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Stepping up to the challenge of first baby

It’s tough being a baby, ugly or not. The first time they enter the world they are naked and lots of people are standing around looking at them – people wearing scrubs.
As if this wasn’t embarrassment enough. Pictures are being taken, video cameras are running and someone slaps the baby’s butt. Add to which indignity, the baby is being held upside down and backwards by his or her feet saying “Hey, who did that? Isn’t that illegal? Turn me around so I can see you!”
Of course, it’s all in baby talk, so no one understands.
I remember how crazy my first day was. One second I was curled up in the womb dreaming that I accidentally showed up at my birth with no clothes on, and then the contractions started, the water broke, and I felt just like Keanu Reeves after he took the red pill in “The Matrix.”
When the doctor grabbed my umbilical cord, I remember saying “Be careful with that. I’m kind of attached to it.”
The moment you squirt into being, life could go in any direction. But soon, the expectations mount.
It made no sense, they told me. Why would someone who spent six years in college studying journalism and English go work on a boat? Of course, I was 26 when people suggested I might want to look for some direction in life, but babies get pigeonholed too.
Maybe dad was a soldier and junior is expected to follow in the footsteps. Perhaps mom was a beauty pageant contestant. Before the baby knows it she is trying to walk in heels, wearing lash extensions and practicing the pageant wave.
Even fetuses are facing competitive pressure these days.
How about that First Baby of the Year contest?
Each December hopeful fetuses are psyching themselves up for the contest. They are kicking about in a sea of amniotic fluid as they prepare to spring from the womb when the ball drops in Times Square. In April these fetuses were mere zygotes, unable to conceive that one day they would make it to the big show.
A lot is at stake. The first baby can bring fame, fortune and various dukedoms to the family name. But what if a first baby hopeful is a Siamese twin?
Well, for one thing, sibling rivalry starts a lot earlier.
Situations like these are the reason the First Baby of the Year contest has rules.
The contest is open to expectant mothers admitted to Harrison County Hospital. That means if the baby was born while cruising at 20,000 feet in Indiana’s airspace, it doesn’t qualify for the contest.
Secondly, the mother must reside in Harrison or Crawford counties. If the mother rushes from her Volkswagen to HCH while traveling from San Francisco to Woodstock 2003, her child is not eligible for the first baby.
The contest is all in fun, and we at O’Bannon Publishing ask that babies use good sportsmanship. We don’t want a repeat of the incident in which a first baby burst from the womb wearing a T-shirt that said “The second baby is the first loser.” See, that’s just mean.