Okay, sure, Labor Day isn’t about childbirth, it’s about the American Labor Movement. But we wanted to have a little fun with it anyway. And so, leading up to this Labor Day, we took six distinctly different looks at the business of being born—from “Stork Clubs,” to men suffering from postpartum depression, to regular guys delivering babies in parking lots to the end of fathers naming their kids after themselves.
After all, we’ll never work as hard as we will at being a dad.
“What It’s Like to Be a Regular Person Who Delivers a Baby”
As much as we’d all prefer our kids be born in the clean, comfortable and safe environment that is the hospital, sometimes fate has other plans—like the parking lot of a Walmart. Because when you gotta go, you gotta go. And when you gotta push… well, you better hope there’s someone around with a cool head, a warm heart, and most importantly, clean hands. We spoke to a secretary in an office bathroom, a dad on a busy highway, and yes, an off-duty cop in a Walmart parking lot—all of whom found themselves face to (tiny) face with destiny. READ MORE
The Waiting (To Be Born) Game
But if you do luck out and make it to the hospital, you’ll be joining in the long, storied history of panicky expectant fathers hanging around the delivery room. Hey, even Ricky Ricardo got in on the action:
In reality, though, man’s odyssey from the waiting room to the labor room to the delivery room over the last half century has been a bumpy one — and not always funny. Here’s how the Expectant Dad evolved from perennial punchline to pregnancy copilot.
The Baby Blues
Postpartum depression is a well-known phenomenon among women, but what’s less well-known is that dudes get it too. In fact, the condition is most likely wildly undiagnosed among men.
Sex Life, Schmex Life
Here’s what to expect after you’re expecting: A sex life in the witness protection program. At least, that’s what conventional wisdom says. But is that true? And does it depend on when you had your kid? We spoke to a new dad, a dad who’s seven years in and a dad whose kids have left the nest about what happened in the bedroom after baby.
The End of Junior
Is there a practice as passé as naming your kid after yourself? LeBron James, regrets doing it, and he’s not alone—as the data shows, the number of dads with juniors is in stiff retreat. So why the decline? And why has passing down your name traditionally been a male thing anyway? Andrew Fiouzi investigates.
Giving Birth: The Simulation
Want to feel true empathy? How about what it feels like to “shit out a mini fridge”? Well, now you can, by putting yourself through the Labour Pain Experience. That’s exactly what contributing writer Stuart Messham did, when he let a technician at the Ultrasound Baby Face in Bristol, U.K., strap electrodes to his abdomen and shock him as part of a simulated labor.
Feel his — and every child-birthing woman’s — pain, here.