Despite the What to Expect book sitting toilet side for months, most dads are pretty unprepared for the actual labor and delivery process. Fear not, birth partners: Here are 10 things dads need to know about labor and delivery:
1. Should you end up in the hospital due to false labor, just smile and head home. Snarky comments or “I told you so’s” will get you nowhere, fast.
2. If she asks for drugs, even if that’s contrary to her previous plan, go find the doctor and get that woman some damn drugs. NOW.
3. Let her squeeze your hand, and don’t you dare complain about how much it hurts.
4. Likewise, when you’re asked to hold her legs back, which you will be, don’t complain how tired your arms are after five minutes. Want to try pushing a papaya out of your penis?
5. Don’t freak out when she starts cursing your existence… she doesn’t really mean it. Even if she threatens to remove your manhood with a rusty hacksaw if you so much as ever even THINK about touching her again. That’s just her kooky way of saying how much she loves you and how happy she is that you are there with her for this joyous moment!
6. Be prepared to see things you can’t unsee south of your wife’s border. Calm down, it’s supposed to look like that. And yes, there’s some other pretty gross stuff that comes out, besides the baby. Totally normal. (And just FYI, if you pass out right now, you will never hear the end of it. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.)
7. Don’t expect your new infant to resemble the Gerber baby. You’re in for a rude awakening if that’s what you’re hoping for.
8. Your wife is going to leave the hospital still looking pregnant. No need to remark on it.
9. Pretend you were a Boy Scout and plan ahead. Fill out the discharge papers, make sure the carseat is installed properly and that the car is filled with gas.
10. Try not to have a panic attack leaving the hospital. It’s hard to believe that they just let you leave like this, and once you walk out those doors, it will hit you like a punch in the gut. Take take a deep breath… you can do this!
Related post: The New Dad’s Guide to Surviving Your Wife