Finally! A pregnancy gift for men
I may be a touch on the cynical side, which is why when I read this story about a Danish company that has created a bracelet that will allow fathers-to-be to feel their unborn baby’s movements on their wrist, I said, “I absolutely cannot even with this and yet I must know everything.”
Three Danish jewelry design students (why not) were inspired by a class they took on wearable technology to create a start-up called First Bond Wearables. They came up with the idea for the bracelet, called the Fibo, by watching families walking around their school’s neighborhood in Copenhagen.
Sandra Pétursdóttir, the head of research and media for First Bond Wearables, told The Huffington Post, “We wanted to get the fathers [or female partners] more involved in the pregnancy since they sometimes tend to get a little left out when the mother is going through all the changes with her body and feeling a little life growing in her belly.”
The way the Fibo works is this: during the last trimester, pregnant women wear a device that monitors their baby’s movements. A record of that movement is then sent to the Fibo, which, according to HuffPo, “contains four small beads that mimic the baby’s movements by rotating and pressing on the wrist of the person wearing it and allowing him or her to feel the kicks or turns in real time.”
There are a few things I want to comment on, here. First of all, you have to be one hell of a big-hearted pregnant woman to agree to wear a baby monitor when you’re in your third trimester just so your partner can get tapped on the wrist while they’re out having fun somewhere fitting into restaurant booths or tying their shoes and not being eight-months-pregnant. Second, it seems like an old-fashioned hand on the belly is more intimate than some beads moving around on your wrist, an image that for no good reason whatsoever makes me slightly nauseous. Third, this device is going to cause some ugly fights because you are going to have pregnant women saying, “Honey, where’s your Fibo? I thought you wanted to bond with the baby?” And their partner is going to say, “Eh. I took it off. It got annoying after a while.” And the pregnant woman is going to say, “Wow. I bet it was really nice to get to just ‘take it off’ because it was ‘annoying’ you. Meanwhile, our son has his enormous head — which comes from your side of the family, by the way — jammed in my ribcage 24/7. Wanna know what that feels like?”
One question most people will undoubtedly have about the Fibo is: why the wrist? Seems like putting it on your stomach would be closer to the actual experience if that’s what you’re looking for. Well, according to the developers, when they asked people where on their bodies they would want to feel their baby’s movements, the majority said their wrist. And, I suppose, if someone told me I could pick anywhere on my body to be tapped at random times during the day without warning, I’d probably pretty swiftly select my wrist as well. But Pétursdóttir also told HuffPo that fathers-to-be picked their wrist because “That way the device would also be visible which, to many fathers was a big plus because they wanted the whole world to see they were expecting a baby.” Either that is some bullshit they came up with because their wives or girlfriends were sitting right next to them when they were asked, or this is a kind of man that I a) don’t know and b) would find punchable.
The folks at First Bond Wearables see the Fibo as the kind of gift that can last beyond a woman’s pregnancy. “The baby’s movements data is saved and transferred into a piece of jewelry the family can wear and enjoy after the baby is born,” Pétursdóttir said. Nope. Nope nope nope. Nope. That’s like those people that have their iPhones out filming events that they will never, ever watch again. No one goes home on Saturday night and says, “Hey honey, you know what would be fun? Let’s watch that video we took of the 4th of July parade from 2013.” Or, alternatively, “Who wants to put on the Fibo and feel the baby’s movements from December 15th of last year?” That’s how you lose friends.
We appreciate the attempt to share the feelings of pregnancy with a partner, and we’re sure there are some situations — like with a surrogate, for example — when this could be a genuinely lovely experience. But if we’re just talking about random couples, we’re going to have a hard time jumping on this train. Unless my partner is also going to experience my heartburn and the daily battle I had trying to wipe my own ass, I’m afraid I’m just too cold and dead inside to participate.