The experience of giving birth is intense all around, for the person giving birth, for their partner, for the doctors and nurses involved, and most intensely - for the baby leaving the womb and entering planet earth. Unsurprisingly, a lot of expectant parents create elaborate birth plans to make the day even more special and memorable.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for refusing to cut his wife's umbilical cord. He wrote:
My wife is full-term and being induced tomorrow. I told her quite early on, that I didn't want to cut to the cord. I know it's just me and that I'm making it weird, but I find it really squeamish to cut into human flesh. It seems like a medical procedure and I'm REALLY uncomfortable with it. My wife appeared to accept my decision at the time but under protest.
Now the big day is upon us, my wife has pressed the issue again. I told her I want to be involved in every way I can, including catching the baby and handing him or her (we don't know the sex) to their new mum. I feel that my wife has a Hollywood idea of birth, including that I cut the cord.
She also wants me to get in the shower with her and rub her back during labour, which she saw on a Netflix show. I've asked why the cord is so important to her and she couldn't say. AITA?
NTA. If you don't want to cut human flesh, especially if you feel that is a violent action to do towards another person or it is a medical procedure then you shouldn't. But what do you mean you are going to catch the baby? I'm guessing she is planning on doing more of a home birth kind of thing?
You do understand how messy and horrifying watching a birth can be with there also being a lot of tearing so if you are squeamish about cutting the cord I really think you need to make sure you know what you are getting in to.
NTA. I've never met a single person whose birth plan went how they thought, from both big and little changes. But having one is comforting at a time of high stress and pain. I wouldn't argue about this with your (very pregnant!) wife if you don't have to - you know her wishes, she knows yours.
No need to debate it. But decline and help her cuddle the baby while the cord is cut. I hope everything goes fabulously for all 3 of you!
NTA. My husband didn't want to with our son and I was fine with that. When it all happened, though, the doctor asked him and he just did it sort of out of shock and probably feeling like he should. He said it was a lot more like jelly than he expected lol. He delivered our daughter on the bathroom floor by himself. I'm pretty sure the paramedics asked him if he wanted to, I can't remember if he did.
Also, I did NOT want to be touched, spoken to, or looked at during my first labour haha. Your wife might end up feeling that way. Birth is honestly really f#$ked up. I don't know how else to put it. Whatever way it happens it's going to be messy, bloody, and kind of violent. I suggest no one goes into it with any real expectations or big hopes about what might happen.
I've seen so many people be depressed about their birth "experience" when the important thing is for everyone to come out alive and as unscathed as possible. My husband stepped in my actual s#$t and my amniotic fluid exploded all over him when my daughter came out. He didn't care at the time even though that's obviously f#$ked lol. You might not mind cutting the cord.
You might still say no. You might not even get the opportunity to either way. Just be there for each other and know how absolutely f#$king terrifying the idea of giving birth is for someone. The person giving birth has so little control over anything that is going to happen or when that the little things they can control can really matter.
NTA - If you're not comfortable literally cutting the cord, I think the last thing that should be between you and your newborn is essentially a very sharp knife.
NTA: My husband never cut the cord with our two boys and I don’t care. Honestly, my favourite thing was the midwife who took photos (I had a c-section) and one of them is my husband looking at our son for the first time. Being truthful I don’t know a lot of fathers who do cut the cord.
Edit - To answer some common questions:
1. The squeamishness is only about the cutting. I am a first responder so I've seen every kind of gore you can think of. Blood, guts, screaming etc. I am used to these things. 2. I don't want to get in the shower but I will because it's a reasonable request and it's a way I can compromise given my feelings about the cord.
OP is NTA, it seems like he simply knows his limits.