« Be Cool | Main | Hooked on Similac »

What An Excellent Day For An Exorcism

We have, somewhat belatedly, finally completed our six childrearing classes. Which means we are totally ready for Ronan’s birth. (Please note: we are in no way ready for Ronan’s birth.)

Tonight’s class, baby safety, was much like the other five. A nurse led the class and read off all the things we’re supposed to do or not do, which, being expectant parents, we immediately committed to memory. These factoids will be instantly accessible when the baby is in medical distress, say choking to death. I am perfectly prepared to slap the newborn on the back five times, because four times is not enough, and six times is just plain abuse.

In fact, Terry and I have complete recall of all of the classes we’ve taken. After twelve hours of birthing class, four hours of newborn care, four hours of breastfeeding, and 90 minutes of child safety, I believe it will take four, perhaps five minutes after Ronan is born before absolute panic sets in. This totally surpasses the previous estimate, where I expected to panic as soon as his head crowns.

Actually, like all parents who can afford to give birth in a hospital, we have two days to actually deal with our panic before Ronan comes home and we’re totally on our own. The nurses will take care of everything. Then two days after that, our friends will drop by unannounced to see the baby, and at that point we’ll have to feign being in control, because we can’t freak out over coffee, it’s just not done. So, there’s four days there where we won’t have a chance or be allowed to freak out. And then we’ll start killing everyone who comes by unannounced, so Ronan will be raised by the state, and we won’t have to worry about it.

Ha! Ha! I’m kidding, except about killing unannounced visitors. Tonight’s class really gave me the confidence to perform baby Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. After reading her cue cards to us, the nurse passed out fake babies and we practiced our technique.

Everyone else got the angelic choking baby, with the content, happy face and the beautiful, open eyes. Terry and I got exorcist baby, a poor, possessed, tortured plastic soul. This baby had dysplasia, crying eyes shut tight, and its mouth frozen in a strangled cry for help. Exorcist baby also weighed about 30 pounds, while the other happy fake babies weighed about five pounds. Also, because of all the CPR gizmos in exorcist baby’s belly, he had a rock-hard, nipple-less torso straight out of 300, except that exorcist baby would have been cast aside as freakishly unworthy of being a Spartan.

Normally, when a baby is choking, you check its airway; gently place it on its stomach on a flat surface, protecting the head; wail on it five times to knock out the obstruction, and then check its airway again. If that doesn’t get your kid breathing again, you find the sternum between the nipples and press five times. If that doesn't work, press thirty times to keep the heart going while screaming for someone to call 911. Then you gently inflate the lungs twice, forming a seal with your mouth over the baby’s mouth and nose.

With exorcist baby, you have to add an additional step. If it’s a plastic doll, you have to rotate its head so it faces the right way. It felt a little weird that the first thing we did was to gently break your baby’s neck, but it was even weirder to try to do anything with a twisted head. The baby looked at you while you pounded its back and stared at the floor while you tried to find the sternum. It was disconcerting to see exorcist baby’s contorted face as you walloped his back strongly.

The nurse gave each of us a nightmare scenario to diagnose, which would have been helpful if they actually had different outcomes. Everyone had the same CPR to perform, so I’m not sure what the scenarios were supposed to do. Terry and I drew having our baby choke at the fairgrounds when grandpa fed the baby popcorn. I’m so angry with grandpa for doing that, because I had to hold exorcist baby and straighten out his twisted hips and rotate his head. I half expected fake pea soup to vomit out his mouth and cover both of us. And you try locating the sternum between the nipples when your possessed, tortured baby doesn’t even have nipples. Damn you, grandpa!

The comedy of the situation belies the importance of the lesson. If Ronan starts to choke, it’s likely that it will happen on my watch, since after Terry goes back to work I will be the primary caregiver. All kidding aside, I feel like my 20-year-old CPR courses actually prepared me for performing CPR on an infant. It hasn’t changed much since then, and I actually practiced for weeks on a working CPR dummy baby. Tonight’s course we faked actually breathing.

If the other parents in the class didn’t have CPR in high school, then they are shit-out-of-luck. I’m sure their beautiful angelic dummy babies lulled them into a false sense of security. CPR is so much more urgent when your practice dummy has a frozen look of distress and terror on its face. No matter how much CPR you perform on exorcist baby, he’ll still have hip dysplasia. That’s enough to cause expectant parents nightmares.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (2)


Technically you can't freak out over coffee because you neither drink nor make coffee.

Also, I'm pretty sure unannounced guests who are not blood related won't be a problem. People aren't completely stupid, are they?


Yes, they are. This is the opening campaign to convince people to not come to our house until they are invited.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 16, 2007 2:54 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Be Cool.

The next post in this blog is Hooked on Similac.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34