thread: Paris' Birth - The Male Perspective

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jul 2003
    Melbourne, Australia

    Paris' Birth - The Male Perspective

    This was written by me in Jan/Feb of 2002, but I just re-discovered it on my computer at work *almost complete*, so I am posting it as found. Here goes:

    I thought I might give a different perspective of the traditional Birth Story - this time, from the male point of view. I'll try and outline my feelings and thoughts during the time leading up to labor, and the labor process itself (as I experienced it).
    After hearing various horror stories from different sources about complications occurring during pregnancy and labor, I was filled with a fair amount of trepidation about the actual birth, and the (in)effectiveness of anything I could personally do to help my wife through the process.
    But, I figured most of what I was there for was Support, Support, Support, as well as a healthy dose of excited anticipation
    Really, during most of the pregnancy and labor (and even still), I was constantly asking myself 'Is this really happening?' in a state of wonder. Every time it hit me that we were about to bring a new life into the world, and that we would be responsible for the growth, development and education of this new being, I felt a little overwhelmed, but at the same time quite honoured, proud and excited.
    Well, on with the story...
    We had past the original due date for our baby to be born by a couple of days, when Cailin started having some irritating itching all over her body during the night. We figured that this was probably a sign that things were finally going to start moving in the next couple of days, but Cailin had heard that intense itching around the time of expected due date could be the sign of problems, so to be safe we trundled off to the hospital in the early hours of the morning just to check it out.
    Waiting in the admissions section, the nurse hooked up Cailin to the standard foetal monitor to see how things were going. After checking the output, she remarked that the contractions seemed to be quite intense, and Cailin (who has an amazing pain threshold) tentatively agreed. So, a doctor was called down to verify this result, and once he checked everything out, they got me to sign all the paperwork to admit her as a patient.
    All-in-all, we were a bit amazed - thinking that we had just come in for a routine check to make sure the itching was not causing problems, and ending up being admitted for the real labor!
    So, we moved up to the birthing ward, and realised that we hadn't brought the pre-packed labor bag (silly, silly, silly), so I took a quick trip back home to acquire the necessary bits and pieces and informed my mum and a couple of other people that Cailin was now in labor.
    As the day wore on the contractions continued, but they stayed around the same intensity although they were not coming regularly, so the staff recommended some mild pain killers and sleep. Most of the day was filled with baths, showers and breathing (finally I could do something constructive - run a nice warm bath!). Well, the sleep thing just wasn't happening while the pain was breaking through, so during the night Cailin tried out the Pethadine , which worked wonders and allowed her to get a couple of hours sleep. After waking up, a trip to the toilet resulted in Cailin's waters breaking, although with the presence of Mec, we both started to feel that this wasnt going to be a straight-foward birth anymore. The doctor tried to reassure us that the Mec would be cleared as soon as the baby was born, but I was still worried that the labour had gone on so long and may still go on for a while - and if that were the case, then there would be an increased chance of the baby inhaling or gulping the Mec.
    Meanwhile the doctor decided to give Cailin an injection of oxytocin to increase the contractions since things hadn't really ramped up from when she was first admitted into hospital. Along with this, and since Cailin was now getting exhausted from the lack of real sleep combined with almost 24 hours of 'labour' contractions, an epidural was put in so that it was easier to manage.
    At this point, they started talking of a possible caesarian since contractions were slow and of course, there was Mec in the waters. Both Cailin and I agreed that we would follow whatever course as long as the baby was safe. I could tell that Cailin was getting a little stressed, with the combination of things happening (or not happening) so I put on a brave face and tried to be as reassuring as I could.
    While they waiting to see if the oxytocin would produce some positive results, I popped downstiars to grab a quick bite for breakfast. When I got back upstairs, everything was moving at lightspeed as they had decided that the c-sect was the best choice, since the baby was getting distressed with the increased contractions.
    They shuffled Cailin onto a trolley and we were whisked away to another floor where the operating theatre was. While they prepared Cailin for theatre, I had to get changed into medical garb, and then had to wait until they had made the initial incision before I was allowed into the theatre. I can tell you that it was the most agitating time I have ever had to wait - being separated at such a crucial point, I was almost ready to burst through the doors unannounced.
    When I finally got in, they gave me a seat next to Cailin's head. She seemed very groggy, and the doctors were all busy cutting, swabbing and holding. Pretty soon (and before I knew it), they were holding up a pink bundle of flesh that was doing her best to tell the world that she didn't want to come out and play just yet. Having wiped her off a bit and cutting the cord, our new baby daughter was handed over the screen to us, as we looked in awe at this new package of joy.
    Then I was told that Paris was to be taken down to the nursery to be weighed and measured while Cailin had to be stitched back up then taken into the recovery suite for a little while to make sure there were no complications. Having agreed beforehand that I was not to leave Paris under any circumstances, I went down to oversee the measurements, then waited for mummy to get back. I held my daughter and talked to her while waiting, telling her how wonderful she was, and what a great effort mummy had put in to give birth to such a gorgeous baby, and how mummy could hardly wait to meet her properly.
    After about half-an-hour, Cailin finally got wheeled back down to a normal room next to the nursery, and we were able to share in the wonder of our newborn together.
    Since then we have experienced the joys and worries, thrills and concerns of our beautiful baby girl, and our love for her grows each day.


  2. #2
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    Awwww Marc that was lovely

    I have never heard a birth story told from the perspective of the dad & you did it sooo well.

  3. #3
    Pietta Guest

    I agree that was great. You got all the importnat bits and obviously left out all the nitty gritty scary bits like painful contractions and stuff!!

    That was lovely. =D>

  4. #4
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    I have to appologise to my dear husband When he originally posted this I did get quite upset, due to the fact that IMO its very rose coloured. But I guess thats why its the male perspective LOL! Paris' labour was quite easy to me apart from the exhaustion like marc said, but the c/s for me was not as pleasant. I was expecting to have paris placed on my chest and being able to cuddle her (didn't happen). From what I remember Paris was either held by marc or a staff member over me (my arms had drips and things in them) and I was able to touch but not hold (which I dearly wanted to) and it lasted for only a few minutes before they were rushed off to do checks on paris and I was rushed off to recovery. This was the most horrible part for me, if I could change anything I would change this. I was in recovery for about an hour (see how our stories differ LOL) surrounded by moaning women who had probably just come out of some serious operations (most were older so I don't think they were c/s or labour related). The nurses in there were wandering around acting as though we didn't exist talking about their weekends and how "trashed" they got. Most of the women were quite out of it, I however wasn't so I found this quite distressing. Here I was a new mother stuck in a room with my baby and my husband not by my side. I felt like recovery had cheapened the experience and since speaking to one of my gf's I know that some hospitals do not believe in seperating families during recovery (this is something I am going to ask about when chosing a hospital second time around). I guess you could say I felt ripped off by the fact that paris' first moments were not spent with the person who carried her for 9 mths and this distressed me quite alot. Even now nearly 3 yrs later it upsets me. But on the opposite side, I am greatful that marc got to experience what alot of dads usually don't, he was the one who had those first prescious moments with her and thats beautiful. And I would rather that then have him by my side whilst she was off in a nursery somewhere. Its funny I know some women who didn't mind the C/S experience at all but ALOT felt the same way I did and I really don't understand why if its so distressing for the mother to be seperated why they still do it when I know it is possible (as they do it in some hospitals) for everyone to be together.

    Thank you Marc for posting, and sorry for my original reaction I guess its still something I find hard to deal with 8-[

    Regardless of her birth, she's still the apple of my eye and if it meant an hour without her to save her life and/or mine I wouldn't change it for the world.


  5. #5
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    Cailin, my mum had a similar experience with her first. They didn't even tell her what sex she was before they whisked my sister away. Dad went with my sister & went out into the waiting room & told everyone that it was a girl. Mum was sooooo cranky that everyone else knew what sex her baby was before she did. So when I was born (and then the other two after me) mum said that no-one not even dad could find out the sex before she did! It was in 1977, so things were a bit different then though.

    Here's hoping that soon you'll be having your second & you'll get to have everything just the way you want

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Apr 2004
    Sydney, NSW

    Hey Marc and Caitlin!

    Congratulations and well done.

    Thanks for sharing your side of the story Marc, its not often that we women actually think about what it is like for men.... Must say I was touched.

    Caitlin, I am sorry for your recovery experience. I work in a hospital and although I only operate on non-pregnant people, I always try and be aware of families and their wishes, and sincerely hope that that was a one of experience and that with your next baby your birth experience and treatment in hospital is everything you hope for.


  7. #7
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    Kilmore Vic

    Birth is very different from the male perspective. I was speaking to my cousins partner, their baby was born yesterday, and he was saying how nearing the end of her very difficult labour, which involved vaccum extraction at the end, my cousin turned to him and his mum and said "Help me!" He said he felt tears in his eyes and was feeling so angry that there was nothing he could do to help her, he wanted to punch somebody, or make the doctor make it end. The doctor who delivered is my Dr and he is very good, and my cousins partner said later he did a great job, but he just needed to channel his helplessness some way. Of course he didn't hurt the doctor! LOL his mother told him to accept he was useless as tits on a bull, and this took a while to sink in, but unfortunately she was right! There wasn't anything he could do.

    Cailin I can understand how you felt about the whipped away thing. Not that I had the same thing you did, but when my first was born, I had an episiotomy to be sewn up and I don't remember holding my baby Jordan first. Arron held her and then he took her to the door and showed her to everybody (the hospital was like a circus that night with the whole waiting room full of family, immediate and extended) and she was put in a crib, the video shows her in her crib, pre bath and his mum is holding her. Boy was I ****ed when I saw that, and even to this day it irks me. Arron said it didnt happen like that and that I held her first, but I don't remember holding her till after I was stitched up. The video shows, my MIL holding her and then she is wrapped up and I am holding her.

    Arron spent the entire labour of our first child, going to the toilet, washing his hands and getting a drink, over and over again. He wanted to make sure his hands were clean so he could hold his child and he almost washed his fingerprints away. He was nervous so he needed to go to the toilet all the time.

    Cheers Michelle

  8. #8
    bec1982 Guest

    i do agree males see birth completely different, my husband's first birth was my second one and he sat there in an armchair 2 metres away doing puzzles with the curtain over his head so he could get light from the window (i had the lights off) he wouldnt massage my back or hold my hand. i was very annoyed to say the least. he told me it was boring being in the room. i could have choked him. i was so scared b/c i was 4 weeks early and babies heartrate kept dropping. all he did was sit there. i told him when i hwas pregnant tameeka if he didnt help me he wouldnt be in the room. i had my mother and my older sister in as well thankfully. tameekas birth was great (i will post the birth story after this)

    i have also been on the other end of a birth, my friend had her baby 11 weeks after i had tameeka, and i can tell you i felt all the pain she was going through b/c i had just been there again. i felt like i couldnt do anything for her and i felt useless but i would still rather be there feeling useless then going through the labour lmao