If Men Gave Birth

14 Jun

A friend of mine is due to give birth for the first time in the next couple of weeks and I was trying to say the right things, trying -“your body was designed to do this, you will be fine, women have been doing this for years, decades even!” She shot me a withering look, I’m quite used to getting shot with withering looks but this one was particularly withering, threatening even. “You make it sound so straight forward. How do you think you would go if you had to give birth?”
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We would be completely unprepared for child birth because throughout the antenatal classes we were doodling our names on the desks, sniggering at some of the anatomical diagrams and generally reverting to schoolboy type.

If men gave birth you would never hear the end of it. We want acknowledgement if we do the washing up, we want acknowledgement if we change a light bulb unassisted, could you imagine how much acknowledgement would be required if we actually gave birth?

Your average male birthing partner assumes the role of sports coach, “come on, you can do it, give it 100%, leave it all in the room!” I am not a betting man but I would bet my left kidney (considered saying testicle but will play safe with a kidney) that your average male would not taking kindly to being on the receiving end of these little motivational pep talks.

You know how flu needed an entirely new name just for us men due to the extent of our suffering, could you even imagine how unbearable we would be when faced with some of the gruesome realities of child birth? We are reduced to little cry babies at the faintest hint of a bit of a blocked nose and sore throat; we surely aren’t ready for blood.

Men aren’t renowned for sharing their intimacies with total strangers, we struggle to share intimacies with our partners, I’m not sure how we’d go with the probing, discussions and general focus on what’s going on down there.

You can always spot a man who is in training for an endurance event, he’s all dolled up in sweat bands, tights that leave nothing to the imagination, I-pod with adrenaline pumping music and sipping on protein shakes. Like my good wife tells me “all the gear and no idea”. I suspect the male overnight bag would be full of all the gear.

The simple act of taking food out of the equation for a few hours will see most men screaming for an epidural.

You know how men often come out with the line “just one more?” to prolong a visit to the local drinking establishment. I’m not sure we could be trusted around an entire canister of laughing gas, we would suck that baby dry.

Would you be able to cope with an entire life spent with someone who will entertain dinner guests regaling tales of their own heroic efforts and superhuman displays of strength?

I suspect whoever it was that decided men are only to be trusted with the impregnation part, whilst the female of the species can cope with the rest, knew exactly what he or she was doing.
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30 Responses to “If Men Gave Birth”

  1. Caroline Makepeace June 14, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    Love the truth here Matt. It would be the end of humanity for sure.

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 3:57 am #

      Apart from me Caz, I’d handle it like an old pro ; )

  2. Aaron June 14, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    I’ve got an entirely new appreciation for my wife since the birth of our son.
    Although, she did try to suck the gas canister dry….

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 4:39 am #

      What happens in the birthing suite stays in the birthing suite Aaron – first rule of Birth Club

  3. Bec | At Penny Lane June 14, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    It certainly takes a special kind….women that is ;-) My husband decided he was so starving he got mates to bring him Macdonald’s in the middle of my labor. That one didn’t go down well, that maccas smell! Funny times

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 6:33 am #

      Urgh, not sure I could handle my contractions with a side serve of fries.

  4. Amanda June 14, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    I did suck the canisters dry on both occasions!Enough said….!!!

  5. 40YrOldDad June 14, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Actually, I think men would handle it quite well. It’s well documented that men have a much lower threshold for pain than women do…(Wait…’lower’? That’s bad…). The OPPOSITE…I mean the OPPOSITE!!!

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Too late Justin, I’m going to have to accept your first answer – traitor!

  6. rhian @melbs June 14, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Ha ha very funny and very true! That gas is good stuff though!

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Are you sure it was funny Rhian or have you been at the gas again?

  7. Nat @ foodforlittlesouls June 14, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    I think men would handle It quiet well. They would treat it like a workout session at the gym where you have to work the hardest, push the hardest and grunt a lot …. See they would do well. Ego would get them through ;)

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      But the only reason we are so good in the gym is because we’re trying to outdo the bloke next to us, we wouldn’t have that in a birthing suite, we’d show are true colours and cry like a little gi…..boy.

  8. Poppy June 14, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Men should not talk to women about birth. Period. :D

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      I’ve learnt my lesson Poppy, I’ll never do it again, ever. Period.

  9. Wendy June 14, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    After my first suck on the gas i reassured my hubby that I was scuba diving in Fiji but it was ok as there weren’t any sharks…. enuf said :-)

  10. evilgeniusmum June 14, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Timely indeed – I have 2.5 months to go. Mind you, EG Dad has even chickened out of the ‘token pregnancy volunteer’. After seeing me cope with this a 3rd time round, he has decided he is very happy being male and will settle for making me a cup of tea. I think your kind words here have also guaranteed me another serve of dessert, delivered directly to me on the couch. ;)

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      Always happy to help EG, how many serves altogether? If I don’t say it later, becasue you know I’m male, good luck with the birth and look forward to seeing some pics of the latest Evil addition

  11. fromthentilnow June 14, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    My partner was silly enough to complain about how much it was hurting him when I squeezed his hand during labour with our 2nd. Withering/threatening look right there, from not only me, but my midwife too ;-) He promptly swapped hands to his non-bowling hand (in case something got broken!) and “endured the pain” like a (wo)man.

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Naughty Daddy, thats a no no! I can remember watching One Born Every Minute and the guy let out a yelp of pain when he lost the computer game he was playing, his wife meanwhile wa shaving a contraction : )

  12. Mumabulous June 14, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Funnily one of my favorite Thinking Women’s Crumpets – James Valentine (How I luuuuurve that man) was discussing this very issue on his radio show only yesterday. He said that if men gave birth – it would become an Olympic sport with medals awarded for duration of time in labor and pain endured.

    • daddownunder June 14, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      I’m not familiar with James’s work but I know you know your crumpet. I think he’s probably right, we’d do anything for a medal

  13. Airlie June 15, 2013 at 3:40 am #

    Take it back a step. How would they cope with getting the body ready? *refer 5 June blog*

    • daddownunder June 15, 2013 at 4:58 am #

      Yes I admit there are a few physiological barriers getting in the way ; )

  14. Olivia Denahy June 18, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    classic! Paul would pack all the gear plus a fishing rod and beer for good measure.
    Have you seen this clip? A male simulated birth. It’s hilarious, but make sure your wife watches it with you.

    Liv

    • daddownunder June 18, 2013 at 6:42 am #

      Hhhhhmmmm not sure I want to watch this, but I will, or we will I should say. Thanks Liv

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