We are looking forward to the birth of our child and ask that the following wishes be respected during our birth process.
- We have chosen to give birth in a hospital because of the outstanding facilities it makes available to us. We would also like to deliver our baby in a hospital since we spent most of our twenties getting stoned and watching episodes of ER, and so we know that delivering a baby is the best way to cheer up an attractive but beleaguered doctor. Please make sure our doctor is handsome and “cares too much.” We considered a home birth, but we just got our hardwood floors redone.
- We also considered a birthing tub, but the mother is concerned the water won’t be warm enough. Is it too late to flood the hospital room? Or turn it into a really fun foam party? We are sorry for asking. The mother is very pregnant and would like to remind everyone her brain has turned into spaghetti…
- The birth environment is very important to us. For that reason we ask that the lights be kept dim, noise be avoided, and the door be closed for privacy. We would also like people to stay “chill” and not “bring their own s#!t” into the room with them. It’s really important we feel “cool.” Please decorate the room with Nan Goldin prints and leather beanbag chairs. We would love it if you could bring in a silk Persian rug for us to destroy. Think Chateau Marmont if it was closed for repairs. Or the set of MTV Unplugged.
- Speaking of music, we will arrive with our own. We plan on delivering our baby to the soundtrack of Pink Floyd’s The Wall while simultaneously watching The Wizard of Oz. If this kid works with us, we guarantee your minds will be blown!
- We plan on handling pain in a variety of natural ways. Please have a birthing ball and back massager available upon request. An annoying nurse with an unfunny and teasing manner on whom we can focus our anger would be a welcome addition.
- The mother would also like a punching bag, a screaming pillow, a mirror to smash, and a small handgun. The father would like a George Foreman grill, just to have.
- We ask for vaginal exams only upon request. The mother requires at least a minute or two of chitchat before cold fingers are introduced. The mother would like to remind the staff that her vagina is the absolute last thing that she wants to have touched right now. The mother can think of a thousand things that she would rather have presently poked at than her vagina. Honestly, the mother doesn’t know how the hell that baby is going to get out of there. The mother also would like to request that the handsome doctor maintain eye contact at all times during said poking.
- If induction becomes necessary, we are aware of the nonchemical methods and would like to try them in this order: breast stimulation, sexual intercourse, and cervical cream. That’s right, you heard us. If this baby isn’t coming out, we are going to start doing it and make you all watch. So, let’s get cracking.
- We will use the squatting or semi-squatting position for pushing. Preferably the mother would like to “drop it like it’s hot.”
The mother would like to push at her own pace. The father would like to add that he hopes it doesn’t “take all day.” We would like to feel our son’s head as he descends with the option to stick him back up in there if we don’t feel ready. The mother should be given the freedom to walk around during labour. Light choreography is expected.
- If drugs become necessary, we would like to go all in. We are talking epidural, helium and roofies. The mother would like to ask one last time why no one is taking seriously her request for nitrous oxide. The mother heard about women in England and Sweden and Canada being offered this at birth and apparently it works wonderfully to calm nerves and help with delivery…
- If delivery assistance is needed, we prefer “suction” over “forceps.” If episiotomy is needed, we prefer “buttonhole” over “backstitch.” If Cesarean is needed, please inform us early so we don’t have to go through the above first.
- In the event of a Cesarean, the mother would like to be conscious. The mother would also not mind if you tweaked her abs while you’re down there. The father would like to be present and totally freaked out when he accidentally looks past the curtain and sees his wife’s organs stacked next to her like laundry.
- The father would like to be involved in the “catching” of the baby and the “cutting” of the cord. At least that’s what he is saying right now. We’ll see. Please don’t cut the cord until it stops pulsing. Please immediately let the cord blood guy in with his titanium suitcase so he can put the cord blood in a vault and keep it fresh. It will help us during the robot apocalypse.
- After birth we wish to nurse immediately. Please do not introduce formula or bottles or pacifiers or water, unless those things stop this baby from crying. Why won’t he stop crying? Wait, where is everybody going?
- We prefer our stay in the hospital to be extended to the longest period our insurance will allow. We need time for our heads to catch up with our bodies. We also need to catch up on some Judge Judy. Please know we are grateful and sore and happy and scared. We will hear our baby down the hall and recognize his cry and we will realize this truly is a sci-fi miracle sent to us from G-O-D.
- That being said, if people buy gifts that aren’t on the registry the mother will lose her s#!t.
- The mother would like to take this moment to admit a few things. She thinks natural childbirth is amazing but she also likes drugs. She didn’t put baby oil on her perineum and try to stretch it because she just never felt like it. She lied when she said she completely stayed away from lunch meat. She also skipped Lamaze because sometimes she can’t stand being around other people.
That’s all. We good?
Thank you in advance for your support of our choices. We look forward to a wonderful birth. We are excited but mostly scared. Have you SEEN the mother? She is TINY! How is this going to WORK exactly? Please advise.
Amy Poehler is a comedian, as well as the creator and star of the sitcom Parks and Recreation. Got teens? Send them to Amy’s website, amysmartgirls.com.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, May 2015.