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Posted on Apr 30th 2011 at 06:39:52 PM by (douglie007)
Posted under gaming general

So I have had a very interesting year so far.  My wife was pregnant and ended up getting  and HELLP Syndrome http://http// and had to have a C section at 26 weeks, that was January 2nd of this year.  My baby, Lilith, has been in the hospital since birth, she was 1lb 10 oz at birth, she had problems breathing so she now has a trach and now she is having problem eating because she was on a vent for 3months and just got a G tube for feeding.  So you may be asking what does this have to do with gaming, well to de-stress I just go and play a game my wife fells that its escaping from whats going on.  I don't know what to do, Lilith is coming home on the 5th of May, she is our first child.  I want to do whats best for her but also still need time for myself.  How do you other gamers/ Parents deal with everything and if anyone has experience with special need babies any and all input would be awesome.

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game during naps
You are doing exactly what your wife says you are doing. Using the games to escape. It is no different from people who read or watch movies or work out or abuse substances or do whatever to escape reality.

Unfortunately "me time" is pretty much lowest priority now. Especially since your daughter is going to take more care than the "average" baby.

My fiance and I spent literally hundreds of hours in hospital visits for my son. He had a hemangioma
( looked nothing like the ones pictured though) between his eyes. He ended up having it removed because it kept growing and was going to negatively impact his vision. During those months i essentially did no gaming.

My fiance still has problems with my gaming something like 99.95% of my playtime is when she is not home or when i am not home.

I wish you the best of luck and hope your daughters health keeps improving and you and your wife can make it through alright.
Congratulations on the new baby!! I really like the name you guys decided on.

When my son was young I was lucky that he started sleeping through the night at about only 2 months old, so I was able to game after he went to bed or before he woke up. Portable gaming may be a good option because you can have it on you and simply play whenever you get the chance. Like Dsheinem said take advantage of nap times.

Something else that you may want to look into is to see what kind of respite care you have locally. I'm assuming you live in the states so its probably different, but up here in Canada part of your disability money can be used to have your child put into respite care X amount of days each month. It may feel unusual to leave your young child in someone elses care for a weekend every now and then, but if you are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out it can really help you recharge by getting a solid sleep, going for a date with your wife or just gaming. Children with disabilities can be so much more draining than one without.

It be the most exhausting most likely for the first year or two until everyone figures out what works well, and her development progresses. I wish you guys the best of luck and hope you can squeeze in sometime for your other passions in life.
I apologize in advance for this post as it might come across as insensitive. Sometimes you do need to escape what is going on for a little bit. Your family is going through quite the ordeal and I don't think it's healthy behavior for you to just sit and dwell on things when the doctors are doing what they can do help your child. Everyone has their own way of "getting away". Most of us choose gaming. You're not using it as a way to forget what is going on; you're using it as one way of trying to deal with it by letting your mind and body take a break from the stress of the situation.

Now that that's out of the way, nap time is the best! Get a hackable PSP-2000 (easiest to hack with more RAM than the 1000) and load it up with emulators or just use a DS with a game that you can play in short spurts and put back in sleep mode. And I'm somewhat surprised that I haven't seen this suggestion yet: use the PSP or DS to replace your bathroom reading. Let's be honest, who here hasn't taken a game to the can?

Also, depending on how close you live, once she gets to be a little older, maybe a little sleepover at grandma's house or a day to the zoo with the cousins?
First of all, congratulations on the new addition and I wish your family the best in what I know will be a trying time for you all. 

My best advice in terms of gaming is to really we more aware of what's going on around you.  Be honest with yourself and evaluate/reflect on your free time on a weekly basis.  Be sure that you are not only spending enough time with your child, but also with your fiance, before gaming.  A few years ago I was addicted to WoW and it had a fairly negative impact on my relationship with my wife.  Fortunately, we were able to sit down and talk about our (well, my) issues and the massive amounts of time I spent playing.  When our child was born, I quit all together and haven't regretted it or looked back since. 

Also, you might want to better consider what games you are buying.  RPG's and unlockable-based games tend to be rather time consuming and are harder to get away from than other titles.  You could consider getting into collecting older systems, where the play is often fast, points based, and much easier to pull away from. 

Whatever you choose to do, be sure to put your family first.  Not having as much "you" time is frustrating, but often more rewarding when you get it.  Talk to your fiance and make sure that she is getting enough time for herself as well.  Not only will that keep her happier and well rested, but it will also ensure that she realizes the value of your "me" time as well.

Good luck. 
My excited congratulations on your first child and the recovery of your wife, and my condolences on the health troubles of your daughter and the general great difficulty of situation.

Unfortunately, I can relate somewhat to your initial trial, as my wife also had HELLP during our first child.  The night of his birth, she almost didn't make it, and that will forever impact me on the gratitude I have for my family.  The next two children also involved severe problems, including minor strokes during the pregnancy of our last, only 15 months ago.  After each various health crisis, we had to fight the tendency to hole up in ourselves.  We took care of each other, and as a result we grew closer then we've ever been, and though I would certainly never wish to go through that again, much less have her go though it again, I can't deny it brought us together in a way nothing else could.

That being said, besides prayer and faith, my DS was my sanity throughout each endeavor.  When my wife slept (which was whenever she could) I was there, the warm glow of an Etrian Odyssey or Final Fantasy lighting my face as I was grinding level after level, the monotony helping me concentrate on things without being overwhelmed.  When she was awake, I was there the best I could, holding her hand or talking her through it.  When our kids were here, it was much the same- sometimes that DS would be opened and closed two or three times a minute, until I was sure I could sit down again. 

Your wife is likely in a very painful recovery both physically and emotionally, not to mention yourself.  Your first priority is always, of course, your family.  But if you don't take care of yourself, you certainly won't have the strength or stamina to give to your family.  You have to find the techniques that build you up, or at least keep you sustained.  But make sure you are connected with your wife and she realizes you have your head in reality, and not floating away in a fantasy world.  If you are doing anything to distance yourself from her, purposefully or otherwise, that thing will likely become a resentment later. 

To some up, take care of yourself, but make sure you and your wife are on the same page about the process.

We'll keep you in our prayers.
We now have her home for day 2 :-) today I had her sleep on my lap and played two worlds 2 and then layed down the controller anytime she needed attention, it worked well just took 7 hours to get to level 4 :-)
... thanks everyone for their suggestions and advice.

this will be a very busy and interesting 2 years on the trach. 

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