Friday, October 05, 2007


A few weeks ago, my darling wife acted in the Birth Play (by Karen Brody). After the last performance, the cast and family/friends gathered at Star Pizza to chow down. At that time, the organizer of the play here in Houston noted my "excellent co-parenting skills"; as a result, she has asked me to sit on a dad's panel at this Saturday's Birth Fair. Being a good husband, and of course and "excellent co-parent", I accepted this honor. And so, from 11:25 until noon, me and two other guys will sit and talk about giving birth.

Don't laugh.

Really. Stop it. Now.

Why can't a group of men sit around and talk about birth, expressing their opinions on how it should be and how the system should be different? Without reading from cue cards prepared by his significant other, or being castrated, that is.

Seriously, though; if you think a man only sits the sidelines in this, then the man you're thinking of is leaving his wife out in the cold. From spending nine months of marginal sleep (when one can't sleep, neither sleeps) to running to get a bowl when the chuck comes up. From getting that bowl of pickle gelato from the Kosher/Italian deli she heard about in Parents Magazine, to comforting her through contractions and birth pains. The man is involved. While she may curse us for making a donation and leaving her to do all the hard work (especially when the baby is crowning), a good man is there the whole time to support and encourage. And, despite where the bambino grows, it took two to get there and it takes two to go from there.

So, on Saturday I'll be talking about why we (and I emphasize we) chose to have #2 naturally. Even after a cesarean section. Even after Prudence, the triage nurse, constantly belittled us for our stupid decision.

Empathy BellyMale LactationBut, I only have one stipulation. This ain't gonna be no froufrou panel. Expect a manly belch or fart, if called for. And I may take a fifth of Jack, just to let the newbie dads know you won't have to wear a fake pregnancy belly or induce male lactation to be a part of this experience.

Can I get a boo ya for manly birth and child-rearing?

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Douglas said...

I'm just disappointed that you aren't inducing lactation. What kind of husband/father are you, anyway? I can't believe they put you on a panel to discuss birth.

Honestly, I wonder which guys do crazy stuff like that. I've never certainly met one. Are there populations/subcultures among whom this is not considered completely bizarre and unnatural. Are these guys stay at home dads trying to give their kids the best start in life or are they wannabe transvestites or is there a lot of overlap? I've never read a medical study that even touches on the subject, though perhaps I'm just sheltered in that sense.


euphrony said...

Yeah, I'm a slacker.

Actually, Mrs. E told me, when I showed her this, that she knew someone who has done this. The mom couldn't (for whatever reason) breastfeed and it was that important to them.

And, yes, there is apparently a subculture where this is not considered completely bizarre. Click on the above picture to go to a website that sells shirts for the nursing father. If it has its own fashion statement, it has its own subculture.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Er, yeah... the male lactation thing is completely new to me, too.

Love the picture you've got there -- the poor kid is looking away with an appropriately puzzled look.

Sometimes people just freak me out.

Seth Ward said...

I heard that was an urban legend!!!!!!!!


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