Its 10:29 PM, Tuesday, April 19th. I’m sitting in a hospital room; listening to, what some might describe, as horses clopping across a heartbeat monitor. Other than the whirring of electronics and machines, the room is quiet and dark, and I’m sitting on a “bed” that was clearly NOT designed with comfort in mind. I am here to provide support in a situation where I feel that I cannot do much, but I’m waiting patiently to be asked to help. I’m waiting for the birth of my second child. My wife was/is high risk, so this is a scheduled induction beginning at night. This translates to a long night, with a lot of downtime and ultimately, a lot of reflection.
I’d like to say I just have had a serious case of writers block that has prevented me from writing anything in the last 15 months. The truth, however, is that I let my life get in the way of living. It’s been a rough period of time and it is being magnified by the fact that my family of 3 (plus 2 furry members) is about to become a family of 4.
I committed last July to separating from Active Duty military. I submitted all my paperwork well in advance, which essentially constituted my acceptance to leave a secure, well paying (albeit potentially dangerous) career without having a civilian career lined up. I started interviewing for roles but had no outright successes. The following week, my wife told me she was pregnant with our second child. Life is pretty good at throwing curveballs like that.
Right around the same time; I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and depression. I was so busy trying to find a job to support my family, I don’t think it ever registered fully the magnitude of the situation my family was now in. (This is the first time I’ve ever publicly admitted that I have depression and anxiety disorders. That’s a post for a later date).
I ultimately did find a job, moved out of our house, stayed with family over the next 4 months, bought a house, lived out of a suitcase, started my new job while living out of a suitcase, and finally got moved into said house. Only now, is our house somewhat put together.
In a scatter-brained manner, that brings me to today. Its now 16 hours since I start this post. My wife has been in labor for 8 hours, and baby still isn’t here yet. A lady in the room next door had her baby all naturally last night, and we heard everything. I started to have an anxiety attack at that moment, and anxiety hasn’t dissipated yet. What if this baby doesn’t “like” me? What if there are complications? Hell, I had an anxiety attack over picking the final name options (we don’t know the gender yet). I feel like this should come second nature, as I’ve been a dad for over 2 years, but I’m still terrified.
In comes the nurse, so I guess it’s time to stop writing for now. Time to swallow the watermelon sized lump in my chest, and be the support rock my wife needs right now. No time to think about all the insanities with my life…only time to focus on the “here and now”.
Thanks for everyone who reads this, and I’m sorry its all over the place.
Time to welcome our 4th family member!