Pregnancy. I’d like to convey the experience with articulate nuance. To detail the natural poignancy and embellished wonderment of birth. So let me regale you with a sample of captivating excerpts that humbly expressed my inner monologue, accurately depicts my feelings at the time. Clears throat
“Ehh! It’s all gooey and sticky!
Jesus, what the hell is that?!
Blah! Look at all that faecal matter! It looks like someone’s dropped a nuclear missile into a sewage refinery!
Is that supposed to be there?
Oh god doctor, what are you doing down there?!
Ugh, it looks like that gooey testicle sack in DmC!”
Did I praise her dependable bravery. Commend her resiliency under such intense emotional strain? No the first comment I made was this: “you’re now a milf!” But of course things are never straight forward. As of writing my girlfriend has spent 5 nights induced, in labour, having a caesarean, recovering from complications caused by said caesarean and resting. Lots and lots of resting. From the excruciating pain suffered through inducement to the placenta fluid discharging like an elephants water feature, there’s been no end of fun. I kept a solitary vigil, monitoring her development through the exasperated groans of pain and listless sleep. It’s hard to be so powerless under such intense emotional scrutiny. She’s vulnerable, scared and overwhelmingly frustrated of progression evidenced in her sigh of resignation. Your sole purpose during these horrific proceedings is providing services that on the surface alleviate the negative atmosphere resonating around the entire situation. Of course there are variously assigned midwives providing supportive guidance through her enduring exertions, dispensing medication and pain relief to soothe an already troubled mind. But when more and more invasive procedures are implemented, with cannula’s, catheter’s and various other tubes and valves inserted all across her body it’s difficult not to survey your surroundings as if you’re viewing a horror movie. Like the entire event is merely a fictional representation of real events embellished and recorded for the purposes of entertainment. It all feels so surreal.
My participation in the birth was purely circumstantial, providing attentive calm as opposed to any medical assistance. It’s heartbreaking to see her in such a pain. Even worse when after 4 days of induction, labour and intense pain you discover that you’re spouse will have to undergo a caesarean section anyway. I have never been as terrified as I was in that moment, having to fake a perception of confidence to reassure my girlfriend that everything will be fine. But I scrubbed up none the less determined to be the pillar of strength she required. It’s fascinating just how jovial surgeon’s are. They act as though cutting babies from a mother’s womb is a trivial as florist arranging a bouquet for an elderly lady? My suspicion of their ability was immediately raised however when one of the many tubes inserted into my girlfriends arms were leaking, something that had escaped their attention. I can tell you now that I have never been so doubtful of someone’s capabilities to ensure very basic skills to their work. I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details and confirm that despite some minor complications my girlfriend and daughter are healthy. Though in typical fashion there were of course post operative complications where my girlfriends lungs were partially filled with fluid causing repository difficulties that resulted in constant monitoring, reliance on a ventilator and total abstinence from her new born daughter. On the whole it’s been….hmm? An experience.
But let’s not stand on ceremony and allow me to introduce our baby daughter Rose, Violet Weller.
Oh wait. Hang on….
Now before you ask we didn’t decide on the names because of a brief trip to a florist. Rose is named after Emily Rose, the voice actor of Nathan Drakes muse Elena Fisher. (Though don’t tell my girlfriend that!) And Violet was the name of my aunt who sadly passed away too soon when I was just a kid. She was an endearing influence on me and her contribution to my growth as a human being cannot be overstated. And I know she’d be proud of both Rose and my girlfriend, whom is just as important in my life along with my mother.
I realise that the long gestating period of pregnancy has become a routine subject of much ubiquity on this site, over powering a gaming site that hasn’t directly referenced games in a two week period and hopefully normal service will resume once I find an hour or two to actively engage in some game time. I just need time to settle and adjust because there’s a moment, fleeting as it is where you question yourself. Have we made the right decision? How will we cope? Will we be good parents? It’s a natural reaction, one that’s difficult to define. There’s no certainty. But when you place that wiggling little bundle in you’re girlfriends arms and watch as Rose stops whimpering and embraces her mother’s warming hug you realise that this was always the right decision.
Special thanks goes to Pembury hospital for their support, hard-work and tireless dedication to patient care.
A year ago an Easter break would have precipitated hours of casual levity with my PlayStation, reconciling after a long absence. Instead I’ve endured a 4 day weekend decorating, assembling various baby accessories and trying (failing) to perceive the intended meaning of the schematics of a child’s car seat, that requires a degree in engineering to construct. What a difference a 12 months make. “Busy, busy, busy!” My soon to be daughter (yes I realise she is the cardinal topic of discussion again!) has been a looming paradox for sometime, simply because technically she doesn’t yet exist. Only manifesting as a rigid protrusion that routinely positions herself on my girlfriends bladder or nestles casually on her back, you’re not fully cognizant of her as a living thing. That realisation is starting to materialise now as preparations to welcome her are nearing completion. The spare room, which has been reserved as my games room for nearly 3 years has now been successfully converted into a nursery for the impending usurper…er sorry, I of course meant welcoming the little bundle of joy. The television, now displaced to our room stoically commanding our domain, which now means I can game while laying down, snuggled in the encased warmth of our luxurious bed sheets. It gives you a whole new perspective, trust me. Still all my residual materials that had been clogging up this proverbial storage facility had to be relocated. In fact it was a necessity.
So we enlisted the aid of a few willing friends to participate in a kind of “paint party”, minus the fun and alcohol. Well with the exception of one friend who routinely douses her liver in any flammable liquid she can find. Our friends participation in decorating the spare room into something that resembles a nursery was a congenial collaboration of both haste and efficiency, and resulted in a well cultivated room for a human being that literally won’t be able to differentiate between it and our grubby shed. My girlfriend, unable to contribute to the more manual elements presided over us with authoritative instructions and provided much needed refreshments, such as alcoholic beverages to some attendants who got bored after 15 minutes, though I did appreciate her restraint; she normally gets bored after 5! Now furnished with all the amenities required for such a high maintenance resident, I finally began to understand just how significant this is going to be. My girlfriend instinctively sensed this and once the paint had dried, the room had been filled with various baby paraphernalia and our cohorts had departed (some drunk!) she allowed me, for what could be the last time for a while to spend an evening gaming.
My extended residency in what had become my refuge from…..everyone had proven to be fortuitous for much of my acquitted gaming. The deliberate isolation from my other halves penchant for trivial soup operas and talent shows strengthened our relationship. Honestly it did. She understands how important, not necessarily gaming is for me but how much I value my own space to just shut down. And this considerate appreciation, to provide me with one last prelude to the end of my facetious gaming days just demonstrates her magnanimous facilitation to think of others, despite the enduring severity of her aches and pains she is sustaining in comparison. And for that I thank her. You’d think that being forcibly removed from my space would leave me subjugated, that I’d resent gaming’s absence. In actuality I’m starting to appreciate the limitations because you really do take it for granted. Gaming is something that can be so accessible that prolonged stints diminishes the return, almost like a dog chasing a car; once it’s caught up to the vehicle it doesn’t have any idea what to do?! I appreciate the time I’ll get to play games, even in such restricted capacity. And most importantly appreciate that the spare room was never “mine” to begin with.
Apologies if this is worded as a scattering of confused thoughts condensed into one centralised cluster, but at the moment my mind is all over the place. It’s time for player 3 to enter the fold!
Well it’s happened, I’ve become that guy! The one who’s besotted by every little mannerism or gestural nuance of their child. “Oh she gurgled. Oh he burped. Oh she plopped. Oh he projectile vomited in his mother’s mouth! So adorable. It’s these moments I cherish the most.” What’s worse is that my daughter hasn’t even been born yet. It’s evident that this obsession will only hasten as the baby begins to become a more realistic proposition. An infant whose preferred method of communication will likely be flatulence, that will no doubt endeavour to castigate any and all free moments to game with deliberate, infantile interventions. Yet I’m not put off, nor do I resent the lack of time that I’ll dedicate to gaming as much as I thought I would. Logistically I’ve been somewhat complacent too, dismissing the very existence of the steadily progressing growth that has bloated my girlfriends uterus. The spare room that has been acting as a storage facility for all our surplus bric-a-brac as well as my games room for almost 3 years is still stuck in a perpetual rift. It’s not decorated suitably, with one wall painted in a bright, rather aggressive hue of red. Nor is it equipped with adequate furnishings to accommodate the very singular specifications that a baby would need such as a cot. One minute everything is normal, then suddenly this innocuous bump has swelled to the point that ignorance is no longer an acceptable recourse. I don’t think I’ve been capable of processing that this is happening, that preparations for her arrival should be my immediate priority. Not the completion of Arkham Knight or waiting for the release of Uncharted 4, but this. A child! A matted culmination of my girlfriend and myself with diminutive proportions that will rely so heavily on the combined support of both her parents. It wasn’t until last Saturday that I finally understood the significance this tiny creature will have on our lives.
The pictures are a little difficult to see but I can confirm without bias, that she she will be perfect!
I’ve attended every routine scan since we found out about the pregnancy which has provided distorted images of our daughter. But without any clarifying features it still felt distant, like it was happening to someone else. The 4d scan has given a physicality to a previously formless entity, generating a palpable sense of clarity to something that had never felt real. With my mother in attendance, eyes glazed in tears, I got a clearer picture of our unborn daughter and how my mother will react every time she sees her. Apart from my girlfriends rather sordid comparison that described her as looking like the elephant man (the baby, not my mother), which now ruins the above pictures, I felt a tremendous sense of pride I’d never achieve from any platinum trophy, especially as she doesn’t appear to of inherited the terrifying snout that has cursed the bloodline of my family. Now I have this infatuation to mention her in every conversation regardless of context. “Oh you had pizza for dinner last night? Lovely. My girlfriend is baking a little pizza of her own!
Now with less than 3 months until her birth I’m feeling both terrified and excited. What carnage will ensue when this little poop suppository is born? Well I’m sure it will consist of feeding’s, butt wiping and sleep deprivation. And that’s just me! But if her mother is any indication of her potential stature, characteristics and personality then our daughter is going to grow into a capable, giving, bubbly and gorgeous young woman. Just like her mother.
This is it. The final preclude that will determine the gender of our unborn child (not your’s obviously. I would have informed you of that!). As I sit in the waiting room, my feet shuffling awkwardly failing to position themselves into effete parity, the knot in my stomach tightens. All around me are the docile murmurs of patients, the rhythmic tapping of nervous feet. Individual’s in similar circumstances to my own, refracting my cautious anxiety with their own tempered assuredness. The hesitant capitulation that latches onto my anxiety is expedited by the numb confusion that washes over me like the crest of a wave. Why am I so nervous? The immaculate sanitation indicated by the white sheened facades emblematic of hospitals always incites my nerves, but why would discovering the gender of my child provoke such fervour? Whatever the neurological reason nothing can prepare you for how passive and meek you become even when someone enquires into your name. I attempt to divert my attention by observing two babies settling a disagreement by glaring at one another, both either intently observant or preparing to rip the others throats out. Conversing with barely audible gurgles my typically gaming conditioned mind imagine that these infants inert squabbles would conclude in a Mortal Kombat style conflict. I even began whispering “Finish Him” to myself?! Hardly an affable representation of gaming influence on me, but at least I’d have someone soon that could share my eccentric predilections.
“This is what I thought those two infants would eventually end up doing!”
Oh right, the baby. My child. This is what this post is supposed to be about. Having watched the two potential Street Fighter baby participants become separated by their respective parents (spoil sports) it was time for my girlfriend and I to enter the scanning room, indicated by the wall mounted TV that would look much better adorning our living room wall. I walked into that ultrasound gingerly, exerting so much vestigial trepidation as if the scan will reveal a composite creature with mandibles and a snout, or an extraterrestrial nestling in my spouses womb. The translucent goo is then applied directly to the abdominal area, as the leaden images begin to form. You see the partialy formed heart beating with metrical flutter, beating with vigerous velocity that belies it’s organic vulnerability. All the distinguishable features are present; the hands, feet, torso, neck, the tail….wait no, not that! The transabdominal scan reveals rough contours of a surreptitious lifeform, yet it already feels real. I was however disapointed that the test doesn’t confirm any abnormalities or follicle deformities such as being ginger. Nor could we reasonably establish whether it has inherited my nasal deformity. Yet aside from measurements performed on the baby all we really wanted to know was the gender and we finally received confirmation. It’s…a…..Girl! We think?
During the scan the baby had positioned her body in a more modest riposte, as if she knew she was being observed?! “Do you mind?! Excuse me but I’m naked and swimming here.” Why my unborn daughter speaks like an Edwardian duke is still unknown but at least we are somewhat assured of what to name her (though I won’t be publishing such sensitive information just yet). My girlfriend, ever the bragger began texting relevant and arguably irrelevant parties to confirm the status of her labouring pregnancy. Her parents, brother, grandparents, cousin, hairdresser (honestly) random pedestrians, an owl (probably). In fairness it’s not difficult to see why. She’s as excited as I am. Well, actually more so. Though this is a happy occasion I have noted what an irritation my daughter is going to be. Besides dancing on my girlfriends bladder, her birth coincides with the start of Game Of Thrones season 6! It’s timely intervention could prevent me from completing Uncharted 4 and could also jeopardise my chances of attending next year’s EGX Rezzed?! I mean this infant has little courtesy for my needs! I’m starting to think that having child is going to be problematic?
Due to other provoking circumstances that converged to undermine much of my writing over the weekend, I thought I’d inject some concentrated levity into this article with an introductory supplication that I’ve generously submitted to you-my most trusted advisor’s, so that you may contribute to the speculative identification of a subject that currently alludes me; the gender of my unborn child. This is decision that could potentially determine one the most critical moments of my adult life, and also evaluate your prescient virtuosity for assessing future events. I call this examination….*Clears throat*
Guess what’s growing inside my girlfriends womb!
It’s a puzzle draped in clandestine anonymity. So devious in its complexity that even a joint consultation between Batman and Sherlock Holmes would yield no definitive distinctions to the gender. Has some foreign extrinsic organism penetrated her womb, breeding a host parasitical squid monkey with tendrils and an opposable tail? Will I require extermination skills that only a Witcher possess to eradicate an embryonic abomination, cursed to wander the earth in purgative isolation?! Is it really an appropriate forum to discuss the particulars of my girlfriends gestational foetus with a rather demeaning poll? Well, if you don’t tell her about it, there wont be an issue. So hush your mouth!….please.
So what is it? I certainly have my suspicions.
There are a number of measurable indicators in life that determines individual’s variable state of maturity. The first is leaving school. Then, a more subsidiary compliance is attending college and university. (These have been dramatically negated on my list simply because I never attended either of these academic institutions.) There is of course moving out of your family’s house. Finding permanent residency away from your parents is one of the most daunting yet liberating stages of adulthood. Car ownership is another, one which I endeavour to achieve by my 29th birthday. Marriage, another traditional institution that has alluded me thus far is also a hugely pivotal moment. The first time you engage in, well you know, intimate liaisons. Being employed into your dream occupation. Attending the funeral of a loved one, though sombre is an incredibly powerful life lesson that painfully teaches you the fragility of humanity. And then there is this. Nothing else in my life requires a lifetime of dedicated attention. To become selfless, purely motivated by this incredibly life altering event. I’m incredibly nervous about revealing this and do so with much reticent trepidation. It’s also incredibly difficult to verbalise, so I’ll instead insist on a more discretionary visualisation that can ably pacify my nerves without having to literate an explanation with considered articulation.
This April 14th 2016 I am projected to inherit the very prestigious honour and grave responsibility of becoming a father. I can’t articulate just how feeble my fingers were as I typed that, as they trembled with utmost veracity at the behest of such a life altering admission. I’m going to be a father! My girlfriend is jubilant, as are our respective relatives and friends. My mother even detailed why she felt that it would never happen, and quite frankly neither did I?! Not because of conception issues but due to sheer idleness. I’ve received an emphatic rallying declaration of intent from my friends, poised to aid me in my transitional phase in my life. Already they have fraternised with the idea of potentially renovating and converting my attic space into a sturdy logistical habitat for gaming, insulating the attic floor cavities with sound-proofing to absorb and deflect the nocturnal emissions of ambient baby cries and the perennial whelping of a concerned mother. Modifying a sound system that is built into the plaster and laying the foundation with hard flooring so thick it will modulate not just the ambient noise of a crying baby or hollowing spouse but probably a nuclear explosion! Potentially furnished with all the modifications a benevolent father would need to forget his paternal responsibilities. Well, probably not.
I however despite the levity of friends and well wishers am terrified beyond the capacity for reasonable thought and I’m not entirely sure why? Partially I think it’s down to the ancestral humiliation appointed to the Weller name, namely through the adulterous heritage attributed to our family that has resulted in numerous fathers abandoning their posts. But chiefly I think it’s the notion that up until this point my life has always been dictated by my own assented whims. Not that I’ve been necessarily selfish, but more ornery. I have a singular capacity for being isolated from social engagements, a proclivity that restricts any extroverted gregarioty. I guess essentially I’ve always been more comfortable with my own company. Well, not any more! It’s not about me any more, but us. My girlfriend is the one dealing with all the transformative pains of pregnancy with tempered resolve, and I’m still cloistered in my own selfish bubble. The game has changed, the rules and conditions have been recited and this one player game has now become an extensive collaborative partnership.