As she was headed to bed last night, The Wife casually informed me that she could feel the baby kicking. Which shouldn’t be unexpected, I realize, nor should it cause so much excitement in a veteran father like myself. I guess I’m still mindful of the many challenges we faced with the previous pregnancy, and anxious about facing something similar this time around.
If you had asked me a week ago how I was doing with all of this, I’d have answered, “Just fine, thanks!”. But then one night I was awakened as I was drifting off to sleep. As I wavered in that space between ‘awake’ and ‘asleep’, I became conscious of a detailed dream world I had developed. It was a intricate place that seemed very familiar– as though I had had successive dreams on multiple nights. In this alternate world, I lived in a hospital and slept outside an ICU, and I had clear recollections of walking outside to gardens to counsel several other families in their raw grief.
Which doesn’t seem very restful, by any means. But I guess I’m still post-processing some of my experiences, and sorting out all that’s happened. In the next few weeks, we’ll be undergoing extensive and detailed ultrasounds to see what challenges this pregnancy might (or might not) bring. I can’t say that I’m hoping for a clean bill of health, because I’m not ready to say that there was something wrong with our last pregnancy (those who say, “I just hope the baby is healthy!” in my presence risk an involuntary kick in the shins on behalf of my son). But I am praying for the vitality of this child, and for peace of mind for his or her parents.