Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


Photo From "Meet The Fockers" (2004)
If you've never found yourself requiring the services of one, and have no clue why one might have come in handy during the birth of your child, you may be one of those guys who has no clue what a Doula is. But, how do you know what you need if you don't know what's out there?

By definition, a Doula is "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth (source: www.Merriam-Webster.com)." 

In other words, it’s a woman your wife pays to show up to the hospital to be at her side during the delivery of your child because she thinks you're going to be a total f--k up and can use all the back-up she can get. (Actually, she's there to offer encouragement, guidance, assistance, and reassurance, but seeing as all this is still for your wife, how far off can I be)? And, this is great and all, but Dads need help to. Sure, we're not the ones screaming in excruciating pain, or begging for an Epidural (even though we clearly stated we didn't want one), but don't dads deserve some back-up too? I mean, if moms can hire a Doula, can't Dads hire a “Dudela?”

Well, one man thought they should (even if he suggested it jokingly). Enter "John", a man who has gained some notoriety for a satirical job posting on UrbanBaby.com that many think may actually be a great idea. Imagine, a Doula for Dads; a dude to handle all the ins and outs that no man could ever properly handle on his own (I'm being sarcastic) once he's locked inside that delivery room with an angry pregnant woman who complains bitterly about the predicament he has put her in?

Who wouldn't pay for that? Who wouldn't pay for a guy to "craft" your birth announcement (as if your wife didn't have that prepared months in advance), or handle all your calls, texts and tweets? Who wouldn't need a guy to make sure he didn't run out of battery power to his phone, or videocam, or his wife's laptop as she was watching "Troop Beverly Hills?" (Actually, after watching it on repeat for 6 hours, I was praying that battery would die). Who wouldn't want a guy to keep him updated on all his favorite sports scores? (Well, I'll give him that one). Sure, it's a great idea, but is it necessary? Well, maybe with a few improvements...

If you ask me, there are many instances during the birthing process where a "Dudela" would come in handy, but I may be a bit more practical than our good friend John. 

For starters, I want a guy who's on call to pick us up at the house WHENEVER my wife is ready to go. And, I don't care how many time she goes in to false labour. If she's got indigestion, for what I'm paying you, you better be at my front door. When we get to the hospital, I want you to sit in with the five different intake nurses who are going to ask the same personal questions, again and again, and I want you to know both mine and my wife's answers off by heart... and our Health Card numbers too. I want you to be the guy who has to get up 100 times to go and ask the nurses station when we can expect to get a room, and hold your tongue each and every time my pregnant wife bitches you out. And once we get a room, I want you to be the guy who goes in to the next delivery room to steal an extra chair so I have something to put my feet up on- stopping of course on your way back to get my wife some ice chips. 

Once we settle in, I want you to rub my wife's swollen feet, 'cuz, let's face it, that's the kind of shit I'm really paying you for. I want you to hold her other hand (the stronger one) while she's getting the Epidural. I want you to "monitor" the monitor while we both sleep so nothing slips out unannounced. I want you to go on coffee runs for me in the middle of the night (hopefully you won't get lost in the bowels of the adjoining hospital and not be able to find YOUR way out for an hour - that sucked). 

As well, I want YOU to be the one who has to tell my wife that she can't give birth yet, even though she's fully dilated, because her mom needs to take a shower at the gym and put on her "face" before she can make it down. I want you to hold my wife's tree trunk, err leg, in the air for what seems like an hour as she prepares to bare down and push my child in to the world. I want you to yell at my mother-in-law and tell her, time and again, that we don't want her to get any "money" shots... and, when it's over, I want you to inspect the "film." 

After the baby is born, I want you to rush over to the table and tell me it really is a girl, so I know nobody was f--king with me. I want YOU to ask my mother-in-law to leave the room (good luck) so my wife and I can have a private moment (so I can tell her how great she did). I'll handle all the birthing announcements, texts, tweets, etc., as your gifts will be better put to use by holding my wife's hand as she expels the afterbirth (no, I won't pay extra to have your shoes cleaned), and helping her in to a wheel chair so we can be moved to a private room (as if). You'll, of course, be staying behind to collect all the bags and bring them upstairs, as I'll be holding both my wife's hand… and a baby.

Come to think of it, I may not require the services of a "Dudela" after all...  Paying someone to do all the work for me in the delivery room would defeat the purpose. I loved being a dad in the delivery room. It's probably the best day of my life, to date.  But, if you don’t mind, I can always use someone to run down to the gift shop to buy a teddy bear? 

Now, this doesn't mean I have anything against Doulas (see description above)...I mean, once you're in a room with your wife and your mother-in-law, what's another woman to boss you around?   

It's a personal choice, really.

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