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The Labor Movement:
A Fathers Guide

by Doug Powers

page one

The events of the evening of conception are relatively unimportant. Every man has his own story as to how it happened. Suffice to say the night involved liberal amounts of hops and barley, the top of the refrigerator and about a quart of strawberry preserves. The consequences of those evenings of being rocked to sleep in the arms of passion and Budweiser will last a lifetime....and never be regretted!

Every male can usually recall a point in time during his life that he officially became a "man." For some, it was being sent off to war, for others it was the first time they showered with their new Cindy Crawford mural shower curtain. For me, it was the first time the pregnancy test stick showed two lines.

My wife was excited. I was a bit in a daze (apparently still reeling mixing beer and jelly). I was not happy, not unhappy. The expression on my face was very Al Gore-ish. It's the feeling you get when standing on a frozen lake and the ice begins to crack, but you're still naive enough to think you can make it back to the shore before becoming a cryogenic experiment (Authors note to potential mothers...PLEASE give us a little warning before you shove a pee covered plastic stick in our faces!).

The pregnancy tester itself is another issue. The company that makes these should make the process more fun. It's the least they can do. Show dollar signs flying out a window over a big, stinky diaper for positive, a guy sipping champagne in his Mercedes with four hot blondes for negative. And can we lower the price a little bit, fellas? Look, we all have debts, o.k., but taking advantage of my lack of proximity to contraceptives is just plain un-American!

With two lines staring me in the face, I knew immediately of my impending fate. Lamaze classes, expert advise from people who don't even have kids, cutting the cord, getting crotch-rammed by an out of control two year old, school clothes, being called "dude" by my own child, graduation....on and on. It's just amazing, life can come down to staring at two lines (final note for the pregnancy tester company, can you make a third line to tell if the kid will be "college material" or not? I need to start saving up after having to buy your product every month!).

From what I'm told, the pregnancy for my wife and me proceeded as normally as possible. What I was now fearing was the delivery. Could I handle it? Would it turn into a Lucy episode? What if I cut the wrong cord? The possibilities for me to practice my clumsiness were endless. First, I just had to get my wife through the nine month process. Nine months! Why must life always come down to nine's? Nine innings per game, nine players per side, nine holes and nine planets. After spending at least ninety-nine days at the ice cream store, we were nearing the finish line.

My time was now consumed waiting for the water to break. I wasn't sure how much to expect. Was it a little water, like spilling a thimble? Or should I traverse the neighborhood collecting two of each animal for the impending tsunami? Secondly, I was concerned with the term "water break". How is it possible to break water? It's like saying "break air". Was I about to experience a new law of physics within my own family? Einstein's Theory of Relatives?

So long had I been dwelling on this breaking water issue that I barely noticed when my wife told me her water broke. "Hey, that wasn't all bad" I happily said as my wife was sitting in a reflecting pool which was once our couch. She calmly recommended that we get to the hospital.

Driving with a woman in labor in the car is a very strange sensation....VERY strange. Like seeing a dog typing or a rocket on the launch pad upside down. My wife was not in an inordinate amount of discomfort yet, but I was. I just wanted to get her to the hospital so the "professionals" could take over. Or so I thought.

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Copyright © 1998 Doug Powers.
All rights reserved.



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Sacred Hearts

by John Gill


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Interviews:

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A Single Father by Choice



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