My first experience with child birth was an eye opener in every sense of the word. Moments before my son was brought forth into the world, my wife’s legs were is stirrups with me and a midwife holding her down to the bed. What happened next has stayed with me since.
Let’s go back a few hours first though.
24 hours after my wife’s waters had broken we had stayed at home, visited the birthing centre and had a check-up before being packed off back home with some codeine for the pain ( rather like throwing a tennis ball at an incoming Boeing 747 to stop it ).
We were then booked in for the following morning to be induced at 8am on the labour ward. That night was the longest I’ve ever had to experience in my life up to that point. Now my wife really impressed me that night as she sat through every contraction and said nothing just endured the whole process, and all I could do was watch and support in any way possible. I think we watched the movie “ Hitched “more than once that night and is now synonymous with labour pains.
That morning we toddled or should I say waffled off to the labour ward hoping for this to come to an end. Once we were booked in, a bed found and placed on monitors. 8 hours later, prodded and poked with not an ounce of shame left on my wife’s part, I looked at her and thought she had endured enough. Exhausted from the whole process I asked if she could take something for the pain so she could at least rest. To this she agreed and opted for an epidural.
The surgeon did the necessary and finally got the needle placed after several attempts, by this time my patience was wearing thin but I kept my cool. No point getting angry I thought and nothing good would come of it. She had been labouring for 33 hours at this point and virtually no sleep during that time. For the next hour she finally slept to my relief and I could finally breathe for a moment.
6.25pm and the decision was made to have an assisted delivery to get my son out. It was ascertained that the cord was wrapped round my son’s neck and that was the cause of him not moving down any further. The next 5 minutes was a bit of a blur and a lot of medical jargon that I must admit went right over my head.
Two doctors, two midwifes and many technicians surrounded the both of us as the first doctor made the episiotomy incision and attempted to deliver with forceps. She didn’t quite seem to be getting anywhere and at that point the senior doctor took over abruptly and that takes us back to me holding my wife down to the bed.
With a foot against the bottom of the bed he pulled our son violently out into the world without waiting for the next contraction. He was born at 6.36pm that night.
Throughout the whole labour my wife never complained, moaned or shouted abuse at me. She simply took it all in her stride. Even when the epidural had not worked properly and she was stitched up afterwards. I’ve never been as proud of a person as I was of her.
An hour after the birth of our son, she up and showered and moved to another bed. I left the hospital a different person that day, and a father.