Labor and Delivery: From a Dad's Perspective
Especially if it is you and your partner's first birth, everything is new for BOTH of you. Let's be honest: the mama has most of the work to do, but I thought it would be really interesting to ask my husband to come onto the blog to talk about his role!
Here he is sharing our second baby Trey's birth story and answering all the questions that I thought might help other fellas! If you missed Trey's Birth Story from my perspective, you can read it here.
Without further adieu, here is my husband Drew's version of our birth story:
Welp, I’d hate to start this off by saying I told ya so, Ames, but…I told ya so.
Amy had been having contractions on and off throughout the day since the early morning, so I figured it would only be a matter of time before I got the call at work indicating it was go-time. Even though we needed to get to the hospital much earlier this time around for a variety of reasons (Amy was GBS positive, we didn’t give much of a cushion for our first kiddo’s birth, and Amy’s first labor went extremely fast), the call never came. For all of these reasons, I attempted to remind Amy we should take caution and head to the hospital early.
Fast forward several hours…we’re finally leaving for the hospital at 8:30pm with Amy in a good amount of pain with consistent contractions. We arrived to labor triage after 9pm, and when the nurse checked Amy’s cervix, it was confirmed that Trey was well on his way. Amy received the antibiotic to combat the GBS positive condition around 9:45pm, and then we ventured up to the delivery room shortly after.
As you all know, Amy was motivated to deliver our second baby via natural birth, just like Max. While I was quite overwhelmed from Max’s birth episode, it certainly prepared me well for Trey’s birth. I mostly knew what to expect from the process and how Amy would navigate through labor. Additionally, Amy was very much in control throughout her labor the second time around, which made things easier for daddy-o.
I think my involvement during labor is less than the average father. I had a good sense for how Amy wanted to be supported during the process, so I tried my best to play the role. The role involved me sitting quietly nearby and offering occasional words of encouragement. I knew that Amy was the lead actress and was just an extra, so I stayed in my lane in tremendous anticipation for Trey’s arrival.
Around 11pm, Amy decided to get in the bathtub for pain relief. While she labored in the water, I sat next to the tub and continued to gently offer my encouragement. About 45 minutes passed and Amy seemed to be doing very well in the tub, so when I felt nature calling at 11:45pm, I made a quick pit stop to the rest room down the hall. It turns out this could have been an untimely decision, as when I returned to the room a few minutes later, the room was abuzz. Amy was much livelier, and the nurse was becoming more actively involved. Within a couple minutes, the nurse was attempting to force Amy out of the tub while calling for the OB on her pager. Amy was reluctant to exit the tub and bathroom, so the nurse got fairly stern. I assisted the nurse in helping Amy get out of the tub and over to the bedside. As you may recall from Amy’s birth stories, she wanted no part of laying down during delivery. Therefore, she leveraged the labor bar and bent over. The resident checked Amy’s cervix and instantly indicated the baby was coming! Meanwhile, the OB was just arriving into the room since things had escalated in just a matter of minutes. Scrambling to don gloves in time, the OB got into position just in the nick of time, still wearing her UW fleece jacket. Reverting back to my default football analogies, the OB got under center just like a quarterback at the line of scrimmage. After Amy’s first push, I took a peek under center out of curiosity. Holy smokes! A baby’s head! Then after push #2, the OB cleanly took the snap, as our child had arrived! As the baby was hanging below Amy and between her legs, I looked down to identify the gender. It’s a BOY! I cut the umbilical cord, and with adrenaline still in full swing, life settled back down. Trey Daniel Kiefer made his debut at 12:02am.
As I mentioned previously, Amy received an antibiotic earlier in the night since she was GBS positive. She was supposed to get the first dose at least four hours prior to delivery, along with a second dose before delivery. Neither of those guidelines were remotely close to being met, as Amy gave birth just a little more than two hours after the first antibiotic dose was administered. Fortunately, Trey ended up being just fine, but we did have to spend an extra day in the hospital for monitoring purposes. I told ya so, Ames. If only we would have trusted Dad’s initial intuition,
In addition to providing my perspective of Trey’s birth, Amy thought it would be beneficial for me to offer advice for fathers to be about supporting their ladies during labor. My advice is simple. Talk to your gal about the process. Ensure you have a good understanding of how she wants you to support her throughout the big event. Some women will want to be coached, touched, and talked to the entire time. Some women, like Amy, want to run the show with occasional verbal support. Therefore, I knew my optimal role was to sit quietly and offer intermittent words of encouragement. This worked well for us. A different approach may work better for you and the lady. Ultimately, the bottom line is to discuss your role of support in advance, comprehend what your optimal role of support looks like, and then follow through on the big day.
Drew's version made me laugh out loud SO many times. He makes me sound like a scientologist that doesn't allow talking in the birth room, but hey...that's his version. ;)
Hope you enjoyed this post!