“Oh no – my husband won’t be having any anesthetic for that root canal. We would prefer it if he did it the natural way” – said no woman, ever.
“I don’t like the idea of my wife having an epidural, we’d like a natural birth” – Lots of men, actually, usually with their pregnant partner smiling nervously beside them.
Oh ‘we’ would like a birth with no pain relief, would ‘we’?
During my first pregnancy, I had a midwife ask my then husband what he thought about my decision to have an elective cesarean. Luckily, he had the good grace (or sense) to say, “it’s her body, her decision”, but the midwife wouldn’t leave it.
“It’s your baby and your birth experience too,” she kept saying to him, in a sugary voice that made me want to drop kick her “you need to have your say.”
She was all about getting fathers involved in pregnancy and birth. I have no problem with that, until they start to have an opinion on what the mother should and shouldn’t do with her own body.
The role of the father is to support the mother in whatever decision she feels is best for her body.
Yes, it’s the father’s baby too, but he is not the one growing the child and giving birth to it, and quite frankly, until that baby was out of my body, all choices to do with pregnancy and birth were mine.
There is something chillingly sinister and controlling about a partner who says he doesn’t want the mother of his child to have any drugs or interventions in labour. I have heard so many women say, “oh, he wants us to have a water birth, but I’m not so keen.”
What the hell does it have to do with him?
The father isn’t the one giving birth and if he has bought into the natural birth is best at all costs nonsense, then more fool him. The only thing more irritating than a woman saying that no drugs in labour is a badge of honour is a man saying it.
Second time around I wasn’t so lucky.
I was married to someone who didn’t understand why I would need to keep taking painkillers for more than three days after a cesarean section “shouldn’t you want to feel what’s going on with your body?” was his question to me.
If I could have stood up straight without wanting to faint at that point, I would have repeatedly punched him in the head and denied him any aspirin for the resulting headache.
“Don’t you want to feel the swelling in your brain, dear?”
There is nothing so smug as the text from a new father that reads “baby was born at 10am – [simpering wife] did it all in water with just gas and air!”
He is probably called Simon. They are always called Simon.
No one gives a shit if she gave birth in a pool or on the moon, Simon, and it makes you sound weird.
Who cares if she gave birth up a tree biting on a stick or if she chugged all the drugs known to man to get her through the horror of pushing a small human out of her vagina?
No one but you Simon, you controlling shit.
Now go and have your tonsils taken out the natural way so your wife can text all your friends about how super you are.