Dutch Men Simulate Labor Pains — Translated!

by Debbie Stoller

Dennis Storm and Valerio Zena, the hosts of a Dutch TV show called “Guinea Pigs,” have done lots of crazy things before, including eating bits of each other’s flesh. But in this episode, the men wanted to have the chance to experience what women go through during labor–and boy did they ever. With electrodes on their stomach simulating contractions, which got stronger over time, and a labor that was scheduled to last two hours, the men laughed, screamed, and breathed their way through the pain. Were they man enough to go through childbirth? Watch the video and find out. Although you can pretty much get the gist of what’s going on here, I’ve translated it for you so you can get every last drop.

Dennis: The pain of childbirth is the very worst pain of all, if we are to believe women.
But we men, according to women, would never be able to take that sort of pain, and we can never experience it. But we would really, really like to.
Valerio: That’s why we’ve made an appointment with Ilona at the birthing house in Amsterdam. I’m curious!

D: Breathe in, breathe out.

V: Inside, we are greeted by Ilona, a midwife who will be our support during the birth, while physiotherapist Kim will be administering to us via electroshock.

Kim: What we are going to try is, via electricity, to simulate the pain of labor. So what you are now going to get is a shock through which you will feel strong pressure on the stomach, to stimulate contractions, and also a lot of pain.
D: In a nutshell, you are going to be giving us electric shock for two hours.

Kim: Well, we’re going to simulate labor for two hours, and during specific periods in those two hours, via electric shock, you’ll experience something like contractions.
D: Do you think we’re really going to start screaming from the pain?

Kim: Yes, you’re definitely going to be screaming from the pain.

V: Whoa, “definitely” even!

Kim: Okay, lift your shirt up a bit, so I can put these electrodes on your abs.

V: Well, you’re going to have to search for those! You know what? I already don’t like this.

Kim: WIt’s stressful.

V: Well, once I had an electrode on my arm, and as long as I live I will never forget how painful that was.

Kim: Well, in order to know what childbirth feels like for a woman, you’re going to have to go through it. Okay, you’re all set up now, you have 4 electrodes on your stomach, so you’ll be receiving shock both at the top and at the bottom.
Dennis: Ooh, that looks pretty painful! Do we have to lie down the entire time or can we…

Kim: No, you can go ahead and move, and walk–we can go everywhere with these electrodes.

V: I might have to hold your hand halfway through this.

D: That’s fine. Do you also have such a low electrode?

V: Yes, I even have a fifth one!
D: (Laughs) Yeah, right, just for fun.

V: Ow!

D: Did that hurt?

V: Yeah, she just turned it on and I already felt a little bit of something, and I really didn’t like it.

Ow! Oh yeah, again. Oh god, no.

D: You’re making me nervous!

Ilona: You should already start relaxing, let yourself sink into the bed…

V: Oh no, I’m not relaxed anymore!

D: I just saw him jump this high in the bed. I’m also not relaxed anymore. That shock that he just got, what percent is that of the maximum?

Kim: That was about a 2-3, because the final labor that you’re going to…

D: So it’s going to be 33 times as bad?

Kim: Yup.

D: Laughs

Kim: Okay guys, these are both set to two hours, so we are going to simulate labor for two hours.
D: Yup.

Kim: Are you guys ready for it?

D: Yeah.

V: No, I’m not yet.

Kim: Okay, well, I’m just going to gently begin by turning on the machine…Okay, now yours is on.

V: Mine too, right?

K: No, yours is off, I just turned it off.

V: Sheesh.

K: Okay, now I’m going to turn yours on.

I: Okay, quiet, quiet.

V: You know, this feels like like when you’re going up a rollercoaster and you start thinking, “I want to get out!”

I: Just keep breathing, don’t think about your stomach..

V: Yeah, sure! I’ve already been lying here forthe past fifteen minutes with my butt clenched tight!

I: And just try…and…let…it..happen…

V: Oh no, oh no, this is a horrible feeling! (laughs)

I: Can you tell me what you’re feeling right now?

V: Well I feel…oh, no man…

(breathing in and out, loudly)

Ugh, I feel like barbed wire is being pushed into my stomach. Oh Jesus Christ, ow, my body is just being pulled up, man.
I: Breathe in through your nose.


D: Oh, look at how it just runs through you, man.

I: I can see that you are immediately in that fighting mode of, “I don’t want this!”–so just forget it, okay, otherwise it’s not going to work. You have to accept it. The most important thing, with pain that you have to withstand anyway, and it is difficult, is to just accept it. So try not to fight it.
Okay i think that we slowly have to go towards full on contractions, so that they are really motivated to want to try and concentrate, because contractions aren’t something to laugh about…

V: No, belive me, I’m not having fun….

I: Well, I don’t think the shock is set high enough.

Okay, breath in through your nose.
V: Ow, ow!

I: Okay, just take hold of the pain–you can take it, you can take it, you can take it. Just go with it. Visualize it as a sort of wave …accept it, accept it,
D: C’mon little man!

V: Shut up, Dennis!

I: Concentrate on a point, find a point — concentrate…

V: Ahhhhh!!!! Oh, Jesus!

I: Okay, good, good, you can take it, soon it will pass…

D: This is the most fun day of my entire life! (laughs)

I: Okay, it’s slowly subsiding…

V: Wait, stop, I have to speak for a moment. There are a couple of things that I just can’t do.You say focus on a point, I’m lying here looking at a white ceiling, there’s nothing to focus on!

I: Well, you always see something…you can look at a lamp, or you can look at him..

D: Yeah, look at me! That’s a good idea!

V: Okau, really, without joking Dennis,

D: Okay, yeah,

V: I get completely crazy when I think that this is going to last for 2 hours. I just can’t get that through my head.

Woman adjusts machine.
V: Okay, here it comes again.

Dennis huffing and puffing..

Laughing…Yelling…”Oh, man, Oh man.

I: Lie on your side, go and lie on your side, that can help sometimes.

V: No, I’m really scared! I’m really, really scared!

D: Ha! Why don’t you go sit on your hands and knees!

V: I’ll put a ball in my mouth if I have to, Dennis!

Ow, it’s coming back!
I: Breathe, breathe…good, good, that’s it! Okay, try to keep it up…

V: Ow!

I: Keep it up, keep it up..

V: Oh Dennis! Owww! OWWWWw! Oh my god! Ha ha, owwww ha ha ha…it sounds like laughter but it isn’t! Ahh…Oh, sigh,
I: Okay, just release everything now…you did really good. Was it better, lying on your side? I think it was…

V: Yeah, it’s better.

I: So you can see that your position can have a real influence in the pain..

Valerio screaming..heavy breathing

Dennis on hands and knees screaming.

V: Oh my god, it’s coming, it’s coming..

I: Be calm, be calm…

V: Be calm??!! Owwwww

I: Relax, relax…

V: Oh, that one was really, really excruciatingly painful! More than the one before..

I: Yes, but you’re much better at taking it on now…

V: I really don’t know if I can do this any longer…I swear. It looks like I have it under control, but that last one, that was really..I’m really in a mind to start crying now, you know? Because…how long have we been busy with this?

Kim:: One hour and 5 minutes. So you’re more than halfway through.

I: But really, I still want to try every trick in the book, like I normally  do with a woman, to think, come on, i’m going to help you through this, but I won’t go over your pain threshold.  I think we should continue with the contractions, but I so think we need to get some laughing gas for you because that will definitely make you relax.
Valerio takeslLaughing gas.

Okay, gently breathe in and out.

V: Oh, I want to do this at home, too.

I: Yeah, i’ve heard that before.

Dennis screaming, curled over pillow.
D: AHHHH! Jesus! !
I: Just keep breathing Valerio. Very good, very good. And it’s already subsiding. It’s  subsiding…

V: No, I really don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t. I don’t want it.
I: Well, I’m still proud of you.
(Valerio in voice over:) Yeah, well, I’m really sorry about it, but I quit, so it’s up to Dennis to finish the birth.
Dennis yells into pillow. Screams. Crawls onto bed.

I: You know, it looks like a woman who’s having a baby. Really.

Dennis yells and screams and falls off bed.

(Valerio in voice over) And then, after two hours, the moment is finally here…the birth!

I: Dennis, here’s your daughter.

D: My daughter? Hi there!

I: Hold her with two hands..

D: Oh yeah, of course, I knew that.

I: Congratulations. Well done!

Valerio brings in rusks with white and pink candied fennel seeds, a traditional Dutch treat for celebrating when a new baby is born.
D: Oh, give me a kiss! You have your father’s hair!

Well, I thought it was a fantastic experience. Seriously. Yeah, I really though it was cool.
V: Well, I’m glad that we still have something to celebrate because I really found it to be torture. And I really don’t know anymore if I’ll ever  dare to get my wife pregnant…

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