The Science Fiction of Childbirth

Childbirth is a beautiful, awe-inspiring, and if we’re completely honest – shocking, event. Fortunately, i’ve watched enough sci fi to prepare me for both monumental births in my life. However, although sci-fi offers some impressive, mind-bending stories… none of those stories compare to human birth. A small, shrimp-like creature is implanted inside a woman’s belly, only to create it’s own life support system that allows it to grow into a duplicate human being… and after an exact amount of time, the life support system morphs into an escape pod which is ejected into another world. Star Trek? No… Selah Trek. And not matter how many times you’ve witnessed child birth, I am convinced that no Oscar winning sci-fi makeup artist could ever match ALL the details involved in the creation of a new life… not even the guy from Alien.
And then there’s the common sci-fi theme of super human/mutant abilities. I thought I had seen it all between mutant strength, radioactive spider strength and “science experiments gone wrong” strength… but then I witnessed a new level… labor strength. You know that Snickers commercial, “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry”? I’d like to propose “You’re not yourself when you’re in labor”, and a guy shows up offering a woman who’s in the final stages of labor a Snickers bar… only to see his body blasted out of the room like a rag doll by her supersonic vocal powers yelling “GET OUT!”. According to the “Husband’s Unwitting Guide to Labor Help”, there’s a silent stage right before this stage where the mother may not connect with reality as she focuses on contraction rhythm. I seemed to have forgotten this stage, as I periodically asked the dazed questions like “So… what do you wanna do when we get home?” and “Wanna finish watching that episode of the Office we had to stop because you went into labor?” Her only response was a slight moan, followed by a request for water. How rude. And then we entered the next stage…Super Sonic Black Hole. Without the aid of an epidural, and driven with sheer motherly power that could have imploded a black hole, Yarei began to push. And like a space ship that draws in too close to a black hole, only to be sucked in by an unknown force, I was sucked into the labor zone by two arms that suddenly clung to my neck and yanked me down toward her while releasing a sonic boom of pain directly into my ear. Now, I had read in the “Unwitting” manual that you should speak encouraging words, focus on breathing, be kind, etc… but nowhere does it mention to “brace your neck and upper body for a sudden throttling motion that could snap your spine.” Suddenly, all those birthing scenes from romance comedies where the woman’s voice drops a couple octaves and the husband passes out take on a whole new meaning. But passing out was not an option for this space ship… oh no. Together with Yarei, I braced my neck, covered my ears, and engaged our united tractor beam on that escape pod.
“We’ve got a lock on the pod!” I encouraged her.
“NNNNNNNNNNNNNGGAAAAAAA!!!” Came the reply
“My universal translator must be offline”, I thought.
“Mommy, use that yelling strength for pushing, then wait for me on the next one” said the midwife.
In an effort to help Yarei understand in her dazed condition, I translated: “Reroute all power to the engines and reverse the thrusters on the midwife’s mark!!” I yelled, forgetting I wasn’t supposed to yell.
“NNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!” came another puzzling, yet passionate response.

With a final push, we experienced a close encounter of a God kind as we witnessed the image of our Creator in our newborn child. And as the event horizon disappeared in our rear view mirror, we welcomed the second dwarf-class member of the Rivera crew.

I’m so glad I don’t watch horror movies.

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