Seriously, no stork?
So Shannon’s pregnant, you got that much, and it’s all magical, blah, blah, blah. But there’s a not so magical side to it as well. It’s the actual childbirth. You know how they say people don’t want to see how sausage is made? I’ve watched those videos and Jimmy Dean can be found on my breakfast plate every weekend. I’ve now been privy to birthing videos, thank you Science Channel. The Exorcist is no longer my scariest movie to watch; I laugh at it now.
I thought I had dutifully prepared myself for this by watching Mr. Mom 17 times and thought parenthood would be a comically satisfying experience, much like Michael Keaton’s performance. But they skipped the whole horrifying genesis of their wonderful family romps, the actual passage of a slimy, bluish, reddish, let’s say creature, through an obviously pained woman’s birth canal. And that’s NOT all. Seemingly needed body parts and other liquids also follow acting as the parsley and au jus sauce in our freshly made, Frankensteinian main course.
Apparently being a baby is akin to being a stuntman because the freshly squeezed child has a safety line to keep from actually falling. At least this is my understanding of gestation. Presumably after the safety line has failed in its attempt to keep the child entombed in the mother’s womb one of the educated throng of degreed persons will ask the father to cut said safety line. What good is the line at this point anyway and why would you keep faulty equipment? It’s a newborn for Pete’s sake.
Now, at this point, the video skips ahead and here is the newly proud mother and father and baby in tow. All laughing and smiling, happy. I can only assume they skip ahead to conceal the real horror show. The clean-up. Don’t think we can handle that Sci Channel? Thank you, I suppose, but I’m pretty sure the preceding horror show has prepared us. I just want to see the poor guy cursing and muttering that gets stuck with that job.
Oddly enough, none of these “pictures” are censored or blurred, but yet the bleeps come fast and furious. Momma’s got a potty mouth. This rite of passage might be fun for me because Shannon has such a large vocabulary and can unite words that would never seem to fit together. Ooh and she knows some German, I’m sure cursing at me in German will bring the nightmare altogether. My plan is to only reply in Spanish, Italian or French just for my own amusement.
The point I am trying to make here is that the Mrs. wants me in the delivery room to share in the aforementioned miracle of birth. My plan of handing out cigars to complete strangers has been thwarted. Smoking and newborn babies are sadly only in my dreams now. Being with her in spirit won’t be enough. I’m the designated hand holder and have been told that a small curtain will shield my eyes from the “miracle” that is occurring. C’mon, the curtain didn’t stop Dorothy. Well, a better analogy would be the curtain not stopping Anthony Perkins in Psycho. Dorothy got to meet a nice guy to help her get home; Vivian Leigh did a performance art version of woman giving birth while taking a shower.
There are also rules for my being there:
- Take any and all abuse that is hurled my way with a smile on my face. No problem, I’m a Mets fan.
- Don’t be funny. As this post shows, also not a problem. Honestly, let’s face facts: Childbirth has to be funny. Who hasn’t wanted to give a “Push em out, push em out, wwaaaayyy out?” “C’mon, it can’t feel THAT bad.” “What about me? My feet hurt, you at least get to lie down.” “Wow, you really need to do something with your hair.” “I bet my mom didn’t whine this much.” “Are these stirrups regulation size?” “I think you’re PULLING.” “Honey, I lost my ruler. How else I am supposed to measure how far apart the contractions are?” “Episioto-ME? No, episioto-YOU.” “No, I thought you said you DIDN’T want the epidural.” “C- section? Can’t we upgrade to a B?” And so on and so forth.
- Don’t pass out. That’s a rule. Do my best, honey. Just have to make sure I don’t peek in the baby theatre.
- Have her mom on deck in case I cannot fulfill the above duties. Not a big request, but I put it here because there’s a caveat. Part two of this rule is to explain to her mother that she will hear all sorts of new and exciting words that she has never heard her daughter utter. So I get to walk out and forewarn her mother that Shannon has been replaced by Joe Pesci. Ironically, they’re both Italian and 5’3”.
**Mushy part warning**
Obviously, I’m joking about all of this. I’m beyond excited for what’s next and can’t wait for the experience. I joke about all the preceding because it will lead to my favorite part. Of course, I cannot wait to see my child for the first time—well, more so second time, after they’ve cleaned him up.
The moment I cannot wait for, though, is after the whole “ordeal” is over and it’s just Shannon and myself. I lean forward and place my forehead to hers and say “You done good, kiddo."