John and Sally

We worked together for a while and then began dating and got engaged after a year. Early on we decided on four children and a dog - the ideal life, a joke at the time. We were so happy when Sally got pregnant but philosophical when we had a very early miscarriage.

Then we found, after some years, that we could document our holidays by Sally’s miscarriages. The doctor tried to help and I (John) felt helpless watching Sally go through some really awful tests. Mine was easy - fertile or not? Apparently I was a bit of a slow mover but everything was fine. ICSI apparently was the answer so we went to the fertility clinic for IVF only to find that our PCT didn’t fund cycles so we remortgaged our tiny starter home. I worked extra shifts at work. IVF takes over your life. If you’re not going through it, you’re saving up or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I was exhausted and Sally was heartbroken. Five cycles and no answers, no children.

We are trying to adjust to a life without children but even as a bloke, a bit distant from these things, stuff throws you, like a scan photo and cake at work recently. I had to walk around the car park and fight back tears.