7 things men do while their partners are having a baby.

You see babies being born on TV all the time, but when you actually experience it yourself you can see how helpful and/or infuriating you really are.

Oh, it’s also one the most amazing moments of your entire life. But…

1. This is not the best time to multi-task.

The first stage of my wife’s labour went for ages. I thought I’d make use of my time in the birthing suite by working on my Masters assignment while my wife was dealing with contractions. My wife, who is an angel, put up with about an hour of me frantically clicking away on my laptop until she said,

“Jeff, can you please stop tapping away on the laptop. You’re driving me insane. I’m in a LOT OF PAIN!!”

It probably wasn’t the best time to organise my footnotes.

2. Now, that’s a tight squeeze.

I used to look at parking spaces and wonder if I could squeeze my SUV between a badly parked station wagon and a pole. If you’ve seen a baby come out via a very small space your perception of space is changed forever. Seriously, women are tough. I carry on like a soccer player when I stub my toe.

YOWZA. image supplied

I’m pretty sure this was my face when the head popped out. Women are tough as hell.

3. Boys don't will cry.

When our daughter was born I cried. It was the biggest cry I experienced in 20 years. I cried like Kim Kardashian, watching The Notebook on tear steroids. I was so overwhelmed with joy, passion, admiration and relief that our little girl had made it into the world.

See? Sort of ugly.

Kim Kardashian cops a lot of criticism for ugly crying.

Actually, maybe I’m a bit of crier. I cried twice last week when I was with the baby at home by myself.

I am much worse.

I am way uglier when I cry. Actually, I kind of look like a dolphin.

4. Robbie Williams, you’re wrong.

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Robbie Williams described watching his wife giving birth being like watching ‘his favourite pub burn down’. This thought didn’t cross my mind once. It was honestly the most amazing thing I have ever seen. You’re seeing life begin. How amazing is that?!? Besides, it’s such an incredible effort to carry the child and give birth that you’re just filled with pride for your partner. Also, it’s about the destination rather than the journey with childbirth. It didn’t matter if my wife had a vaginal or cesarean birth, I will always be proud of her.

You can hold a baby! At lunch!

I now have something more meaningful to do at lunch dates instead of trying to eat my wife’s meal.

5. A stitch in time saves nine?

After our daughter arrived I was just standing before my wife in a state of shock. Our daughter was getting a raft of tests done by the midwives and I was just standing there before the ‘business end’ of my wife. The obstetrician had to do some stitching up of a perineal tear and I was standing there completely dumbstruck watching the obstetrician carefully stitching away. The obstetrician turned to me, needle in hand, and said, “Jeff, what on earth are you doing? Look away”. I’m not a weirdo. I honestly didn’t know what was going on during that time. Someone could have sold me an investment apartment because I had no idea what was happening.

So utterly strange.

The whole birthing thing has more twists and turns than a M Knight Shyamalan movie.

6. I thought I signed a no nudity clause.

Our male obstetrician asked me to take my shirt off. I hesitated, ”Ah….okay”. I guess this is what the doctor ordered so I did it. Our daughter was put on my chest as part of a skin-to-skin bonding process. Some people didn’t get it when I put a photo on Facebook. I copped some harsh comments. Some people were like, “what the hell?” Shut up, haters. I know I can’t breastfeed her! I’m not a moron!

7. This is the game changer.

When I was holding my daughter in my arms I realised that life, as I knew it, would never be the same again. Life’s not just about you anymore. You have to put a tiny person before yourself. It’s as if the whole world is put on mute for a little while as you stare at this little person that is entirely dependent on you for everything. It’s a great responsibility and the greatest honour that I’ve ever been given.

Oh you know, just being a changed man.

Just me and my little game changer dealing with an everyday vampire-style baby attack.

Was your partner in the room while you gave birth?