There have only been a couple of times over the years that I’ve seen my husband scared. He’s not a hugely emotional person and doesn’t get fazed by people or circumstances very easily, but on the day I gave birth to our first child, I saw a side of him that I had never seen before. It was the only time – both before and since – that I have seen him totally and utterly vulnerable. There were nerves. There was panic. There were tears. He was RATTLED.
Like most first-time parents, neither of us really knew what we were in for in the delivery room. While I knew childbirth would be painful I think I underestimated just how much it would hurt – and I think HE underestimated how difficult it could be to see someone you love in pain while you watch on helplessly.
Aussie dad Brad Kearns, aka DadMum, recently posted on Facebook about his experience in the birthing suite with his wife and it is gloriously honest and scarily accurate. Have a read:
I’ve always thought of myself as pretty cool under pressure. But the first time I got that call that my wife’s waters had broken, something changed. The excitement of almost being a dad went straight out the window because holy fuck, a tiny human was about to come out of my wife.
Now as a man I obviously couldn’t feel the pain. But let me tell you, when those contractions were hitting, I had a pretty good idea what was going on. I remember looking at the speedo realising I was doing 160kph down the motorway. It was fucked. This was happening. Holy shit…The louder she got, the higher my heart-rate spiked and the faster we went.
Parked as quick as I could, rang the shit out of the buzzer, threw her in a wheelchair and sprinted to the maternity ward like it was the fucking olympics. This woman strolls over and opens the door for us. I’ve just put in a performance that would rival Usain Bolt over the 200m whilst pushing a wheelchair, and this old lady casually opens the door like it’s a book club meeting and I’m 20 minutes early. Like she was already angry at me because she had to put down her tea. Fuck out of my way woman, my wife is having a baby!
Have you ever felt like the dumbest person in the room? I did because they all seemed pretty relaxed. The nursing staff. Nobody seemed to give much of a shit about the whole ‘babies head is bigger than a vagina’ thing. It must be their training. We obviously weren’t as close to D-Day as I thought. So we set up in one of the birthing suites. I knew we weren’t as close as others because I could hear the bellows of a woman in pain coming from down the hall. Fuck were we in for a good night or what!
A few weeks earlier I had gone to those pre-birthing classes so I felt like what was going on. Nope… No fucking idea. People come in, people leave, they say stuff like dilation and every now and then someone throws on a latex glove and goes under the hospital gown. You really don’t know what love is until you’ve hosed your naked partner down with warm water in front of complete strangers. This shit was like something off the discovery channel. All bets were off. Dignity was out the window by this point. I made sure I stood well back because I didn’t want to get too cold later if I wet my clothes. Just kidding. I had spare clothes.
When your wife breaks your arm and demand an epidural with a demon-possessed voice, and it’s too late to administer… You’re fucked. I’m just going to put it out there and say those classes didn’t teach me shit all. Why did we watch that stupid 1980’s video where a woman pops this kid out like a morning poo. We should have been watching the fucking Exorcism of Emily Rose. I would have at least known what to expect. I would have taken a vial of holy water just in case.
Knox was eventually born and it was beautiful. If you know any men out there who are pretending not to be nervous. Tell them they should be very fucking nervous. Or send them my way. I’m a pro now????
Childbirth is actually amazing. I don’t get how they even go through that?
(This is heavily dramatised, I swear I’m not a sociopath)
I love this post so much. As women, we are constantly sharing our experiences, photographs and stories from the delivery room but it’s not often we get an insight into what birth is like from the dad’s point of view. And we dig it. Bring it on fellas!
You can follow the very funny DadMum here.
Some of our favourite guys share their experience of watching their partner’s give birth:
How did your partner cope in the delivery room?