Giving birth is not easy, and as a dad I know all about it. Now before you jump down my throat telling me that I have no idea what I am talking about. I am not here to tell you how my wife experiences giving birth but how I experienced my wife giving birth. Instead of explaining that, why don’t we dive in.
My wife told me that she thought that we should prepare to leave for the hospital. This didn’t really come as a surprise I remembered that she had mentioned being pregnant about nine months earlier. We had already packed a bag and I had ushered the other 4 children off to school already.
Now I would love to say that as a four time veteran of this experience I was cool and relaxed, but I still felt nervous.. My wife began trying to encourage the baby to come by showering and dancing, general normal things one does before birth.
I began to clean the house. I know, right? But to be fair (to me) we needed the house clean in order for us to leave. I’m not the one giving birth and I was slightly useless at this point. Once the house was clean, and she was ready to leave we calmly went to the car and drove off.
After arriving at the hospital my nerves dissapted, . Right?
There we met my wife’s sister in law who is our Doula.
Sidenote: When giving birth, I highly recommend getting a Doula. Accept that there is much you don’t know, both as a man and as a non medical professional, and get help. Personally, I believe that both my wife and myself benefited equally from her presence and guiding hands.
We went to talk to the doctor and had a pleasant conversation, well my wife had a pleasant conversation, I find that then and often I mix up the facts, and while I supported my wife she was the one calmly explaining to the doctor her medical past.
We soon walked to the labor room and the real fun began
We had a beautiful room, nice, clean, and quiet as we do natural births that would change soon enough. I began to organize the room, dim the lights, turn on the music, make the room comfortable, so that we could begin the process.
Yes, it’s a process, this is not the movies, babies take time! They are dirty and the entire process is not always pleasant. Sometimes when they come out babies aren’t all that pretty even (don’t tell anyone that I said that).
For the next few hours we encouraged my wife. Labor is not all pushing and pulling and screaming. Labor involves a nice amount of waiting involved as well. Waiting for the next contraction, waiting for the water to break, even waiting to pee. (I drink a lot of water and sometimes need to pee usually at the most inappropriate times). So, I whispered in her ear and stroked her hair until my back hurt from bending over, and I could feel bad for myself for a moment.
The hardest part about giving birth for me, is that there is nothing I can do to take away her pain. I encourage, massage her back, make sure that she has everything that she needs, but only she can do the actual pushing.
I stand there watching, being as much a part of it as I can, as she pushes and screams and pushes more.
Trials, tribulations, and true pain show us a deeper level of understanding of the people we know. I have been blown away by my wife’s mental and physical strength during every birth. It is amazing. Since I am not giving birth I can take a step back and truly look at her.
When the time came, I stood there holding back one of her legs as she pushed. She should have given up, she should have collapsed from the effort, but yet she persisted.
At the end of it all, we were left alone with our newborn, and I could feel raw emotions that surprised me. I am in love with my new baby, a new baby that she gave me. I am in love with my wife, the strongest person that I have ever known.
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