Okay dads-to-be, we know you’re scared to be there (even though you’d probably never admit it), but honestly, your wife wants you in that delivery room for support (not to mention that newborn baby you’re about to meet). Just don’t screw it up. While advice on how to prepare for the big day is abundant, you won’t find tips from real-life dads on what NOT to do. Take a cue from these daddy bloopers:
He says: “She didn’t complain once and there I was thinking about my hunched-over back. I felt like a wimp.” —Kelly (annabelle.27’s husband)
Tip #1: Don’t complain about your pain
Why? Chances are she’s been pushing for hours, wondering when the pain is going to subside (or when that epidural is going to kick in) and baby is finally going to arrive. Now is not the time to complain that your back hurts from standing by her side or that your pulled muscle from working out yesterday is acting up. “My husband was crying as I was going through pain,” posted Sxia. “The doula kept bringing him tissues, and I looked at him and said: ‘What are YOU crying for? I’m the one who’s in labor!’” And brandonswife07 wrote: “He said I hurt his hand in the recovery room — I almost killed him for saying that.” Just don’t go there, guys. Rule of thumb? Keep the complaining and, certainly, the woe-is-me crying to yourself.
He says: “When your kid is crowning and the nurse says that he’ll probably have a cone head, don’t channel Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin.” —Tommy (mamamoos’ husband)
Tip #2: Steer clear of quoting movies
Why? Though your wife may find your inappropriate yet timely humor comforting, the hospital staff can easily get the wrong idea (and you don’t want them calling Child Protective Services on the first day). Take what happened to olivejuice127 as an example: “When Valarie came out, she was way bigger than we thought she’d be. My husband, being the ever-so-funny one, said, ‘That’s a huge ***!’ It was a Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo reference, but the nurses were shocked.” The reverse situation is making the hospital staff laugh and pissing off your wife in the process, as in mamamoos’ case: “When my son started crowning, the nurse commented that he was going to be a cone head. On my next push, my husband belted out, ‘We come from France!’ I would’ve kicked him in the head if I could feel my legs.” The lesson? Unless your wife and the staff are begging for a comedic performance, save the jokes for a more appropriate time.
He says: “If your wife is getting a c-section and they tell you not to look over the blue curtain, don’t look over the blue curtain. I almost passed out.” —Frank (maggs116’s husband)
Tip #3: Watch where you’re going
Why? Not only can baby shoot out of your wife in the final moments, you can also be that guy who’s messing up the medical equipment. Yes, these things have happened. “He was dead set against going in, but he ended up standing right by me, holding my leg, and catching our son as he was born. It was funny how he went from ‘I will NEVER be there’ to ‘This was the best experience of my life,’” wrote Sobachka. Now that you have that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, picture your husband doing what Val&B0604’s husband did: “As he stepped around to get a front-row view, he caught on my IV cord. He only ripped the tape from my arm, but a hush came over the room.” Nerves can make you sloppy, as in the case of ArmyQM’s husband: “As the doctor and nurse were prepping for the delivery by getting the tray of instruments ready, they accidentally knocked the bulb syringe on the floor. My husband, being a nice guy, picked it up and started to place it back on the sterile table. The nurse, doctor, and even I hurriedly told him, ‘No, don’t put that back on there!’ Too late — he set it right back where it fell off…poor guy was clueless as to why we were yelling at him.” Dads, take deep breaths, in and out, in and out — the more you can control your nerves, the better off everyone will be.
He says: “After the doctor placed her placenta in a bowl, in shock, I said to my wife: ‘It looked like you gave birth to your stomach.’” —Nick (husband of NicknSteph)
Tip #4: Keep your amazement low-key
Why? We recommend this only because your amazement of what your wife has just done can come across as a backhanded compliment, and she (as you may have noticed the last couple of months) is a bit sensitive right now. SarahTx5701 says, “My husband kept telling me how much water was coming out of me. As he stared down there, he said: ‘I could fill up my Gatorade bottle with all that!’” Charming. And though JulyFiveBride opted not to see the placenta when it came out, her husband gave it a look and said, “Hey, you know those aliens in that movie we watched the other night? I think you just gave birth to one of them.” Bottom line? Watch what you say. Anything along the lines of a “good job, honey” is a safe bet.