Thirty years ago my wife and I were going to have our first child. So the subject of prenatal was brought up. After hours of nagging I was coerced into attending the classes. Nothing against education, but my understanding was that when the time comes, you rush to the hospital, the father paces in the waiting room. Nothing against education, but considering we didn’t need instruction in the making, the rest was irrelevant. Right?
At prenatal… I got the strong impression the instructing nurse didn’t like me much. First class, moms were instructed to lay on the mat and have her ‘coach’ at her head, ‘giving support!’ Ok I can handle that part. Then came the breathing… Blow, blow, blow...breathe. Good thing for the breathing part. I was getting light headed.
“Not you Mr. Baker! Your wife!” The nurse yelled out.
Looking around the room at all these young mothers to be, practicing their breathing, it crossed my mind that when the time came, this intense practice would be the last thing on their minds. I visualized a mother with fire in her eyes and venom on her tongue cursing the animal that did this to her. With every contraction more fire spewed out, and fangs formed. She invented new curse words describing her husband. With this thought I chuckled. Wow, did that impress the nurse. You can imagine the glare I received.
“Now on to the next section. While on your back, put your hands on your hips and push your pelvis up in pelvic thrusts.”
Couldn’t help myself. Pert near burst! Sorry couldn’t help but comment. “Isn’t that what put all these ladies here?” But the nurse didn’t see it that way. I was escorted out.
The day arrived. Contractions were getting closer and closer and it was time to drive to the hospital. Slowly and gently I cradled my coffee out to the car and came back for my wife. As she was getting into the car her water broke. Had no idea what that meant. Didn’t go to the prenatal classes… but since she thought it was significant, I guess it meant something was progressing. The drive to the hospital was calm, controlled and went well. The security guard did advise me though, that I couldn’t park in the lobby.
I was asked to wait outside the labor room as the nurses prepped my wife for something… Guess they heard about me, and were thinking maybe I would forget why I was at the hospital and go home. They shaved her and put her in a gown. Didn’t know she had whiskers. This is a real learning experience.
In the labor room my lovely wife advised me she was eight millimeters dilated. Or was it centimeters? By now, all this technical information was putting stress on my nerves. I told her “that’s great!” I looked in her eyes and said “Dear, this is a good time to be dilated.” Wish I knew what that meant. Didn’t go to the prenatal class. Now her contractions were getting pretty intense. She was in a lot of pain and I wished there was something I could do for her. When the pain worsened her grip on my hand tightened. Must hurt for her, ‘cause my fingers went numb. Then there was activity out in the hall. The nurse said that she wouldn’t be in as much because they were getting overwhelmed by mothers in labor. They were lining up in the hallway for lack of labor rooms. Again my mind kicked in. Those darn pelvic thrust exercises.
As the night went on there were screams and cursing on a regular basis from the outer hall. The moms were very angry at the $^&*E#@@* that did this to her. That guy sure got around because they all had the same name.
Now, not to brag, but her pain never got bad enough for me to swear.
After twelve hours of listening to some newly invented swear words from the hall, my wife was ready to finish what she started. We were scooted to the delivery room and going from memory, I stood at my wife’s head to support her at this momentous occasion. Then she yelled, “It’s coming!” and the doctor said, “I see the head!”
At this time I did what every red blooded husband would do. Pass out!
It was a boy!
No fathers were injured in the writing of this story!
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