There are a lot of choices to make when you want to have a baby. You can have a baby in a bathtub. You can have a baby in the desert. You can have a baby on a bungee jump. Some creepy people even have a baby at their house.
We have chosen the “traditional” route and have decided to have Baby (sic) at a Hospital. Notice the lack of the possessive pronoun preceding “Baby”. I learned that hospitals do not use articles or possessive pronouns when talking about babies. It’s all “Baby will sleep here. Baby will go home with you after a couple days. Baby will sound an alarm if it gets up and tries to walk out the doors.” Never “The Baby” or “Your Baby”. It is either because hospital workers are so overworked that they must ignore certain grammatical constants to save speaking time or that political correctness does not allow hospital workers to assign possession or ownership of another human.
We decided to tour both of our local baby factories before settling on a location. We toured the Small Hospital and the Mega Hospital.
At Small Hospital the lady was very friendly, but our personal one-on-one tour turned into an eight-on-one tour where a couple of other couples were invited to go along. The first other couple was cool because they didn’t talk the entire time. The second couple consisted of a 50-year-old woman, due in May, her husband, Paul Bunyan, and their two children, a boy and a girl under 4. Legends never die, and Paul Bunyan was no exception adding to his resume his ability to impregnate a 50-year-old woman. However, today the statuesque legend was obviously preoccupied with the fact that they wouldn’t let him bring his axe into the hospital so he couldn’t focus on the fact that his kids were running and screaming all over the place while our tour guide patiently explained exactly what would happen to those of us who have never had a baby before. All of us were intent on listening, but Paul obviously didn’t want to be there.
Paul finally spoke up later on in the tour when Timmy was chasing Emily around the birthing table with a speculum. The boy crashed face first into the pull-out couch and stood up with a bloody forehead when Paul asked, “So where is the free coffee again? For the husbands?”. His 50-year-old wife looked at him, incredulous, and then back to the tour guide. “Actually,” she said, “where do we go to get car seats checked?” Blood gushed from Timmy’s wound. After your 3rd kid its probably a good time to get your car seats. At first I wanted to curse at them, but I then I realized that I am in no way more qualified to fit a car seat to a giant Blue Ox.
Despite the distractions we really liked the Small Hospital, but we headed across the street for our appointment at the Mega Hospital.
At Mega Hospital we experienced a whirlwind tour of the facilities. Mega Hospital opened a couple weeks ago so we had to excuse some of their dust. Our guide quickly pointed out the features like, “Here is triage, here is where Baby gets born, here is where Baby gets to sleep, here is your emergency alarm bracelet that plays music when close to Baby that ensures it’s (your?) Baby, here is the menu and they might start up celebration dinners again but you can order a hotdog or whatever when Baby comes. Any questions?”
She was really excited to tell us all about the technology of the facility but all I noticed was a haggard staff were in search of a break and treated each patient as a burden to their iPhone time. We even saw a nurse balled up on the floor crying between two double doors because of too much work. She was not supposed to be a part of the tour. We also saw some cool dudes walking into the baby center, hats cocked, carrying a 12 pack of Bud Light into one of the delivery rooms. The alarm sounded and some blue strobes started going off. The tour lady yelled in her phone that someone was stealing a baby again!
One piece of technology the tour lady at Mega Hospital was especially excited to show us was the Big Blue Button that the husband, and only the husband, gets to push when Baby is born. It would play a song to alert the entire hospital that you are a new dad! I imagined myself lurking around the hospital, after hours of labor, giving sideways glances at the other husbands, letting them know that I was going to be the next dad and the next to push that button. But then the tour lady pressed the button!!! For a few seconds of my life, That Button was one of the few unique pleasures afforded to the modern man. But when she pressed it, the magic of the button immediately disappeared and was cheapened to a hokey gimmick. I also expected a great triumphant fanfare as my first official act of fatherhood, but was disappointed that it played a soft, barely audible, lullaby. Lame.
It was then I remembered that Small Hospital said we could bring anything to their hospital as long as it wasn’t fire. No candles or campfires (I asked). So I added a Staples Easy Button to our Baby Go Bag. When the baby is born I get to push the button and declare myself as the father! “That was Easy!” I will exclaim at the top of my lungs. I will also yell about how great the staff is at Small Hospital and thank them for realizing that you can’t replace good people with technology.
I will also yell about how wonderful my wife is to the entire hospital and how excited we are about our baby.
Expect a lot of excited yelling this August.