I am still not sure what i was expecting despite having been to the NCT classes and watched countless movies with childbirth present. I never expected what happened and i am guessing that everyones experience is completely different. Em was due on the 6th August but on the 3rd had the baby. Most first babies are supposed to be late but not this one. I was at work and Em was out and about when i got the call from her that she thought her waters had broken. This was just before noon. She was on her way past the hospital and so got it checked and confirmed.
So at this point I get the call while in a meeting, the last call i declined, stupidly, but not this one. Her waters had broken and she was on her way to Hitchin to the post office! She wanted to post some ebay items we’d recently sold. She seemed so relaxed it made me so, I almost continued the day and went to my next meeting. Enroute i thought what am i doing and went home.
Em picked me up at the station and we went to the post office followed by a coffee shop nearby for a drink. Contractions were happening but were fairly irregular. To be honest I had to google at this point how frequent should they be, should I be worried. We go home at this point and Em sits in the bath. It is about 7pm and contractions are now much more regular. She still doesn’t want to go to the hospital. This i think is more in fear than anything else. We’d called the hospital and they hadn’t said come in but just do what you feel. I felt by 8pm like we should be going in, contractions were regular, every 3-5 minutes.
Drive to the hospital was uneventful, we’d packed overnight bags etc… so just needed to get us to the hospital. It takes 2-3 contractions to get from the car park to the hospital ward. We are welcomed by two midwives who take us straight to a birth room. We never did a hospital tour and so this was my first view. One area was a big pool, then a bed and a chair for me. We sit down and go through details and what is about to happen. Em only want gas and air and to start in the pool, so the midwives run the bath.
I must admit at this point i don’t feel part of the process, the midwives had ignored introducing me and i had to say who i was, I am the dad!!! It is very much a women’s thing at this point, as they really need to calm Em and get her ready. As the night wore on they become much more inviting and conversation between us feels more inclusive.
Once in the pool, Em is on gas and I am the one helping holding the gas. Contractions are rapid and are every 3 minutes. This continues for a few hours. Again i feel like there are missing hours but time literally flew, every time i looked at the clock time had moved on. It was then just before 11 that I was shocked to hear the midwife say we have a head! Contractions had slowed and there were 3-4 pushes and we had a baby. I say this without talking about blood, screams and tears. There literally wasn’t any, Em was amazing throughout the birth and even she’d say now that it wasn’t as bad as she was expecting. She was in pain and the gas was massively needed, it just happened so quickly. I don’t remember any movie like this!
The baby was born at 11.46 on the 3rd August weighing 7lb 1. I cut the cord something i thought i’d be squeamish about but felt fine about. The official labour time was 31 minutes. Everything was wow.
To be honest what came next was infinitely worse and scary…