George and the dragon and the maiden in distress – an analogy of how couples can deal differently with infertility and miscarriage 

Look at this picture for a moment. To me, this is an iconic image that epitomises the nature of the relationship between a couple when they are facing adversity.

We see a maiden in distress with a dragon breathing fire over her. The dragon can represent infertility, the inability to have a baby due to miscarriages - or in fact any kind of serious challenge faced by the couple.

Worse still – you see the cave in the background – and in the maiden’s mind is the ever-present threat that the dragon could carry her off into his cave and devour her – fulfilling her worst fear that she may never have a baby and may never be a mother - or any other of her worst fears.

The damsel is very distressed and is weeping copiously.

Then George comes into the scene on his trusty white steed.

He has on his armour, his helmet and his breastplate and he carries a shield – all the things to protect him from the emotional difficulties the world may face him with. And in his hand, he wields a sword.

Now there are two things we need to know about George: -

One is that he cannot bear to see his damsel in distress. It pains him enormously to see her like this.

And two, he needs to fix it, to rescue her from the thing that is causing her such heartache, grief and fear (not least because he can’t bear it himself and wants it all to stop).

So, George tries to slay the dragon. But this dragon is invincible. It will not die. He cannot make his wife or partner pregnant or keep the pregnancy going, if she is in danger of miscarrying again. He realises he has absolutely no control over the situation and feels powerless and helpless in the face of this unconquerable foe. He doesn’t know what to do. He’s tried everything. He’s said everything he knows to say many times before and it clearly hasn’t worked – she’s still crying and upset – again and again.

So, what is he to do?

Well, he has several options: -

1.  He can gallop off and leave her to it – go and play on his X box, go to the pub or watch the football.
2.  He can go into the cave himself, shut down and become uncommunicative.
3.  Sometimes he even gets angry with the damsel because she won’t stop crying and it faces him with his own powerlessness and inability to make things better. He waves his sword at her in a threatening way. He just wants her to stop going on about it and stop being so unhappy and miserable (he just wants the return of the bubbly happy-go-lucky, sociable maiden he knew before all this baby-making malarkey started
4.  But the fourth option – and listen up here fellas because this is the one that does the trick – he gets off his horse, he puts down his sword and shield, he takes off his armour and he goes over to the maiden. He takes out a clean white hanky from his pocket and hands it to her, then gives her a hug, laying her head on his shoulder and allowing her to cry and sob until the wave of distress passes, saying "There there, it's OK. We will be OK; we’ll get through this together, no matter what happens."

Believe it or not, it can be that simple . . .

Now I grant you, George, that sometimes the maiden may not be weeping, she may be in a bad mood, irritated with you and everything and everyone – and she seems to you like a prickly pear – and the last thing you want to do is give her a hug. But if I were you, I’d give it a go – ask her if she’d like a cuddle – and if she says yes – make it a good one.