Our Doctors started to become concerned about how high Stacey’s blood pressure had gotten, and our obstetrician decided it was time to get involved.
Having consulted mates about what that involved, I was informed of the Errol Alcott gel that would be applied to get the ball rolling (induction).
In the hospital room, a nurse used a quite surprisingly direct method to “apply” this magic gel, and my mind started to race. Being an idiot, I thought that this gel would literally jump-start the birth, so that things would be well underway within 60 seconds. As I found out, it took many hours, and several re-applications before it took effect.
With Stacey’s belly strapped to a machine that beeps, I could monitor the strength of the contractions, and the unborn babies heart beat. That is one stress-creating machine.
The epidural was amazing. Whilst on the gas, Stacey fought her way through contractions that showed “50” on the machine. With the epidural, and some further injections that sped up the contractions, the machine showed up to “150”, with Stacey none-the-wiser.
When the time was right, in a very tense moment, the epidural was switched off to allow Stacey to more effectively push, and the show was really on the road.
I quickly went from water boy, cheerleader and head-patter to leg holder, pushing coach and obstetric advisor. Legally, I think, the obstetrician needs to get advice from the pregnant couple, not just act as he/she sees fit. That was the BIG shock to me, and that is exactly why every pregnant man should AT LEAST watch Being Dad: The Baby DVD. Be prepared!
My half way born baby started to run into trouble and needed some help getting the last little distance. After a conference, we decided on an episiotomy (fellas – no matter how tough you are, do not look at this. When scissors come out of a packet? look away!!), followed by a suction cap, which when applied to the babies scalp, pulled my baby girl into the world. I don’t know how to describe the actual birth other than a sight you very rarely see – a small person coming out of a big one? unbelievable. In general, an outrageously stressful day, followed by an enormous sigh of relief and a terrific feeling of accomplishment.
Whilst the mum-to-be definitely has the hardest and most difficult role on the day, don’t discount what the dad-to-be has on his plate. It is probably the biggest day in his life, he is largely powerless to help, he is well aware of the potential dangers, and is in a completely unfamiliar situation and surroundings.
Although Troy says my job was harder, I didn’t feel that way at all. I did have an epidural (my new best friend), so I didn’t feel much pain and with everyone trying to keep me calm and focused I was unaware of any baby related issues. I had a huge amount of sleep leading up to the pregnancy and due to my ever increasing size I began to snore too loudly that Troy hadn’t had any sleep since month 5. Troy definitely looked worse on the day (I think).
Find out more about the Being Dad dvd here.