If you are about to become a father for the first time, this is what you need to know before you get into the overwhelming experience of child birth.
Nobody warns you, but the average labor for first time mothers lasts from 15 to 16 hours.
You could spend that time reading hospital pamphlets about dilations and middle ear problems, or you could dip into your carefully packed bag games and other light distractions.
You will be amazed at how a simple game can
bring you and your partner together while keeping your minds off the hours of active labor that are just around the corner.
Remember when you pledged to stay with your partner in sickness and health and in good and bad times? Here's your chance to prove it.
You can offer her water as often as possible, reassure her through the pain and encourage her with each and every contraction and push. You may also be called upon to be her advocate in the event of an emergency.
Keep snide remarks to yourself
You may be the funniest guy in the world, but your partner will not find anything humorous when she is in the pain if delivery.
If your first instinct is to compare her pain to one of your old football injuries, you are probably not cut out to be a father.
Don't take her insults personally
Pregnancy can bring out the best in a woman, but childbirth often brings out her worst. Odds are your spouse will scream at you, blame you for knocking her up, and even rue the day you ever met.
If her labor goes on long enough, you may also her utter swear words. It is important to understand that your partner is under an exceptional physical and emotional strain and her words are not a true reflection of how she really feels about you. Well, most of them, anyhow.
Tag someone else in
Some deliveries can take over 32 hours, with long stretches of time with little or no activity. If you are experiencing one of these lulls, you may want to briefly trade places with a family member in the waiting room.
You will return fresher and more energized and your partner will appreciate having another friendly face to support and encourage her.