20 Men Describe Their Honest And Raw Experiences On The Day Of Childbirth
According to a study conducted in a German Hospital during 2020 with a minimum of 300 fathers present during labor and birth; 36% of the men felt fear, 15% were overwhelmed by the situation but 90% were happy to be there. Additionally, the study found that being present in the delivery room was ‘beneficial’ for 80% of the dads, 85% for mums and for about 70% of their relationships.
When Sakuramochi_Chan posted a question online asking dads to describe their personal experiences of being present during childbirth, several answers were put forward that give us honestly raw insights into this moment.
We were all in the delivery room: my wife, her sister, her mom, my mom, my grandma, myself and the nurse. At one point, my wife exclaimed: “Enough! Everyone out!”
I saw to it that everyone left the room (her mom didn’t want to at first), and wanted to be the last one out, to which I received a quick “Not you, you idiot!” I never felt so wanted.
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Today is my first born’s birthday, 29 years ago today i still remember
i grabbed him, i held him ,i cut his cord, he pissed on me
i thought “now im a dad…..i have to be better now”
It was simultaneously horrifying and miraculous.
The pain she went through and the amount of blood and amniotic fluid that was pushed out of her … it was astounding.
That this tiny little human came out whole and was ours. Was someone we created. And now we are responsible for trying to help him become a decent human.
My wife had a scheduled C-section. I sat by her head with a curtain blocking the view to her abdomen. The nurse told me to stand up and look to see my son being born. I stood up in time to see my wife split open like fish and a nurse dragging my blue son out of her belly. Could see some of her internal organs as well. Nearly passed out, sat down heavily back on my stool, and did not look again.
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I watched the doctors perform a c section on my wife for the birth of our twins. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the gore I was about to see. It was wild. Didn’t make me nauseous or anything thankfully. Nonetheless seeing both of my girls for the first time was incredible. I cried a whole lot. Holding them was an amazing feeling. It was interesting because after they got my first daughter, I heard the doctor say “where is she?” when looking for my second daughter in the womb. Had me a but nervous for a sec. She was just absolutely refusing to leave mom’s belly because she was hiding and hanging on for dear life. It’s ironic because now she is very independent and has always been ready to take on the world.
1st daughter was 40 hours of labor before they finally did a c-section. I remember exhaustion. She got pissed at me at one point for nodding off. Attempting labor was violent. They were jumping up on her and pushing down on her belly trying to force the kid out. I got to see the top of her head before they decided she wasn’t going to exit the usual way. Once she was out, her head was shaped like a banana from being partially forced through the birth canal. I was numb and wiped out.
2nd daughter, we planned the c-section. I was in there with her. They put me at her head and pointed me at her face, put up a little curtain at her chest that looked like it was made of the same material as the scrubs so we couldn’t see what was going on. They asked me if I wanted a chair. No, I said, I was fine. I held her hand and talked to her. At one point I looked down at my feet, and I was standing in a lake of blood. I then realized why there was a drain in the floor. I asked for the chair as my knees buckled and they got it under me before I collapsed.
Wife almost bled out – she kept telling me to make sure my daughter was ok and all I could think about was I may only have another minute with my wife.
There was a curtain so we couldn’t see. I held her hand and I gazed into her eyes and told her that she was doing great and just how much I loved her. She was all sweaty and honestly really beautiful. It was one of the best days of my life. Later on that night my son was rushed to the NICU because he stopped breathing and that was consequently the scariest day of my life. He is fine now, but that experience was just the worst.
Probably one of the most important and memorable days of my life. When the baby came out I was overcome with emotion and the bond formed between my wife and I through the experience is something that I don’t think could be achieved in any other way.
My wife and daughter almost died. Major shoulder dystocia. Code pink. Violent emergency c-section. Witnessed successful resus on my daughter. Mom needed 4 unit transfusion.
I’m a paramedic and this still majorly f****d me up.
Second child after the first child had been incredible difficult. My wife went into labor at an ice cream place (“Ooph, I really need to poop…”). We drove to the hospital straight from there. I had been practicing a form of hypnosis to use on her in the hospital. Once she got settled in, I did that and she was able to totally relax from 6 CM dilated to to 10 CM.
We had a midwife for this one. None of us had planned this, but it was going so well that the midwife just put me in the receiving position and I did all the work. Midwife stepped in once to show me how to help scoop open the vaginal canal a little bit with a finger. I touched my daughter’s head once she was crowning, and gave a little pull once the head was fully exposed. She dropped right into my arms. I pronounced that she was a girl, cut the cord, and held her to my naked chest while my wife and the midwife finished up and a nurse wiped all the goo off of her. Best day of my life.
For some reason, when my wife was pushing, the nurses left. She started contracting again so I told her friend to grab one leg and I grabbed the other — and told her to push like the nurses did. The nurses came back and didn’t interfere and I ended up helping her deliver our daughter.
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26 hours in labor. Two hours of my wife just pushing (while in agonizing pain) to get the baby out. I was a whole mess from hour 12 and on. So, I was basically miserable for the last 14 hours.
I wasn’t mentally prepared. As soon as I saw him come out and he started crying, I erupted into tears like a baby myself. Most emotional moment of my entire existence. It was magical and I’m just glad I didn’t pass out before I could witness his birth.
My daughter was born 25th July this year. First child and she came 7 weeks early completely out the blue.
Wife woke me at 2am Saturday with what she thought was contraction. we went into hospital they checked her told us they should pass go home. Got home by 7am but by 9am she was definitely getting contractions and every third she threw up.
Both pretty scared now back to hospital we go. Back at 11am checked over told she doesn’t appear to be dilating at all. Checked again at 6pm wife was 4cm dilated. Told the baby is coming she’s early and will likely need help. Wife was finally fully dilated at 4.30am Sunday morning. (I have never been more proud of my wife).
At this point over 24 hours with no sleep or food for either of us as I didn’t leave her side. Delivery took a hour and my daughter was born at 5.38am Sunday 25th July. She came out deathly grey not breathing, was placed on my wife for about 5 seconds while midwife rubbed her trying to get her to breathe, made me quickly cut her cord and then handed over to resuss doctors. At this point I was in complete shock just trying to focus on my wife and putting a brave face on for her.
After a few minutes under heat lamps and being ventilated she was taken straight to NICU. We didn’t even hear her till afternoon. They wanted my wife to rest so I kissed her goodbye told her how proud I was and went to NICU.
Upon seeing my daughter hooked up to all the machines broke me. Everything caught up to me and I had a panic attack, couldn’t really understand what was happening and told to go sleep and come back after resting.
Got a few hours sleep went back to meet her properly. Turns out absolutely no reason can be given why she came early. The same day she started breathing by herself was in NICU for just under two weeks been home since. We did every test available not a thing they can find wrong with her. She’s nearly 12 weeks old now piling the weight on and a happy little baby. We named her Lyra.
To answer your question the scariest and also proudest moment of my 28 years of life so far. Watching her come out of my wife was also just surreal, probably best description to use.
We were waiting in the delivery room, the baby was taking its time. Both her and I would dose off between contractions. Once I woke up with the doctor coming into the room. She went and measured various things, my wife still asleep. I asked, “everything all right?” And the doctor replied “Yeah. Just checking. If you see a bunch of people coming in and barking orders at each other, pushing carts, then you can worry.”
Of course an hour or so later the doors bang open, a bunch of people coming pushing carts and barking orders at each other. I tried to ask what was the problem and was told, in barking, to stay the f**k out of the way.
Turns out the baby was in distress. The doctor looked at some machines and decided to do a C-section. Wife’s bed was wheeled into the OR, I was given a crash-course in scrubbing, told to go in and sit in a chair by her head. There was a curtain at about her neck line, so neither of us could see what was going on. We struck a conversation with the anesthesiologist, who was sitting near her head as well. She said she was feeling good. I knew the blood had totally drained from my head. I felt excited, worried, afraid, all at the same time. I tried to put on a brave façade, but I knew she could read right through me so she kept making conversation to calm me down.
At some point she said she felt something really strange, and right after we heard the baby crying. Tears welled up in both our eyes, just like they are doing now in mine 15 years later. She told me to keep the baby under my eyes at all times, for some reason she was terrified of the baby being switched.
So I wheeled my chair back and watched as they brought the screaming baby to a sink, cleaned him up, swaddled him and put a little cap on his head, at which point he fell asleep. Then they brought him to us and we got to say hello to our kid for the first time. The baby was weak from the struggle, so they put him in a wheeled incubator, put some monitors on his chest, and told me to push the incubator out of the OR and into the neonatal ICU nearby. On the way through the door, I met my mother in law. She looked at the baby, looked at me, and started to cry. I started to cry as well. Just like I’m crying now, 15 years later.
This is all very vivid in my head, but what happened immediately after is a blur. At some point we were in a recovery room, the baby was fine, the mother was fine, and some kind soul, I think a nurse, told me to change the baby’s first diaper. She told me that nothing would be as gross as that first one, so if I could do that I would be fine. She also winked and told me that every diaper I changed I would be scoring points with my wife. And so I changed most of his diapers for as long as he needed diapers.
At about 4:00am my wife woke me up. She said her contractions signaled it was time to go. I snagged our bags and helped her to the car.
It was a stressful drive as the contractions were intense for my wife. When we got to the hospital they said they didnt immediately have a bed so they wanted her to wait a little. We wandered over to a Starbucks for a refeshment. However the contractions were so intense I had to carry my wife back to the hospital.
By the time we got a bed, my wife was crying from the pain and I was getting irritated with the nurses. They finally gave her something to lessen the pain so she could think again. Once she was herself again, she requested an epidural. That helped a lot and her pain was nearly gone.
Just an hour later she was completely dilated and the pain was back again. But now she could start pushing. I timed each of her contractions but by this time she knew what her body was doing and was in sync with the timing. She squeezed my hand until it l bruised and pushed.
Lots of stuff happened her. The baby’s heartbeat got low, my wife tore and bled. After laboring for 7 hours, at 11:15am, our son was born. He was purple at first as he adjusted to being outside, but quickly turned normal pink color. My wife was exhausted but still needed to push out the placenta. She later told me that was easy. Our son was placed on her chest and the doctor worked to fix the tear and stop her bleeding.
Just some points from an outside perspective. You need to be your partner’s advocate, defender, and supporter. That’s your entire role in this. Have your partner write up a birth plan ahead of time and be ready to defend it against doctors and nurses. I had to raise my voice to get my wife some pain medication and a bed. I didnt like it, but I’d do it again to protect her.
Once everything is settled, snag a nice treat for the doctors and nurses. We bought them some indian food and a cheesecake in appreciation. They upgraded her recovery room.
Well, it was a C section and my daughter was 1 pound 10 oz. so there was that. 28 weeks. It was awesome watching the neonatal surgeons work on her. Delivery doctors were talking golf as they worked on my wife. I was in shock. Just numb to what was happening. To be honest I didn’t know if I wanted her to live or die. So much s**t going through my head. An hour later that tiny little thing squeezed my finger and I started rooting for her survival big time. Spent the next two days wondering who was going to die first, my wife or my daughter. My wife turned for the better three days later and my daughter came home three months later. She just turned 30. The shock lasted several days. I stopped in at work to grab stuff and let them know I wouldn’t be in and a co-worker said “congratulations”. Instantly the shock was gone and proud father kicked in. Thanks Stan.
My wife and I have two kids. Each delivery room experience was different, though ended up great with happy, healthy kids and mom.
Kid 1 was about 5 hours of pushing. Some people say that the happiest day of their life is the birth of their child. My happiest day was my wedding day because I spent so much time worrying about the pain my wife was going through giving birth. When we got to the hospital for a planned delivery from her doctor’s advice, she was already so far dilated that it was too late for drugs. She hadn’t felt much pain yet, so we thought “maybe this will be easy.”
My wife was pushing for hours, with some breaks in between. It was exhausting and stressful to watch. There was so much pressure pushing the baby out that my son had a somewhat bloodshot eye when he was born (he was fine). The nurses and I got bored with the routine of regular pushing that we were turning our attention to the TV in between while she rested, so I think of my son’s birth when I see Guy Fieri. When the head was visible, they told me I could touch him before he came out and I said, “Um, I think I’ll wait. I’m good.”
The baby finally came out at about 11:30 PM. A newborn looks so much bigger than you imagine. How did that thing survive in my wife?! He had the cord around his neck, and they told me I could cut it, but I didn’t want to risk anything. He was perfectly healthy. My wife was in tears, and, looking around at the blood in the room, I thought it was because she was in excruciating pain, but she said she was just so happy. The endorphins helped her and she was at peace and ended up fine.
Women are amazing and tough and if anyone ever calls my wife weak, I’ll fight them for that day alone.
The hospital experience after that was actually really good! The nurses were great, my wife got everything she needed, people could visit. No complaints.
Our second son was a much easier birth. It was like a Hollywood movie in that she felt contractions, we went to the hospital, they got her the drugs, and the baby came out with relative ease.
Both kids were in great health, wife recovered well, but I developed a massive amount of respect for any woman who has given birth.
Most people here are describing the events…so I’ll skip the stories of my wife have two accidentally ‘natural and lain killer free’ births (under two very different circumstances) and, I’m going to try to describe the emotional impact.
The mother has 9 months building a gradually increasing connection the baby; carrying, little kicks, hiccups and burps. For the father, there honestly is a bit of a detachment.
For me, all that happened in one exact moment when I heard my daughter cry for the first time. All emotions wrapped into one exact moment in time.
For the mother, its a nurturing build of love and connection.
For the father, it’s a bomb.
I froze, I didn’t respond when spoken to, and I cried.
It was a big moment for me, and all I have to do is close my eyes and I can recreate the sound of the first time I heard her voice, etched in my memory like a laser engraved vinyl record.
It was incredible, breathtaking, amazing, and terrifying. Being the first person my daughter saw and making eye contact with her when she came out was an out of body experience. I have a great picture from about three minutes after she was born where I’m holding her and we’re staring at each other and it looks like she’s sticking her tongue out at me.
I wasn’t anxious about the moment going in, but when it happened, it was like my entire life would now be summed up as before and after that exact moment.
Now, the 55 hours of waiting was much less existentially awesome. That was pure torture. Wife was in pain, unable to rest, nurses checking on her every half hour, constant prodding and poking, lots of trips to the little refreshment area to get ice.
Looking back, it was such a crazy experience. You can’t really describe it in a way that does it justice.