Dads get screwed in the whole birthing process. We are ignored, shunted to the side, belittled, berated, and knowingly cut out of one of (if not the) most important events in our lives. And the justification used by nurses, doctors, mothers, and family members is “It’s not about you. And you don’t know what this poor woman is going through. AND YOU NEVER WILL!”
You’re right. I will never know what labor pains are like. I will never feel a contraction, or a baby kick me in the ribs from the inside, or the pain of giving birth, or the tenderness of a C-section incision. I will never know any of these things.
But I do know the fear of the unknown, the pain of watching my partner hurt for hours and hours on end, the fear of the baby being hurt, the hours of frustration. I know the fear of having to go through all of that alone, with no staff to assist me, being relegated to the corner, told to stay out of the way, and being completely helpless to do anything to help my family. And I know the terror of waiting for minutes that pass like eons, not knowing if my partner and child are even going to survive.
So while I don’t know what a contraction feels like, don’t any of you tell me or any Father out there that we don’t understand or can’t imagine the pain. Trust me, we can imagine it. And more. Don’t patronize us and make jokes like “Your job was done 9 months ago.”, “Just pace and hand out the cigars, Dad.”, or “You ordered it, but SHE has to deliver it.” Saying crap like that just goes to show…
You refuse to see what this person is going through. And apparently YOU NEVER WILL.