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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One Man's Journey Through Labor -- Guest Post

 As feminism continues to fight against the misogynistic tendencies of our current culture, my friend Mike has graciously agreed to post about the labor process, from the male perspective. Enjoy it. I know he did.


My wife’s water broke just as I was sitting down to masturbate, which was sort of annoying. Or at least that’s what she said. Neither of us had ever gone through the labor process before, and as it turns out it’s not as obvious as TV makes it out to be. So, while she was in the bathroom, I turned to Dr. Google and…still had no idea. Eventually she went back to bed and I joined her. A few hours later she was in so much pain she insisted on going to the hospital, and, despite still not having any idea if she was actually in labor, we were off.

Once Amber was hooked up to the machines at the hospital they told us, definitively, that it was possible she was in labor. She asked if she should call out of work, and was told, “Not yet. But maybe shortly.” Admittedly I was pretty exhausted (I work until 1:30 am and go to bed at 7 am normally, so I had slept about two out of 26 hours at this point) but I was pretty sure I was done with this whole ‘labor’ thing already. Just under an hour later we were told that she was going to be moved into a delivery room, and Amber gave me the okay to tell people this was actually happening. A statement she would soon regret.

“Wow, delivery room chairs are REALLY comfortable” I posted to Facebook at 11:15 am on February 15th. “I’m not being sarcastic, this chair is nice. They told me to take a nap, but then they keep coming in like they expect something to happen and waking me up. It’s like they have no regard for my comfort. Oh, Amber is in labor on the other side of the room.” 

“What color is it? The chair, I mean.” Comes the reply from one of my best friends. I let him know it was a nice dark blue, and he says, “Nice. Soothing. Tranquil. Sounds like a good chair. You two should be happy together, seeing as how they gave Amber a while bed.”

“Breaking news!” I post at 5:26 PM, “I just slept in the chair for a little over an hour. I feel pretty rested, all things considered. I had to use my hoodie instead of a pillow, but that isn’t the chair’s fault. Amber is also good.” My boss responds, letting me know that she thinks I’m probably focused on the wrong thing. Amber checks her phone for the first time and realizes what’s happening, and the first threat against my life is made.

Around 6:30 I got hungry and took a trip down to the hospital cafeteria, where I made the biggest mistake of the day. “Did I opt for the hospital cafeteria fish? You’re damn right I did. #Neverscared.” Less than ten minutes later I was singing a different tune, “Did I opt for the hospital cafeteria fish? Damn…you’re right. I did. #alittlescared.” I feel queasy, but I push down the fish with some amazingly delicious chicken fingers and solder on.

It’s almost 7 pm and I know Jeopardy! Is on, but my sister and I can’t seem to find it on the hospital TV. “The biggest pain of the day has been trying to find Jeopardy! On the TV in the delivery room. The TV has a ‘guide’ button, but it does nothing. How can they expect me to deal with these 1990’s conditions? Giving birth is hard.” A friend of mine feels my pain and tells me so, “Man, that’s rough. And I bet Amber is just lying in bed while you deal with all that, huh?” A second threat against my life is made verbally, as Amber posts that she hates both me and my friend. Someone else asks if Amber has hit me yet, and I point out that she’s both drugged up and out of reach. Not for the last time.

It’s now 11:28 pm. “Just over 14 hours in the hospital and my lower back is starting to hurt slightly. Probably a 2 on the pain scale of 10. Annoying, but not bad. Despite this, I’m finding this labor thing much less painful than everyone claims.” After some responses I have to point out, once again, that Amber is drugged up and out of punching distance. I do admit, however, that it may be possible that this is worse on Amber than it is on me. A friend from work posts, “You’re really taking this like a champ, Mike. I’m impressed,” but I don’t want people getting the wrong idea about me. “I’m no hero. I’m just a guy trying to make his way through this crazy, mixed up world…” Someone wonders why Amber hasn’t killed me yet, and she responds, “Don’t worry, I know where he eats and sleeps.” I get a little uneasy until I realize that there’s no way she remembers saying that once she’s off the drugs. Probably.

Hours pass. I fall in and out of sleep in my comfortable delivery chair, and I think Amber even falls asleep for a bit. My mother agreed to stay with us for the night and she manages to stay awake while doing some knitting. Around 3 am the nurse declares that our baby is ready. She calls the doctor, and while we wait the nurse asks about my job and we have a nice twenty minute conversation about StubHub. Eventually the doctor arrives and everything changes. They start to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and two hours into the actual pushing the doctor remarks that his heart rate has been steady this entire time in a way she’s never really seen before. “He’s the most calm baby I have ever delivered.” Amber smiles and remarks that he takes after his father.

My next, and second to last, Facebook post goes up. “At 5:15 am on February 16th, my amazing wife gave birth to our son, Owen Enrique-Osmun Provencher. He is 6lbs and 8ozs. There is no joke here. Don’t get used to it.” He cries a little, but true to the doctor’s word he’s not bothered by the whole birthing process for long and quickly calms down. I post one more time to Facebook before we move to the room we’ll all be spending the next few days in. “I think my wife is in love with another man…”

Congratulations to Mike and his wife, Amber.


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