Childbirth From a Dad's Perspectiveby Steven Smith
Hello, I am Steven and this is my childbirth story from a dad's perspective.
I am a 27-year-old, first-time dad to a beautiful baby girl named Sienna. As the time came closer to my partner having the baby, things seemed to get very real and, to be honest, very emotional. I'm not one to express emotions; however, you can't control them when your partner is constantly in pain and there is nothing you can do to help her. You know that, in a matter of days, there will be this person that depends on you to essentially keep them alive and at times, it's daunting.
So the time came after 4 days of slow labor to finally go to the hospital and meet our daughter. I was NOT ready for what labor was really about although my partner and I did as much research as we could; we even watched videos and nothing could prepare me for the real thing. From the moment we arrived at the hospital my partner was in agony, and a few hours later the contractions were so bad she was constantly screaming in pain as she didn’t want the epidural. A few hours in, the nurse suggested that there is a needle to help ease the pain. My partner said it worked for about 20 minutes, and you could only have it once every 4 hours, so the screams of despair and the look on her face revealed to me she couldn’t manage this. Now as a man who is seeing the person you love go through this is heartbreaking. All I could do was reassure her she was going and doing fine, all she could do was suck the life out of the gas and air. Obviously, I knew this was not helping her at all, but all I could do was help distract her between contractions with breathing exercises.
For 14 hours of labor we were in and out of the birth pool, we requested the epidural however there was no doctor to prescribe it to her, then all of a sudden a nurse came in, took one look and said “move her now”. In a matter of minutes we were in another room, doctors everywhere because Sienna was stuck. She was getting stressed out and her heart rate was dropping, therefore, they slit my partner and there was blood everywhere before FINALLY our baby was here, and there were no more screams apart from me sobbing with utter joy.
My message to other dads-to-be is this: This is the scariest and most emotional thing you will ever do, there is absolutely nothing you can do, and you will feel helpless. However, your strength and presence is enough to help your partner in the time she needs you most. You will see her at her worst mentally and physically but know this, you are only minutes/hours away from meeting your true love, your child. Your whole body will change, mentally embrace it, this is your child that loves you unconditionally.