Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on February 15th, 2011, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 49

The pain of birthdays

Enduring childbirth still haunts Krider


The other day my son celebrated his 14th birthday. Besides the requisite presents and birthday cake, it also meant my wife reminisced about the day she gave birth to our oldest child. This isn’t good for me. You see, apparently, as the story goes, I wasn’t exactly the most supportive husband on the “toughest day of her life.” So, because of my failures in the delivery room, once a year, on my son’s birthday, I am reminded of what a schmuck I was when he was born. Like clockwork, when the candles are blown out on the cake, my wife remembers she’s still mad at me. Then she goes on this long tirade about what a jerk I was at the hospital and how “husbands who aren’t even there to see their kids be born” are somehow more supportive than I was. At our house the song goes, “Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Your Dad’s An Ass. Happy birthday to you.”

How did this all happen? Let me take you back. First, the sperm raced up toward the egg. No wait, I did that part right. Let me jump to nine months later when I messed the whole thing up and ruined my kid’s birthday parties for the rest of my life. I was a young dad-to-be, completely ignorant to the world of parenthood. I had only been a husband for a little while and was still grappling with my new duties as the “man of the house.” I was still in training on how to put the toilet seat down and when to take the trash out. Note: It was supposed to be taken out before my pregnant wife asked me for the seventh time.

I thought my job as a new father was to install the baby car seat correctly and buy some cigars. I did both of these things flawlessly. When my wife, whom I love, went into labor, I made sure the seat was in the car, grabbed the cigars, and we were off. I hauled ass across town to the hospital, because I was sure the baby would be born in the front seat of the car. The only thing I knew about childbirth was what I saw in 5th grade sex education and from movies. I was pretty sure babies were born in about five minutes.

I was totally excited and couldn’t wait to see my son. But the baby wouldn’t come out. My wife was in labor all day long, but still no baby. I had no reason to celebrate and no excuse to smoke a cigar. I sat in the delivery room with my wife, who was in agony, but there was nothing I could really do to help her. To be honest, the whole thing was pretty … boring. After a very long day, as the sun set and the baby still hadn’t come, we were looking at a long night of waiting. My wife was in a lot of pain. I was exhausted. Going through the ups and downs of “the baby is coming,” “the baby is not coming,” “wait—a contraction,” “no, the baby still isn’t coming” had left me totally wiped out. I don’t think I had ever been that fatigued in my entire life. Around 2 a.m., I sat down in the chair next to my wife, put my feet up on her hospital bed, and instantly fell asleep.

My wife remembers the incident similarly, only she has her own point of view, of course. She was in the worst pain of her life, she was in labor for more than 24 hours to have “my” baby and when she needed me the most, at 3 o’clock in the morning, as she was screaming for pain killers, I was snoring next to her. I was worthless.

The next morning I was feeling fresh and ready for the day to begin and for my son to be born. My wife had an epidural installed in the middle of the night (which I missed) and was in a lot less pain. She tried to push and push, but our son just didn’t want to come out. He liked it inside his mommy’s uterus and wanted to stay forever.

Eventually, the obstetrician decided it was time for a C-section. I stood by my wife as they performed the procedure. They put a small curtain up so my wife couldn’t see them slice her open like a melon and pull out all of her organs to get down to her uterus. I had never seen a surgery before and was blown away by the mechanics of it all. It reminded me of rebuilding an engine on a Ford truck while it was still running. My wife was alive and awake while parts of her were outside of her body.  Since my wife couldn’t see this show, I began to narrate the whole thing to her like a sportscaster: “Honey, they have your kidneys out and they have laid them on your chest. Honey, all of your parts are outside of your body right now. This is amazing!” It is safe to say she didn’t appreciate the commentary.

Finally they got down to the uterus and pulled out our baby boy.  He still didn’t want to come out, and his little hand reached out and grabbed a hold of the umbilical cord, trying desperately to hold on to his old home. Because my wife’s parts were still out all over the place, she was in no shape to hold the baby. So they gave our son to me. I left my wife lying on the operating table and took my boy out to the hallway to show him off to the expecting family. My wife did all of the hard work, I slept through most of it, and yet I got to be the one to hold our son first and introduce him to the family.

She still hasn’t forgiven me, and I can’t really blame her. Of course, if I had known that my actions that night would haunt me on a yearly basis for the rest of my life, I would have done things differently. I would have brought in a Playstation and hooked it up to the TV in the delivery room to keep myself awake. 

Rob didn’t do any better for his daughter’s birthday. He sat next to his wife and ate a sandwich while she gave birth. “I thought it was going to take as long as it did the last time, and I wanted to fuel my system so I could stay up all night!”

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