10 Real Life Baby Stories Funnier than Anything in ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’

photo by navets on Flickr Creative Commons

Real mommies demand a rewrite.

After all, if  What to Expect when You’re Expecting (which is more painful than childbirth to watch) can present fart jokes as funny, how much better would real funny stories be?

Watching it,  I began to wonder if the writers had ever actually been pregnant or adopted. After all, pregnancy, birth, and adoption are rich fodder for funny stories. Just ask the new mommies and daddies, or maybe Tina Fey and Amy Pohler.

Here are ten stories that are funnier (and truer!) than anything you’ll see in the movie:

“Hello, sir or madam, do you have time to take a quick political survey? NO!” Allison went into labor with her first child on Thanksgiving. Her excited family gathered to celebrate doubly – a holiday and a new baby! Every time the phone rang at the family homestead, her brother-in-law insisted on firing up the camcorder and pulling out a bottle of champagne to catch footage of the news and subsequent celebration. But every time the phone rang, it was some boring relative or other unrelated call. Boring! Out came the camcorder, back went the camcorder. Over and over. When the call finally came announcing little Ezra, the family was in bed and the camcorder put away. Figures.

Wheels up – Heels up! My colleague Nell Minow tells the story of her cousin, newly moved to Chicago and pregnant with her second child. The doctor assured her that she would not be delivering soon and it was fine for her husband to leave for a three day trip to London. As she and her toddler watched the plane take off from O’Hare, she went into labor. She called the only person she knew in Chicago, her brother-in-law, to pick up the toddler and drive her to the hospital and between contractions she called the airline to try to find someone who could get a message to her husband. Halfway across the Atlantic, he was handed a message from the captain. The airline was great — as soon as he got to Heathrow they put him on a return flight. Halfway across the Atlantic for the second time in 8 hours, he received another note from the captain, this time with a small bottle of champagne. It said, “It’s a boy.” The next time she got pregnant, he did not leave her side.

But behind the refrigerator has never been shinier. Amorisa had the nesting instinct. Bad. Before the birth of her son, she spent three hours vacuuming. With a broken vacuum. That she knew was broken. It wasn’t picking anything up. She kept doing it anyway. Hormones.

Still beats the giving a speech in underwear dream. While pregnant, Kathy was “freaked out about having to care for another human being.” She kept dreaming that she had a baby, wrapped her in a blanket, and put her in the back pocket of her jeans. She then drove home from the hospital. “The dream always ended with me (and where was my husband in any of these dreams??) getting out of the car and realizing that I had been sitting on her for the whole trip home.”

Awww. Something to include in the graduation montage. Another camcorder story. The proud new father, and husband of Alissa, pulled out the camcorder after the birth of their son to record for history words of awe and joy and wonder from the new mother. Cue sweet music and soft focus, right? Not so much. “I was mid-sob, I looked at the camera and, still sobbing, said, ‘There goes my placenta.’ So ya, glad that was all captured for future posterity.”

My love will feed your soul, just not your belly. My editor, Nancy French, adopted a baby from Ethiopia (just like J.Lo’s character in the movie!) Among other things, before the new parents could take their daughter home, they had to get the fourteen-month-old to eat. Nancy had trouble with this. She adored her little girl so much, she would sit next to her and hold her hand, trying to coax her to eat. Finally, after being completely flummoxed over being the only mom who couldn’t get her kid to eat, the orphanage worker — no doubt rolling her eyes — took her from Nancy to “wash her hands.”  When she brought her back to the new mom, she patted her hand away and motioned that they eat with their hands. Nancy had been holding her eating hand, preventing the poor child from getting any food into her mouth! (They did finally let Nancy take the girl home, probably still rolling their eyes.)

Apparently, heatstroke is a cultural construct. It was warm in China when Sue went to bring home her new daughter. She dressed the baby as one normally dresses a baby on a warm day…in America. Sue returned from a bathroom break to see her husband besieged by Chinese women, all scolding him in Chinese for not bundling the little girl up. They pulled her little sleeves down, unrolled her little pants, and buttoned up every button they could. In China, you see, you keep those little ones warm!

She’s gonna blow! When Betty was pregnant, she gained weight. A lot. 65 pounds. At five months pregnant she went to a hospital to visit a sick friend. The hospital staff wasn’t having it. Clearly she was there to deliver and needed to check in, sign paperwork, etc before entering. Betty insisted she was only halfway through pregnancy, but it still took an hour before the staff let her through to see the friend. Not exactly good for the ole self-esteem.

Details, details. Erin, living in Africa when she delivered her first child, had to bring her own sheets to the hospital. She also dutifully brought her own ice chips, forgetting there was no refrigeration to keep them. But it was when she saw a tattered butcher paper poster on the wall, listing steps to give birth, that she finally panicked. Step three spelled the word “shoulder” wrong.

Ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille! After I had my first son, via C-section, I felt so alive. Vibrant. Blissfully happy. I remember feeling gorgeous in that hospital gown, beautiful, radiant. I gleefully let family take any and all pictures of me. I was on top of the world, in a joy that knew no bounds. This was in the olden days when pictures had to be developed. When I finally saw myself, I saw a bloated, sickly looking person with an ashen pallor and crazy eyes. Yeah, morphine is powerful stuff.

Got a funny story? Tell us in the comments section!

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