Attempts At Adulthood

How to Marry Your Baby

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)

a baby ceremony the ugly volvo brain


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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 "Anybody getting cold feet?"

“I now pronounce you…you’re both sure you want to do this?”



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!

First Reading:  

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.

Second Reading:

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.

Third Reading:

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.

Closing Words:

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.

gross baby born the ugly volvo

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If you enjoyed the post, follow me on Facebook or on Twitter or follow the blog by signing up for e-mail notifications in your sidebar and it’ll let you know when I put up new posts.  If you don’t want to do any of those things, but you’d like to meet up in the grocery store and high-five each other and then immediately run in opposite directions, awesome!  You are my kind of person.  Meet me at Trader Joe’s in five minutes.  

18 Responses to “How to Marry Your Baby”

  1. Kika Wintermute

    Oh boy, Raquel! God bless this brain of yours! You are so good! This morning I was fantasizing telling Jonathan, here at work, how I imagine that it would be like when you, him and baby appear on the Ellen DeGeneris show, because you are such a great comic/commedienne? (Did I spell it right?). I was dreaming of how much money you were going to be making because editors would be killing each other for a deal with you and also of the big, fat check that I would get from Ellen for introducing you to her. 🙂

  2. Oneinamillion

    Placenderness…. Gold! Loved reading this. Very clever and hilarious. (Apologies if I sent this twice, my iPhone is playing tricks on me.)

  3. Julie

    As I read this, I snorted with laughter so loudly that I scared my baby. Strong work!

  4. kheapingitreal

    Not sure if I managed to post my last comment or not but it went a bit like this…that was hilarious! My 7 year old so desperately wanted to find out what I was reading since it was making me cry with laughter – I told her that this read was for another day, for her. Awesome! Thanks!

  5. bluesabriel

    Oh, God, the blood. Why don’t they tell you about the blood?! I mean, I knew there would be bleeding, but I was so focused on being freaked out about the actual delivery that I failed to prepare myself for the aftermath and was therefore unprepared for the alarming, seemingly infinite amount of bleeding.

    Thank you for a good laugh. 🙂

  6. kevinjcarter

    Very poignant and true. I’m a dad, but I feel the same way about my sons. Hoping they’ll be better reflections of me. Worried about them. Wanting to be near them but having to let them go.

  7. LG

    I laughed and felt incredibly mushy at the same time at this post. Lovely as always.

  8. Liz

    Placenderness is my new favorite word. Sharing in the shary places, the post, not my placenta.

  9. about100percent

    Chapter 15, Verse 1 just happens to be one of my favorite WTEWYAE verses. I can’t believe you used it here. 😉


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