In the delivery room
Dad’s can sometimes be overlooked in the delivery room, but you play such an important role in supporting your partner and helping make your baby’s arrival into the world as smooth as possible. As a first time mum I was completely naïve about what actually giving birth would be like; I had a vague idea of the pain that would likely be involved and I assumed that there would be a certain level of stress, but I never really thought that the overwhelming feeling I would have was that of not being in control. I’m sure that this isn’t the case for lots of parent’s to be, but due to needing to be induced, the lovely relaxed and peaceful birth turned into a slightly frantic and way more clinical procedure than I had hoped for. Without George by my side it would’ve been a much harder and more stressful experience than it was.
How can Dads-to-be help in the delivery room?
The best thing you can do is have a good idea of what your partner needs, and make sure to discuss before hand the things you are happy with and things you might not want to happen. During the labour George was my voice, when I was deliriously drunk on gas and air, I knew that he could tell the midwives and doctors exactly what I would want to happen. Remember you know your partner better than anyone else in that room.
Be there and be present for your partner, even if you’ve been in the room for hours and not much has happened, just checking in and keeping things as normal as possible will help with the building anxiety. It’s scary waiting for something to happen, but when it does the room is suddenly crowded with doctors and midwives; and you, the Dad-to-be, needs to be a constant and familiar face for your partner. He was also my biggest cheerleader and coach, not in a patronising way, but every step he had hold of my hand or was just letting me know that I could do it. I didn’t think I would appreciate it, but actually just hearing it really helped.
And as simple as it sounds be aware of what the midwives and doctors are telling you and your partner. I was out of it during the labour and because I needed surgery directly after Evie’s arrival, I was in a daze for most of the afternoon. George was the one that could retain the information that we were being given; he made it so that all I needed to do was rest and feed Evie.
The delivery of your baby will likely be the weirdest and most intense few days of your life. Take sometime to just appreciate what you’ve been through with your partner and take photos of those precious first few hours, even if you both look awful, sweaty and tired, looking back on them you won’t care.