This week was a rough one for me. My wife and I have known she was pregnant for a little over a month (maybe six weeks?). We told the first few people about a month ago, but not all of our family members know yet (so, uh, hey, if you know them, don't go telling or posting on facebook, please, the surprise is coming at the end of the month). I've been pretty excited.
So this last weekend was rough. It started with bleeding on Thursday, and an ER visit. I didn't know what was going on for several hours and some of the things that were said made me very afraid of a miscarriage. We stayed in the ER until 4 am, when we were sure it wasn't a miscarriage and that it was something bladder related. But neither of us had slept and she could barely move. I had to give up going to my game night, which I had been looking forward to, but she needed me in a way that pretty much never happens.
Instead of getting better from there, it got worse. More blood. Blood clots. Increasing pain. We ended up back in the ER on Sunday. They talked around the C-word. And in the ER and hours to follow, the doctors screwed up, causing secondary bladder injuries. Leaving her in screaming agony (which I'd seen maybe once before this) for 9 hours until a doctor came in, recognized that we'd been asking help and not getting it for all that time, and yelled at everyone while finally helping her. The baby was healthy, but she was put into real jeopardy. We finally got out of the hospital on Tuesday, many tests later, with a relatively clean bill of health, still three of us rather than two.
For a while, I had thought a dream that I'd had since I was a pre-teen was dying.
Most of my childhood dreams have died. I thought I'd be a paleontologist. That died by the time I was five, when everyone in my class laughed at the idea, and convinced me that I shouldn't even consider it. Knee surgery killed my dream of being a professional athlete, which may or may not have been possible, but wasn't ready to die. The built up social awkwardness destroyed the confidence that would have carried me to being an actor. My dream of writing may not be dead, but it isn't flourishing. I've found a job and I like it, but it isn't those dreams.
But I'd always wanted, hoped, dreamed of being a parent. It's the one dream I've managed to not lose or feel hopeless about.
It's going to mean sacrifice. I understand that. I'm already planning ahead. Telling people I may have to cut back on how often I game in person in September (the baby is due in mid-October). Planning contingencies for if the baby needs me during the weekend of Blizzcon (which I still want to commit to). I have to be ready to spend money on a kid rather than myself. I'm also trying new ways to get in shape. Changing my diet. Purging sugar. Trying to be not just a father, but a father that can keep up. Trying to do it differently than it was done for me. It's bittersweet, giving things up, hoping it is temporary but not really knowing.
But I'll try anything to keep chasing this dream. The dream it looks like maybe I'll catch.