Tag Archives: new baby

One Year Later, Part 2: The Drive

The morning I got the call started off fairly uneventful. The sky was overcast, with just enough of a chill in the air to require a jacket. I had started my new job on October 6th, and just a week later I could already tell that both the position and the company were going to be a good fit for me and for our family. I can’t tell you how reassuring that was. Things felt like they were falling into place, even though we knew there would still be difficulties ahead.

Michelle had an appointment that morning, and she had a bad feeling about it. I tried to reassure her on the phone the night before. I told her not to be afraid, that this was just a standard visit, and that there was nothing to worry about. I truly believed what I was saying, despite how wrong I turned out to be.

Around 10:30, Michelle called me, sounding more irritated than panicked. She explained that the doctor was sending her to the hospital; her blood pressure was elevated, and she needed to be admitted. They wouldn’t let her drive, so an ambulance was going to transport her and the boys to Vanderbilt. I told her I was on my way, and we hung up.

I put my phone down on the desk and took a breath. At the time, I was sharing an office with the COO of the company. He looked over at me and asked, “Everything all right?”

“They’re taking Michelle to the hospital,” I mumbled.

“Dude, go,” he replied. “You can call us later and fill us in.”

I didn’t hesitate. A minute later, I was in the car and heading up the highway. I actually think I left a half-finished cup of coffee sitting on the desk, though I can’t remember for certain.

Until that day, solo drives from Chattanooga to Nashville had always been quiet, calm stretches of time when I could think about things—usually whatever story I was working on at the time. In the early days of working for the Kirkland’s home office, I stayed in Chattanooga on weekends and drove up every Monday morning. It was nice to have that quiet time to myself. I didn’t always think about stories; sometimes, I just cleared my mind and enjoyed the scenery. The drive through the mountains just a couple hours after sunrise gave me plenty to take in. It was two hours of peace.

This drive was nothing like that.

Instead, my mind was racing. Is everything going to be all right? What are we going to do? What if he comes early? Who can take the boys for a few days so I can focus on Michelle and the baby? Dear God, what if he’s born today? No, that’s not going to happen. But it could happen, so we need a plan. Damn it, I don’t want to be thinking about this. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. This isn’t what we planned.

Normally, those kinds of thoughts would be limited to some kind of inner monologue. That day, it was out there in the open. I spent half the drive talking to myself. It was one of those moments where, looking back, I probably looked somewhat crazy to anyone who happened to be driving by. But, at that time, I didn’t care what other people thought. I cared that the plans we had made for baby number three were in cinders, and that we needed to come up with a new one.

Sprinkled throughout my ramblings were prayers. Some of them were in the form of questions, asking God why this was happening. Some were one part of a dialogue, with me imagining the other side of it and trying to make sense of the discussion. Most of them, however, were pleas—pleas for Michelle to be safe, for the baby to be safe, for all of this to be over soon (but not too soon), and, maybe most of all, for me to make it to the hospital in time to be there when my wife needed me the most.


Status Update.

Hello, dear reader. You may have forgotten who I am. It’s certainly been long enough, hasn’t it? I’ll try to keep that from happening too often. You see, life has been busy. Unbelievably busy. Crazy busy. So busy that I need a word longer than “busy” to accurately describe it. But it’s also been exciting. And scary. And fulfilling. And a whole list of adjectives that would more than likely begin to bore you after the fourth or fifth.

So what has happened? Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I got a job in Nashville. It paid much more than my last job, and promised to take me places that my last job seemingly had no intention of taking me. That was exciting. That was scary. Getting a job with a growing company where I would be helping to rebuild their e-commerce marketing from the ground up was exciting. Moving to a new city where I knew no one and starting a job where I knew no one and experiencing change after change after change was scary. As anyone who knows me can attest to, I am a creature of habit, and I tend to both fear and abhor change. But change is necessary. Change is healthy. At least, that’s what I tell myself when my thoughts slip and I lose my breath. Regardless, the job is going wonderfully. I feel respected, and I have made several contributions to the company that have my supervisors singing my praises and constantly telling me how “phenomenal” I’m doing. It’s a good feeling, and, professionally, I am very happy.

I am taking a break from school this semester to adjust to the new location and the new job. Because of this, I have more time to write and spend with my family — both of which I have been doing a lot of. I’m hard at work on several different things: my first novel, my web serial, and a bible for a fantasy series that I’d love to write someday. It’s an exciting time creatively for me, and I hope I can have something ready for submission soon. I want to capitalize on this time away from school and work on actually getting some work published.

The family is doing great. We’re all adjusting to the new home, and we’re working on actually adding home-type things like furniture and internet. But we still have our pizza nights, complete with bean bag chairs and family-friendly movies, and we have our book readings and our library trips. Things are slowly settling into a routine, which is rather marvelous and awe-inspiring considering the situation.

Also, our family is growing. This summer, Liam will have a little brother or sister. We should be finding out very soon which it will be. I have my theory, Michelle has hers. Once we know, so will you. We’re way too excited to withhold any information.

So . . . that’s what’s been happening. Hopefully, I can keep up with current events and there won’t be a need to do this again.

It’s good to be back.


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