Thinking of parallel futures

It’s been really hot in the UK over the last month and I don’t do particularly well in the heat. I love spring and autumn, have a good bash at enjoying myself in winter, but summer is not my friend. Friends at work casually joke, on a regular basis, that I should move to Norway, or Iceland. The North pole maybe. In previous years I’ve got on a bit better because we traditionally have awful, overcast summers in the UK. Not this year – a never ending heatwave. I have spent the last two weeks taking FSH injections so I am sure the external influence on my hormones is not helping my mood. I run from grumpy to gloomy and back again. Let’s just say that’s not the most fun thing ever for my fiancé to deal with. I dream of swimming, all the time.

I have been thinking over the last few weeks and months about how the experience of infertility is pushing me to consider parallel futures on a fairly constant basis. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the parallel universe, alternative future genre of sci-fi. I am finding that while actively having fertility treatment my eye is on two possible futures a lot of the time. My effort goes into living life as normal, in making plans for fun things and future challenges, but my mind drifts off to consider other possibilities. Next year I will swim a 10km event, or I will be looking after a baby. Next year I will work on several interesting projects at work, or I will be looking after a baby.

We made a conscious decision not to stop making longer term plans, not to reduce our world to the single pursuit of making a baby. We plan trips, I pay entry fees to swimming events and do a bit of training. I work out what kind of swimming body I will need to swim a marathon swim next year, and (loosely) plan to train for that. All the while I know that a pregnant body would be something quite different, it would not be making a 10k trip around a cool lake next summer. We’ve been doing this fertility thing for a while now. It’s not been working. A heavy pregnant body doesn’t feel like it could be a real thing for me. Yet I plan for that too.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.