Friday, August 26, 2005

Get a grip man!!!

OK, so this article in the NYT has me wondering about men these days. Are we that out of touch with our bodies that we don’t realize how babies make it into this world? Sorry to the guys who are suffering from this, but I just can’t believe we have come to this in our society.

It mind of makes me think about the whole breastfeeding and sexuality thing… It is a failure to understand that a woman’s body can nurture and love something other than her man…And a failure of men to accept that their partner’s body may have some purpose other than their sexual gratification. Sorry guys, I just have no sympathy for this one. But then again I have no sympathy on women who can’t get over the idea that a baby at the breast is not somehow sick and sexual (unless they are abuse survivors or something).

Of course I think there is another side to this. We don’t generally see natural birth. We see managed hospital birth. Many men who are with their wives at natural births (esp. home birth) report seeing their wife as “strong” and being downright in awe of their ability to bring a new life into the world. And women are often grateful for their husband’s support and encouragement. Thus making birth a bonding experience for the couple and leading them to trust in each other’s strength and love.

So here are a few “gems” from the article if you don’t have time to read it all.

They seem to have trouble seeing them as sexual beings after seeing them make babies…
Well, maybe they missed that part of sexuality… Yeah, it’s about reproduction on some level.

In the age of the "new man," very little consideration is given to the potentially negative side effects of togetherness in the delivery room.
What about the possible negative effects of abandoning your wife in labor in a day and age where you may be her only support?

The trouble is that the moment turns out to be both intensely beautiful and potentially traumatic.
Oh, get a grip!!!

Women may want to consider the risks as they invite their partners to watch them bring new life into the world. For some of the passion that binds them together may leave their lives at the very same time.
And for some that may be the most profound experience in their lives as a couple!!!


cncz said...

my problem is (assuming I have children one day) isn't that my husband doesn't want to be in the delivery room, but that "certain people in our entourage" say that he shouldn't be there, because it could "ruin our sex life" (since when are they concerned with that?). If I wind up giving birth in France, I just want my mother (a nurse practictioner) "around" to make sure those French hospitals aren't messing stuff up. Other than that, I would probably punch my husband for making me pregnant if I was in pain, so it is probably good that he be waiting patiently outside. There is a particularly poignant story about when he was born, but that is another story...

People do need to get a grip.

UmmLayla said...

You know, I was so with you when I first got pregnant... I thought I would want to have my DH as far removed of the situation as possible. And I actually like to be alone in labor for some time (which actually works out fine because my labor generally starts at night after everyone has gone to bed and by the time I need someone it is morning). But, over time I changed my mind. I would say he MUST be there now. Not as my DH, but as my closest friend.

I think every woman is different in this area. But, in modern marriages where husbands are also close companions... I think more women are falling on the side of wanting them in the delivery room.

Maybe it is a sign of how the woman to woman support we had in the past has broken down. It used to be that a friend, relative or even neighbor would be there if you needed her. Now how many of us have a good friend geographically close enough to come and sit with us through labor?

Yusuf Smith said...

I just thought I'd point it out, they've been discussing this at a blog called Crooked Timber, which I read quite a lot:

Surviving said...

My husband would have more than his sex life to worry about if he weren't there with me. I haven't actually been through labor. I had to have emergency c-sections both times.

Anonymous said...

salaam 'alaikum

the problem isn't women inviting their spouses into the delivery room, as the article seems to say (i can't access it from here, I'll have to try using my other browser later)... it's the fact that american men are raised in this hyper-sexualized society where the *only* thing you can see about a woman is her sexuality. when you have breasts being used to sell shampoo, no wonder some guys can't hack seeing women the way we're made to function. (well, that, and the whole way the media portrays birth... don't you hate watching movie / tv show births??) -- UmmZaid