I think we need to discuss this…

E and I are having a little bit of a disagreement on delivery room procedure. As my coach, I feel his job is to hold my hand, feed me ice chips and stay near my head. E has decided that he wants to catch. The birthing instructor says it may not matter, since only a couple of the doctors would allow that, and we get whoever happens to be on call when I go into labor. I am fine with husband participation when it comes to being there in the room, cutting the cord, helping to clean and wrap up the baby, whatever. But I would rather he misses the most graphic part of the show. My current plan is to squeeze my legs together really hard until one of the non-catching doctors comes on call.

After four years of marriage, there isn’t that much mystery left. Yesterday I described in detail the weird bump I found on my nipple. The last time I wore eyeliner, E walked in and said “What’s wrong with your face?” We aren’t quite at the pee with the door open stage and I’d like to keep it that way, but I think seeing the actual miracle of birth occur between my legs might push us over that line. I’m not being unfair, I don’t want to see it either. And believe it or not, I still plan to have more children in the future, and conceiving them might be kind of difficult if my husband runs in horror at the thought.

I know I’m being difficult. And I know that since birthin’ babies is what my body is meant to do finding it kind of gross is silly. If someone said “Oh, I don’t want my husband to see me breastfeeding” I would think they were a little shallow and maybe feel sorry that they don’t have as loving and supportive a partner as I do. But my loving, supportive partner is the one who likes to count stretchmarks and thinks the phrase “like throwing a hot dog down a hallway” is hilarious. So lets just agree that keep your eyes and your video camera near my head is the best plan.

12 Responses to “I think we need to discuss this…”

  1. sarrible says:

    Video camera? I think that would be a dealbreaker for me. Still photos, yes. Video, no. And I agree with the stay-up-near-my-head sentiment.

  2. When my wife was delivering, they didn’t even want me in the delivery room (she was having a C-section because her OB/GYN wouldn’t let her have a live birth). But my wife insisted, so I sat by her head, held her hand, told her I loved her, and stayed back there. No cameras, no nothing. I can’t say I would have wanted to videotape it.

    Anyway, I helped her through (she didn’t need much help thanks to the epidural) and that was that.

    Tell him he’s not going to miss anything, and that his job is to stay out of the way while the people who know what they are doing do their job.

  3. AGreenEyeDevil says:

    It is a graphic scene, and some men who have INSISTED on partaking of the business end of the actual delivery do come to regret the decision. It’s not uncommon for things to get very technical, and physically grim (forceps, suction, incisions, and the insertion of a physician’s hand) to make the actual delivery happen. Furthermore, if anything starts to become really complicated for mom/baby, only the OB and nurses remain on the business end. Everyone else is out of the room or to the head of the bed!

    I would strongly encourage E to focus on the very important role of supporting YOU, it’s a unique role/bond that no one else in the process can truly fulfill.

  4. lalaland13 says:

    Tell him that while you love him and are so glad you’re having a baby together, you are the one pushing the kid out of your vagina, and so you get the final say.

    Or, you could say you want him near your head so you can strangle him when you realize you’re pushing an 8-pound kid out of your vagina and it’s all his fault.

    Seriously, I think you get to make the final call. And I think Newt’s story is sweet.

  5. meghanstrader says:

    Granted, I’m his sis so I’m a little biased, but since it’s probably not going to happen anyway, does it have to be a fight? I was completly against hubby being anywhere other than my head as well. However, since I get to feel the baby moving, breastfeed, feel the hiccups, get my every need, want and thought catered to for 9 months, if he had wanted to see the delivery in order to feel a part of the process I would have a hard time saying no. And you never know, maybe he’ll be down there for a few minutes and then decide he would rather feed you ice chips. And wouldn’t it be amazing if E was the first person to hold the baby? Not the dr, not the nurse, but daddy?

  6. h_a_l says:

    Well I’ve got to give props to E for being willing to catch. My husband can’t even look at pictures of babies being born (can’t wait till we get to go to birthing class and see the videos!) and has exclaimed, multiple times ‘I am sticking near the head of the bed the whole time’! He also asked me if it would be ok if he went to the bar if I had a long labor (Thanks to my Uncle who told us he did just this while my Aunt was in a long labor w/ my lil cousin).

    That being said it is all about YOU being comfortable when you give birth. So ice chip feeding it is! And it seems like this is probably a non-issue since the Doc’s won’t allow it anyway.

  7. stacyinbean says:

    I’m pretty certain he might change his mind in there anyway, I think it will become ALL about your wants very quickly! Also, I think men should be required to feed me ice chips at all times. Who doesn’t love ice chips?

  8. Mitch says:

    just rent him a birthing video, and throw cabbage patch kids at him until he concedes.

    He’ll get to experience catching a baby from that viewpoint, and you get your Ice chips.

    WIN WIN!

  9. sarrible says:

    Mitch, I like the way you think.

  10. Erin (i dont have a fake name :( ) says:

    As another currently pregnant woman, I have to say that I would not want my husband catching the baby. I want him to be beside ME, at my face sharing the experience with me. When I’m in the middle of labor and all that pain and tunnel vision I wouldn’t want to feel all alone while everyone else is down there watching “the vagina show”. And I don’t want to have to feel self conscious about what my hubby is seeing. I want to know that the gory-est of details will only be witnessed by relative strangers. I don’t want to just share the experience with my husband, I want to share the same experience…..from above the sheet that’s over my knees.

  11. funnyface says:

    I have no hope of maintaining that mystery. Not only has my husband already seen hundreds of births (for some reason, this actually bothers me, because I want my future birthing experiences to be SPECIAL, dammit!), there’s pretty much no way I can say, oh, sorry Mr. Doctor, you’re not allowed to see that part.

  12. funnyface says:

    (But then again, we’re weirdos. I once made him help me feel my own ovaries, and another time I insisted he show me exactly what he does in a breast exam.)

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