We’ve all heard the jokes before, the one where the man faints at the first sight of his baby’s head, or the one where the vagina gets compared to a Stephen King film.
In the literal sense, childbirth is not a pretty sight. There is blood, screaming, sweating, ripping, goo and sometimes even pooping involved. Personally, when I gave birth, I peed on two nurses and showed parts of my body to strangers that can usually only be seen with a compact mirror.
However, in the end, we get a baby. A baby that those dads-to-be had a part in making. (Granted, it was kind of small part when you think about it.)
These are just a few of the reasons men should suck it up, grit their teeth and throw everything they’ve ever known about vaginas to the wind, and join us in the delivery room.
We love them.
We’re having a baby with these people because we adore them and can’t wait to see what kind of combination we can make in the form of a baby. We need them on the front lines of this battle called labor, holding our hand and taking our punches (not always literally).
They love us.
Labor is scary and hard. At one point, the nurse asks, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how much pain are you in? 10 is being hit by a bus and left on the side of the road.” The fact that that is even an option proves that it is also one of, if not the most, painful thing we will ever go through.
No one wants to see the person they love in pain. But, that doesn’t mean they should hide in the waiting room. Holding our hand and stroking our hair will make them feel better in the end, too.
They know us.
Pain can do some pretty crazy things to a person including, but not limited to, rendering someone speechless. Our partners have been there from the beginning, proof-reading our birthing plans and meeting doctor after doctor or midwife after midwife.
They know what we like, what we hate, what we need and when we need it. Therefore, when the pain becomes just a bit too much to bear, there is no one better then our men to control the room when we can’t.
We didn’t get here alone.
That’s right. It takes two to tango and in this case, to make a baby. It’s only right that they take part in the delivery of said baby.
Our job is much harder.
Yes, it can be pretty gross. We can even get really mean. I pulled insults out of the air that I had never even heard of before, simply because my husband was trying too hard to put ice in my mouth. However, for all that men have to endure, we have plenty more.
We’ve been housing a human for nine months which, as it turns out, is the hardest of all landlord jobs. And for the last billion hours, we’ve suffered through what can only be a tiny goblin crushing our ovaries and stomping on our spine. Not that it’s a competition.
If our partners stay in the delivery room with us, they can forever say they survived witnessing childbirth. They can tell everyone how they didn’t faint, didn’t scream and didn’t even flinch when the woman they love pushed a human out of a place they used to see a lot differently.
Even if it isn’t true.
Would they rather it be our mother?
No, seriously. Would they?
They will be glad they did.
We spend nine months reading about what could go wrong during labor, how bad it hurts, how long it takes, etc… By the time the baby is ready to come out, our anxiety is through the roof. And by the time the contractions get to be a minute apart, we wonder if kids are really all that great. By the time our lady parts are ripping in half, we’re ready to take it all back.
However, when that baby finally gets into our arms, we realize we would do it four times over if the result were the same. The memory of what seemed like a horrific and painful nightmare suddenly become extremely beautiful.
It becomes a memory we want to share with the person we love the very most.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: courtesy of the author