Get Me a Comfortable Chair, My Wife Is Having a Baby!


Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

The Birth Story

Birth Day Part 3

The Birth Evening

5:48 PM

“Don’t you want to go get dinner?” Katrina asks me.

“I’m not really that hungry.”

“I think you should go get dinner and bring it back up here to eat.”

Katrina is starving, and is not being offered anything of substance from the nursing staff. She wants to eat off my plate without my being able to complain for the last time.

I get a surprisingly good plate of pasta from the hospital cafeteria, and Katrina is ripping through it.

“Just give me one more bite,” she says for the eighth time.

7:10 PM

Katrina is doing her math, and she doesn’t like her answers. Progress is slow to nonexistent, and Katrina does not want to start the Pitocin drip at midnight, deliver early in the morning, and be wiped out tomorrow. If she’s going to need the drip eventually, she might as well get it now. The nurse/practitioner, who lives across the street from the hospital, is called.

I head out for another refill of water. This time I notice that there is a touch strip on the machine. When your cup touches the strip, water comes out. Suddenly, every trip to the water dispenser replays in my mind. From the beginning, I had been pushing the spout housing, which has nothing to do with the dispensing of water. The two nurses who I stood between must have thought I was an idiot.

7:30 PM

The Nurse Practitioner gives phone approval for the drip. The nurse repeatedly unsuccessfully jabs Katrina, trying to get the needle into a vein, but she cannot do it. She moves to Katrina’s other hand, and finally gets it in. We start walking the halls again, wheeling the drip along with us and trying not to get tangled up.

Back in the room, Katrina asks the nurse if I can have a better chair from one of the other rooms. The nurse hauls in an overstuffed recliner from the room across the hall, and I am in heaven. I fully recline it for only a second, afraid that in five seconds, I could be sound asleep.

A new shift of nurses has come on, and a new, more sympathetic nurse gives Katrina a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Every once in a while now, Katrina gets what she calls a “good” contraction. I am still timing them, and there is still no pattern.

I am still useless.

Next: Finally, the Birth

Birth Day Part 2

hungry hungry hippo

Hunger does strange things to a pregnant woman.

The Birth Story

Birth Day Part 2

Birthing Boredom

“Maybe we can bore this baby out of you.”

12:06 PM

Lunchtime. Katrina’s lunch consists of water. Thinking ahead, I packed two sandwiches and an orange, and placed them in the refrigerator in the hallway. Next to the refrigerator are a sink and an ice and water dispenser. I attempt to refill my water bottle, but cannot figure out how to get water out of the machine. I place my bottle below the spout and press the guard piece that surrounds the spout, but nothing happens. I press it again, and I get water all over my hand. I readjust the bottle, press the spout guard and intermittently get water into my bottle.

Katrina is tired from walking, but walk we must, so it’s back to the halls. Katrina’s left hip cracks with every step. I am still timing every contraction, and they still show no signs of entering a pattern. And they are weakening.

“I’m glad we’re the only ones walking the halls,” I say. “If there were another couple, the first time we’d pass them, we’d have to say something pithy like, ‘They’ve got you walking, too, huh?’ or, ‘I’m glad to see we’re not the only ones who need a jumpstart.’

“Then the next time you see them there’s an awkward ‘hi.’ Then the next time, a nod. And from then on, you try to avoid eye contact altogether.”

Katrina says nothing. She just keeps walking and cracking. Continue Reading…

Birth Day

The Birth Story


I know he’s in there. (artist’s rendering; not an actual photo)

Birth Day

Husband of Birthing Mother Complains about Being Uncomfortable

We dropped the girls off at their father’s house and headed over to the NP’s office (which is attached to the hospital). She determined that Katrina was dilated enough to break her water, so we walked over to the hospital to do just that. But the door we had used when we took the siblings’ birthing class was available by electronic pass only, so we had to take the elevator down one floor, walk to another elevator, take it up one floor, then negotiate the labyrinthine halls to find the birthing center, all while loaded down like pack mules with Katrina’s bag, the baby’s diaper bag, my bag, the still camera bag, the video camera bag and a tripod.

We were shown to the birthing suite at the end of the hall. The whirlpool tub was big, and out in the open, unlike the tub we had seen on our tour, which was in the bathroom. I felt like we lucked out, until, that is, I saw that the only chair in the room was a wooden rocker. The tour suite had a big, padded recliner, a chair I would be happy to have in my (unfinished) home. But this thing was just plain, hard wood. Continue Reading…

The Fraud that is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

not quite pink

Is as interested in breast cancer prevention as the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The Fraud that is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Get the Pink Out!

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so Americans are awash in a greater amount of hypocrisy than usual. My teenage daughters have bought into the breast cancer awareness hype. They buy T-shirts and other pink clothing accessories and wear them to football and basketball games to show their school solidarity and their feverish support of breast cancer awareness. The student body decides to have a “Pink Out” for a certain game, and all the students wear pink. They are joined by the NFL, who sport pink game wear all month. Even the referees’ whistles are pink. What few seem to ask, however, is: Is there anyone in this country who is not aware of breast cancer?

“Well, that’s just what it’s called. It’s more about encouraging women to have mammograms and raising funds for research to find a cure.”

Okay, let’s take a look at that. And, as in the case of most investigation, to get to the real truth, we’ll have to follow to money. Continue Reading…

My Baby Will Be Born Tomorrow

Imminent Induction

It wasn’t the last time Junior would defy his father.

The Birth Story

We’re Going In After Him

Friday, February 24, 2006 4:39 PM

Well, this is it. My last day with life as I know it. Tomorrow, we induce. Tomorrow my whole world flips upside-down, never to return to right side-up. It’s probably more accurate to say that we will be creating a new right side-up. We are three days past the due date, and Junior is refusing to come out of his womb, irking my always impatient wife.

“He’s your son,” says Katrina.

“What does that mean?”

“He won’t come out. He’s stubborn. Just like you.” Continue Reading…

Repulsive Parenting Headlines of the Day

Feel Good About Your Parenting


Experienced at doing it wrong.

Man Reads Parenting Headlines; Becomes Depressed

Is parenting getting you down? Then read some headlines from today (just today!) about parents who are doing it waaaaay wrongerer than you:

Police: Mom injects teen daughter and her boyfriend with heroin

Mom, beau plead not guilty in alcohol-in-IV death

Mom charged after baby left in hot car while shopping

Mom who tried to kill daughter gets 10-22 years

This is just one day in my Yahoo News feed. The other stories are not any cheerier. I didn’t read the stories because I don’t want them to bring me down more than the headlines already have. But this is the world we live in. Parents kill or try to kill or forget to not kill their children and the media report it and people like me read it and assume that this kind of behavior is way more prevalent than it really is. It is unfortunate for all of us that good parenting doesn’t make the news.

So what are we to do? Well, I, for one, look at these headlines and think, “I may be doing it wrong. I may have forgotten to sign my son’s assignment notebook and now he won’t get a gold star for the day, but at least I’m doing it better than those people. At least if I come at parenting from a place of love, I won’t mess the kids up that badly.”

Some days, that’s all you can hope for. And some days, that’s enough.