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[P]
Men in Pregnancy

By sgp in Op-Ed
Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:48:05 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Pregnancy sucks.

I'm not speaking from a female perspective here — that's been covered elsewhere — but from a male perspective.

Pregnancy sucks, because all the attention is on the woman.

Although the man is widely criticized for not being involved in the pregnancy, birth, and life, of the child, it has come to my attention that the health services do not allow the man to be a part of the pregnancy and birth. Somehow, the man is supposed to be supportive through the pregnancy, birth, and life of the child, without receiving any support.


There is a lot of support available for pregnant woman, and please do not misunderstand me, I am quite in favour of this. There are even magazines, such as Mother and Baby, to back up this support. I have yet to hear of a magazine called Father and Baby, or even Father and Mother (or Mother and Father, if you prefer).

This is given from the United Kingdom, where we have a National Health Service, which is paid for in taxes, and available to all.

The National Health Service gives my wife all she needs from them, in terms of pre-natal and ante-natal care. What she really needs, though, is not short-term while-you're-pregnant care, but long-term care, which can only be provided by her long-term partner. Me.
I am not a sperm-donor. I am a husband and father.

The midwife is around during the pregnancy (and birth, assuming my wife gives birth at a convenient time, that "our" midwife is available). She is quite willing to advise my wife, but has nothing for me. I can hold pamphlets, since I happen to be around. I can "be supportive".
At the moment, my wife has a bad rash from an insect bite. It's a long weekend, so one product suggesting "if pregnant, consult your doctor before use" is useless. Instead, my wife has to try something else (and presumably lesser) to cure her itch, which isn't working well. Do I have a number to call? Is the Pope a Muslim? So my wife must settle for the inferior product. The other product may not be suitable - who knows? But she's not giving birth, so the Hospital don't care.

Excuse me, but I've not been here before, either. Everyone is happy to support my wife through this difficult, strange, and potentially troubling time, giving their expert and experienced advice. I say that I need a midhusband to talk to me, about the difficult, strange and troubling time that I am going through. The midwife seems to believe that I am transparent.

At the 20-week scan, when we first "saw" our baby, the nurse included us both as parents of this marvellous human being. That is the one and only time I have felt included in this pregnancy. The other nurses who have tended my wife, have simply dealt with a physical condition, which is fair enough, since they're just testing glucose levels, blood pressure, etc.
The midwife, however, is surely supposed to be supplying us with continuitity throughout the pregnancy. As far as I can tell, the whole Health Service is merely concerned with dealing with an issue. That issue is : Pregnancy -> Birth -> Job Done.

I am expected to be: Supportive - not that I am even told what the issues might be, or what my wife might be going through, let alone how to deal with them as they happen; Assisting in the birth - not that, at 28 weeks, we have even been given the opportunity to specifiy a Birth Plan (something I know about from reading the literature the midwife gave my wife, without even suggesting that I might be involved in any of this) - my wife likes the idea of a water birth, though neither of us have been told anything about this; Chauffeur - there are major roadworks going on right by our hospital; have I been given any information about how these are planned, what roads will be closed when, or what routes are particularly congested because of these roadworks? No.. I happen to have a colleague who lives nearby; I try to get information from him.

How the fsck am I supposed to:

  1. Help my wife through her pregnancy
  2. Help my wife through the birth
  3. Know anything about what is going on, in order to reassure my wife?
When Nobody tells men anything?

Pregnancy is not a female issue. This is a couple having a child, not just a woman giving birth.

Now I am quite happy to acknowledge that the Health Service must be prepared for single mothers, when the father is not interested/availble. That is a sad state of affairs. But when the father is around, he must be included. Otherwhise, how can he hope to be involved in the process? I have been physically shut out of the room, and simply ignored. I am equally a parent to this child.

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Men in Pregnancy | 206 comments (193 topical, 13 editorial, 1 hidden)
Excellent Topic (4.16 / 6) (#1)
by Therac-25 on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 11:19:31 PM EST

This probably doesn't apply to the UK, but when my wife was pregnant, I went to a group for new fathers run by an organization called Dad's Can at the hospital here.

It was pretty much prenatal classes for men -- what to expect the mother to do, what's going to be happening during the delivery, what it's like to be a father for the first time, etc.

One of the interesting results of this was that families with fathers who had gone through this program had more tension after the baby had arrived, as the fathers actually wanted to get involved in day-to-day parenting duties and had thier own ideas about how it should be done.

If you're in the London, Ontario-ish region, it's worth looking up if you find yourself in that situation.
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."

I am (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:14:41 AM EST

If you're in the London, Ontario-ish region, it's worth looking up if you find yourself in that situation.

I'm in Listowel which isn't too far. The deliveries of our kids all went pretty much the same. They were caesarian and I was told all three times that I could be in the room to support my wife but if I caused any trouble whatsoever I would be ejected without a second thought. Considering it was surgery, I thought that was a pretty fair thing. My role consisted of running my hand through my wife's hair and scratching her forehead since her arms were strapped down (one for IV, one for pulse monitoring).

The prenatal classes were a joke after the first child but you were still forced to go through them, as were the post-delivery checkups. The nurse doing the checkup for the third child was at least smart enough to recognize that we had two healthy happy children and the third was doing fine so she cut the number of checkups off after the second.

Post-birth the father hasn't got much to do except make sure that mom and baby are happy and healthy and to keep the other sproglings out of mom's hair. I don't see what the problem is, as fathers will get their chance later on.

Pre-birth/during-birth you're there for support. Not the "I know it all, I can fix anything" support but rather the "You're perfectly right to be screaming in pain, no you don't look like a cow, everything will be fine" type of support. The nurses/doctors/midwives are doing all the technical work, you're there to do the softwork, so to speak. For me, anyway, it was a real change of role, and something I've gotten better at with each child.



[ Parent ]
To Add to the Very Sane (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by virg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:41:56 PM EST

> The deliveries of our kids all went pretty much the same. They were caesarian and I was told all three times that I could be in the room to support my wife but if I caused any trouble whatsoever I would be ejected without a second thought. Considering it was surgery, I thought that was a pretty fair thing. My role consisted of running my hand through my wife's hair and scratching her forehead since her arms were strapped down (one for IV, one for pulse monitoring).

That's not bad treament. I got a bit more active role, since I have a passing amount of OR knowledge (I helped my mother study to be an ER/OR nurse, and all I had to do was demonstrate to the surgeon that I understood sterile room procedure and wouldn't inadvertently muck things up) but the nurses assumed that I didn't want to be involved at all and I had to convince them otherwise. It wasn't hard, but it did require me to stand up to a few people who did things like shutting the door on me and trying to take the baby (in the little fry heater) out of the room without me. Also, remember that the father's role is a lot more active during a vaginal delivery, since it lasts longer, is more tiring and mom needs a lot more encouragement and ice chips than for a C.

> The prenatal classes were a joke after the first child but you were still forced to go through them, as were the post-delivery checkups.

Not only was I not forced to go to prenatal classes, I found I was one of only two men in a class of 7 women, and at two points the person running the class told me that I could skip them and she'd still sign the insurance form if that's what I wanted.

> Post-birth the father hasn't got much to do except make sure that mom and baby are happy and healthy and to keep the other sproglings out of mom's hair. I don't see what the problem is, as fathers will get their chance later on.

Sorry, here's where we separate in a BIG way. If you think the only role a father can play is steward/goalie, you're fine for yourself, but don't dare speak for me that way. Because of a physical problem (recessed chin), my first son didn't breastfeed, and because I had exposure to infants before he was born (my best friend had two little ones (only months old when I started) and I'd go over and "take over" for the evening for practice) I did more baby duty than she did (to her credit, it took her almost a month to recover from the very VERY long delivery, so she wasn't being lazy). When my second son was born, the same happened again, because I happen to be more comfortable with infants than she is. So, to say that dad can't do more than step and fetch is to propagate a stereotype.

> Pre-birth/during-birth you're there for support. Not the "I know it all, I can fix anything" support but rather the "You're perfectly right to be screaming in pain, no you don't look like a cow, everything will be fine" type of support. The nurses/doctors/midwives are doing all the technical work, you're there to do the softwork, so to speak. For me, anyway, it was a real change of role, and something I've gotten better at with each child.

You're 100 percent right here. It's a surprising and humbling thing, isn't it? Still, don't discount the soft work. Despite the name, keeping your cool so you can help her keep hers is hard work.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Post-birth fathering (none / 0) (#102)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:29:21 PM EST

Sorry, here's where we separate in a BIG way. If you think the only role a father can play is steward/goalie, you're fine for yourself, but don't dare speak for me that way. Because of a physical problem (recessed chin), my first son didn't breastfeed, and because I had exposure to infants before he was born (my best friend had two little ones (only months old when I started) and I'd go over and "take over" for the evening for practice) I did more baby duty than she did (to her credit, it took her almost a month to recover from the very VERY long delivery, so she wasn't being lazy). When my second son was born, the same happened again, because I happen to be more comfortable with infants than she is. So, to say that dad can't do more than step and fetch is to propagate a stereotype.

I wasn't trying to speak for everyone, just from my experience. My wife desired to breastfeed so that decision oriented our roles for the first number of months in a certain way. My daughter didn't have the hang of suckling right away so I did a lot of the feeding (details comment) until she got the hang of the nipple, at which point my wife took over since, frankly, I ain't got nothin' for my daughter there. :-)

Where my wife specifically needed help in the first few weeks was in "defence" and "offense", as I had mentioned above. That isn't to say I didn't hold, change, or play with my infant children during that time, but rather that my primary roles were as mentioned.

It's a surprising and humbling thing, isn't it? Still, don't discount the soft work. Despite the name, keeping your cool so you can help her keep hers is hard work.

Very humbling. A big change of pace but it was fun at the same time. You're absoltely correct about the need for the "soft" work.



[ Parent ]
Uh...yeah. (3.28 / 7) (#5)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 11:36:04 PM EST

Well, apparently YMMV, because I've not felt any of what you apparently feel. I've not experienced anything you've experienced. My experience frankly couldn't be more diametrically opposed to what you've apparently had.

I mean yeah, I haven't gotten the pamplet on vaginal discharge, but I find it hard to get all worked up about that.

Maybe England is different, who knows? I was specifically told on one occasion "come because we're going to do a sonogram" and another to "come because we'll be listening to the heartbeat.

As for the rest, well, it really is all about my wife, because frankly, I really don't have much to do.

(Except tile the bathroom, paint the baby's room, rip out a hedge, etc, etc, etc.)
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Re: Uh...yeah. (3.40 / 5) (#7)
by Therac-25 on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 11:40:33 PM EST

Maybe England is different, who knows?
That's very likely the difference here.

There are still places where they don't let the father into the delivery room. I don't know if it's quite that bad nowadays over there, but I'm sure there are still traditional attitudes about men participating in the process that are getting in the way.

Where we went, they bent over backwards to make sure the fathers were involved in the process.
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]

England, my England (4.00 / 5) (#25)
by jonathan_ingram on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:08:09 AM EST

I don't know if it's quite that bad nowadays over there

It certainly isn't that bad over here. When I had my daughter 4 years ago, it was made very clear that men were expected to take an active part in the pregnancy and birth. Just about every man I know who has a child was there in the delivery room throughout labour.

It sounds like the author of this article is jealous of the attention that his wife is getting, and expecting all of the information about the pregnancy to be dropped in his lap. I wonder if he realises that his wife is probably at least as apprehensive as he is - and with much more reason (while dramatically safer than even a few years ago, any pregnancy and delivery is risky both for the child, and for the mother).
-- Jon
[ Parent ]

Crowded (4.75 / 4) (#90)
by Boronx on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:48:51 PM EST

Didn't it bother your wife to have all those men in the delivery room? I humbly suggest that next time, don't bring your buddies.
Subspace
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#164)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:06:49 AM EST

In my experiance, the NHS is pro-father in both policy and action. I was involved as much as I wanted to be in the pregnancy and birth, and post-birth hospital care of my son.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
I want more (3.00 / 1) (#134)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:48:59 PM EST

than just seeing the sonogram (it was wonderful! and the only time a nurse has included us both). That nurse was great, explained a lot to the many questions both of us put to her - even though she was only "supposed" to be showing us the pictures, she gave us more information than many of the other staff. And she was the only one who didn't ignore me, instead she appreciated my presence.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

as I said... (3.00 / 1) (#141)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:37:34 PM EST

My experience couldn't have been further from yours in almost every metric. I've not had anyone treat me in that fashion.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Well, I *am* a sperm donor (1.10 / 19) (#9)
by Eminem on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:03:21 AM EST

 

A lot of my rhymes are just to get chuckles out of people. Anybody with half a brain is going to be able to tell when I'm joking and when I'm serious.
Yeah... (3.25 / 4) (#53)
by Rocky on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:51:47 AM EST

...I'm sure your sock is grateful, too.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
You're slacking! (OT!!!) (3.50 / 2) (#124)
by BadDoggie on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:07:49 PM EST

Damn, you honky-rapper wanna-be! You managed to post something on-topic, related to the text AND mildly funny. You're slipping! I actually had to not give you a zero for this, although another follow-up comment helped me with that decision.

FYI, Rusty generally doesn't bitch-slap (at least, not as I've seen). You've confused him with this guy at The Other Site. Post good stuff, become "trusted", kill crapflooders, lame trolls, twonks, dweebs, scuzzbuckets, page-wideners, page-lengtheners, etc. Works better and, it seems, faster than The Other Site's moderation. Most of what you write is pathetic and it's rated accordingly. This is the first post of yours I've ever seen in anything other than "Hidden Comments", which I check to make sure people aren't trying to abuse the system here as well and slapping 0s on good posts.

Now grow up, go outside occasionally, and come back when you can play nice or at least have something worthwhile to write, mmm-Kayyyyyyy?

I fully expect you to watch my posting now and slap 1s on everything I write (it won't bother me). How do I know you plan your "revenge" like this?

woof.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.
[ Parent ]

Wow (4.10 / 10) (#11)
by simonfish on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:33:38 AM EST

An excelent topic, I think I should expand it a bit(not that your article should have, I mearly am). Men in society in the west actualy have fewer rights then women in some respects. Yes, I know the statistics regarding saleries, so noone mention it. 1. This is my most grevious concern: Men are portrayed as the sole sex drive of our society. 4/5 of my friends are female, and let me tell you, if men acted like they did, they would be arrested. A great example: if a woman forces herself on a man, even if he says no, it isn't really considered rape, but the opisote is. I'm not saying men should be able to do as they please, but equality, NOT feminism would be nice.

2. In further support of your article, I'll restate a bit of your point: A father of a child, is the childs father. You ment specificly in pregnancy, but it's an issue for the entire childhood. Look at the divorce acts in Canada: did you know that if you are having an affair, and you are a man, it is ASSUMED that you spent money on her, while if you are a woman, it is not? This is all taken into acount when decideing who gets a child at the end of the day, and generaly it's the mother. I grew up with my father, and I had a great childhood. I simply can't believe how callus the justice system is in that respect.

3. Why is a man not consulted when his wife(or girlfriend, or whatever else) wants to get an abortion? it is HIS child too. It's not her choice entirly, by any means. Half the DNA in that child is his, and I've often heard of men wanting to keep a child, who'se girlfriends decided not to.

4. Domestic abuse cases are portrayed as an entirely male oriented affair, the men abuse, the women are abused. This is by no means the case. I don't mean that men are always, or even the majority of the victoms, but a substantial portion of spousal abuse occures from woman to man.(One resource of many I've found)

Take this how you will, I won't ever claim that men can't be violent, cruel, or evil. But I'm none of those things, and let me tell you, the abuse goes the other way quiet a bit. I'm open to your opinions, replies, and anything else, but if you're going to tell me I'm full of shit, please don't bother. I've talked with too many friends who'se mother(not father) was the violent one in their family.

Hrm (4.00 / 3) (#28)
by thither on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:20:47 AM EST

I certainly agree that women and men are equally capable of violence and bad behavior, and sexual abuse is reprehensible no matter who commits it, but I think that by far the majority of sexual abuse goes from men to women. Likewise, it's far more common for a father to leave a mother to raise a child than the other way around; this doesn't mean that either case is excusable, but to me it goes a long way towards explaining why both societal attitudes and laws tend to be set up to favor the female side in these situations, as you mention.

The term feminism is bandied about a lot, and has a reputation for extremism in some circles, but it's actually a pretty diverse field of thought with lots of different positions--often contradictory ones--on gender relations. One of its branches is "equality feminism," which is based on the idea that there should be equality between men and women, which I imagine is what you mean when you speak of "equality, NOT feminism." Feminism doesn't usually equate to a system of thought where men are meant to take an inferior position to women.

I was going to comment about the father's role in the descision to terminate a pregnancy, but then I realized that that topic might be in somewhat poor taste for a topic started by an expectant father. (Not trying to flame you, it just suddenly struck me.)

[ Parent ]

You missed the point (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:48:16 AM EST

From the tone of your post, you seem to be very sincere, which I appreciate, but I'm not sure you realize that you're justifying an intolerable prejudice.

The societal attitudes are understandable of course, but by no means can we set up our laws to discriminate against an entire sex because they are more "usually" guilty of an offense.

That's equivalent to saying that in a law suit between a white man and a black man, we'll favour the white man, because he's "usually" in the right. Can you not see how totally discriminatory that is?

The problem is demonstrated when you talk about same-sex couples. If it's "typically" better for the child to be with its mother, but the two guardians are both female, to whom do you give custody? It's stupid. And it's no less stupid when the guardians are of different sexes.

Personally, I think the author of the article is stressed out by the coming birth of his child (as any good parent-to-be would be), and is affixing blame for that stress on a system that treats him as secondary to the process. Well, he is secondary to the process. The pregnancy and birth would go on if he were hit by a bus. Let's face it. He's just nervous.

But that doesn't mean that there aren't men out there with serious, legitimate complaints against institutionalized sexual discrimination.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

re:sex drive (4.00 / 1) (#177)
by infinitera on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:08:49 PM EST

Had a good thread about this a while back.

[ Parent ]
Excellent article. (4.33 / 6) (#13)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:57:17 AM EST

If I'm online when it gets out of edit, it will have my +1 FP. Well written, from the heart, and unlike certain other submitters, you know your way around the language. =P My only real problem, editorially, is the paragraph before "How the fsck..." seems garbled and could stand a rewrite. Oh, and you switch back and forth between British and American english - I have no preference, but it would look "nicer", I guess, to stick with one. Your call.

FWIW, though I am not a father, I agree with your portrayal of the situation. At least in the U.S.A., men are treated as second-class, inferior parents. I mean, do they think we're such blundering neanderthals that we'd crush or eat the baby? I'm tired of this popular idea that men are incapable of feeling gentleness and tenderness, and should not be trusted with things involving them. Maybe some men are. But whatever happened to taking the word "gentlemen" literally?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Then do something about it [o/t] (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by revscat on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:02:41 AM EST

I'm tired of this popular idea that men are incapable of feeling gentleness and tenderness, and should not be trusted with things involving them.

Then vote Democrat.

Sorry, couldn't resist.



- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
Preaching to the choir =P (3.00 / 1) (#88)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:31:11 PM EST

You thought I vote Republican? You clearly haven't been reading my posts very long. ^_^


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
I tried the l'homme au foyer thing (4.64 / 17) (#14)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:13:41 AM EST

When our first daughter was born almost nine years ago, I got to stay home and play dad for about 18 months. It was a great experience all around except for one thing: the prejudice I ran into.

From suspicious stares from the women with and without children at the laundromat to the common assumption that I was babysitting, many ladies let me know in one way or the other that it was preferrable that mothers be the ones that raise the children. And don't get me started on the prejudice at the evangelical Protestant congregation I attended at the time. I may as well have been a heretic judging by the way people regarded the notion of the husband being the one to stay home and raise the children.

Things are slowly changing. House-husband support groups and what not are becoming popular in the states. This is a good trend.

My heart really goes out to the housedads that perserverred in previous generations.

I tried that (4.57 / 7) (#29)
by Phil the Canuck on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:44:51 AM EST

After our son was born, I stayed home for a while (only about five months or so) while my wife worked. It was a choice we made, as at the time my wife's job was capable of supporting us. I can look back on it now as one of the best experiences of my life. I believe it has, and will continue to have, positive long-term effects on my relationship with my son. It wasn't always so wonderful though. Much of my wife's family, and many of our friends, saw me as simply unemployed. I wasn't serving a purpose in the relationship to them. When I did start looking for work (mostly because my wife and I were both sick of hearing about how lazy I was), potential employers viewed my "time in the home" suspiciously. You're definitely not alone.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

different treatment for me (4.37 / 8) (#15)
by adiffer on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:00:36 AM EST

I was treated very different. The nurses at the hospital we chose made it very clear that I was expected to be there and learn everything my wife was taught. If I had not participated, they made it clear that I would be considered a louse and treated as one.

The classes that taught us what to expect were set up to include both of us. The nurses had special training material for each partner, but we were also cross-trained. They made it clear that one partner was likely to forget something important during moments of stress, so it was better that both know.

Fight for what you need to know. It is alright to annoy the staff. Your partner may need you and what you know later.

-Dream Big.
--Grow Up.

Sounds great (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:36:47 AM EST

That sounds exactly what I'm looking for - and for the same reasons. We've no way of predicting exactly how the birth will happen... we may not even manage to get to the hospital in time, but if we do, various things can happen (one book goes through all the possible problems in such a way as to convince you that you've no chance of having a healthy baby!). My wife will be incapable of making decisions - if I've not been "trained" in what decisions are available, and their consequences, I cannot support her or the child.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Good advice (none / 0) (#73)
by FortKnox on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:03:02 AM EST

Nurses have to deal with pregnancy every day for years at a time. Sometimes you just gotta be the jerk and tell them what you expect of them. When the nurse tried to take control (poorly) of labor when my wife began to push, I told her to stop and I'd do it. She gave me a dirty look, but I was able to do the job better than her.
I was the jerk, but it was my child, and my wife (eventually) thanked me for being in control and helping her through labor (BTW - good luck with labor, its a true test of your marriage).
--
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
[ Parent ]
decisions (none / 0) (#113)
by adiffer on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:57:35 PM EST

8)

Be a little careful about assuming what your wife will be able to do on the mental level. There is a good chance she will retain most of her capacity to make good decisions right up to the point where the pain gets to be too much. Be ready to step in, but remember it is safer to be annoying to the medical staff than it is to her.

And... the thing to remember about books that explain everything that can possibly go wrong is that they often don't get the statistical odds across to the reader. There wouldn't be 6 billion humans on this planet if things didn't go right most of the time.

-Dream Big.
--Grow Up.
[ Parent ]

RTFM (4.52 / 17) (#16)
by Bios_Hakr on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:08:36 AM EST

Not to be harsh or anything, but you can get a book on anything these days.  I would reccomend "What to expect when you are expecting".  This book has been very helpful through two pregnancies.  Get it and soak it up like a tech manual.  Read, annotate, dogear, reread, discuss with signifigant other, and read agian.

One of my coworkers knew Java, C++, HTML/CSS/Javascript, and was a linux god.  He knew fuckall about what his wife was gong through.  I gave him my copy of the above book.  Within a week he was a uber-baby-geek.  He could tell you everything from the sizes of the baby at specific points, what would be happening in the delivery room, and how the first few weeks would go after the baby.

Seriously, tackle the prob the same way you would if your boss told you you had a week to deploy SMS.  Get one book and read it.  Then check some web sites.  Then get another book.

In addition to the above book, "What to eat when you are expecting" and "What to expect your first year" should probably be added to your tech library.  All three books together should give you a good start.

In addition to the above advice, it is VITAL you take a Infant/Child CPR class.  Don't be a dick and blow it off, just go.  You may never have a need for it, but take it just in case.  Also a book on common child ailments and cures can save tons of stress and money spent on ER visits.

And ask questions (4.50 / 4) (#20)
by driptray on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 04:29:05 AM EST

In addition to reading books and going to classes, go to every health checkup, and ask questions! If the midwife is ignoring you, perhaps that is because you are ignoring her.

You can't expect to be the centre of attention but it is reasonable to expect to feel included and part of the whole process. Most of that has to come from you:

  • read books,
  • attend classes,
  • attend all health checkups etc,
  • ask questions and talk to everybody

--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
manuals (5.00 / 3) (#23)
by iGrrrl on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:56:40 AM EST

Most of the pregnancy and childbirth books have "for men" or "for partners" sections in their chapters. Even if they don't have specific bits for fathers, if your partner has books lying around about pregnancy and childbirth, read them. (Unless the book is the American best-seller What to Expect When You're Expecting. I wouldn't say the book is so bad as to be banned, but it is full of mis-information. Awful book.) The best one is probably The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby, or from a British publisher, The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth

I haven't read My Boys Can Swim!: The Official Guy's Guide to Pregnancy, but some people like it.

The New Father : A Dad's Guide to the First Year by Armin A. Brott. Great book for the first year of baby life, but read it before the baby gets there!

remove obvious illegal character in email address
[ Parent ]

WTEWYE (3.50 / 2) (#38)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:26:48 AM EST

Hey, iGrlll. My wife is a nurse that had to do a prenatal session as part of her training. "What To Expect When You're Expecting" was recommended reading. Do you have any links to evidence of misinformation in it? I'm sure my wife would be interested.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

how I know this... (5.00 / 4) (#71)
by iGrrrl on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:50:48 AM EST

I put in a lot of research on pregnancy information books because I put in a book proposal to write a new one. This means I've spent a lot of time examining the competition with my co-authors, who are both obstetricians.

First off, the authors are not medical professionals, to my knowledge. Although there is much in the book that can be useful ("Oh, okay. Nosebleeds are normal.") there are other things that cause FUD (fear, uncertainty, despair). Every time during my pregnancy when I asked my doctor about some symptom they said to tell your doctor about, it was something entirely normal. In fact, one of my co-authors says that at least 10% of his patients call in a complete panic because they woke up and found that they were not sleeping on their left side. The book insists that you must do so throughout pregnancy, though there is really no solid reason for it.

The tone of the book is very Top Seargent about such things. If you eat a half a bagel over their "best odds" diet, you should consider it your treat for the week! Feh.

It's good for some things, but there are much better books out there. Conception, Pregnancy & Birth is good. For a nurse, I would recommend more strongly Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn : The Complete Guide

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

"The Complete Guide" (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by wiredog on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:43:02 AM EST

Sounds like an O'Reilly series.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
"Unofficial Guide" (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by iGrrrl on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:47:22 AM EST

Yep, it is part of their Unofficial Guide series. The same people who brought you the Unofficial Guide to Disney World give you the definitive book on how to concieve and give birth to someone who will want to go there. Ain't synergy great?

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

i don't trust it (none / 0) (#176)
by infinitera on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:00:46 PM EST

Any book on children that will cause them to want to go to Disney World is suspicious to me. ;)

[ Parent ]
Is it the book, or the readers? (5.00 / 1) (#114)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 04:04:10 PM EST

Seems to me that new parents are notoriously hypochondriac.

I got the impression from before that there were things in the book that could be proven wrong. It sounds now as though it's mostly just things that haven't been proven correct, or are taken too seriously.

That's more a matter of style. It's important, depending on who the reader is, but I wouldn't call it "full of mis-information" or "Awful."

Well, maybe I would if I was trying to market an alternative.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Both, but more the book, imo. (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by iGrrrl on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:29:03 PM EST

I got the impression from before that there were things in the book that could be proven wrong. It sounds now as though it's mostly just things that haven't been proven correct, or are taken too seriously.

That's more a matter of style. It's important, depending on who the reader is, but I wouldn't call it "full of mis-information" or "Awful."

It's an awful book in my opinion. I don't think that spreading wive's tales as gospel truth is merely a matter of style in a supposedly medical information text. As for style, I hate the way it talks to women as if they're idiots and as if there is one true way to go through pregnancy. Yes there is stuff that is flat wrong and stupid, such as certain stretches they tell you not to do, many "call your doctor if..."s, and the whole bit about sleeping on the left side.

There are well over 200 reviews on Amazon, iirc, and I find it interesting that they're evenly divided between love and loathe. I loathe.

Your point about the readers is well-taken, but the tone of the book only, in my opinion and my co-author's experience, exacerbates the problem.

Bottom line: There are at least five book that are far superior to What to Expect When You're Expecting. In fact, because of that, the proposal will sit on my hard drive for a while.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

Book recommendations (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by driptray on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:24:04 PM EST

I read a lot of books when my partner was pregnant. I would recommend:

  • Sheila Kitzinger's The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, or any other Sheila Kitzinger book. A little bit hippy dippy, but still lots of very practical and solid information.
  • Janet Balaskas' Active Birth, which is even more hippy dippy, but somehow seemed to be simple, straightforward and very practical at the same time.
  • Childbirth Choices, an Australian book written by academics from Macquarie Univeristy. I can't find where to buy this, but it was the best book I read. It's styled as a kind of meta-pregnancy guide, setting out the various different philosophical approaches/styles of birth that are commonly used in the western world, and using many anecdotal stories to illustrate each of these. It was a wonderfully non-judgmental book that let you see how birth works in a variety of circumstances, and shows you how to choose the style/approach that best suits you. It had no big glossy pictures, and looked like a thick, dry, academic work, which probably doomed it in the marketplace, however it was very readable.

--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
Re: RTFM (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:29:52 AM EST

"What to expect..." is a good book, I've got lots of documentation - I know all about caesarean section, breech, and all the theory. What I'm lacking is, for example, a parentcraft course at a more suitable time than 2:30pm for an unspecified length of time. Not 9am, not 4pm. To be awkward for a 9-5 worker, it's difficult to find a worse time than 2:30.

So it's things like this which deny my chances to ask questions of "experts", and find out what is going on.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Priorities (3.50 / 2) (#59)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:08:20 AM EST

If your job won't give you time off at 2:30 in the afternoon to learn how to be a parent to your child, you need a different job.

Get your priorities straight.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Time of day (4.50 / 2) (#117)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:15:24 PM EST

Sure, I'm going to try to get time off. But a 4pm or 9am session would be much more practical. To get there for 2:30 means leaving work at 2pm - just after the lunch break - and getting back about 4-4:30pm, meaning I've only managed 1h work in afternoon. That's a half-day off work, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not saying it's impossible, just that the whole thing has obviously been put together without even thinking about how working parents will get to this. My wife's employer must give her time off for these sessions; my employer has no such requirement.

One of the better articles I have read (in Mother and Baby, IIRC) pointed out that most new fathers spend 20% more time in the office in the first year after the baby's birth, as a subconcious way of trying to "work harder -> get more money for baby". Many fathers do feel pressure to perform well at work, I am one of them. I really can't afford to upset my employer! It's a balancing act - that's life, and I'm not whining for attention, just pointing out that the way the thing is set up, is frequently without any regard to the father. Maybe that wasn't seen as a problem 50 years ago, but I see it as a problem in 2002.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Just take the whole day off work (none / 0) (#161)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:43:58 AM EST

That's what I did. Not a problem. Spend some time with your wife before/after.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
Out of 22 days holiday a year (none / 0) (#166)
by sgp on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:44:47 AM EST

It's not very practical to take 12 days holiday for the prenatal classes - if I'd not had any other holiday, that'd only leave 10 days (2 weeks) for post-natal leave.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

re: not very practical (none / 0) (#169)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:07:45 AM EST

Having kids isn't very practical. "Wasting" your holiday isn't a concern anymore.

Anyway, 12 days sounds like a lot of pre-natal classes. We only had, IIRC 4 or 5 classes, and a few check ups. You don't have to be there for every minor doctors visit. All they do most of the time is check blood pressure, etc.

And the UK has something called parental leave. It used to be called paternity leave. You get 2 weeks off work by law, directly following the birth of the child.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Paid? (none / 0) (#171)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:16:37 AM EST

Is that two weeks paid leave?

I'm just curious because here in the States we can take up to twelve weeks unpaid thanks to the "Parental Leave Act" a few years back.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Does it matter? (none / 0) (#173)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:27:52 AM EST

I had paid leave, but I'm not sure what the law is in the UK at the moment, wrt pay. But the point is, you definitly get two weeks when the baby comes.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
leave (none / 0) (#174)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:32:13 AM EST

I am just curious because my impression is that UK and Europe are better about this then the States. Up until recently, fathers got nothing. Now we get twelve weeks unpaid though companies can require you to use unused vacation for part of it.

Paid leave would be nicer, obviously, as it is hard enough having one wage-earner out, much less two. If we could afford it, I'd take the whole twelve weeks...as it is, I'll probably only be taking three or four.

Unpaid is not that great, obviously, but to stay on topic for the story, it is exactly the same as "maternity leave".
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

maternity leave (none / 0) (#175)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:42:29 AM EST

Maternity leave, in the UK, is paid at a reduced rate (a set fraction of full pay) for the first A months, and then at a state set value for the next B months. It is then unpaid for the next C months, after which if the mother does not return to work, employment is official terminated.

A + B + C = 12 months, but I can't remember exactly how the divisions go.

The UK does also has an unpaid paternity leave system where you have, I think 12 weeks, or there about, which must be taken in 1 week blocks, over a period of 5 years.

The exact numbers can be found on the uk .gov sites, if you go looking for it.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Come to Canada! (4.00 / 1) (#180)
by gauntlet on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:29:12 PM EST

I don't want to make anyone jealous, or anything, but as far as I understand it, we have a system that pays you a percentage (either 55% or 65%, I think) of the average monthly income the year before the birth every month for 12 months. And while I'm not real clear on it, I think any one parent can use any portion of the 12 months. So the wife can take the first 6 months off, then the husband take the second 6.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

c is at employers discretion (5.00 / 1) (#191)
by flowergrrl on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:18:28 AM EST

a is 6 weeks, and is often 90% pay,
b is 12 weeks at statutory maternity pay and
c is often up to babies first birthday, but that is not a legal requirement, and often you have to be a long serving staff memeber to get that

Meet my son Dylan
[ Parent ]

It's unpaid leave... (none / 0) (#196)
by sgp on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 07:59:31 PM EST

but will be paid leave for babies due after April 2003 (regardless of when they are born, so could be v. premature in late Nov to qualify)

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

jesus (1.71 / 7) (#156)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:40:53 AM EST

One of my coworkers knew Java, C++, HTML/CSS/Javascript, and was a linux god. He knew fuckall about what his wife was gong through. I gave him my copy of the above book. Within a week he was a uber-baby-geek. He could tell you everything from the sizes of the baby at specific points, what would be happening in the delivery room, and how the first few weeks would go after the baby.

Which just goes to show, I suppose, that being a complete and utter knob-end is in the blood and there's fuck-all that anybody can do about it. Poor kid.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

for expecting parents in the US (2.14 / 21) (#19)
by tiger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 04:15:32 AM EST

If you have a boy, do not allow any doctor or midwife to sexually mutilate (circumcise) your son.

As of 1998, 57% of newborn American males were sexually mutilated. The rate of sexual mutilation in the UK is less than 1%.

--
Americans :— Say no to male genital mutilation. In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child



Troll (2.42 / 7) (#21)
by Hamster on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:21:07 AM EST

trolling is bad. circuscision does not qualify as mutilation, insofar as body or ear piercing, or other things of that nature are as well, which are accepted by society. furthermore circumscision has hygeine benefits, and the sexual benefits are dubious at best. your example of the sexually mutilated boy is sensationalistic, and simply because a person is circumcised does not mean they are doomed to a life on incompleteness, never knowing joy, &c. Also, this has nothing to do with the position of men vis pregnancy. Please stay on topic.

[ Parent ]
Mutilation (3.16 / 6) (#26)
by Talez on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:12:03 AM EST

From the Dictionary,

mu·ti·late Pronunciation Key (mytl-t) tr.v. mu·ti·lat·ed, mu·ti·lat·ing, mu·ti·lates

1. To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
2. To disfigure by damaging irreparably: mutilate a statue.
3. To make imperfect by excising or altering parts.

Sounds just like it to me. Personally I think the whole practice is barbaric. No parent should be allowed to make that decision on behalf of the child. The choice should be given to the child when the child is believed to be mature enough to make that decision.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
[ Parent ]
I speak as a Circumsized Man (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by krach42 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:30:09 AM EST

Look, stop bothering people with this, there exist people who have been seriously injured/killed by circumsion, yes. But there's a larger majority who don't ever experience a single problem with it. I'm circumsized, and since I've never known anything but, I have no problems. I'm not "missing" anything.
Krach42, the universe's most death-resistant entity. *** VACUUM BAD!!! ***
[ Parent ]
As the old saying goes... (2.66 / 3) (#47)
by Talez on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:41:21 AM EST

"Ignorance is Bliss"

You don't remember the pain of going through your circumcision because you were probably less than a day old. We ignore the screaming cries of the child because "they are only a baby, they wont remember it".

I can assure you, if you watched a video of yourself being circumcised as a baby and heard yourself screaming and actually watched what the doctors did to you, I am reasonably confident you would at least feel uncomfortable knowing that you went through such a procedure.

Again, I reiterate, I have nothing against the practise of circumcision or circumcised people. I dont really care what you to do to your penis because its not my business. But to carry out such an act, little alone with such barbaracy, should not be under the jurisdiction of the parents. It should be a personal choice which every competent and mature male should be allowed to make. Nobody else.

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
[ Parent ]

C'mon... (1.28 / 7) (#49)
by Rocky on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:46:38 AM EST

...Willie!  This horse looks like he's still got some life in 'er.  Ya gotta beat her some more.

Keep your agenda to yourself, you smegmatic herpes-infested rectum biter.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]

Nice Thought, But... (5.00 / 3) (#85)
by virg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:18:08 PM EST

I was present for the circumcision of both of my sons. I was also present at the circumcision of two other boys (the one done before and the one after my first son). The only one who cried, much less put forth your described "screaming cries of the child" was my first son, who didn't like being undressed. During the procedure itself, he wasn't crying at all, and he dozed off before the doctor was done. And, it wasn't a horrible, hideous thing to watch, either. It was about as traumatic as cutting his fingernails.

You're being a sensationalist.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Not a Troll (3.50 / 2) (#50)
by threed on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:46:43 AM EST

The comment was totally in sync with the topic - giving men advice on how to deal with a pregnancy. Even if the guy has taken the issue up as his personal cause, you can't fault him for giving relevant advice. Don't you think a man should have a say in the physical well-being of his child in an area that so many of us are unfortunately intimately aware of?

I had an ear pierced once. The hole is still there, though I don't wear anything in it. I don't like it anymore, but that's fine - I asked for it, I got it, and I deal. See the difference? There isn't a squad of doctors running around piercing peoples' ears.

Now what if doctors were putting big studs through everybody's johnson or labia as a part of some unrelated procedure? I'd call that criminally insane.


--Threed - Looking out for Numero Uno since 1976!

[ Parent ]

Sources? (4.00 / 2) (#54)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:56:33 AM EST

I'm not going to argue about mutilation, because that's semantics. But I do have a question: What peer reviewed medical research can you cite that shows the hygeine benefits of circumcision?

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

I believe (none / 0) (#86)
by Hamster on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:24:16 PM EST

the statement holds up under general inspection. there being no foreskin, dust and other accumulated debris is more easily washed away. however, I will keep an open mind on this. the occurence of people who don't adequatly wash their penis may be lower than I think and so my conclusion may be wrong. it may be that every single person fastidiously washes and the absence of a foreskin would make no difference whatsoever. Please provide me with peer reviewed medical research that circumscsion has no hygeine benefits. I don't really want to go to the trouble to provide the burden of proof, and you are being a bit dodgy by not providing any yourself. However I do remember many studies linking the incidence of cancer, skin warts, &c being lower in circumcised males. As to the so called sexual benefits referred to on the sexually mutilated child site, there are pros and cons to it. As the the personal choice, just an observation here: as you get older the more inhibitions build up. As was pointed out 'you don't remember the pain' which is precisely why it is carried out at such a young age. As such, it does not cause any long-term psychological damage. Of course, I may have misinterpreted your comment, and it might not be an attack on my argument. In that case, sorry. I still hold that this is not relevent to the topic at hand, i.e. society in general does not provide adequately for husbands. Talking about circumscision is on a far off tangent, and this topic is an excuse to promote someone's personal beliefs. I have nothing against them, just when they aren't on-topic.

[ Parent ]
Disappointing (none / 0) (#109)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:43:53 PM EST

I don't really want to go to the trouble to provide the burden of proof, and you are being a bit dodgy by not providing any yourself.
I'm not making any claims. What evidence should I provide to support my argument of nothing?
I do remember many studies linking the incidence of cancer, skin warts, &c being lower in circumcised males
If you overcome your laziness, I'd be interested in references to those studies, too.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Some quick numbers on circumcision/cancer. (none / 0) (#182)
by libertine on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:54:10 PM EST

Rate of failure (i.e. visible mutilation or penile removal) for circumcision is 1 in 400.

Rate of penile cancer is 1 in 10,000.

Most of the STD studies are generally flawed, and tend to be biased to circumcision.  Largely a social bias (at least from my reading on the subject).  Most of this stuff is published in print journals, so sorry, no links.

On a personal note, I am circumcised, and am pretty numb.  I had to get dydoes in order for me to have enough stimulation in the glans for me to achieve satisfaction in under 2 - 4 hours of coitus.  Sounds neat, to go for so long, but it is not pleasant if you have to do this every night.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Have to? Every night? (none / 0) (#201)
by sgp on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 08:33:36 PM EST

Now I'm jealous:)

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

I only know of one. (none / 0) (#87)
by nstenz on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:27:27 PM EST

I saw something recently about uncircumcised men being more likely to spread HPV, I believe.

Other than that- nada. I only see it as being detrimental to hygeine.

Nevermind the reasonable chance that the doctor will screw something up, and there being no point it performing a medical procedure like that just for the hell of it...

[ Parent ]

How to cope with not being the center of attention (2.90 / 10) (#22)
by a2800276 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:52:31 AM EST

I read your story and am totally flabergasted. You just seem to whining about your wife getting all the attention. No small wonder, she's the one that's pregnant, not you. Get over it.

Concerning your questions about how your supposed to "Know anything about what is going on" when "nobody tells you anything": first off, just because there are magazines called "Mother and Baby" doesn't mean your not allowed to read them. If your male ego isn't strong enough to handle reading publications aimed at women, there are plenty of sources of information that don't include "only for women" in their title.

Search the internet, go to the library, be inquisitive. I absolutely can't imagine a more or less intelligent person not being able to find information about pregancy, childrearig, mother's health, be it man, woman or child.

Expecting a child is a pretty stressful experience, and it's easy to get the feeling that it's all to much to handle. Get used to it, having a child is even more of a strain :) People have been able to cope with little more than common sense for a long time. I'm sure you will, too.

What rashes from insect bites are concerned, try Tiger Balm or just plain peppermint oil. There basically natural and work wonders.

Not centre of attention... (4.33 / 3) (#27)
by Talez on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:15:10 AM EST

Expecting a child is a pretty stressful experience,

If I was a father I'd want some way to make my experience less stressful as well. I wouldn't asking to be the centre of attention, I'd just like someone to help me through my part. I hate being yelled at or criticized or treated with disrespect when nobody tells me what I'm supposed be doing :(

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
[ Parent ]
Childbirth (none / 0) (#45)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:41:09 AM EST

Now I'm quite happy to accept that giving birth is painful and stressful. But we're talking about something like 4-12h for a first child, typically. There's a lot more to being a parent than just conception and delivery. It's "those other bits" I'm asking for support with.

Tea-tree oil seems to be working okay with the rash, as it happens. My wife doesn't really need the stress of finding out what is and isn't okay - so where's my access to the information? If she's worrying about an insect bite, I need to find an answer, quickly and accurately. For that, I need the support of the health service.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Different for every pregnancy (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by FortKnox on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:10:12 AM EST

It's "those other bits" I'm asking for support with.

The further you go down the pregnancy road, the more you'll realize this:
Every single pregnancy is different for every couple.
That rash your wife had? My wife never dealt with it, but my wife was up every morning puking her brains out (not just the first trimester, the whole pregnancy). She had acid reflux every night after dinner. Ask the doctor "What can she take?" The doctor says, "Nothing except tums, but not too many." (In the US) We aren't allowed to test any medication on pregnant women to see how the fetus reacts (its just cruel), so pretty much any type of medication is a no-no. I'm ranting, but the point is, its a different experience for you. Something that several other pregnant couples might never experience. This is why when you read books about pregnancy they are so vague.
I hate to say this, but you have to take it all as a learning experience, if you are having another child, or just a stressful time if you aren't. No one ever said pregnancy was easy (for you or her).
--
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
[ Parent ]
Here's the Rub (and not the Tiger Balm) (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by virg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:09:24 PM EST

Your response points up both his problems (the problem he states and the problem he has). Here it is, in one easy paragraph:

> Expecting a child is a pretty stressful experience, and it's easy to get the feeling that it's all to much to handle.

Good statement of the problem, and the fact he's complaining about traffic patterns indicates he is indeed getting overwhelmed. Your advice?

> Get used to it, having a child is even more of a strain.

Nice work, Dr. Freud. You said yourself that it's easy to get overwhelmed, but when you actually see it happening, you say, essentially, "get over it." That's very much like seeing a drowning man and shouting, "just swim, you selfish bastard!" How about giving him a few specifics to get him started? It it that hard to post a few links (as I did, above), and show a little compassion? Sure, he's being egocentric about it, but telling him to "get used to it" isn't an answer, and that's what his complaint really points out. I'd say you both need to grow up a bit, but at least he's asking for help.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Typical... (3.20 / 5) (#32)
by bobpence on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:46:21 AM EST

of your infantile viewpoint is this complaint on "roadworks": "have I been given any information about how these are planned, what roads will be closed when, or what routes are particularly congested... I happen to have a colleague who lives nearby; I try to get information from him."

Look at yourself complaining about not being given information. Have you asked for it? Have you gone out and gotten it yourself?

What makes your colleague so omniscient? Perhaps he reads a local newspaper, or has thought to contact the highway authority. You can and should do those things, too. Pick up a newspaper while you are at the local bookstore getting some of the stuff recommended below. Just because we get most of our information from the Web shouldn't mean we're incapable of seeking information elsewhere.


"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender

Colleague (2.00 / 1) (#48)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:44:43 AM EST

lives near to the roadworks - sorry I wasn't clear.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Jeez, get over it (3.33 / 15) (#33)
by p3d0 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:50:12 AM EST

Face it: it's the woman that is doing all the work. Do you really need someone to tell you to be comforting and felpful to your wife?

Some things to consider:

  • Somehow, men have managed to maintain a 100% survival rate during pregnancy and delivery for thousands of years without any help. The same can't be said for women.
  • Any hormonal changes that might lead to emotional instability and physical injury are, remarkably, experienced exclusively by the mother.
  • No father has ever been expected to put his life on hold while his body transforms itself, first into a host for a football-sized parasite (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) and then into food factory.
Your chauffering complaints are particularly laughable. While your wife is sitting next to you, anticipating the injuries she will inevitably suffer while trying to squeeze a square peg through a round hole, enduring what is said to be one of the most painful and traumatic experiences of her life, you will be forced to endure the ghastly indignity of trying to find a route to the hospital. Oh, the humanity!

This energy that you've put into getting all offended about the lack of support you have received would be better spent supporting your wife. You will both experience the joy of childbirth, but only one of you suffers the discomfort.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.

be fair (4.16 / 6) (#36)
by kubalaa on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:21:25 AM EST

I agree that the specific complaints are vacuous. That doesn't change the issue itself. If he loves his wife, then everything she goes through will also affect him. When she's unhappy, he will be too. He has to put his life on hold while his life companion suddenly transforms herself into a host. It's not his body, but it is his wife, and in a good marriage the two aren't so different. So his worries are different, and not so dire or immediate, but they still exist. It's not fair to pretend that the father goes through nothing during pregnancy and birth.

The question he's asking is how should he support his wife. Why isn't he given advice on this? How should he bond with the baby? How should he cope with his wife's mood changes and crabbiness? How can they together keep the romance through all this?

A couple goes through everything in life together -- that's the point of being a couple.

[ Parent ]

exactly (4.00 / 4) (#44)
by krach42 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:38:47 AM EST

I totally was going to respond with this... someone just had to tell all these people who are like "stop complaining, it is only the woman" that they need to stop continuing exactly what he was complaining about. Yes, women go through the bulk of the problems in pregnancy, but men still have problems, people yell at him for "not being supportive" but never explain what this means.

Let's take the worst case scenario, the woman goes through birth, and crap both her and the baby die. What the hell is the man supposed to do, now? Yeah, the wife DIED but you still have the man who's the lone survivor, and now has to bury his beloved wife, and his still-born child. I call that a lot of suck!

Let's take it a little less drastic, the wife dies, but the kid lives, now the father has to bury his wife, and raise a kid. This is a lot of suck too.

Now, the kid dies, but the wife lives, in this case the wife is going to be very depressed, and again, he has to support her, and probably is the only one who can....

Anyways, I'm rambling... the guy is complaining that in this age, everyone is telling the guys that "the woman isn't the only one who's pregnant" to get the guys to fess up, and support the woman, yes, none of them actually know how to DEAL with a man during his wife's pregnancy. I'd say I'd get with my own dad, and men who have already gone through this stuff, so that I could get a male's perspective that's gone through it and ask them: "Hey, what would you do in my situation?"


Krach42, the universe's most death-resistant entity. *** VACUUM BAD!!! ***
[ Parent ]
Not the point (3.66 / 6) (#77)
by p3d0 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:14:01 AM EST

If he had complained that he was not allowed into the doctor's office, or the delivery room, or was not allowed to participate in the pregnancy, then that would be terrible.

Let's look at what he did complain about:

  • Pregnancy sucks, because all the attention is on the woman. Kind of like how a dog feels when you bring home a new puppy.
  • She is quite willing to advise my wife, but has nothing for me. I can hold pamphlets, since I happen to be around. Can you read the pamphlets?
  • I am expected to be: Supportive - not that I am even told what the issues might be, or what my wife might be going through... Your wife can talk, right? Hasn't she been told what the issues might be?
  • At the moment, my wife has a bad rash from an insect bite...Do I have a number to call? Does your wife have a number to call? If so, can't you use it? If not, then what does this have to do with being shunned as a father?
  • ...there are major roadworks going on right by our hospital; have I been given any information about how these are planned, what roads will be closed when, or what routes are particularly congested because of these roadworks? No. What makes you think the hospital would have any better luck at getting this information than you would? Never mind why exactly this is the hospital's responsibility in the first place.
This is not about being marginalized as a father. It's about a spoiled member of this world's priviledged upper-class feeling entitled to have society coddle him.

The first prerequisite for being a parent is to be an adult.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]

Adult -> parent (3.50 / 2) (#132)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:43:06 PM EST

The first prerequisite for being a parent is to be an adult. and being an adult means taking responsibility. Which is what I'm doing, despite the health service's best efforts to stop me. It is impossible to take responsibility from afar.

And I do not want society to coddle me. I want society to care about my child, which means giving him/her a father who understands what is what.

If he had complained that he was not allowed into the doctor's office, or the delivery room, or was not allowed to participate in the pregnancy, then that would be terrible. - yes, I'm allowed in, and then ignored. That is just as bad as not being there. Believe me, all my questions and comments are brushed off as the mere ramblings of a man. They've nothing to do with pregnancy, ignore him.

And in turn:

  • Attention on the woman - parenting is both mothering and fathering. 50/50 plus the medical stuff for the woman. And yes, the medical side of parenting is negligible over a lifetime.
  • Read the pamplets - yes I can, but can I clarify points raised in them? No, I am just ignored as "an ignorant man". How am I supposed to rectify this against this kind of attitude?!
  • Issues - let's say she has a pain in her left side. Is it significant? What could it be? Don't you know? Nor do I. If my wife is suffering, I'm the one who's not suffering, so it's my role to either (a) know the answer, or (b) find it. I can't do that without information.
  • Contact info - see the previous point.
  • Roadworks -it would seem pretty obvious that for the hospital to get the information once, then dish it out to people, is far more efficient than expecting every user of that hospital to find out for themselves.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Stopping you? (4.50 / 2) (#148)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:02:44 PM EST

and being an adult means taking responsibility. Which is what I'm doing, despite the health service's best efforts to stop me.

Whoa there. Back the god damned train up. Where is the health service stopping you from picking up one of a bazillion books and reading them? They may not be doleing out advice to you, the expectant father, but as a Unix Specialist I bet you're used to research. Apply those skills to pregnancy. It's as old as man and there are many texts on it.

If the staff at the particular hospital is brushing you off then phone your GP and ask for a number. Or ask online. You can't possibly expect me to believe that one or a handful of pregnancy specialists are preventing you from breaking into the field?



[ Parent ]
Research (none / 0) (#168)
by sgp on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:51:32 AM EST

You can read all the books in the world, it's nothing compared to practical advice from someone who knows what they're talking about.

Since that's what the midwife's for, it's frustrating when she's not sharing that experience.

That's all. Oh yeah, I know tons of "facts", you could build up all the facts you like about a rock-climbing but still be incapable of doing it, for example. This isn't much different- far more practical than theoretical!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Midwife (5.00 / 1) (#170)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:13:38 AM EST

The midwife's job is to get the mother & baby through the birth, not teach you to be a good dad.

You are right that it would be nice if there where a more formalised social structure for supporting new fathers, but the midwife's not the place to find it.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Midwife (5.00 / 1) (#190)
by flowergrrl on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:13:14 AM EST

I have to agree with codemonkey, my midwife (the one I had for my babies birth just 6 months ago) made it clear that I was her priority, and it was me that she had to get through this in one piece, yes she would answer questions that codemonkey had, but at the end of the day, shes a midwife and the mother and baby is who she is paid to be focused upon!

Meet my son Dylan
[ Parent ]

Just about my point... (none / 0) (#200)
by sgp on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 08:30:08 PM EST

except that at least your partner's, and codemonkey's questions were answered, not just ignored. But pretty much sums up my point pretty well.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Ok... (none / 0) (#181)
by p3d0 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 01:38:51 PM EST

...being an adult means taking responsibility. Which is what I'm doing, despite the health service's best efforts to stop me.
There's a difference between a health service which is not being particularly helpful, and a health service that is actively preventing you from being an effective father. Give some careful thought as to which of these corresponds to reality.
Believe me, all my questions and comments are brushed off as the mere ramblings of a man.
To me, this seems a legitimate problem. Too bad you didn't mention it in the original article. :-)
Attention on the woman - parenting is both mothering and fathering. 50/50 plus the medical stuff for the woman. And yes, the medical side of parenting is negligible over a lifetime.
No fair changing the rules of the game now. Every single one of your complaints in the article related to the pregnancy itself, which is most certainly not 50/50.
Read the pamplets - yes I can, but can I clarify points raised in them? No, I am just ignored as "an ignorant man". How am I supposed to rectify this against this kind of attitude?!
That is unfortunate. However, to answer your question, why not get your wife to ask your questions for you?
Roadworks -it would seem pretty obvious that for the hospital to get the information once, then dish it out to people, is far more efficient than expecting every user of that hospital to find out for themselves.
Ok, so if you want to reduce your complaint to one of efficiency, then you might have a point. However, it's not like you have been denied your rights as a father simply because you have to find this info out for yourself.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
What's left? (4.75 / 4) (#57)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:06:19 AM EST

Everything she's going through, he has to go through, too. If is specific complaints are vacuuous, what's left? Being a supportive partner. But she's his wife. If he doesn't know how to support her, how the hell should anyone else?

If he could drop his self-importance routine for two seconds he might realize that the sensible thing to do is ask his wife what she wants and needs, and provide it. If she wants or needs nothing, consider yourself an incredible husband and read a book on parenting.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

agree with point, but not with attitude (4.00 / 2) (#63)
by kubalaa on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:17:42 AM EST

I found myself wondering the same thing... why doesn't he ask his wife what she needs? But all the people jumping on this one guy are missing the big picture, and that is: mens' role as fathers is marginalized by society, starting even before birth. And as a member of society, it's your duty to counter that publically -- it's not enough to just avoid it in your own family. So that's what he's trying to do, to point out that people discourage the concept of fathers as equal members of a partnership and a family.

[ Parent ]
I don't think that IS the point (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by p3d0 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:56:19 AM EST

The point of the article is quite clearly stated in the intro: "Pregnancy sucks, because all the attention is on the woman." This attitude runs all the way through the article.

If you want to take from this that fathers have been marginalized, then that's your perogative, but I think you'd have to be an unbridled optimist so see such a positive message in such a negative, self-serving article.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]

I agree. (4.00 / 2) (#110)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:46:51 PM EST

The point isn't the minimization of "fatherhood" in society. If that was the point, he could have spoken to things like the prejudice against men in getting custody during divorce proceedings. He's just whining. And if you don't like my attitude, it's because I don't like his.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Divorce? (4.00 / 3) (#130)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:28:07 PM EST

For fuck's sake, we're about to have our first baby. I couldn't care less about divorce or custody - nothing could be further from my mind.

It's not a journalistic piece about fatherhood - it's titled Men in Pregnancy.

You're quite entitled to dislike my attitude - I happily admit that it's a (somewhat incoherent) rant. It's a frustrated rant. It's not a clean article about the treatment of men, it's a personal reaction to the treatment my family have received. Yes, my family. By focussing purely on my wife, they are doing her, me, and the baby a disservice by giving my wife an uncomprehending husband, and my child an ignorant father.

To help the family, not just treat the patient, we both need support. Seems pretty obvious.

And yes, I'm fighting to get the support I need in order to give the best I can to my child.

Got a problem with that?

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Fighting? (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by gauntlet on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:23:13 PM EST

they are doing her, me, and the baby a disservice by giving my wife an uncomprehending husband, and my child an ignorant father.
Listen, I wish you all the best with the baby. I'm going to be going through the same thing in a couple of years (I hope), and I'm looking forward to feeling like an important part of the process. But look at what you're saying here... Who's they? What husband did they give to your wife, and what father did they give to your baby? They gave nothing. You are the husband. You are the father. And if you are uncomprehending or ignorant, it's your responsibility to fix that.

Now there's a fine line between asking someone to help you with your responsibility, which is justified, and asking someone to take your responsibility for you, which is not. You, in my approximation, have crossed that line. This may be a result of tone of the article, it may be a result of my prejudices, or it may be the truth.

If you give a crap what I think, and I personally don't think you should (who the hell am I?), then tell me how, beyond writing this article, you are fighting to get the support you need. Because I don't see any evidence of it in what you've written.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Fine line (none / 0) (#199)
by sgp on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 08:28:25 PM EST

Hopefully the reason you think I crossed that line is because of how the article has written - I've said, here, that I hadn't actually expected it to get posted as badly written as it was - I was being k5-lazy by hoping for comments. There's no way I'm going to be lazy as a father, and it p*sses me off that the NHS is encouraging me (and presumably other fathers-to-be) to be lazy, by excluding by default

So what am I doing? I'm having to play the system. Prove to them ("they" are the midwife and most of the nursing staff at the hospital) that I'm not the father they're stereotyping me to be, in some attempt to convince them that talking to be would not be a waste of their time or expertise.

PS - as for the .sig, I just did it, as it happens. Close the door. Cats need an escape route and will go straight to the door to see what's up. Since the door is typically in a corner of the room, you've got 'em cornered!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

ALL (3.50 / 2) (#129)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:22:25 PM EST

All of the attention should not be on the woman.

If you disagree, then get back to the 19th century.

There are two people here who have never had a child before and we're both in new ground every day. If the one carrying the baby gets 100% of the support, and the partner gets 0%, that person is merely baggage (or at best, a cash-provider), not a partner.

If I were merely a sperm-donor, I would have no cause for complaint, and the article would indeed be just stupid whining.
However, I'm the father, and intend to be the best father I can possibly be. My wife can't be the father, and the midwife certainly can't. I have a unique role, and I intend to do it to the best of my ability.

Sorry if the somewhat rantish form of the article didn't put that across too well, hopefully it did put across the level of frustration I feel at being systematically shut out of the whole process.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

The father is not marganalised (none / 0) (#159)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:23:07 AM EST

You are invited to attend everything the mother is invited to attend, and have access to all the literature that the mother has access too.

If you actually bother to read some of it, you'll also see that that literature contains sections specifically for the father-to-be.

If the midwifes and the nurses seem more focused on the mother, its because on balance they she is more important in this than you. But there nothing stopping you from asking questions and getting involved.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Getting involved (none / 0) (#167)
by sgp on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:47:27 AM EST

No, nothing is stopping me asking questions... just the fact that they get brushed away and ignored.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Worth != support (none / 0) (#165)
by p3d0 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:39:37 AM EST

Why is your value as a father is related to how much support you receive?
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
Support != Worth (none / 0) (#204)
by sgp on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 09:53:36 PM EST

My question is the opposite:

Why is the support I receive not related to my value as a father?

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

his wife, heh (3.50 / 2) (#155)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:37:08 AM EST

why doesn't he ask his wife what she needs?

Have you considered the possibility that she may be fucking sick of listening to him go on about it?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Ok, but... (3.50 / 4) (#70)
by p3d0 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:48:23 AM EST

The question he's asking is how should he support his wife. Why isn't he given advice on this?
No, the question is: why doesn't go get some advice on this?

My issue with this whole article is that it's the typical Westerner's rant: "I have rights! Why isn't everyone helping ME!!" It's the attitude of spineless entitlement that I find objectionable. What ever happened to self-sufficiency?

I have images of our intrepid father-to-be in the delivery room, asking indignantly why nobody offered to give him earplugs so he wouldn't have to hear his wife screaming.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]

I have images... (3.50 / 2) (#133)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:46:14 PM EST

of my wife in so much pain she cannot make her wishes clear, and having to make decisions for her and the baby without having received any decent information on the consequences of these choices.

That's why I'm ranting now, not afterwards.

And as for go get some advice, that is exactly what I am doing, to the best of my ability, but the obvious source - the health service - is ignoring my requests for information.

That's pretty frustrating, when it's my child's life we're potentially taking about, here.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

From recent experience... (4.66 / 3) (#55)
by FortKnox on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:01:04 AM EST

I have a 3 week old little boy as we speak (I could post pictures as proof if you'd really like), and I completely agree with you. As a husband/father, its your responsibility to suck up your feelings and emotions to support the woman. She's going through something a man will never be able to comprehend. Yeah, it sucks, but it sucks a ton worse for her. The deal is to stop whining and do your job. Don't know what to do? Read books, including the one's your wife reads. Go to every OB visit and ask lots of questions. Its not that difficult.

Now, labor and delivery... that's TOUGH (especially when it lasts longer than a day and your wife has to push for two and a half hours!). And having a newborn. Now that you are directly affected can you complain (and you can't complain to your wife, cause, once again, she's going through a lot worse than you).

The whole childbirth cycle is a tough one. Its a learning experience. You are about to become someone's father, so its time you matured. You need to learn to put your feelings aside to support those that love you. Simple as that. As my dad used to say, "Suck it up and do what you gotta do. Whining just slows ya down!"
--
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
[ Parent ]
Yes it's hard (2.00 / 1) (#127)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:15:59 PM EST

and how does reiterating that do anybody any good? Asking for help does not slow anyone down - I'm trying my damndest to be involved in my child's life (a reasonable enough thing, I'd say), and the health services are fighting against me all the way.

It sucks a ton worse for her and all the worse still if I can't support her because I'm not even allowed to know what's going on.

What she needs is a husband who understands, not a nurse who "knows". Long-term, more so.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Only one suffers... (4.50 / 4) (#66)
by poopi on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:33:24 AM EST

You will both experience the joy of childbirth, but only one of you suffers the discomfort.

Only one feels a real connectedness to the child. Only one can actually feel the child grow. Only one can feel the child move. Only one makes a spiritual and physical connection to the child with out the use of intellect.

As a soon-to-be-father I can tell you honestly, that although I can make the intellectual connection with this child being something more than yet another human, I am tremendously jealous of the fact that I will never have the physical link. Faith is the only "real" link between me and this child. So I suffer too. I will suffer the fact that I will never be as close to my kid as her mother will be. This may be meaningless to many of you but it's something that preys on me

-----

"It's always nice to see USA set the edgy standards. First for freedom, then for the police state." - chimera
[ Parent ]

Sad ... (5.00 / 4) (#81)
by thomp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:49:43 AM EST

As a soon-to-be-father I can tell you honestly, that although I can make the intellectual connection with this child being something more than yet another human, I am tremendously jealous of the fact that I will never have the physical link. Faith is the only "real" link between me and this child. So I suffer too. I will suffer the fact that I will never be as close to my kid as her mother will be. This may be meaningless to many of you but it's something that preys on me.

I'm a father to three boys, and I have never felt that way. I think you'll feel differently when your child is born. And you'll forget you ever had that thought the first time your kid says 'Dad'.

If it's really bothering you, talk to someone about it. Email me if you want ...

tpsmack@yahoo.com

[ Parent ]
Thanks. (none / 0) (#172)
by poopi on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:19:04 AM EST

Thank you for your kind offer. It is very kind of you to offer an ear. Perhaps I unwittingly overstated my discomfort with this issue. It is something that often enters my mind, but the fact remains that my "rational mind" understands that this perhaps is an unreasonable feeling to have and I can deal with it. I guess the point I was trying to make is that men are expected to be able to deal with this easily, and the fact that so many do deal with it successfully leads to the casuall dismissal of these feelings by those who have never had them. I think it would be interesting to talk to a woman who is in a same sex relationship and is not the one chosen to be inseminated - would her feelings be the same? Would she be a good spokesperson for this? A woman sharing her feelings with other women will have far more credibility than a man trying to explain the same. But I digress. The reason for this post is to thank you for your thoughtfulness, it was very kind.

-----

"It's always nice to see USA set the edgy standards. First for freedom, then for the police state." - chimera
[ Parent ]

I understand how you feel (5.00 / 2) (#108)
by cs668 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:37:30 PM EST

I felt the same way.

Just to be honest for me it even got worse.  My wife breast fed both of our children and they really wanted nothing to do with me until they were about 1.5 years old.  It was easier with the second one since I knew what to expect.

But, the good news is that it passed.  We have a great time together now and I had almost forgotten my frustration until I read your posting.

All I can say is tough it out it will be worth it in the end.  I could not imagine life without them now.

There was one good part about me not being able to comfort them at all.  After about 3 weeks of me getting up in the night with them and having it not work out I never had to again :-)

[ Parent ]

Doing all the work (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:11:19 PM EST

You obviously know nothing about parenting - at least I know enough to know that I don't know enough.

It's the woman that is doing all the work - please! Maybe fifty years ago, but I'm planning on being a better husband and father than one who goes to work, brings home a pay-packet and says "where's my dinner?".

When you drag yourself into the 21st century, please feel free to call again.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

feminist pop culture (4.16 / 6) (#34)
by tps12 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:52:33 AM EST

The idea that the dude is just there to supply the sperm has been prominent since the 60's, I think. I guess they are making up for past wrongdoings or something. (No, I can't say who "they" are in this case.)

If you want a great movie to be pissed off by, try Antonia's Line, a Dutch film that got a bunch of awards (of course) and consists entirely of the worst kind of anti-male propoganda. It does acknowledge that men are required for making babies, but just barely, and even then it makes it crystal clear that that is all they're good for.

question (4.33 / 3) (#35)
by kubalaa on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:13:45 AM EST

Your sure that film wasn't actually anti-feminism? The best way to argue against something is to show how ridiculous its premises are when followed to logical conclusions.

[ Parent ]
pretty sure (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by tps12 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:26:35 AM EST

If the movie was intended to be ironic then it is extremely subtle. Have you seen it?

[ Parent ]
nope (nt) (none / 0) (#40)
by kubalaa on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:30:00 AM EST



[ Parent ]
not this again (3.00 / 1) (#178)
by infinitera on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:16:21 PM EST

How many times must the feminazi strawman be paraded out front? Feminism is and always has been in its premises and rhetoric about the elimination of ]societal] gender roles and equality of [physical] sexes.

[ Parent ]
Hook, line and sinker? (1.50 / 2) (#43)
by jabber on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:37:37 AM EST

Methinks this belongs on a different site. While RMS, ERS and Linux zealotry are the hivemind hot-button on that other site "Men's Rights" seem to strike a nerve here. I'd like to urge the people who vote on articles to exercise extreme caution on this class of submissions.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Good point. (none / 0) (#60)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:13:58 AM EST

This is true. Ironically, most of the responses to this article seem to fit into the "Quit your whining and be nice to your wife" category, but it's worthwhile being reminded when our emotions might be getting the better of us. Men's rights, and whether or not Neverwinter Nights will ever be published are two for me. :)

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Thank you (4.50 / 2) (#69)
by jabber on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:39:00 AM EST

Now comes the next question:

This story passed on a 3:1 margin. Why?

Most responses are contrary to the point the article makes. It's not a particularly well written piece. It is not very informational. It, judging by the responses, is not indicative of people's experience.

Did people vote for it, just to have a chance to voice their disagreement?

Sounds suspiciously like a troll to me. But, hey, what do I know? Everyone rate me down so that my opinion doesn't affect the gratifying experience of telling the author what a self-absorbed and ineffectual husband and father he is.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Balance (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:52:26 PM EST

A troll is not something with which everyone disagrees, it's something that is designed to evoke disagreement. Because that deals with intent, we cannot really know whether or not it is a troll. Furthermore, the judgement is subjective, because anything will evoke disagreement in someone.

If we let our desire to avoid trolls to determine what we discuss and what we do not, we end up discussing nothing. It is better to discuss them, but also be aware that the author may intend to manipulate us.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Suspect you're right (none / 0) (#139)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:24:41 PM EST

This looks like the reason people have voted for the story; however, the article is, of course, about my attempts to avoid being an ineffectual husband and father, and the health service's frustration of this goal.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

As others have said (none / 0) (#144)
by jabber on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:23:26 PM EST

Being proactive and downright pushy is sometimes, unfortunatelly, the only way to get your way.

On a related note: Someone has already brought up the idea of circumcision. If you're going through the process in an environment where your opinion doesn't matter 'because you're just a man', be careful. They may be so set in their ways that your little boy will lose a piece of his manhood without you ever being asked - as a matter of routine practice.

As for your article, man, if I wasn't getting the sort of involvement I wanted during my wife's pregnancy, there'd be hell to pay. This is their JOB, but it is your LIFE. Stand the hell up!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Life (none / 0) (#202)
by sgp on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 08:38:20 PM EST

This is their JOB, but it is your LIFE. Stand the hell up! - which is why I was pissed (in both the British and American senses of the word).

I must admit I've not read the circumcision thread yet, though AFAIK it's not standard practice in the UK.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

My experience (4.64 / 14) (#46)
by Jehreg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:41:15 AM EST

Before we had our daughter, we were both required to attend a childbirth class. Even though all the fathers attended the first session, I quickly found myself to be the only male making it to all the classes. Women are not blind. When most of the husbands don't bother to show up for the very first "social responsibility" event of the child's life, what kind of message does that give the wives ? 'You are on your own', that's what.

The nurses are not blind either, and through the years I guess they become rather cynical towards the fathers. I was *always* by my wife's side during the 'prep' at the hospital, so the nurses were very helpful with me. Since this was a ceasarian birth, my wife was surrounded by doctors and nurses, but I had a nurse that was assigned just to me while I was in the operating room (I later found out that her presence is there to catch me if I fainted, or catch the baby if I dropped it, or get me outta there if the ceasarian went 'bad'...).

I read 'What to expect when you are expecting' during the pregnancy, and this was more helpfull than any doctor when my wife had problems during the pregnancy. We now also have a no-fee phone number that anyone in my province can call to talk to a nurse, regardless of what ails you. We have used it many times in the past year when my daughter has been ill. It saves you 8 hours of waiting time in the hospital, just to be told that it is an ear infection and that it will clear up by itself in 48 hours.

You seem stressed beyond what is normal for an expecting father, and I imagine that this is because you do not have any friends that have already been fathers. You are showing frustration at your situation, and that is not good. Your situation will get worse, so you *must* find tools to deal with your current situation, and fast.

I must say that for me, the pre-birth part was a breeze, and the child-rearing part was a total nightmare in the first 4 months. During those first months, I discovered exactly what my human limit was. I have talked to other fathers, and I've been told that this was the norm. I am not saying this to scare you, I am saying this to point out to you that you must find a 'support system' for yourself NOW, so that you can rely on it later. If I hadn't talked to other fathers during that 4 months of difficulty, I would probably not be part of my family today.

One last thing... and this is what kept me sane for the first year parenting: Never forget that you are the father. Never. You have as much responsibility towards the child as the mother, and you have as many decisions to take.

Here are two positive examples of this:

  • 1 hour after my daughter was born, a nurse came in the room, took the child from my wife, gave my daughter to me, and told me to follow her. She brought me to post-natal care room, and proceeded to teach me how to give a bath to my daughter. She then had me hold my child while she examined her and gave her the first checkup. The nurse made it quite clear that I was to do the maximum I could, and that she would assist me when necessary. She at no time took my daughter from me with the attitude 'well, you are a man, so I will do this for you since you are not capable'.
  • After 4 months, my daughter was having tremendous tantrums, and the only way that she could be quieted down would be fir my wife to offer her the breast. This frustrated me immensely. After talking to another father, and being reminded that as a father I have responsibilities, but also power, I talked to my wife and insisted that we start introducing bottles to our daughter. She did not agree, but respected my right to ask, and we started giving her the bottle once in a while. This permitted me to feed our daughter when she had tantrums, and from that moment on I started to bond.
I think that if you feel alienated by the whole situation at your present time, then you will have tremendous difficulties with the fact that you will not love your child from the get-go, it will take several months, and no one will be there to explain to you that this is totally normal for fathers, but none of the books tell you this.

Good luck.

Feeding (5.00 / 5) (#58)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:06:48 AM EST

After 4 months, my daughter was having tremendous tantrums, and the only way that she could be quieted down would be fir my wife to offer her the breast. This frustrated me immensely.

I have three kids. My daughter is the only one of the three whose world seems to revolve around me. My two sons love me dearly I know but when there's owies or pangs of lack of parental attention the boys almost always go to mom. Katie looks for me. :-)

I know exactly what you feel about the frustration. I can do the job just as well as mom can but sometimes the child just needs their mommy. When Katie was fresh off the factory floor she had trouble latching on so I fed her through a tube attached to a syringe full of formula. I had cut my pinky nail as far back as I possibly could without drawing blood so she wouldn't get sores on the inside of her mouth and the tube was taped to my finger, and she sucked on my finger while I slowly pushed the plunger.

That was about the only time until she was able to look for me that she wanted me over mom. She was also just shy of being clinically colic and the only one who could bring the tiniest bit of relief to her was my wife. She still cried, but it was a little less intense. And then the teething thing... she wanted mom, although anyone with a shot glass of chilled vodka to rub on her gums and a dropper of Children's Advil was acceptable.

From about the time her warranty ended (1yr) I've been pretty much her whole world. It's fantastic but I know it'll end sometime so I'm enjoying it as much as I can now.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that fathers really don't get any payback on the whole baby thing until later in life, and then from what everyone has been telling me, we lose it again from the pre-teen years until late teens-to-adult age. So hang in there, the kid's not rallying against you, she just wants her mom right now. Your time will come, just keep being a good dad. Don't compete for her attention, because your time will come.



[ Parent ]
I've made it through (5.00 / 4) (#65)
by Jehreg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:30:38 AM EST

I forgot to mention that my daughter is now almost 3, and I made it through :-)

She is now the love of my life, and treats my wife and I with equal affection.

I actually do believe that she is this close to me because I was able to feed her and comfort her near the beginning of her life.

Insisting that we introduce the bottle (and keeping my ground even when my wife didn't agree with me) was, in retrospect, the most important decision of my life to this day.

[ Parent ]

I would disagree (5.00 / 4) (#96)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:05:01 PM EST

I actually do believe that she is this close to me because I was able to feed her and comfort her near the beginning of her life.

I would disagree; While spending time with the child is important I don't think that specifically feeding her did much to bond her to you. I rarely fed my daughter once she got the hang of the nipple but I spent time with her just cuddling or playing. What I think really made her a daddy's girl is that once she had lost that fragility aspect I started tossing her around, swinging, "wrestling" etc and she only gets that from me. My youngest (1yo) is starting to want that kind of play now too, but Katie was on it from about 5 months on.



[ Parent ]
Bottle & Breast (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:57:19 AM EST

As a father, I absolutely agree that introducing occasional bottles (of EBM) once breast feeding is established is a very good idea. It's good for giving Dad the chance to "do" something other than nappies and play time, and it gives Mum a chance to rest (miss a feed) once in a while.

I cannot emphasise how important an occasional morning/evening off is for new mums. And the only way they can get that, is if the baby will take a bottle.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Bottle & Breast (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by sarabian on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 11:40:54 AM EST

My daughter wouldn't take a bottle (we think because we left it too late to introduce it). I now have a 5 week old son and one feed a night is a bottle I give him. Whilst I don't think it makes much difference in terms of bonding, it is important to give the mother time off. I made a point of spending as much time with my daughter as possible and always put her to bed at night (which definately helps when you have two kids), reading her stories or talking to her.

[ Parent ]
Cynical nursing staff (4.50 / 2) (#119)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:43:15 PM EST

I can believe that nurses would get cynical about fathers when many show little interest - professionalism should include treating each couple individually, seeing how involved the father wants to be.

You're right, I've no close friends who are already fathers, though I'm thinking of asking a father or two out for a drink! As you say, things will only get more difficult from now - going from a state where I could, technically, be doing nothing, to one where I have to change nappies (diapers), and all the rest of it.
That's why I'm wanting assistance now, while I have time to take things in, and be well-prepared for the life-change which is just around the corner.
Everybody says, you'll never be able to anticipate just how much it'll change your whole life which is fine, if not too descriptive! I'm ready for having to put in a lot of effort, but don't feel prepared, emotionally or otherwise. I'd like to view a day of my life as it will be in 6 months' time, that way I'd have some idea of how to prepare. But that's not possible.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Cynicism (4.50 / 2) (#149)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:11:09 PM EST

I can believe that nurses would get cynical about fathers when many show little interest - professionalism should include treating each couple individually, seeing how involved the father wants to be.

It's really hard not to get cynical, even as a professional, when you get smacked in the face with the stereotypical sperm-donor male day in and day out. I feel the same way with redneck Americans but I try my absolute damndest to see the normal, caring, intelligence in everyone I meet south of the border. Sometimes though my cynicism gets the best of me. Perhaps that is what is happenning in your situation.

Either that, or you have dumbfuck hospital staff. <shrug>



[ Parent ]
Father doesn't need support (1.44 / 9) (#51)
by Mysidia on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 09:48:04 AM EST

The father is in perfect health and does not "experience" the pregnancy physically, he should not need any support. The mother on the other hand, well, her condition of pregnancy can be thought of as a serious (though survivable) "illness".

The support the father can give during a pregnancy is merely emotional, hey, the father doesn't need to be an expert, and he doesn't so much need to know the details either.

I think it's more likely the father would feel left out and want support not because he needs any support at all it but because he wants it for attention.

If the father wants to be educated on the details, he can read up on the subject. The responsibility of health workers is to monitor or treat the condition of pregnancy, not to educate the world on the nuances.

Education given the female is for her safety during the procedure (or event).



Not needing support (4.66 / 3) (#64)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:22:44 AM EST

The father is in perfect health and does not "experience" the pregnancy physically, he should not need any support. The mother on the other hand, well, her condition of pregnancy can be thought of as a serious (though survivable) "illness".

While I totally am against thinking of a pregnancy as an illness, I disagree with the statement that fathers don't need support.

Fathers need support. However if you're (the article poster, not you) at the 11th hour and have no answers, that is your problem, not the nurse's, not the doctor's, not the Man's, but yours.

You knew this was coming for what, 36 weeks now (assuming you didn't know right away that she was pregnant)? And you're upset in the 38th-40th week that you have no information on how to support your wife? Give your frikkin' head a shake! Talk to your mother! Talk to your father! Talk to your inlaws! Go to the library, use the Internet, call up the hospital! To think that there's no information out there is ludicrous. Christ, does everyone give you all the information you need without you asking?



[ Parent ]
28 weeks (4.00 / 1) (#137)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:00:47 PM EST

as it happens.

And there is no support from the hospital. As for the internet, it's a wonderful thing, but I wouldn't entrust my child's life to "something I heard on the 'net".

Books and magazines are fine, though the magazines seem to be very faddish (I guess they find it hard writing the same stuff every year) and books will tell you technical stuff, but not emotional or even very practical stuff.

The only way of getting useful practical advice, is from having a conversation with someone who knows what they're talking about. And lo! That's what midwifes are for! Except ours ignores me.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

If your midwife is ignoring you (3.00 / 1) (#150)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:15:03 PM EST

Then you need to sit her ass down and get things straightened out. You're 28 weeks along so finding a better midwife should not be a problem.

Do this, of course, only if your wife agrees. If she's 100% comfortable with the current midwife then I would also imagine that she feels comfortable with you being in the dark about her particular pregnancy. Harsh maybe but it's the midwife who's going to have her hands on your wife's privates and your child's life and your wife needs to be comfortable with her, almost irregardless of your feelings.



[ Parent ]
There are things (none / 0) (#203)
by sgp on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 09:51:28 PM EST

which my wife also is not happy with - we seem to lurch from appointment to appointment without any clear picture of the whole thing. Overall, she is treated better than I am (which is right and proper), but neither of us really feel we're getting quite enough information. I'm just getting even less than my wife.

I agree with you, though - if the mother-to-be is happy with the midwife, unless there are really exceptional circumstances, the couple should probably stick with that midwife. I guess "exceptional" would be disicplinary-level out-of-order behaviour, and/or if there is another available which the mother-to-be would be happy with.

Having posted this rant, and having answered people's questions/reactions, has helped me think about it in a little more detail - the more I think about it, the more I come to believe that a significant part of the problem is the shared-care system, where the midwife isn't as involved as in other systems, instead the hospital take care of much of the more mundane work. Obviously, I've not experienced the alternative to make a valid comparison, all I can give is my reaction that it seems to me that the future seems to be so unclear as to have the potential to become a problem should things come down to our personal knowledge (eg, any snap-decisions may be misinformed).
By definition, I cannot be more specific than this, but neither my wife nor I feel that we have any kind of mental flowchart - mainly procedurally, only partly medically. I personally feel that I should know at least as much as my wife (all I can do is know - my wife has to do, which is a different thing entirely). To help her to do, I feel a need to know. If I don't know anything, I am bound to be a burden, not a help. Which is where the frustration comes in.

I'm not sure the midwife is the problem - more the system, and I really feel that a midhusband complementing the midwife could really help me personally feel more prepared!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Mostrously Insensitive (4.75 / 4) (#79)
by virg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:47:10 AM EST

> The father is in perfect health and does not "experience" the pregnancy physically, he should not need any support.

What a very narrow way to view this very tough time. Would you also say that the only support the mother needs is simple physical care? What about training or psychological or emotional support? The whole idea behind midwives (at least in the modern sense) is to provide parents with a measure of continuity in prenatal and postnatal care, and give them someone to contact who is relatively familiar with the whole pregnancy and so can give better advice than a doctor who only gets a specific view. Trying to give this "all-over" support to the mother without including the father makes no sense.

> The support the father can give during a pregnancy is merely emotional, hey, the father doesn't need to be an expert, and he doesn't so much need to know the details either.

I can only guess from this statement that you either haven't ever been pregnant or you had no support from the father. You're right to say that the father doesn't need to be an expert, and a good portion of the support he provides is emotional, but to say he doesn't need to know details of what's happening is short-sighted. Knowing what's happening makes him a much better supporter, and excluding him just makes him useless.

> I think it's more likely the father would feel left out and want support not because he needs any support at all it but because he wants it for attention.

Don't hang out a shingle as a psychologist any time soon, then. Thinking that someone who's about to become a parent (male or female) doesn't need any psychological support simply proves that you've never been there, or that you're extremely myopic if you have.

> If the father wants to be educated on the details, he can read up on the subject.

Correct, but incomplete. You're right that dads-to-be can do some research, but the original poster isn't complaining about the lack of information so much as the fact that health care workers are ignoring his role in the pregnancy. To those who think he has no role, I can say that I've seen and been through the whole thing and the difference an involved father makes to the stress levels and emotional well-being of the mother are huge. Keep that in mind, as well as the evidence that high stress on the part of the mother can lead to severe health consequences for the mother and child, including miscarriage.

>The responsibility of health workers is to monitor or treat the condition of pregnancy, not to educate the world on the nuances.

Again, correct, but incomplete. Their job is both, since education is a large part of maintaining health during pregnancy. If nobody tells parents what's good or bad (or helps them find it out on their own), many parents will end up doing things that are bad for the pregnancy because they don't know any better.

In short, you seem to be suffering from the same misconception that caused the original poster to complain. If the father is going to be a part of the child's life, he needs to be allowed to get involved before birth.

Now, for new dads and dads-to-be, here's a good place to start looking for information. Keep in mind that it doesn't have specific health care information (go to your hospital's web site and your health care plan's site as well for details specific to your location and plan) but it's loaded with guidance for the basics of pregnancy and postnatal care, and has a link page for even more.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
I felt quite included (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by danmermel on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:17:29 AM EST

Our antenatal classes (with the National Childbirth Trust in the UK) were very inclusive... the only thing the men weren't allowed to attend was the breast-feeding session (can't think why!).
The hospital midwives (University College Hospital in London) were great and very much let me and my wife get on with it and helped deliver the baby. When our daughter was born they handed me the scissors to cut her umbilical chord. I still get weepy when I think back on it.
So, all in all, I can't agree with the author of the piece. But there must be as many different experiences as there are parents.

Must admit... (none / 0) (#121)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:59:11 PM EST

one thing that really would make me squeamish would be cutting the umbilical cord - I've made it clear that that, IMHO, is definitely a medical act, not a parental one! Don't know why, I'm not normally squeamish, but even though I know it's not going to hurt her, I don't think I could take a pair of scissors to my wife's body! Irrational, I know.

If I'm not happy with the attitude of the state childbirth classes (first one starts next Monday, so I'm trying to keep an open mind, despite what they've already said), I'm going to look more at the NCT classes.

... oh, "what they've already said" is that basically the afternoon sessions (all but 2 of them, the intro and ward-tour are evening) "the father wouldn't be interested in" - that's nice, from someone who scheduled these things before even meeting me!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

My Advice (From another expecting father) (4.66 / 3) (#67)
by dlur on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:36:13 AM EST

I would say that the best advice I have to offer at the stage you are in is to be involved as much as you can with any and all stages of the pregnancy and raising of the child.

Our child is currently 4 days overdue, and will be induced if he doesn't come out to see us in a few days. Through every stage of this pregnancy I've been heavily involved. I've adamantly argued for the naming of the child from the get-go. I've went to every single class that my community had to offer--from birthing classes, to child care classes, to breastfeeding classes, to infanct CPR. I've gone to over 90% of the doctor appointments, and been right there when any and all decisions were made with him. I plan to take a good, long amount of time off after our child is born.

I would say that another good bit of advice would be to find a circle of friends who are in the same boat as yourself. A support group if you will. It just so happened that for me a good lot of my friends ended up impregnating their women-folk at around the same time I did mine...something in the water I guess.

After the child is born I'm told the best thing you as a father can do, is just be around it. If this is yours and her first child, then despite what everyone is blind to tell you, she knows just as little about raising a child as you do. Don't flat out tell her this, but don't let her tell you everything either, because your ideas are important. If you're getting frustrated with something, don't immediately hand the baby off to her to take care of. Work through it, stay with the baby, and let him/her know who you are. Talk to the baby, let him/her get to know your voice so that when he/she fusses, your voice can sooth it just as well as mom's.

So don't sit around and worry about how or what to do, just do. You'll screw up a lot, but you'll also learn a lot. And in the end your baby will love you just the same.

Jim



Ditto with emphasis (4.50 / 2) (#101)
by paulT on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:21:36 PM EST

We are currently at 14 weeks and are just beginning the process. From the beginning all the decisions are being made by both of us and I (the father) am attending every medical meeting. We have taken the initiative to make sure we are both involved.

That said, our midwife is very impressed with the fact that I'm at all the meetings and that I'm so involved. She is used to only seeing the mother, not because the father isn't welcome, but because he doesn't come. And because I'm there I'm getting to be involved in some fun things. At our last meeting the midwife showed me how to feel my wife's belly to find where the uterus was and where the baby was sitting. She also had me use the doppler tool used to detect the babies heart rate. It was great to be directly involved in these things instead of just watching.

While I recognize the hands on stuff above is because of the midwife I do think some of the problem is with the parents. You have to involve yourself, you have to be pro-active about it, and you have to treat all decisions as decisions for both of you not just the mother. If the mother assumes the father is not interested in the medical stuff, and the father assumes he is not welcome in that stuff, and the medical types assume the same then the father will not be involved. If the parents treat it like the joint activity it is then that's a big step to pushing past these stereotypes.

One last thing, it may seem silly and PC, but I think it's important for couples to say "WE are pregnant. WE are expecting" and not "My wife is pregnant. My wife is expecting." Yes the mother goes through the physical side of the pregnancy but the child is from both of you. For couples that are together there will be a lot of work for the father during the pregnancy (as I'm finding out), during the birth, and after the birth and it is not just 'support'. Pregnancy changes the lives of both the parents.



--
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]

Involvement (3.00 / 1) (#120)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:54:38 PM EST

I'm really glad that your midwife is impressed that you want to be involved; we have a "shared care" system in our area, which means that the midwife does some of the stuff, and the hospital do other, more "mundane" stuff (urine tests, etc) independantly (sharing notes, of course).

Neither our midwife nor the hospital nursing staff seem able to see me. I'm the guy who brought the patient, or some guy the patient wants to have around, I'm not even viewed as an interested party. My questions and comments are brushed off, however I put them, and it's hard to describe the body language, but many of the nurses even manage to make me, sitting in the middle of the room next to my wife, feel like I'm some fly on the wall!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

First baby? (3.00 / 5) (#68)
by georgeha on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:38:10 AM EST

sounds like it. Your wife will do all the hard work and labor, in the delivery room just stay out of the way and provide as much moral and emotional support as you can.

Do a test drive to the hospital a few weeks before the due date, to see what the roads are like. Take comfort in the fact that most first births take hours and hours.


Nice one (3.00 / 1) (#136)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:53:34 PM EST

"Stay out of the way and provide support"?

Great advice, if it weren't contradictory and useless.

The roadworks are constantly moving, which is why I'm going to get a timetable of planned events from the council. As I've stated in other comments, it would make far more sense for the hospital to get this info and give it out to users of the hospital, than for every individual to get it themselves.

But then I guess I'm asking for common sense from the state, which is somewhat optimistic!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

No, it's good advice (4.50 / 2) (#157)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:11:49 AM EST

You can stay out of the way and still be there for your partner. Its actually very good advice.

You partner will be very busy. She will want you to be there for her. She will also want you to stay the fuck out of the way of the medical staff who will be doing important medical things. Such as provide medication.

If you have trouble with this "contradiction" I see a long and difficult road ahead for you.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

I agree (4.57 / 7) (#74)
by SomePerson on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:04:04 AM EST

I am a woman who has endured the hell of pregnancy (and the even bigger hell of childbirth) 3 times, and I have to say I agree 100% with all of this. The fact is, it was all my job for 9 months (including one hellish day), but it is BOTH of our jobs for the next 18+ years. Despite the fact that the road to childbirth is one of the most dramatic life changes any person will ever experience, men are routinally left out of the process. My husband stays home full time with our kids while I work and there are virtually 0 resources for him.

But agreeing isn't going to help. Here is my advice: do not allow yourself to be ignored. Go to your wife's appointments. Ask questions. Talk to doctors. If you are going to a prenatal class (which I highly recommend even though when I had my first child I just glared at anyone who suggested I should be doing my Lamaze breathing...actually, I just glared at everyone no matter what), find other husbands there...at least it will be a support group. Also RELAX. It seems that everyone is saying that if an expectant mother does x, her child is doomed. The fact is, if you are reasonabely careful (stay away from non-approved drugs, don't smoke, drink, etc) it should be fine.

Thank you (3.00 / 1) (#118)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:18:35 PM EST

I certainly intend to get very proactive in these last few months, since I've been pretty routinely ignored so far. I have been to most of my wife's appointments, work permitting. From now on, though, I'm going to keep asking questions til I get answers!

I don't mind admitting I'm pretty daunted at the idea of bringing a new human life into the world and being responsible for its life; I'm going to get all the help I can!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Well (2.50 / 4) (#83)
by Bob Dog on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:14:35 PM EST

If all the NHS money were spent on handholding nervous relatives, your tax money wouldn't go far.  Buy a book if you need specific answers.

No-win situation (4.10 / 10) (#84)
by epepke on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 12:17:44 PM EST

First off, I have to say that I find it depressing how regularly our American cultural norms have a way of winding up in the U.K. I just found out yesterday that Coors has bought out the Bass Burton-on-Trent brewery and now owns the Bass museum. It's sad but predictable. In any event, though, we have just a bit more experience with this.

What you're facing is an unwinnable situation of the kind that I call systemic problems. These work on the fact that the properties of the components of a system need have nothing to do with the properties of the system in toto. The classic example is the Catch-22. You can't get out of combat unless you request it. However, if you request it, you're obviously sane enough for combat, and you can't get out of it. What we have here is a set of elements, each of which can be defensible, if not entirely rationalizable, but the entire system is unworkable. Couple that with the fact that the people you are dealing with (the medical profession) are probably the most pathological set of individuals in existence, and it's rough. I assume that your wife is not part of the problem, but society has been shaped by certain forces for the past quarter century, and it's difficult to escape (except by emigrating).

You've identified a few of the elements of this system, which I will sharpen only slightly:

  1. You're supposed to be supportive because, damn it, it's your responsibility, and if you don't like it you should have thought about it when you took your dick out of your pants.
  2. You're not told what to expect because, damn it, it's your job to anticipate everything. You're not the one who's pregnant or an overworked medical professional. And besides, everyone knows that society is set up to give all men everything they need for free, so quit whining.
  3. You're not really allowed to be supportive, anyway, because, ha! Isn't it just typical of a man to insist in his vanity that he can participate when he isn't the one having to sweat and strain and shit a watermelon.
  4. But if you don't support her, ha! Isn't it just typical of a man to go off with the boys while his wife has to sweat and strain and shit a watermelon.
  5. Don't expect any credit for whatever you do, buster.
  6. And it is vital to remember that there are no contradictions.

Here are some more that you will probably experience.

  1. If you take the primary role in caregiving: Well, you're probably some kind of child molestor or pervert. Do I have to show you the statistics? And besides, everone knows that men and women are different, and the child should be with the mother who must want to stay home and care for the child, unless there's something wrong with her.
  2. And if you share, well, ha! How do you dare think that you can call it sharing. You weren't the one in labor for nine months.
  3. If you don't take the primary role in caregiving: Ha! Just like a man, having endless fun in the world of outside "work," getting all this money for free, which just shows how much discrimination there is against women, who are stuck at home doing the real work in the world where they should be out in their careers. Besides, everyone knows that men and women are exactly the same. If you make a lot of money at it, you're an oppressor. If you don't, you're a loser. And how patronizing to think you can bring this money home to support your family, and if you don't, you're shirking your responsibilities, buster.
  4. And don't think for a millisecond that you deserve any credit. Everyone knows men invented society 15,000 years ago so that they could get all the goodies paid for by the sweat of women.
  5. And besides, there are no contradictions.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


Re: No-win situation (none / 0) (#97)
by Therac-25 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:10:06 PM EST

First off, I have to say that I find it depressing how regularly our American cultural norms have a way of winding up in the U.K.

Did you ever stop to consider that America got them from the U.K. in the first place?
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]

Yeah, but we don't want them back ;) (n/t) (none / 0) (#122)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:03:05 PM EST


There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Wow, that's awfully black and white of you (none / 0) (#98)
by webwench on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:10:32 PM EST

What I found as a USian is that most hospitals and a lot of private organizations have prenatal classes that include (even expect) both parents, and have material aimed specifically at both with the expectation, for example, that both the mother and father will be in the delivery room, that the father will be actively participating in the birth (coaching, providing physical and emotional support, etc), and that the father's support (or some other close friend or relative, if a substitute is needed) is absolutely necessary for labor.

There are also gazillions of books, many of which address both parents, and some of which are written specifically for the father. Try Amazon and see. I know I bought one of these for my ex-husband when we became pregnant; not that he ever read it,mind you, but it's available if you want it.

I'm not sure what goes on in your health care system in the UK, but in the US information ought to be getting thrown at you ad nauseam; I'll bet some of that lands in the UK too.

[ Parent ]

Sharpen (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by epepke on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:03:34 PM EST

Note my use of the word "sharpen." It's somewhat like making a caricature. Only I didn't really caricaturize anything; I've seen essentially the same sentiments seriously in print, including some responses in this thread. The only thing I did was put them all together.

What I found as a USian is that most hospitals and a lot of private organizations have prenatal classes that include (even expect) both parents, and have material aimed specifically at both with the expectation, for example, that both the mother and father will be in the delivery room, that the father will be actively participating in the birth (coaching, providing physical and emotional support, etc), and that the father's support (or some other close friend or relative, if a substitute is needed) is absolutely necessary for labor.

And, you will also find, often in the same organizations, completely contradictory pressures, presented in an ad hoc basis. That's why it's a systemic problem, as opposed to a problem of individual elements. An expectant father will be told that his support is absolutely necessary. And he will also be told that it isn't. By the same people. And it will leave him in a state where he can't tell up from down. In fact, it already has. And none of the people doing the telling will notice, let alone see why.

I'm not sure what goes on in your health care system in the UK, but in the US information ought to be getting thrown at you ad nauseam; I'll bet some of that lands in the UK too.

While information can be handy, what I think the original poster was asking for something else. Something like support or acceptance or reassurance or belonging or just an emotional place where he can feel OK and secure being in that place. Whether that is a legitimate or an illegitimate need could be debated. However, if one considers it illegitimante, I think that one should say so. Pprojectile pamphlets are not the solution and may to an extent be a part of the problem. After all, if you bet that some pamphlents land in the UK, and you bet that this is good enough, then what possible motive could he have for feeling the way he does or writing the article?

My feeling, which resonates with the original poster, is that it is generally considered legitimate for females but illegitimate for males However, unlike the original poster, I consider it a waste of time to argue that it should be otherwise. He's not going to get a midhusband; he's going to have to get whatever cold comfort he can by himself or do without. If he tries to get support in a mixed group, he will be called a whiner (as he has been here). If he tries to get support from an all male group, he will either be called a whiner or, if he doesn't, the entire group will be called worse names by most of society if word gets around. That doesn't mean I approve; it's just the facts. "Bob" knows I've tried to change that, locally and otherwise, over the years. It just doesn't work.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
The Third Sex (3.00 / 2) (#154)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:33:09 AM EST

Hmmmm ... good points all. Now what should we call this new sexual category which you seem to be marking out for yourself, since "man" is clearly no longer an appropriate word for someone who is determined not to act like a man.

I'd suggest "shemale" or "babyfather", but they appear to have been taken.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Indeed (none / 0) (#194)
by krek on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:10:58 PM EST

I have only recently started to wake up to the fact that men, while having all the benifits that we are blamed for having, are being treated very poorly in our society, for a while after my initial epiphany I was suspecting some ultra-secret female-cabal that was trying to slowly demoralise and subjugate the men of our society. Now, I mearly think that that is unlikely.

Men are portrayed in our culture as brutal, violent, child-molesting, dead-beat dad'ing, irresponsible, emotionally-impaired, misogynist bastards. Laws have been passed that, while not directly targeting men, are clearly meant to give women the upper hand in any and all legal disputes. Sexist profiles of the typical male are a mainstay in most child custody hearings, it is easier to portray your spouse as a potential threat to your child than it is to prove that you will be a better parent than your spouse. And, as far as I can tell, the system has been set up to facilitate this sort of slander.

In Canada, or more specifically the province of Ontario, there have been a number of laws passed that are meant to prevent spousal abuse by making the consequences so awful that no one in their right mind would break that particular rule. The scariest one has been nick'ed "Touch your spouse; Lose your house", the idea being that the defendant of ANY abuse charge must, immediatly and without exception, hand over EVERYTHING to the abused. I am not saying that if you are found to be guilty of abuse you lose everything, all that has to happen is for you to be accused of such a crime, and that same day, you will probably be without house, car, bank account, investments etc... This applies to all couples, married or not, dates count. The law has been written to be gender non-specific, but I think we can all see the bias. To be fair, it is clear that the idea behind this law was to make women feel more secure in filing a complaint, as many women are dependant on the financial support of their spouse and may fear the results of filing a complaint and losing that support. But, let's be honest, I do not trust a female any more than I do a male to not file a false complaint, just to steal my possessions away from me.

In the end though, that is just a poorly written law that exemplifies the bias in our society. The real horror lies in child support, I could get raped and end up having to pay child support, I have no legal say as to the future of a pregnancy, if she wants to abort and I would like to keep the child, then queue up the abortion, If I want an abortion and she wants to proceed, then I better well accept that and "do the right thing" or pony up child-support for 18 years. I have even heard stories of guys who were told to fuck off by the mother, or were never even told that there was a child, and after 16 years or so are suddenly expected to pay for child-support for the next two years AND pay all of the "missed" child support for the last 16 years... NOW. I am not saying that I do not believe that child-support is a good thing, but, the way it is now, women have carte-blanche and absolute control in terms of child care and extracting money from men to care for these children, I doubt many people would support woman going around robbing convenience stores to pay for their children, why should they be allowed to rob men.

I am going to stop there before I get myself into real trouble, Flame on!

[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 0) (#206)
by epepke on Thu Jun 20, 2002 at 12:56:21 PM EST

The scariest one has been nick'ed "Touch your spouse; Lose your house", the idea being that the defendant of ANY abuse charge must, immediatly and without exception, hand over EVERYTHING to the abused.

Somebody call Freud! Quick! Note that the verb given here is "touch." Not "harm," "hurt," "kick," or even "abuse," which would at least rhyme. It's "touch," for "Bob's" sake!

It's not terribly hard to recognize the hidden agenda from this and trace it to its Dworkinesque or even Victorian antecedents.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Don't do it in a hospital (2.54 / 11) (#91)
by Jonathan Walther on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:05:40 PM EST

Don't give birth in a hospital.  Don't let the medicos trick your wife into believing she MUST have a caesarian section.  Don't let anyone that is part of the public infrastructure know more precisely than one month, when your wife is due to give birth.

If you have any friends that smoked pot near your wife, expect your baby to be seized by the social workers when the nurses surreptitiously take "samples" from your wife and find traces of mary jane.

Don't let them pump your wife full of painkillers that knock her out for the birth process.

Make sure some of her female relatives are there for support.  Even if they treat you like a second rater, don't let go of your wifes hand during the entire labor; she needs to be able to feel your presence for reassurance.  Get a comfortable chair.  Labor takes about two hours, and the hand-holding can give you cramps otherwise.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


OK, be that way. (4.00 / 3) (#92)
by Jehreg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:39:38 PM EST

A '1' on my comment because I gave you a 1 here.... I guess I should feel 'slapped'.

On to reply to why I gave this one a '1' then:

  • Don't give birth in a hospital: Right. If my wife hadn't been in a hospital, she would not be with me right now.
  • Don't let anyone that is part ... when your wife is due to give birth: What do you mean by this? What is achieved by this?
  • ...smoked pot near your wife...: Total bullshit, and depends on each country.
  • Don't let them pump [her] full of painkillers: By this I assume that you are against epidurals. Care to say why? It is totally up to the mother to say when/if she wants an epidural. I know of no doctors that have 'pushed' an epidural on a person. I have seen a mother sue a hospital here because "she was assured that the delivery would be pain-free" and it wasn't.
  • Labor takes about two hours: Two hours?!? I can hear most female readers laugh out loud at this one. Especially the ones that have been 12 hours in labour.

So, in retrospect, I gave this comment a '1' because you are giving ridiculous, dangerous, and mis-informed advice to a person who has asked for help.

Your turn.

[ Parent ]

Oh, I see. (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by Jehreg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 01:55:00 PM EST

Now I can put your comments in context, and I can see why you would have such an extreme attitude.

Why don't you relate your experiences instead/as-well-as slapping together recommendations that appear half-assed? I would have reacted differently to your original comments methinks.

[ Parent ]

Whoa! (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by thither on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:17:43 PM EST

Don't you feel the least bit ashamed dragging his personal, private life onto some message board? How about a little respect for people's privacy?

[ Parent ]
Sorry, my bad. (none / 0) (#142)
by Jehreg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:51:19 PM EST

Actually, you are right, I should have linked this instead, since this is where I got the link from. It is a response from his diary.

But no, I don't really fell ashamed. I would have felt pretty bad if he would have bitched at me for putting it up, but as it is, he seems to have taken it pretty well.

If he had put up this instead of the original comment I would have score it 5 not 1.

In fact, I will score it 5.

I have nothing against this person, I just wanted to know if he scored my comment a 1 because I scored him a 1 on this comment. That's all.

[ Parent ]

I removed your score (5.00 / 1) (#143)
by Jonathan Walther on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 08:08:50 PM EST

I removed the "1" rating I gave you.  I did indeed give it because I felt you had acted in an knee-jerk, unthinking way toward my own post.  You've since shown yourself to be reasonable, and I'm sorry this mixup occured.

I too felt the alienation described by the author of the parent story, where the doctors and nurses never bothered to keep me in the loop no matter how much I asked them to and showed an interest.  I know that what he is describing is real.  Despite that I am going to be feeding the infant for the next 18 years, everyone assumes only the mother is important.

But without father participation, the mother isn't going to feel nearly as secure and loved as she should feel at such a time, which is going to make her labor more painful, then she will NEED those expensive painkillers they are eager to pump into her.

I love the guys that gave an RTFM answer.  Sure, you can RTFM, but if the nurses and doctors are cutting you out of the process, it doesn't make a difference how many Fing M's you've read.  It's the whole institutional attitude.  It's real, and it's bad.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
Fuller version of my comments (4.66 / 3) (#135)
by Jonathan Walther on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:53:05 PM EST

The presentation form you linked to was a pack of lies. That the doctors, nurses, and social workers themselves didn't even believe what they accused me of is demonstrated by their return of my daughter afterward. Their "may have an undiagnosed mental condition" is a fancy way of saying "we think the fuckers crazy, but there's no doctor willing to go to bat and make that claim".

The nurses and doctor were pissed off at me because I insisted throughout that they do nothing without my wifes informed consent. This included the painkillers. They hooked her up and were just about to pump her full, when I realized what they were doing. I had to be quite loud to get them to agree they would only give her the painkillers if she asked for them. The rest of the stuff was made up bullshit. I put my hand gently on my wifes tummy to feel what her contractions felt like. This got entered in the report as "trying to force the baby out the birth canal by pushing on her tummy". You see, the nurses didn't like me. I was bulky, wearing a leather jacket, and was wearing a viking beard. These comments didn't go in the report, but I heard the social workers let slip several times that "the nurses felt intimidated". They equated that with me being physically violent. Prior restraint and so forth. If they had respected the principle of a patients right to informed consent, there would have been no need for me to be agressive verbally. Given my physical appearance, my verbal assertiveness was perceived the same way if I'd hauled off and started slugging people. Except that because I DIDNT do that, they didn't have any cause to call in hospital security. They had to make up those lies.

The incident where the mother had her baby taken away because the nurse did a urine analysis on her happened about a year ago, in the USA. But it's the kind of sneaky thing that nurses do. The moment I was taken away from my wife by the police, the nurse yanked my daughter away from my wife while she was trying to breast feed. Then the nurse injected my daughter with a vaccine that my research had shown was never tested on infants, and had been designed for adults. Further, the same vaccine had been correlated with a 5% chance of mental retardation or permantly depressed immune system in children. My concerns were ignored, and the vaccine administered anyway, without doing a blood test to see if my daughter even needed it. Ever hear of the principle of "first, do no harm"?

Something that also doesn't show up in the seizure document is that the seizure of my baby had been planned for a couple months before the birth. One of the psychiatrists had put a notation on my wifes chart, "get the social workers involved". At the time that was written, the wife was still bed-bound from the car accident, and the interference of some estranged family members had convinced the nurses I was a whacko who couldn't help my wife look after the baby. My insistence on informed consent made the nurses and medical staff eager to listen to my relatives, without relying on professional medical opinions, which I later had to go to the expense to get, showing that to be bunk.

At the time she gave birth, my wife had started walking for the first time since her 3 week coma. Had I done a home birth with just my family members present, as is traditionally done, the government would have had to work much harder to steal my baby, and my daughters first 8 months of life wouldn't have been spent living with strangers.

Also, until the last moment, the nurses kept brainwashing the wife into believing she would die unless she had a caesarian section. They were in a unique position to do this, because my wife was in hospital full time, recovering from her coma. Due to the anti-clotting injections she was given twice a day, the opposite was true; she would have been at severe risk of bleeding to death. Every time I came in and talked to her about having a natural birth, the nurses would hurriedly undo my work, by conjuring up bogeymen in my wifes mind. It wasn't until the week before the birth I was able to get an actual doctor to talk to my wife; and she told my wife "yes, it is perfectly alright to have a natural birth, you are safe". By that time the months of indoctrination had had such an effect that my wife was scared to have a natural birth anyway; even the word of a real doctor wasn't enough.

Doctors and nurses use coercion on whoever they can. When they come across someone who resists coercion, it drives them mad. And then, they get even by doing things like having your infant seized on specious grounds.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
Realities of birth (5.00 / 2) (#94)
by SomePerson on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:02:06 PM EST

I could not agree with you more.

To the parent poster:

First of all, if your wife truly had only a 2 hour labor, she is an EXTREMELY lucky woman. For first time labors, expect the labor to last all day. Damm, I wish I had only had a 2 hour labor....

Second, homebirths are great. I can certainly see their advantages. That being said, I would NEVER have one. If anything goes wrong (and, yes, things go wrong a lot of the time) I personally would want my child to be in a place that could save her life if necessary. Although I do not know exact percentages, I grant you that probably > 50% of all births are perfectly normal and would not require a hospital. The question is: how much chance are you willing to take with your child's life? For me, the answer is: not that much. I would never forgive myself if I selected a home birth and had my child die on the way to the hospital....

Third, until you are the one facing hours of the most intense pain you have ever experienced in your life, I don't really see why it is any business of your if she has painkillers (espically epidurals which, as far as I know, are harmless other than potentially extending the labor and pushing period)

Fourth, be careful with being too adament that a C-section not be done. I will grant you that far too many doctors are a little too handy with the knife, but often a C-section is necessary to save the baby's and/or the mother's life.

I think the basic lessons here is:
1. Decide what you want, but be flexible. If you decide you want a natural childbirth, that is great, but understand that a lot of things can go wrong during childbirth. The most important thing is the health of the mother and child, not sticking to the birth plan. This is not to say that a birth plan is not a good idea, just that things sometimes don't go as expected.
2. get a doctor/midwife you trust. If you do not know the doctors in your area, interview some. Find out what percentage of their births were c-sections (be wary of anyone with a high percentage; c-sections should be the exception, not the norm), find out what their rate of complications are (here, as in with c-sections, expect some--just not too many), find out how familiar they are with non-traditional pain-management techinques: ie, water births, hypnosis, etc. If you trust your doctor/midwife, then, when the doctor/midwife recommends things such as a c-section, you can be confident that it is truly necessary.

There is nothing wrong with what you are striving to do--a natural birth. One just has to be flexible if a natural birth is not an option.

[ Parent ]

C-sections (5.00 / 2) (#95)
by Therac-25 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:04:14 PM EST

Fourth, be careful with being too adament that a C-section not be done. I will grant you that far too many doctors are a little too handy with the knife, but often a C-section is necessary to save the baby's and/or the mother's life.

FYI, in Canada, if there's *any* risk to a mother, a C-section is done.

They don't even deliver breech babys anymore here, they just C-section them.

It's a regulation, so the doctors aren't allowed to deliver even if the parents want to.
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]

C-Section only in Canada ?? (none / 0) (#100)
by Jehreg on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:18:50 PM EST

Are you daft?

I am in Ottawa, and if you call the General Hospital today and ask how many breech babies they have delivered this week, they certainly won't say 0....

[ Parent ]

Hrmm... (5.00 / 2) (#99)
by webwench on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 02:11:32 PM EST

First-time labor takes between 12 and 15 hours, on average.

[ Parent ]
Labor takes about 2 hours? (none / 0) (#105)
by What She Said on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:20:22 PM EST

What planet do you come from where all the women have pelvises big enough to drive trucks through?

It's highly unusual for labor to take only 2 hours. First time is usually somewhere between 8-12. My first labor was just over 8 hours; my second was about 12.

[ Parent ]

My wife does it in 2 hours (none / 0) (#123)
by Jonathan Walther on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:07:32 PM EST

She's had 2 babies so far, and both only took about 2 hours from the first contraction, 3 hours if you count from absolute start of labor.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
Consider a midwife (4.00 / 1) (#106)
by webshowpro on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:22:14 PM EST

Pregnancy and later fatherhood is challenging to every man. Each time it is different, and each time there are needs and worries. We as men tend to not acknowledge that we need support, help and comfort as we embrace the life changing transition to parenthood. The truth is we do.

I agree that women tend to get all the support in tradional settings, because usually people are focused on the health/medical concerns. But there are people who believe in supporting and preparing the whole family. My wife and I have two boys, through each pregnancy we were guided by a lay midwife (i.e.they are not trained by the medical community, instead they learn through years of apprenticeship with other lay midwives.). Both times these women were very supportive of our entire family, and me in particular. Each went out of their way to make me as comfortable as possible, both for my own sake and because they believed that the father/husband is the most important support person to the new mother. They believe that by helping me, and comforting me, I would be better able to comfort and support my wife.

My experience is that the medical community is focused solely on the patient, and that it does not recognise the other factors contributing to the overall well-being of the mother and new child. Our midwives both understood that child birth is a natural, and special event, that centers around the mother and child, but that the father and rest of the family also play an important role.

Our midwives believed that in order for the birth to go smoothly and be as stress free to the mother, child and father as possible, both partners needed to be involved.

I firmly believe that the midwives support throughout pregnancy and labor allowed my wife and I to focus on supporting each other. Both midwives talked a lot about "positive" energy, and that whomever is around during the birth should be supportive of everyone present, but especially supportive of the mother and father.

I hope my experience is helpful to expectant fathers, godspeed.

Brandon

Grow up... (2.12 / 8) (#107)
by What She Said on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:28:57 PM EST

Your wife doesn't need an adult male child right now. Stop whining that you aren't receiving any support or attention. If you're not getting the information that you think you should be, then go and get it for yourself already, and stop sniveling like a child.

If you really want a part in all of it, then learn how to change diapers, give 3am feedings, et cetera. And no excuses like "Well the kid will be breast fed so I can't do the 3am feedings!"

Yes, you can. There are these nifty little contraptions called breast pumps. Buy one for your wife, and tell her that the middle of the night feedings are going to be your responsibility. Then live up to your word.

Agree 100% (1.25 / 4) (#116)
by brunes69 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 04:32:01 PM EST

The whole time I am reading this article, I kept saying to myself "Who the fuck is this guy???" Tell you what man, how about you inject yourself with random amounts of estrogen and testotsterone umpteen times a day, and carry a 20 pound bag of water strapped around your stomach. Continue this regimin for 9 months, then shove a baseball sized object through the hole in your dick. Then maybe we will give you more of your much needed support.



---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]
It's relatively simple (3.00 / 1) (#125)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 06:09:15 PM EST

to be a father, in that we don't have to carry the baby around for 9 months, have our body hijacked by a growing parasite, then squeeze it out in hours of painful labour.

I don't have to do all that lot - I have to support my wife while she does. It's something neither of us have experienced before, I can't reassure her about what's normal and what isn't if I don't know the difference myself.

Also, of course, parenting is a lifelong responsibility, not a 9-month carry-and-shove operation.

My wife and I are both responsible for bringing a new human life into the world - I get the impression that you've not had that responsibility yourself, but let me tell you, it's a very daunting prospect.

If bringing a person into the world is not a big enough thing for me to ask for help, then nothing is.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Two things. (4.00 / 2) (#151)
by tzanger on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 11:26:33 PM EST

Continue this regimin for 9 months, then shove a baseball sized object through the hole in your dick.

First of all, a newborn is a fuck of a lot bigger than a baseball (I would estimate the same volume, but not shape, of a soccer ball) and secondly, women do not push the baby through the urethra.

Skipping bio 101 again?



[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#185)
by brunes69 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:28:22 PM EST

Baseball -> urethra opening, Baby -> vaginal opening. I think the raios here are fair?

---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]
Don't Worry So much (they arn't that fragile) (4.00 / 2) (#111)
by cs668 on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:48:07 PM EST

I know that this seems easy for me to say.

I decided to post after reading a followup you made where you suggest that you are more worried about what happens after the birth.

They are not that fragile!  Just do what comes naturaly and everything will be fine.  I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old.  With the first one we were so worried we would break her.  With the second you learn that they are pretty tough little beasts and things were a lot less stressfull.

Just enjoy, the fact that you are worried enough about parenting to ask probably means that you will be a pretty good parent.

Too much? (4.00 / 1) (#115)
by gidds on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 04:17:41 PM EST

It sounds to me as if you're expecting too much from yourself.  As if you think you need to be some sort of expert, or expect huge problems you personally will need to overcome.

Disclaimer time: I'm not a father, and haven't been particularly close to any (other than my own, which probably doesn't count :)  I'm very far from an expert.  But maybe it's normal for this to be a new and slightly frightening experience?

My guess is that the most important thing you can to is talk to your wife.  What does she expect from you?  Sort things out between you.  Yes, it does look unfair that there's far less support available for fathers-to-be, but maybe that's partly because less should be needed?

i'm sorry if this seems sexist or patronising; it's really not intended to be.  I just think maybe you don't need be so hard on yourself.  In any case, I wish all the best to you and to your wife – and to your child!  I'm sure things will turn out all right.

Andy/

Yeah, it's new and scary (4.00 / 1) (#138)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:07:16 PM EST

and daunting. And yes, that's normal.

So it would seem logical for the health service to give assistance with this. From the posts here, it seems that many do. Unfortunately, our local health service seems to view pregancy as a physical issue to deal with, which started with me, but that my involvement ended with that enjoyable bit which started the whole thing.

I'm all in favour of the woman getting more support - there are physical things to do with the woman's body, which don't apply to the man's body - it would be ludicrous to check my blood pressure, sugar levels, etc. It's not that I'm getting less support, it's that I'm getting none, either on the emotional or practical levels.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Hands up (4.60 / 5) (#140)
by sgp on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 07:35:07 PM EST

Sorry I wasn't around during the voting of this article.
I'll admit two things:
  • I wasn't particularly sober when I wrote the rant, which is why it's not particularly complete, well-spelt, or coherent.
  • Because of the above, I was rather expecting it to be rejected, with a number of editorial comments suggesting aspects to clarify and mention. I suspect that's technically an abuse of the K5 submission queue, but it seemed a shortcut to getting my rant out, and cleaning it up a bit before it got too widely seen
So I was quite surprised when I got up and found it had been voted for. I strongly suspect, along with jabber, that the reason for this is more that people wanted their responses seen, than the article itself. (though see also my response).

To summarise, most of the responses fall into one of three categories:

  • Grow up and get on with it or If you're not getting information given to you, go and find it - the article/rant is about the very fact that I'm finding this very difficult to do, since the health service would be the primary source, and they really are ignoring me.
  • No such - many people seem to have had really excellent treatment from their health services. That's great.
  • Similar / Related experiences - most of which are worse than I've experienced; my heart really goes out to you, especially Lee and Phil.
For those who fall outside of these categories, please remember that I'm complaining about the service itself, as delivered, in my experience. Even if some people suspected the article of being a troll, it has provoked a number of interesting threads.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

My apologies (4.00 / 1) (#183)
by libertine on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:26:13 PM EST

I actually was one of the people who supported your posting of the story in editorial comments.  Unfortunately, only about 1/4 to 1/3 of the people posting here seem to have any useful or supporting information.

I viewed the story as a request for help and a statement of frustration with societal standards that seem to advocate the father as a figure that provides sperm, possibly some support, and cash.  From much of the commentary here, most people really don't like seeing the status quo bucked.  Picking on someone for showing emotion is not fair, and I think that certain people here got far too much joy from that.

How could someone NOT be emotional in your current situation?  Why would anyone interested in their family's well being NOT want to do more than simply sit there and wring his hands (or her hands, gotta remember, I got two moms) and "show support".  Bah.

The non-"birth" parent really does not get to participate very often.  This goes for dads as well as "second" moms.  It is something ingrained into Western society.  I think all the negative commentary comes from you lifting too many stones over too many taboos, but that is their problem.

To you, I wish the best of luck.  I really hope things look up more for you.  Try and find some male friends who will be willing to help out in some ways to lessen the burden.  What they see about the process in person will help y'all a lot, and help you keep your focus.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

The meta-issue (4.50 / 2) (#186)
by epepke on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:16:51 PM EST

I viewed the story as a request for help and a statement of frustration with societal standards that seem to advocate the father as a figure that provides sperm, possibly some support, and cash. From much of the commentary here, most people really don't like seeing the status quo bucked. Picking on someone for showing emotion is not fair, and I think that certain people here got far too much joy from that.

Absolutely! This article and discussion is an excellent demonstration of why the status quo is going to remain and why there will never, ever be any semblance of equality of the sexes.

It goes like this: Man expresses emotion, gets slapped for it. Man expresses emotion about having been slapped, gets slapped for that, too.

Furthermore, I bet that the majority of the slappers would not only claim that they believed in the furtherance of equality of the sexes but would claim to be superior to the majority in that belief. They probably do so with a straight face.

Trouble is, when so many people consider it appropriate to slap men and particularly men for expressing emotions, it changes them. Of course, one way it changes them is to make them harder and less willing to express emotions. To the slappers, that's just more slapping fun! But it is totally incompatible with any stated desire to see, for example, men be more involved with their children, or less workaholics, or more freely communicative, or (hah!) more in tune with their emotions. Of course, people don't care, because they're having too much fun slapping; it provides that lovely moral righteousness to cloak what is basically a primate dominance display. "Look, everybody, I'm slapping the Whiner, which proves I'm better!"


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
REM has a song about that... (2.00 / 3) (#146)
by lucid on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:33:15 PM EST

These are the lyrics from REM's great song "Me in Honey" from Out of Time.

I sat there looking ugly
Looking ugly and mean
I knew what you were saying
You were saying to me

Baby's got some new rules
Baby said she's had it with me
It seems a shame you waste your time on me
It seems a lot to waste your time for me

Left me to love
What it's doing to me

There's a lot of honey in this world
Baby this honey's from me
You've got to do what you do
Do it with me
It seems a shame you waste your time for me

Left me to love
What it's doing to me

Knocked silly
Knock flat
Sideways down
These things they pick you up
and they Turn you around
Say your piece
Say you're sweet for me
It's all the same to share the pain with me
It's all the same. Save the shame for me

Left me to love
What it's doing to me

Baby's got some new rules
Baby says she's had it with me
There's a fly in the honey
And baby's got a baby with me
That's a part
That's a part of me

Left me to love
What it's doing to me
Left me to love
What it's doing to me
What about me?



streetlawyer summary service (2.27 / 11) (#153)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:21:45 AM EST

A quick precis:

Me [...] me [...] mother [...] me [...] me [...] mother [...]me

A baby should not be blamed for being a baby, but a grown man should.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Forget it (2.00 / 3) (#160)
by rdskutter on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:29:43 AM EST

Can you spot the mistake in the previous post?

Yes per[whatever]ages in hexidecimal would still have a maximum value of 100, not F00.

I need my morning coffee.


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE

Support (4.50 / 4) (#162)
by codemonkey_uk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:24:22 AM EST

I'll skip the "pull yourself together man" routine, and move straight onto the advice / resource list:

Baby Center Community Bulletin Boards:

NHS Direct. Memorise this number: 0845 4647. Also, phone your mum/dad, or your wifes mum/dad. They've been through it all already.

PS: Pull yourself together man. You've got a pregnant woman to look after. And soon small baby. Guess what, its hard work, and you don't get much help. Suck it up.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell

Been there, done that (4.00 / 2) (#184)
by redelm on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:36:56 PM EST

Stop whingeing! [is that how the English say it?] It's very unmanly. Nothing wrong with pre- or post-natal childcare, tho'. Did it for my two kids and thoroughly enjoyed it. Even the dirty nappies and night feedings.

Yes, the whole process is mother-oriented. And not only because many fathers are disinterested -- there seems to be an active effort on the part of many women to "preserve the mysteries of motherhood". Poor gals -- how do they ever expect to be "liberated", if it's not from childcare?

But you don't need to accept the exclusion. Charge in. It's your baby too! Take part in the birth-prep classes. Go to the doctor visits, especially the ultrasounds! Do your research so you know the development process and when the baby should first kick. Research teragens and effects of mother's diet. Plan out baby's bedroom, compare cribs, carseats and baby monitors. Look into formulas, bottle systems and/or breastpumps.

There's lots to do, especially after birth. But don't expect to get encouraged, led by the hand or even thanked for it.



Re: Been there, done that (none / 0) (#197)
by sgp on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 08:13:51 PM EST

The whole process is mother-oriented, and I'm fighting that. I'm not just whingeing for my own sake, but - assuming that the service we're getting is typical, though codemonkey and others assure me it's not this bad all over the UK - it'd be "better" (where better = included father is supportive and useful, excluded father is a burden) if the father was included by default, not, as a number of posters have commented, excluded by default unless he really pushes his way in, proving himself as being better than the nursing staff's (perhaps justifiably) cynical assumptions.

Just got to say, though - Ultrasound: Fantastic! Really turned into one of those annoying parents going, "Look - that's an arm. It is! Well, maybe it's less clear on the still. But it's an arm! Isn't it great?" for a moment!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

You seem to be more pregnant than your wife :-) (2.00 / 1) (#187)
by mami on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:57:24 PM EST

Relax !!! The baby comes out no matter what, even your wife can't do anything about it...

Research and support (4.00 / 1) (#188)
by meatsack on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:30:52 AM EST

If this is something you care about, I encourage you to check out this book. It talks about things like why, up until a few years ago, 7x more money was spent on breast cancer research than prostate cancer research. Though, guess what, prostate cancer kills more men per year than breast cancer kills women!

It also talks about why, throughout history, men were NOT allowed in the delivery room. Its a very recent thing they are allowed in.

The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex - Warren Farrell

Barnes&Noble

-sack

Here is where your info is (3.50 / 2) (#189)
by flowergrrl on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:01:06 AM EST

before 28 weeks is minimal, becuase the ONLY stuff happening is to the woman, you simply have be her sholder to cry on, punch bag, fetch her what she wants.

as for the insect bite, why didnt you phone the NHS direct, they have a direct helpline, my partner phoned on my behalf when i was pregnant!!

after 28 weeks, parenting classes are available to EVERYONE!! so if you havent been offered them its because your wife hasnt told you about them.

Its usually 3 classes mostly going over concerns baout the birth and seeing the delivery rooms!

So shut up, the NHS DO provide something for everyone!

from A new mother

Andie

Meet my son Dylan

parenting classes (none / 0) (#198)
by sgp on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 08:18:12 PM EST

as I've already said in a previous comment, parenting classes are available. Our first one is Monday night, so I'll see how that goes. The rest (bar a tour of the Maternity Ward) are at 2:30pm. Handy for a 9-5-working Dad. And yes, I am feeling pressure to be at work, too. We're currently fortunate enough to have 2 cars, but we'll have to sell one most likely, even though that will make life harder, it's my wife who's pushing to sell her car, I'm less keen as I'm not sure the financial savings will be worth the additional physical effort and stress of not having a car.

So yes, parenting classes are available to EVERYONE who can get to the hospital at 2:30 once a week - that's quite a big but, if you don't mind me saying so!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Some tips... (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by MickLinux on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:17:23 PM EST

I would like to offer some tips about things you can do to help:

(1) Early on in the pregnancy -- foot massages, back rubs, talking, and emotional support. Exercise can be good -- but don't overdo it, and *don't let her dehydrate*. She should avoid the pregnancy morning-sickness drugs -- that morning sickness is nature's way of telling her she needs to change her diet.

(2) 2nd trimester -- go around with her to the stores and 2nd-hand shoppes, and snap up childcare things (nothing that even looks old -- and a lot of things should be new -- but some things can be lightly used, like clothes). That is useful for letting her know that you're in this together.

(2) Approaching 3rd trimester -- foot massages, back rubs with a roller, and get into training classes about the rhythm of childbirth [look for Lamaze classes, if you can, ask the nurses, or do an online search. You both go, and both practice.] At this time, make sure not only that she doesn't dehydrate (yeah, its her responsibility too, but you can remind her), but also that she doesn't stay on her feet too much.

(3) Approaching 2 weeks before expected delivery: Prepare an overnight bag that has things that will be useful -- including personals (toothbrush, etc.), a good back roller [something with multiple rollers that can help relax her back), high-energy snacks and boxed juices (mostly for you -- you're not allowed to run away, but it's going to be about 24-48 hours of constant high-stress wakefulness and continuous presence),

(4) When the baby is born, you should be there, and should interact with the baby very soon after the birth (while your wife rests.) Your wife will probably receive the baby first, but very soon after that the doctors will take him/her. Essentially, while the doctors apply a wristband to the baby's arm and such, you should be there comforting the baby. That will help *you* bond with the baby. After about 10 minutes, they'll want to give the baby back to the mother, and that is necessary too -- but you should take full advantage of that initial time while your wife is saying "whew!".

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.

Also, after the birth...talking to them (none / 0) (#195)
by MickLinux on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:46:25 PM EST

... I'd just like to share my experience after the birth.  Very early -- at about 1 week, I would wrap our son up warmly in a blanket and take him on a short walk around the neighborhood -- 10-15 minutes a day in the warm sun.  (I would make sure not to direct him to look at the sun of course).

As we walked, he would see things that made him stop and look.  I'd let him look at those things.  I would also say the name of a color, if he saw it.  So when he looked at the blue sky, I would say "blue".  And when he looked at the green tree, I would say "green."

Then, of course, when we went to feed him, we would say all the normal things ("Hungry".)  or "hug" when he wanted a hug and we'd give it to him.  

Anyhow, between 3 weeks and 3 months he was talking -- not what we'd call talking, but he would make reasonable approximations of the sound that he associated with what he was thinking of.  Some of his words and contexts were:

"Boo" - looking at the sky.  "Grn" - looking at the tree leaves (he loved the pattern of leaves and branches against sky).  "Ug" - holding his arms out for a hug.  "Ungri" - When he was hungry and crying, and I was desperately trying to prepare the bottle.  And -- twice, once when I had just been singing to him, and once when we had been about to sit down to dinner, and he wanted a hug, and I said "no, mommy and daddy are hungry" and turned around to eat....  "I uv oo".

.  .  .  .  .  .  .        He got his hug.

There was also a time when we were sitting on the sofa (he was leaning against me, with my arm around him, because he couldn't hold himself up) and I was singing to him, he looked up and said "aaaawk".  Then he looked troubled, and I said "go on, sing" and he tried again "aaawk".  Kindof a croak.  And then he cried a little bit.  He couldn't sing.  

After 3 months, he got quiet again.  

But my whole point about this is that I am pretty sure that talking is not wasted on babies, no matter how  young.  Yeah, they develop different things at different rates, and no two babies are the same.  But I don't think talking is wasted on them; I think they are genetically predispositioned to pick up very quickly on language skills.  And the more you talk -- really talk, not google-- and sing to them, the happier they will be.  

That's been my experience, anyhow.

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.
[ Parent ]

dive in (none / 0) (#205)
by turmeric on Mon Jun 10, 2002 at 11:26:06 AM EST

read some books. read some pregnancy web boards on the internet. guess what, some of these will have anti-man postings on them. dont let it phase you. jump in, learn something useful. you are asking for something that doesnt exist yet.

Men in Pregnancy | 206 comments (193 topical, 13 editorial, 1 hidden)
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