The scene begins in a brightly-lit birthing suite at a nearby hospital in early July. You've been at the hospital nearly twelve hours now, having been woken up before dawn by your wife yelling at you from the bathroom. The deep red scratches on your hands and wrists are beginning to fade. Your wife gave you those before the epidural eased the contractions. Now she's lying in the hospital bed in labor, preparing to bring your daughter into this world. On the other side of the bed, your mother-in-law stands over her oldest child as she is witnessing for the first time the birth of a grandchild. At the end of the bed sits the doctor, helping to coach your wife and speed up the labor. Several nurses are present monitoring your wife's vitals and assisting the doctor.
The final stretch begins, as the doctor directs your wife to push. You and your mother-in-law are each holding a leg to help with the labor. During the downtime between pushes, you gently stroke her leg in an attempt to comfort her. Your thoughtfulness is rewarded with a guttural voice spitting, "STOP PETTING ME!" Your arms grow weary as minutes trudge along with little apparent progress. Suddenly, it all changes.
You can see the top of your daughter's head begin to emerge. A wave of emotion comes over you as you witness the most beautiful event of your life, despite all of the yelling and bodily fluids. More time passes as sets of pushes come and go, and eventually, the head comes out.
But something has gone wrong. The head is a sickly blue color, and the umbilical cord is wrapped around your daughter's neck. The doctor rolls '20' on a reflex save and with a few subtle eye commands, has the nurses clip the cord and clear the baby's airways. Moments stretch into an eternity, until you hear the glorious music of your daughter's first cries. You begin to uncontrollably sob at the sound. Your wife, who noticed none of the critical events of the last few seconds, simply wants to hold her daughter.
This is how your campaign begins. The rest of the story is up to you.
My first child was born this July, a baby girl named Kennedy. On that day, my wife gave me a greater gift than any number of Christmases could ever equal. As such, on this Christmas day, I want to thank my wife for that gift, for being the amazing wife and mother that she is, and for helping train me in the ways of parenthood.
This blog, as indicated by the title, will be an ongoing look into the life of a first-time dad, long-time gamer.
Stay a while and listen.