I’m officiating a friend’s wedding ceremony this weekend, and it’s really hard to go from writing a wedding ceremony to writing a baby blog because, in case you haven’t read the latest neuroscience-based academic journals, it utilizes two separate parts of your brain.
Fig. 1 (Below)
So instead of writing a post on an entirely different topic, I took the outline I wrote for my friend’s wedding ceremony and wrote a Baby Ceremony, which is exactly like a wedding ceremony, but instead of doing it at a wedding, you perform it as you’re giving birth. The template is below.
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WEDDING BABY CEREMONY BREAKDOWN
Processional of expectant mother to local hospital/birthing center (music/screaming optional).
Hello and welcome to one of the most beautiful, poignant days of your life during which you will probably poop in the delivery room in front of everybody while also blowing out all the blood vessels in your face. Congratulations! It will be a day filled with an unbelievable amount of tenderness and serenity and love and also (heads up) what will feel like an infinite waterfall of blood. I cannot even explain to you how much blood. But also tenderness. And a placenta. Placenderness. And joy and happiness and hope for the future, and then they’re going to hand you disposable underpants and a box of tissues, so don’t bother blow-drying your hair for photos. Thank you for coming!
A reading from What to Expect When You’re Expecting, page 362. Chapter 15, Verse 1: “I think I just lost my mucus plug, should I call my doctor?”
The Orchestra plays “Baby Mine” from the Dumbo soundtrack, while anyone who has seen the movie weeps uncontrollably.
Exchange of Vows:
I, (woman giving birth), take you (horrifically painful unborn baby), to be my biological child, my reason for constant worry, and the person for whom I may have horrifically unreasonable expectations. In the presence of our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be a loving parent, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, in very bad, and in “Please tell me you’re kidding.” I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, and to stare at you while you sleep, panicked that someday, something will happen to you. I promise to attempt to cut your fingernails, to teach you to love and care for everyone else on the planet, and (if possible) to help you pay for college.
I (horrifically-painful unborn baby) take you (woman giving birth) to be my biological mother, my everything in the entire world, my person at whom I will someday roll my eyes because you buy all your clothes at TJ Maxx and cannot figure out how to work a computer. I take you as the person from whom I will beg for candy, for money, for attention. In the presence of our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be either horrifically clingy or painfully distant, to be completely dependent for years before becoming embarrassed by all aspects of your personality, to dress in ways you find unacceptable, and never to fully appreciate anything you do in my best interest. I promise to embarrass you and be embarrassed by you, to never completely understand why you love me as much as you do, and to eventually, reluctantly, friend you on Facebook.
A reading from the BabyCenter Message Boards (Seven-Month-Old Infant sick on processed Sweet Potatoes Anyone else???) with a response from the comments section (Could be an allergy! Maybe stop with the processed foods?)
The Exchange of the Diapers:
(Mother speaks) I give you this diaper as a symbol that I will always be there to take care of you, even when it is disgusting and it is 3 in the morning and I do not feel like doing it. As I fasten it over your buttocks, I commit to your care with all my heart. I ask you to wear this diaper for at least an hour-and-a-half, after which you will inevitably soil it beyond recognition and I will throw it in the wastebasket while you scream for no reason.
(Child speaks) I give you this diaper as a symbol that I will be there to take care of you when you are old and infirm or, if I’m not there, that I will at least pay to put you in a really good place where the nurses love you and sneak you extra cookies and let you watch Jeopardy or old “Real World” marathons or whatever it is you’ll want to watch when you’re old. As I place this diaper in your hands, I remind you that eventually I may have to fasten it over your buttocks and, oh god, that’s going to be so gross for both of us, but know that I love you even when I’m bitching about having to do it.
Another reading from What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Chapter 20, Section 8: “Wait, What IS Bacterial Vaginosis?”
The Unlighting of the Unity Candle:
Mother and child take the flame and disperse it onto two smaller candles to signify that they are no longer one entity.
From “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo: You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.
Declaration of Birth:
By the power vested in me by the state of New Jersey, I now pronounce you mother and child.
You may now smother your child with kisses until he/she is old enough to physically and emotionally push you away.
Good luck with everything.
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