Labor Day--The Mis-Conception of Childbirth
As Labor Day quickly approaches, I am reminded that perspective and current state of mind can dramatically impact definition. Labor Day, officially recognized as a Federal Holiday in 1894, celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. However, I am sure that many people (women) will agree that Labor Day, when referring to childbirth, exemplifies the word, “work!” It is important to clarify Labor Day from an expectant point of view in an effort to dispel the Mis-Conception of Childbirth.
Ah, Labor Day. These days, it seems that family planning is particularly popular among many young couples who are intent on making their mark on the world, starting careers and having their “ducks in a row”, more or less. The word “trying” is often used in reference to starting a family. Regardless of whether you were “trying” or one that proclaimed the words “whoops” or WHAT?.....you are all in the same boat, so sit back and hang on tight. That’s right, lift your head from your porcelain paradise and remember, pregnant or not pregnant, meals are always temporary; length of time is the only variable.
Initially, the giddy excitement of knowing that you are the vessel that carries another life is overwhelming. The desire to learn everything possible about this nine-month journey is exceptionally strong and soon-to-be moms endeavor to read every book and article written about this expedition. Detailed explanations are sought after, from mood swings to delivery and everything in-between. It is recommended that this information, along with advice from friends, relatives and even strangers, be taken with a grain of salt. No pregnancy is book perfect and the likelihood that your baby will be the next Gerber® Baby, is slim to none.
A first time expectant mom knows the exact week and day of her adventure; however, with second and subsequent babies, month and due date vicinity are subjective. Excitement abounds around the first time expectant mom, but this enthusiasm fades quickly with each additional announcement.
As a new mom, with no previous babysitting experience, I was totally unprepared for the responsibility I was about to accept. In retrospect, I am certain I would have benefitted from a guideline to follow; thus the reason for the following list.
FIRST BABY DO’S AND DON’TS
1. EAT OUT….OFTEN
Daily if possible! For the next four to seven years, it will be necessary to tote a bag full of items everywhere you go. This bag will contain a variety of items based on the child’s age, including bottles, pacifiers, diapers, baby oil, baby lotion, wet wipes, toys, coloring books, rattles, baby nose aspirator and so on. In addition, it will be a long time before you will be able to enjoy a dinner out without either hearing or saying the following statements:
· I don’t wanne a cracker.
· Sit down, NOW!
· I don’t wanne to sit down?
· Do not slide under the table. Sit!
· Do not run around the table. Sit!
· Do you want to make a trip to the bathroom to remove a bad attitude?
· Nooooo, waaaaaa, I don’t wanne go potty.
· No, we do not want an appetizer, we need to order NOW!
· Do not hit the fork on the table!
· Please stop screaming!
· Ah the food is finally here, what do you mean you’re DONE?
2. SLEEP IN
· Never set an alarm clock as this will be the last time you get to sleep all night for……well, I’m not sure, I’m still waiting.
· Not necessary, might as well let it go. Yes, it will be a mess, but it’s time to begin getting used to your new motif.
· Seriously….get over it. Living in your new baby world, you will soon discover that romance is not even listed in the top 10.
· Recognize that “I Love You is quickly replaced by “Hey, You Awake?
5. BABY NECESSITIES/TIPS
· Disregard everything anyone has ever told you. The most important baby staples are cloth diapers (burp rags) and stain resistant carpet.
· Accept the fact that every piece of clothing you own will have your baby’s signature stain on either your left or right shoulder.
· Don’t become such a germ-a-phobe that you boil everything. Boiled plastic rattles melt together in the pan.
· Do not dip pacifiers in syrup as an incentive to stop a crying baby or to get the baby to take the pacifier. (Syrup dipped pacifiers result in babies gaining a lot weight quickly and the pediatrician will let you have it.)
· Recognize that you will spend the first year teaching your child to talk and the next 17 years telling them to be quiet
LABOR DAY ARRIVES
It will seem like an eternity awaiting the arrival of your bundle of joy and you will soon learn that birthing classes falsely made labor sound bearable. The phrase, “you will feel discomfort” had to have been written by a man. Discomfort, DISCOMFORT; try anguish, torment, agony or torture, as these words better define the pain.
The popular thing today seems to be “natural” childbirth; personally, I think “natural” is overrated. My advice is to begin asking for drugs before you really even need them to ensure that you avoid being told, “I’m sorry, it’s too late.” Actually, I see no reason NOT to be knocked out like they did in my mother’s day. Having my baby cleaned, powdered, diapered and then handed to me doesn’t sound half bad.
Last but not least, recognize that your spouse has absolutely no clue what to do, what is happening or what to say. STUPID comments are inevitable, so brace yourself.
Hubby: Do you want to watch TV to take your mind off things?
Me: Do you want to retain the shape of a TV?
Hubby: Just breathe.
Me: Great advice Einstein, the one thing I didn’t have to think about.
Me: I am focusing, on the PAIN!
Hubby: It’s almost over.
Me: Yea, right, that’s what you said 6 hours ago!
Hubby: I love you.
Me: Yea, yea, like that’ll ever work again.
Hubby: I see the head.
Me: Well, Hot Diggity Dog
Me: You’ll think push when I push you out of this fourth floor window
Hubby: The doctor is on his way
Me: Here or does he have another golf game?
Hubby: Do you want some crushed ice?
Me: Yea, stick a block under my fist and I’ll crush it!
When everything is said and done, you will have experienced the ultimate human achievement and will take home with you a beautiful, dependent little life that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state. Ironically, if you are a successful parent, this beautiful, dependent little life will grow into a teenager that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state.
Happy Labor Day!