This week I’m excited to introduce Wendy from Naptime Natter to my guest series -The Partner’s View. I loved reading this birth story told by Wendy’s partner Oli, as it goes to show how amazing and strong the human body is. It sounds like Wendy had a brilliant text book birth, I’m slightly jealous you got to experience a pool! Well done Wendy, and congrats on the birth of Oli. I hope the next one is just as brilliant for you. Please all have a ready of Wendy’s experience.
What were your thoughts and feelings leading up to the birth of your child?
I remember feeling very excited about finding out whether we were right in thinking, completely narrow mindedly, that we were definitely having a boy. Worrying that we had enough of the right things that babies need like nappies, bottles, clothes, bedding etc but mostly I remember dreaming about what he (as we assumed……correctly!) would look like.
As a birth partner, how did you prepare for the birth?
Because I work in health care I planned my side of the birth like I would do work, I imagined all of the scenarios and planned what I would do in each event, logistically thinking of where to go and at what stages of labour. We went to a very good group of anti-natal classes where they went through the stages of labour and how long contractions should last for before we did everything and stored them in my mind so I could keep Wend calm as well as plan for the next stage.
Tell us a little about your partners birth?
It started at about 9 in the morning, I got a phone call at work with Wend saying she felt something was happening and that it was different from anything she had felt before and that the baby was coming. When I got home I think she had started to run a bath to ease the pain so I helped her into it, we sat in the bathroom together listening to music and ‘walking up the stairs’ through the start of each contraction and ‘walking back down the stairs’ as it eased off again. I called her parents by about mid day as they were taking us to hospital, we got to the hospital at quite a busy time so waited around for about half a hour but to us I think it felt like a lot longer! Wend was seen by her midwives and checked for how far through her labour she was whilst on the ward and by some miracle we were offered a family room downstairs to ourselves.
Whilst we were down there Wend was on gas and air only and the contractions started coming thick and fast, we could hear a woman in the pool, which was next door, having a hard time of it and on one of her checks the midwife had suggested that this woman was having to go onto the ward and so the pool would be free and would Wend like to use it? We hadn’t considered a water birth but this was about 4:30pm and so labour had been going for about 7 hours and the gas and air was starting not to cut it so Wend said yes as pain relief she would try the pool. This turned out to be the best thing ever, Wend stayed in the pool for the next 4 hours, contractions coming faster together until eventually the midwife had to check how dilated Wend was, exactly half an hour after Wend was examined she some how knew exactly what to do and what position to be in and what seemed like moments to me my beautiful son was born, I will never, ever forget the sight of Wend leaning back as Leo was pushed forward by the momentum of the water and I watched as he looked up at his mum from underneath the water and she gazed down at him with pure love. The image of their eyes meeting for the first time will be something I keep with me forever.
What were you most afraid of during your partner’s birth?
I wasn’t afraid of anything during the labour or the birth, Wend was the strongest I’d ever seen anyone be and the midwives were amazing. I was an onlooker to the most unplanned but beautifully choreographed event and for me everything went perfectly.
What was the best and most positive part of your partners birth?
The best part was and will always be the long unblinking look they gave each other as mum and son met for the first time, finally meeting.
How did you support your partner and baby after the birth?
For the first few weeks Wend did the night shift and I did the day shift so that we could both sleep and so there was always one of us awake and charged when Leo needed us. That changed once I went back to work which was very hard on Wend as she breast fed Leo until he was nine months.
What advice would you give to a birthing partner?
Be calm and reassuring and just to be involved, it could feel easy to take a back seat and let the midwives and your partner do it all but just being there and holding hands, making sure the gas and air reaches(!) and telling her how proud you are I hope was enough.
A little bit about Wendy
“Hi, I’m Wendy! A stay at home mum to my very cheeky toddler Leo and wife to my best friend Oli. Because life with a toddler isn’t crazy enough (!), Oli and I decided to have another baby who will be arriving into the world late October 2016. I am all about fun family days out, exploring the woods, walks on the beach and just enjoying life.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. If you would you like to take part in my guest series, then drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org