Friday, June 11, 2010

Men In the Delivery Room: A Rant

I think I've linked to this article before, but I just read another couple of articles that suggest that men don't belong in delivery rooms or that women having babies are better off if they can't smell any pesky male hormones that might make them nervous. Okay, I understand that we're all emotional animals inside those deep lizard parts of the brain, but we all also have lots of the curly brain stuff that indicates we can do this little thing called thinking logically.

Which isn't to say that some couples feel more comfortable with the papa-to-be handing out gum cigars in the waiting room, and more power to them. What I don't like is all these articles that basically do their best to convince men whose partners are preggo that they will either faint, vomit, become emotionally scarred for life, no longer find their partner sexy, or worse, inadvertently cause the poor laboring woman to need a c-section just by witnessing the birth.

Um, word. Birth is icky. I've done it - I had no desire to see what was happening in a mirror because I was busy and I felt gushing and I wanted to remember my privates as they once were. The Babby Daddy, on the other hand, made a point of glancing directly at the action because he thought it was really cool. And good for him, but if he'd wanted to stay up by my headular region, that would have been fine, too.

But back to birth being icky. Some people like to look at icky things and some don't. But here's the thing: we've all seen an icky thing, and most of us (the logical ones) got over it. Maybe we had to watch someone we love get stitched up in the ER. Maybe we've seen a boyfriend puke guts. Some of us have to deal with doodoo and rashy buttholes on a daily basis. 

And you know what? Live long enough, and there's a chance that doodoo-smeared, rashy butthole is going to belong to your parent or your spouse.

I guess I can only hope that all the babies guys who are wah-wahing because they don't find their woman's post-baby vajayjay teh sexay anymore aren't ever in a situation where they have to take care of an aging parent or spouse. Because you know what? When someone is that helpless and that vulnerable that they need you there to clean up their bodily yuck, what they probably need more than anything else is for you to be able to look them in the eye afterward.

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See that guy right there? That guy rocks because he was there for me in one of the most vulnerable moments and, oh em gee, he lived to tell the tale without getting PTSD - seriously, read the article... "In the most striking cases, the symptoms that men experience come close to post-traumatic stress disorder, with its roots in the witnessing of an event that involves a threat to the physical integrity of self or others and responding with intense fear, helplessness or horror."

Puleeze! I wonder how these weenies will react the first time their kid breaks a limb or needs stitches. If you can't handle seeing your woman's physical integrity threatened, your head is probably going to explode when it's the fruit of your loins lying on that hospital gurney.

So, dudes, I guess if you don't want to see a woman giving birth, you have these three options:
  • Have children with a woman who you know would prefer you stay out of the delivery room. Problem solved.
  • Stay by your woman's head to avoid seeing anything "yucky" that might damage your psyche, you fragile flower. Again, problem solved.
  • Or don't get anyone pregnant. You whiny baby. Problem extra extra solved.

23 comments:

  1. The idea that men are too delicate to witness birth is just ridiculous -- I understand though if you want it to just be you and the doctor... I've never given birth so this is probably a naive stance, but I can see why having your husband there talking when you're busy trying to give birth would be annoying... And since you're the one pushing out that baby it seems to me that you should be the one deciding who is in the delivery room and who isn't! :-)

    Thanks for visiting Life: Forward - I hope you keep reading and commenting (I really enjoyed what you had to say!)

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  2. HA! I love your no BS tone in this post. I've not read any of the articles about keeping men out of the birthing room, why can't that simply be a personal decision made by the birthing mother? My husband, like yours, is far from traumatized by the birth of our son. Heck, he's even agreed to a home birth if we ever have a next time.
    Regardless, I agree that if men are going to take part in the baby-making process, they should also suck it up and stop crying about physical changes in our equipment. I've never heard men singing the (physical) beauties of the vagina in the first place, who cares what it looks like when it brings such pleasure to the vagina owner and her partner?! ;)

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  3. I love the way you write. This is a great post! I would really prefer my husband be in the delivery room with me. If he just can't I will understand but I think it can really have the potential to bring a couple together. PTSD? Puh-lease is right. Come on. That's a little ridiculous.

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  4. Preach it sister! One of the most beautiful moments of my delivery was when my hubby shouted "I can see her head!" It was like he was cheering me on and it gave me that extra boost to push hard one more time.

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  5. What a great post. I had my best friend in the delivery room with me as I didn't want the Daddy there but he had a choice!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog on SITS Pot Luck Friday!

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  6. I am laughing at this one! Hubby did great in the delivery room but almost passed out when our daughter cut her finger. Luckily I have a strong stomach and can handle things like that. lol.

    I wanted to stop by and say hi and thank you for stopping by my blog the other day. I love making new friends and seeing new blogs. Thanks again for coming over! I am your newest follower!

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  7. Great advice! I tried to have the hubs watch videos of live births so he would know what to expect....and I had a csection, but he watched it all...even when they tied my tubes!

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  8. My husband was a stay=by-the=head-of-the-bed labor dad. Originally, he wasn't going to cut the cord because he thought that was gross, but when the moment came he was more than willing. Even though he went into it kind of skeptical about what he was gonna see, he ended up having a great experience and is by no means suffering from freaking PTSD! I could see him totally wanting to catch the next kiddo when it comes slipping and sliding out. I support whatever he wants, as long as he's a grownup about it. I'm pretty sure he can separate icky-birth-stuff from wonderful-wife-and-baby-stuff.

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  9. My ex had the lucky moment to see not one, but two c-sections...I think it scarred him less than if he'd seen a vaginal delivery. Wimp.

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  10. Fabulous post - PTSD - ha! I love the look and feel of your blog - it just makes me smile. Stopping by from SITS - congrats on your day!

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  11. "Problem extra extra solved" Haha! Honestly, I think I was more grossed out my the whole labor thing than the dude was. I kicked the mirror out of that nurse's hand, meanwhile the dude was trying to figure out how to zoom the camera for a good shot of, as he put it, the "action site". It was like some really bloody archaeology dig :)\
    -tori@theramblings

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  12. My husband was all about being right in the middle of the action during the birth of our kids. I had a c-section and if the doctor would have let me, he would have scrubbed in and pulled a kid out.

    Great post and Happy SITS day. :)

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  13. "Live long enough, and there's a chance that doodoo-smeared, rashy butthole is going to belong to your parent or your spouse."

    This part cracked me up because my Momma always told me to marry someone who's arse you wouldn't mind wiping when you got old.

    ~Happy SITS Day Chica!!

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  14. This was written beautifully - and oh, so funny!

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  15. My husband was a little too interested in watching when they pulled my uterus out to examine it before stuffing it back in and stitching me up. I am not the discovery channel, dude. But tha is better than watching the hospital staff scrape him off the floor. I am now following you.

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  16. Too funny! I endured 4 c-sections and my hubby was just fine not looking over the curtain. But the poor man has been puked on, pee-ed on and pooped on. And lived to tell the tale. He's a keeper and I'm thankful for his help, even with the yucky stuff.

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  17. Love it! My man was right there with me, saw all 12 hours of labor, including when we had to do an unplanned c-section cause my baby was bungee jumping with a cord wrapped around him and couldn't come out the normal exit. He watched the surgeons cut me open, pull out my insides, and then pull out gorgeous son out. Not one bit of scarring!! No hint of PTSD! Good for you for bringing this up, I'm right there with you!

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  18. I can sort of understand how some men would want to stay up by the head and not watch - it is a very strange thing to see a baby coming out like that. If blood makes you squeamish, or medical things make you squeamish, this could too. But the excuse that it will change their view is not cool with me personally... guess what? Things do change after you have a baby!

    I would be made more nervous by NOT having my husband with me in the delivery room. Luckily, I got a good one who was with me, helping me, the whole time. For our 2nd son, he actually caught him because he was born at home (short labor, we couldn't get to the birth center). Good thing he wasn't squeamish then!

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  19. I love this. If he had told me he didn't want to be there I would have shown him the door and asked him not to come back. Because you know what? I didn't really want to be there either.

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  20. My husband (and my doula) were my rocks in labor. No way could I have done it without them.

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