As of today there have been 17 comments on my original "labor coach" post. The comments have been very revealing and underscore my contention that labeling us as "coaches" is a complete misnomer. The majority of your comments show that both husbands and wives are shying away from the whole "coach" title as witnessed by the 14 alternatives that have been suggested thus far:
- Assistant NBA Coach
- Bat Boy
- Ball Boy
- Water Boy
- Sweat Mopper
- NFLNBAMLB Coach
- Yes Man
- Boxing Trainer
- Boxing Corner Man
- Secret Service
- Anxious Fan
- Jack Nicholson
- Something to Touch
- Coach's Best Friend
3) Something to Touch (Submitted by Jami): I think the NMW and I had some sort of physical contact during every contraction, so my wife probably agrees when Jami said, "I must be able to touch him at all times" during labor. The NMW seemed to prefer something as simple as a hand to hold while her contractions came and went. A hand to squeeze seemed to help her more than any of the "Good jobs", "'Atta boys", or "Breathe! Breathe! Breathe's!" that I could have offered during labor. I wonder if a heated, stiff corn bag would have the same effect if we ever have baby #4.........
2) Boxing Corner Man (Submitted by Jeremy): How many of you immediately thought of Rocky's Trainer, Mick, when Jeremy mentioned that he feels more like a boxing corner man? In his own words, "I give suggestions from ringside, 'Slip the jab. Circle! Get you hands up.' In between rounds I towel her off, offer more suggestions and keep her loose." Perhaps the most famous scene from Rocky is when he goes to the corner with a huge swelling around his eye and says, "Cut me, Mick". Mick dutifully whips a razor blade out of his bag and cuts Rocky's eye open. I'm not saying that a husband should perform the C-section or anything, but it appears that our wives want us to be just as subservient as Mick was in that moment.
1) Sweat-Mopper-Upper (Submitted by Lindsey): As a kid I used to envy the teen-agers who would frantically mop the sweat off the the floor at Jazz games after Mark Eaton or other large, sweaty men would fall down in the lane. Big Mark and his 7'4" body use to leave so much perspiration on the floor that a man once caught a 9-lb. bass in one of Eaton's sweat puddles. The role of the sweat-mopper-upper is a good model for husbands during labor for three reasons: 1) He keeps his job simple. 2) He plays an important role in ensuring peoples' safety. 3) He stays behind-the-scenes and only emerges when absolutely needed. This seems to be exactly what women want - a husband who keeps it low key, is pretty hands-off, and gets the job done just the way she wants it done.
The Sweat-Mopper-Upper role illustrates the disconnect between men and women in the poll results. Did anybody else notice the obvious "Men are from Mars and Women are From Venus" subplot involving the MLB manager method of coaching? If not, here it is:
-Guys: What type of labor coach are you? Number one answer was MLB manager with 50% of the vote.
-Ladies: Which type of coach do you wish your husband was? Last place was MLB manager with a whopping 0% of the vote. (That's right, MLB manager received 0 of 24 votes).
In other words, the style that most husbands tend to use is the same style that most women find least desirable. I guess shows like Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, and 'Till Death have been right all along - men and women are very, very different. Who knew?
So guys, if we learned anything from this post is is this - Mark Eaton is really, really sweaty. I guess the second lesson is that we need to give our wives a little bit of space during labor while we immediately fulfill all requests for ice chips, Sprite, pillows, blankets and medications.
Just don't call yourself a coach while you do it.