Let’s face it – the hospital delivery room is more intense (and in some cases more action-packed) than a Bruce Willis movie. There are machines beeping, curse words flying, and screams echoing up and down the corridors. There’s sweat, and blood, and tears, and drugs and, as if that wasn’t enough to drive a girl crazy, your husband gets to watch the whole thing.
When it comes to labor and delivery, some men are completely clueless. They may be full of good intentions and well-meaning words but when we get right down to it, most of them are really just doing the best that they can to make it through the birth of their child in one piece.
We may never know what they’re thinking (and for the sake of our marriages we may never want to), but there is one thing that we are certain about…they all cope differently. What seems like a good idea to one dad-to-be might seem completely crazy to another future father figure. Luckily for them, the surging hormone levels and subsequent arrival of the greatest gift of our lives allows us to forgive and forget most of the absurd things they say and do during this stressful time.
In order to help future delivery room patrons identify and deal with their daddy-to-be, we’ve compiled the types of delivery room dads and placed them on one convenient list. So ladies, whether you’ve given birth to five children or you’re about to welcome your first one, we implore you to read on. Which of the 15 types of delivery room dads have you experienced?
14 The Narcissist
This guy is all about himself. He’s the reason you’re having a baby, and make no mistake it is his baby.
It’s also the narcissist’s “professional” opinion that he knows more than the doctor you’re paying to deliver his baby. He makes sure this fact is known by all parties involved via the occasional comments on whatever medical procedure is going on in the room. (The technique being used to check your cervix? He thinks there is an easier way…)
When he’s not regaling the medical staff with stories of his exceptional knowledge, he’s posting selfies on all of his social media sites. Rest assured that while you may forget about that time you were half-naked, sweat-soaked and crying over a tiny pink teddy bear from your parents, Facebook will not.
Nevertheless, as is the case with many delivery room dads, you chose him for a reason. Perhaps when you’re older, and they really do develop a better way to check your cervix, you’ll laugh about the whole thing!
13 The Fainter
The fainter is perhaps the most popular of the delivery room dads…mostly because he’s the one showing up in all of those viral YouTube videos. If you haven’t seen them, they typically go something like this:
- New dad is excited for new baby. You see a close-up of smiling new dad face.
- Mom-to-be begins to exhibit signs of excruciating pain. New dad realizes this is it and heads to the foot of the bed to witness the arrival of his miracle.
- New dad’s smile suddenly disappears and is replaced by look of shear terror.
- The entire internet laughs as new dad hits the floor, and new mom looks appalled that she may have been the reason for the entire episode.
While it all seems very funny in cyberspace, it is in fact slightly nerve-wracking in real life. The fainter knows he will never live down the fact that he missed the birth of his child due to a sudden impulse to lose consciousness.
12 The Crier
This guy, much like the narcissist, often takes center stage in the delivery room…but certainly not on purpose. In fact, he’d prefer if he could be all together forgotten about, as his face is usually streaked with tears. We’re talking about the crier of course!
The crier is overjoyed that you are currently in the process of bringing his other pride and joy into this world (naturally, you are his first pride and joy and no one will ever replace you). He shows his appreciation in the form of watery-brimmed eyes and intermittent sniffling.
Later, when the hard work is happening, the crier’s tears switch from those of joy to those of shear panic. He’s worried something may go wrong and he will lose one or both of his favorite family members. No worries though! When your baby finally makes his/her appearance, the crier will dry his eyes and abstain from any future tear shedding forever because, in his mind, daddies don’t cry.
11 The Hoverer
The hoverer is a unique, and slightly annoying, breed of delivery room dad. It seems as if he just can’t quite relax until he knows that you’ve got everything you need…and we mean everything.
Did you remember to pack tissues? What if you have to blow your nose? Are those pillows too fluffy? Should he get you some more water? Ice or no ice? These are all questions you might expect to hear from a hoverer as you are gearing up for what may be one of the best, albeit longest, days of your life.
A hoverer never leaves your side, so he will probably remain by your head when the pushing starts. It’s not that he doesn’t want to witness the birth of his future child, it’s just that …what if you need to squeeze his hand or scream obscenities in his general direction? He certainly can’t miss that!
10 The Uninvolved
This dad is exactly the opposite of a hoverer. He’s …uninvolved!
An uninvolved delivery room dad is one that refuses to take part in any part or your labor and delivery process. Not wanting to be “that guy,” he did agree to come in to the delivery room so there’s really nothing more that we, as women, should ask of him at this time right? If only!
The uninvolved dad will sit in the tiny, hospital-provided armchair, and observe from afar. Do not ask him whether or not he’s excited. Tell the doctors to refrain from seeing if he’d like to participate. He’s perfectly happy providing moral support in the form of a strong, quiet presence in the corner of the room.
There’s no need for blame, or theatrics, or even meaningful gazes. He came here to watch you deliver a baby, and by george that is what he’s going to do…watch!
9 The Coach
The coach is an all-star participant when it comes to the delivery room. If you have any questions about how this is supposed to go down, the coach has the answer!
Coach Dad has your birthing schedule written down on a clipboard, so he can remind you and the doctors of it when things seem to be getting off track. He’s got a towel around his neck to help dab the beads of sweat off of your forehead when things get hairy. He’s even got a playbook (okay, it’s a three ring binder) full of breathing exercises and birthing positions for you to try in case the original plan falls short of a touchdown!
While this may seem a bit overbearing at first, give the coach a bit of a break. His main goal is to help you succeed at your main goal in the fastest, most efficient way possible.
8 The Sleeper
You’ll recognize this delivery room dad not by sight, but by sound. That’s right, we’re talking about the snores and whistles of the sleeper.
The sleeper is a special breed of delivery room dad because he often shows up as a secondary persona of any of the other dads. He’s the result of long labors, intense emotions, and potentially a larger than necessary dinner from the hospital cafeteria.
You’ll most often find this dad-to-be curled up in the corner of the room where the coats and purses of other visitors have accumulated over the first 12 hours. He swears he’s just resting his eyes whenever anyone mentions that his snores are drowning out your yelling, but you both know that he only snores like that in deep, restful slumbers.
The sleeper is not trying to be disrespectful. He just knows that sometimes, in order to be present at the end, you have to take a nap in the middle. You’d probably nap too if you weren’t currently busy bringing new life into the world!
7 The Businessman
The Businessman is a no-nonsense, delivery room dad in every sense of the word. Before he agreed to drive you to the hospital, he had to grab his blackberry, his laptop, and those glasses that he wears when he’s trying to look important. Birth is, after all, a serious negotiation of time and space.
At the hospital, you’ll often find the businessman occupying that small space between the delivery room and the hallway (otherwise known as the doorway). He doesn’t want to miss his child’s big entrance, but he just can’t let this call go to voicemail.
When the time comes to push, this delivery room dad is fully present and ready to be called in to help close the deal. He greets his newborn with a handshake, and slaps you lovingly on the back for a job well done. Once the businessman ensures that all is as it should be, he retreats to his spot in the doorway for another round of important phone calls…this time to your family.
6 The Complainer
Although unpleasant, the complainer is a delivery room dad we just had to discuss. He’s the guy that has no idea why he has to be involved in the labor and delivery process at all.
The complainer thinks this entire process is taking too long. The chair is too hard, the food is too bland, the staff members are too slow, and the paper cut he got from signing your insurance forms is causing him physical pain. Far be it from this dad-to-be to suffer in silence though…he is very vocal about his plight.
It could be insensitivity, but it could also be excitement. He’s been waiting so long for this moment and now that it’s almost here, he can’t do anything but sit in a tiny delivery room and wait while you do all of the hard work. Perhaps he thinks that if you’re focusing on his menial pains, then your labor pains will seem less intolerable.
5 The Channel Changer
What good is a list of delivery room dad types without a television tycoon topping the charts? You’ve seen him from the comfort of your living room ladies, but now we welcome the channel changer to your delivery room of choice.
The channel changer spends most of his time trying to distract you from your pain by constantly rotating through the stations available on the cable television mounted on the wall across from your hospital bed. It has worked well for him in the past, so he figures it definitely can’t hurt now.
He initially times his channel flips with the commercial breaks, but as your contractions get closer and closer together, so does his button-pressing. Eventually, when it is time for the big show, he drops the remote control but neglects to turn the TV off which is just as well. Neither of you are focusing on it anyways!
4 The Family Man
The family man is a dad-to-be that just wants to share in your special birthing experience. The catch? He doesn’t just want you to share with him, he wants you to share it with…the family.
All right, so you are okay with your mom being in the room (for a bit) and you really don’t mind your sisters (mostly)…but, when your husband wants to bring in his mother to watch you become a mother yourself, it gets to be a bit much.
The family man can’t help but spill pride and excitement amongst his family members as he waits for the big moment. Sometimes, it just spills out in the form of an invitation to “come and see.”
Lucky for us, hospitals now have rules on the number of visitors you can have in the delivery room at a single time. Your baby must be kept safe from potential infection…and interjection.
What kind of dad could possibly be thinking about sex while you’re busy delivering his future child? Actually, believe it or not, he’s quite common and he comes in the form of the sex fanatic.
This future daddy has been to all of the birthing classes and watched all of the videos, but there’s just one thing he hasn’t figured out. How long after delivery will the two of you be able “get it on?” Surely, all of the stretching and (gulp) tearing and stitching require a certain amount of recovery time, and he’s most certainly willing to wait. He just wants someone to answer his question.
Don’t get him wrong. He couldn’t be happier about your current situation, and he wants to be there for you in any way that he can. The sex fanatic simply wants to know when you can start trying for your next little bundle of joy!
3 The Rambler
Nerves and words take center stage for this type of delivery room dad. We’ve all heard him at some point so everyone, let’s take a few minutes to recognize the rambler!
The rambler is a dad-to-be that is so nervous, he just can’t contain his brainpower. Hundreds and hundreds of thoughts and possibilities are racing through his brain at warp speed and there’s no way to get rid of them unless he voices them out loud. In fact, there are so many of them that one leads seamlessly into the next, with no need to break for things like air or sanity.
He doesn’t necessarily need to say them to you…anyone will do. Doctors, nurses, med students, and that guy that accidentally walked into the wrong delivery room may all fall victim to this future fathers word vomit. He’s not trying to annoy you, though. He really can’t help himself.
2 The Wanderer
The wanderer is a delivery room dad that’s somewhat hard to classify, but that is mostly because he’s hard to catch inside the delivery room.
This delivery room dad is full of impatience. He cannot wait to meet his future son or daughter, but he is also incapable of passing the time with toe tapping and birth plan recaps. He fully stands by and believes in the age-old idiom that “a watched pot never boils.” His solution? Stop watching.
The wanderer takes the waiting game to the hallways as he traverses back and forth from waiting room to delivery room to cafeteria to gift shop and back again. He never passes by your door without looking in, but he can’t bear to be in that room while you suffer. When the time is right, you’ll give him the signal and he’ll be right back by your side…but for now, let him wander.
1 The Unprepared
The final delivery room dad on our list is perhaps the most common. He is the quintessential delivery room dad, playing a small role in every single one of the other 14 types discussed on this list. He is…the unprepared.
It goes without saying that nearly all men are unprepared for what they are about to witness in the delivery room. The unprepared dad type, however, takes it one step farther. He left your birthing plan on the counter when he went back to get the car keys. Your overnight bag is present, but it’s missing the items you specifically packed for him because he took them out to double check that you packed them. And let’s not even talk about how unprepared he is to hear you scream and yell at him for helping create the baby you told him you wanted!
It is this dad, the unprepared dad, that we all know and love when it comes to the delivery room. It is this dad that brings a little bit of normalcy to a room full of firsts.