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The Nature of Men

August 20, 2014

kid's tea setI often joke with my wife about her speaking to me as if I were part of the female species. I pitch my voice high and make Venus-sounding comments to whatever she is talking about. She may be talking about her nail color, her hair style, her new steal from the discount rack at the fashion store. It’s always comical. I’m not entirely uninterested in her self-interested circle of life, just plainly less interested in her minutia and graphic details than a woman would be. She calls me Phyllis, and we sit down have a cup of tea, and talk about family, household management, floral arrangements, and the latest cooking fad. It’s all good, but really she does need more girlfriends. I sit down with the girl and eat her crumpets and drink her Kool-Aide because I love her.

Part of our lives have been tainted by a lack of intimacy with others. Several cross-country moves, a debilitating chronic illness, long commutes to work for me, and the stress of raising a family with four kids, plus the unexpected death of our daughter, Corban, three years ago has left us feeling as a couple quite isolated. This isolation draws us closer together, but still I’m a guy, and my circuitry is wired much differently from a woman’s.
Men at BirthChildbirth is a topic that brought us together to write Men at Birth. But what I’ve realized is that our book never really got much air time. It addresses an issue that puts men in the most awkward of places, and the psychology of that is all screwed up. See women want men to be women, and to nurture them. This is basically a failed part of men and women to know themselves. Men are not natural nurturing units. They can pantomime by giving back messages, running to get water and ice, say reassuring words, and all that bit, but they can’t become women where the internal wiring for providing childbirth support is part and parcel of their God-given mental programming.
In the book I write to men about something they can understand, and that is the importance of securing the birth location, establishing the perimeter and protecting their woman and their coming child. This is the schematic men have in their head. They are wing men at best flying close by to protect the cargo-carrying momma.
Yes humans can want to do a great deal of things that are unnatural. But asking men to be women psychologically is plainly stupid. Midwives and Doulas often tell me that they completely agree with my take on this. Women who drag their men into the birth room also reiterate this concept. They tell me how let down they were when their men didn’t perform as they desire.

 

“Unreasonable expectations tend to lead to  great disappoints.”

When women lose perspective about men, they lose touch with reality. When men lose perspective about themselves, they too aren’t able to cope. Men need help learning what they can do during childbirth,  pregnancy and the postpartum adjustment. They don’t need the detailed medical description of how bodies work in birth. Or the amazing way a woman’s brain is chemically in tune with a child’s development within her. They don’t need to be trained as pseudo nurtures. They do need to know what the consequences are of where they chose to birth the child, and how much of the medical establishment prefers for them to be ignorant of the risks involved with having their birth managed my modern technologically / invasive procedures (see the birth machine) that raise those risks. Men need to look into the results of doctors, midwives birth professionals, and the Birth Outcome Statistics of  the selected birth facility  to learn of their vaginal delivery and c/sec rates.  They need to understand the risk of cesarean section and to do what they can to protect their mate and prevent unnecessary traumatic birth experiences.  Sections are major  abdominal surgery that now is so commonplace, people expect it, but often it is unnecessary and at times downright dangerous!  Doctors often press to have birth’s induced to put births on their timeline, at the expense, emotionally, physically, and at times physically detrimental to both mother and child.

Some (professionals) I use that word loosely,  working in childbirth tell me that  men who are  informed about childbirth are in the way, and that they interfere, especially in the hospital, with the “way things are done.” These Birth Machine Model caretakers would prefer men to not be involved. They would prefer for men to wait in the lobby and hand out cigars.

So I advise men to choose how they want to be involved in their childbirth. I tell them that if their woman needs support they don’t feel able to give, that they should hire that help, available through the services of a Doula.  I’m not saying they can’t be at the birth, but they shouldn’t be put in a place where they will only get in the way and disappoint their mate. Men need to advocate for their partners preferences in childbirth even if that means the mother wishes to go it alone.  A dialog needs to exist between the Mother and Father of the Baby where each can share their needs and preferences as they plan for the birth of their child.  Our Book Men at Birth starts this dialog process with expectant couples.

Women you need to help your men to know that you don’t expect them to be women. You need to get women friends involved if you want added support. Birth is a very intimate and personal experience. Make sure you have the right support personnel at your birth.

colored band

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