One of the most intimate and moving moments of your life will be the arrival of your baby into this world. The sheer magic and awe at being present at the dawning of this new miracle of human life will stay with you for the rest of your life. It will be the most meaningful and emotionally charged event you have ever experienced and yet it will seem to go by ‘in the blink of an eye’.
Before the birth you may have lots of qualms about seeing blood, or seeing your partner in pain and being there in such a highly charged emotional situation, so you may be hesitant initially. The significance of the occasion once your partner goes into labour will make you forget about all those concerns. The more you realise that this is something so life changing and so profound, the more you will want to be there. It will be even more meaningful for you, as you will have been communicating with your baby and touching him through his mother’s tummy for the last six months.
Therefore, I would strongly recommend that you, as a father to be, do everything to make sure that you are there at the birth of your child and witness his arrival into this world.
Hold him as soon as he is born and you will see and feel immediately the intimate and unique bond between you. When you first look into his eyes as his father and reflect that this little being is part of you, it will start immediately. You will never ever forget that moment. It will remain as vivid in your mind for many years into the future, as the day he was born.
You may think that once the labour process starts, everyone else will know what they are doing, and you can get wrapped totally up in the whole process of childbirth and leave it all to the Professionals in the room. Although this is very true, you also have to remain calm at all times, after all it is your baby who is about to arrive into this world and you are the person your partner trusts the most.
The pain of childbirth is so intense for your partner, that sometimes she will say and want to do things that, very possibly, you have never heard her do before. At this moment, reason goes completely out the window for her, but it mustn’t for you. Your job is to reassure her and encourage her all the time, listening to what she is saying, but ignoring it if she says something silly or offensive. You need to stay calm and if you do, you will keep the stress levels down for everyone in the room.
Of course her behaviour will depend on what type of pain relief she has opted for in her Birth Plan, so you need to ensure she receives the relief that she decided upon before she went into labour. Once your new baby arrives, hold her in your arms as soon as possible. It will be one of the most magical moments of your entire life. Then place your little baby in her mothers’ arms. This will reinforce the sense of bonding between you, as you pass your baby to her mum, as well as demonstrating the fact that you are all in it together.
Once you are all left alone, take time to tell your partner how well she has done throughout the whole labour and childbirth. She will be feeling absolutely exhausted and at the same time elated, yet possibly a bit melancholic. By calmly reassuring her, it will help her feel good about the whole experience despite the pain and physical trauma her body has just been through.
You may find that you also will have a ‘let down’ moment and suddenly find you have no energy as you feel both elated and exhausted as well. You have just ridden the ’emotional rollercoaster’ with your partner, but you have managed as you stayed calm throughout and got through it together.
One of the most moving, emotional and significant moments of you and your partner’s lives, is the birth of your child. Nothing can prepare you as a Dad, for the arrival of this new being into the world. It is so emotionally charged, that there is a real risk that reason goes out of the window.
This is where your role as a father can be vital. Although you are not actually giving birth, your role is absolutely key to it all going well. Your partner will be in extreme pain, as well as not thinking very straight while your child is being born, so it is imperative that you try to remain calm.
She will say and do things, some of which may shock you and that you have never seen before, but don’t worry, you have the key tool, to help you both manage during this very highly charged event. Of course the midwife is very important, and will guide you both, but don’t forget the Birth Plan you and your partner decided on. Remember this was formulated in the cold light of day. This should be be your guide book, unless there is a medical emergency, in which case, of course, you must follow the doctor’s advice.
When you were planning for this moment, you and your partner will have decided what pain relief she would use, and so it is very important that you stick to this, despite anything she says during the actual childbirth. She will thank you afterwards, even if in the moment she is screaming at you. At times you will be tempted to throw your carefully thought out plan out the window, because your partner will be so uncomfortable.
When you decided it together, you reassured your partner that you were in this together, and now is when you can prove this to her. She will really appreciate this when you and your new born baby get back home.