5. And to make it harder, when something does finally happen, no one tells you when to go to the hospital.
Having a contraction doesn’t mean you’re in labour. Waters breaking? Nope, still not in labour. If you go to the hospital at this point, they will send you right back out the door. Lots of strong contractions (three in 10 minutes that last at least 60 seconds), then, yes, get yourself to hospital unless you want to deliver a baby on your kitchen floor.
9. But before long you are forced to watch the woman you love in the most excruciating pain. Which isn’t very enjoyable to say the least.
Contractions start as little, manageable bursts but then get longer and stronger. And, it would seem, somewhat less manageable.
14. You may or may not, amid the chaos, remark that the gas and air your partner uses to help with the pain lowers her voice, making her sound not unlike Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters II.
16. Things can progress very quickly. When’s it time to meet your baby you have to enter The Birthing Room. Your first thought: “What the HELL are all those machines for?”
Also, in the case of some kind of medical intervention: “WTF are all these people doing in here?!”
17. THE BABY IS COMING! DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT DON’T FAINT.
But don’t worry, if you do faint (hardly anyone does), the midwives will just put a pillow on the floor for you and get on with the job in hand.
21. At this point, your partner is being stitched up - quite literally - by doctors. When we said recently “don’t Google episiotomy” if you’re squeamish or you’re not fully prepared to have kids, we really meant it.
You don’t have to watch this bit. You can look after the baby.