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Birthing is hard, dad, really, really hard. It's okay if you're not woman enough to do it, but how about not woman enough to watch it?
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According to In Touch, Kanye West is so freaked out by gore that he won't be at Kim Kardashian's side (or, to be precise, her splayed feet) for the birth of their baby in July. "He won't physically be in the delivery room," a source near the Kardashians spilled to the magazine, "He's very squeamish and doesn't want to be around blood."
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Before we all circle round Yeezy doing a lively chicken dance, its important to remember that fathers being in the delivery room is a relatively new phenomenon. It was (and still is) ladies-only in most traditional cultures. In the highly medicalized birthing environment of the 1950s and 1960s, most American women were wheeled into a sterile operating room, subjected to an enema and full shave down below, and, often, knocked unconscious. When new mom awoke, an attendant "delivered" them a clean and swaddled baby, fresh from the nursery. Meanwhile, dads paced the waiting area and (at least according to the countless re-runs of 'I Love Lucy' and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' I watched as a child) passed out cigars. Only in the 1970s did hospitals start opening their labor room doors to dads. Nowadays, attendance is basically a given. According to Make Room For Daddy: The Journey From Waiting Room to Birthing Room by Judith Walzer Leavitt the number of fathers in the delivery grew from just five percent in the 1950s to more than 97 percent in the 1990s.
Around Mother's Day, a video surfaced of two guys strapped to devices that simulated labor pains, causing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of women across the country to chuckle knowingly at the agony these dudes were clearly not prepared for. You would think the mens' very life's breath was being tortured out of them, for all their carrying on. There are plenty of examples of women being physically tougher than men under grueling circumstances-swimming to Antarctica, running 140-plus miles in the Arizona heat, or, say, squeezing other humans out of narrow bodily orifices.
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While witnessing their child's arrival into the world is, for many men, one the most glorious moments of their lives, for others, it's a horror show. Writing for the New York Times, Keith Abalow, M.D. described how one of his psychiatric patients, whom he called Josh, experienced symptoms similar to post traumatic stress disorder after seeing his wife labor in pain and then finally undergo a c-section. Speaking with other male patients, he discovered that a significant number had trouble relating to their wives sexually after witnessing them giving birth. Apparently, many dads-to-be weren't always prepared for the miracle of birth�that's to say, a bloody head emerging from their partners' vaginas. Some doctors have argued that having a nervous father around is no good for the woman, either.
It's not about insisting all men attend the birth of their child or banning all men them from the labor room. Most men do just fine and their partners find it hugely comforting to have them there, but maybe it's not for every guy or every woman in labor. In Kanye's case, he still has weeks to decide whether he can cope with the event (meanwhile, other sources say that a friend of Kardashian is refuting the rumor). And, if he doesn't make it? No worries- if he has any regrets later on, he can watch it again�and again�and again on TV.