Monday, November 1, 2010

I Want to Be Your Human Epidural

Everything in nature has a purpose - every odd animal behavior, the number of petals on every flower, even our pinkie toes (to be accurate, I believe that the pinkie toe used to have a purpose but now it’s on its way out). We humans might not have worked out the reasons for everything that’s out there, but chances are good that the reasons exist, just waiting for us to work them out. I’ll be the first one to pony up a donation for any study that can figure out the purpose behind labor. What possible reason could there be for such a disagreeable experience? People tell me that it’s beautiful, that it’s a life altering experience, that the baby will make it all worth it. While that all may be true, couldn’t we have that without the pain, the yelling, the sweating, and the swearing (I know my wife’s gonna swear like a sailor)? Why are mammals the only animals that have such a dramatic and painful birth? Have you ever seen a chicken or an alligator lay an egg? They stare off into the distance, glassy-eyed and serene, and boom, the egg drops out. Their facial expression doesn’t even change. They’re squeezing something pretty big out of a small hole, just like us mammals, so why no hysterics? I know there’s no answer for any of these questions, and that, in the end, it’s silly to ask them, but of all the things coming at Linda and me down the baby pike, labor is the one that concerns me the most. I’m not even the one doing the actual work, but I’m still worried for both of us. I’ve already had friends tell me what not to do when labor is coming on strong. They said, “Whatever you do, don’t pet her hair,” and Linda has told me, “Just don’t keep telling me the same thing over and over again, like, 'You’re doing great!' I don’t need to hear that.” So I’m compiling a list of subtly encouraging phrases like, “You know, you are so pretty when you’re pushing. You should do it again.” I have no doubt that Linda will make it through. She’s tough, and she would probably be okay no matter what, but I want to be the one who makes things easier for her. I want to be her human epidural, and no matter what people tell me or what I read to prepare, the bottom line is that it’s like going into combat: I won’t really know how I’m going to perform until it’s happening.

18 days until baby.


  1. I kept reminding myself that it would eventually be OVER. It was excruciating, but it did not last forever. Hopefully she'll have a quick one!

    PS. You forgot the puking. :)

  2. I DID forget the puking - thanks for reminding me! And we are PRAYING for a quick labor.