January 18, 2013

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 “€œsomething 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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