In the morning, it’s hard to find anything worth watching. You’re stuck with baby reality television shows, infomercials, or biased news talk shows. So, I generally chose the baby reality shows. It makes me feel better than I’m no longer pregnant anymore and I get to laugh at how silly they look talking about normal things making it seem like they’re the first person to have to make a cold lunch for one child while pregnant. Yeah, we’ve done that move on. I find reality shows are really just comedies for me to sit around with my popcorn because the way they make every day life seem like an over-dramatic soap opera is really just hilarious.
Something did catch my attention on Monday, and I decided to watch 3 hours worth of these shows for an experiment. On the first show at 7 am, the husband of this woman who was having a difficult time with the pain begs for an epidural after several hours. Her husband stood outside talking to the camera while they were putting the epidural in and said “we really wanted a natural childbirth so we’re pretty disappointed by this. Maybe next time.” I took the controller to rewind this (thank you DVR) to see if I heard this man correctly. It turns out, I did. I couldn’t believe my ears that a person could be that idiotic.. or selfish I haven’t decided yet. So I watched for a week and it turns out that in more than half of these shows the husband or partner says something like “we had hoped to have a natural birth/breastfeed but she couldn’t do it and we’re disappointed.”
If I had heard my husband say anything like that, I’d probably punch him in the face. It wouldn’t be hormones, it would be my short temper. The “we” part of the baby process ended with the making of the fetus. “We” cannot have natural childbirth, “I” can have natural childbirth. He can be a part of the decision and most definitely was a part of every decision that was made. But there certainly was only one of us squeezing a child out. You could say “my wife wanted a natural childbirth but was disappointed she couldn’t” and it would be perfectly acceptable. I understand, maybe the “we’ makes him feel more involved. But it seemed like “he” wanted the natural birth more than she did, and to be disappointed that she “failed” him is incredibly aggravating.
Personally, I’d like to see him pop out a baby naturally and see how long he lasts. I give him 5 minutes before he offers to do unspeakable things to the anesthesiologist for pain relief. Then I hope he’s too far along to get one and has to go at it alone. No, I don’t feel bad for saying that. The most important point of this whole rant can be applied in mostly every situation in life: It’s easy to make decisions for other people without knowing what they’re going through. In pregnancy and birth, nothing ever really goes as planned. And no one ever realizes how excruciating it is until going through it. Instead of being disappointed that your wife couldn’t “suck it up”, sit by her every second of the way at your place next to the bed and let her decide if she’s in too much pain. Get her ice chips and rub her back and make her feel better, not worse. And to you reality show “supportive” soon-to-be dads, understand that any woman who had gone through childbirth and sees you say something like that, realize that we’re all thinking about punching you in the face.