Jerry Stahl Blogs the Birth of His Daughter

Author and screenwriter Jerry Stahlbeen chronicling the final month of his girlfriend’s pregnancy over at The Rumpus, calling himself the “OG Dad.” That’s OG for Old Guy, which may sound harsh for a man of 58, but as Stahl explains, when his new daughter is 12, he’ll be 70.

The blogging culminated Thursday with an account of the birth of his daughter, as gritty and raw as you’d expect from the author of Permanent Midnight. Fans of the junkie memoir will recall that when Stahl’s first child was born, he was high on black tar heroin. But two decades of clean living later, Stahl is sober enough to observe every excruciating moment of his girlfriend’s labor:

I’m at my post, by the head of the bed, mopping E’s brow with a weirdly scrapey washrag. The doctor glances up at me. “HERE SHE COMES! Come on Daddy, do you want to see?”

And without thinking, I leave the head of the bed and stagger to the foot, where, before I can blink, I see some kind of long black probe protruding from E’s savaged vagina. “Jesus fuck! What is that? An antenna!?”

E’s eyes blaze in my direction. But the doctor finds me hilarious. “That’s her hair, silly. She’s got a lot of hair. That’s just a big old curl. ”

She’s right! For one freakish minute I’m afraid we’re going to give birth to the Bob’s Big Boy logo. But quick as the spooky probe appeared, it recedes. After which, following a second “PUSH!” from the doctor and vein-popping effort from E, what looks like an avocado emerges, then it too disappears again.

Read Stahl’s full accounting of the delivery room drama at The Rumpus.