On “Natural Childbirth”

So we’re going for a “natural birth” at home, which essentially means we trust K.’s innate birthing abilities more than a hospital’s routine medical interventions.

Kelly, off to birth in Avalon.

My initial, uninformed, and thus reactionary attitude towards the “natural-birth” movement was to assume it was led by women of whom our doula seems the paragon example: sensitive owl-women who long for a Mists of Avalon past that never existed, who romanticize the druidic times of hard-packed dirt floors, straw beds, poultices, leeches, and, well, the occasional dead mother. Continue reading


Booze vs. Baby

Early on in the pregnancy the thought occurred to me that it would be so very good-husbandly of me to set aside for nine months my cocktail-hour whisky, my dinner red wine, my happy-hour bar beers, in solidarity with Kelly.

So one night I poured myself an especially big glass of wine (in case it was to be my last) and asked her. She looked at me in surprise, then suspicion, then dismissed the thought.

“No need for both of us to suffer,” she said.

So I don’t, thank god.

Luckily for both of us, her abstention hasn’t fazed her. She misses wine, true, but quitting booze hasn’t been half as difficult as curtailing her caffeine consumption.  Still, for awhile there, I was struck by guilt, and not so much for pouring myself scotch as she pours herself milk, but for actually buying the booze. Due to tight finances and a miserly streak, I’m fairly strident about egalitarian consumerism, and I was racking up wine and the occasional bottle of tequila on our paltry bank account and Kelly was getting nothing out of it.

So I drew up a list: Booze vs. Baby.

Continue reading