Des Moines, IOWA—Area woman Jenelle Farquardt experienced the joy of childbirth today, using her months of instruction in natural labor and prenatal yoga for a medication-free labor and delivery. The achievement, resulting in the 9 pound, 4 ounce newborn Carla Samantha, was described by witnesses and Farquardt alike as 18 hours of pure torture.
“The first 18 at least,” said beaming new dad Ted Farquardt, who suffered mightily at bedside, helping make sleep-deprived medical decisions affecting his wife and baby, as well as helplessly watching his wife struggle, weep, and holler.
Child psychologists debate whether the experience of parenting qualifies as torture or mere heartache. What is agreed is that as the child grows and matures, she continues to inspire unimaginable joy and intense love in her parents, only to let them down in equally unimaginable ways.
The Farquardts’ resolve remained steely in the face of this inevitable, universal truth, however, according to witnesses on the scene. “We’re survivors,” said Jenelle. “We’ll get through this.”
Neonatal nurse Paulette Wilson initially praised the Farquardts’ constitutional diet for pain and heartache. But later she was seen shaking her head with the other nurses. “They have no idea,” the 52-year-old mother of two said. “My boy’s a motocross rider in Idaho. And Teresa just gave birth—no idea where the dad is.”
Whether mediocre grades in school, a succession of substandard love interests, or achieving a paltry 5th percentile of infant cranial circumference, experts and veteran parents agree that the landscape of parental pain and suffering knows no bounds. Dr. Peter Engrave, filial-suffering expert with the Stanford Pain and Parenting Institute, points to the high standards parents impose on their children: “Sports, appearance, fashion trends, consumer demands, career choice and achievement, religion, not becoming a dentist like dad—all are areas fraught with parental pain.”
Also, Dr. Engrave added, “a lot of times the kids just plain old suck.”
As for a remedy, Dr. Engrave and his colleagues recommend going back in time and reconsidering the decision to become parents.
Ted Farquardt shrugged off such assessments. “I have so much love for Carla Samantha,” he said in a statement prepared months ago for the press, “that she’ll never call me doo doo daddy or move to Australia or join a troupe of bellydancers from San Francisco or score below 30 on the ACT or crash the car into a disabled person’s wheelchair or default on cosigned student loans or become a born again Christian or [exhaustive list edited]. And if she does any of that stuff, we will just love so much harder, she’ll have to change.”
As of press time, Farquardt had not amended his statement. “Too late,” he said.
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