The Onion takes on homebirth midwifery

The Onion, a satirical newspaper, offers its take on homebirth midwives. Everything from the title, Upon Reflection, I May Have Exaggerated My Skills In Midwifery is spot on:

Okay, Helen, you’re doing great. Just remember to breathe. In… out. In… out. Fantastic. Just listen to the ocean-waves CD and try to relax. I think I can see the baby. Yeah, you’re crowning, and it looks—oh, holy Christ! It’s covered in blood! It’s supposed to be like that? I mean, of course it’s supposed to be like that. Of course. I remember that episode of ER. It was just like that.

“Expert”? I’m sorry. Let me clarify. I’ve wanted to try my hand at delivering a baby for a long time, and I thought it was time to give it a shot. Midwifery has been an interest of mine for months now, but the best way to learn is to roll up your sleeves and just do it. My advertisement said “expert”? I probably meant to say “enthusiast.” They both start with an “e.” It’s an easy mistake.

It looks like you’re fully dilated now. Well, I think that’s what’s happening. I know! I’ll call my sister and ask. She was going to school to be an obstetrician, but dropped out. Now she manages a Denny’s…

What? I don’t think I said that I’ve delivered hundreds of babies. You probably just misheard me. Are you sure? Well, then I meant I wanted to deliver hundreds of babies. And who wouldn’t? Childbirth is a miraculous thing. We’re ushering a new life into the world, the two of us, together.

Hm, it’s too bad I forgot to bring that stuff I printed out from the Internet…

Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s no reason to panic. I know exactly what I’m doing. I looked through a book called All Creatures Great And Small. They delivered a calf in it. And I got a government pamphlet from Pueblo, Colorado. It was in Spanish, but I got the general feel…

Okay, I got a feeling that the rough stuff is almost over. The head is nearly out. Just one more squeeze and… Presto! …

Okay, okay. I’ll have to wipe some stuff off here first. Do you have a towel around here? There, thanks. Oh, girl. Definitely, this is a girl. We’re out of the woods. And you were worried!

Oh, sweet mother! There’s something else coming out. It’s—oh… my… God! It’s twins, but this one is… deformed. It doesn’t have eyes or arms or legs. It’s just a big sack of bloody goo. Let me check something here. No, it doesn’t seem to have a pulse. Just the umbilical cord. The other end goes to your baby. Pla-what? Placenta? Really?

Well, I’ll be. Learn from your mistakes, I always say.

Let me tie off your umbilical cord… and… okay, we’re good to go. You’ll want to spend some time with your darling little girl, so I’ll just mosey along, just as soon as I get my check.

Oh, and keep in mind that, if you ever need a nanny, I’m the best there is.

This piece first appeared on Homebirth Debate in June 2008.

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