What Childbirth is Really Like


I watched the birth of my third child this week and it’s amazing how quickly you forget the bad parts. I understand why. We probably wouldn’t be here if we didn’t immediately forget how difficult childbirth is. I’m still at the part before your mind wipes everything clean and I’m writing this down so the rest of us can retain these memories forever. I hope I’m not inadvertently ending the human race.

It all started nine months ago when my wife was interested in intercourse. I can remember which session made this baby. It was April 16th. I had already given up on getting laid that night and had pleasured myself at the computer. A couple of hours later, out of nowhere, I was presented with the option. Refusing sex during marriage is like a government program saying they need less funding—if you refuse funding, you’ll never get it again. So I lay back and thought of England as she ravaged my body as if I was a common street whore.

A couple of months later came the news. We were having another baby. Things were OK at first but before long, my spouse became increasingly moody and overweight. About six months in, she started to show signs of obesity and things got more uncomfortable until the very end when she became downright huge.

The final stretch of a pregnancy is beyond difficult. First of all, you can’t go out. Labor can happen any moment during the last month so if your friends are going on a ski trip, bid them adieu. You can’t even go to a bar because being drunk when your wife is in labor has this huge stigma around it. The same goes for drinking at home. This means the final days are devoted to being completely sober and dealing with someone who is not acting like herself and not looking like herself. Sex is out, too. I’d never call what started this whole thing “rape,” but I had no choice in the matter and the way things have been going these past few months, you’d think my government program asked to be cut off completely.

When she FINALLY began labor on Saturday night I had been to a bar with some friends and was tired as hell. Her contractions began at 2 in the morning and she only let me sleep until 5, when I was awakened by these extremely disturbing guttural sounds. Not only was I tired and a little hungover, but I had to stare at a spouse who looked like she was doing the dip on a roller coaster every five minutes. Thanks, God!

The trip to the hospital had me flustered. I was in such a rush I left my wallet in my other pants. This meant no money for the car service, which led to a snippy “GET IT OUT OF MY FUCKING WALLET, THEN” from my wife that was so snippy, it cut me to the quick.

The labor was what it has been every time for me: horrible. In the movies when Lex Luthor wants to torture Superman, he doesn’t punch the Man of Steel or take it up with him personally. He gets Lois Lane into some kind of contraption that’s going to kill her. That’s the only time you see the hero break down. The same thing happens in the delivery room. You’re watching your loved one get tortured and there’s nothing you can do about it. The contractions keep coming and the more she suffers, the less you can do to help. It’s painful.

At the very end of the birthing process, your wife will start screaming so hard, it hurts. I would have plugged my ears to protect them but she was squeezing my hand so ferociously, I could not pull it away. On the very last push, as my baby came out of her, she screamed and tightened her grip on my hand so hard, her nail punctured the skin on my index finger. It wasn’t a dent. It was an actual puncture wound that drew blood. As I write this it’s been three days since the incident and you can still see the mark. Come to think of it, there are other marks around it that look similar. Apparently this has happened before. Too bad I didn’t write it down or tell anyone.

I was ecstatic about seeing my new baby boy and even happier to see he was in good health, but I didn’t let my instincts erase all the hard work that had brought him here. That night in the hospital as my wife was lying back on a custom-made bed that reclined at her every whim, I was forced to sleep in a chair, still weak from the previous night’s partying. I had been coasting on six hours’ sleep but every time I started to crash, the nurse would come barging in to do some kind of test on my wife. If hospital workers weren’t pestering me, I was sent on errands to get ibuprofen or “something to drink” or a dozen other cravings. For the second night in a row I was subsisting on six hours of sleep. This probably happened with my previous kids and I’d blocked it out.

We’re back home now but things are far from normal. I am expected to be a nurse to my recovering wife, a nanny to our newborn, and a fun dad for the other kids. Sex is still totally out of the question, as is meeting my friends who are constantly calling and asking about beer. At night, I’m constantly awakened by a baby screaming and then a wife gasping in pain as it suckles on her aching nipples.

Evolution wants me to forget all this and look with only fond memories at my boy when he’s two. This is why I feel compelled to create this time capsule and document what really happens. This is the truth—bold and new with absolutely nothing stretched. It ain’t as easy as you remember.




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