♫ Does your mother realize
The stork delivered quite a prize
The day he left you on the family tree?
Does your dad appreciate
That you're merely supergreat
The miracle of any century? ♫
-Bing Crosby, singer, songwriter, optimist.
So...I just had a baby. Not me personally, although I'd like to think that I had a big part in it. And by big part, I mean...well, you get the idea.
This is my fourth child, so a lot of this was very routine for me. Check in, sit in room, wait for baby, etc. My wife and I have this pretty much down to a science. As a matter of fact, we were so comfortable this time around, we had a fun time scrutinizing the entire event from a more candid perspective.
A few quick things and then I'll get to my main point. First off, I find it very humorous how much attention the hospitals give to making the mother comfortable during the birth. The birthing room was massively spacious and extremely luxurious. There was actually a couch with a fold out double bed in our room. I guess that is if you decide you want to start working on the next baby right away. Keep in mind that I'm talking about the delivery room, the room you actually give birth in. This is not the room you stay in through the night. No, after the baby is born, they move you into a teeny tiny room. In that room is a really old fold out chair that is about as comfortable as a sleeping bag full of marbles...and it barely fits in there. I had to move it parallel to my wife's hospital bed just so it would fold out completely. And once it was fully expanded, there was no room to walk around it. Needless to say, there wasn't much sleep happening on my end.
The other quick point I wanted to make was regarding the food. FYI to the men out there who may be having a child in the future, there is a wonderful room called the "Nourishment Center" that is LOADED with all sorts of food, just for YOU! Sure, they bring Mommy a nice tray of food every couple of hours, and the baby is "tapping the keg" when its time for her to eat, but what about you? Dads get ignored when it comes time for a feeding. But the Nourishment Center is a convenient little treasure trove located over by the nurse's station that becomes your own personal banquet room. They had bagels, danishes, eight types of juice, turkey sandwiches, soup, crackers, etc. I was very pleased. Hell, I even found ice cream in the freezer. The only problem was the odd looks that I kept getting from the nurses each time I walked by. Even though I was told that this stuff was for the me to take as I wish, I still felt a little self-consious each time I walked by with a stack of bagels and a pocket full of graham crackers. Luckily, they seem to rotate out every couple of hours, so I would just peer out at the desk, and when I saw a fresh batch of nurses, it was time for another trip to the fridge for a sammich and a Good Humor bar.
Now to get to my main point. Once the baby is born, you have a revolving door of nurses and doctors and whatnot coming in and out of your room all day and night. You end up having the exact same conversation with everyone of them.
"Congratulations on your new baby!"
"So, what's her name?"
"Oh, that is such a great name, and she is sooo cute!"
It's the last sentence that struck a chord with me. Every single one of them responded with "She's so cute" and "What a great name." It was starting to sound like a broken record. I mean, What if it wasn't? What if you had an ugly baby and named it something freaky stupid? Would they still respond this way?
I stopped taking stock in their opinion of my child and her name after this dawned on me. It would be very improbable that a nurse would come in, see a baby, and say,
"Oh wow....gosh...that's a...butt ugly baby."
"You really named her that? Man, do you hate all kids, or just this one?"
I was really tempted to start answering the name question with something ridiculous, just so I could provoke a different response from one these people. Just once I wanted to say,
"Well, we wanted to give her a unique name with a really deep meaning, so we named her 'Ravine'"
I can only imagine that the fake smiles and forced admiration go away quickly when these people go home and they share with their husbands/wives stories of all the ugly babies with ridiculous names.
Whatever. Like I said before, my wife and I had a much more cynical perspective of the birthing process this time around, and had a fun time with it. Despite my petty qualms about a few pieces of the process, this was a textbook delivery with a beautiful, well named result.