This man may have had the best intentions, but his declaration of love throughout his wife’s two day labour has not been positively received.
The internet is full of cute stuff. For example, the woman who rescued a puppy from a ditch on her way to work, or the little girl and her mum who recreated the best Golden Globes outfits using household items. So, we can see why a father-to-be from the US assumed that his Love Actually-style stunt, filmed while his wife was in labour, would go down well.
The video shows a man standing by the bedside of a woman in hospital. Her exposed, very pregnant stomach is in the foreground, with her face out of sight from the camera.
Reminiscent of the famous ‘pretend it’s carol singers’ scene in Love Actually, where Mark (Andrew Lincoln) holds up a series of signs that tell his best friend’s new wife what he loves about her, the father-to-be flips through a printed booklet about their relationship so far.
He starts by describing how they first met almost 10 years prior, when they were “just kids in college who took a chance on each other.”
He continues to tell her that he’s always been her “biggest fan” and praises their relationship for being full of “prayer and patience,” noting that although there’s been “rough times” and a lost pregnancy, there’s no test that they can’t overcome together.
So far, so cute. But although this performance was, we’re sure, well meant, women on social media (most of whom do have experience with childbirth) have expressed their horror that he chose to do this at such a painful, stressful time.
Caitlin Moran has led the charge, slating the video for picking the wrong moment and urging birthing partners to “read the room.”
“Imagine if a woman did this while a man did something VAGUELY comparable, like ‘having the shits’, or ‘puking his guts out with e coli,‘“she writes on Twitter. “READ THE ROOM.”
And boy, are the rest of Twitter with her. Radio presenter and DJ, Sarah Cox, replied to say, “I only managed 30 seconds, the noise of the pages being awkwardly turned and his beatific face drove me mad and I’m not even in labour, I’m eating sweet potato wedges listening to Jeremy Vine.”
Another woman commented: “I had a home birth with no midwife. Between contractions I cunningly thought up ruses to get my husband OUT OF THE ROOM. ‘Darling I must have strawberries. Can you get the tent out of the loft? I think I hear the firstborn crying! Oh look - an eagle!’”
One Twitter user thought the man in the video was being rather narcissistic, writing: “Me..me..me … What is his problem?? I nearly killed my ex husband during labour three; he kept reading me clues from the Telegraph cryptic crossword…”
As did this Tweeter, who said: “I’m no expert, but, seriously? Just knocked that together spontaneously during her two day labour to ‘help’ her did he? With not a thought about internet fame? Even the camera set up – all about him – only the ‘important part’ of the woman doing all the work is in view. Nope.”
In fact, even some fathers started joining in…
For any men or birthing partners reading, it seems that the general consensus from women who have actually given birth is that there are much more helpful things you can be doing in this time than holding some cue cards. Just saying…
Images: Getty / Twitter