In the 11 years I’ve been birthin’ babies, I’ve heard some crazy things in the delivery room. While most dads try their best to be supportive during labor, lets face it, this is an entirely new adventure for them. Here are some of the common gaffs that I hear dads make.
1. “That looks easy!”
This is a common faux pas that comes out surprisingly often in the delivery room. I will usually attempt to help save their marriage by suggesting that what he meant to say was “Honey you did so awesome, that you made it look easy.”
Most often, it is an honest mistake on the part of the dad. In the excitement of the moment, he’s not sure what to say. Trust me dads, no delivery is ever ‘easy.’
2. “My back hurts.”
I recently had a dad request my stool, as I went to deliver his wife’s baby. “Sorry sir, I need the stool to help bring your child into this world,” I said. “But my back really hurts” he replied, as his wife was pushing…without an epidural.
Really, dude? No, you cannot have my stool. You can stand there and be supportive of your beautiful wife as she experiences the worst pain of her life. Plus, I went to school a long time for the privilege of sitting on this stool. Are you going to ask to wear my white coat next, because you are chilly?
While your wife is in labor, you are not allowed to complain. I don’t care if you have a herniated disc and you have been asked to sleep on the floor.
On a related note, it is also bad form to sleep while your wife is pushing.
3. “No, honey you can’t have an epidural, because WE have decided to have natural childbirth.”
Beforehand, women often tell their husbands to not let them get an epidural, no matter what they say. But sometimes…they really mean it.
This is a sticky situation for the dad, similar to the questions, “Does this outfit make me look fat?” or “Do you think my friend is cute?” He doesn’t always know the right answer.
He wants to stick to the ‘birth plan’ but he also doesn’t want his wife to suffer. I feel for you dad, but no matter how involved you are in coaching the labor, referring to the experiences of birth in the first person is never a good idea.
In all seriousness, it is a good idea to have a secret code word that your wife can tell you when she really means business about the epidural.
4. “This Chick-fil-A is so awesome!”
Most hospitals do not allow the laboring mom to eat, so don’t devour a Chick-fil-A sandwich in front of your hungry wife. Even if she is not hungry, the smell of food can make her nauseated.
As an aside, do not ever bring a tuna fish sandwich into the room. It stinks…in a bad way.
5. “Just one second, let me finish this Tweet.”
Recently I had to utter a phrase in the delivery room that I thought I would never have to say:
“Dad put down your iPhone, come over here and cut the cord.” I swear I did.
Technology is awesome. As soon as the baby is born, you want to get the news out ASAP. But take a few minutes and enjoy the birth of your child before you start Facebooking it.
Also, don’t randomly start uploading delivery room pictures, until you look at them very closely. Another technology mistake is the accidental crotch shot upload.
The majority of dads, even the ones who make these mistakes, are overall very supportive. Most dads do rise to the occasion, as I’m sure your hubby will. Just to be safe though, you may want to ‘accidentally’ leave this post up on his laptop tonight.
Did your husband say something he shouldn’t have while you were in labor? If you haven’t experienced birth yet, what do you hope he doesn’t say?