Labor is definitely one thing that stands out during whole of the pregnancy. Ten hours, fifteen hours, forty hours into labor and a lot of things happen that have no mention in the multitude of pregnancy books we read or the websites we scour.
We, as women, experiencing it have a lot of questions about what is happening to our bodies and minds during labor. But, have you considered the poor chaps who have no idea of what a labor is like? Yes, I am talking about those baffled souls, our partners, who are there by our bedside, holding our hands, while we squeeze the blood out of their hands, digging our nails into them like they are fresh oranges whose juicy pulps are in demand. Well, I made that sound like a horror story. But, men have questions, a lot of questions about pregnancy, about labor they don’t understand.
I don’t blame them. It is hard to understand something that you haven’t experienced first-hand. How can one know how laying on the beach on a hot summer feels like until they dig in their toes into the sand? But, unfortunately, men in our lives cannot undergo labor. They wouldn’t know how it is to undergo labor.
Yes, they probably can spend a few thousand dollars and undergo the simulation test to prove that we women exaggerate the labor pains, but it hasn’t worked out so well in the past for some men who have tried it. It turned out funny…for us, and painful for them.
But, it is not only the pain that they don’t understand. There are a few more things some men just don’t get. Let’s have a look!
15 You Are Peeing All Over The Couch
“Uh-oh, no I am not. My water just broke!” You won’t believe the number of times moms-to-be have had to explain this fact to their partners. It is true that pregnant women pee, a lot! But, not so much that they wet the whole couch. They are pregnant, not insane! The baby puts pressure on the bladder, and the urge to go relieve oneself increases proportionately as the pregnancy and the belly grows.
Some men read pregnancy books, they hunt the internet on what to expect. But, they are not ready for the time when the water breaks, especially when the water break is a gush and not a steady trickle down the pants. It messes with their mind and they forget that their partners are sane enough to know what the bathroom is for. When they see the gush, they think they have to rush, to conclusions! Don’t blame them, they are hormonal too, or at least believe that they must be.
14 Don’t Ask That Question When She Is In Labor
You must be wondering what question I must be talking about, right? No, not the egg or chicken question! That probably takes the second spot in the list of ‘the most asked questions’. The first place goes to, ‘Does your labor hurt as much as a kick in my balls?’ Oopsie…did he just ask that? Has he thought of a place where he can hide for the rest of his life after asking that question?
How do they expect us to know? We don’t have the fruits dangling down under. We know labor hurts, badly. And yet, we get asked this question. Maybe, it is just ego, or plain curiosity, or maybe just the need to ascertain that they can bear pain as much as us. Thankfully, there are simulation studies that can answer this question for them. So next time they ask, just point them over there before kicking them in the groin. They can compare it for themselves, and make sure they go through the simulation for more than ten hours like most labors.
13 She Hates You. Probably Not
Labor is painful. Women tend to moan, scream, cuss during labor. It is normal. When you are trying to push out an overgrown pumpkin from your body, out of a tiny opening, well you get it. Let me not get very visual here. There is plethora of tales about women scratching the nurse, digging their nails into the midwives, using cuss words at anyone who is near them during labor, including the doctor who is helping in bringing the baby to the world. So, partners are not special, they don’t come with confetti wound around them.
A mother tends to be hormonal during labor, and with the pain she experiences, it is normal that she puts it all out on her partner. So, she might scratch her partner, some have even shown to bite. It is not because they hate their partners, even though they might tell the men in their lives just that, in so many words. But, don't believe her, it will pass soon enough.
12 Let’s Skip The Match
Most hospital rooms have a television to distract the mom during labor. But, moms hardly make use of the facility, because they are busy being in labor, trying to remember how to breathe normally. But, dads utilize the facility to the maximum extent. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Well, the hospital bill anyhow covers those expenses, so why not make use of them?
But, when the wife is in active labor and punching the nurse’s nose, it probably isn’t a good time to watch a football match, even if it is the most important one or the final or even if your friend is playing in it! A lot of women have lived to tell the tale about how they were maddened to see their husbands watch a football match when they were in labor and screaming which was drowned by their husbands’ swearing when their team was losing!
Not a good time, boys. Never a good time!
11 Game Over
A mom always packs her hospital bag and her baby’s bag when she enters her nesting period. She wants to be well prepared for what is to come. Some dads are also known to pack their bags for an overnight stay. But, most daddies wing it. What else do they need, other than a clean shirt and pants and a toothbrush? But, they never forget to take their most important companion, their phones or video games. I understand phones are on top of my list when it comes to going to a hospital for giving birth. It is necessary to remain connected with family and friends.
But, some dads are known to spend the time during the wife’s twenty-hour labor playing video games, because there is nothing they can do than wait it out, which is probably true. But, once a mom is in active labor, she expects her partner to stop hunting for Pokemons and hold her hand instead of nudging the doctor to get a bonus round!
10 Keep Those Hands Off The Thermostat
I would like to believe that most divorces happen due to the thermostat. Yes, the tiny white dial that holds the key to almost all couple arguments at home. Men always like the temperature to be on the colder side, while we women prefer it on the warmer side.
I remember when I was in the hospital waiting for my induction, I started feeling way too cold. Hospitals are cold! The nurse gave me some hot blankets – 3 to be precise and yet, I felt so cold that I made them adjust the thermostat. My husband, who hates the heat did make the mistake of decreasing the temperature once, and maybe I shouted at him so badly that he didn’t touch the thermostat again. Some women tend to feel cold when they are in labor, probably because they might catch fever, like I did. So, keep your hands off thermostat. If your wife wants it at 80F, keep it at 80F! Don’t argue otherwise, might not turn out to be a wise decision.
9 Don’t Snore And Don’t Have A Sound Sleep
Labor is vicious. It makes us do things which we wouldn’t do on a normal day. Women have trouble sleeping at the end of their pregnancies. It is difficult to sleep when you don’t find a comfortable position, nor can you toss and turn around with ease. The feeling is more like a whale stuck on sand! Believe me, we like looking at our partners sleeping peacefully. But, we don’t like them snoring. This is on a normal day. But, labor is different.
Many women in labor complain that their partners slept peacefully and were snoring away to glory when they instead were writhing with pain. I know that is sadistic. But, the fact is when one hasn’t slept for a few months and are in indescribable pain, they are bound to get sadistic. They should probably change the saying to, ‘Everything is fair during pregnancy and labor.’
8 Leave The Ice Chips Alone
Many doctors recommend not eating or drinking and they prefer moms sticking to a clear fluid intake during labor. Many hospitals provide women with ice chips to prevent dehydration. In a hospital, in the L&D unit, you find most of the men running errands. The most common one being getting fresh ice chips from the hospital kitchen.
Well, you might argue that an ice chip is after all an ice-chip. It doesn’t have any flavor or texture that makes it any different. But, women in labor have a distinct sense for them. So, if a woman in labor says the ice-chips are stale (?!?) and she needs a fresh set of them, as a partner, it is your sole duty to go get her a different set. Don’t bring logic to the equation. It won’t work and might even lead to you being barred from seeing your baby being born!
7 Do Not Eat In Front Of Her
Pregnant women have an appetite like a hippopotamus. Sorry, I couldn’t think of a better comparison. But, the point is pregnant women eat and snack like no one’s business. For some women, pregnancy is a good enough excuse to eat their favorite food, sometimes in excess. Nine months of eating pleasure followed by no eating when the labor starts? That is pathetic. Labor doesn’t knock and come, nor does it give any warning signs. So, if a woman is going into labor hungry, God save her.
Hunger is one of the things that people have the least control on. More so, when one is pregnant. So, if a woman is in labor, sucking on ice-chips, she certainly doesn’t want to see her partner gorging on a cheese burger from a famous outlet besides the hospital. It is certainly not that they want their partners to die off hunger, it is just that they don’t want them chomping on delicious food when they are pushing what seems like a huge melon.
6 Babies Come Out In Different Ways
Just like eggs, babies can be born sunny side up or down. They can be breech in some cases. Though most of the times, doctors go in for a C-section for breech babies, because they don’t want the baby’s oxygen supply to be cut off in case the umbilical cord gets stuck when the baby comes legs first. But, sometimes, before one can opt for a C-section, babies decide to come out on their own. Doctors will do everything to not harm the baby. It is important for the partner to always know of the various ways babies can come out.
Sunny side up means that the baby is coming face up, which is not the easiest way. Most of the times, babies come face down. So, men, please know how babies come out of the womb, instead of shouting ‘Oh Boy! My baby doesn’t have a face’ when she comes out face down, which is the most predictable and comfortable way for both mother and daughter. You might just turn the happiest moment of your life into a scary one, for yourself and your wife.
5 Expect The Nuggets
As a couple who is expecting, it is imperative that you have seen every organ that the other possesses. So, it is not strange to see your wife butt naked in the delivery room. But, even couples who have been married for a few years do not expect to see the excretions of the other. It is something that is very personal that the closest person to you has not seen.
But, pregnancy and labor can be quite revealing. When a woman pushes, she is putting pressure. But, the pressure might not only lead to a beautiful baby, but also to little poop nuggets. She cannot control them. The urge to push is great. Expect to see them, and don’t react, and don’t ever mention it again, ever! It is like the secret you both know, but don’t want to discuss. You might want to add it to your details, in front of your friends, while telling her labor story, but trust me when I say she won’t forgive you for it. So, zip it.
4 Be Wary Of Your Jokes
A labor room is like an examination hall where students are hurrying to finish their papers, not knowing what to expect in their results. Pregnancy is predictable, till it is not. The labor and delivery units at hospitals are one of the quietest as well as one of the noisiest units. The tension is quite visible. If you ask me, the stress and tension looks like morning fog, thick, cloudy and blurry. It is quite helpful when people around try to lighten the mood in the room with wittiest of dialogues. Trust me, it really helps.
But, men have a knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, in the wrong place, which might not go well with a laboring wife. If you can’t cut the tension in the room with your joke, I suggest you keep quiet and avoid being cut from the stare your wife will give you. Jokes like “Oh My God, your vagina looks like a slaughter house” or “Doctor, can you stitch her up tight?” might not be appropriate, even if you are winking and laughing at your own joke.
3 You Might See A Crater
I do not know how a C-section feels like. I had a vaginal delivery, a painful one at that, where the doctor thought my skin was shredded like grated cheese. My husband still tells me it was horrible to look at. He never thought skin could be shredded that ways. Wasn’t it supposed to tear? Well, mine shredded, and my doctor took an hour and half to stitch the pieces up. The irony is that I took one and half hours to push my daughter out! My husband wasn’t prepared for that.
But, I hear that C-section is even crazier where if you look over the curtain, you can see the mom’s belly cut wide open, with intestines and liver kept aside on a table, so that the baby can be removed! Not a great thing to visualize, but know that it can happen and prepare to not faint!
2 It’s A Boy, It’s A Girl
Remember the time of the 20th week ultrasound scan where the gender is revealed. It is one of the most exciting times during the whole of pregnancy. We wait with baited breath, hoping that the baby will show us a glimpse of its private parts so that we can start preparing for his or her arrival. We plan everything - the name, the nursery, the clothes.
Our baby’s gender changed in 40 minutes during the 20th week scan. We thought it was a boy, and then he turned and showed that she was a girl. But, it is not uncommon to see an ultrasound technician going wrong with the gender. After all, they are humans. It is usually the umbilical cord that is to be blamed, because it can give out a wrong impression. But, men, please, for God’s sake, don’t shout, ‘My boy’s pipe fell out during the delivery’ if you thought you were having a boy, but instead have a girl.
1 The Baby Is Not An Alien
It is the moment that you waited for, for the past nine months. The birth of the baby is nearing. Mom is pushing with all her strength, and then the baby pops out. Plonk! But, something doesn’t seem right. The baby looks reddish purple. Uh-oh, it is like someone spilled some ink on him while he was making his way out. But know that it is very normal for babies to look that color. They just have gone through a horrendous time pushing their bodies out of tiny hole. Their oxygen levels are not at their best and they need some time to get their organs come out of distress.
Babies look funny when they come out of their mothers. Our baby had a cone shaped head, because I pushed her for one and half hours and she kind of had a big head. It is not just the mothers who do the job, it is the babies themselves who have to make their way through the narrow passage. So men, listen up, don’t ever tell your wife, ‘Congratulations, we just had an alien.’
Sources : BabyCenter, WhatToExpect