Sunday, July 25, 2010

Despair is most often the offspring of ill-preparedness – Don Williams Jr

Aside from the fact that Chuck has no idea who Don Williams Jr is or was, the above quote accurately depicts the situation that Chuck finds himself in. With a baby uncomfortably percolating in Mrs Long’s ample belly, it is now only a matter of time until the responsibility of young life is thrust upon Chuck. With that in mind, thoughts have turned to preparedness.

It was after much research and deliberation that Chuck came up with the above quote. Some others that were considered but didn’t make the cut include:

“When a love comes to an end, weaklings cry, efficient ones instantly find another love, and the wise already have one is reserve.”
-       Oscar Wilde

That one would have gone down like a lead fart if Mrs Long saw it.

“If you’re not practicing, somebody else is, somewhere, and he’ll be ready to take your job.”
-       Brooks Robinson

Fortunately Mrs Long doesn’t have a backup birth partner (well not someone who could get there within 4 hours)

“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.”
-       Thomas Sowell

Ok, so perhaps that one doesn’t fit the context.

So with little else to choose from, Chuck snagged Donny W’s words and has been making all sorts of preparations to ensure this childbirth runs as smoothly as possible.

The most pressing area of concern is getting Mrs Long through the childbirthing process. Chuck is fairly confident that the grip strengthening exercises that he has been working on over the last 5 months will hold him in good stead for Mrs Long’s grasp as the contractions take hold. However, after reflecting on the bulging forearms and bear trap like handshake Chuck realised that he may be somewhat underdone in the readiness stakes.

Many men would shrug their shoulders and play their cards where they may fall. Not Chuck. It was time for a crash course in birthing preparation.

After exhaustive research over 15 minutes, Chuck proudly stood in front of a fully packed bag and boasted to Mrs Long that he was well and truly ready for the impending birth of their child. Mrs Long’s expression shifted to one of disbelief as she instructed Chuck to unpack the contents of the bag so that she could ascertain the level of readiness.
Chuck dropped to a knee and confidently pulled out the following items:

1 pair of boardshorts
a clean set of underwear, socks and t-shirt
a crisply ironed shirt
comfortable shoes
a bottle of Gatorade and some muesli bars

Chuck stood up, placed hands on hips and awaited for Mrs Longs plaudits to roll in.

Instead, Chuck was met with stone cold silence and a look of utter disdain.

“Err Chuck, the bag is actually meant for the mother,” Mrs Long finally uttered.

Chuck was confused, “What about me?”

“When you squeeze a 4 kilo mass out of your body I’ll pack you bag, how about that?” Mrs Long retorted.

Chuck hastily stuffed the gear back into the bag and retreated towards the nearest computer in order to perform a little more comprehensive study of child birthing preparation.

Chuck did mention a couple of posts ago that Mrs Long had reached out to a few of her mother-to-be in arms and asked them what they were packing in preparation for their hospital stay. Chuck immediately switched off his head the minute he heard one woman say that she had packed bendy straws so that her partner could suitably assist her in drinking. Sure, undergoing a caesarian section may make leaning forward difficult but Chuck will be fucked if he cruising the shopping aisles looking for straws with varying ranges of motion to aid fluid consumption.

The more and more Chuck searched, the more it became apparent that people go WAY over the top when it comes to preparing for their stay in hospital. Chuck even knows of a colleague’s wife who was busy preparing a Gantt Chart to illustrate the start and finish of her project (pregnancy). That is anal-retentiveness to the power of infinity. Mrs Long wasn’t convinced of course.

Chuck admits that this forum has seen plenty of cheap shots fired in the Long Family’s obstetrician’s direction  - primarily over the cost of each consultation. However, all financial contributions were immediately justified when at the end of a visit Mrs Long asked the good doctor “what should I pack for the hospital?” The old pro leaned back in his chair, smoothed his Ermenegildo Zegna tie and looked Mrs Long squarely in the eye. “Anything you need, you just send this one to get,” he stated while gesturing at Chuck.

Chuck felt somewhat vindicated although immediately had concerns about how he would be able to ‘wet his child’s head’ if he was now on call to Mrs Long and her demand for bendy straws. In order to avoid this, Chuck decided to compromise and put together a bag full of goods that should be able to tide Mrs Long over for at least one night (so Chuck can get on the beers). The following is a list of items that has been recommended to Chuck (with Chucks comments):

Birth Plan – Chuck never really understood the whole concept of having a birth plan. This was confirmed by the good doctor early in the piece when asked about birth plans. “How many children have you had?” he asked.

“None” Chuck and Mrs Long responded.

“Well I’ve delivered thousands, so I’ll tell you how to get it out” came the confident response.

Needless to say, Chuck and Mrs Long didn’t bother with a birth plan.

Watch – the birth partner will need to time the intervals between contractions. If you get bored, it the stopwatch button as quickly as you can and see how low your time is.

Camera – you’ll want to capture the key moments. If you’re cool like Chuck, you’ll also snap off a couple of shots of the baby being squeezed out so that you can put together a PowerPoint presentation that will bring the house down at the child’s 21st birthday party.

Music – should be something that is somewhat relaxing but Chuck has tossed in a collection of early Metallica in case there is a lull in proceedings and things need to be cranked up.

Water spray – apparently you use the mist to cool you’re partner down. This would last about 1 spray to Mrs Longs face before she threatened to shove the bottle up Chucks arse.

Socks- Hell hath no fury like a women with cold feet.

Dressing gown or button up pajamas – while most women lose all sense of self awareness as they’re desperately trying to get a watermelon out of their clacker, this sense of self awareness dramatically returns the minute the baby is out and they no longer appreciate being stark naked in front of everyone. Clothes that easily allow access to the boobies are a priority.

Toiletries – see above. The minute the baby is out, women will immediately want to smell like roses and look their very best.

Underwear liners and breast pads – since the new mother will likely be leaking from both ends it is imperative that they have preventative measures in place to ease the oozing.

It’s all about common sense and making the process as easy as possible. Chuck is sure that there is a million other things that could be put into a hospital bag but isn’t half the fun making it up as you go?

(Chuck ducks to avoid the flying bag of bendy straws hurled by Mrs Long in a fury!)

1 comment:

  1. Word on the street is Chuck is using those straws!