The first time Courtney and I found out we had a kid on the way, It came as a bit of a shock. Turns out that i, once again, had forgotten to do something important that i was suppose to do.
We sat in the back yard together, staring at the little pink pee stick in Courtney’s hand.
“You’re sure two lines means positive?” I mumbled; Staring at the ground, hoping Courtney wouldn’t pick up on how fucking terrified i was at that moment. I tend to stare at the ground a fair bit when i’m in an uncomfortable situation.
“Yes Nathan” she replied “You are going to be a Dad… I’m going to be a Mum… Holy shit…what the fuck!”
Courtney cried, Then laughed, then cried, then hyperventilated, then laughed.
I kept staring at the ground. I was on roughly my sixth smoke in the last five minutes. I had all the emotions going on at the same time. I mean ALL of them.
A baby?… a fucking BABY?… i’m not ready for a baby… I AM A FUCKING BABY. I barely manage to dress myself in the mornings. I throw tantrums when the burger place’s forget to take the lettuce of my burger. I still sleep with a light on in the house; because i’m 100% not still scared of the dark. Up until a couple of days ago, i didn’t even know you were suppose to separate your clothes into their own color loads when you did the washing.
How the fuck am i meant to raise a child…
“This is really happening huh?” i stuttered.
“Yes Nathan, we are going to be parents. ”
It didn’t take long for us to come around to the idea though. A few weeks later we were already on dollar ebay buying little jumpsuits and bibs and play mats and stuff.
(dollar ebay is when you set the max price to one dollar in the search filter. You would be amazed at some of the crap you can find on there)
We began writing notes to the baby. Just random things about how we were feeling through the pregnancy. We put them in a little jar that Courtney made. We thought it would be something cool for the kid to read when it got older.
We also decided to announce it to the world early. We discussed it and came to the conclusion that even if something did go wrong, we weren’t going to hide it from anyone anyway, so why not. Courtney made a cute little facebook post with one of the characters from the video games i play on it. We basked in the “likes” and the well wishes that came flooding our way.
I had never seen Courtney so exited about anything; and that’s really saying something. Courtney is the type of person who gets exited about large trees, or bright stars, or peach cobbler’s. It’s equal parts beautiful and hilarious.
But seeing the joy in her eyes when a new pair of baby socks would arrive in the mail, or when her tummy got slightly bigger, or when we saw the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, It was something else.
I knew we were going to be ok. Because even if i was a pretty shitty adult, The amount of love that was just emanating from Courtney trumped all of that. All the worries i had just went out the window.
I decided it was time to get my act together. I had no choice. I could no longer afford to be the lazy piece of shit i had always been.
I quit the fags, Started pulling my weight around the house, began researching how to deal with a newborn. I was going to be ready for this…
But then suddenly, out of nowhere, it all came to an end…
To be completely honest, i don’t actually remember the moment we found out something was wrong. I don’t even remember driving to the hospital.
Maybe my mind has blocked it out or something. I know that’s a thing that happens to people who have traumatic experiences. Maybe that is what has happened here.
I do remember being in the emergency department.
Courtney was laying on the bed, i was sitting on a chair next to her holding her hand.
She was terrified.
I knew that i had to be the rock in this situation. Over the years i have learned that this is the best way to deal with situations where things have gone wrong. To become stoic, and just be the person that the people i care about need me to be at that point in time. It might not be the best for thing for my own emotional health in the long run, but i can deal with my own shit later. Maybe that’s why i don’t remember. maybe i just shut down and go into protection mode. i don’t know.
I stroked her hand and told her we were going to be ok.
Inside i was just as fucking terrified.
They took bloods and pee tests and all of that.
Trying to recall the next part is hazy in my mind again.
I remember a few more tests, an ultra sound, and no heartbeat.
My heart sank… my whole body sank.
I remember comforting Courtney as she cried.
One of the P.S.A’s came to take Courtney for an X-ray or something. He told me i had to wait. I wasn’t going to argue, as much as i wanted to. I figured those were the rules. So i gave Courtney a kiss and told here i will be waiting when she got back. I watched as they pushed her away, and i sat back down, and i just stared at the ground.
One of the nurses came up to me a few minutes later.
“What are you doing here still?” she said, confused.
“The P.S.A told me i had to wait” i replied.
she paused for a second, seemingly stunned.
“How dare he!” she hissed.
She then grabbed me by the arm and marched me all the way down to the waiting room where Courtney was.
This moment, i remember as clear as day.
Courtney was in a bed in the waiting room next to an elderly man in a bed, and a middle aged woman in a wheelchair. I walked over to her. She was in hysterics. I put my hand on her shoulder and she looked up at me. her eyes were so red. her pillow was soaked in tears. She looked up at me, and through her tears, she said
“Its gone Nathan… I’m not going to be a mum anymore”
It was the single most heartbreaking thing i had heard in my entire life.
To witness somebody you care about in so much pain, and know that there is nothing you can say or do to take it away from them, is just… i cant even put it into words.
I sat down on the bed, I stroked her back, and i said nothing.
Courtney and i both took the week off work.
Before we got home, i made sure to pack up all of the things we had bought and hid them away. Every day, i would go out and check the letter box. since most of the stuff we had bought was from china, the deliveries kept coming for weeks. I would place them away with the rest of the things without saying a word.
We decided to make another Facebook post to let everybody know what had happened. I honestly think it was the best thing we could have done. While there was nothing that anybody could say or do to take the pain away. just knowing that there were so many people that cared genuinely helped. the amount of love that followed was simply amazing.
We pushed the couches together in the living room, set up netflix, and just binge watched and ate copious amounts of junk food. We made sure that we were just in each others presence.
We tried to make sure we talked to each other about how we were feeling. But it was hard, and it took a long time.
there were so many little triggers around the place that could just take you back. Even hanging out with friends was hard, as most of them at the time had children of their own.
Sometimes one or both of us would go to a bad place. We would fight.
Eventually Courtney and i just stopped talking about how we felt to each other. Things started to go downhill quickly. We started to become distant from each other.
Then one night, before i left for night shift, we had a fight. Courtney told me she thought she might be falling out of love with me. I agreed that things had gone bad, and that maybe it was time we thought and going our own ways.
That shift was fucking horrible.
It was a quiet shift, so i had plenty of time to sit there and dwell on our conversation.
Then something clicked in my head.
“what the fuck am i doing. I cant just let this die. We have always been so good together. i need to do something to fix this…now”
it was four in the morning.
I needed a grand romantic gesture. Something that was big enough to maybe jolt things back on track.
I had an idea. I knew Courtney lurked the website Imgur every single day. So i made a post. It detailed what happened to us. I threw in a bunch of pictures and a couple of inside jokes, and i basically pleaded with Courtney to not give up on us. My hope was that it would go viral and hit the front page of Courtney’s favorite website. So when she woke up in the morning, she would see it.
the posted was “liked” over 500,000 times or something stupid like that.
it ended up smack bang on the front page of the website.
But i didn’t take into account the shittyness of random people on the internet.
Along with all of the nice comments and encouragement were a whole heap of douchebag asshole comments. people said some pretty nasty stuff, and i began to freak the fuck out.
“I fucked up…I fucked up… Should i delete it….no i cant, its gone to far…..what if she hates me for this…. i shared to much…. this is going to be bad….. what have i done.”
i waited and waited, no word from Courtney.
Eventually my anxiety about the whole situation got the better of me. I called her up and told her to go on Imgur.
Thank the fucking lord, it worked again.
Courtney was so exited to be on imgur. She called me up laughing, and we talked. we got a dialog going again, and we were able to talk ourselves out of the hole we had ended up in.
I eventually deleted the post, as some of the things people said were actually heaps nasty….
If there is one piece of advice i can give from experiencing something like this, Never shut your partner out. It is so important to maintain communication. Courtney and i have never stopped talking since then. We always try and understand where the other is coming from. We have actually ended up stronger now than we ever were.
fast forward two years. We got married.
nek minnut, i get a call at work.
To be continued…