Tips For Making It Through Unmedicated Labor

Tips For Making It Through Unmedicated Labor

It seems that every single person in the world is pregnant. I personally know ten women due in the next six months — ten. This does not include the legions of pregnant women I pass daily, each of us in desperate search of the miracle that is air conditioning. I don’t know what everyone was up to nine months ago, but apparently there was a giant no-pants party and the entire world was invited. Way to go, guys. Slow clap on all of your unprotected sex. Given this, I have gotten more than a few emails asking how I had an unmedicated labor and if I had any tips. I thought I’d put together a quick list to help everyone along. 1. Find your mantra. My doula asked me if I had a mantra that I would like repeated during my labor process. She suggested “I am one with the universe.” I suggested that she yell “GET OUT” toward my vagina in hopes that the baby would hear it and speed things up. In the end we agreed that perhaps a mantra wasn’t for me. However, during labor I developed one that I found in the depths of my soul and repeated endlessly for the entire duration. It spoke to me. It helped me feel ok. It was, “Kill me, kill me, please god kill me.” 2. Get creative. In the labor and delivery suite I knew I didn’t want an epidural but I asked the nurse if they had laughing gas for me to breathe. It’s more and more common in hospitals now and apparently it helps you focus on slowing...
7 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being a Man and a Dad

7 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being a Man and a Dad

When I was little boy growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, my idea of a what it took to be a man was formed by the stereotypes I watched in the movies and on TV. I wanted to be a combination of Dirty Harry, James Bond (Sean Connery only) and the Fonz. Men were brave, good at sports, made lots of money, had pretty women, disciplined their kids and could kick-ass when needed. So I set out on my plan and course to manhood, checking off each quality on that list along the way. As I went through my twenties, I felt like a real man. I was brave enough to graduate from a top Ivy League graduate school. I was running a large photo supply business, I had a pretty blonde wife with 5 kids, a membership at a prestigious country club (with a golfer of the year title under my belt), and after many years of karate, I could actually kick some butt – but only if necessary. But my list and life dramatically changed in 1996, when I was 33 years old. My wife, and mother of our 5 little children, left us permanently. After one of the longest lasting divorces in New Jersey history, I had full custody and sole responsibility for our 5 children – and was bankrupt. My heart was broken, my mind was blown and my ass was kicked. I felt unloved, lonely, confused, and overwhelmed. I desperately wanted to run away like a scared little child from what looked like a 20 year prison sentence ahead with my youngest then...
Dads Don’t Babysit, They Parent

Dads Don’t Babysit, They Parent

I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard a dad tell someone he was babysitting his own kid . “On Saturday I was babysitting Sally and Dick so my wife had time to actually take a shower this week.” Or heard someone else refer to a father caring for his own child as the babysitter. No. Just no. If you are the father or legal guardian of said child you are not babysitting.  According to the current edition of the Merriam Webster dictionary, “babysit” is a verb that means “to take care of a child while the child’s parents are away.” Therefore, it is impossible to babysit your own child. The time  fathers spends with their kids,  filling plates or wiping butts, playing legos and pretending the floor is lava, or making them sit in the corner to think about why they should not lick strangers, is actually, is in fact, called parenting. It’s all semantics though, right? Well, semantics are important. The minutia of language directs how our brains translate and store information. When a dad says he is babysitting his child he removes the permanency of parental status and his long term responsibility. When you create a person, or bring a child into your home via adoption, you are responsible for that person at least until they turn 18-years-old and are legally an adult. Babysitting has a finite amount of time associated with it. An hour, for the night, a weekend. Parenting, however, is a state of being that begins on the very first day your child is with you and ends when you die. Seriously, it’s...
5 Rules For Talking With Your ‘Tweenage’ Daughter

5 Rules For Talking With Your ‘Tweenage’ Daughter

Aaron Saufley explores the intricacies and true meanings of conversations with his ‘tweenage’ daughter. — My oldest daughter is twelve. She’s tween going on eighteen! Communicating with her has become quite a challenge. Not quite an extract-a-tooth-from-a-grumpy-hungry-great-white-shark challenge, but an extract-a-tooth-from-a-grumpy-tweenage-great-white-shark challenge. ◊♦◊ Here are five rules for communicating with her that I’ve deduced from recent conversations: Don’t. Seriously, dad. Like, go away. This is embarrassing, even if no one else is around. And, like, why are you in my room? See rule #1. Like, for real, dad. Like, can’t we do this some other time? Like, never? Prepare for the stare. You’re not going away, are you? You’re going to force me to stand here and talk to you instead of, like, using your phone like a normal person. Fine. I’ll just, like, stare at you with an expression that communicates, “What in the world is he saying? I don’t understand a word coming out of his mouth. It’s like he’s speaking, like, Russian or whatevs.” I’m hoping you’ll just stop mid-sentence, confused, and mutter something like, “You’re not listening to a word I’m saying.” You may ground me or take away my iPod or, like, cut off the Internet so I can’t text my friends. That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if you will just go away. OMG, if you must talk to me, just text me. Texting is my native language. I don’t care if you’re standing right next to me. I, like, text faster than I talk. And I don’t have to hear your old man voice. I don’t care if you have sausage fingers, just use your phone for what it was...
When We Start To Lose Our Mommy Super Powers

When We Start To Lose Our Mommy Super Powers

Today I had a very hard realization, my mommy super powers, the tools I have used to banish monsters under the bed, thwart toddlers before they painted their whole rooms with diaper cream, or prevent a child’s head from being used as a battering ram, are becoming much less powerful now that my kids are 16, 13 and 10. True, there was the time my powers didn’t alert me that my then three-year-old, third child was drawing a race track in red sharpie on the living room’s cream-colored carpet. Or that my ten-year-old son would think it was a good idea to carve the names of the Beatles on his new dresser. But even Superman and Wonder Woman have their bad days. As long as all three kids were breathing, I was in relatively good shape. A few years ago, I noticed that my speed at making snacks was being questioned. I started to hear from the peanut gallery that the routes I took in my mom-mobile to get them to their after-school activities were not always the fastest or most expedient. They had better ideas about how to do things. No problem. I just informed my loves that I am in fact a mom, not a genie or a servant,  and taught them to make their own snacks. I also reminded them that whoever was driving was in charge of the roads to take, and if they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to go to their friend’s house or team practice. Secretly, I looked into upgrading my Mommy super powers to include a faster speed option and a...