“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.

 

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Transit Time is About to End

I sold my house yesterday. That is, it’s been sold for a few days now but we signed the contract yesterday. It happened on the exact day when I first met my girlfriend a year ago. Funny that. I guess thats what you call symbolic? It’s almost a bit scary.

I bought my house almost six months after my marriage fell apart. I wanted to wait until the right moment came to buy the right house. Turns out – in the end – it was a really good idea even if I have been living on an extremely tight budget for two years considering the expense of living in, and maintaining a house of that size all alone. Back in 2016, I had actually won the bidding round for another house, and if that deal hadn’t fallen through at the last minute I would have been much worse off and in much more trouble. Take my word for it.

Come to think of it, that happened twice actually, almost the same way. Thankfully those fell through and this deal happened.

I never really intended on selling my house. My plan was to live there for the forseeable future, meet someone marginally younger with no house commitments herself and create something together in this house. It was perfect for families with one or two children. Perfect area for children with a kindergarten and a school very close by in the neighbourhood. My backgarden was lovely and both sides of the property was covered up by trees and bushes so it didn’t feel like living in a suburb at all. It felt like living rather isolated  – as I wanted too. I honestly don’t like neighbours that much. I loved the property even if the house needed some upgrades. Now, I’m not extremely handy – I am first and foremost an academic. But I did what I could with it and boy it paid off.

The first night in my house in the fall of 2016 was a somber, depressing experience. I felt like I was breaking in, and living in a house that didn’t belong to me. All my stuff was packed in boxes. Nothing was in order. I didn’t even have a bed. Just a tiny, single one meant for guests or children or whaetever. I went to sleep that night listening to the complete silence. It engulfed me. There were no dogs around me either. Suddenly  the days with my dog beside me and another on the floor were gone.  It was just me all alone in a big house. It felt horribly wrong for a 35 year old. After a week or so, at least it didn’t feel like I was making a criminal offence going to sleep, but the loneliness and silence never let go. Coming home to an empty house, watching TV alone – feeling like I was wasting time. It felt like that at least until the spring of 2017 when I spent more time in my house.

I painted the entire first floor within weeks of living there. I also painted the stairs in a proper and modern blue-gray colour. It took me like nine hours work those stairs. In February 2017 I re-did the kitchen with new colours. At least my house did not look all 1997 any longer. It honestly looked alright. In the spring of 2017 I even had two parties full of people coming in and giving me compliments about the look of the place. In the summer of 2017 I did some work outdoors. I removed some bushes and trees, made things look a bit better. My mother helped me all the way. So did my father and sister.

During the first six months or so I struggled badly. The silence and emptiness of being there alone was overwhelming. Mostly because of my age. I felt so old. Some neighbours around me were my age and had families. I felt completely out of tune with the world. It was like I had been flown off to a foreign country and left there with no way of coming home. I felt society had somewhat left me behind. Chewed well and spat out like a piece of meat. A very serious and real feeling of failure did not leave me for months and months. I was severely depressed. It took me almost a year to feel right again. Like the person I once was. I think that time came for real on June 30 2017, and I knew it. I even wrote about it.

I leave that house now with mixed feelings. The fact is, I managed to get out of the deal in a good way. So even if my longterm plan for the house is canceled, it served its purpose. Was it ever really my home? No, not really. I haven’t really slept there for months now. I have no personal connection to it. I have no sense of loss from it. I feel slightly bad for my parents to invest so much time with it, and then I get rid of it all of a sudden, but they know I’ve made a good deal and as payment they get to be grandparents. Not a bad deal I’d say.

In ten years time, the house will just be a reminder of a transit stop between my past life and my next life. Like an airport. Like my seven hour transits in Prague ten years ago. I was neither here nor there. And I got out of it in a good way. In all ways possible. From feeling like I completely failed in life to a complete victory in two years time. A proper comeback. Am I lucky or just a good planner? Did I loose something between 2016 and now? Yes I did, but gained more. I will gain the most important thing in the world, and screw it if I can’t gather enough time to write books any longer. My two year transit is about to end. I can finally start a new life.

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.

 

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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Into the Fire

Another D-Day today. It’s been too many. Maybe this one will be the last one?

I just saw an Instagram photo by someone I slightly know. She’s pregnant. “We are so excited!” the text said attached with a countdown photo of her pregnancy.

They are obviously over the moon and really looking forward to June – her due month.

As for me, well, I haven’t mentioned my girlfriends pregnancy to anyone lately. Well, with the exception in a conversation with her mother when my gf rudely told her “maybe it’s dead” when her mother mentioned it. I should have told her to fucking behave her age. Or today, when we’re off to the ultrasound in a couple of hours, and I wrote her “you know, my gut feeling tells me it’s a boy” and she responds with “ok, I’m going to lie down now”.

It makes for great excitement. But hey,the male has to be supportive. Just be supportive. Whatever she wants, it’s good. Doesn’t matter. Just act like an adult and try to be there for her. And I do. No need to lecture me on female rights – I’ve read all, and support all. But there’s no substitute for decency.

She fell a two or three weeks ago out on skis. Might have fractured a rib. There was no other injury, but I was obviously worried about the baby. She haven’t bothered that much about it, and did not want to see a doctor or anything. So, for me, without getting any consolidation from her about what’s going on inside her – the ultrasound will at least confirm if the baby is alive. I think it is though, but it’s still frightening. So, that’s what’s been on my mind for the past three weeks.

I talked to my doctor last week. I told her my past two years have not been normal in terms of family, children, relationships I’ve been through
more than most do in a lifetime. There’s just nothing normal with any of this, and I haven’t even begun to feel bitter about my girlfriend taking
away my initial joy and excitement about a pregnancy. Because right now, I’m simply numb. I told my doctor the same thing. I’m numb. Like I’ve been
in some form of war or fistfight for the past two years, and even if I did win the fight, I am so battered that I can’t enjoy my victory. If it is a victory that is.

I wrote my doctor, as she told me, a letter explaining my situation and how I wanted someone to talk to. To sort all this out. Sort out my ex-wife and what
I went through there as well my ex-girlfriend and my current state of affairs. It’s all mixed up in one big pile of mess.

But one thing I do know; this is it. On the path I am now taking, this is it. There will be this chance or no more. I am going into the fire.

And I can’t believe I am where I am right now, just a year after I started this personal blog/diary. I still don’t know if I’m better off or not.

It’s like someone hearing my thoughts and replied with; “we will give you what you want, but you will have to endure and you will have to fight”.

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.

Shadow Dancing

I’m about to go down that certain road again, and to no choice of my own.

Just like last time I was clear, confident and made sure I got the right answer. The “yes” answer. The “yes I would like a family and I would like children” answer.

This time around I was even more on edge than before. I desperately wanted to do it right. If there was a certain insecurity about the issue I would pick it up like a boat searching for the coastal lighthouse.

And I did. I stored every hint and talk about it in my mind. There was no insecurities. And months later, I came out and asked. I told her the whole story (although we had touched upon it) and I asked her. “Children is important to me”.

Just like last time, the relief I felt when I asked and got the right reply was heartfelt and sincere. I had done it right, I had played my cards right. My gut feeling had been right.

“Yes I would like to” was the answer, with a follow up “what if it won’t work?”

I replied that it didn’t matter, because I had taken my decision. I only wanted to be in control of my own destiny. If it didn’t work out, by biological reasons, that was fine. It was thing and I would deal with it accordingly.

I was happy. Truly happy. I got involved with her daughter. Her family too. Never before have I felt such happiness and confidence in my own ability to make the right decisions. Never before have I been so sure I had done the right decisions in the past. I did everything by the book, and was proud of it. And here she was, a girl I could trust. A girl that wouldn’t let me down. A girl that I asked one of the most important questions you can ask, and she agreed to it.

A few months later and she became pregnant. I knew it before she even knew it herself. My understanding of human biology is perhaps further advanced that most people bother to think about. My happiness reached a whole new level. My love for her daughter grew day by day. I felt like a father. I felt like I had a family. And my struggles would now be crowned by the ultimate victory and joy. Pregnancy. I was to become a father.

Things started to unravel quickly after the two lines on the stick appeared. She backtracked. Unsure. Scared. Confused. She’s suddenly telling me she wakes up every morning in panic. She feels like she doesn’t want a child after all. Too much worries. Too much struggle. Too much of everything.

And this is where I am today. Stuck in a state of confusion. A limbo state where I do not know if I should laugh out of happiness or cry out of desperation and despair. A state where the unthinkable is being discussed; abortion. I am not against abortions. I believe in a womans right to choose, but not like this. Not like this.

Because I asked. I asked.

 

I pull out all the arguments I can possibly do. I act all professional, trying to speak sense into her. But nothing works. I go to the verge of threatening her. I am in tears every time I think about it. I try everything that I can to explain. This is the most important and biggest thing a human being can experience, but I am not even allowed to be happy. I can’t be happy. I can’t tell anyone. I can’ tell my mother.

I asked. I can’t believe you are doing this to me. Because I asked you. I asked you, and you said yes.  I did everything right. I do not deserve this. I did not deserve it last year, and I do not deserve it now. What wrong have I done? And now I’m involved. Strong feelings for both of you. I love you both dearly, and now you are doing this to me. I can’t believe you are hurting me like this. Not you of all people. Not you. Please no, not you.

By Any Means Necessary

No one is really following this saga but me, but I’ll write it.

My wish and desire to become a father at some point is very real, and I damn well know all the pain I’ve been through the past years for dealing with it and the loss of it. The failed marriage impacted me greatly, but I knew what I was doing all along in terms of children. I stuck with my ex wife for as long as she wanted me there. When she didn’t want me there any longer, I left. And I did so with no hesitation. She could not have children. If she loved me, I would have stayed regardless. She didn’t, so I left. I wanted children, and I could not have them with her. I do not regret that decision.

I met someone new, and thought I did all the right things, asking at the right time, trying to pan it all out by the book. She knew my desire and wish to create a family on my own, and she agreed to it. Then she retracted it and didn’t want any more children. That’s fine. I don’t blame her one bit for it considering her story. But I do blame her for not being able to stand firm on a very important decision. That impacted me greatly, and yet again I took some very hard decisions and broke it off. I don’t regret that either, but it was an extremely tough decision when it was going on.

Then I met someone else. I decided to follow my gut feeling. She asked me i f I wanted children early on (which is normally the way you do these things) and I confirmed I did. I did not ask her back. I followed my instincts, and waited. I read between the lines instead. Kept my head cool. Did not speak much about children either. Did not pour my heart out. Maybe I was afraid of the answer if I asked.

I was more up front with her last night. I told her just that – that I had refrained from asking her so bluntly. She asked if I had been scared of her answer. I sort of replied with a “no”, but I guess it wasn’t really the correct reply, because I had been afraid of her reaction. I don’t blame myself for holding back. Not with my past experience this year, but I asked her last night. If children was a possibility in all this. She confirmed that it was. I replied saying that it was all that I needed. She asked me what if it wouldn’t work out – if she would not get pregnant. What then? I said that in that case it was a whole other ballgame. That is something completely different. It can happen. We’re not 25 any longer. Not 30 either. But it is a “risk” I am willing to take. Because I love her. I see what kind of girl she is, and her type does not grow on trees. She asked me what I would have done if she said that she would not under any circumstance have any more children. I replied that it would not normally go as far as this if that was the case (I would have known by my gut feeling) – but if that had happened (like last time) I would have left. The grief of not having children on my own, if it will come to that, will be something I have to deal with on my own, but at least I am in control of my own destiny. I decided last summer, when I met her, that if I would go along with this it would be a risk I was willing to take. I am more in control of my own destiny now. It simply feels better. It is my decision. Not someones elses.

Walking to work this morning felt easy. It was a relief. I did the talk I knew I had to do at some point, and now I have done it. I am in control of my future. If it doesn’t work out, at least I know it was my decision to go down this path.

I don’t think the grief will ever really go away if I am to be without a child. But I can learn to live with it. Deal with the cards I was given. I will have to deal with many horrible thoughts and reflection on my destiny, and how all this ended this way due to circumstances I could not control or know. I could not know that my ex wife could not have children. I will somewhat always blame myself for choosing the wrong person so many years ago, but I can’t change this. The shocking realization that life is by chance and luck is tough to swallow. You can be the man you want to be, you can believe in karma and always try to do the right things – but it might not be enough, and it’s not your fault. It’s not MY fault it ended like this.

But, it’s not over yet. There’s still a few years to go.

If it doesn’t work out, I might end up with a depression again. I might have to go to counselling again. But at least I can say I tried and took the decisions I thought was right.

Maybe none of this will happen, and in five years time I have settled into the life I made for myself feeling alright with everything that have happened. Coming to grips with it, and accepting my faith.

 

The Long, Twilight Struggle

You accused me of being grumpy when I came into work.

I replied I wasn’t grumpy or annoyed or even mad.

Sometimes I have a lot to think about; I am disappointed with the choice I made of who to love and be with, and I am frightened about doing them again. I am worried that I will not feel or be fulfilled, and that I will constantly, for the rest of my life, walk around with a feeling that I can only describe as a heartache that will never end for as long as I live. You know I read that one time? That having no children and wishing you had children feels like a never-ending heartbreak? Like when your 17 and your boyfriend dumps you and you think you will never get over it? Only that for me, due to what happened, it will never go away? It scares me. And I often wonder where all this came from? It wasn’t something of an issue that occupied me at all when I was younger. It was only when it was taken away from it dawned on me. When did I become like this?

But hey, I have control now. I am not pouring my heart out to my girlfriend about it. I shy away from it. I do not feel like escaping life by looking up B&Bs somewhere along  the British southern coastline, go down there alone and lock myself in that room and hide from society. But even if I keep myself in order, I have periods of feeling worried and sad. That’s what you see when I come into work with a strict face, few words and a couple of deep sighs. I am not grumpy. I am just worried about life. Disappointed with the past, and scared about the future. Maybe this is how it is when you grow old and more than before look back at your life and judge your actions? Suddenly I have a whole decade to look back upon as an adult. No wonder I am worried.

I am not grumpy. I am frightened, disappointed and worried.