One of the first things that we needed to decide was how we were going to educate ourselves. We decided together on using the Hypnobabies birth technique and classes. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into the course, but week after week I was growing more confident and comfortable with the birth process and more specifically my role as a dad. In the movies, I always saw the dad’s role limited to standing quietly in the back of a hospital room with no real role. I was happy to learn that as a dad, I had a very important role in the entire birth process.
I particularly enjoyed reading the weekly hypnosis scripts to my wife. It made me feel very important and integral to a successful birth. Another thing that resulted in reading the long scripts was that my daughter was very familiar with me right after birth because she had heard my voice nearly every night for months before she came into this world.
After many weeks of preparation and practice for the birth, it was time. It was a Wednesday evening and my wife started to have definite birthing waves. At first I didn’t believe that it was actually happening, but it soon became clear that it was game time! That evening we hung out in our living room as birth waves came and went at random timing and intensity. I slept on the floor next to my wife who was on the couch trying to find any position that was comfortable for her. We read some scripts to help her focus and move through the birth waves. When morning came, the birth waves were becoming more intense but still without a timing consistency. We decided that we would have our Doula come over to see how things were going.
By the way guys, the Doula is your best friend in the birthing process. If you aren’t planning on hiring a Doula, I strongly recommend considering it. You can’t put a price on the piece of mind just having her in the room will bring to not only your partner, but also you.
OK, back to the birth story… When our Doula arrived at our house she was able to take over being with my wife while I made us breakfast. Over the course of the next hour we read some Hypnobabies scripts and also did exercises to get the baby into a good position and to move the birth process along. All of a sudden something changed with my wife and she was much more quiet and focused. Our doula asked her if she was pushing and my wife responded that she wasn’t trying to, but her body was having the urge to push. When we heard that we called the birth center where we were going to give birth and told them that we were on our way. I was immediately filled with adrenaline, and it was exhilarating. We left the house at noon and made our way as fast and safely as possible to the birth center. I honestly thought that we were going to have the baby in the car on the way to the birth center. It felt just like every cliché movie scene where they are driving to the hospital while dodging traffic, honking the horn and weaving lanes! When we arrived at the birth center they were completely ready for us. They did a quick assessment of mom and the baby and then we both hopped into the bathtub to do the water birth that we had planned on. Once she was in the water she could stop having to resist the urge to push and let her body take over.
We had Hypnobabies meditation music on in the room, but things were moving so quickly for us that we didn’t get a chance to read the scripts. My role became to comfort my wife, rub her neck and I pour water over her neck and back. She found this really helped her stay as relaxed as she could between birth waves. I was also there with a water bottle, making her take drinks every once in a while.
During the birth the pushing was so intense that my wife tore slightly, so when the nurses were attending to her I was able to spend time doing skin to skin contact with our new daughter. It was the most amazing feeling to hold my daughter in my arms. I asked my wife how she was doing and she said she was fine. I asked her if it was very painful, because from my perspective it seemed like it must have been unimaginable painful, but to my surprise and to my wife’s, she said that she didn’t experience any pain at all. With no pain medications or any medical interventions at all, I can only attribute the lack of birth pain to all of the hypnosis training that we had been working on in class and at home. It was truly amazing.
(Bubble of Peace warning)
After a little while the midwives said that we needed to go across the street to the hospital because my wife wouldn’t stop bleeding because a piece of the placenta was stuck inside of her. This was pretty scary to hear, but we had no choice so we quickly packed up and headed across the street with our new baby. All of a sudden I found myself dressing a baby for the first time ever and putting her into car seat after being born less than 60 minutes before that. Talk about trial by fire!! I think I had about four or five people double check to make sure that I did everything right.
Shortly after successfully arriving at the hospital, the piece of placenta ended up coming out on its own and my wife’s bleeding quickly was controlled and stopped. As if that twist wasn’t enough, the doctors then wanted to have our daughter monitored for 12 hours because she had a low resting heart rate and they wanted to play it safe. After a little monitoring, it turned out that her heart was very strong and efficient, and that was the reason for the low resting heart rate! We were then released and able to head home.
(End Bubble of Peace)
The drive home from the birth couldn’t have been more different than the fast and furious drive to the birth center. I’m pretty sure I was driving about five miles per hour under the speed limit the entire way home. Once we got home, my wife and I looked at each other and said, “ok, now what?!”
The entire process of pregnancy and childbirth was something truly amazing and definitely a miracle. The one thing I really underestimated when this journey began was how important the role of the father is. We are the biggest supporter for our partner and our role is even more important in Hypnobabies birthing where you, as a dad, have a starring role. The more effort that you can put in the more you and your partner will get out of it and the more confident you will be. Gone are the days of dad standing quietly in the back of the hospital room.