The whole labor and delivery process is nothing short of traumatizing, painful, and (more often than not) time-consuming; whether it's your first child or your ninth. As a mother who was busy, you know, pushing my two babies out of my body (during two separate births), I know firsthand there will inevitably be some infuriating things your partner will do in the delivery room that will make you want to launch a chair at that TV he, or she, is watching. Or, perhaps you'll feel oh-so inclined to order the nurse to steal all those fluffy pillows out from under their sleeping head (how freakin' dare they), and return them the supply closet.
During my first labor and delivery (over ten years ago, mind you) my partner, while nurturing at times, found my three days in induction misery to be his little vacation from work, life, and all responsibility whatsoever. Sure, as a dedicated employee with long shifts, he earned a break, but my time in agony wasn't really the best time for his "personal relaxation sensation." I mean, we were about to become freakin' parents for the first time, people. This is a huge event, and definitely more important than that war movie on TV (I hope).
From napping while I cried in excruciating pain, to ordering and devouring scrumptious foods within my reach, I know now he didn't mean any harm. Though, as I endured, I wanted nothing more than his naps to be restless and his foods to be cold and spoiled. I'm not bitter, I swear. So, with that in time, here are (sadly, just a few) infuriating things your partner might do in the delivery room that really aren't cool. Like, at all.
They Complain About Minuscule Things
It's cold in here, you say? Your pull-out sofa is too lumpy for you to get some solid rest? Here, let me stop my contractions long enough to turn the heat up and smooth the lumps for your comfort.
If you're comfortable, well, I still won't be but let's not focus on me or the fact that I'm literally giving birth right now. Let us shower you with all the things to make your stay in this luxurious "hotel" as comfortable as possible. Please. Whatever you need.
They Talk On The Phone The Entire Time
It's hard to leave work at home, I know. Being that all my work is done from home, I took my laptop to the hospital during my second induction, not knowing I wouldn't give a damn about any of it once labor began.
I come to this argument with the understanding that my partner had specific duties, such as the need to fill everyone in since I wasn't in the mood to do it. I get it. However, if you're in the thick of pushing and your partner is still chatting it up (as my partner is known for doing), it's time to toss it and/or scream your pain into the receiver to get your point across.
They Get Wrapped Up In Whatever Is On TV
When you're in labor for a long time, I can totally understand how your partner can get wrapped up in the game or movie or even re-run of a beloved comedy. Labor can feel endless and your partner has to pass the time somehow and figure out a way to calm their nerves.
I'm sure the TV will come in second when you're crowning. Maybe.
They Eat All The Food In Front Of You
Your partner needs to conserve their energy to help carry you through the end of labor and delivery (especially when you start pushing) because it's a lot of working holding legs up and keeping up the positive vibes.
However, when I'm laying in my hospital ben and my last meal was 72 hours ago, and I can't eat again until after the all the hard work of pushing, the last thing I want to see or smell is a damn burger.
They Fall Asleep When You're In Pain
Both of my pregnancies were inductions, so my partner and I had time to prepare for the "big show." In other words, we weren't suddenly awakened in the middle of the night with my water breaking or escalating contractions.
So, when he felt so exhausted he needed to nap at any point during the process, I'd rather he have just went home to do it instead of shoving it in my face. I mean, this whole having-a-baby-thing is pretty tiring, but I can't freakin' sleep through it.
They Steal Your Ice Chips
No, no, no, no. No. When I'm finally allowed the glorious gift of ice chips — usually at a critical level of steadying contractions and pain — you may not have any. Not one spoonful, not one little chip. They're all mine. All mine.
They Leave The Room At A Critical Point
Sometime after the epidural, when all things calm (before the metaphorical storm), my partner would mosey out of the room to do a number of things; fill family in on where we're at, hide from my screaming, wander the hospital for no reason at all, or drive all the way home for a phone charger so he can play a game. How nice it must be to walk freely while I'm bound to the bed.
You do you. I'm just going to stare at the back of your head while you leave the room as if I could burn a hole through your skull.
They Ask For Anything At The Worst Time
Much like those coveted ice chips, if your partner asks you for one of your pillows, a blanket from the nurse, a cafeteria menu, or really anything when you're in active labor, take it from me — use all that rage to push the baby out so you can get the hell out of there sooner.
They Actually Pass Out
This one takes the cake. While you're the one doing all the hard work and he, or she, only has to be a supportive aide, there's still a chance of a black out. Birth is gruesome and gory, whether it's vaginal or a c-section. So I guess, give them a break here? I guess. I know I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a bad headache because you just straight up passed out.
Having a baby is a lot of work and, honestly, your partner may not know how to handle being the encouragement as opposed to the birther, so cut them a little slack. Unless they invite all your in-laws in to watch the pushing. You have to draw the line somewhere.