The [NSFW] Post

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So, we had The Birth Conversation. To be honest we have been debating it for sometime but I think I finally won, I’m allowed in the room!

This is probably a very controversial topic and I am sure many people have many very valid reasons for thinking about this differently, but let me try to blunder through my point because, I think that it is worth it.

Her side of the conversation goes something like this:

‘What do you mean you are going to be right there with me? You are not going to be in the room with me. Why? Because you won’t think of me the same anymore! Why? Because there will be blood… I will have my legs in the air, its really undignified! You won’t think of that part of my body in the same way anymore. Because, I might cry or scream and you might think I’m weak. BECAUSE THE BOOK SAYS I WILL POO MYSELF! Because you won’t think of me sexually anymore…’

I don’t believe that this is a fear that is unusual to my partner; during my time working in care I have heard many female friends say very similar (about their own partners, I don’t request a front row seat with everyone).

I feel like the disparity between what men and women feel about this subject is immense.

These are my (and perhaps nearly every male on this planet) thoughts on the matter:

Only a woman, with her incredibly neat internal sexual organs could ever have the arrogance to think that we would be be in someway disgusted by the wonder of birth.

As men, we have grown up and have got used to having ridiculous external sexual organs, resembling something like dead mangle naked mole rats with terrible tumours hanging off them.

Our genitals can morph into any of about 4 different shapes and sizes at any inconvenient time despite being judged entirely on size at all times! They don’t even look like they should be on the outside, they look like they accidentally prolapsed out. You will know what I mean if you have ever tried life drawing:

Draw a woman and it is a wonderful flowing landscape of curves evenly distributed throughout the image.

Draw a man and it is a wonderfully contoured outer shadow with all lines eventually coming to a very erratically detailed, out of place, puppet from the film The Labyrinth, all quished  into the middle, making the whole image entirely unbalanced. However you swing it (pun intended) they look bizarre.

So, we are immune to the fact that your genitals have a multiple functions, if for no other reason than that we are reminded that ours do, literally every morning.

That… plus… my generation were totally desensitised to anything vaguely birth-like since the age of 12, following the trauma of watching John Hurt’s Chestburster scene from Alien (1979) and not being able to sleep for a week.

I am afraid it is your magazines and posters and billboards (and even some of the birthing books) that make you think we only see you as a object and we cannot compartmentalise our views on your reproductive organs. You need to own your self image! This is why women invented The Vagina Monologues and men invented Penis Puppetry… we know ours look hilarious!

I think that is probably enough of the genital discussion… Onto the bravery thing… ARE YOU NUTS? 

It is very hard watching someone you care about going through pain. We want to be there because it is the only thing we can do. We feel lame! We get to hold your hand.. if we are lucky. Everyone in the room (except for us) is qualified to save your life in someway or another. We are qualified to keep a damp flannel on your head for a bit – and we will most likely do that wrong!

You are the hero of a real life action film! A REAL LIFE HERO! Who fights and bleeds and endures and selflessly creates life, with a room of other  heroes supporting you through the journey, while we, the comedy sidekick… occasionally remember to offer you the flannel… hopefully.

…And that is why we want to be there to support you, because we love you, we want to do all we can, which is literally only be there. We are in awe of you and the breathtaking event that you are experiencing and we don’t have a hammer or a hack to mend the situation or take control… or take any of the burden.

Instead we are going to dab at you with a flannel. PLEASE DON’T JUDGE US!

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