Friday, September 19, 2008

The baby is getting ready

Last night we got to drive to the hospital again. This time, though, as opposed to the previous trip, it was a lot more relaxed.

My wife started to have minor contractions around noon, which would slightly intensify towards the evening. By the time I got home from work, they would come in 5 minute intervals, which is a sure sign to get ready to leave for the hospital.

When we were there, she was attached to the monitor to quantify the contractions. The nurses told us they weren't strong enough, though (in their words: it needed to hurt more), so they were considered Braxton Hicks contractions (aka 'false labor' or 'practice contractions'). We were allowed to go home again.

It does mean we won't have to wait much longer for the actual birth.

Oh, and the nurses reassured me about not making it to the hospital in time: if my wife is about to deliver while we're still on our way, all I need to do is pull over, call an ambulance, and just 'catch the baby'. Very comforting...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stressful times, part 2

As said in the previous post, work is getting stressing. Unfortunately, at home it isn't getting any easier. My wife is currently in her 33rd week of pregnancy and that means she might go into labor any time now.

If her water breaks when I'm at work, it's a 45 minute ride back home, and then another half hour from there to the hospital. Considering that Frederik, our first child, took just about 2 hours to get born, and people say the second one will come even faster, you can imagine what a close call that will be.

If, on the other hand, it happens at night, we need to call and wake up her parents (who are the closest living relatives) to come over to our house and watch over Frederik while we race to the hospital, still half asleep.

I've run both scenarios (and a couple of others) through my mind a million times by now, but I'm still not ready for it. Furthermore, I have to remember other little stuff as well, such as bringing the camera along, or we might miss some very precious photos.

As if that's not enough, since a few days ago Frederik suddenly has come to realize that something's up. Somehow, he understands a baby is coming (he is amazingly intelligent, apparently -- other infants his age won't understand the severity of the situation until the baby is actually born and brought home), and has started to openly revolt his mother. He can't really speak yet, so he outs his frustration (having to miss his mother's caring hugs and playtime) in other ways, by hitting and biting and getting into angry fits, immediately followed by crying and screaming.
We've never heard him say 'No' as much as we do now, simply out of stubbornness. Four months ahead of time, he's already in his "terrible two's", as they call it.

Stressful times, part 1

There are some rough months ahead of us at home, and we've been having our first tastes already (more about this in the next post).

As if that's not enough, work is getting more stressing by the day. Plannings are fully booked, and even get overbooked the closer we get to the deadlines. New requirements for the game are still being added, and old ones keep getting changed. I can't take anything for granted anymore; a decision made one day can easily be turned completely around the next, and hours worth of work can turn into lost effort pretty quickly. But we know it's all for a worthy cause.

Although still quick to make jokes, my colleagues and I are slowly but surely getting to know what it's like to be working in the video games industry. The tension is oozing off the walls; people get irritated more easily, and start to have difficulty handling interruptions or extra requests.

However, we all love our jobs and we all want to make this the best game possible. Each and every employee gives it his or her full 100%. The Ooze of Tension can't eat through our Barriers of Dedication and Optimism, so we fight as hard as we can to hold the little Demon of Despair back. However, every now and then a short emotional eruption occurs somewhere down the hall.

For me personally it gets extra tough, because my wife is currently in her 8th month of pregnancy. She can't drive a car anymore, so it's now become my responsibility to drop our 20-month old son off at the day-care in the morning, and pick him up again in the evening. In other words, I have no leeway to work overtime to finish my planning, which tends to get frowned upon by my superiors.

But I will not yet give up. I plan to support the project until the bitter end.