Tag Archives: childbirth

11 Ridiculous Tips to Induce Labor


Carrying a baby for 40 weeks (and being the partner of someone carrying said baby) is a tough job. But when the due date comes and goes yet baby has decided to stay put, things get a little frustrating. Now throw in two impatient parents and inferno-like summer temperatures, and you have a recipe for disaster.

We’re currently in this boat, and my wife wants this baby evicted posthaste. So we did what everyone does these days when they have a health question — we resorted to asking the Internet for help.

Have you ever looked — and I mean REALLY looked — at some of the things people do to induce labor? Well I did. And then I asked people on my Facebook page for their expert tips, theories, and old wives tale regarding how to bring about contractions. And boy, they did not disappoint. So sit back and enjoy this list of totally serious, 100% Internet approved ways to kick-start labor.

The show Fear Factor proved people will eat anything, but at least they had a chance to win some money. From castor oil to ghost peppers to mac and cheese with A1 sauce, there is no shortage of weird shit pregnant women will eat in order not to be pregnant anymore. But I draw the line at the person who suggested eating “hot bologna.” No. Just…no.

The good news is it appears walking, hiking, squats, stair-climbing, and bouncing on a yoga ball are all tried and true ways of going into labor. The bad news is partners who tell their pregnant significant others to exercise have a tendency not to be heard from ever again.

While technically a form of exercise, I gave this its own category for how many people actually suggested a pregnant woman get on a bouncy surface and jump up and down repeatedly. My uncoordinated and not-exactly-graceful wife has a hard enough time jumping on a trampoline when she isn’t top heavy thanks to pregnancy, and she nixed this idea out of the box because she had visions of becoming a YouTube sensation if something happened. Can’t say I blame her.

It’s said acupressure focuses on the body’s natural pressure points where most energy is stored to induce labor. However, this method does not account for women who hate their feet being touched. I sneaked up on my wife and tried to find the pressure points in her feet to send her into labor, but her foot ended up finding my balls. Good thing this is our last kid.


My wife is a beautiful, gorgeous pregnant woman. But her dancing? Let’s just say we took dance lessons before our wedding, and the instructor had to totally adjust his strategy when he realized MJ couldn’t find the beat in the music. So while I understand dancing is exerting physical energy which prompts the baby to come out, if the baby senses the kind of Elaine from Seinfeld “dancing” going on, he/she might be too terrified to actually emerge.

A bunch of women told me they decided to clean the house to go into labor. I’m talking a total top-to-bottom, empty the cabinets, get-on-your-hands-and-knees level scrubbing. After that, they said they went into labor within 24 hours. So I told MJ she should clean the house “better than normal.” I see now where I went wrong. Let’s just say it’s a good thing pregnant women are slower than normal, which allowed me safe escape.

This was a really popular suggestion, as many women told me stimulating the nipples induces labor, as does hooking yourself up to the breast pump for as little as 15 minutes. However, I was still smarting from the cleaning and foot rub incidents, so asking my wife for permission to get anywhere close to her very sensitive nipples was a non-starter.

The women who suggested sex were very clear that an orgasm MUST be involved to be effective. But honestly, I don’t think this one is accurate. I had an orgasm yet she’s still not in labor.

I’m not really sure how this is different from the sex suggestion.


I’m not kidding. This is a real thing people do. Put a bunch of fresh coffee grinds in a bowl, put bowl in the toilet, pour six cups of steaming hot water in there, and then sit on the toilet with a towel draped over you so no steam gets out. Desperate, confused pregnant women actually sit on a coffee shitter for 30 minutes hoping to induce labor. I can only assume this started out as a practical joke and just went on too long until some people started taking it seriously. You know, like the idea of Donald Trump for President.

This is by far my favorite. Because the surest way to make sure you give birth in a hurry is to schedule an induction and get everything ready at the hospital, only to have that stubborn little bastard break your water two hours before you’re scheduled.

So, which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

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11 Things Dads Should NEVER Say in the Delivery Room


The delivery room is a strange, scary, and spectacular place. There are mystical wonders to behold, a multitude of wires attached to your loved one getting ready to deliver, and a cacophony of beeping coming from unfamiliar machines that leave you unable to decipher good from bad. It is where miracles happen, memories are made, and life is brought forth into the world.

Unless she kills you right there in the birthing suite because you’re one of the brainless jackasses who says something irreversibly stupid at the worst possible moment.

Having talked to L&D nurses, read humorous (yet cringe-inducing) accounts of ridiculous things said inside the delivery room, and having written about a semi-related topic in the past, I thought it best to get specific. In my ongoing quest to help fathers (not just fathers but anyone who plans on being in the delivery room) improve, I think this list is important simply to keep people alive.

Everyone processes emotions differently in stressful situations, and many people (myself included) resort to attempts at humor as a defense mechanism. However, your latest pun might not be well accepted as the mother of your child is attempting to pass something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon.

I thought long and hard, consulted a few mothers in my life, and came up with this list. And I added animated GIFs so hopefully the women reading this will laugh instead of instantly try to murder their partners who undoubtedly said one or more things listed below.

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11 Stupid Things People Say to New Parents

Prior to Sam’s birth last month it’d been five years since I dealt with a newborn. Which means it had been five years since I dealt with people saying ridiculous things following the birth of a newborn.

Look, I’m not trying to be a jerk. I’m really not. It’s just that so many of the things people say are, well — dumb. And obnoxious. And oftentimes offensive. I know it’s hardly ever done intentionally, but that doesn’t change the fact that it happens. When people are unsure of what to say or how to act, they fall back on tired stereotypes and cliches. I know because I’ve been guilty of it myself, so this is a kick in the ass for me just as much as it is for you.

But for all of our sakes, it needs to stop. Together we can put an end to the madness. But first, we need to face the ugly truths so we can identify them and never mention them again.

11. “Are you getting any sleep?”
If you’re visiting the parents of a newborn, it generally means they’ve only been home from the hospital for 10-14 days. It also means there’s a 99.999999% chance you’re asking sleep-deprived zombies whether or not they’ve gotten any shuteye. And that’s just mean. It’s like asking fat people on a diet whether they’re planning to order dessert. Just as diet-starved fatties like myself crave that solitary cupcake, parents would sell a kidney for three hours of uninterrupted sleep. Unless you happen to be speaking to the mythological beings known as parents whose kids sleep through the night from Day 1. If that’s the case, don’t ask these parents anything. Just do the rest of us a favor and hit them with a shovel.

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Introducing Sam

samAll parents think their newborns are wondrous marvels and tiny little miracles. But given the fact that I watched science assist us in fertilizing an embryo, transferring it into my wife where it grew for 40 weeks — as far as I’m concerned I witnessed an honest to goodness miracle last week.

Samuel Christopher Gouveia was born on July 31 at exactly 2 p.m. His Tankness (as I’m referring to him as of late) was a whopping 9 lbs, 3 oz and 21 inches long. MJ delivered him after less than 15 minutes of pushing, and because she’s a badass she didn’t even need any stitches afterward. It was an ironically painless and uncomplicated culmination of a process that was fraught with pain, uncertainty, and heartbreak.

I don’t want to dwell on the past because other people had it tougher and I (unfortunately) know too many parents whose young kids are no longer with us. But that doesn’t change the fact that MJ and I went through a hellish time the last few years. And although neither of us admitted it at the time, we had both given up hope of completing our family. It was evident in our demeanor, the things we said, and the choices we made. Like last year when MJ needed a new car. We thought about going with a minivan because we wanted another kid, but we bought a Kia Sportage instead. Why? Because neither of us believed we’d ever really need the extra room. And even the night before Sam was born, MJ turned to me and said “Are you convinced something is wrong with the baby?” It was no use lying to her, because that is ALL I could think about and I did believe something else was going to go wrong.

But it didn’t. Sam is healthy and beautiful. And for the first time in years, I feel like I can breathe again.

Continue reading Introducing Sam

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Hey, Check Out My Wife’s Cervix!

cervixI’ve been a parent for just more than five years, and I’m about to become one for the second time. So maybe it’s because I’ve been immersed in dad groups, mom groups, and parenting in general for half a decade that I failed to see something readily apparent to those without kids — some of the stuff we talk about is simply disgusting and way too personal!

As I said, we’re about to have another baby. And since I chronicle much of my life online, everyone wants constant updates on how we’re progressing now that MJ could potentially go into labor any minute. So, like any good denizen of social media, I’ve been sharing regular updates on our progress (or lack thereof at the moment). Which means I routinely post things like the following:

“No progress since last week. MJ is still 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated.”

If you’re a parent that probably makes perfect sense and tells you exactly what you need to know. No big deal, right? But technically speaking, here’s what I really just told the world:

“So I’d like to talk for a second about the intricacies of my wife’s vaginal region. You see, what’s happening is the uterus is preparing for the baby to come out and therefore the cervix is shortening and thinning. Soon it’ll be all stretched out and REALLY thin, at which point it will begin to open. Right now we’re at 1 cm because the doctor who shoved his fingers up there told us so. But when my wife’s baby hole becomes a gaping maw of 10 cm, we’re in business.”

Explained outside the vernacular of pregnancy, it becomes quite clear very quickly that this is pretty personal stuff we’re talking about. And when I thought some more on it, I realized it happens constantly and has been occurring for some time.

Seriously, think about it for a second. After you got married, what was the first thing your old Aunt Mildred bugged you about (probably while the reception was still in progress)? “So…when are you gonna have a baaaa-by?” Sounds common enough, but what Mildred is really saying is “When are you going to penetrate your new wife’s vagina with your penis and ejaculate your sperm into her to create new life in your womb?” Yup. Mildred basically wants a timetable of your sex life and she’s demanding to know it right then and there. Yet it’s not deemed inappropriate somehow because the cultural norm is wedding then baby — so it’s open season on asking you when you next plan on making the beasts with two backs.

I’ve also listened to many women talk about the childbirth experience post-labor, and sometimes the conversations make even a guy like me blush. “How many stitches did you need?” is really code for “On a scale of good to flapping in the breeze, how mangled and destroyed did your vagina get while passing something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon?” Even breastfeeding — as wonderful as it is — falls into this category. “Are you having any troubling breastfeeding?” usually means “How bloody and chewed up are your nipples these days?”

And don’t get me started on potty training. An army of parents (myself included) talking excessively about what manner of human feces was deposited into a plastic bucket, the amount, the number of times a day it successfully occurred — and sometimes with pictures!?

Once I stopped and stepped back from the situation I realized parents often find themselves in this odd alternative dimension in which the rules of good taste and propriety cease to apply. It’s like we all collectively say “Aw fuck it!” because we’ve all been there and we understand. But to the uninitiated, we just look like raving lunatics with no sense of boundaries or good taste.

Gotta run, I think my wife’s cervix may have dilated to 2 cm. Pics to follow.

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