BOCA RATON, FL—“Push, push, push!” yelled the hospital staff at a patient who was intensely laboring. But surprisingly, this scene was not taking place in the Labor & Delivery ward, and even more shocking, the patient was a man. How can that be, you wonder? It turns out this man was among the first patients who checked into the brand new Paternity Ward at Boca Health Center, and he was currently parked in front of the ward’s gorgeous poker table, “laboring” over whether to follow the staff’s recommendation to “push” his chips all in.
That’s right, the hospital that previously introduced the geriatric maternity ward now has a sparkling new paternity ward, where expectant fathers can go to relax while their female partners are in labor. The days of men’s needs being neglected by hospital staff during the chaotic time of labor and delivery are finally over. After a 9-month-long, multi-billion-dollar renovation of the abandoned women’s health clinic, the paternity ward opened last month to much fanfare.
“Prior to last month,” explained hospital CEO Duncan Reeves, “new dads always complained about how hard the labor & delivery process was for them. I understand—cause I’m a dad too—how stressful it is to be with your wife for hours and hours of labor—missing work, listening to her constantly kvetch about the pain, and watching the staff give all its attention to your wife as if you’re not even there. Then the delivery itself—geez, can you give a guy a drink before making him watch that horror show? And after baby arrives, all anyone asks is ‘How are mommy & baby doing?’ Well, what about daddy…WHAT ABOUT DADDY?”
Well, the new Paternity Ward is all about daddies. Here’s an excerpt from its promotional brochure: “When wifey’s in labor, get in that car and have her drive you to the hospital pronto! After she drops you off, we’ll whisk you away to Paternity. Settle into your large private suite, and then explore the unit with the other dads there. You’ll find amazing amenities including: 5 sports bars, an award-winning steakhouse, a full casino, nightly adult entertainment, glorious massage chairs (Press the ‘Pitocin Boost’ button for a more intense massage experience) and a free pharmacy (help yourself to much-needed analgesics and anxiolytics).
“Then chill out on our C-(shaped)-sectional sofas and watch a live stream of your baby being born in the comfort of our stress-free, state-of-the-art TV lounge, surrounded by your new bros. Did we mention the TVs are 3D? (“It looks like the baby flies out right at you!” said one exhilarated and inebriated dad). You can even play Fantasy Labor & Delivery with the other guys, scoring points based on your wife’s performance (major points if she can gut it out without an epidural).”
The new unit, unsurprisingly, is getting rave reviews. “Best of all, while Maternity only gives women 48 hours, the Paternity Ward never kicks you out,” said new dad, Kevin Conway, as he puffed on a Cuban cigar and rolled a hard 8 on the craps table to the delight of the other dads, before adding that his wife and baby actually went home 3 weeks ago. “I haven’t even met the baby yet!”