What to do, what to do, what to do. As it has been for several years my mind is made up; I will not be in the delivery room when my first child is born. My stance on this has not wavered, my wife has known of it even before we talked about having children and she is fine with it. She is almost to the point that she prefers it that way. So all is well, right? I get to have it my way this time, right? So what’s the problem? Doubt is starting to creep into my mind and I can blame it all on Facebook.
The conversation about where I will be on the momentous day is not one that has been had too often. As I said, it’s all been worked out for years and everyone is happy. But on the occasion that someone asks if I will be in the delivery room, or if I will cut the cord and I reply in the negative, the next question is always, “why not?”
My answer to that is always the same; that is no place for a man to be. And I believe that. My presence in the delivery room will not help the situation at all and I will manage to make a nuisance of myself, unintentionally. Already in the room will be doctors, nurses, a mother and maybe a friend. So what would I contribute to this already stellar birthing team in a cramped room?
My attitude towards child birth is that women are born with all the tools they will need to get the job done. It is their bodies that go through such massive physical and chemical changes to accommodate the birth so what is the presence of a clueless man going to improve? Emotional support? Maybe, I will be close by for most of the time she is in labor and right up until the big moment, but once that midwife shows up I will be out the door pacing back and forth until I am told to come back in.
The doubt crept in when I crowd-sourced this topic on Facebook to all the dads out there, and the moms got in on the action too. The responses were all the same.
- I was there for both. No regrets, can't say I loved it because my job was basically to not put my foot in my mouth and do what I was told. But being there to support my wife and for the moment of birth is what it's all about.
- All I can say is, if I ever have children and he ISN'T there, we will have BIG problems. Come on- huge life milestone BRINGING A LIFE INTO THE WORLD THAT YOU HELPED CREATE!
- Yes. I was there for all of my kids. Quite unforgettable. Especially the time I was taking fantasy football calls (but that's another story).
- You didn't ask moms, but if I may overstep, if dads are there, I echo what Jimmy said. Try to be present. Or at least not ask the woman giving birth to stop pushing so dad can go to the bathroom, as my now ex did.
- I'm not a man, but I'll respond. Niko was there for both. If I ever had a third time at the rodeo, I'd put him in the waiting room. I'm glad he was there for the experience and we became parents "together", but at this point I'm like, "why should two of us suffer?"
- My ex kept nosing around in the cabinets and drawers in the labor & delivery room. After enduring my glares and hisses of "knock! it! off!" he wandered off for a while.
A few minutes later, the doctor gave me a pelvic, announced "it's time! where's your husband?" which quickly turned to, "omg, what do you ~mean~ he's not here?? Lie down and close your legs - don't push or he's going to miss it!" They had to call him over the hospital intercom. I'm told he came sprinting from some other wing on another floor.
Don't be that guy and you'll be fine :)
- Best experience of my life! Period! The greatest joy has been the close bond my son and I share to this day. And I disagree with Vickie that watching a baby coming out is gross - not only was it fascinating but cutting the umbilical cord and giving my kid his first bath were equally as awesome. And the bonding has endured as my son is now a teenager. Hey what can be better than that?
And that is just a portion of the advice that I got. With all the pearls that I was given I still won’t be present. We plan on having more than one child so if feel that I have missed out on something then I’ll make the necessary changes the next time around. I know that the trend over the last 35 years or so has been for dads to be present but I just can't do it. Call me a chicken, insensitive or macho but there are some things I just don't want to see.
- Conversation With My Doctor (themotherofnine9.wordpress.com)
- Couple welcome birth of third child in Bremerton parking lot (kitsapsun.com)
- Dodgers Catcher A.J. Ellis Watches Wife Cindy Give Birth to Daughter While Driving to Hospital (nesn.com)