We’ve all heard people say that if men rather than women had to give birth to a child the human race would have died out long ago.
I wouldn’t go that far but I think if men had to go through the excruciating pain that millions of women go through every year to bring a new life into the world, there would be three scenarios.
Firstly the world’s population would be a lot less than the current seven billion – going through that pain once would be enough.
Secondly there would be more one-child families – again going through that pain once would be enough.
Thirdly there would be a major shortage of pain relief used in labour such as pethidine injections and epidurals.
Going through that pain even once would be too much.
I’d love to brag about how us men would be able to go through labour with ease while playing Angry Birds on our smartphones, but that would be a big fat lie.
I watched both my daughters being born and as someone whose whole body is consumed with pain when I stub my toe, I know I couldn’t do it.
Well not without high doses of every bit of pain relief that’s available.
Recently in China, some brave male volunteers were hooked up to machines that would give them that same painful feeling that women get during childbirth and it was all filmed for a television programme.
The challenge consisted of 10 levels of pain experienced by women, ranging from 50 to 500, and while electric shocks were being pushed into the abdomen of the male volunteers they could stop the pain at any time.
It didn’t take long for one of the men to give up. The level of pain had only reached 100 but that was enough for him.
Another did go all the way and took all the pain that was thrown at him. Impressive you might think.
Well if I tell you the simulated pain only lasted for a maximum of 30 seconds you might think differently, especially when real childbirth can last for more than 24 hours.
But I’m impressed, I wouldn’t have lasted three seconds, let alone 30.
One thing that all the volunteers did agree on was that they had a new admiration and respect for all mothers, as I did after witnessing both my daughters being born.
So whenever I get out of bed and stub my toe on the corner of the door and pain shoots up my leg taking over my entire body, I’ll think back to when my daughters were born and remember what my partner Serena went through.
I’ll also close the door before I scream.