of course your life is different and changes occur but I am not a dinosaur. You either adapt, improvise and overcome the changes in your life or you spend the rest of your life making fossil fuels. My life has changed from one man and his dog to two people who love each other and their dog and three cats. I look on the introduction of Adam into our lives with joy, excitement and maybe a small degree of trepidation, but that is what keeps you alive and makes sure you are not just running the numbers but are really enjoying the new life you are now leading.

When we first started the IVF program, I was philosophical about the outcome while Donna tended to be pessimistic but that was how we both dealt with it. I think for me, I felt that it was necessary to provide a Ying to Donna's yang. The hard parts were all the procedures she had to go through. First find the possible cause of any infertility and then to get to the stage where the eggs were implanted. All I had to do was go into a room with a few girlie mages and produce two samples, and of course moan about the embarrassment because everyone knew how the sample had been obtained. It reminds me of a saying, "99% of the world are wanders, the other 1% are liars." It was very hard witnessing all the pain Donna experienced and being able to do little but be supportive. The only consolation was that the ends hopefully justified the means, and we had a successful outcome.

Being at the placement of the eggs was very moving and an incredible experience for me personally. I first saw the unfertilized eggs under a microscope at the clinic and marveled that this could be a child one-day. Two days later, I again looked down a microscope and saw two fertilised eggs which were divided into two four cell blastocysts. For me this was quite a moment as I was present at the placement of my child (possibly children) and the approximate to exact point in time when Donna became pregnant. I felt I had a greater ability to bond to my unborn child(ren) than other fathers simply because I was there and knew at two weeks post placement that we were having a baby, possibly two. From that point, on I became Donna's personal food and drug agent checking to ensure that all she consumed could have no detrimental effect on her or the baby. This may be a tad over the top, but I felt it was a part I could play in helping our child. I've mellowed as I realised that there was no way Donna would do anything to harm our child, and my actions made her feel like I didn't trust her. As we have progressed on in the pregnancy, I've watched our baby grow via the scans and the calendars we dragged off the Internet.

At week 11 we were presented with a serious scenario when Donna started bleeding while I was at work on nightshift. I raced home and took Donna to the hospital for an examination. To cut things short we had a successful result in that the placental tear was significant but not too significant. Since this event, I have probably become overprotective to a certain level that I probably annoy Donna somewhat. What can you do though because you are a spectator, albeit an active one, in this little miracle developing in the belly of my Donna.

I've started building a cot for our new arrival much to the amusement of some people as it is said I have similar success rate as "Tim Taylor" from "Tool-Time." I just believe it's because I'm innovative and think outside the square, however rest assured that all the technical details are being overseen by Adam's godfather who is a qualified carpenter.

Today is November 11, 1998 and tomorrow Adam will be 21 weeks. Last night I felt his first kick. Donna, of course, had been feeling them for some weeks but again this was a further cementing of my relationship with my child who I've seen grow from a small microscopic entity into the little personality he is now. People have asked me if I'm pleased it's a boy, and I say all I wanted was I child I could love. I love animals and as I said previously have a LARGE dog. He was a dog I initially would not have had but fate gave him to me, and I love him to bits. The same can be said for my family. I don't care what we have because what we have I will love deeply.

In conclusion I'd like to wish all out there good luck in their endeavours and remind you that the children we have are blank canvasses, and we all can help finger paint a masterpiece depending upon the effort we put in their lives. It may be an abstract or impressionist but you still had a part in it. So as Spock so ably puts it, "LIVE LONG AND PROSPER" because your family gives its own rewards.

All the best,
Lionel

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