Babies Should NOT Be Born in Embassy Suites

(Another story from my miraculous Okie ‘Merican vacation)

Claire's Bear

Twenty-five years ago, I was sitting in a maternity “hospital” in Alexandria, Virginia, waiting for the missus to deliver our son, Eli.

I actually thought we were in an examination room, because it looked like an Embassy Suite.

I was sitting on a plush couch, talking on the phone to the insurance company, as required, when the baby doctor looked at me and said all nonchalant-like: “We’re ready to have the baby.  You want to join us?”

My immediate thoughts were:  “Are you INSANE?  This room is not sterile! Where are all the doctors and nurses in masks and gowns?  We are NOT having my baby in here. WHERE IS THE REAL HOSPITAL?”

But what I actually said was, “Uhhhh, O.K.”

About then, they opened up the foot of the missus’ bed, and out folded all sorts of awesome doctor equipment, so I momentarily stopped panicking and they were not required to dart me after all, though it was close.

A few hours later, miracle of miracles, we had a boy child, and I was totally exhausted by the ordeal.

When the doctor asked if I wanted to “cut the cord”, and he handed me a pair of surgical scissors, I closed my eyes and cut something, then had the terrifying thought that I might have cut off something WAY more important than an umbilical cord.  (Thankfully, I cut the umbilical and only the umbilical cord.)

New Baby Girl!

Fast forward.  It’s June 23, 2014. My niece, Jenny-Poo, a Vet Tech and Super Woman to the Nth degree, is in exactly the same kind of “Embassy Suites Maternity Hospital” to have her third baby girl, and my latest grand-niece!

I look around the jam-packed room and see maybe a dozen people casually hanging out – relatives, in-laws, friends, and, I sincerely hope, at least a couple of medical people.   But you cannot tell, because no one is wearing a mask.  This makes me increasingly nervous because I am a guy.

Meanwhile, all the womenfolk in the room are not worried, at all, because they are of the female persuasion.  They are engaging in small talk about epidurals and C-sections, which is why the men folk are increasingly green around the gills.

The older, more competitive women are actually playing Maternity Liars Poker.  “With Floreen, our first child, or was it Bubba, I went into labor during the Nixon Administration and that child, who weighed 17 pounds, 9 ounces, was not born until when one of the Bushes was president.”

Now, I can cut these women some slack because they are mothers — people who have done biological things that men not only cannot do, but which men would never ever do, even if it meant the world would end and there would be no more Super Bowls.

What I cannot forgive is that there is not a single CLEARLY MARKED professional medical person anywhere in the vicinity who realizes that my niece is about to have a baby, some three weeks before scheduled splashdown.  I am so concerned that I’m about to commandeer the P.A. system and shout:

“EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!  There is a baby inside my niece, and I want her out of there right now!  So, for the love of all that is holy, could somebody please gown up and start boiling water or something?”

Now, as anyone who has ever read this blog will know, I am a highly trained P.R. professional and world-class worrier.

What I want right now, more than anything in the world, is for my niece to be beamed up to a 23rd Century maternity ward created by advanced life forms and staffed by people I trust, like John Wayne, Marcus Welby, and the entire cast from M*A*S*H.

But what happens, finally, is that a doctor-looking woman walks in and gives the female equivalent of the “high sign”.  All non-essential personnel immediately vacate the room, especially the men, who do not want to see, or even think about, what is happening.

Even though Hawkeye Pierce has yet to show up, and the room still looks like an Embassy Suite, I find that I am somehow, miraculously at peace.

This is because a) my niece is a Super Woman and, b) her mother is in the room, and there is not a more powerful force in the whole entire universe than my sister, when one of her cubs is in need.

Soon, the woman-in-law I am standing next to in the hall asks, “Was that a baby crying?”  And, being a man, I am like, “what?”

Then my teary-eyed big sister opens the door, hand on her heart and smiling, because our family has just grown by one.

Claire Bear just born

 Claire Bear 


4 Responses to “Babies Should NOT Be Born in Embassy Suites”

  1. Lynn Miller says:

    You always seem so calm in a crisis. Little did we know inside your head was exploding.

    Claire is precious and her bear is wonderful.

    Wish I coulda been there!

  2. hams says:

    Me too! You did good my super niece. Very, very good.

  3. J-P says:

    Isn’t my daughter beautiful?!?!?! I am so glad you got to be there!

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