Poker Face

Mabel’s birth wasn’t pretty.  There was vomit and poop, amniotic fluid and catheters, lots of needles and blood, then the whole ‘uterus removed from the body to be sutured’ bit.  Did I mention there was a lot of blood?  Like enough for a bloodbath scene from a horror movie?

Yeah, so Mabel’s birth wasn’t pretty.

My husband, Mac, was privy to it ALL.

While I admit that I wasn’t always fully aware of my surroundings, Mac maintained his composure (at least around me) for the entire ordeal.

Well, he was a little shaken up by the bloodbath scene the first time I got out of bed 8 hours post-C-section.  It was clear that what was running through his head as it happened was, “Holy crap my wife is bleeding to death!”  However, that was understandable since I too was perplexed and unprepared for it as well.  Had it not been for the nonplussed reaction of the nurse, I might have worried about my own imminent death as well, instead of just wondering if/how they could clean it all up before my in laws came to meet the baby.  (I’m no neat freak when it comes to my lovely mother in law, but nobody wants their in laws leap-frogging over pools of their blood.  Right?)

So given my husband’s world class poker face despite all he witnessed, I laughed out loud when I come across the Universal Birth Reaction Assessment Tool on How to be a Dad.

Source: How to be a Dad

While Mac passes out quite readily when he gets a shot or IV placed, he appeared unaffected when it happened to me, or my actual spinal column.

Through the whole birth and recovery, I’d say the worst he got on the Expression/Grimace Scale was “Whoa!”  Except for the bloodbath which was something more like a “Aaaahhhh!”

Now, as I said, I’m pretty sure he had a great poker face.  From our talks about the birth since it happened, I’m pretty sure he had moments that scored a 10/ “Ngaaaa!” on the Birth Reaction Scale (like when he caught a glimpse of my disembodied uterus in the operating room).  However, he never let on that he was feeling anything more than a 2 or 3.

He was an excellent birth partner.

As we get closer and closer to welcoming Nemo (baby #2, baby brother) we’ve been talking more about Mabel’s birth.  How it happened, how we felt, how I coped with the labor, what worked, what didn’t, what I most appreciated, what we want to do different.  The talks are enlightening at times.  Mac remembers details and hours of time that are completely absent from my memory.  I know that helping me through the labor was hard for Mac- it’s hard to watch someone you love in pain and not be able to stop it.  I hope that him hearing me say how much of a help and support he was to me, how much I needed him, how safe I felt knowing he was there, and how he came through for me, will be valuable for the second go-around.

I’m also looking forward to him reading this post and telling me what his reactions really were and how little his face revealed.


Filed under pregnancy, Wife

3 responses to “Poker Face

  1. Pingback: He’s (finally) here! | mommacommaphd

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  3. Pingback: The Transition to New Motherhood | mommacommaphd

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