If there was ever a subject that would divide the sexes, it’s this. There are lots of books, blogs, websites etc distilling the virtues of childbirth and all of it is about women and rightly so. My wife can barely remember giving birth and seems to have very romantic view on the whole event when she thinks about it, I however vividly remember every single moment of it and will never forget it. Mention childbirth and you will notice my right eye ever so slightly twitch.
So, spotting a gap in the market I have decided to write about the whole childbirth event from a spectators perspective, this will also tie in nicely for some of my future blogs about being a new dad. I am fairly well experienced in this department and have the honour of falling into both camps of caesarean and natural and lets get one thing straight, neither one is more preferable.
Our first son had to come “out of the sunroof”, mainly because he was breach but also because he had an enormously fat head. After I had experienced the sight of a doctor trying (and failing) to manually manoeuvre my son to be the right way around, it was decided that a C-section was going to be the way forward. 2 days later and we were sat in the hospital waiting for shit to kick off. I vividly remember being stuck in a tiny room with no windows and a buzzing artificial light for about 4 hours. During this time all I could hear was the screams of women in labour, horrific. Now I am not saying that the screaming could be helped but when you are sat there with a banshee shouting “get this thing out of me” followed by “I hate you, I should have listened to my mother”, it quickly makes an impression on you.
I was given a pair of scrubs to wear for when I went in the theatre. I put these scrubs on and I shit you not my arse was literally falling out of them, XXXL was what the label read and at the time I was a medium, apparently all of the other sets were in the wash. I remember walking into that operating theatre looking like I was a 5 year old that had decided to dress up in his dad’s clothes, not an expectant father to be.
The first thing to hit me was just how many people there were in the room. It felt like every doctor and nurse in the entire hospital had come out to watch, i swear that I walked past someone selling popcorn and magnums. From the point you enter the theatre you are a passenger and in fact more of an inconvenience if truth be told, for about 10 minutes I was without a seat until someone who looked like a parking attendant pushed me one over.
With a c-section they put up a screen across the patients belly, this is to stop you seeing any blood and gore, however….they don’t tell you not to look at the light above. Had they done this I would never have seen my wife’s belly being cut open rather swiftly by a surgeon who was casually chatting about his golf handicap at the same time. The image was truly distressing and I remember looking at my wife whilst trying not to pass out.
Once open it was time for the sack to be cut open and the fluid drained, cue a man carrying the biggest ceiling mounted suction pump I have ever seen. I would never have guessed that the term “count to 3” would be used in a surgical procedure but these guys used it as they went about sucking all the fluid they could find out of my wife’s womb whilst the machine gurgled and jolted. “all out?” came the question and “yeah, we’re all good” came the response.
After what seemed like a lifetime but was actually just a few minutes, the surgeon shouted out “my my, that is a huge head for a baby, possibly the largest I have ever seen” which was followed by a stampede of feet with people wanting to look at my little freak. I sat there anxiously waiting for the announcement………..”its a boy!” that was it, I was gone and spent the next few minutes crying like a fat kid in a sweet shop. When they handed me my boy the first thing I thought was “good god, you are a right little fat sod” followed by “that is a big head isn’t it?”.
Our second boy came along just over 2 years later. After minimal discussion it was agreed that he would come out naturally and after a 4 day labour he duly did. That’s right, 4 days of contractions and 4 days of being with my wife who was in full on bitch mode. Cutting to the chase on day 4 my wife went for a bath in the evening, all I heard was a shout “Dave, my waters have gone” this is it, we were on. I bundled my wife in the car and about 15 minutes later we arrived at the hospital with red hot car brakes and enough of my arse sweat on the car seat to drown a rat. The time was 1050 pm and I was panicking. We ran into the maternity ward (as fast as you can with a heavily pregnant woman) straight into security, I say security, it was more like the chuckle brothers.
“Reason for visit?”
“I was driving by and thought this looked like a nice place to stay for the night. Why do you think you fucking clown? Unless you want to become a midwife I suggest you let us through”
“Is that your car abandoned out the front?”
“1. It is not abandoned. 2. It is my car. 3. that car will be parked on your spleen if you ask me to move it now”.
Points to sign saying threats against NHS staff won’t be tolerated:
“You work for securicor, not the NHS so open the door before I open it with your melon. It’s been a 4 day labour and I have felt every single one of those days”
and it opened. “don’t forget to wear your badges at all times” he shouted as we charged to the ward “fuck your badge” came the response.
The next 90 minutes were a bit of a blur apart from key points.
1. My wife made noises I have never heard her make, no matter how deep I have been.
2. The smell. This was like nothing I had smelt before in my life and a little bit like death, the smell of birth never leaves you.
3. The colour of my wife. She looked like a human paint colour chart finally settling on purple in the end.
4. The visuals. I saw everything and it took me a while to look at lady bits again. The best description I can give is “inside out”.
5. Poo – Most women poo themselves during childbirth. My wife was paranoid about this and to this day she still doesn’t know if she did or not. I do but will never tell her the truth, ever.
I remember seeing my second son for the first time. For a brief moment the whole world stopped dead. I looked at his face and perfect features and whilst I had been in that situation before, it still made me cry like a fat lad again. I also remember asking the midwife to put a couple of extra stitches into my wife to “tighten” her up, that didn’t end well.