Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Miracle of Birth, pt. 1

I have been lucky enough to witness the birth of a few animals; kittens, puppies, lambs, calves, foals, piglets ... and now two human children.

Watching a foal stand up seconds after being born on shaky legs was very memorable. Our cat giving birth to two all-white kittens was magical, since it occurred on my mum's sweater and we kept them. Obviously, a predator like a cat can afford to give birth to blind and helpless offspring. The herbivores, on the other hand, had to hit the ground running, or at least wobbling.

Human babies are also rather helpless and hopeless when born. Even the cute factor doesn't really kick in for a while. My wife referred to our wee boy as an angry red potato when he was born. To be fair, after pushing him out like that she could call him whatever she wanted to. All I could think of after that was, "Ouch!"

Our first child was born by c-section, and I got to watch. It was surreal to see, and hard to even think of it as happening to my wife. They laid a surgical sheet over my wife's stomach which had a teletubby like gap in it; further removing it from reality. She was drugged up, but conscious, and kept asking for updates.... Informing someone as to what is happening to their insides is a very, very odd thing to do.

"What are they doing?"

"Um ... they've just cut you open ... can you feel that?"

"Nope, not a thing. Now what's going on?"

"They are using what looks like giant ice cream scoops to push your intestines out of the way."

"Cool, now what?"

If I could have channel surfed it would have been just like watching TV. I wonder what animals are giving birth on the other channels?

Artwork by Guy Landry

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