Sunday, April 01, 2012

One more Todd joins the world

"You're doing great.  Is there anything you need right now?" the nurse asked my wife Kara last Tuesday.

"An epidural, please," Kara replied.

“We're still waiting for your lab results to come back before we can do that.  Should be here any minute," the nurse said.

“I have ice chips!" I offered.

Kara’s request was the same thing as someone running into a fire station and yelling, "My house is on fire!  I need a fire truck!" and getting the response, “How about a Diet Coke instead?"

When your wife is in labor, they hand you a cup of ice chips and a plastic spoon to make you feel useful.  It's like when you want a toddler to feel like he helped bake a cake, so you give him a ladle and a piece of Tupperware to play drums while you do the actual cooking.

Kara did eat a couple of ice chips, but part of me can't help but wonder if she'd rather have had anesthesia instead.

Dave Barry once wrote: “Childbirth, as a strictly physical phenomenon, is comparable to driving a United Parcel truck through an inner tube.”

As the epidural continued not to materialize, we began to worry that Kara might deliver our own little UPS truck in the absence of modern medicine.  We have friends who decided on natural childbirth, delivering their children without the aid of pharmaceuticals, except perhaps for the psychotropic drugs that caused them to arrive at that decision in the first place.

The nurse left the room, leaving Kara alone with me and my ice chips.

“What can I do to help?” I asked.  I wondered if I might employ my spoon in catapulting ice chips at medical people until one of them gave my wife some anesthesia.

“Why did she leave?  I need an epidural!” Kara yelled.

I stepped into the hallway and looked left and right, seeing no one.  You’d think the maternity ward would have epidural vendors roaming the hallways like watered-down-beer vendors at a ballgame.  I began to worry that I was going to have to put down my ice chips and catch the baby myself, which would make a great story, but a terrible thing to actually happen.

A few minutes later, the nurse reappeared and said, "Can I get you anything?"

"An epidural!" Kara replied.  She had been pretty consistent on that point all along.

The nurse checked her computer and said, “Your lab results are back!  The anesthesiologist will be here in a moment.”

I'm not 100% sure what being "nine centimeters dilated" means, but apparently, if that phrase applies to you, you wouldn't mind at all if someone gave you enough drugs to incapacitate a bull moose.

Finally, a new doctor pushed a cart into the room.

“I’m the anesthesiologist,” were the sweetest words I’d ever heard, pretty much canceling out the obscenities coming from the other side of the room.

A few moments later, thankfully, they were able to give Kara some relief.  Given our family’s brief, involuntary flirtations with natural childbirth, I finally understand why so many people prefer it.  It is because they are insane.

About thirty minutes after the anesthesiologist brought Kara back from her exciting exploration of the pain scale, Zachary Mason Todd, our second son, landed headfirst in the world.

“Welcome to Planet Earth,” the nurse said.  They wrapped him up as his tiny cries filled the room.  When they handed him to Kara, her face turned to a teary smile as if the preceding ordeal had never happened.

And just like that, our little family became six pounds and thirteen ounces bigger.

You can tie an “It’s a boy!” balloon to Mike Todd’s mailbox at


  1. Congratulations on the beautiful new addition!

  2. Is this an April Fool joke?
    Seriously, great job! He's a handsome little guy.

    1. My middle child was born 4/1. When my husband called the family he told them that he wasn't joking and we were headed to the hospital :)

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Let the chaos begin! Don't worry, going from one to two is actually way easier than going from none to one!

  4. Congratulations on the newest member of your family!

  5. Congrats! He's beautiful. Best wishes to your family.

  6. LOVE this post - totally vivid! And what a wonderful result!!

  7. Thanks, dudes! I very much appreciate all the kind words. And I know that if you could change some diapers with your comments, you'd totally hook us up.

  8. New Diet Taps into Revolutionary Idea to Help Dieters Lose 23 Pounds in Only 21 Days!