Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don'ts for the Delivery Room - Tips for Idiot Men

To be an expectant dad is to be many things in the eyes of the outside world, or so the outside world has informed me.

We are, mostly, a well-meaning but largely blissfully unaware lot. Picture lush green fields rolling like a placid sea, dotted with smallish trees and the occasional buffalo, sauntering in the sunlight, nibbling on grass. 

Those buffalo? That's us new dads. And just out of frame is a buffalo meat processing plant; that's reality. 

A dad.  A happy, happy dad.
Or so the world would have us believe.

I've detailed in this space before the exceptionally low opinion that many media convey regarding men, specifically men about to be fathers. Happily, I can report that this practice continues.

The most recent example I found was published by an extremely popular website aimed at pregnant women and, occasionally, dads to be.

"What NOT to do in the Delivery Room: A Guide for Dads" is the title of this winner. Rather than embrace any form of subtlety, the writers of the site proceed to immediately slap male readers across the face with their perceived idiocy.

Let's jump in with these insults tips.

"'DON’T: Lose it. He turned white and the nurse had to stop helping me to get him get to a chair, and she took the oxygen off of me and gave it to him!' -- mel41g"

Here, I'll defer to the medical professionals. If the nurse saw fit to provide this husband the oxygen, perhaps he really needed it. I'm sure this guy was trying to stay calm but, you knew he was a spineless wimp before you made a baby with him so, well, really this is your fault.

"'DON'T: Go to sleep. My husband took a NAP...and to make matters worse, SNORED!!!' -- annam829"

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of "annam829" but, just because she found the one man with the ability    and the will    to fall asleep amidst the chaos of a delivery room does not make it worthy of a tip for all men.

"'DON'T: Stare at the flat-screen. Before I started pushing, he was watching basketball on the TV in the labor room. When we had to switch rooms mid-labor, he freaked out because our new room was missing a remote. I was not amused.' -- AmyCC1980"

Holding up a human leg is tough work.
If we don't know what game was on, can we really judge this man? And seriously, where is the damn remote?

"'DON'T: Whine. During pushing, he put my leg down and stretched, saying his arms were getting sore. Are you kidding me?' Soter1"

Labor is no joke. It's pain, it's fear and it's frustration. (Having not spent our entire lives deprived of senses, men know this.) Which makes it all the more plausible that when, after holding his wife's leg up for an hour, perhaps a husband made a quick remark about his arm getting tired and his wife freaked. What perhaps was intended as an offhand remark was instead perceived as an indictment that the man was the one making the real sacrifice. 

"'DON’T: Leave your ringer on. He was taking calls from work while I was pushing!!! -- goillini823"

Head of state. Mafia hit man. Anheuser Busch tour guide. The list of occupations that would justify this is extremely long.

Thankfully the good folks at this site also provided some ideas for what men should do in the delivery room.

Headlining these tips is to be quiet. On that suggestion we can all agree.

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