To be honest, I think a main reason I eventually became really set on having at least one baby in my life was that I really wanted to get to have the experience of not only carrying a child during pregnancy but also birthing them out into the world.
What else can really compare to that? It’s a wild thing to ponder, and to go through, and not just for the mom in the picture.
Although not too long ago in our collective history, men were ushered out to the hallway to pace or sit waiting in a mauve chair, these days, the quite common “birth partner” is the, well, baby-making partner, and doesn’t that really make a whole lotta sense?
The two partners will go through a lot together, and here are 20 things he won’t be able to un-see in the delivery room.
20 You Dropping A Deuce — Or A Dozen
At the onset of or right before, as well as throughout the process, do not be surprised if you find yourself quite committed to staying close – very close – to that porcelain throne. Yep, the toilet. We’re talking diarrhea, people, aka the runs, aka the liquid poops. When women are concerned about going on the delivery table, I’m like, dude… might not be anything left at that point.
19 Your Face As You Groan Like A Farm Animal
If you give into what your body wants most naturally to do to cope with labor pain — and especially if you go for a “natural” birth (which I’d highly recommend) — the sounds that will come out of your mouth are going to be very deep, low, and animalistic. They could tell I didn’t need no stinkin’ triage when I arrived at the hospital with my second — they’d heard that moan before.
18 Your Lady Parts Stretched To 10 Centimeters
That’s considered full dilation. All those painful contractions, building in frequency and intensity throughout that thing called labor, are doing the work of opening up the passage through which that baby will pass (if born vaginally). If you use your, thumbs below and the rest of your fingers up top to form an “O” shape, that’s probably not quite big enough.
17 Straining Like You're Dropping A 7-Pound Poop, But It’s A Baby
Well, ya know, pushing is pushing. And it’s pretty impossible to focus all pushing energy on a part that you don’t normally use for that type of exertion, if that makes sense. But it is sort of like that other familiar form of pushing, only you’ll probably have to really give it your all, “bearing down,” as they say with all your might.
16 Vomit On Aisle… Delivery Room
Just like the other end commonly experiences stomach upset, so, too, does the top end. Nausea is common during labor, and if many a gal finds herself spewing at some point in the process, particularly as things are about to shift to become really intense: contractions that actually require incredible coping to make it through.
15 That Womanly Waddle Dance To Cope With Contractions
Movement is your friend as you cope with labor pain and try to encourage the natural progression of labor. There’s a sort of very animal rhythm that many women are able to find — a sort of labor groove, if you will, and it’s something that I would 100 percent recommend finding, giving in to, and practicing proudly, even if it’s not the stuff of sensual seduction.
14 The Placenta Popping Out…
He will of course have seen the baby making that grand exit, if he looks. (I quite enjoyed / was really helped by watching the head slowly make an appearance via mirror during pushing — yay progress!) But that’s not all; oh no, that is not all. Next up is the afterbirth, and so all present will see that organ that was so important during pregnancy (the placenta) sliding on out as well.
13 …And Possibly Rupturing — And Splattering
Sometimes it takes a little coaxing, and sometimes it’s a few simple additional pushes, but out the placenta must come, and if it happens to snag on a stirrup or piece of equipment, there may be, to put it as un-grossly as I can, splatters and messes. The good thing? Not your problem. Doctors and nurses have seen it all before.
12 Your Booty (After 40 Weeks Of Pregnancy) Out The Back Of That Robe
Oh, standard-issue hospital gowns, with your open backs and breezy vibe (in a bad way). While they may be deemed quite practical and traditional, they may — believe it or not — not in fact be the most flattering garments in the whole world, especially as you turn your rear to any onlookers.
11 The Mesh Granny Panties + Huuuuge Sanitary Pad You Wear After
It’s quite a setup they get going for you (the nurses, that is) after all is said and done. With sore parts and quite frequently tearing down there that has been stitched up, a nice little rig is put in place: A nurse will help you to use the toilet for the first time, then outfit you with mesh disposable underpants, a MASSIVE sanitary pad thing, an ice pack, and quite possible a spritz of numbing spray and a Tucks hemorrhoid pad.
10 The Lady Parts Being Torn Apart
“First-time moms have a 95 percent chance of experiencing some form of tearing during delivery, since the tissue down there is less flexible,” says Parents. Basically, it happens A LOT. (Chances are, though, he won’t be gazing at that spot the moment it happens, and more likely holding your hand – or your leg back.)
9 … Or Cut Apart
Though less and less common these days, episiotomy was once more common and still sometimes occurs when an OB/GYN considers it better to create a cut rather than allow a natural tear to occur. It’s more regular for nurses and midwives to apply compresses and massage the area to try to prevent tearing and for any tears to simply be repaired afterward, but still, episiotomy is a thing.
8 …And Stitched Up Afterward
Whether a natural tear happens while that little boy or girl makes an exit or a cut is made to more easily allow passage (which, again, is much less common in modern times), the aftermath involves, of course, the doctor stitching up the injury. The stitches will be the type that dissolve on their own, and many times this will simply be performed right there in the delivery room.
7 The Postpartum Pooch Being Massaged To Encourage Involution
A big concern of doctors and nurses after a woman gives birth is to make sure that her uterus is undergoing “involution” at a satisfactory rate. Pitocin may be administered to aid this process, and commonly, a massaging of the abdomen is practiced to encourage it, as well as to feel whether or not the organ is doing what it’s supposed to.
6 When You Lose The Will To Go On
There is that almost inevitable moment when the pain is too much, you’re too tired, and you just truly wish you didn’t have to do it. You may cry, and appear to sort of just fall apart. Guess what? That’s OK. There will be a moment when you don’t feel strong (at least one…). You may feel like you are being challenged more than ever before and like you wish it would just STOP. A supportive partner may be able to do or say the right thing to help you pass this.
5 Hey, Sweaty, Red-Face, Rat’s Nest Hair Lady
Birth is not looking picture perfect. It’s not flawless makeup and lovely hair. It’s natural. It’s beautiful — but maybe not in the way that many in our social media-obsessed world think of “beautiful,” if that makes sense. There’s sweat and plenty of other fluids. There’s a long, long workout. There’s crazy positions, exertion, straining, and more.
4 Balloon Feet That Jiggle And Wiggle With Each Step
All that fluid that was retained during pregnancy has a way of just sort of collecting in your feet and making the immediate afterward of labor very, well, jiggly-footy. Those dogs may feel very strange and look even stranger. Some women get this pretty bad during pregnancy, whereas others just get the strange sensation and look at the very end.
3 You Getting Poked And Prodded
Labor and birth involve cervical exams, almost always. They involve doctors and nurses using hands and potentially other tools (sometimes even forceps) to do all that they can do to ensure the safe birthing of a brand-new human. Perhaps your guy has seen something like this during prenatal appointments — but probably not QUITE like this.
2 The Insertion Of A Long Metal Hook
Get this: There’s a thing called a “bulging bag.” Some babies are even born “en caul” within the amniotic sac, actually. But anyway, nurses may be very tempted and even insistent on using a sort of long, hook-like device (sort of like a crochet hook??) to burst that bag and get the show on the road.
1 If Things Move To The Operating Room
There is of course the chance that a vaginal birth will just not happen. Sometimes it’s planned that way, and many times it’s not. But if your birth partner is there with you during labor and for the birth, he will also likely see, hear, and smell what goes down in the operating room during a C-section.
Sources: TodaysParent.com, Parents.com