Nearly five years ago, my son and daughter-in-law became the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy. They named him Benjamin Andre Durr. He weighed in at eight pounds seven ounces. Don’t worry ... Mom was just fine. Women seem to bounce back from nearly everything. My son, on the other hand, was not as bouncy. He was a real trooper though ... text messaging from the birthing room ... play-by-play reporting like ESPN. In spite of that stellar performance, his eyes still glaze over whenever we drive past a hospital. Must be from the trauma he endured during what I fondly call “Operation Birth Baby” or O.B.B for short. So in honor of my son ... and men across America who have yet to experience their own O.B.B, here’s a few things you must know.
Disclaimer: Nothing can prepare you for this blessed event. If you are squeamish or prone to hysteria, have your wife hold your hand if she is not otherwise busy pushing, panting or performing other birthing activities. This is a job for a Manly-Man! If that is not you, STAY IN THE WAITING ROOM!
The most painful part of the labor is not obvious. This may appear surprising to you, but while your wife is in the hospital ... the TV remote will be attached to her bed! You may have to go twenty-four hours or more in a room with a remote control you cannot touch. I know this is devastating and difficult to hear. You are probably breaking out in sweat right now!
Why is the remote control connected to her bed? No one seems to know why. You’ll simply have to accept that it comes with the bed and since she gets the bed...then she gets the remote.
Can the remote control be surgically removed from the bed? (After all, this is a hospital)? Apparantly, the procedure is no longer covered under insurance. Yet one more thing wrong with healthcare in America!
How bad will the pain be? You will experience contractions in your hand because you are used to holding that remote. First they will start off slowly and increase in intensity and duration every ten minutes. The pain will increase to two minutes apart when the Oprah show comes on and Sports Center is on ESPN.
Is there medication to ease this pain? No ... something about the person in the bed being the patient … all the good drugs are for her.
However, there are things you could try. Move around walking up and down the hallway; get on your hands and knees and rock back and forth; try squatting or lying curled up in the fetal position; take deep breaths; If you get thirsty, the nurse will share chipped ice with you, or you can hold on to a picture of your home theater system with surround sound and concentrate on it while saying, “Woosah-Woosah!”
Now, if none of this helps ... there is one drastic measure you could take. Tell your wife you’ll be right back and slip into one of the unoccupied rooms. Lie back on the bed. Take that remote in your hand, close your eyes and thank your lucky stars that you have a wife who can bounce back from anything.
O.B.B. is not for amateurs. Do not attempt this at home! Do not try this with your friends. Remember this, if your new baby is a boy, you’d better call “Dibbs for Life” on the home TV remote control. By the time he turns three, the pain will return.