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The Further Education of a Parent-to-be

March 23, 2010

On Saturday there was another class for parents-to-be, this one on Newborn care.  Most of it was about basic parenting skills – stuff like bathing the baby and changing the diaper – especially as they relate to newborns.  The beginning of the class was all about the freaky stuff you’ll see immediately upon the birth of the baby, like the white stuff that will cover the baby upon birth (called Vernix, if I recall correctly), or the fact that the baby will be born with a conehead (but will not, ostensibly, come from France), due to the flexible, not-yet-fused skull bones conforming to the shape of the birth canal.  As the class went on, we learned about the umbilical chord (and a fascinating fact about innies versus outies: it’s genetically predetermined by the body’s own dividing line between where the baby ends and the umbilical chord starts; in the pictures, there’s a phyiscal line you can see).

The upshot of all this is it put me in a state of mind that I’m just a little better prepared for the delivery room.  Dear Wife and I had already decided that I’d be cutting B.T.’s chord, but I’ll admit I’ve been squeamish about it ever since.  Seeing in some of those newborn baby pictures that the chord is a thing, and not a part of someone makes it a lot easier, mentally.  I had anticipated it looking a lot more like, well, something covered in skin (like a person) or a giant blood vessel (pulsing with blood of course), or something else horror-movie-riffic. 

And that, my friends, is your daily dose of T.M.I.

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