A dad’s birth story – 16th December, 2007

January 3, 2012 in Latest, Mums tips

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One Born Every Minute returns to Channel 4 at 9pm on 04/01/11 with an episode all about dads. The lovely people at Netmums have invited bloggers to share their birth stories from the dad’s perspective.

We love a good challenge over here on Mums on the Blog, so after Faith H’s partner stepped up yesterday, today our newest Mum on the Blog, Claire Jeffreys introduces her partner’s story…

16th December, 2007

Happy New Year lovely parents! We’ve had a very relaxing time in Northumberland, the homeland of my husband and probably one of the most beautiful places in the world. This year’s festivities has had an added element of excitement, because the J clan have been waiting to welcome grandchild number 9 to the brood.

My sister-in-law was finally taken into hospital, 13 days overdue, to be induced this morning, and a few hours later we all breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed another little boy to the family. At the moment, various family members are gathered around the dinner table, champagne on ice, waiting for the proud dad (now of three boys) to return from the hospital. This may be number 9, but we still want to know every little detail, and each birth is just as exciting, emotional and life-affirming as the last.

It has made me reflect on the birth of my two children, particularly my first. 4 years ago, my husband and I had the most surreal, intense traumatic experience of our lives. We weren’t married then, and had only been together for 5 months when I fell pregnant. So we had to get to know each other pretty quickly. The birth of our son was a massive turning point in our relationship. It’s an occasion we never tire of talking about.

Here are some of my husband’s recollections…

“I felt really helpless! You were 11 days overdue, emotional, exhausted and impatient. I was also emotional, exhausted and impatient. I drove you to hospital on 13th December 2007, expecting that something would happen that day. It wasn’t to be. You were given a bed, but the ward was busy and we were quickly warned that it could be a long wait. You cried. I felt even more helpless. It was also your 30th birthday, and you moaned that this was not how you imagined spending it. I had to leave you at 9pm and I drove home, biting my nails.

To top it all off, I had the added pressure of looking after your mother, who had been staying with us since your due date (2nd December). Now that you were in hospital, I had to cope with her all by myself. We visited you every day, bringing you magazines, tissues and words of encouragement.

Finally, on 15th December, your waters broke. It happened in the early hours – you told me you woke up with a fright, thinking you had wet the bed. Your mum and I came as soon as we got the message, expecting things to be well underway. Again, it wasn’t to be. No contractions, only more frustrated tears. I held your hand as you shuffled up and down the corridor of the maternity ward, desperately trying to kick things off. This was one of the longest days of my life.

At 10pm on Saturday 15th December 2007, you were taken down to the labour ward to be induced. The next few hours are a complete blur. We were all exhausted. You were put on the drip, and cried when the midwife couldn’t find a vein on your wrist. I wondered how on earth you were going to get through childbirth. i helped you to the toilet, drip in tow, and you told me that you didn’t think you could get through this. I didn’t tell you that I was thinking the same thing myself.

After an hour or so, not much was happening, so you sent me home to get a pack of cards. I think you were delirious, but I obliged. I went home, sat on the couch to catch my breath, and promptly fell asleep. I woke up three hours later. I raced back to the hospital. The doors were shut as it was after midnight. Somehow – I can’t quite remember how, but it involved a lot of banging on glass – I got back to the ward and realised I had forgotten the cards. It didn’t matter – you were in the full throes of labour. From that point on, I sat at the top of your bed and you gripped my hand. For six hours. You cried, screamed and told me you couldn’t go on. Somehow, from somewhere, I found the strength to tell you that you could. You found the strength to go on, and to give birth to our beautiful son.

Our boy was born just after 9am on Sunday 16th December 2007. I had never experienced anything like it. I was amazed at what you had done, at what we had created, and at how much noise you made. I think I called you a wild animal – but I meant it in the nicest possible way. From that moment on, my life changed in ways I cannot even put into words.”