It's been a while since I posted a new blog, partially because I've been very busy the last six weeks and partially because I just haven't had an idea to write about. So to those of you who wrote to the Warden thinking I was dead, no I am not (even though the Warden says I do smell that way).
At the writing of this, I am sitting on the couch at my baby daughters house waiting on coffee to perk (or what ever coffee's do these days). The Warden and I decided to make a fast visit to see her before she "dominoes" with her first, sometime in later May. And while visiting her, there is a chance that we may receive a call from her next older sister that she has dominoed in our absence with her third. For those of you who may have lost count, that will make 7 grandkids under the age of 5 1/2.
Now I don't guess that qualifies me for a Nobel Peace prize or Academy Award of some kind, but it does make me an expert in birthing preparation stories! And that is the part that has amazed me over the past 5 years. Birthing has changed, the preparation for it and the father's role.
When the Warden and I first got in the "family way" the Doctor said something like this: "You're pregnant", "When contractions are 3 minutes apart, come to the hospital", "The baby comes out here." The fathers duty was to sit in the waiting room, smoke cigars and high five those who were present when the nurse announced the arrival. This was the "natural way" back in the 70's.
Back then the fatherly pre-birth bonding was limited to laying your hand on the distended stomach and feeling the baby move. Now they listen to the heartbeat, watch the baby move around on the sonogram screen and carry sonogram pictures of the "soon-to-be" in their wallets.
The new fathers are now expected to help get their wives in shape for birthing. They wear tee-shirts with "coach" written across the chest, help in breathing techniques and tell their wives when it is time to switch stretching exercises. (I bought my son-in-law a whistle to blow but the daughter said if he did blow it she'd make him eat it. She's a lot like her mother!)
During last night's exercise routine, my daughter told us what muscles each stretching position worked on. Now that's a little TMI to explain in your father's presence! Fathers do NOT need to know about "Keagles".
There is one thing though that I have noticed that has gone unchanged over the years. The new father's pride. They still walk around with chest puffed out, buttons almost popping and act as though they planned the whole thing. I hope that never changes.
There's one question though that I am too embarrassed to ask. With all the changes to the father's role, do they still make babies the same way?