The Partners View - A Life Just Ordinary
Guest Series

The Partner’s View – A Life Just Ordinary

This week I’m excited to introduce James from A Life Just Ordinary to my guest series -The Partner’s View. I loved reading his rollercoaster of a birth story, with its highs and lows of being locked out of the house, experiencing the midwife led unit and ending up with an c-section. I am amazed by the amount of c-section births I had so far on my series, it’s pretty scary. Please all have a read of James’ experience.

What were your thoughts and feelings leading up to the birth of your child?

Definitely a lot of excitement about meeting our little one – we had chosen not to find out what sex he would be so really had no clue at all as to what he would look like (although for some reason we assumed he’d be a girl!!). The only thing we knew was that he was a keen hiccupper and was back-to-back! Of course there was a lot of nervousness too – after a 9 month build-up all you want is a healthy baby and a disaster-free labour!

As a birth partner, how did you prepare for the birth?

We chose the NCT route so went to all of the classes, met some lovely couples, changed a nappy or two on a stiff plastic baby and pretended to breastfeed with a knitted boob. Unfortunately we later discovered that our little one wriggles a bit more during nappy changes than the average plastic baby but at the time it seemed pretty straightforward!

We also read that ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ book, spoke to our friends that already had little people and watched lots of One Born Every Minute!

Tell us a little about your partners birth?

Two days before he finally arrived the contractions started pretty early in the morning. We downloaded a contraction app (as you do!) and did all the timings. They were pretty far apart so we excitedly carried on with the day and waited for them to get a bit closer together.

It’s all a little hazy, but at some point after the contractions had got closer together I managed to lock us out of the house with the keys still in the lock on the inside of the house. Not ideal. My parents came round with a bit of bent copper pipe (my dad was a plumber before he retired!) and I spent what seemed like an eternity trying to fish the keys out of the lock by thrashing the pipe around through the letter box, whilst Sarah leant on the car breathing her way through her contractions!

Once I’d finally fished out the keys we collected the hospital bag and nipped off to hospital for the first time! We got sent back home for a while before returning to The Royal Berks around midnight that day and being allowed to stay that time!

All was pretty relaxed at first as we were the only people in the lovely midwife led unit with nice beds and furniture and birthing pools. Sarah fancied a water birth so spent a few hours in the pool while I bounced around on a birthing ball. After a few hours everything seemed to slow down though in terms of little one’s arrival so the pool idea was abandoned and we went off strolling up and down the hospital stairs to get things moving.

Long story short, by late that evening things still weren’t going anywhere fast and Sarah was in a lot of pain so there was an epidural and some attempts at speeding up the labour. We also waved goodbye to the nicely decorated, empty midwife unit. The consultant (who was a bit of a knob from memory!) said that Sarah should get some sleep and he would reassess at midnight, so she had a few hours kip whilst I chatted to the very friendly midwives. Little one’s heart rate kept racing and plummeting so after a pretty scary couple of hours Sarah was woken up and we all nipped off for a C Section!

After being in the Berks for a full 24hrs we were just glad it was all about to reach the exciting baby-meeting part. After getting all gowned up it was all over in a few minutes!! I sat up at the less gory end and chatted to Sarah and a few seconds later the surgeon held up our little one from behind the screen. And he had testicles! And massive purple hands!! I remember thinking randomly that I hoped he wouldn’t get bullied at school because of his massive hands (obviously they looked normal the next day!)

What were you most afraid of during your partner’s birth?

When little one’s heartbeat started going a bit crazy that was pretty scary. The whole C Section experience was probably pretty scary all round too, but it all happened so quickly that there was no time to get too stressed about it! Considering it’s pretty major surgery with no preparation whatsoever the whole experience is bizarre!

What was the best and most positive part of your partners birth?

All of the time we were in the midwife led unit was lovely – like being in a nice hotel with lots of staff! But the best part was seeing little one for the first time and getting to hold him while Sarah was recovering from the medication.

How did you support your partner and baby after the birth?

Fir the first few days Sarah was in hospital so I spent most of my time there doing whatever I could to be useful. I then took the first month off work and tried to do as much as I could at home given that Sarah couldn’t lift things or drive for quite a while. Just the normal things that all dads should naturally be doing really! That first month was certainly a shock to the system. We knew there’d be crying and a lack of sleep, but CHRIST ON A BIKE it was harder than expected!!

What advice would you give to a birthing partner?

Just to be there and to try to imagine what kind of support you might want if you were about to squeeze out a bowling ball from your nether regions! Do whatever your partner asks you to do, don’t moan about anything, try to keep off of your phone and don’t flirt with the midwives. Easy!!

A little bit about James

“Until May 2014 I had no great interest in babies – I always knew I wanted children but until our little one arrived on the scene I really had no idea how I’d adapt to fatherhood. One thing is for sure – no two days have been quite the same ever since and it’s been a physical and emotional rollercoaster! But would I change it – not for the world!! This blog is a generally humorous look at my journey as a dad to a very active and cheeky two year-old, talking about all the ups and downs of looking after a small person!

You can find James on his blog, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Instagram.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. If you would you like to take part in my guest series, then drop me an email at

Claire x

The Pramshed


  • A Mum Track Mind

    Omg I totally read the birth bit wrong and thought you’d written “he had massive purple testicles” and I was thinking “what an odd thing to notice!” Haha! Glad I re-read it
    I bet your name was mud for locking yourself out of the house mid-contractions James poor you! Happy to hear that all was safe and well in the end – it can be such a long old ordeal can’t it?
    Loving this series Claire X #triballove

  • Kaye

    Such a lovely interview, I love hearing a Dad’s point of view as it’s quite often Mum’s talking about their births plus James is fab! #fortheloveofblog

  • Claire

    It’s lovely to read a dads version of labour! When my husband tells our labour story he starts with saying it was really tiring. Tiring for you?! Try being in the hot seat! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • The Pramshed

      I can imagine it was really tiring for them, but tiring in a different way…..more the anticipation and worrying that they are not doing enough. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 x

  • Over Heaven's Hill

    Love this interview with James. What a memory of getting locked out of the house! Well done for managing to unlock the door we did that before and failed miserably to get back in without a locksmith! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Kat

    Really lovely to know a bit more about you James and hear the birth story from your view. So right what you said about c-sections being major surgery but not actually having much time to prepare for them! I felt like that but after the surgery because I just didn’t have much time to think/protest/adapt! #fortheloveofblog

    • The Pramshed

      There’s not much time to prepare at all, you’re just whipped in there, and baby is whipped out. Plus your whole body and mind is in a complete blur, so hardly any time to think about it. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 x

  • Sunita

    Great idea to hear the partners view. People can underestimate how stressful it can be for them too. Men suffer from anxiety too especially when they’re waiting for baby to arrive! We loved our NCT group too. Shame we didn’t get to experience the knitted boob though!!! 😉 #fortheloveofBLOG

    • The Pramshed

      Everyone talks about the knitted boob! Yes it’s so nice to hear from the other side, and often the thoughts and feeling of the partner are not talked about, or completely overlooked. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 x

  • anywaytostayathome

    I love the partner’s view it’s great to hear another side of the experience. I’m secretly glad James locked the keys in the house, it’s made my husb feel so much better as we had to go back to the house twice. Once because he couldn’t remember if he’d locked it, then again to get birthing notes! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • ljdove23

    Haha this made me laugh, massive hands is definitely something my husband would immediately pick up on! I love this series and reading about the other side of pregnancy and labour. My husband still moans about how exhausting it was for him when I was induced with our first baby together, I remember at one point him asking me to move up on the bed so he could get on and have a nap!! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • The Pramshed

      Ha ha! Yes my husband was with me the entire time before my little girl finally arrived…..60 hours after the induction started. It’s lovely hearing the partner’s views. Glad you are enjoying the series. Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂 x

  • Sian QuiteFranklySheSaid

    I love birth stories especially from the partners point of view. I actually cried a bit reading this as it reminded me of my csec. And James hit the nail on the head saying it’s major surgery with no preparation x #fortheloveofBLOG

    • The Pramshed

      Oh no sorry to have made you cry 🙁 Yes it’s major surgery and the recovery is hard and long, but worth it in the end. It’s scary how many blogger’s have had them 🙂 x

  • Sonia

    Very down to earth dad and though I didn’t have a c section, he took a similar approach to my hubby. I think he would give exactly the same advice to any birth partner with an added ‘don’t show signs of pain even if she’s squeezing your hand so hard you actually realise she broke a bone a few days later’ – I broke a bone in his hand and (bless him) he didn’t say a word about it until I noticed the swelling! Xx#fortheloveofBLOG

  • Becci

    Great Dads view !! I think us ladies prepare for motherhood as soon as we get the blue line . Dads prepare when baby’s are in front of them #fortheloveofblog

    • The Pramshed

      Nicely said, and I think that can be quite true, although I think there’s a lot of worry in the mind of a Dad, so it’s really nice to hear it from their perspective in my guest series. Thanks for reading and commenting :)x

  • Fi - Beauty Baby and Me

    A great read – I love hearing things from a Dad’s perspective. Us Mums tend to get all the attention and it’s important to hear the Dad’s thoughts on things too. Thanks for hosting chick xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Karen - Twicemicrowaved tea

    This is so similar to the experience we had and it’s great to hear another dad’s point of view. And those knitted boobs!! Everyone I know who’s done NCT classes in all different parts of the UK has seen one of those – who on earth is knitting them?! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Jane Taylor Maflingo

    The massive purple hands and worrying about bullying already really made me snort. Great interview, James. #Fortheloveofblog

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