The Stuff They Don’t Tell You About Childbirth

The beautiful, life-changing experience of childbirth is actually disgusting, and if the father is not prepared, he could be very shocked and surprised with the gory details. Drew Magary enlightens us.

Back in 2006, Drew Magary chronicled his early days as a father on his blog, Father Knows Shit. For the next few weeks, we’ll be reposting some of Drew’s best posts from FKS. You will be offended by these posts. You will laugh your ass off. And maybe—well, probably not—you’ll even learn something. Enjoy.

Mrs. Drew is now four days past her due date. How’s her mental state? Picture the guy from “Alien” who has the alien coming out of his chest, only he’s been told in advance the alien was going to pop out, only then to find out the date set for it to happen was completely and utterly arbitrary. She is aggravated, to say the very least.

Anyway, since my execution has been stayed yet another day, I thought I’d enlighten you on some facts about childbirth and pregnancy you may not have known about:

  • It is quite common for a woman giving birth to eviscerate her bowels on the birthing table during labor. When I’m in that delivery room, I’ll have my eyes shut as tight as Indiana Jones’ when they finally opened the Ark.
  • Breastfeeding can cause mothers to become sexually aroused. Doctors say this is normal. Then again, doctors tell you anything is normal to make you feel better. “Oh, you drove a nail through your penis? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that happen this week!” Seriously, the psychological ramifications of this fact are so sick and disturbing, I’d rather not think about it. Let’s move on quickly.
  • The umbilical cord, traditionally cut by the father, is not some simple string you cut, like at the grand opening of a deli. It’s up to half-an-inch thick, with a large artery and a large vein. Cutting it requires “chewing” through it with a pair of scissors. Some men end up not wanting to do it. I’m going through it with a butter knife.
  • The actual pushing out of a baby doesn’t take very long, sometimes only half-an-hour. The longer part comes beforehand, when the woman needs to have hundreds of contractions to clear enough room for the kid to come out. This part, apparently, consists of about 8 to 20 hours of total anguish. My job during that time is to eat Chex Mix and ask if her if she’s “all right” 8,000 times.
  • Babies born early are completely covered in a white, mucus-like substance that protects their skin and makes them look like a prop creature from the movie Ghoulies. Thank God our baby’s late.
  • Babies can’t drink water. Or swallow air. Pussies.
  • Most babies are born with their eyesight so underdeveloped, they can only see immediately what’s right in front of them. Namely, titties.
  • A baby’s cry can reach 115 decibels. This is louder than a car horn, a power saw, a leaf blower, a rock concert, a moving subway, a motorcycle, a power drill, or a tractor. Shoot me now.
  • To soothe a baby’s crying, you have to expose them to noises LOUDER than the sound of their own cries. Did you shoot me yet? Shoot me again, and finish the job this time.
  • Labor can start days, or even weeks before the baby is actually born. Shoot Mrs. Drew while you’re at it.
  • Some men experience the same weight gain their wives go through during pregnancy. This is called Sympathy Weight. I call it Pussy Flab.
  • Some women grow a full foot size from pregnancy. If you’re an Irish Catholic woman, that means you better start trying on clown shoes.
  • Pregnant women, before giving birth, have to pass something called the “mucus plug.” It’s a bloody piece of snot that corks up the woman’s uterus during pregnancy. I just tasted my own bile.
  • Some pregnant women get a thick, visible black vein running down the middle of their stomachs that never goes away. Mrs. Drew never got this. My deal with Satan is ironclad.
  • Sex apparently brings on labor. Which sounds great, until you encounter the logistical difficulties of having sex at this stage of pregnancy. I’ve had an easier time putting together furniture from Ikea.
  • Pregnant women cannot: drink, smoke, do drugs, or eat sushi. Which makes them all just like those creepy people who live in Utah.

They don’t tell you this crap before you decide to have children. Largely because there would be no children if they did.

This post originally appeared here.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin, NBC, Maxim and Kissing Suzy Kolber—a humor site dedicated to the NFL. The Postmortal, now out from Penguin, is his first novel. You can follow Drew on Twitter.

Photo Raphael Goetter/Flickr


  1. open her pussy hole,how get chield

  2. The guy who wrote this is such a douche. Doesn’t deserve his wife or the baby.

  3. One correction for drew…the dark line on the belly does go away..yes it is the least of our worries but still clarification was needed. My only advice to men about child birth and pregnancy and what to expect is this: be supportive of emotional highs and lows, and realize that after a woman has given birth know that she can feel transformed in her spirit or completely depressed. If you focus more on what an amazing miracle happened over the past 40+ weeks such as all body parts..and vital organs..and life being created in the womb of the woman then all the “gross” issues fall by the waste side and you can be grateful for what her body just did. Grow up fast because while she was incubating this wonderful miracle she was also prepping to become a mom..while you ate chips on the coach gaining sympathy weight she was having a mommy to be moment 24/7. Get over your stupid jokes about how grossed out you got or how you can some how make a funny joke about the physical, emotional and spiritual event that took almost a year to come full circle. I love men, but the surface level comprehension that some of you have is so disappointing sometimes..You got to dig a little deeper boys and embrace life on this very REAL level!

    • I’ve always thought that if men got pregnant and had babies, it would be considered a heroic experience.

      I remember when Gloria Steinem wrote a hilarious piece, “If Men Could Menstruate.” She made a very good case that considering how male chauvinistic our society is, if men could menstruate and women couldn’t, it would be considered a sign of male superiority.

  4. I’m a woman and I think many aspects of pregnancy and childbirth are gross. But I don’t have kids. Once you have kids, these kind of extreme bodily functions seem normal, I guess. The first time my sister called me up to tell me about her baby’s large bowel movement (she found it fascinating, and wanted to share the experience), I knew I was not cut out for motherhood. 🙂 Frankly, childbirth seems pretty terrifying to me! But I admire everyone who goes through it.

  5. Drew… I think your the pussy. 😉

  6. As a lady who’s given birth, I’ve gotta say it: this piece is pretty lame and inaccurate. If you want be a thirteen-year-old about pregnancy and childbirth, then, yeah, go ahead and call it “gross.” But spare me all the sexist language and machismo. I’m honestly a little embarrassed that this piece was featured on The Good Men Project.

  7. Of course, childbirth is beautiful, difficult, heroic, and messy. I’m distressed by all the sexist language and anti-feminist sentiments. I cringed at statements like ‘Mrs Drew’, ‘I’m glad my wife had my child’ (hey,, it’s her child, too), and ‘there is a balance that both MRAs and feminists forget.’

  8. I seriously fear childbirth. Enough to make me unsure of whether I wanna have kids even though I totally love them.

  9. My wife had to have a C-section because the kid’s head was too big. Yes! So, none of that horrible stuff Drew recounted, except a little labor-induced vomiting. And, I got to peak over the curtain during delivery and see her insides all laid out on her. It was horrifying, yet totally awesome.

    • Goodness, the thought of being cut open with a knife certainly sounds horrifying to me. Childbirth is a normal body process, getting chopped open with a knife isn’t normal at all and I think that I would probably throw up at the sight of such thing.
      My biggest fear with my births was that I would end up in a hospital with needles stuck in my arms and then a C section. Thankfully, I had both kids at home, quiet, peaceful, safe and my husband and midwife was there the whole time. I Couldn’t have asked for more and the hospital was nearby if I needed to transfer for an emergency. (That is what hospitals are supposed to be there for) Childbirth is not a disease nor an abnormal situation.

  10. You forgot the delivery of the placenta. That was by far the worst part of the childbirth experience. While my wife delivered after only 10 minutes of pushing, it took half an hour to deliver the afterbirth and placenta. And I wasn’t aware the doctor has to examine it for abnormalities either. That was a sight I can never unsee.

    But overall, I was glad I was there and watching. It is beautiful in its own way, but it’s also horrifying disgusting in many others.

    • There’s a simple and practical trick to avoiding being on hand for the afterbirth part: Stay with the baby. Wherever they take the baby (to get cleaned up, measured, weighed, and checked for this, that, and the other), you go.

      Not that hospitals get babies mixed up a lot but it has happened. So, I see it as a practical chain of custody issue; a good reason to not be on hand for the post birth clean-up.

      • Non-Eric M. says:

        Hah. We’re learning a great deal about Eric. Paranoia is one of these characteristics. He’s worried his wife will think he is turned off by his stretch marks, and he’s worried the hospital will lose his kid. Pretty funny.

        • I value both my wife and children. I wouldn’t expect you to understand that.

          • And here we have Eric acting as if he’s morally superior and somehow unique by declaring that he cares for his wife and child. Because, well, nobody else does quite like he does.

  11. haha, looks like Eric M was commenting with his wife over his shoulder.

    • Actually, no. But I have told her that many times. I get points every time.

      If your wife has or ends up with post baby strechmarks she can’t seem to get rid of, try it. I guarantee you will get major points.

      • I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Eric M doesn’t have any male friends.

        • Yeah, you’re waaaaay out there.

          I have hundreds of male friends. Not acquaintances. Friends. Guys, young and old that consider me a very good friend. Literally.

          And I’ve got hundreds of female friends that consider me a very good friend. Literally. There’s a balance to life that MRA’s and feminists don’t get.

          • Non-Eric M. says:

            When someone says they have “hundreds” of friends, and also pair that with a clear lack of a sense of humor, what they’re really saying is that 200 people have agreed to be Facebook Friends with him but only his hen pecking wife will actually have a beer with him. When she’s not giving birth to his babies or slathering on cocoa butter to get rid of the disfiguring stretch marks he so lovingly reminds her about every day.

  12. Eric…come on dude. Chill a little. If you mistake this for something other than humorous venting from Drew, you take yourself too seriously. And your beautiful reminder…stretchmarks…hahahahaha. That’s funny too. Oh, you were serious? Hahaha. That’s funny too.

    Good Man needs to be careful not to be Smug Man or Man Without Humor or Perspective.

    Sanctimonious indeed.

  13. Good Lord, you can be a Good Man and still think that some of this stuff is disgusting. If it makes you feel better, I don’t want to see any of these things happening with anybody’s body, man or woman, regardless of the alleged “beauty of life.” How sanctimonious can you possibly get?

  14. To sum this up: Exaggerations, inaccuracies, and hysteria.

    Childbirth is a beautiful thing, but it ain’t pretty.

    The fact that it is your child being born, coming from your wife makes all the not so pretty stuff pretty much irrelevant.

    • One more thing. I will eternally be grateful to my wife for making the needed physical sacrifices to give birth to my daughters.

      I love the few post-pregnancy tummy stretchmarks she still has. To me, they aren’t just stretchmarks; they are a beautiful reminder of the loving sacrifices she was willing to make for our children.

      I don’t think it’s any easier to BE a father than it is to be a mother, but it’s definitely easier to become one.

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