Two days ago, November 21st, my girlfriend Amy told me that a pregnancy test had shown an inconclusive positive result.
A few hours later she sent this image by MMS
Being the sarcastic jerk that I am, I replied, "Couldn't you have found a less ambiguous test. I mean 'Yes+' could mean anything!"
I used to say, and I still do, that when telling people that you or your girlfriend are expecting, it is good form to also include whether this should be considered good news or bad news. While a baby is a miracle and all that, it can be a very inconvenient miracle in many circumstances. In fact, for most of my life before this point, it would have been what one might call bad news.
This past Thursday, this was good news.
You may notice that I referred to her as my girlfriend and not my wife. This is not because I'm some new age revolutionary eschewing the institution of marriage. The reason why we started aiming in the reproductive direction before the matrimonial direction is a matter of timing. Amy was told by some doctors during her 20s that if she did not have a child by the time she was 35, she would not have one at all. In fact, 30 would be better, but 35 still held an outside chance of success.
Amy is 34 1/2.
We met in January. We moved in together in June. But this is not a whirlwind romance I'm talking about. We were not swept up in overwhelming and reason-inhibiting emotions. I love her very much and she very much loves me, but it's practical. We match. We have both faced many years of trying our own thing, and now we both want to be a team. She spent 10 years married to the wrong man. I spent my 20s chasing mirages. We are both ready to say, "Heck with it. I don't know what's coming, but let's go there together." We have been through enough to be ready to have faith in the future.
Had we followed the traditional timeline and gotten married first then tried for the baby, we could have missed out chance. Moreover, Amy was certain that if it was possible at all, this whole process would be lengthy and difficult. It turned out that it took about a month, which means that either I am tremendously virile or her doctors were talking out of the wrong orifice. I'm inclined to go with the latter, but I have limited faith in the Western medical establishment. Either way, step 2: baby: done. Step 1: marriage... coming (but don't tell Amy. I want it to be a surprise when I propose in some spectacular way).
So, here I am blogging, the thoughts of a father-to-be. I'm blogging this because I've blogged a number of things, most of which were not interesting. This will at least be interesting to the Koalid if no one else. I thought that it would be good to record my thoughts and discoveries. Perhaps they can be of benefit to someone.
I don't think I have the usual fears that a man in my position often has. Possibly due to hubris, possibly not. I'm not worried about being able to support our family. Amy and I are making far more money now than we ever have. We were both used to living on a tight budget, and I feel we have good financial means. I'm not worried about being able to raise the kid right because I believe God has blessed me with a good understanding of people and how they tick, and I can rely on that.
What does worry me is the state of society. I don't mean the usual hand-wringing "who could bring a child into a world like this?" I actually think the world overall is a pretty nifty place to be. But I look at a western medical establishment that has brought us such wonderful innovations as thalidomide and scheduled C-sections. What new poisons and ill-advised fads will they try to push on us.
Past that, an education system which is practically useless for actually educating a child in any meaningful way but which creates an environment that is a total crapshoot for emotional wellness, leaving some children taking until their 30s to fully recover from the scars of the school environment.
It is looking forward and seeing that landscape that gives me pause. However, I never been one to be deterred by challenges, and I certainly don't intend to give in now. After all, a Koalid is counting on me!