Childbirth: 5 things you never thought you’d do

Please give my wife a round of applause for the arrival of Widget3. To make a long story short, we couldn’t make it to the birth center fast enough (yes, we use a “birth center” with midwives and all that medieval stuff, which basically means we’re anti-science and hate our children), so we did the delivery at home. In the bathtub. Without a doctor in sight. Weird stuff, right? But as you’ve probably guessed by now, my purpose in life is to experience all possible weird things so I can impart my wisdom to you before you experience the same weirdness.

Therefore, I bring you my top 5 things you never thought you’d do but will probably have to do after your woman pops out junior:

baby10

  1. Touch poop. There is a visceral human aversion to making physical contact with another person’s fecal matter. But when a baby invades your meticulously scrubbed and sterilized habitat, your favorite lemon chemical smell will soon be overwhelmed by a new natural scent. No, it’s not Glade. It’s poop. Pure 100% baby crapola. It explodes in their diapers, runs down their legs, soils their feet and hands, leaks onto their bed (and yours), leaves droplets on every horizontal surface, and if you’re not careful, will also surprise you with a little brown stain on the sleeve of your favorite shirt, which you don’t notice until you’re taking your seat at an important business meeting. This of course means you’ll be changing lots of diapers, washing a lot of clothes, and attempting daring naked-baby hand-offs between yourself and Mom throughout the day. It’s like that hot potato game, or a terrorist strapped to a bomb set to blow up at random. No, it’s worse than a terrorist, because the terrorist only blows up once. Your baby explodes indefinitely.
  2. Buy a minivan. Face it, dude: your hot rod days are over. Maybe not with the first child. Or even the second child. But when the third little squirt joins the wagon train, there’s no choice but to trade-in that sexy Mustang for a seven-seat river barge on wheels. Say goodbye to weekend road trips with the top down, and hello to wide turns, slow acceleration and terrible gas mileage. You’ll be grateful, though, that you can fit all your groceries in the back, with room to spare for Junior’s big wheel. We settled for a used Dodge Grand Caravan, and I highly recommend it. The collapsible seats and reasonably powered engine are a must.
  3. Wade in a tub of blood. Ok, so I guess this one just applies to families doing home births. But you know how bloody birth can be. Now imagine mom is in water. And imagine you are there in the water with her, presumably somehow helping with the process but really just being very confused and uncomfortable. The baby comes out, and the next thing you know, you’re standing over the Psycho murder scene or one of the plagues of Egypt. And the craziest thing about it? With so much to do, I didn’t shower the blood off my legs until three days later.
  4. Torture a newborn. There’s a reason why infant mortality is so high in the developing world. The first days and weeks of life are hard. To protect our newborns, we’re often required to do some insanely horrific things. In our case, Widget3 was born tongue-tied. When your midwife tells you your baby is tongue-tied, the natural reaction is “well, duh, he’s a baby, were you expecting him to recite Shakespeare?” But as it turns out, there is a medical condition where you can’t stick out your tongue. The solution is to FIRE A LASER BEAM INTO YOUR BABY’S MOUTH and severe the flesh beneath the tongue. Then for the next month or two, the parents are required to put their fingers in the baby’s mouth and rub the wound to prevent the skin from growing back. You read that right – first we wound our baby, then we rub the open wound, steeling our hearts against the agonized screams of this defenseless little infant who will never trust his parents again.
  5. Watch Sprout at 3 am. Remember when you used to stay up all night playing Halo or chatting with babes online? Now an all-nighter means a 3 am date with your newborn, rocking him to sleep while struggling to stay awake through an episode of The Berenstein Bears.
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