Dad Labor & Birth Stories
A Little Early
"We went to a maternity class and after class, the nurses hooked her up and checked her out. The baby was fine and healthy, but she (mom) had high blood pressure. The class was at 8 AM and it was now 10 AM. She kinda freaked out, because it was early and we didn't have anything. I had to calm her down. We got the word from the doctor that we would stay, and they would try to induce her. It took another couple of hours. We waited until 7:19 PM and the baby was born."
"It’s an awesome feeling when you get to hold them. You get emotional. Last night I was feeding him and crying, and he has his eyes open looking at me. It’s just great."
"She had a C-section…there is a curtain and you get in scrubs…They have you sitting outside when they are prepping up. They put you in a suit, hair net and mask. They call you in once they are prepped. She already got anesthesia. They put up this curtain and you sit right next to her."
"Remember its open surgery and what they are cutting is muscle…the uterus is muscle, so there is a reason they say don’t look on the other side of the curtain. Don’t be like me. You don’t need to see it."
"I asked one of the doctors, 'Can I watch?' He said, 'Are you okay with blood?' I said, 'Yeah,' so I got up to see it and the doctors said, 'No, no, not yet!'”
"Wife was up because she wanted to see and hold the baby, so she didn't want to be knocked out. That was part of our 'birth plan’ too. She wanted to bond, so she was up. And it’s interesting…you could tell she was nervous, and she was gripping my hand real tight. You hear noises…like they are moving organs."
"She said, “That feels weird…like an odd sensation.” I was like, "You feel that?!" I was concerned. Then the anesthesia guy said, "You feel that?" and she said, “No, it just feels weird. Like a tingling sensation.” There was a part where they have to pull harder so she was holding on, but she was fine."
Standard Birth With Twists & Turns
"I started off a little bit on the wrong foot…My wife woke up at one in the morning and said, 'I think my water broke.' I said, 'Okay.' I went, got a towel, and went to bed (laughing). But our plan was to stay at home as long as possible before going to the hospital, so I asked her, 'Are you in pain?' She said, 'No, not yet,' so we slept two more hours. We stayed at home until 12 PM, then the pain was getting pretty severe with the contractions. For her the contractions weren't really what hurt so bad, but she had back labor, which is like extreme back pain that never relented and with each contraction it would get worse. I had a heat pack and would try to push up against her back.
We got to the hospital…our biggest concern was they would try to push drugs on her right away so we were prepared. Everyone was aware that she wanted to try to do natural birth. I didn't care either way—that was her thing. As long as she was happy. So none of the nurses really asked for drugs. We were there for another 4 hours before we saw a doctor. It was getting very bad and to the point she didn't think she could do it much longer without some kind of pain medicine. The doctor checked and said thirty minutes and you will give birth.
I spent most of my time giving her ice water, holding her hand, touching her hair, keeping her calm, encouraging her as much as I could. I tried not to freak out. Then the doctor said, “His head is out,” and I can see him. Then the cord was around his neck; he was dark purple…I almost fainted. On all the monitors, everything was fine, so in the process of coming out his cord got tangled. The doctor said, 'Stop pushing. Cut the cord right there.'
I tried to not freak out because my wife couldn't see him yet. All the bad thoughts go through your head and I was like this should be the happiest time, but I’m freaking out. But within thirty seconds, his color started to change, they put him on the table and said, “You can touch him.” I was like, “Okay?!” I put my pinky out and he just grabbed on. It was a great feeling…just amazing. It was a long process but it went really well. We didn't have everything go according to plan, but the key is to be flexible. That's your plan, but it doesn't mean that is what’s going to happen."
Holding Your Baby the First Time
"It was an indescribable feeling. I couldn’t believe that it was finally real—he was here. I was too overwhelmed to cry, but I’ve never felt like that. And just seeing him on her for the first time and her expression was just amazing. You could tell instantly how much she loved him. That instant connection—this bond is very powerful."
"My wife was a scheduled C-section and she said the hospitals will push us being together the first hour: they want the bonding to start. Well, my wife wasn’t able to get that, because she was going through recovery while they were taking the tubes and stuff off. And she said, 'You don’t leave the baby,' and I got that first hour with him alone. The skin-to-skin, for lack of a better description, it’s an incredible rush: it’s a high. In fact, to this day…I’m holding her and things are right, I will still get a little light headed or loopy."
"That first time I laid eyes on her, the first words out of my mouth were, 'Look, she is pooping!' At that point, everything is cute. You have a different perspective on everything. You could ask me what changed, and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s something that you will know when it happens, and you'll realize: Ohhh, yeah, everything does change."
C-section: Ready or Not
"So we were two weeks early: We went in for a routine monitoring, because she had high blood pressure. They hooked her up and his heart rate started to drop. So they moved her—did what they needed to get his HR back up. Then they were like, 'Okay, we are going to get ready to induce.' I was like, 'No, we can’t. I have a CHP meeting for the car seat. I don’t have my bags packed. This doesn’t fit in my plan.'"
"She actually started negotiating with the doctor and was like, 'Do I have to?' He said, 'No, but you will need to sign a release saying you went against the doctor’s orders.' So she was like, 'Fine, I guess we will do this.' So I tell her I’m going to use the restroom and make some phone calls to tell people this is going down…and I see his heart rate drop again. So I don’t tell my wife anything, but I walk out to the nurses station and tell them and they said, 'Okay, don’t worry. We will check. Go do what you need to do.' So I come back, and there is no one in the room. I’m like: what is happening here? They said, 'Don’t worry. We had to move her to a different room. Everything is okay, and I’m going to get you some scrubs.' I thought, 'Ohhh, this is happening now.'"
"So they have me sitting outside while they prep her, and I come inside and there are curtains up, ready to go. The drugs they gave her were making her shake. I asked her if she was ok and they said, 'Yes, it’s just the drugs.' I thought: this is weird. Nothing was going according to plan. I had a weekend planned for me before the baby came... "
"So he came out. I was the first one to hold him. It’s amazing. I can’t describe the feeling you’re going through. It actually took me a couple of months to realize that this is actually my kid. Some people have the instant bond. Some people just know. I was like: I’m not sure…I can’t believe that I was part of this. As time went on, it gets better and more real. It’s still a dream having a guy like this around…It’s cool. I wanted to be a father, so I was preparing for this moment for a while, and that fact that we actually got pregnant...I was desperate to meet him. It happened and it happens fast. At 3:30 we went in; 6:30 we had a baby. My experience is probably a little better then most. Three days in the hospital and that’s it, you know. "
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