Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A Chap's Guide To Childbirth

Here comes the bride - and before you know it...
I am delighted to announce I'm an uncle for the 22nd time (!); and Mrs. G's little bro, ChrisProles, is even more delighted to be a Dad for a second time.

Having been through the childbirth thing three times myself, I had intended to equip him with the benefit of my vast experience. Well, better late than never. Here's some top tips.

1. Stay at the top end

Childbirth is a pretty messy and unfeasibly stretchy process, and if you want to continue thinking of your missus in a romantic way in the future, better stay away from the ghastly business end of things. That's what nurses and midwifes are for. Your job is to mop her fevered brow, and stare lovingly into her eyes, while she swears at you and tells you it's all your fault.

2. Wear waterproof shoes1

When number one son was born Don Johnson was quite trendy, and I wore white canvas shoes. Big mistake. I'll spare you the details.

3. Childbirth is really painful

At number one son's birth, Mrs G decided to relieve her own discomfort by grabbing my hair and banging my head repeatedly against the wall. For number two daughter, the most comfortable birthing position required me to bend over for three hours while she used me as a human crutch. For number three son, she kicked a midwife clean across the room, although I emerged unscathed, having procured a crash helmet and a kevlar vest, and the wise habit of keeping my distance.

4. Keep your advice to yourself

'Push!' I said. 'I'll give you ****ing push', she answered, 'you ****wit ****er, **** off and don't come back.' And that was just the midwife. Mrs. G was even worse. She didn't mean it, of course, it was just the epidural speaking, but I learnt to limit my encouragement to smiles and gestures after that.

5. Newborn babies are unbelievably ugly

Lulled into a false sense of security by Hollywood births, where the smiling infant emerges with beautiful curls and a full set of teeth, I was pretty shocked when I saw our first newborn. Mrs G thought he was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen; but to me he looked like a mini Conehead after a brutal deathmatch mud-wrestle. 'What's wrong with him?' I asked in great concern. 'Ah,' said the happy midwife, apparently not hearing me, 'he's got his Dad's looks.'

6. Get your chequebook out, and keep it out

You may have thought that rushing out to buy the babyseat, carrycot, nappies, creams, advice books, rattles, dummies, sterilisers, stair gates, safety latches, nipple shields, cutesy shoes and celebration wine/Twiglets was expensive. Ha! Just wait until they get to university. You ain't seen nothing yet.

1 - Or waders if you have them


  1. "Having been through the childbirth thing three times myself..."

    And there was I thinking you were a human seahorse.

  2. Hey 'Grumpy! Number 5 is priceless! I laughed so much I forgot to order pizza. Serious. Indigo

  3. You had me at #1. Very funny post.

  4. I loved this post..........even though I have no experience in the birthing thing I found this touching and very funny.....honest too.

  5. Gotta keep the little curly wurlys handy too. Congratulations, Uncle Uber Grump!

  6. should've stayed in the waiting room and handed out cigars. much easier!

  7. Here's a few more tips for you.

    Don't bust your biceps at gym the day before, it makes holding the baby remarkably painful, especially if she is delivered by c-section and you end up holding her for an age.

    Stock up on Guinness, or any stout you can get your filthy little hands on. Lack of sleep, lack of proper diet and an enormous amount of adrenaline and stress leads to strong iron cravings and a desperate thirst for Guinness.

  8. This is hilarious....and enough to keep me off the childbirth lark forever!

    Congrats Uncle UG....22nd time?!! How do you keep track of them all?

  9. Try not to throw up when sawing through the umbilical cord.

    You will probably fail at this.

  10. GB ~ I am! Typing is pretty difficult, I can tell you

    Indigo ~ Wow! Rush out and order that Hawaiian or, or Brazilian, right away

    Hunter ~ Ah ha! Thanks

    Lo ~ Hi! Thank you. It's not as bad as I make out. Not for me anyway

    Robyn ~ Thanks! I don't smoke, so it's chocolate cigars, if you care to join me

    Sarah ~ Yup - chocolate ones...

    mo ~ These are top tips indeed! I can tell the voice of experience when I hear it

    Nat ~ We have them chipped, like puppies. Very handy

    Moooooog ~ I chickened out there, I'm not afraid to admit. I nearly fainted at the sound it made though. Yuck

  11. Um.....I knew there was a reason I skipped popping a watermelon out of my.....ahem...

    Very funny, UberUncle!

  12. My 2 children were scooped out of me. I had blissful, drug filled surgery for each kid.
    Now the pain I go through almost daily raising them (they're 4 and 2, yo - they KILL me daily!) - that's something to talk about.

  13. Oh, and Mo - Guinness is also supposedly 'good' for a nursing mom. Who cares what the media says - I've tried it. It's lovely.

  14. Thanks. Right, now how do I shut the bugger up? And remember I don't have the adequate feeding apparatus...

  15. Ah, this is where I should have been to cheer me up!

  16. Wow, 22 nieces and nephews... that's a lot of nepotism.

  17. good advice on the shoes. I just remember the floor of our delivery room being awash with something. Not sure what. But the head end isn't always the less messy end. I had a drip in my hand which came out and we didn't notice for a while. During that period of unattachedness my hand was pumping out blood like a home watering kit with a broken tap, and as I was waving it about I kind of sprayed the sheets, the walls, and hubby's face until the place looked akin to the opening screen of Criminal Minds.

  18. Ha ha...I remember why I stopped after no 1. Very funny read

  19. I think that rule #1 is crucial if you've chosen to film the birth and plan on showing the footage to other people. You're right, no one wants to see the business end of a birth, not even the mother.

  20. RefGeek ~ Ow! Double ow!

    MommaK ~ See? Americans are smart

    Tina ~ Glad to tickle

    Blissed-OG ~ Yup. It's a dynasty in the making. Now all I have to do is remember their names

    pixie ~ Ew! But yes, I've been there.

    Nota Bene ~ Welcome! Good planning

    Amber ~ We had a buddy who used to show those foilms all the time. Even to her kids

  21. Poor you.

  22. Poor you.

  23. You've been quoted!


  24. Think I'll keep taking the tablets.

    You haven't sold them to me.

  25. I too have endured physical childbirth three times. :)
    I must say your prose on the subject is quite delightful to read. #3 and #4 - are my favorites!

  26. Really good advice Grumpy. Will keep a copy for future reference!

  27. "Your job is to mop her fevered brow, and stare lovingly into her eyes, while she swears at you and tells you it's all your fault."

    This is good advice and will be true after the birth also.


    I think we're related!