Brad Kearns, the man behind DaDMum, writes hilarious Facebook posts about what it's like to be a dad in the modern world. On October 31, Kearns wrote one that's since gone viral about all the trauma he experienced the day his wife gave birth to their first child. Yes, "he," because even though his wife was the one doing the work, he was ill-prepared for what was to come.
In the story he relates getting his laboring wife from the car to the hospital door, via wheelchair, like it was an Olympic relay race, only to be met by an entirely unfazed nurse who acted like people giving birth was an every day occurrence in the maternity ward. Once there, Kearns quickly realized he was probably "the dumbest person in the room." Sure, he took birthing classes with his wife and watched the video of the woman giving birth, but adds, "We should have been watching the fucking Exorcism of Emily Rose. I would have at least known what to expect. I would have taken a vial of holy water just in case."
His full post reads,
I've always thought of myself as pretty cool under pressure. But the first time I got that call that my wife's waters had broken, something changed. The excitement of almost being a dad went straight out the window because holy fuck, a tiny human was about to come out of my wife.
Now as a man I obviously couldn't feel the pain. But let me tell you, when those contractions were hitting, I had a pretty good idea what was going on. I remember looking at the speedo realising I was doing 160kph down the motorway. It was fucked. This was happening. Holy shit... The louder she got, the higher my heart-rate spiked and the faster we went.
Parked as quick as I could, rang the shit out of the buzzer, threw her in a wheelchair and sprinted to the maternity ward like it was the fucking olympics. This woman strolls over and opens the door for us. I've just put in a performance that would rival Usain Bolt over the 200m whilst pushing a wheelchair, and this old lady casually opens the door like it's a book club meeting and I'm 20 minutes early. Like she was already angry at me because she had to put down her tea. Fuck out of my way woman, my wife is having a baby!
Have you ever felt like the dumbest person in the room? I did because they all seemed pretty relaxed. The nursing staff. Nobody seemed to give much of a shit about the whole 'babies head is bigger than a vagina' thing. It must be their training. We obviously weren't as close to D-Day as I thought. So we set up in one of the birthing suites. I knew we weren't as close as others because I could hear the bellows of a woman in pain coming from down the hall. Fuck were we in for a good night or what!
A few weeks earlier I had gone to those pre birthing classes so I felt like I knew what was going on. Nope... No fucking idea. People come in, people leave, they say stuff like dilation and every now and then someone throws on a latex glove and goes under the hospital gown. You really don't know what love is until you've hosed your naked partner down with warm water in front of complete strangers. This shit was like something off the discovery channel. All bets were off. Dignity was out the window by this point. I made sure I stood well back because I didn't want to get too cold later if I wet my clothes. Just kidding. I had spare clothes.
When your wife breaks your arm and demands an epidural with a demon-possessed voice, and it's too late to administer... You're fucked. I'm just going to put it out there and say that those classes didn't teach me shit all. Why did we watch that stupid 1980's video where a woman pops this kid out like a morning poo. We should have been watching the fucking Exorcism of Emily Rose. I would have at least known what to expect. I would have taken a vial of holy water just in case.
Childbirth is actually amazing. I don't get how they even go through that?
(This is heavily dramatised, I swear I'm not a sociopath)
You know how women compare stories about giving birth—how long it took, where they were when they went into labor, when their water broke, and so on? Maybe it's time to start adding "how freaked out was your non-giving birth partner?" into the mix, too.