I love a good birth story, but I especially love a good birth story where the mom gets more than just a healthy baby — she also gets a lifetime supply of nuggets and theme park rides. If you haven't heard, a woman recently gave birth in a Chick-Fil-A and scored a lifetime of free food, and another woman gave birth at a Six Flags, scoring herself some lifetime passes. Basically, it's time to get creative with your birth plan and find somewhere to have your baby so you can get free stuff. I mean, of course a baby is the real prize here, but if you can also get a lifetime supply of Frappuccinos or free Trader Joe's snacks, why not?
OK, so there's no guarantee that any of the places on this list will give you major lifetime perks if you happen to push your baby out while there. But it doesn't hurt to try, my friend. When you feel those contractions getting closer and closer together, call your midwife or OB-GYN or doula and ask them to meet you on the Chip and Joanna aisle of Target so you can get yourself a sweet new babe and maybe some distressed candelabras with a mossy wreath.
Disclaimer: Seriously, if you're having contractions, listen to your healthcare provider and go where they tell you to go. Unless you just really want to see what Starbucks will do if your water breaks in the middle of their floor. Your call.
OK, you knew this was going to be the first choice, right? Again, I have zero confirmation that anyone at Target will give you the ultimate push present of lifetime shopping discounts or offer you a babysitter every time you walk in so you can browse the dollar section in peace, but at least you know there will be plenty of pillows and cute baby clothes for the moments following your delivery.
2. Barnes & Noble
The moment I heard about the mom who gave birth at Chick-Fil-A and Six Flags, I told my husband this baby I'm currently pregnant with was going to be born in one of those comfy armchairs at Barnes & Noble. Free books for life? I'm down for this. Hit me up, Barnes & Noble. There's even a train table for my 4-year-old to play on while I'm pushing her little sister out.
OK, Carter's is my go-to for all baby and kid clothing, so giving birth between the racks of impossibly cute bodysuits and jammies just sounds like a dream come true. Maybe they'll just let you have free outfits for life? Or maybe they'll make you pay for the damages your placenta caused when it ruined a display of hooded snowsuits, who knows? That's the fun of the game.
Caffeine is basically a necessity when you become a parent, so up the ante by giving birth inside your local Starbucks so you can reap the free Frappuccino benefits all year long. Maybe they'll name one after you like the Unicorn Frapp.
5. Your Local Sports Stadium
This one might be my husband's idea, but it makes sense. When I told him I was planning on giving birth to our second daughter at Barnes & Noble, he asked me to reconsider Mercedes-Benz Stadium here in Atlanta where his beloved Falcons play. I mean, if we can get lifetime football tickets, I think we'll all be a happy little family, right? (Mainly 'cause I could get the TV back during home games while he's at the stadium.)
6. Disney World
Maybe choose an out-of-the-way spot, like Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland or something (think of the Instagram pictures), but if it gets you lifetime passes to the Happiest Place on Earth, it's worth it.
7. On A Cruise
I've never been on a cruise, but I hear you get unlimited food and drinks, which is basically all I need for a good time. Those cabins have plenty of room for giving birth, right?
8. Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Like Disney World, I recommend finding somewhere not-so-crowded if you're going to try this, even though giving birth in the middle of Ollivander's sounds amazing. To be fair, so does pushing out your baby in The Three Broomsticks while you have a frothy, frozen cup of Butterbeer. The fact is, there will be wizards everywhere to help you out (I assume), so just try and think about those lifetime passes to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.
9. At A Really Expensive College
Come on, how do you know if your kid's going to be genius enough for a scholarship? Go ahead and cinch that tuition with a little birth experience for the pre-med students.
All of that baby nursery decor isn't going to buy itself, you know. If you want wreath supplies for life, maybe give birth in the craft aisles of Michael's. If people can use the craft store backdrops for selfies, surely you can use it for your "home" birth.
Do it for the pillows, OK? Oh, and the cocktail glasses. And all the cute bowls and serving dishes and pots and pans and towels and planters and frames and...
12. Apple Store
You'll want a new MacBook or iMac eventually for all those baby pictures, right? I'm sure the Genius Bar will know how to handle the afterbirth near all those iPhones.
13. Buy Buy Baby
Baby gear galore, am I right? Forgot to pack the baby's coming home outfit? No problem. Give birth in Buy Buy Baby and literally everything you need is right there. Literally everything. (Except maybe a midwife or an epidural or bad hospital food.)
14. Cheesecake Factory
Everybody is always down for cheesecake, so maybe a lifetime supply will give you the motivation you need to let your contractions happen in a Cheesecake Factory booth.
15. Trader Joe's
Guys, it's no secret that Trader Joe's has all the best snacks, and giving birth (and raising children) is hungry work. I would be willing to let all of the Trader Joe's employees and customers see me at my most vulnerable for a lifetime supply of their meringue cookies.
16. American Girl
It doesn't matter if you're having a boy or a girl, OK? American Girl is for everyone and that stuff isn't cheap. So try and get a lifetime supply of dolls and their accessories by having your new baby right there in the store. I recommend delivering in the historical doll section as someone's bound to have a pot of hot water and rags as an accessory. Felicity maybe? Or Kristen? Whichever one isn't discontinued.
17. Old Navy
I would like a lifetime supply of Old Navy clothes for both my baby and me, so I'm more than willing to attempt a VBAC in the back aisles. Or maybe a fitting room? I don't know, but at least you'll have comfy jammies to put on afterwards.
We already have a Costco membership, but if you could get a free one for life, why not? Costco carries literally everything, so choose a hot tub for the most epic water birth ever and then fill up on samples after.
19. At Your Future Kid's Day Care
Day care is no joke. The expense, the worry of getting there before it closes, figuring out what to do when there's a hand foot mouth outbreak — ugh. Save yourself some time and pop a squat right in the front door. They're bound to give you at least a free year of day care for that kind of work, right?