The stress of having a new baby can be intense for both mom and dad. And honestly, it’s hard to know how someone will react in the heat of the moments, before and just after the baby arrives. Although everyone reacts to stress differently, some react in worse ways than others: some get quiet, crack jokes, or get jittery, while others just can't seem to stop talking. But before the baby is born and mom finally goes into labor, those moments or hours (sometimes even days!) are critical times when mom and dad need to be a team more than ever.
Surely, it must be nerve-wracking to see one’s significant other in so much pain and know that there is so little anyone can do to help. But even though there's not really too much for a dad-to-be to do in the delivery room, there is just no excuse for some of the completely useless things that can come out of his mouth, especially when mom-to-be is in the most vulnerable, and most physically demanding position of her life.
From outright outrageous to completely appalling, we interviewed some of the most expressive moms we know about their experiences with their partners in the delivery room and gathered the most interesting stories we could find. Some of the commentaries left us wondering how some of these dads ever left the hospital alive. Here are the top 15 things men should not say or do to cross the line during her labor.
15 'I Just Need To Hop In The Shower First'
First-time mom Fiona Weaver told us about the appearance her husbands' small bladder made while she was in labor.
"When the nurse said to me ok it's time to push, my husband said, 'could you hold on for five minutes? I just need to go to the toilet.' I'm still surprised the midwife didn't hit him."
Angelia's story just makes us want to do a facepalm. "Mine was an emergency C-section. The husband was just getting off work when we found out I needed the surgery (4 weeks early with twins). We called to tell him to come immediately. He was about 4 minutes from the hospital but after 20 minutes he still hadn’t shown up. Another call revealed him sitting at home, eating a sandwich, and checking on his World of Warcraft 'real quick.'"
Apparently food and personal hygiene trump baby in Amy's house. "When it was time to go to the hospital, my husband said he needed to shower and shave first. Seriously?? Fine. Then I asked him to wake our 3-year-old and get him ready for daycare. I waddle downstairs expecting everyone to be ready to leave and find them eating waffles and watching cartoons. I’M IN LABOR, PEOPLE!!!"
Shell rightfully has held her husbands' actions while she was in active labor over his head for nearly a decade. "With my first, I told my husband that I needed to go to the hospital NOW and he said, 'Okay, just let me take a shower first.' Um, NO! For the record, I was not just being hysterical. When we got to the hospital about 20 minutes later (would have been 10 except for the shower), I was fully dilated and the baby came a half hour later. 'Let me take a shower first.' OMG. Almost nine years later and I will not let him live that one down."
14 'Calm Down!'
These stories will make you want to do anything but calm down. Parisa's very thoughtful husband was concerned with her comfort:
"My husband asked if he could borrow one of my pillows because his back hurt and I had 'too many.'"
And Bridgette's husband had multiple tries to get it right, but still, he left a lot to be desired. "Where shall I start...with one he almost missed it because he was getting a sandwich, another he was showing the nurse pictures on the digital camera during pushing, another he told me he was tired and needed a nap 'before things really got going.' The best is his interpretations of the contraction monitor. 'That one wasn't that bad,' or 'Get ready, this one is a doozy!'"
And at least Kate's husband was trying to save up for his new baby. "Mine kicked me out of the car in the ambulance bay 9cm dilated with my bag and left me to traipse across the hospital and up two flights of stairs on my own because he didn’t want to pay for hospital parking."
Someone get this man a muzzle! "While in labor with a placental abruption at 34 weeks, my husband says, “I think you should calm down." - Katie
13 'Give Her An Epidural'
Okay, let's get a few things straight. If a woman says she does not want to have an epidural IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO ASK FOR ONE FOR HER! Contrarily, saying that she should have gotten one when she is in pain is also NOT HELPFUL. Most men have one job. Just, the one:
be supportive to their wives or partner while she is going through labor. These men on the other hand, well let's just say they should be fired.
"When the nurse came in to ask if I was ready to push, I was so afraid and I wasn't feeling the HAVE TO PUSH urge so I asked her to give me 10 minutes. When she left to grab the doctor hubby says in a mean tone, 'you know you're going to have to push him out at some point. Obviously, you knew this wasn't going to be easy when you decided you wanted to do this!' HA! Because I'm the only one who wanted this? If I could have punched him, I would have." -Charlee Foster
"With my second child: 'I can't believe you're not getting an epidural! You should get an epidural!' (While I was having NO pain)" - Kendra Brooksher
12 'I’m So Tired'
Men listen up, yes, sitting around trying to help your partner through the most pain they will probably ever endure must be hard to watch and incredibly draining but the last thing you should whine about is how tired YOU are by HER labor. Come on. These stories will make you want to just throw these guys away.
Laura Arruda was in the delivery room on meds to move everything along, and her husband basically said he was really tired and had to go home to sleep.
"I clearly was tired too, just saying."
"About 30 minutes after our son was born (a full 24 hours of labor) my husband told me he was going to head home for a bit because he was 'exhausted'." – Joanish
"Watching my wife give birth was exhausting, which isn't something you're really
allowed to say when you're not the one pushing out a baby, but it's true. For almost 24
hours, I had to push on my wife's back and let her squeeze my hand during
contractions. Sometimes, I literally had to hold her up, and I was so tired I was literally
falling asleep during contractions. When our baby finally arrived, I felt like I got hit by
a truck. My wife got this crazy burst of energy from all the birth endorphins, but not
me. I have never been so tired in all my life." —Thomas
11 'Shave Her, She Hasn't Seen It In Months'
Pregnancy can be a rough time for women. And during those nine months, the luxury of being able to keep things trim and cut the way it was pre-pregnancy slowly diminishes as the months drag on. But labor is definitely not a time to be reminded of this. If you care so much about what our business looks like make us a spa appointment or offer to trim the hedges yourself.
This husband deserves a medal, of insensitivity.
"As the nurses were getting me ready to go to my room I heard a guy tell his wife in the next cubicle that she needed a weed whacker for her thing. Lol I about fell off my bed laughing." - Adele Newell
Men if you have anything else to add about our privates that it is not praise for our strength, resilience, and pure wonder for bringing human life into the world, keep it to yourselves, thanks.
10 'OMG! It Looks Like You’re Going To Tear'
"I watched my wife tear apart like tissue paper! I didn't know skin could do that. The midwife moved the mirror real fast but I still saw it all." —Nano, 30
Just wow. Bet she wasn't too happy about tearing either. The hope is that seeing your wife tear open while pushing out your offspring will make you even more appreciative of her as a human, mother, and your partner. Instead, chances are most of you will be harboring your thoughts about the damage to her lady parts like this guy. Do not do that.
Though studies have shown that dads who witness their partners give birth are more likely to lose interest in the relationship resulting in separation shortly after the birth of a child. A recent survey by parenting website Netmums revealed that three-quarters of couples make love less than they did before they had children. Almost half the mothers questioned said they felt the man in their life no longer found them attractive. And a third said their partners saw them only as a mom and no longer as a lover.
9 'Add A Few Stitches, Please'
After new mother Boleyn Martin welcomed her healthy baby boy into the world her husband asked the doctor if he could 'pop an extra stitch or two in there to make sure she's still tight.' Needless to say, his comment left her wanting to make sure he would get some stitches himself. "If my legs weren't numb from the epidural I would have, lol, my son was ten lbs eleven and a half ounces and I was in the process of getting 137 stitches, and the doctor replies no but don't worry she'll be as good as ever I promise, like I wasn't even in the room, I could've kicked them both," said Martin.
Episiotomies are scary. Though it's even scarier if you tear, and getting stitches in such a private, delicate place is the scariest of all, so why make an asinine comment like this woman's husband?
“Hey doc, I’ll throw you an extra 100 bucks if you throw in an extra stitch!”
At least this doctor knows whats up. My hubs said, “Is this when we joke about the extra stitch?” when my doctor was about to sew up my episiotomy. The doc, without missing a beat, says, “Yes, but no one ever laughs.”— Meredith
8 'You’re Being SO Emotional'
Is there really such a thing as being too emotional when a woman is in labor? Think of it this way, bones are separating, the cervix is expanding, and you are about to push an entire human out of a very small hole in your body. I think that's cause for some emotion. For some reason, these dads just didn't get the memo.
"With my third child, my water broke at 37 weeks. Hubby rushed home to take me to the hospital and forgot my overnight bag. The next day he went home to get it but couldn't find it. So he packed one for me. It contained a thong, a pair of skinny jeans and a hairbrush. WTH???" –Cindye Crawford
"I told my husband I was in labor. My mother told my husband I was in labor. You know what he said to my mother in response to my painful contractions? 'Oh, she's fine, she does that all the time.'"–Betty Greene
"After 3 solid hours of pushing my husband told me & I quote 'buck up'!" – Caitlin Matera
"Baby #3. Daddy is an expert, mommy has no [meds], mommy is in pain. He says, 'You should be used to this by now, dear.'”— Jody
7 Or Just Sleeping Through Her Labor
Yes, labor is exhausting, and though we can argue that everyone including the doctors deserves a good nap, it's mostly just exhausting for her. You really have to be a special kind of selfish to sleep peacefully while she feels like her body is getting split in two. We're not sure how, but these men managed to sleep through their partner's labor. Let's just hope for their sakes' that the repercussions of their actions were less severe than her labor pains.
"Mine was asleep while I labored through the night but at one point, as I'm laboring with no pain medicine, he woke up and told me to be quiet. The nurse handled that one for me." –Emily Trujillo
"At 3 am, I decided it was time to go and my husband said he was getting up to get ready. I was on the bouncy ball for a half hour waiting and then went to check on him. He had fallen back asleep." –Jessica
6 Then Taking Selfies With The Medical Staff
Having a baby is such an exciting moment, especially if it's the first. It's only natural that husbands and loved ones would like to cherish the memory of the arrival of their new bundle of joy by taking pictures at the hospital and inside of the delivery room. But there are lines that one crosses when all of those pictures are of you. We get it. You're a dad. Okay. Put the camera down and help out your laboring wife now.
Thanks to her husband, first-time mom Stephanie has tons of photos to look through from her big day at the hospital, she just wishes more of them were of the baby.
"My husband took so many pictures of himself in the scrubs and mask (obviously super important to document) the camera battery was almost dead when we actually had the baby! I have pictures to prove it," Stephanie said.
By the way, that's a selfie that a dad took with a doctor who came to deliver the baby dressed in a Joker costumer for Halloween!
5 Asking How Long She Will Be 'Like This'
There are many contributors aside from pain that make laboring women less than friendly before the baby arrives. Things like sleep deprivation, hunger, fatigue, fear, overheating or being cold, and people constantly probing and prodding her are all factors, just to name a few.
But when you, her partner, labor buddy, husband, or chosen individual to be in the delivery room decides to say anything other than, you're doing so great dear, let me hold your leg dear, wow you're a rockstar dear, would you like me to massage your shoulders dear, how about a cold compress dear, get ready for a catatonic bomb to go off because your comments are so much less than helpful. These husbands clearly just didn't know what to say.
"My husband asked me while eating a huge piece of pizza if I was going to whine the whole time!" – Ava Bastress
“Will it ever go back to its normal size?”— Timand
4 'That Wasn’t So Bad, Right?'
Actually, yes it was that bad. But holding our child helps to take the edge off a bit. Unfortunately for her, some guys think stupid comments like those are acceptable to be thrown about, and they help get her right back to the point of screaming. These husbands really know how to push their wives buttons. Please do not be one of these guys.
"He had been asleep most of the night. So when the nurse woke him it took about 45 min before our daughter was born. After my daughter came out, he said:'Was that all?'" – Yvette Jonker
And then there's this husband who clearly has no idea and isn't interested in being compassionate about it either.
"When the nurses asked how bad the pain was from 1-10 and I said 10, my husband said, 'Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad.'" – Eileen
3 'So, When Can We Start Trying For The Next One?'
The LAST thing on any woman's mind before, during, and after labor is 'man I really want to do this again.' So do not under any circumstances think it's okay to even mention the possibility of another child or going through the child birthing process again, at all. These husbands allowed their curiosity to outweigh their better judgment. Let's hope their still alive to read this.
"True story... For a moment I was on all fours hands and knees and out of nowhere he says, 'you're in the same position now as when we were making him.'" –Jessica Perry
"My husband asked one of the worst questions you can ask a woman in hard labor ~ 'when can we start on the next one' nurse grabbed him away from me as I prepared to get off the table and kill him. lol He learned the next time around." – Sylvie Rivera
2 He Looks Weird
Everyone believes their new baby is an angel and looks like one too. But these dads seem to think otherwise and aren't afraid to say it. Okay, we'll admit it: these are pretty funny.
"With our first child: 'not that it matters, but is her head supposed to look all pointy like that?'" –Kendra Brooksher
"My husband's first words as my daughter came out was, 'She looks like my brother Carl!'" – Lindsey
“Is this what it’s supposed to look like? Talking about our first covered in goo!" — Christie
"I had a section with all my children. This was my second but my husbands first. As the doctor pulls the baby from my stomach my husband screams he is white. Well yes, we are white people. But everyone stops and looks at both of us. Like he was unsure of the race of our baby. Needless to say, he has not lived that one down." – Kimberly McDill
1 'When Can She Start Working Out Again?'
The looming question as to when we'll "bounce back" after birth is already on our minds guys. There is no need to inquire about when it will be or how long it will take because it will only make us feel worse. Unfortunately, these ladies have to put up with these guys. From small hints to blatant remarks these men seem to have forgotten it took nine months for her body to expand.
"I asked my husband to go down and get me some magazine's to read from the gift shop, he brought back Shape and Woman's Health. Yeah, what woman wants that to read during labor!" – Heather Gleason
"With my firstborn, the ex asked the doctor no more than an hour after delivering when I could "start working out to get back in shape"!!! This was after he asked when I delivered my placenta " is that her liver!?!" Yeah, he was a special kind of stupid. Thankfully, he's no longer a part of our lives and my husband is a great man that was smart enough to keep his mouth shut in the delivery room for our last 3 babies!" – Amanda-Rae Novitch
"Barely 12 hours after I delivered my son (all 9 lbs of him) my husband looked at me and my still swollen belly and said, 'You got another one in there!?' I thought my mother was going to KILL him." – Terry Hutchings
References: Quora.com, Reddit.com
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