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The Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth: Volume 1

August 18, 2010
[Here’s a classic set of posts. I refer to them as “classics” because I wrote them AND because they are over 6 months old. Prepare to be splattered with the uterine fluids of learning!  Originally appeared Nov. 24, 2009.]

Congratulations! You’re having a baby!

After what seems like an eternity, you’ll finally get to see the end results of your drunken, fumbling sexual encounter nine months ago.

But hold on. Before you start dangling your new offspring off the nearest balcony, there are several intermediate steps that must be taken. We’ll run down the pre-delivery preparations, the “miracle” of childbirth and some post-delivery issues and concerns.

So grab a notebook and pay close attention. The information here could save your life.*

*Note: Does not contain life-saving information.

Most pregnant women should drink plenty of fluids. However, this one should put that glass the fuck down.

Pre-Delivery

The Labor Bag
Labor can (and most often, will) occur at the most inopportune/inconvenient time. Any number of events may be put on hold including:

  • Getting some sleep
  • Awaiting sentencing
  • Consummating an affair
  • Having a beer with the guys

Due to its last-minute nature, you will need to have a “labor bag” or suitcase of essential items packed and ready to go at all times. Follow these checklists to ensure you arrive at the hospital prepared to deal with any eventuality.

Hers (see Appendix B)

Her kit will contain 185-315 items depending on various factors. The bags/suitcases needed will take up the entire trunk of most mid-sized sedans and weigh between 250-300 lbs.

Please note that this “kit” will always be missing a minimum of one or two suddenly important items. Fancy Plans cannot be held responsible for any shit you might take for not bringing the listed items.

You may be asking what items like “#8 Needle and Gray Thread” or “Steel Magnolias shooting script” are doing on this list. We have no idea, either. The only sure way to find out why it’s important to have is to not bring it. And god help you if that happens.

You’ve been warned.

His

  • Toothbrush
  • Newspaper
  • Cigarettes (optional)

(Note: Any “His” item will be available for purchase on the hospital premises with the exception of the cigarettes, which will be available at a distance inversely proportionate to how badly you need one.)

Hey. Pregnancy is no reason to not arrive in style.

The Trip
As the due date draws closer, begin looking for signs that your partner is in labor. She will often drop several hints (and occasionally, body fluids). Listen closely for telltale phrases such as these:

  • “My water broke.”
  • “The contractions are x minutes apart.” (x = any number less than infinity)
  • “I hate you.”
  • “We need to go.”
  • “Now.”
  • “I can’t believe you slept with my sister!”
  • “My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you.”

From here, you have more choices to make.

Should you drive yourself? If you feel confident in your ability to make it from Point A to Point B in a minimum amount of time, while providing very occasional comfort to your partner between dodging suddenly oncoming traffic and tenacious highway patrolmen, go ahead and pick this option.

If you would rather that someone else handled the driving, freeing you up to calm your partner, consider asking a close friend or family member to take the wheel. Be aware that your partner’s highly emotional state will likely result in a sudden, high-volume airing of your “dirty laundry.” Depending on who is involved, this may result in some awkwardness, some of which will persist for years.

Perhaps your best bet is to call a cab. First, the presence of a complete stranger will reduce the awkwardness felt as all your worst traits and choices are put on display. The language barrier may also work in your favor.

Secondly, you can greatly reduce your hospital bill by having the cabbie deliver the baby. All cab drivers are required to pass the Backseat Delivery Certification Exam (BDCE) in accordance with every movie ever made. The only downside (besides ruining your partner’s dream of a clinical, sterile environment staffed by professionals) is you may have to name your child after the driver, which may result in unwieldly monikers such as “Abdullah Stevensen.”

Most healthcare professionals will tell you that it can be very beneficial for a mother in labor to take a walk. This will encourage contractions and can be somewhat calming.)

Consider sending your partner down the eight flights of stairs to hail a cab. She’ll get the “contraction” jumpstart she needs, leaving you time to wrap up the last-minute odds-and-ends like finishing the back nine on Tiger Woods’ Golf or calling her sister to inform her that you won’t be meeting her at the hotel.

Well, apparently they need a bigger arrow because you're still going the wrong way, Einstein.

Checking In
Once you have arrived at the hospital, a million more decisions will need to be made. As the man (and the person not in severe pain and/or covered in their own bodily fluids), these decisions, which will affect both of you, will need to be made both carefully and quickly.

You may also need to answer some questions during check-in. Let’s hope you have been paying attention. Among the many questions you’ll be answering incorrectly are:

  • Due Date (“Ummm… today?”)
  • Dilation (“I think it’s just the harsh hospital lighting.”)
  • Contraction Interval (“Less than infinity.”)
  • Partner’s Last Name (“I’m not sure. The same as her sister’s I think.”)
  • Closest Relative (“Well, her sister’s at the Ramada…”)
  • Known Allergens (“Buckwheat… and… nickel.”)
  • Previous Pregnancies (“This is my first that I’m aware of…”)

Once you have finished fucking these up and sent your partner off to a night full of unnecessary procedures and allergic reactions (all under an assumed name), it’s time to proceed to the delivery room.

Coming up next: The Delivery Room, The Delivery & Documenting the “Miracle.”

-CLT

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14 comments

  1. Wow, what’s up with all the brilliance around the blogosphere today? I mean, just when I think I can sit back and relax on my comment laurels bam….another ridiculously creative blog. You know that if you took out the ‘glass of fuck,’ maybe another 3 or 4 additional fucks, and maybe the whole banging of the sister thing, you could sell this fucker as a fucking e-book for morons. Maybe you could also include some ‘filler’ with tips for inducing labor should either of the expecting parents become impatient, like a meth binge, 12 shots of espresso, spicy foods, frequent masturbation, and falling/being pushed down the stairs. But that’s your call. This is your hilarious show to run over Idiot’s Guide to Pregnancy with.


    • Thanks for the compliments, Scott. As much as I’d like to be the go-to guy for all pregnant idiots in search of e-solutions, I’m very partial to the word “fuck.”

      The ball is now in the morons’ court, so they’ll have to figure out whether a.) the word “fuck” harms them physically or mentally and b.) what the fuck “ball is now in my court” means. (Hint: It doesn’t mean what they think it means.)

      Still, a very good comment full of useful and purloinable information. I will take it under consideration.


  2. Love this, CLT. In fact, I think it may be the most informational non-life saving article I’ve ever come across. And even though I’ve declared my womb barren since the onset of puberty, I still find this post indispensible. That’s how good it is.

    The funny thing is that even though I’ve never had the pleasure of pushing a miniature being the size of a watermelon out after nine months of intense cravings and severe mood swings (both my cravings and mood swings tend to be moderate and lifelong), I myself have quoted each and every one of your “telltale phrases” to my own significant other(s) at some point in my life.

    “My water broke.” -Said in the heat of passion…I was extremely naïve back then

    “The contractions are x minutes apart.” –Again, the heat of passion + naivety

    “I hate you.” -If I had a nickel for every time I said this…

    “We need to go.” -At Carla’s cinco de mayo party after polishing off half the contents of her liquor cabinet and throwing up behind the bar

    “Now.” -Same party

    “I can’t believe you slept with my sister!” -Again, if I had a nickel…

    “My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you.” -Only difference was that my instructor’s name was “Daz Thug”, and instead of singing, he taught me how to krump.

    So needless to say, CLT, both mothers and non-mothers alike will be able to relate to this stellar and indispensable non-life saving guide, thus increasing your non-monetary gains by at least 2.224%…

    Well done.


    • Wow, bschooled, I had no idea that this set of articles (yes, there will be some follow-up pieces) contained so many universal truths about women. I thought I was just riding a tide of basic cliches to their logical conclusion.

      Maybe I’m more in touch with my feminine side than I thought. If so, I need to get some… um… elective surgery to make the metaphor complete.

      If you need me, I’ll be somewhere dark and private, getting “in touch” with my “feminine side.”

      Thanks for the great comment, bschooled. Always a pleasure having you here.


  3. Nice. Makes me wish I was having a baby and glad that I can’t.


    • Yeah, it’s kind of a mixed blessing, these baby things.


  4. Capitalist, your blog is like a box of chocolates from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. No generic (Fannie-May) chocolates here, but rather the exotic, celebratory kind. Typical offerings: Oaxaca, Wink of the Rabbit, Absinthe, Gianduia, Xocatyl, Viola, Naga, Black Pearl, Budapest and Woolloomooloo. This is seriously sassy chocolate fused with champagne, havily impregnated with serotonin, spice and fired up and ‘cooked’ with butane (Marco Polo would have enthusiastically been Vosges’ spokesman if he were alive today). In other words, some good shit.

    Childbirth. How is it that I am the product of millions of years of birthing creatures, yet recoiled in fear and horror at the idea of giving birth? One Braxton Hicks contraction and I was ready for my maker. I think the line would have stopped right here with me had it not been for elective C-sections, Percodan and that fax machine I lugged into my recovery room for diversion. I hope the next generation is not as wussy as I wus.

    Do you know who you are CLT? You’re Bill Bryson (!!), that’s who you are. Yes, you is!


    • A fax machine? You’re dating yourself, elizabeth. However, Percodan is timeless, much like the writing of Bill Bryson, whom I’d never heard of and was forced to Google.

      I’ll take that compliment along with the many others scattered amongst the unpronounceable chocolates. Thanks very much for those.


    • If I had to choose an author who could fill in for you, it would be Bill Bryson, hands-down (and you could easily return the favor). I think that is why I appreciate your humor so much. It’s like you two are on the same plane. If you ever get some ‘reading time’ (as if) check out a book or two. I loved his Notes from a Small Island.


  5. Haha, wonderful advice but sadly too late, I left my 315 item bag at home, and got to the hospital so late – two contractions to spare – that I could barely walk the right way, no matter how big that bloody arrow was!

    (Oh dear, I sound like I am commenting on a mommy blog….I cant wait for The Delivery Room special so I can really crank up the mummy comments by sharing my special “splitting in two and surviving to tell the tale” Miracle.)


    • Yes, the bag o’ tricks always seems to be left behind or missing all of the essential items. I think the one I brought was filled with Sports Illustrated back issues and some deodorant that I tried to claim was “unisex.” Live and learn.

      The delivery room special is up now for your perusal. Thanks for the comment, Ruby.


  6. Anybody stupid enough to get pregnant and carry it to full term deserves the decades of mental anguish and economic hemorrhaging children bring. Giving birth is the easiest part.

    “Oh, everybody else is doing it. It looks like so much fun. I can’t want to pick a name. I’ll get to buy the kewlest baby clothes like (insert celebrity baby here) and the latest toys. It’ll be great to have somebody who will love me forever.”

    Want love? Buy a motherfucking dog! Your kids will grow to hate and resent you probably even more than you will grow to hate and resent them.

    Children are like the creatures in the movie Aliens. They are forcibly inserted into you, grow parasitically and then burst out of your body. Then the little demons start running around destroying everything and everybody they see. Eventually they reproduce and the whole destructive cycle starts again.


    • Yeah, that’s what I told my wife. Three times.

      I’m braced for the oncoming hatred and have tried to be preemptive about it. As for the Aliens metaphor… well, I used that as well. (See Vol. 2.)


  7. […] CLT: The Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth: Volume 1 […]



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