Bond. Daddy Bond.
I spent the full nine months of pregnancy bonding with my baby. For her cerebral stimulation, I played Mozart and read aloud from Ralph Waldo Emerson. I regaled her with stories of a family steeped in history (no sense disillusioning her too early). I named her, nicknamed her, and shared girl talk with her. We bonded in every aspect imaginable.
Walt, my husband, used this prenatal time to bond as well. However, his aim was a bit misguided. During my regular Wednesday afternoon OB exams, he bonded with my doctor. They became fast friends and before I knew it my Wednesday appointments were changed until Thursday, so they could squeeze in 18 holes of golf together. Unfortunately, our medical bills did not reflect their closeness.
While attending our sonogram appointment, Walt met a new playmate -- the sonogram technician. He explained the procedure and equipment in highly complex terms. Walt's eyes brightened in discovering their shared interest in technical gadgetry. Later, when we shared the pictures with family and friends, Walt beamed with pride as he explained how the ultrasonic frequencies and 220v power resulted in a picture of the... oh yeah... baby.
Imagine Walt's elation when he bumped into the Lamaze instructor's husband at the local pool team tryouts. I brought my sister to subsequent Lamaze classes as my alternate coach. Walt's attentions lie in learning to "put a little English" on his pool shot instead of aiding me in the breathing exercises for labor. Minnesota Fats would be proud.
A race to the hospital, for what turned out to be false labor, presented new friend-finding opportunities for Walt. As I lay, strapped down to a contraction monitor, Walt made nice with the doctor on call. As luck would have it, they belonged to the same fraternity at their college alma mater. Two grown men performing the sacred Water Buffalo handshake for onlookers took center stage to my sporadic and dwindling contractions. From that point on, whenever I felt the slightest twinge, Walt insisted we run to the hospital "just to be sure."
When the big day arrived, Walt eagerly shuffled me into the car and sped toward the hospital. We arrived in record time. The labor room came equipped with a TV and premium cable channels. It made no difference to me. The contractions closed in at two minutes apart and I demanded drugs. The anesthesiologist arrived just in time--just in time to add his personal movie review to the Steve Martin flick that had engrossed my husband.
The "Siskel and Ebert" of the delivery floor had completely forgotten about the project at hand -- ME! If it hadn't been for the Charge Nurse, my baby might have popped out onto the floor. Consequently, it was a drug-free delivery.
I suppose men bond in their own way -- and with their own kind. Walt is close to our baby girl now that she is here. He
religiously takes her to the weekly "Daddy and Me" playgroup meetings. I understand they have a pool table there.