I know all of you have tons of extra time on your hands with no idea how to fill it. So, let me suggest that you buzz on over to McSweeney’s, and specifically to their Daily Humor section. It’s a great place to kill some extra time, and you might just stumble upon something as helpful as the following:
By Paul William Davies
Dear Hospital Staff:
Thank you and congratulations for being on shift for the birth of our child. The following sets forth our wishes for our stay. If a medical emergency requires you to deviate from this plan, please refer to “Jamie and Jeff’s Emergency Birth Plan.” (Tab J) Please note: Jamie is RH Negative and BPA-free.
While we do not have a traditional “philosophy” of “childbirth,” we have been heavily influenced by orthodox Wholefoodism and the “(d)well baby/good design” movement. We believe strongly in the power of the female body and a long-term night nurse. We are opposed to torture/gluten. In the event you are ever unsure how to proceed today, please ask yourself, “What Would Gwyneth Do?”
We would like mood lighting, like on Virgin America.
The following people, who were with us at conception, will again be in the room with us today: Jeff’s mom; Jeff’s sister; Jeff’s sister’s friend, Melanie (plus 2); Jeff Koons.
Please provide WiFi so we can check what you say against Wikipedia and our favorite mom blogs.
Music is very important to us, as music was playing in the Mongolian yurt when we first made love.
In lieu of a traditional hospital gown, Jamie would prefer to be dressed like Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer.
Please avoid any use of the words “pulsate,” “soiled,” or “octo” in the delivery room.
Jamie would prefer no enema or shaving of pubic hair. If shaving is necessary, she would prefer something in the shape of a vuvuzela. Jeff’s pubic hair should NOT be shaved.
Jeff would like an IV.
Please generally avoid procedures that are totally unnecessary or excruciatingly painful.
Jamie would like Jeff to do the pushing whenever possible.
We have chosen a Doctor (“Mr. Cooper”) because he shares our desire for a natural, low-intervention birth. Mr. Cooper will deliver the baby via Skype from his home in Taos.
If Jamie starts to sob uncontrollably during labor, please turn off The Notebook. In the event the crying continues, please administer the following drugs to Jeff (per Mr. Cooper): Darvocet, Diamorphine, Vicodin, Medical Marijuana.
If induction is necessary, Jamie would like to try the following before Pitocin is administered: walking, stretching, flipping over, rolfing, online browsing, nipple stimulation and/or sexual intercourse.
Nipple stimulation should be done by the resident Jamie met on the tour who looks like Benjamin Bratt.
We strongly prefer a girl.
If you have not already done so, please now take a few minutes and read Early Admission: How to Deliver an Ivy League Baby!
Jeff will remain in the squatting position throughout delivery.
When the crown of the head appears, please turn down the music as Jeff will be reading aloud from Be Here Now by Ram Dass.
Please, no texting while suctioning.
Jamie would like a mirror so that she can see the horrible expression on her face if it’s a boy.
IMPORTANT: if the baby appears to be black, please immediately escort Jeff out of the room and bring in Jeremy Rayburn from the 5th Floor waiting area.
In the event of a Cesarean, please practice Western medicine.
We are interested in the following preschools: St. James, The Schoolhouse at Cedar Point, or Kidsplace. Willow Glen is ONLY a backup.
Jamie would like Jeff circumcised.
Please do not cut the cord until we are through the toddler years.
We would like the baby certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Please don’t put the baby on a scale, as we don’t want her to have the same body image issues as her fat mom.
We would like to donate the placenta to the people of the Gulf Coast.
We ask that the baby be bathed in our presence, in the delivery room, in San Pellegrino.
Per Mr. Cooper, do not feed the baby mussels.
Per Gisele Bundchen, do not give the baby a bottle (i.e. chemicals) for at least 6 months.
If the baby must be taken from the room because of a medical emergency, we would like Jeff to accompany the child. (In this scenario, Benjamin Bratt would stay with Jamie. Please maintain mood lighting and insert the CD in Jamie’s handbag labeled, WHEN JEFF LEAVES.)
We will not be vaccinating our baby. Please vaccinate all other babies on this floor.
Jeff and Jamie
My thanks to Our W Life for first alerting me to this essay. I also couldn’t resist including the link to another article at McSweeney’s: Hello Stranger On the Street, Could You Please Tell Me How to Take Care of My Baby? because it so completely captured my feelings with my first child. Funny thing I noticed—I didn’t get so much unsolicited advice with my subsequent kids. Maybe because I looked so experienced (read: careworn, exhausted, and distracted).
Image credit: I Shot The Sheriff