Not because I didn't necessarily want to share my experience of birthing my first child, but because I didn't believe it when women said that they can barely remember the details of labor, because the emotion following the event eclipses it so thoroughly.
Well. The days and weeks following the birth of our daughter were so fresh (nightmarish?) in my mind that I found myself thinking "maybe we really DO only want one child!" The 60+ hour marathon was so unbelievably exhausting, intense, and emotionally draining that I refused to believe that I would EVER forget even the smallest detail.
But mysteriously enough, the details of the day ARE starting to fade. I guess it's not surprising, the Bible even references it:
—your wife is always. ALWAYS. More tired.
I was MADE for this!" I even haughtily thought "I'm so much tougher than all those other women! This seriously isn't that bad."
Do some research to make your wife's recovery easier.
Had my husband or I known beforehand little facts, like how painkillers make you constipated, the first few post-partum days may have not been so horrific.
Alas, I was unaware.
I won't go into details, because I don't want the dudes to faint, but you can probably use your imagination to visualize what may happen when... let's say... things aren't wanting to move down there. And you have half a dozen stitches in your nether regions from pushing an 8.5 lb baby through the birth canal. I'll give you a hint: the stitches don't stay in.
Even if I had known, I don't think I was in any state of mind to remember to do anything (like eat. Or sleep. Or take some Miralax).
As a grateful husband, make it your priority to do this research for your wife.
Support her and encourage her in breastfeeding.
Tell her she's beautiful and amazing and how proud you are of her.
My husband may have been unaware of the effects of certain prescriptions on the human body, but he pretty much knocked everything else out of the park.
Announce the sex of the baby
My husband and I decided not to find out whether we were having a boy or girl thanks to some awesome advice from Randy's cousin; much to the chagrin of family and friends. And after pushing for over and an hour and a half, screaming and moaning through the pain (in positions any contortionist would be impressed by); at one point I believe Natalie shouted at me "control yourself!" or possibly, "stay in control!"), Randy glanced in between my legs at the insistence of the midwife, and said he saw a head full of hair.
With a thrill of anticipation and a rush of adrenaline unlike anything I had ever felt, I gave a final push and heard the cry of our newborn baby. The baby was placed on my tummy and the midwife asked "well, dad?? What do we have??"
He said with the biggest grin on his face I've ever seen "It's a girl!"
I'll never forget those words, or how he said them, in my entire life. However much of that day was a total blur, I will always remember how I felt at that moment.
You did a great job, dad.