The first grandchild

May 7, 2013

Randomness. A blog by Patrick McClellan.

Mark Conieum Jr.

Just got my first grandchild, which makes me strut around a little and brings back old memories of our second born. It was like Mr and Mrs Know-it-all back then. We had already gone to all the birthing classes with our first hospital birth, where the instructor posed everything in the royal “we” form of diction. As a guy, I liked this; well, at the time thought I liked it. Like most guys, I wanted to be the hero; I carried her pillow and mine to ALL the birthing classes.

When the second one came around, we decided to get a midwife and have a go at homebirth! Midwives have “home-birthing classes” I guess one would call them. One very poignant day comes to mind. One particular class, the midwife decided to cover all of the things that could go wrong in one “let’s-just-get-this-over-with” session. And, here’s the kicker, as we are going to the class, Joan vents in a very hysterical way, “Do you realize that we are 6 months along and we have absolutely no names picked out for this child!” This, of course, had nothing to do with the topic of the day, or anything else for that matter. However, like most all don’t-know-what-they-are-doing males, this made me kick into turbo-nomenclature mode. I was looking everywhere, even road signs, for potential names.

When we arrived, the midwife started with “Braxton Hicks” (which are sort of faux contractions). I leaned over to my wife and whispered “Braxton sounds REALLY masculine, don’t you think?” Her eyebrows straight-lined and I could tell right off the bat that she was not wanting to mix baby-naming with all this disaster stuff. But I figure what could go wrong? She was on prenatal vitamins and we were Americans.

The next somewhat scary thing was that the baby could breathe in meconium (westerners pronounce this “Mark Conieum”) and aspirate (which is doctor talk for choke on poop). The miracle of God is, if all goes well, for nine months the baby never poops while in the womb! Birth instructors will never tell you this; take it from a guy that has had eight homebirths: meconium is another word for licorice-looking baby poop that doesn’t stink (if it’s your child). I turned to Joan to suggest “Mark” but she was fixed ahead.

Next, the midwife talked about Jaundice which causes Bilirubin?! Wow! Did I strike it rich or what! You conquering males out there understand the excitement of a finish line; this instructor was giving it to me rapid fire! John was a good name! But William Reuben! That’s like Anglo-Saxon-Hebrew all in one! I was starting to look for pencil and paper. [I even found out later that “Bill” was even in the bible – see Luke 16:6] Joan gave a little coo exhale as if to say, what have I done?

When Abnormal Presentations were covered, all I picked up on was “Frank Breech” which I thought could work if he abbreviated his middle name. “Franklin B. McClellan” sounded pretty snappy. And then it all fell apart. What do you do with Oxygen Depravity, or, Placenta Previa, or, Footling Breech (which was Valory’s, our fifth-born’s, favorite position)? After that it all degeneration into a bunch of Latin, and I really never much cared for Romans.

What happened? Joan named him Ben.

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