Just a Few Months To Go

I often hold my hand on her stumach. Usually at night. You tend to keep active around midnight and onwards. Please change your routine so you will sleep at night, ok? 😃 To feel your kick is amazing. Unreal. Your mother, even if she’s been through this once before feels the same. Just unreal.

You kick here and there. Punch with your small fists perhaps. We speak of you at night when we og to bed like you will just show up at our door in a few months. I remind both of us that we’re talking about someone already present with us. Always there. You are just inside her stumach, growing and doing all kind of unborn baby things.

My mother is ever so happy. I hear it when she speaks. Her tone. The happiness she can’t hide. She wonders about your name. We give her a few suggestions, but we’re not sure yet. It’s hard you know. How can we know your name? We haven’t even met you yet. We go up to the attic and grab big boxes of baby clothers. Left from when your half sister was a baby. Your mother looks at these clothes with stars in her eyes. All those dark thoughts she had seems to have disappeared. She’s nesting now. Cleaning, tidying, worrying. Thinking about how you will look. How you will be. She’s looking at photos of your sister, thinking of those days with her as a baby. Your mommy is getting ready.

Boy how far I’ve come in a year – in two years. Everything I lost I have gained back. Like a society crippled by war and then resurrected back into something better. Like an anthill being knocked over and re-built better and, stronger than ever before. I simply can’t believe it. Was it all planned out like this?

I imagine birthday cards I will give you. Signed «from your daddy» and I have to stop and remind myself it is me I’m thinking about. I turned it all around. All those strategic plans and reflections I did two years ago. And it all ended up exactly like I had envisioned.

Just a few more months to go.

Daddy.

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“Pay via Paypal”

“Did you buy her any toys yet?”

The question came from one of my best friends and co-workers. I had to honestly admit I hadn’t really been buying her anything. Perhaps it was because I up until now had no money to buy anything. Perhaps it was because it hadn’t really sunken in yet that this was really happening.

“Take your stepdaughter with you and buy stuff. Let her pick the toys”

I had to admit, once again, that this advice was really good, and I was surprised I had not thought of it before. I didn’t want to wait though, so I went online and bought them both a teddybear. One of those TY bears for my stepdaughter (shocking have you can make a fortune on teddybears by simply enlarging their bloody eyes) and one bigger rabbit to my unborn daughter.

It was a peculiar moment. I was buying something for my own daughter. I suddenly had a direct relationship with her. I was picking out things for her. I had to stop and just take in that moment. Suddenly it became so very real.  Have I been in denial the whole time? Was the struggle to get where I am now last winter so bad that when it was finally over, I couldn’t shake it and continued to live in a state of limbo? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. Suddenly it was a simple question from a friend and one fluffy rabbit online bought via Paypal that made emotions just flood me. I mean, I have felt my girlfriends stumach. I’ve felt the bumps and the moves and everything. But no, a click on “pay via Paypal” did it. I was buying my daughter things. Real things for a real girl. My girl. My daughter. That silly looking fluffy rabbit is for her. I bought it for her.

 

Midnight hospital visit

I sold my house a few days ago. Funny how stuff simply falls into place sometimes, just as easily as they sometimes fall out of place. I got my asking price as well. So, we decided to celebrate and went to this fancy seafood restaurant. The weather was all peachy like it has been the past month. We ate a seafood platter outside and had a wonderful dessert to go with it.

It is when we’re heading back home she says she doesn’t feel that good. She’s been having cramps in her lower abdomen. They keep coming and going, and she’s been having them all day. We decide to call the hospital. She gets one when we’re calling them, and I start to time them. Another comes fifteen minutes later. They seem to be frequent. The hospital doesn’t take any chances, and wants her in for a check. And so we swing by the hospital just before 23:00. We’re not nervous when we walk through the hospital corridors, but we’re slightly tense. I automatically start to think how maybe everything will come crashing down again, it’s after all a hairs bredth between victory or death in these matters. At least to me.

They check her well and good, but their communication skills leaves something to be desired. It’s always like this in this game. The doctor that checks her is Swedish or foreign with a Swedish accent. He looks at the monitors with a very strict and serious face, and it takes forever before he says «it all looks good». Not once do they say what they think is going on, they just ask questions and look serious. It’s almost a surprise when he says everythings fine. Then he says «this gets me worried». He refers to the placement of the placenta.

He feels it’s quite low and might block the babys exit. However, once her inside expands – the placenta moves along with the expansion. Almost like if you mark the bottom of a balloon and then blows it up. The mark have most likely moved away from the very bottom. But he would like us to come back in week 32 for a check. My girlfriends gets worried – anything but a natural birth scares her. We tell the nurse about our worries. She’s a better communicator than the doctor at least. We wait it out at the hospital for about two hours, as recommended.

After almost two hours time, the doctor comes back in and apologises for being a bit blunt about the placenta. There’s no need to worry apperantly, and we’re heading back in week 32 for a check anyway. It was already scheduled. I find it a bit odd as the placement of the placenta have been described in previous documents as «high on the backside». The placenta doesn’t move on it’s own – only by expansion. I mention this, but get no clear response. So someone is looking at things wrong, we just don’t know who. Up until this point, we have gotten no explenation about what’s causing the cramps/pain. We think it might be because of the placenta, but the doctor says it’s not. My girlfriend asks if it’s Braxton Hicks. The doctor says he thinks it might be. It dawns on me that he wouldn’t have answered or explained what it could be if it wasn’t for her asking him directly. But I’ve seen this before. Lack of proper communication. Doctors so confident that they simply forget to inform the most important person about what’s going on. Being more interested in the check than the conclusion.

And while waiting it out at the hospital I had already Googled Braxton Hicks and concluded that if it wasn’t an early-birth situation (which I could conclude it wasnt sure to the doctor mumbling «everythings fine», it must be Braxton Hicks.

And so we leave the hospital at 01:30 in the morning. I hope I won’t be back until week 32 and then for the birth – and at the right time.

 

Two small thumps

I haven’t bothered your mother much about touching her stomach. You have to be a bit smart with these things considering everything we went through, and how much I fought for you.

But, this week I felt a startling sensation on my hand when I touched her stomach. It was you, and you kicked instantly as to say hello to me.

We were down at her familys pier, just talking about stuff. I think we touched upon the subject of overweight, and I was trying to tell your mom something when I placed the upside of my hand on her stomach.

Instantly I felt two thumps. I wasn’t sure what it was, thinking it was just her stomach doing something when she slightly moved – and not you. But, it was you. It was really you.

I kept my hand there a few more seconds, and you kicked hard. That was the first time we had any form of contact even if it came via your mothers stomach.

A few days ago I did it again, and you kicked so hard I felt my fingers move upwards.

I do apologise for playing a song from the soundtrack of the Trolls movie as your first song ever the other night, but your half sister was there and she loves Trolls. I couldn’t really go for my fave song –  Estranged by Guns N’ Roses right there and then. Maybe later?

You kicked though, either because you liked it or because you hated it. Hopefully the last. It really is some shit songs on that soundtrack, and they drive me nuts.

You know, I always imagined you being a girl. Even if I strayed a bit on that since my ex and I split up and everything changed. It was only fitting you were a girl. I know you by looks won’t be exactly the same girl as I envisioned you years ago, but from my side of DNA, genetics and what not of it you will be. My part of you will be the same. Perhaps my part of your spiritual essence of you is the same even if you will  look different? Perhaps you will be that girl I could almost feel was there beside me at times when I was struggling and not feeling the best.

I often missed you terribly and couldn’t get to you because you never had the chance to exist. I think I once wrote that you will never been exactly the same even if you got to be born later at one point. Maybe I was wrong?

Maybe my part of you will be just like I imagined it. You will be THAT person.

So, I finally get to meet you! It’s like you’ve been by my side for years now. And now you will step out from the spiritual world and into the physical world. And we will meet. You’re almost ready, kicking my hand from inside the womb to say hello to me and tell me; yes, I am here.

Breaking the news

We told her daughter the news last Saturday.

It was something she had dreaded for months and months. She was convinced her daughter would throw a fit of some sort. Fall into depression, cry hysterically, scream profanities or simply falling to sleep silently every night in tears over the nightmare news of a little sister.

Perhaps my relationship with her would suffer greatly. Maybe she would hate my guts over how I basically “stole her mother away”.

Even I thought it would pose a bit of a problem, and I often told her that it most likely would be a bit of crying and screaming but it would pas with time. It’s not like the daughters experience with her half brother seems to work out well judging by what she says about it.

However, none of that happened. The daughter must be some kind of psychic. Two weeks ago, she started to ask for a little sister out of the blue. We weren’t telling her anything, and we didn’t confirm it either. Last Monday, we come home from the ultrasound and the first thing that comes out of the girls mouth when we get back is; “will I get a little sister?”. We still didn’t confirm the news, we waited until Saturday when she once again asked and wished for a little siter. The girl was over the moon when we confirmed the news.

No tears, no screaming, no nothing. Just joy on her part.

Trying to take advantage of this and put it into a wider perspective I try to tell my girlfriend that since this went so much better than what she thought, maybe other aspects with this pregnancy would be a positive surprise as well. Well, she wasn’t really buying into that and she would hardly accept that the “hell” as she described it once (telling her daughter would be a experience out of hell) never happened. “Things change” she said – as an explenation. Well, dauh, yes they do. Maybe other things won’t be “hell on Earth” either then.

Her brain often starts to work overtime at midnight. Again last night. I’m ready for sleep by then, and the look of surprise on her face when I say that midnight is a good time to fall asleep never fails. Going through the usual issues she started to talk about walking her daughter to school. She said she refused to give this up even with a new baby because it was “quality time” with her daughter. Given my perspective of things, children being able to walk to school alone is a crucial part of them growing older and being more self dependent. I have observed children coming to school in the morning, and there’s very few parents actually walking the kids all the way up to the door holding their backpack. No offense. I guess it’s simply a matter of being afraid of something new, holding onto the old. My life has been “new” for the past three years or so. It’s come to be the norm. I guess that’s why I’m not that worried.

“It’s a girl”.

Week 19 (+1)

The Babylon 5 episode titles will now end. It is only fitting.

I can honestly say; hey, that went quite well. Smooth even.

We went down to the hospital, and I think we were both a bit tense. I have never been with someone I can sense the way I do with her either. It got better once we came down there. We got inside at the exact moment our appointment was. The first thing the midwife said when she put the ultrasound device on her was; “well, lots of activity here”.

Well, a big sigh of a relief then. The baby had certainly survived that fall up in the hills.

So, alright. It’s kicking and moving and everything’s fine.

“You want to know the sex”? she asked us.

“Sure” I said.

“It’s a girl,” the midwife replied.

What?

I had such a distinctive feeling it was a boy.

But yep, it’s a girl, and due date is 20 September.

Going back home we had no heated discussions or emotional outburst of any sort. We ordered sushi, but almost forgot to pick it up.

We spoke of children’s name on our way back. It was just fine. Finally something that turned out to be a good day. It had to turn around eventually, and perhaps it just did.

I waited until after football practice to tell my parents. Like 22:00 hours. I had told her to stay awake because I had a photo I needed her input on. I told her I didn’t know what it was.

So I showed my mother a blurry ultrasound photo. It took her about two or three minutes until she understood what it was. It my was dad who first said it was an ultrasound photo. I don’t think she dared to even ask if it was. She was over the moon. Just like I expected her to react. It was just lovely. It felt like the fulfillment or conclusion of that difficult talk I had to do with her in the spring of 2016 when I told her I had split from my ex wife – and I told her all about the IVF at the same time. This was finishing that talk with a good outcome. An almost Three year struggle. It felt like a demonic entity lifting off my shoulders. Like some grey mist that just left me. It was peculiar and bizarre. At one point I felt like I was floating. Imagine that.

And now the real job will commence soon enough.

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A Day in the Strife

D-Day is looming. Or at least thats what I think. I thought the first ultrasound was D-Day but it was more like the Dieppe-raid. But enough with the WW2 symbolism.

14 of March is D-Day. Her last and final attempt at getting rid of the “problem” is a check-up to see if the size of the feutus is corresponding with her blood tests. If there’s even a slightest hint at a problem, she’s “taking care of it”. It’s interesting though, how the Christian of us is less Christian than the self-proclaimed spiritual atheist. Me. But I can agree to those terms. If there’s something wrong with it, I’m not keen on dedicating a large portion of my life to helping out a disabled individual.

And so the days go by like this. The best of days is when her family is around, especially her father, and talks sense to her. She has so much respect for him that she doesn’t really object to anything when he simply speaks what I welcome more than most – common sense.

I tried getting her onto the topic of names, but it didn’t really work out well. And then we get into very strange arguments. Like my interests or the TV channels she got. She suddenly hates commercials and wants to get rid of all TV channels because she doesn’t watch them. She suddenly only wants to watch NRK, the equivalent to the BBC or Netflix. I tell her that if she’s doing that I’ll pay for the TV package because I greatly enjoy channels like History, H2, NatGeo and Discovery. When I tell her about certain shows like “The Curse of Oak Island” she finds it “distant” and “strange”. She sometimes speak with prejudice about computers and people who like to spend time with computers, games and programming, and I find myself in a position where I have to defend myself and my hobbies/interests. She says she doesn’t want to be compared to the locals and often look down on the locals and speak of them in bad ways – but in my book she’s just like most locals; ignorant and prejudice of technology, and ignorant of topics, shows and issues that are not Norwegian. I am not like the locals, and I’m not like my generation of locals and I’m often enough not even very Norwegian. I guess it’s all the anger and frustration talking from her side though. There is a whole world on offer to her, but she doesn’t want to grab it because it feels “weird” to her.

D-Day is fast approaching. After D-Day is over I am either making a plan to tell my parents and my friends or I am in complete chaos and utter dismay. And what’s most funny is that I am so confident it will be alright I’m not too scared of D-Day at all.

Chapter 5: No Surrender, No Retreat

I can only speak for myself, but I was always of the impression that pregnancies could happen at any time – anywhere as long as your penis circulated a vagina area. Fine, I exaggerate a tad, but it was to prove a point. Babies happened. It was all over the TV. Soaps showing unexpected pregnancies in all ages, and shows on MTV about teen pregnancies. A friend of mine got pregnant when she was 16. To me, this should have been one of the easier tasks in life. What would come later would be hard part – the upbringing. I expected babies to happen as soon as we went for it.

teen-pregnancy

Most people have one or two things they struggle with. Physically or mentally. Perhaps you were raped as a teenager. Maybe your mother was an alcoholic, or you lost your significant other in a car crash. Maybe your father died when you were young and always longed for a father figure. Maybe you have no self confidence, maybe you are under-performing in life and know it. Humans always seem to have one or two “soft” spots. I often wondered what mine was – now that I had broken free from a shaky start of adult life to excel in what I was doing, I almost expected something to pop up.

Turns out it was lack of pregnancies. She simply did not become pregnant. We tried for a couple of years, nothing happened. Perhaps it something physically wrong. Maybe it was her mental state of stress. She was always stressed out. Perhaps it was hormonal. More than likely a mix of all. We just didn’t know. All we knew was that it wasn’t me that had a problem.

We were referred to IVF treatment. First three times are free in this country. I didn’t know much about it, but figured this would be a safe bet. Considering it was a 30% chance on each try, the math was good. A 90% chance. In theory it would work. We talked about children names and prepared like any other couple. First try didn’t work out, and I started to calculate the chances in different ways.  By each step in the process, 50% of the eggs would disappear. The Norwegian approach is also to be very conservative and not insert many eggs – compared to Israel where it was more of a “go flat out” approach with many eggs and considerable amount of twins being born. I read articles online saying it was mentally demanding. Physically as well – for the female.

woman-injecting-ivf

First try was a failure even before got to the insemination part. She made a mistake with her drug injections prior to the date we had at the hospital. It didn’t cost us a try.

Second one went alright. Six eggs was taken out. Three  didn’t evolve. Three was alright, but two of them did not develop properly. We had one left, which was inserted. The nurse talked about “the golden egg” which I found odd. Why bet on a “golden egg” when chances would increase if you bet on several of them at one try? Their response was that they didn’t know her body well enough to know how things would go. They were simply being cautious, but in my world that cost us two tries before they found the right dosage of drugs and what not. It was like putting your hand out in a dark closet and hoping to find that shirt you want to wear on that particular day. Among so many others. The more I calculated based on how they were doing things, the less positive I got. And it took months and months between each try. It was all a process. And a painful one at that.
Second try was aborted while we were halfway to the hospital by train. It was a two hour ride. None of the eggs had developed. We jumped off the train and went back home with our hopes shattered for a second time. I realized at some point that this may as well not work. I could end up not being able to form a family at all.

nochild

I thought it to be very ironic. Of everyone I knew when I was growing up, I always considered myself as very capable with children. I adored children. My confidence in fatherhood had not even gone down when my self-confidence was low and I was insecure. If it was one thing I was good at, it was professional and personal care for others.

And in the midst of this painfully slow and tough process, we were growing apart from each other.  Or maybe she had already disappeared from me, she just couldn’t find a way out.