The title is just a joke really. As a young father, the only experience I have with menopause is the memory of my father’s thinning skin coinciding with my moms hot flashes and the Battle Royale over the thermostat that ensued for the next few years. Childbirth on the other hand is fresh in my mind and I wanted to share some thoughts on it to the aspiring dads out there… You woman can just laugh at our meager strife 😉
Childbirth for me was one of the most helpless times of my life. Here I am, “Grand Protector and Provider”, watching clueless of what to do while “the parasite” (fairly accurate terminology given the circumstances) burrows its way out of what I would affectionately call my wife’s tenders. She is in pain. The one thing I’m supposed to prevent. “Stupid! Stupid!” Well this is kind of how I felt our first time. There is hope though, and it starts before labor.
Firstly I think it’s important to realize right this instant that your wife is made for this. Moving forward with this perception, this steadfast belief, as I think it should be, you are ready to prepare your wife, and yourself, for birth. Your support and encouragement through this miraculous process of pregnancy will set the framework for your wife’s belief in her own ability. A healthy relationship is crucial, and I beg you not to underestimate the level of intimacy you can maintain or even create while your wife is pregnant. Yes there will be times when she is an utter pain in the butt, and others when she has pains in her butt… but if you can foster a loving, understanding relationship with her, you will witness the blooming of a rare flower versus the impending doom of perpetually dark skies over your once peaceful abode.
Educate yourself on childbirth options. If you are anything like myself, a westernized boy from a small family of four, the whole concept of childbirth is a foreign idea. Our main source of education on the subject comes from tv and movies, which let me just say are far from reality. Don’t count on having your baby in the back of a cab on the way to the hospital because a tidal wave suddenly fell from between your wife’s legs, soiling her pretty flower covered maternity dress she was wearing. Be informed that c- section is quickly becoming the norm in this country and understand why, and what a major operation like that means to you, your wife, and particularly that precious package she’s carrying. Look into birthing centers, talk to midwives or your doc about what standard procedures are and what c- section rates he or she is delivering. All I’m saying is study your options… There are more than you think.
Most importantly though, learn to be positive! Birth is a magically natural thing. Get it in your head that it doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. My wife’s first sounded like bloody murder from outside the house I’m sure. Yes we had both ours at home, we are THOSE people. But her second was so peaceful you could of heard a mouse fart through all of it. Don’t believe me? Both videos are on YouTube (Birth #1 & Birth #2) for the very purpose of showing how a little focus and positivity can make all the difference in the world. It takes changing our ideas, even our language about birth. Empowering our women to do what is natural and instilling the belief that it can be both safe and peaceful is the real ticket to ensuring that menopause stays on top as the last mysteriously scary event for us husbands.
Believe me gentleman your wife wants and needs you during this time, and your role as protector and provider requires learning some helpful information that seems lost to our modern society and fostering positivity about this incredible process that encompasses the true essence of life.