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Being a better birth partner.

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July 28, 2013 by Dadinator

The Lass is now just over 6 weeks away from due. We have started to talk birth plans and logistics and all those fun things more and more recently and my mind wandered back and has started to dwell in what happened the first time. My rather emotional rant about it can be found here, but in this post I wanted to take emotion out of it a bit. I asked myself the question: if I could send a letter backwards through time to myself, to be read the day before The Mamanator went into labour, what would I write? Here’s my crack at it.

Dear me,

This is future you. First off, DUCK! Did I fall for that? I hope so, it would appeal to my off the wall sense of humour. If not, get over your(my)self and go with the flow man….

You’re about to be a dad, you lucky thing. Its great, you’ll love it. You need to get through the next few days though, so here’s some words that might help:

If you’ve been a good boy you’re already organised. Bags are packed, you know the best way to the hospital and where to park. You know what you need too take and you have an idea of what happens. You watched the Being Dad DVD, read a few books and attended birth classes. Good. That was well worth the time and effort, and will help you understand what is going on.

One thing, remember to bring the bag for the new baby…. I forgot the first time….

You will feel peripheral, helpless and useless. You are not. You are there and simply by doing that you are involved, helpful and useful. There is not much you can ‘do’ aside from that.

Be ready and be responsive. Do whatever she asks of you, but don’t hound her and ask her what she wants every five minutes. She doesn’t really know anyway. Be ready to hold her or place a hand on her to give her a rub or apply some pressure. Be prepared to withdraw it in an instant though in case it turns out she didn’t want it.

Hold her hand. Stay in sight. If you have to go off somewhere for a second, and it might happen, tell her that you are still there and make sure she can hear your voice. Your presence is the most important thing.

Wear comfortable clothes. You may be in them for a while.

Remember what she asked for and make sure it’s what happens. It is your job. Also be prepared to change it in the blink of an eye if circumstances change or it turns out the something isn’t working.

She will offer you gas (Nitrous Oxide) Don’t take it.

Keep yourself under control, and take care of yourself. Remember to breathe, drink and eat. It’s not an exercise in self-denial, you work better if you are alert and not starving.

Be prepared to make decisions. You may have to. Also be prepared to say no. You may have to. And finally be prepared to be the bearer of bad news. I don’t mean to freak you out, it all ends up fine, but there are a couple of things that don’t go to plan….

You’ll see some gory stuff. You’ll get over it fast.

Your view of The Mamanator will change forever. You will be in awe of her for the rest of your life, well certainly up to the part of it I’m writing from.

Finally, birth is intense, and it seems to take forever, but it doesn’t. It finishes and you get a baby, a baby you helped make. A baby you’ll help raise. Try to remember what it is all for, breathe deeply, stay calm and you’ll do great.

Lots of love, Regards,
Me

PS if a horde of your relatives turn up at once, beat them off with a stick. I’m not talking metaphorically either….

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