Saturday, February 05, 2011

Cutting the Umbilical Cord

Hey look, that's me in the picture cutting the umbilical cord after my son Shepherd was born a couple days ago. Welcome Shepherd!

As soon as my wife had her Cesarean section and they were mid-surgery (having taken our son out and preparing to stitch her back up again) they offered me a chance to jump into the action and cut the umbilical cord.

This practice of offering the father the chance to cut the cord seems incredibly strange to me. There was definitely a part of me that had two competing thoughts at the time...the first was, "you guys are the experts, and I don't anticipate any personal satisfaction from this practice, you can go ahead." The second thought I had was..."why not? I clearly can't mess up if they offering me the chance to do this, and I'd hate to regret turning down what could be a magical experience later." I cut the cord, and was it magical? was like using scissors to cut through a gooey rubber tube, and the whole birthing situation is a huge miracle with guts and goo, and I felt like I was dealing more with the goo part then the miracle at that point.

I'm not sure where this practice originated of letting the dad jump in on this portion of the birthing experience, but it's mighty strange. Obviously, there's not much you can mess up with in this practice, and the cord is already clamped when you cut.

At the same time the symbolism behind the auction of "cutting the cord" and severing the intimate care system between the mother and the child is definitely goofy, because it's not like after that moment the mother is abandoned and the child free, because the mother's role is vitally important that day, that week, and the rest of eternity. The kid just has there own way to process blood and oxygen that they'll be using for the first time and symbolizing that with a pair of scissors is an interesting modern tradition to the birthing experience.

But mom and baby are healthy and at home, and the umbilical cord...well, it's doing it's thing too.


mom said...

Where's your gloves??? Thanks for realizing that the kids are always attached to the mom...Love you guys bunches

RC said...

@ mom, you're right...they never gave me gloves? They covered my shoes, but apparently I was protected by the magic blue sterile curtain?

That is kind of wierd isn't it? They didn't even ask if I had washed my hands!

Also...of course we're always attached to our moms!

Loren Eaton said...

Many congrats, sir! And here's to you getting some decent sleep in the future. Methinks you will need it.