Baby is born: A dad’s perspective

dad shares first feel of labour period - parenting resources by Zenparent

It was well past midnight and he was deep asleep when he felt the tap on his shoulder. It was his wife, lying next to him and trying to wake him up frantically. “It’s time, I think my water just broke,” she said struggling to get up. They both had planned how this part would work out but now they were panicking slightly. They struggled to find their bag they had already packed, and rushed to close all the windows and shut down the lights. At the hospital the nurses and the doctors were prepared for her arrival and rushed to take her to the delivery room. The labour was on in full swing and baby was on her way.

This is not how our baby arrived. What I just described is a badly plagiarised Hollywood’s version of how the labour happens. And for many of us, this is what we believe simply because this is what we know. Thankfully, reality is far different. Labour doesn’t start as suddenly as Hollywood will have us believe, catching parents-to-be off-guard. On the other hand, labour usually last much longer than what those edited Hollywood scenes portray.

In our case, we were ready since Friday when we took our packed bag to the hospital for the standard consultation. But it was bit too early so we again came home. The weekend passed without any incident and our next consultation with the doc was on Monday. In the mean time, the wife was trying to quicken the onset of labour using what I feel are dubious methods that are part of old wives tales; like drinking pineapple juice, having sex, eating spicy food etc.

Dad and mom Consulting with doctor about delivery - parenting resources by ZenParent

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But since Monday morning, my wife could feel signs of early labour. Labour, especially during first child, can go up to 30 hours, but most of this is with no or very little pain (or so I’m told). After meeting the doc in the evening, she was still not sure if the baby will come out tonight. So we just waited there for maybe a couple of hours, took a stroll outside the hospital and had some roadside vada pav (wife’s idea to help with the labour). Then the doc checked my wife again and confirmed that indeed we can expect the baby to come out tonight. So we both walked to the labour room where another doctor on duty there took over. Our son was born on early Tuesday morning.

New born baby with dad - Parenting resources by ZenParent

 

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I would say overall things went pretty smooth for us, but behind that there were some conscious decisions that we both had taken early in the pregnancy. For one, we were clear even before we ever thought of having a baby that we won’t undergo pregnancy the traditional Indian way where either my wife moves away to her parent’s place or either of our parent’s come here to stay with us. So we always knew it was going to be just the both of us; and that made us alert and ensured that we charted out things right in the beginning. Then my wife was very clear right from the beginning that she wanted to deliver our baby in as natural manner as possible. Another key criteria was that I would be with her in the labour room during the birthing period.

dad is in labour room during the birth - parenting resources by ZenParent

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Thus our choice of hospital, and more importantly the doctor, had to satisfy our main criteria. Of course there were various other small and big things that we had to consider as well, but the above aspects, if not met, were deal breakers.

Did our whole pregnancy and the birth of our son go exactly according to our grand master plan? Of course not, it never does! My wife and I would have loved if our son was born in the woods, amid fresh air, by the stream of crystal clear water; and without any electronic beeping sounds and medications- just like nature intended it to be. It would also have been great if the insurance company would have taken care of 100% of the costs. But hey, you lose some and you win most; and that is exactly how it turned out for us.

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