Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Hi, dad, I'm pregnant"

HINGS you don't want to tell you father #489: "Hi, dad, I'm pregnant". But imagine if you're a boy.

This is the phone call American man Thomas Beatie would allegedly have had to make, should his dad still be wandering the planet.

Beatie told the world last week that he's carrying a child in his multi-gender belly, news that excited some, and brought a little bit of sick into the mouths of many.

For those non-scientists out there, men don't usually carry or give birth to infants.

Most often, small humans fall out of women.

Yes, men are occasionally part of the process, but only in the most cursory way.

We bump into our partners to begin the process, become terrified and call for the gas during the birth, cause as much anxiety as possible during the child-rearing years through poor discipline and decision-making, then spend our latter days dreading phone calls such as listed above.

Not that any decent father would spurn a child that came up with #489.

I'd be straight down the pub with my mates, shouting the bar and slapping my boy on the back.

"Meet my son, Tom, he's well up the duff.''

My beer-swilling mates would come waddling over, their ale-distended bellies forcing their shirt buttons to work extraordinarily hard.

"This is Steve, he's having twins,'' I'd joke, pointing to his beer baby.

"Does your back hurt, young Tom,'' they'd all sympathise, resting a glass on the handy ledges of their beer-by bumps and rubbing vigorously at their varicose veins.

"Lucky your footy team wears vertical stripes, big fella - you'd look huge in horizontals.''

The conversation would turn to the common complaints of pregnancy/excessive beer drinking: fluid retention about the ankles, the far-too regular need to release fluid, cravings for pizza and the difficulty in finding a decent place to shop for men's maternity gear.

Many alert readers are less than convinced that Beatie is genuinely "with child'', preferring to believe he's simply poking his gut out in a pregnancy hoax. If so, he's not bad - looking far more convincing than, say, Nicole Kidman.

In his defence, Beatie claims to have been born a woman named Tracy Lagondino and had "reassignment surgery'' to appear as a man outwardly.

Inwardly, however, it seems he's all chick.

He's a little bit like the groper fish keen snorklers chase around Clovelly Beach - the big blue one is a fella and the green groper are females.

But, Beatie-like, when Bluey keels over, the biggest female changes colour and turns into abloke.
To be frank, Tom's claimed visit to the labour ward is a little unsettling.

Apart from the equipment issues, women just seem better suited to the baby-manufacturing business.

They also seem better equipped for the swimming pool, if the results at the Olympics qualifying meet in Sydney last week are anything to go by.

The amazing efforts and world records were tainted only by those ridiculous claims that the swimsuits our Beijing-bound athletes are wearing give them an unfair advantage.

The world record line - total swimsuit-free - has copped a hammering, with the result that some are saying the hi-tech gear should be banned.

In fact, some Americans have asserted that the new suits are so dodgy you can simply throw them in the pool without a body inside them and they will glide up and down at pace.

As with Tom Beatie, it's difficult to work out where the truth lies.

At every swim meet there are discussions about whether the water is `"soft'' or if it's a "fast pool''.

The Sydney Olympic pool was described as so fast it was like swimming downstream.

Meanwhile, the genius that is the Underbelly series continues, despite legal orders that it not be shown in Melbourne, where much of the shootin'/shaggin' festival took place.

Damian Walshe-Howling has become my new favourite, playing alleged hitman Andrew ``Benji'' Veniamin with an enigmatic brilliance.

As a favour to those who can't watch this coming Wednesday's episode, I have done a brief highlight count for you.

There are 62 bullets fired, 11 sightings of either Walshe-Howling's or Marcus Graham's naked backsides, and 82 unclothed breasts.

I can't be sure whether they belong to 41 women or if some have a couple of goes - one scene was very difficult to do the maths, no matter how effectively I hit the pause button.

All you need to know is that, unlike Tom Beatie, they were real women.

Tony Squires is heard on Vega 95.3FM on weekday mornings.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dad delivers baby in front seat of car

By Patrick Tepoorten

Six pound, thirteen ounce Taylor Marie Freundschuh was born sometime just before 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, in the front seat of a Toyota Highlander on County Road 22 somewhere near Wyoming.

Taylor’s father Tony, 24, of Lindstrom, didn’t quite believe it at first when mom Renee, 22, said she had to push. But when he looked over he saw the crown of Taylor’s head emerging and knew they weren’t going to make it to Fairview Regional Medical Center, just a few miles away.It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. Renee told Tony Tuesday morning she was feeling some contractions, but they were mild and she sent the expectant dad off to work like usual. Even when she called later that morning to say maybe they should get to the hospital, things still felt pretty casual.Just before leaving home though, Renee was hit with a whopper contraction and she said “call 911.” But it immediately subsided and she changed her mind, and said “No, hang up.”

Not 10 miles later Tony, who, coincidentally, makes deliveries as part of his job too, first saw his daughter’s head. He was still driving. “It didn’t seem like it should be a head,” he said in a Tuesday afternoon interview at Fairview.He immediately pulled over and called 911, and though he did receive some advice from the dispatcher, Taylor was born before any help could arrive on the scene. Tony was concerned at first because Taylor wasn’t crying, but a few light taps on the chest and she made her audio debut.Renee said, “It’s a girl,” as Tony plopped brand new Taylor on mom’s stomach and went to flag down cars. When a passerby stopped to help, Tony remembered thinking “Thank God, it’s a woman.”

The Freundschuh's Toyota Highlander has already been dubbed the "birth mobile."
The good Samaritan, who Tony did not get a chance to identify, made sure Renee held Taylor close and told Tony to shut the door to keep the heat in the car. Soon after an officer arrived and cleared nasal passages, and an ambulance wasn’t far behind.Mom and baby, wrapped in dad’s brand new sweatshirt were transported to the hospital via ambulance while dad followed in the Highlander, which has already been dubbed the “birth mobile.”Aside from the unusual circumstances of Taylor’s arrival, everything else happened as planned. Taylor basked under a warming lamp (she was a little chilly from the experience), mom was treated typically post birth, and dad spent his time going back and forth between Taylor in the nursery and Renee, already in a birthing center bed. New grandfather Mark Freundschuh sat in the lobby fielding calls from anxious family and trying to figure out how to send pictures with his cell phone, and new grandmother Julie Freundschuh watched her new baby granddaughter through the nursery window.

At one point a nurse emerged from the nursery and told Mark of Tony, “He did a good job,” and Mark noted that the extraordinary circumstances of Taylor’s birth was “payback” for the grief Tony put his parents through during his own birth.A little later, and almost as an afterthought, it was recalled that Tony had recurring dreams throughout the pregnancy, in which he was forced to deliver his own baby, which would be a girl (the couple was not aware of the baby’s gender). Except for the part of the dream in which the umbilical cord turns out to be a piece of licorice, the reality almost perfectly mirrored the dream.By 3 p.m. Taylor was happily sleeping off the day’s events in mom’s arms, and dad’s adrenaline levels were back to normal. “I can’t believe she’s here,” said Renee of her first child.Given the circumstances, it begs the question: How could your next birth top this one?, and indeed the question was asked of the young couple by nurses and family alike.“I don’t know,” said Renee. “Maybe we’ll go sky-diving or something.”

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dads-to-be don't abstain during pregnancy

Published: March 21, 2008 at 3:37 PM

SEATTLE, March 21 (UPI) -- While many moms-to-be abstain from tobacco, marijuana and alcohol during pregnancy, dads-to-be don't get the message at all, a U.S. researcher says.

Lead authors Jennifer Bailey and Karl Hill of the University of Washington say that men's levels of binge drinking, daily smoking and marijuana use remains fairly stable before, during and after pregnancy.

The study, published in the journal Birth Issues in Perinatal Care, also found 77 percent of women cigarette smokers and 50 percent of the women who smoked marijuana used those substances at some time during pregnancy, while 38 percent of women cigarette smokers and 24 percent of marijuana users reported using those substances throughout their pregnancies.

"The months after childbirth are critical for intervening with mothers," Bailey said in a statement. "For example, many already have done the hard work of quitting smoking. We should support that effort so that they can continue as nonsmokers, however, we know if dad is smoking or drinking it is more likely that mom will resume smoking or drinking."

Data for the study came from the Seattle Social Development Project, which is tracking 808 Seattle children into adulthood.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Picking the Perfect Baby Name

Picking a baby boy name or a baby girl name can be an almost impossible task. For some prospective parents, it’s an emotional and logistical nightmare. You want to honor your great Uncle Dilbert but still protect your kid from years of playground torment. Your husband wants a name that evokes his Greek heritage (think: Anastasius), while you’re finding inspiration in your passion for French pastry (maybe Aveline).

How do you pick the right name, the one that perfectly resonates with you and your husband? Here are four straightforward tips to making the process a little less agonizing.

#1 Go with tradition.

There are two traditionalist strategies for naming your baby: check your family tree or consult your religious heritage. A family name, even one that is modernized to fit your sense of style, can lend a sense of continuity.

A name inspired by your heritage can offer significance, too. In Buddhist tradition, good fortune comes to a baby whose initials are determined by an astrological horoscope on the day he or she is born. In Jewish tradition, a baby is named for a beloved, departed relative, whose positive qualities will hopefully be incarnated in his or her namesake.

#2 And introducing…

What kind of first (and lasting) impression do you want your child’s name to make? From the bullies on the playground to the pressures of the boardroom, your child’s name must carry him or her through life. Things to consider include:

  • Nicknames. Even if you’re sure you don’t want a shorter moniker, little Joaquin might still become Quinny to his friends and teachers.
  • Initials. Perhaps Urusala Gwenyth is your first choice, but with your last name of Horton, her initials will spell out “UGH”.
  • Popularity. Some folks just want the name they want—and they don’t care that little Emily will be the third in her kindergarten class. If you’d rather avoid that, though, then check the Social Security Administration’s annual list of most popular names. (Hint: Emily, along with Jacob, Madison, Michael, Emma and Andrew have topped the list for last five years.)

#3 Take a step back.

Have you and your husband been debating—some might say fighting—for weeks or months? If so, it’s safe to say that you need to take a break. Stick your dog-eared lists into a drawer and focus on enjoying the rest of pregnancy. Rest assured: When your little miracle arrives, you’ll find the inspiration you need. Suddenly the choice between Simon and Gideon will seem ridiculous, because your son is definitely the former—or neither. And you’ll call him Justin, which as it turns out, is the perfect name for him.

#4 Keep it under wraps.

If you’ve managed to pick the perfect name before your baby’s birth, congratulations! Some couples chose to keep the name a secret because of superstition or the surprise factor. If you feel tempted to blab, however, think long and hard about the ramifications. What if your mom, dad, sister, colleague or great Aunt Bertha gives you that look? Or worse, the full court press to change your mind? Can you withstand the pressure? If the answer is maybe not, then mums the word!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Finally - A Pregnancy and Parenting Site for Expectant Fathers, New Dads and Single Parents

A new generation of dads wants to learn how to raise their babies, and they're using Web 2.0 to do it. These "Alterna-dads"- guys who still have messy hair and sport concert tees- want to get involved in the baby-raising game. These men are surpassing all previous cohorts of fathers and are actively seeking out pregnancy and parenting resources that can help them become the ultimate player in fatherhood. They're posting on YouTube, reading blogs, and scouring MySpace for tips on their 40-week long pregnancy journey.

For a generation of men that is equally sensitive and Internet addicted, it makes sense that Web 2.0 would replace Dr. Spock for pregnancy and parenting advice. The new tech boom coincides with a legion of soon-to-be father getting more involved in raising their babies. The reality is that it's now a world in which men talk about "their" pregnancy and consider themselves as active participants in the pregnancy process.

It is precisely this shift in fatherhood reality that inspired Nada Arnot to create in 2005.

"My husband wanted to do research when I was pregnant, but didn't find much that spoke to the GQ generation of men who were going to be dads," Nada Arnot says.

A recent re-design of has drawn tons of attention from "Alterna-dads" and "Alterna-moms," for that matter. has been expanded to also speak to the men who are now new fathers. Both expectant fathers and new dads can find a wealth of printable guy-friendly checklists, view YouTube videos and read a blog that is written by an LA-based father. Tech-savvy dads can also keep track of health issues, fashion trends, celebrity baby news and US government recalls by subscribing to an RSS Feed.

"Our dads still love the traditional articles we have for new and expectant fathers," Arnot notes, "but they are also gear-heads and are looking for additional online tools to learn about their impending fatherhood. offers them everything that they want and need to be active in pregnancy and parenthood."

About is a pregnancy and parenting site for the modern expectant fathers, hip new dads and sexy single parents. Launched in October 2005 by the Urban Lion Corporation, the recently released build of the site features a blog, RSS feeds on important baby news, YouTube clips, articles for expectant dads and a "toolbox" for new fathers with helpful tips and information.

For More Information Contact: Nada Arnot at is a premium online pregnancy and parenting resource for the modern expectant father, hip new dad and sexy single parent.