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A Response To ‘Obnoxious Men’.

I have never before responded to another blogger, but I have recently come across a post that has made me angry. It was a list of the ways men are obnoxious during child birth and it can be found here. It frustrates me because, actually, her partner may have been useless but that doesn’t mean they all are, and I feel that she is belittling men in her post. Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given birth twelve times, but if he truly was that awful as a birthing partner, surely you would choose someone else to support you.

My partner was incredible during the birth of Little R: he didn’t leave my side; he helped me to use the toilet when I was bursting for a wee and having horrendous contractions; he fed me ice cubes when I wanted to use them as pain relief and he was the first one to hold Little R. He was just so amazing, that it was his support that helped me to have such an ‘easy’ (hahaha) birth. When Epstein criticises her partner for ‘telling her to breathe’, that is one of the few ways that we – men and women – are taught to control the pain during ante-natal classes. My husband joined me in carrying out the breathing techniques, which actually did help. Those breathing techniques means that I remained in control of the pain. I will admit, when husband was breathing in front of me, I did want to punch him in the face but looking back it was fantastic that he was willing to help me like that, and actually his support was invaluable.

I do understand that men don’t experience any of the physical pain that comes with childbirth, but they definitely experience as much emotional turmoil as women. It is their baby that is about to be born, and it is their partner in unbearable pain, whilst they standby helplessly. Epstein sarcastically states ‘boy does Hubby ever need a drink after that. (Because he did what exactly?? *scratches head*)’ which is the most unfair comment that she makes. Whilst it is the women who has to physically go through childbirth, men are perfectly entitled to feel overwhelmed, excited, terrified, exhilarated and exhausted, just as women are. My husband actually cried once Little R had been born, and then had to step out of the room to calm down. He had been awake all night with me (and, actually, I managed to have a couple of naps whilst he watched over me) and he was just as exhausted as I was. When Little R’s heart rate dropped and the midwives were considering calling in a doctor, it was my husband who was aware of the entire situation, it was my husband who was terrified for both mine and Little R’s sake, and it was my husband who held Little R and dressed her for the first time because I was completely out of it.

It frustrates me that Epstein has written this article. Whilst men and women do not play the same part in childbirth, they both have parts to play in such a miraculous time. There is no wonder that, even today, men and women are not viewed as equal when it comes to parenting. I, for one, am so glad my husband was there and I cannot be the only one who feels so grateful. My labour created an amazing bond, and was actually an incredible experience between both my husband and I, and I would never dream of criticising him.

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25 thoughts on “A Response To ‘Obnoxious Men’.

  1. Wonderfully written! Having not experienced parent life I had never even considered that these views were out here and I am shocked! Very insightful!

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  2. I agree that not all men are obnoxious during childbirth. Not all men are obnoxious as a “breed” like the author seems to think. My husband was so supportive during childbirth. He fed me ice chips, held one of my legs, gave me a cool cloth for my head and neck. He was encouraging and loving during the most difficult day of my life. He left to get lunch while we were waiting. Just because I couldn’t eat didn’t mean I didn’t want him to! Maybe after 12 babies, the husband of the author just didn’t take things too seriously anymore. Who knows? #PrettyinPlaydough

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  3. My husband probably looked worse than I did after the birth of our son. He had watched the person he loved most go through terrible pain and been worried for me and for our child. He had no idea what to do but did all he could.

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  4. You’ve expressed this very well. Us men do indeed go on an amazing emotional journey in becoming parents. Our bodies don’t change over nine months, like mums’ bodies do, nor do we face the physical task of giving birth. But as you say, each plays a part – and taking the journey together should be a very enriching experience. Yes, men do and say a lot of stupid things, from time to time, as do women. We are human and make mistakes, yet we are capable of love and of helping each other. It’s in this that we are truly equal.
    Thank you for caring about this issue enough to write about it! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  5. I think it’s definitely a shared stressful experience in parts but very much a shared joyous experience when it all comes together and you meet the little one for the first time. Maybe there are still some men out there who are a waste of space during labour but I’d like to think most of us do out best to make things as bearable as possible, even if we don’t always get it right! #chucklemums

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    1. I completely agree – thank you for commenting. My husband was incredible and whilst he couldn’t take the pain away, he tried his absolute hardest to do everything! I just feel it’s an archaic view and has irritated me slightly!

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  6. I also have a very supportive partner and I find it frustrating to read all men being tarred by the same brush. Refreshing to read a post that stands up to it ๐Ÿ™‚ what also annoys me is when my husband has our son for the day and people saying ‘oh your babysitting’ grrr! #anythinggoes

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  7. This is wonderfully written and an important point to make – I think not just around labour but the whole of parenting. I don’t know that B did anything specifically wonderful during labour but he was there by my side and did whatever I asked him to which is the main thing, and he’d been so supportive and caring throughout my pregnancy. Dads are so often tarred with a stereotypical brush and it’s truly unfair. #chucklemums

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  8. I guess every partner is different but my Husband was fantastic! He was there throughout both of my births. He wanted to be there and supported me the best he could. Giving birth with him by my side allowed us both to share very special moments. He fed them both first while I was being sorted out too. Thanks for linking up to #puddinglove

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  9. I think the article is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but the author made a mistake in mentioning this is the kind of stuff husbands will do. Not every partner will react in such ways, so it was silly of her to tar them all with the same brush. My ‘husband’ (fiance) was great considering the staff didn’t seem so tolerant of him being near. #DreamTeam

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    1. It definitely is, but I am genuinely fed up of there still being a stigma around males as parents. The comment ‘oh is your husband babysitting’ makes me want to punch a man! He is Little R’s dad – not some random babysitter! But sorry for ranting, thank you for stopping by haha!

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  10. Thank you for writing this – I wholeheartedly agree and it makes me so sad hearing others belittling their husbands involvement in labour and also in the early stages of parenthood. As this is my husband’s second birth (my stepson is 12 yo) – we spoke about his role in the first birth a lot, and he always tells me that he felt so helpless to see his partner in so much pain and not able to do anything useful. For me, I couldn’t have asked for more from my supportive husband and he also cried when our daughter was born! I guess every couple is different ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for linking up with the #dreamteam Hope to see you again next time x

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  11. Was she aiming for humour and sarcasm, rather than intending it to be a serious post, I wonder? Sometimes tone can be misunderstood. Stereotypes don’t often do anyone any favours but they’re an easy go to for attempts at jokes.

    #fartglitter

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  12. I think Dads get a really hard time during childbirth. They don’t really get any support all the focus is on the Mum, it must be so hard for them to watch the woman they love go through such agony. Glad to hear you come out in support of Dad’s, and pleased to hear your partner was so supportive ๐Ÿ™‚ #Puddinglove

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  13. This is a brilliant post. I canโ€™t even be bothered to read the original because I know it will pee me off! My other half was amazing. I had a planned csection due to breech and he was amazing. It was him who held my hand throughout surgery, it was him who cried with me when Zach came out, him who changed those first yucky nappies because I couldnโ€™t and him who asked the nurses if there was anything they could do for the vomiting I was doing in recovery! He was amazing and I feel very lucky that we get to go through it all over again in a few weeks time. I feel far less worried knowing I have someone so supportive by my side whether we end up with a natural or assisted birth. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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  14. It just comes down to individual relationships and experiences at the end of the day. My hubby never cried at the birth of any of our kids because it’s just not his style and it’s kind of always niggled at me. But as he said, he was feeling a whole range of emotions inside. Nevertheless, he was amazingly helpful, practical and calm. I take it you’ve commented on the other blogger’s post? I’ve not read it as for some bizarre reason I got an error message saying the page could not be found. Maybe she just had a clumsy way of expressing herself? I do know that the Irish Baby Fairy wrote a fantastic post making fun of men during labour but also paying them respect too and it was a really well-balanced post. #DreamTeam

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