Last month, a 24-year-old Muslim man was arrested after assaulting a nurse trying to deliver the baby his wife was working hard to push out. It seems that, in an effort to make her more comfortable and help her prepare for the final countdown before the newborn debuted, the poor nurse tried to take off the laboring woman’s burqa. Her husband spotted the scene unfolding through a window, broke down a locked door, and punched the nurse dead in the face.
Now, that’s an extreme example of what shouldn’t happen when a gal is huffing and puffing her way through the process of bringing forth new life. And suffice it to say that abusing the medical professionals is generally foolish since they guarantee all ends well in the birthing room. But physical altercations aside, there are other things that men shouldn’t say or do in interest of keeping the peace in the delivery room.
Don’t ask the mother-to-be for status updates. There’s an assortment of surefire ways to get laid out, cussed out, or put out. Asking, even ever-so-gently, “how’s it coming along?” or “how much longer do you think it’s going to be?” ranks right up there at the top of the list. You don’t rush a cake in the bakery and you don’t rush a bun in the oven.
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Don’t get sleepy or act like you’re bored.
Look sir, chances are pretty good you managed to stay up during the process of conceiving the child, so you can surely stay alert while your better half produces the finished product. If she can’t get any rest with contractions squeezing her woman parts every few seconds, guess what? Neither should you. Tough it out.
Don’t treat her body like a visual aide from 6th grade health class. That means squelching the urge to shriek “ewww! What’s that?!” or “oh my gosh! I didn’t know it would stretch that wide!” Not helping. Not helping one bit.
Don’t complain about anything. For God’s sake man! Do you have a death wish? That woman is doing more work in this little window of time than you’ll do in a six-month stretch, maybe even six years. If you’re feeling restless, tired, or otherwise unengaged, just imagine what it’s like for her. That’s right. Empathy.
Don’t hype up the contractions. Don’t enthusiastically announce when the fetal monitor shows one’s on the way. Don’t relish in the magnitude of it once it (finally, slowly, achingly) passes. She was there. She felt it when it was coming on and she felt it the whole live long way through.
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Don’t amuse yourself. If there was ever a time to be completely and totally focused on her, this would be it. Every few minutes, her insides are being squeezed and wrung out like a dollar store sponge. It’s OK to send the occasional text to keep family and friends in the loop but beyond that, Words With Friends or the Steelers game is just going to have to wait.
Did someone you love contribute to a delivery room horror story?
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