Posts Tagged ‘Planning’

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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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