A Bowlful of Cherries

Celebrating Matty and Noah

Still no baby and still no pain

We had been given a due date of 26 April, which was last Monday, so now we’re “four days late.” But it seems that most couples who think they’re late really aren’t — the due date is a ballpark figure with a window of plus or minus two weeks. No baby ever stays in there, so if nothing happens by next Wednesday, 05 May, we’re to report to the hospital at 8am sharp.

Whenever the labor does start, it’s not going to be a picnic. Millions of women are most likely saying, “Duh,” (assuming these millions of women read bowlful). Donna’s going to go through a lot of pain, and the epidural will be her best friend when she finally receives it. What about me? It’s not fair to assume that men don’t feel any pain. It may be only psychological, but it’s very real nonetheless.

I wouldn’t hesitate to run into a burning building to save Donna. If she needed a kidney or a bone marrow transplant, I’m first in line (should we match). But when she’s in labor, what can I do? Nothing. Her pain will be finite, for sure, and the end result will be a new baby, making it all worth it. And a few months from now, Donna may not remember the extent of her pain, especially if she has an epidural, which is likely. (How else to explain why many women have more than one baby?) Me? I’ll remember.

My boss gave me some advice: 1) Get the ice chips on demand, 2) don’t faint, and 3) be positive, but not too positive. He meant that I’ve got to keep exorting Donna to stay the course, but not be annoying about it. I also think being positive means that I need to remember that Donna, while she’s in labor, isn’t going to be herself. She’s going to be concentrating on the intense and overwhelming pain, and a kind word for me may be the last thing on her mind. If she wants me to get out of the room, I’ll do it — the last thing she needs to deal with (she’s got a bowling ball coming through a straw!) is my wounded pride.

So, whatever Donna needs me to do, it’s done. Whatever she wants and fast. If it’s not touching her, so be it. If it’s finding a frozen Snickers bar, I’m on it. The next best thing I can do, I think, is to curb my tendency to argue and “reason” with her. Most of all, I’m not going to pout if Donna lets loose with a couple of well-aimed cusses in my direction. Bring it on.

I won’t faint. No worries.

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Written by Michael

30 Apr 2004 at 930pm

Posted in Misc.

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