Man’s experience: joys of giving birth

By Bill Schwingel

One day, actually it was Wednesday, I sat behind a computer screen and thought (a rarity in itself) about babies (even more rare). I continued thinking (IT COULD HAPPEN!) about women having babies.

What a joy! What a wonder! Why can’t I experience such joy and wonder?! Then it hit, what if men were the ones who could have babies?

I would be the first, I decided. The nine months of morning sickness and mysterious cravings might be a hassle, but I figure if women have done it for the past few centuries I can do it, right?

The first month would be the best. Everyone would look after me, my wife would do all the chores around the house, no one would let me carry any heavy objects and I would relax, eating kiwis and butter pecan ice cream. What a life!

The second month rolls along and the 5 a.m. morning sickness routine would start to irritate me, but what can I say? I’m expecting.

Month three treks in and I would start to worry about how good a father I’ll make, so I’d begin buying books titled, “The Fatherly Instinct,” “Face Facts About Your Fetus’ Future,” “How Not to Raise a Drug Dealer” and “How Nuclear Waste Can Help Your Child Grow.”

The next two months would become a blur of arguments, indecisions, accusations and Lemanz classes. The blur is only interrupted by a visit from my father-in-law explaining how much trouble he had when my wife was born.

I face the sixth month with the dilemma of what to name my child, this is a choice that must be made by both parties, but since my wife to be isn’t available I’ll have to ask my peers.

A consensus around the newsroom for a boy’s name included Tyler, Alex, Tad, Joshua, Damien, Scott, Jordon, Ubb, Zipper, David, Xavier, Sammy, Milo and Ellen, Jasmine, Victoria, Lynn, April (but why name a child after a month?), Chastity, Marteka, Shanett, Barbarella, Ashley, Beth, Lesley and Elvira for a girl. Deciding not to give into peer pressure, I chose Christopher and Maria.

After that ordeal, I would take the next month being irritable to everyone I meet. When I begin threatening puppies with microwave baths, telling children to go play in blenders and eating the styrofoam containers at fast food restaraunts, my family would chain me to my bed.

The last two months would include five false labors, ten baby showers and the discovery that I will have triplets.

The “special” day arrives and I find myself being carried to the trunk of the car, the top of which has been “adapted for the babies” with air holes. The babies arrive and we name them Ethel, Erma and Evenrude, after my wife’s dear aunts and uncle.

I decide I want to go back to being vice president of the auto company, I figure I can just bring the babies to work. Right? After I leave dirty diapers in the glove compartment of our newest model, lose a rattle in the coffee of the most prospective client since the Japanese, and sing lullabyes to my secretary, I decide to look into daycare.

The daycare choices included the baby-sitter down the street who carries a knife for “fun” and “just in case,” the center down the street accused of molesting children and the dog kennel downtown.

Suddenly, I think of all that I had been through and what my babies had to expect and I decide that maybe I shouldn’t think so much.