A tale of a dad-to-be attempting…and failing to comfort his wife during labor
For a dad-to-be, the best way to prepare for labor tasks that lie ahead is to teleport via time machine to a civilization just before a hostile conquering occurs. After your village is ransacked, voluntarily enslave yourself, then live out the rest of your days satisfying the daily demands of the superior nation. Then, and only then can one simulate the process.
Sure, some of the tasks will be easy but most will require a masters in molecular pharmaceuticals, a sleuth-like acumen, and a travel size Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf that can fit in your coat pocket.
I returned from most of my missions with the wrong item. A request for green pants from home morphed into a blue sweatshirt by the time I returned to the hospital.
In my defense, it’s difficult to tell what’s what since women’s clothes are made from about the same amount of material as a blanket for ants. You could plop a hat, pair of pants, and a bra in front of me, and I wouldn’t be able to identify which was which.
The dexterity required to fold these items parallels that of a heart surgeon. What sort of engineering degree does one need to learn which button folds with which clasp, strap or collar?
It became evident fairly quickly that regardless of who was in our room – nurse, doctor, or random beggar smelling of rotting eggs, I was always the least favorite.
“Breathe deeply, you can do it,” I encouraged, hoping to comfort her.
Simultaneously I released several doves I had stuffed in our overnight bag, all of which I raised from birth and trained for this moment of attempted tranquility.
“Of course I’m going to breathe,” she irritatingly responded. Clearly the doves’ tranquility laser beams were missing their mark.
“What else would I do? Tell you what – just don’t talk to me!”
A terrified dove fluttered off towards the emergency exit.
The nurse entered the room.
“Breathe deeply – you can do it,” she coached.
“Ok thanks. Yes that helped,” my wife responded.
Somewhere in the distance, a dejected dove cooed.
I was beginning to feel like Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Secretary.
“But I just said-“
“I appreciate you trying to help – I just don’t like you to talk to me.”
What am I supposed to do I thought? Play charades? Paint my face white and live out the rest of the labor like the labor pantomime I’ve always dreamed of?
With unimaginable effort on my wife’s part, and a little luck the little guy finally arrived. After a tumultuous labor, he was more pissed off than a mummy roused from a 3,000 year slumber.
Right after delivery we were transferred to the recovery room and I was asked to remove my shirt.
What kind of hospital is this…
“For skin to skin contact,” the nurse added, acknowledging my noticeable awkwardness.
“Oh and Steve?”
“Just the shirt – leave your pants on,” she added seeing I had started to undo my belt.
Oh sure, now I’m the pervert here. Two seconds ago you were taking me to second base, now I’m the bad guy…
Overall, it became apparent quite quickly that I had no clue what I was doing.
I was holding our baby as if he were a fragile artifact encasing the last remains of Jesus Christ himself, certain to disintegrate upon even the slightest misstep in handling.
“Just hold him normally,” my wife instructed. “He’s not a ceramic doll; you’re not going to break him.”
“Normally?” I responded, stupefied. “Oddly enough they didn’t have a crate of babies at my recent fantasy baseball draft – how am I supposed to know a normal way to hold a baby?”
“You’ve never held a baby?”
“I mean, yeah I’m sure I have before.”
“When? When have you held a baby?”
“It’s not something I marked on my calendar, but I’ve held several – last Easter I held one.”
“One? Which one baby did you hold?”
“I don’t remember its name, but there was a baby that my mom’s friend stopped by with.”
“Her name is Mildred.”
“Mildred? Your mom doesn’t have a friend named Mildred. No one has a friend named Mildred.”
“Yep you’ve never met her – and she was like do you want to hold my baby, and I was like this baby? Yeah I’ll hold that baby. I’d love to hold that baby.”
“You’ve never held a baby have you?”
“No…no I haven’t.”
And for the pints portion of this blog…because every new parent could use one.
What’s in Steve’s fridge this week?
Brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Company San Diego, Ca
Style American IPA
Before Ballast Point selected the sculpin to be the face of their outstanding IPA it led a life of bottom feeding solitude. Today a sculpin can swim into any tidepool, river, or kelp bed and species of all likes will buy it a drink and shake its fin. (Do you think Ballast Point Brewery has gotten even one thank you from the unappreciative bottom dwellers?)
Word on the beach is that one in every two hundred bottles contain part of an actual sculpin, which of course provides the drinker with a shocking treat as well as instant mercury poisoning.
Ok, so there are no fish parts in this beer, but if there were, it would be well worth the risk. It’s quite frankly one of the best IPA’s available.
Its copper pour and tropical-rich aroma lures you in and once it hits the lips, you’re taken on a tastebud-altering journey through fields of hops and citrus, before finishing off with slight bitterness.
Its liver-splitting 7% alcohol content goes unnoticed at first because it goes down so smooth, but just like swallowing a sculpin whole, it can sneak up on you when it hits your stomach.
You can read previous tales of the big day here:
Or maybe reading about waiting for a baby to arrive is more your overnight bag
- This week’s IPA of the week again come Ballast Point Brewing Company (jjk442.wordpress.com)
- A Beer a day..Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. (jjk442.wordpress.com)