Age at interview: 40
Background: Simon and his wife have one son aged 4. Simon also has an 18-year-old son from a previous relationship. Simon is from a white New Zealander background. He lives in a large city and is an industrial designer.
Simon's wife experienced a number of miscarriages before and after having their son. The final miscarriage led to serious health problems for Simon's wife. She made a full recovery but after this they decided to stop trying for another child. Simon enjoys fatherhood and is very involved with caring for his son.
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More about Simon
Simon and his wife lived apart for the first years of their relationship, because Simon was living in another country. When Simon moved to Australia, he wanted to enjoy time together with his wife and be 'free of responsibility'. However, his wife wanted to start a family and so they began trying to conceive.
Simon also had a child from a previous relationship, who is now 18 and lives overseas. He said he had only a 'small part' in his older son's life when he was young. Simon described his older son as a 'good kid' but has found it 'difficult' to get to know him due to missing out on the 'deep connection' that he now realises comes from raising a child.
Simon's wife experienced several miscarriages while they were trying to have a baby. Simon said it got more and more difficult to deal with the miscarriages, particularly because he and his wife felt they weren't getting any satisfactory 'answers' as to the medical cause. After the sixth miscarriage they contacted an IVF clinic. Simon's wife however became pregnant naturally, before taking the drugs prescribed by the clinic.
After their son was born, Simon's wife experienced another two miscarriages. The final miscarriage was a molar pregnancy that led to serious health problems and required Simon's wife to undergo intensive treatment. Simon is grateful that his wife has now completely recovered. She was initially keen to try for another baby, however Simon was reluctant after all they had been through. He said while he understood his wife had an 'urge' to have another baby, he was concerned about the risk to her life and health. He also feels that he would prefer not to be an 'older parent'. He said that now his wife has come to 'accept' that they won't have another baby.
Simon said he and his wife haven't talked much about how their experiences have affected them emotionally, as neither of them are 'the sort of people to open up'. He recalled they were offered counselling but chose not to take this up. Simon said his wife's fertility doctor had seemed 'genuinely concerned and capable of helping on more than just a physical health basis'. Beyond this, 'working it out for themselves' has been their approach. Simon feels that the fact that miscarriage is common makes it easier for him to accept what happened, and believes they have just been 'unlucky'.
Simon and his wife 'missed' not having family support as both their families live far away. He feels 'thankful' that he is a parent to at least one child with his wife, and described feeling 'happy' and 'at peace' to be a father of two sons.
Looking back, Simon thinks there is no 'right time' to have children. He advises not to wait too long to have a baby because he feels getting pregnant and parenting gets 'difficult' when you are older, and that parenthood is 'an experience not to be missed'.