This week Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute starts again and the focus is on all the Daddies.
Birth and labour is such a personal story, and despite many similarities between them, no two labours are ever the same. In the mist of pregnancy, baby product buying and antenatal classes, as ‘Mother’s to Be’ we get a real sense for what we want, and obviously having to ‘do’ the labour part, get a real involvement in the experience. However the Daddies are there too and how often do we really think about what they want, think and feel? To be honest it never really crossed my mind, as I was so preoccupied with what ‘my needs’ were.
So I ask him today? My children are 3 and 2 and I asked him today! Obviously at the time I asked him all the crucial questions like ‘Was he proud?’, ‘Was I brave?” and ‘Did I poo?’, again all focused around me, but not once, ‘What did you think?”, or ‘Are you ok?” I am officially a terrible wife.
My husband decided to write down some notes and so I am going to convey these to you. I shall divide his thoughts between Noah’s birth and the Twin’s birth.
Hubby was by my side every step of the pregnancy – I suffered from morning sickness and he kept me supplied with bran flakes and cups of tea, which was all I could tolerate. He dutifully attended the antennal classes, which he tells me now he hated. All I remember is the lady asking another poor ‘Dad to be’ to pretend to be in labour whilst sitting on a bucket and my other half whispering to me that if she made him do that, he would walk out. He refused to attend the session on ‘what could go wrong’ as he said he was worried enough and would deal with any issues at the time.
We prepped for the baby as best we could but my other half is ridiculously superstitious. This is a man who has driven hours with his fingers crossed because he has seen a Dalmatian and can’t uncross them until he sees another dog! Weird I know! Anyhow, he would not buy anything until well after 6 months and we had to keep the pram at his parent’s house, as he would not have it in the house.
Naively I just assumed labour would go ahead in a seamless like fashion. I did not expect my waters to break first in bed. I did not expect my husband’s priority to be to whip of the sheets and worry about the mattress and I did not expect meconium! Clearly me jumping about of bed with the shock of my water’s breaking clearly scared the crap out of BB– literally!
We were told to come straight into hospital. I was already four days overdue, and hubby says he first ‘Daddy to be’ duty was to give up the beer and go onto Becks Blue so that in the event of an ‘emergency drive’, he could get me to hospital.
My husband at 36 years old was so ready to have a baby, but was scared out of his wits. He had never ever held one, let alone changed a nappy. Driving me in, he was clearly on edge.
I was put on the drip that speeds up and intensifies labour. It was not my most pleasant experience. My husband says he really struggled with seeing me in pain. He pre-occupied himself with practical things like paying for the car park and then trotted of to ASDA to buy goodies. He needed to be kept busy I think.
I was strapped to a monitor that recorded the heartbeat and the contractions. He became obsessed with it and spent hours watching the monitor telling me of it’s every movement. ‘Oh that was a big one’ he would say, as if I didn’t know!
Unfortunately towards the end things got a little complicated. BBdid not do his last turn down the birth canal and his head got stuck. His heart rate plummeted and I was rushed to theatre. It was quite a distressing time and hubby was ushered to get into scrubs and told to put on a yellow hat as that showed he was not a qualified member of staff. He came in the theatre to find lots of staff and them topping up my epidural in case of caesarean if the forceps didn’t work. You can imagine his concern when the consultant came in wearing a yellow hat! His defence mechanism was to make a joke of it.
Hubby didn’t see BBbeing born. The doctor invited him to look but the midwife very cleverly realized he was carrying out an episiotomy and pushed hubby back into his seat. It would not have been a nice sight.
Then complete relief as BBwas brought into the world safe and sound but very bruised.
The Twin’s Birth
Hubby says he felt more organized with the twins. We had to take BBsomewhere and I had been in and out of hospital for weeks with complications and early labour that they had to stop.
It was a stressful time as I gave birth just as he had started a new job as an Assistant Head Teacher at a brand new school. He was only 6 days in!
The labour took him by surprise for it was so quick. One hour and forty minutes after my waters broke at home, we had two tiny little babies to hold.
We had an awful experience on one of my visits with a very rude consultant and hubby defected his worries during my birth by moaning about this lady to anyone who would listen. Luckily during the birth we had a different consultant and she was fantastic.
He told me he was thrown after I gave birth to Little Madam and he was holding her as to why they were putting on what looked like splash gear. He had not realized that there would be two sets of waters, one for each child.
He held Little Madam all through the birth of Chilled Out Boy, who decided to come out breech. He said he was fascinated to see two little feet sticking out. He came out so healthy but he was still concerned as we had a high risk of Down’s Syndrome for him and we just wanted to be certain he was well.
After they were born I was taken straight up to the ward. He said he felt so disappointed that he had to go home literally two hours after arriving. He really wanted to stay with me.
We would love to have another child, but if we are lucky enough for this to happen I will definitely be more attentive to how he feels.