People Who Have Watched Their Partner Give Birth Describe What It Was Really Like

Zoom in on newborn baby's feet
Photo by Luma Pimentel on Unsplash

For couples who want to have children, the actual child-birthing process might be one of the most trying experiences the couple will ever go through together.

But while many of us think of the process of pushing and the physical messes of birthing the baby, there's actually a lot more to it, and the partners who witness their other half giving birth tend to remember far more about the experience than just the blood.

Redditor Asleep-Awareness5249 asked:

"Men who have watched their wives/partners give birth, what was that like?"

Hilarious Moments

"My wife cussed out the doctor. I was glad we were forced to wear face masks because I was cackling when she would let him have it in-between pushes."

- OkVolume1

Inopportune Phone Calls

"My wife's phone went off during a really painful procedure, and she yelled, 'Who the f**k is calling me!!!!???'"

"But to be fair, one does not need to go thru painful procedures in order to justify saying this every time the phone rings."

- Veritas3333

Sort of Fascinating

"I was holding my wife's hand through two c-sections, the first an emergency."

"There was a low green cloth screen to stop her (and me) from seeing the actual procedure, but I'm tall, so I could see over the top anyway. Fortunately, I'm not squeamish. It was like a butcher's shop window (except very interesting)."

"They had a radio on and the first kid came out to the sound of 'First Of The Gang To Die,' which was funny."

"It all worked out well, both kids are great, a fascinating and completely exhausting experience."

- catbrane

Absolutely Not Useless

"As someone who had a 36-hour labor that ended in a c-section, I can say that having a partner there for you is a godsend. I spent so much time with my eyes closed, drifting in and out, not able to acknowledge my partner but I knew he was there the whole time."

"He was the person that knew me best out of all the strangers that popped in and out of the room. He was my advocate and anticipated what I needed before I knew I needed it."

"After, he said he felt totally useless and helpless but that couldn't be further from the truth."

- Timetogoout

The Importance of Aftercare

"You're the cheerleader in this game. F**king play your part and feel useless."

"A father's REAL test is aftercare. While your wife is recovering from childbirth, you are to do everything, and I mean f**king everything, for her that you possibly can."

"Men who don't change dirty nappies are just f**king p**s-weak men, and even more so if they brag about it."

- BlazeVenturaV2

Terribly Scary

"Am I a bad person if I say horrific? It was a c-section and seeing her knocked out like that was one of the most disturbing images I can recall. I nearly cried on the spot."

- Dyn085

Childbirth on Fast-Forward

"Our first was 13 hours, giving us a false sense of security for the second. It was only three hours."

"My wife didn't do an epidural for #1 and said, 'I didn't need to do that. I'm getting it for the next one.' So we get to the hospital and said, 'Give me the epidural.'"

"They say we need to get settled in the room. By the time we got to the room, he was coming out. There was no time for anything; the docs had to scramble."

"All things considered, both deliveries were 'fine.' It's mind-boggling that that is the best-case scenario; they were the most intense days of my life."

- thugarth

Don't Skimp on Breakfast

"My wife was going into contractions but they were pretty far apart, so we drive down to the hospital, stopping for Egg McMuffins along the way. I dropped my wife off at the receiving area for delivery with some nurses and the midwife and then I went back out to move the car because I was in a 15-minute parking area."

"While I was moving the car, I looked at that Egg McMuffin I hadn't been able to eat yet and was like, 'I totally have hours before this baby comes out. I should eat this sandwich now and not like, in the delivery room as my wife was trying to push a baby out.'"

"So I ate the sandwich, moved the car, and went up to the delivery room."

"At the reception desk there, one of the nurses said, 'I think your wife just had a baby.'"

"And was like, 'Nah, you must be mistaken. I just arrived. WE HAVE HOURS.'"

"So I went to the delivery room and there was my son, fresh as could be, and my exhausted wife who had just given birth."

- doublerapscallion

A Traumatic Experience

"My wife was in labor for about 35 hours. When we got to the point where she was ready to push, my son’s heart rate started to plummet."

"We went from a single midwife in the hospital room with us, encouraging and owning the whole process, to a team of doctors (about 10 people) who came to help within two minutes. They performed an episiotomy and had to pull my kid out with forceps and the vacuum."

"My wife lost about 1.5 liters of blood, and I remember sitting there watching all of this and thinking they would both die and my whole world was crashing around me. She looked like a ghost and he looked like a bloody, bleeding little alien when he came out. They rushed him to the NICU and gave him oxygen."

"My son is now almost 3 years old, my wife made a full recovery, and they are both the best people I know. It can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved, but f**k me if I don’t look back on it and remember what a warrior she was and what a fighter he is."

- upark88

New Admiration

"I saw a strength in my wife I don't think either of us knew she had. It was an incredible experience, and I was so proud of my wife and child. I'm glad they still keep me around."

- Druzl

Feeling Irrelevant

"This is really my experience in the maternity ward. You are 'dad' and you will carry bag and get water. Not because you are actually needed to carry these bags that could fit on this cart, or get the water from the sink over there that literally takes more time to explain where the cups are."

"But you need a job to keep you occupied, so get moving."

"I've never been so 'handled' before in my life, and I knew it was happening, but f**k if I was going to mess up the process and make them focus on anything besides my wife and kids."

"Nurses are the most amazing, and most evil things ever."

- mwbbrown

New Appreciation for Life

"With our firstborn, I had three primary thoughts:"

"1. Thank god for modern medicine, or both my wife and son would be dead."

"2. My wife is a godd**n warrior."

"3. I have a whole new appreciation for my own mother."

"Every birth is a medical emergency, and every successful birth is a miracle. Simple as that to me."

"A planned c-section for our second was much smoother."

- leftcoastbias24

Lonely and Helpless

"The loneliest and most helpless feeling in the world. She had to undergo an emergency C-section and went under shortly after they started. The head doctor made the call to not let me in the room, so I was stuck watching through a small window."

"The little man came out purple and not breathing and my wife was limp. For about five minutes, nobody came out to speak to me and I was quite certain both of them were dead."

"Then I heard him scream and cry and one of the nurses rushed him over to my wife and held him against her cheek. Shortly after that, the nurse handed him to me and said that both my wife and him were perfectly healthy. To say it was the largest range of emotions my mind and body had ever experienced is an understatement."

"We felt like we were prepared for anything during labor, but the emergency c-section really threw us off. Happened so fast. Luckily everything worked out, but it was pretty scary for a while there."

- AdvancedGentleman

Something Out of an '80s Movie

"It's kind of like the movie 'Aliens' but entirely based around a vagina."

- Digreth

A Message to Fathers

"So, I'm the wife. And we didn't get to take our babies home, but I delivered stillborn twins a few months ago."

"My husband said exactly the same as many fathers here, that he felt so helpless watching me give birth."

"But to me, that man standing there and holding my hand was exactly what I needed. It was both medically and emotionally traumatic, but I remember feeling calm and purposeful because I knew what needed to be done, and I knew that I was the only one who could do it."

"What I needed from him was his presence. He didn't leave me alone. He didn't run from any of it, and I think he saw more of the blood and such than I did (I was a little doped up and had my eye closed for the actual delivery)."

"I could do that, keep my eyes closed and focus on what my body was telling me, BECAUSE he was there holding my hand. I didn't need to be on high alert, because he was there. His presence and my trust in him helped me do the hardest thing I have ever done in my life."

- what_ho_puck

Whether the birthing process was really long or really short, whether it was complicated or straight-forward, many partners had shared experiences of being overwhelmed, of being proud of their wives, and of feeling like there was hardly anything they could do.

At least for the women who chimed in, though, them being there might have been the most helpful part.

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