The delivery room is a strange, scary, and spectacular place. There are mystical wonders to behold, a multitude of wires attached to the mom-to-be getting ready to deliver, and a cacophony of beeping coming from unfamiliar machines that leave one unable to decipher good from bad. It is where miracles happen, memories are made, and life is brought forth into the world. Until something irreversibly stupid is said by the father-to-be at the worst possible moment.
Pushing a watermelon-sized human out of her hoo-ha is one of the most nerve-wracking things a woman will do in her life. And that's exactly why most baby daddies probably need some kind of coaching on how to not make us want to punch them during those grueling hours. Maybe it's not their fault—after all, they are trying to be a supportive.
Everyone reacts to stress differently. Some get quiet, some crack jokes, and others just can't seem to stop talking. And while there's nothing more nerve-racking for a new dad than being helpless in the delivery room, that's just no excuse for some of the asinine things that come out of their mouths.
Men are not exactly known for saying the right thing at the right time. Having talked to L&D nurses and read a variety of humorous (yet cringe-inducing) accounts of ridiculous things said inside the delivery room, you would think these men would have more common sense, or at least a sense of self-preservation. Therefore, I thought it best to make a top 20 list to help future dads.
20 "Um...How Long Do You Think This Is Going To Take?"
Deborah Carlington from Washington had been in labour for only 5 hours when her husband asked: “Um…How long do you think this is going to take?”. This was the Carlington’s first child and though this might have been his first experience with the process of labour, but sheesh…please read a baby book or two. Yes, it sucks that the baby is being born just as the new season of Orange is the New Black drops on Netflix. But unless you want to see some real “Crazy Eyes” in the flesh, don’t ask this question out loud. It takes however long it takes. And believe me; she wants it to be over more than you do.
The average labour time is eight hours. But for first-time mums it can be very unpredictable, sometimes taking as much as a couple days. I can understand that this is also a long process for the dads-to-be, and often time there isn’t much they can do other than offer emotional support. So my advice is packing a daddy-bag, filled with entertainment and every comfort he might need. This way his whining will be to a minimum and he’ll be able to be more present for you.
19 "Oh Wow! It's Just Like When Cows Give Birth"
Diana and David from Minnesota were very excited for the arrival of their first child and they had gone through all the Lamaze classes together in preparation. But NOTHING could have prepared Diana when her husband screamed “ Oh wow! It’s just like when cows give birth” just as her daughter was crowning. All I have to say is NO! No you do not say that…EVER! I can only imagine how mortified poor Diana was.
Like did you just compare your partner to some kind of farm animal as she’s sweating and grunting and pushing life into the world? Do you see now where you went wrong? And for God’s sake, do not make animal noises in the delivery room. Definitely not a mooing sound. Women REALLY don’t like that.
18 "Look At That! Hang On A Sec, I’ve Got To Get My Camera"
Carmen, a 42 year old veteran mom of two was not new to all this, but her husband was. This was Hector’s first time in the delivery room. After only 10 minutes of pushing, Carmen was relieved her little rainbow baby was finally coming when her hubby said: “Look at that! Hang on a sec, I’ve got to get my camera”. Mortified much? Although the miracle of childbirth is most definitely nothing to be ashamed of, I’m not quite sure you want your lady bits immortalized for all to see.
I know this was the much awaited moment, and there isn’t much for dad to do, but do you really need to take pictures in this moment? And if it’s that important to the both of you to have these memories in print, I highly recommend getting a professional photographer, who can make themselves discreet.
17 "Hang On; I’m Just Getting The Score Of The Game"
For Mackenzie and Josh Trudeau, the labour process was a sport. But when it finally came time to start pushing, Kenzie was told by her hubby: “Hang on; I’m just getting the score of the game”. Can you believe it? I would have thrown a football at his head. Yes, there is a TV with cable in the hospital room. No, you should not watch it when the baby is coming. Not even if your baby is due to be born when the New England Patriots open their season.
Against the Steelers. And raise the Super Bowl trophy.
As if the baby waits for anything. If there is one thing that’s certain during labour, it’s that it will all happen on the baby’s timetable (unless there is an emergency situation where the medical staff will intervene). So I suggest PVRing the game and watching it later with your newborn…if you know what’s good for you.
16 "Can You Pop An Extra Stitch Or Two In There To Make Sure She's Still Tight?"
I’m sure Emilie’s husband wasn’t the only one thinking it….but did he really need to ask the doc to “Pop an extra stitch or two in there to make sure she’s still tight?”. I’m flabbergasted! This could have only come from an insecure man. Besides only really old fashioned doctors will give you the “husband stitch”, as it is no longer common practice.
Plus there are multiple drawbacks. First of all, holy insensitive Batman. Second, you’re setting yourself up for a burn here. Either your wife, the doctor, or (more likely) the nurses are going to say something along the lines of “Well just how small are you that you need her vagina to be so tiny??” and then you will feel great shame. Deserved shame, to boot.
15 "OMG! Your Downstairs Is Ruined. It's Like A War Zone"
Brandon, husband extraordinaire, needs a lesson or two in tactfulness. After his sweet baby girl Annabelle was born and he and new mom Joyce were sharing their first moments with their newborn daughter, Brandon looked at the doctor working on his wife and said: “OMG! Your vagina is ruined. It’s like a war zone.” I won’t lie, this is what most men think after their significant other has had a vaginal delivery (imagine if it was a c-section?). But a big ole freaking emphasis on THINK, not said.
Because talking about a woman’s vagina in front of said woman is a bad idea on its own, but saying something derogatory about her lady parts while said lady parts are passing life into the world? Forget the dog house. You’ll be UNDER the dog house.
14 "Man I’m Exhausted!"
Julie Beauchamp was in labour for a total of 36hours with her twins when doctors finally decided to wheel in her for an emergency c-section. While waiting for the operating room to be set-up, her husband sat beside her and said: “Man I’m exhausted!”. This is something that should never NEVER be uttered by ANYONE when in the presence of a labouring mom; especially if you’re the husband. If you’re within her reach when you say this, then it’s already too late.
I know you can never know what her body goes through during labour and you can’t even start to imagine the energy it takes to get to the finish line or the pain she withstands, but have some common sense, or at the very least a sense of self-preservation.
13 "Yikes Honey! Can You Not Scream So Loud?"
Helene G. is a self proclaimed “wuss” when it comes to pain and she had no issue expressing her pain out loud while she was in labour at the birthing house. It got to a point where her partner said: “Yikes honey! Can you not scream so loud?”.
We’ll see how loud you scream when she grabs your testicles and twists during the next contraction. This would still be but a fraction of what she endured to bring your child into this world. They say that the human body can only handle 45 del (units) of pain. Yet during labour the pain can go up to 57 del of pain, which is similar to 20 bones getting fractured at a time. Therefore, if we want to scream…we will bloody SCREAM!!!
12 "OMG! What The Hell Is That?"
Sarah had had a long 16 hour labour, but every second had been worth it to see the beautiful face of her baby boy Remington. After her husband cut the cord and nurses whisked away their little one for a quick clean, Sarah’s husband screams: “OMG! What the hell is that?”. The “that” in question was Sarah’s placenta.
Look, if you insist on being in the delivery room (and you absolutely should), then things are going to get real. You’re going to see some shit you can’t unsee, and it’s not for those with a weak stomach. Things stretch and there’s blood and the afterbirth and losing control of bowels right there in the bed. And that’s just with a vaginal birth. If it’s a c-section and you look over the curtain, God help you. But for the love of all things holy, internalize your freak out. Unless she’s got a mirror, she can’t see what’s going on. And you shouting about mangled vaginas and newborns that look like alien creatures is only going to make her upset. And get you hurt.
11 "Don't Get Too Comfortable Kid, That's My Spot"
For Jane and Adam, meeting their first boy was magical. After having two girls, Adam was thrilled that he finally got a son with whom he could fish and play catch with. With her previous two children, Jane had not been interested in breastfeeding and thought that bottle feeding was for the best as Adam could be more implicated. However, since this was her last baby, she was determined to give breastfeeding a try. Right after her little boy latched on for the first time, Adam whispers to him: “Don’t get too comfortable breastfeeding kid, that’s my spot”.
Yes, her boobs are bigger than ever. No, you cannot touch them. And you’re definitely an a-hole for asking. And although many men enjoy their wive’s breast (full of milk and all) after birth, this was definitely not the time for it. Way to ruin this tender moment.
10 "So....How Soon Can We Do It?"
I kid you not, literally 30min after giving birth, Tandy’s husband asked her: "So…how soon can we have sex?”. First of all, if you just witnessed a baby burst forth from her loins and you’re still horny, then I honestly don’t know what to say to you. But more than that, look what she just went through. She’s sore, bleeding, exhausted, possibly torn, and most likely has a tiny human attached to her nipples. Does that seem like foreplay to you? And no, this does not mean it’s “BJ week.”
Many men don’t know this, but there is usually a 6-week period of abstinence after birth, to give her time to heal properly. And quite frankly, he’ll be lucky if she WANTS to have sex following that 6-week period. Due to the hormonal imbalance after birth, it’s not uncommon for new-moms to have a lowered libido and it can take years for it to come back.
9 "There's No Way That’s Coming Out Of There"
Sandra’s husband was very excited at the arrival of their first child and wanted to see it all. Against her better judgement she agreed to let him watch as their daughter was born. Once she was fully dilated and ready to push she hunkered down as nurses held her feet and her husband was closer to the doctor when he said: “There’s no way that’s coming out of there”.
Yes, that ‘s exactly the kind of encouragement your wife needs in that moment. In order for a woman to have an easy labour she needs to turn off the “thinking” portion of her brain and let the more primitive part take over. If she starts thinking about the mechanics of delivering a 6 to 10 pound baby, she will start panicking and tighten up. This can only lead to trouble. Dads need to learn to keep these thoughts to themselves.
8 "Honey You Are Only At A Zero And You Have 10cm To Go. You Better Toughen Up"
One of the first things they do when you get to the hospital to give birth is check how far along you are. When the Nurse was finished verifying her cervix, Lisa’s partner felt the need to state: “Honey you are only at a zero and you have ten centimeters to go. You better toughen up!”. Thank you Captain Obvious.
I find it quite funny that he felt the need to tell her to toughen up, as if men know anything of what his woman is going through in that moment. Nothing they have or ever will experience comes even close to this. Women are remarkable beings, and only a person of true strength could give birth (whether this is naturally or via c-section). And they say females are the weaker sex.
7 "I'm Bored"
Nora was outraged when 19 hours into her 24hour labour her husband turns to her and says: “I’m bored”. Did someone drop you on your head when you were a toddler? This is simply unacceptable. Do not think this is remotely fun for her or a walk in the park. Do you not think she would prefer being anywhere else but here?
I know this is long and it’s difficult to see the light at the other end of the tunnel, but you’re sole job is to shut your mouth unless it’s to say nice, soothing things to your wife who is doing an incredible job of bringing your child into this world…and this is IF she asks you to. Otherwise sit by her side and entertain yourself. She does not need to take care of her man-child on top of it.
6 "If I Knew This Was Going To Take So Long I Would Have Worn Better Shoes"
Leah had a very long labour with her first child. Even once all settled into the hospital where she was going to give birth, her and her husband ended up walking the halls, trying to get her labour moving along, for over 4 hours. At some point her husband leans over and says: “If I knew this was going to take so long, I would have worn better shoes”. Yes because the foot pain you are experiencing is on the same level as the pain of contractions.
Seems to me he had nothing to complain about. And it’s not sympathetic of him. I really wish there were more men who could experience what contractions feel like. This way they could be more understanding and realise that their insensitive comments are hurtful at times. I’ve said this already but packing a hospital bag for daddy is essential. It avoids a lot of asinine remarks.
5 "OMG! You Wouldn't Believe How Many Layers Of Fat You Have In There"
Haylie S. burst into tears when the doctor started the incision for the emergency C-section and her husband peeked over the side and said, “OH ....MY...GOD! You wouldn't believe how many layers of fat you have in there!” Raise your hand if you also want to punch him in the throat. This was incredibly thoughtless of her husband…no wonder she was in tears. Many women worry that their husbands won’t find that attractive after giving birth. Didn’t he know about the golden rule? NEVER speak about a woman’s weight. As far as men are concerned, your significant other is a pillar of beauty, who is radiant.
Besides, if your wife is literally getting major abdominal surgery and your child is coming; don’t you have better things to do? If this had been me, I’m not sure we would have been married after that.
4 "Don’t Do Anything Until I Come Back"
Suzanna remembers vividly what her husband was doing when she was in labour:
“As I was lying in the delivery room giving birth to our first child about a month before my due date, waiting for the rest of the action to start, my husband decided to head to Best Buy to buy a video camera so he could tape our son's birth. I'll never forget his last words before leaving the room: 'Don't do anything until I get back!”
Sure she can just hold it in…no biggie. Take your time (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?). I’m not sure that was the best moment to leave. She was about to enter in the most difficult part of labour and she needed the support of her husband. And he was taking a huge risk of missing his son’s birth all together. Newborns wait for no one, even if you’re the dad.
3 "I Can't Go To The Hospital, I Have Work Tomorrow"
Wait until you read Bonita’s story. No wonder he’s now her ex-husband.
“My now-ex-husband freaked out when I told him it was time to go to the hospital. He bolted to the living room and said, 'I can't! I have to work tomorrow.' He pulled out his briefcase, took out a file, and said, 'See! This is the case! I really do have to be in trial tomorrow at 9:30!”
I would have given him a swift kick to the “derrière” and told him to drive me to the hospital before I kicked the front of him too. It’s like the man’s only job when his woman goes into labour. There are no excuses. Besides, there should have already been a plan in place for your replacement at work, at least for a day or two.
2 "Seriously You Don't Smell That?"
Jessica was pushing when all of a sudden she said: "Oh my…did I…” and her husband was quick to say: “Seriously, you don’t smell that?”. Jessica was embarrassed to find out she had pooped on the delivery bed while she pushed out her 9 pound baby boy.
Pooping during delivery is completely normal and in fact it’s a common fear that comes up 9 times out of 10. Women in labour just need to accept this as a normal part of the process. The more you try and prevent it the longer and more complicated your labour can be, as the woman is not focusing on her breathing.
Men, if your wife asks you if she pooped your answer should always be no…and that will be your answer until you go to your grave, you hear me?
1 "You Need To Make A Hair Appointment Your Roots Are Showing"
Rebecca was severely scared of needles but knew she wanted drugs when the time came. So as she sat at the edge of her bed in her hospital room, hugging a pillow waiting for the anesthesiologist to give her much awaited epidural, she asked her husband to distract her so she wouldn’t tighten up and flinch. Her husband who was hunched down in front of her paused for a second, looked up at her and said: “You need to make a hair appointment, your roots are showing”.
Now I realise that he just said the first thing that came to mind and he was just trying to alleviate the tension, but come on. There was nothing better to soothe her? Like reminding her of why she was doing this? The beautiful face of their newborn? The last thing a mom-to-be wants to be reminded is that she hasn’t been able to do her usual grooming routine and that she desperately needs a date with her hairstylist.
Sources: Babycenter.com, Daddyfiles.com, Womanshealthmag.com, Popsugar.com, Parents.com.