So exactly one week ago today, my wife and I welcomed Finn into the world and we are officially in love with him!
Despite being 11 days overdue in the end, he was born a healthy 7lbs 5oz, which we were actually quite surprised about - surely he’d be bigger???
The labour was long too. Although I’m not going to bore you with the details (that shit belongs on Mumsnet), I will say that as a birthing partner, it is tough work being “on” the whole time - especially if you want to ensure your other half is as comfortable as possible during the process...
We were given the first stage of the Induction on Tuesday at 11am (a pessary) which you need to wait 24hrs to see if it has any effect; it didn’t. I waited most of the day in hospital with my wife and then got sent home that night. By the time I was allowed back in the morning, nothing had happened, still.
The 2nd stage (another, but stronger pessary) was given around midday on the Wednesday and this was a 6 hour wait, which didn’t bloody work either! We were about to ask if my wife could just come home and hopefully let things progress there (it’s better for relaxation and therefore should help with oxytocin release to start labour naturally), but fortunately they offered to manually break her waters and we were moved to the labour suite...
Hang on a minute, I said I wasn’t going to bore you with the details. Sorry. Anyway, they broke her waters, started her on a synthetic oxytocin drip at about midnight and we then spent the next 8 hours with her in agony, sucking gas & air like there’s no tomorrow and me trying to massage her lower back with a flexfit peanut at every contraction! We were both knackered. Granted, I wasn’t in pain with synthetically-induced contractions (which are apparently more intense than natural ones), but neither of us had slept and we were now faced with waiting for actual labour to begin! Yes, that’s right, we were in pre-labour. This is the shit they don’t warn you about when your missus gets induced; she’d been in constant pain for over 8hrs and this was just to encourage things to start happening! For the record, 1st stage labour is waiting for the cervix to dilate to 10cm and 2nd stage is the pushing, etc. following dilation...
So after being examined again at 8am and being told she was only 3cm dilated, my wife - quite rightly so - decided she didn’t want to be in pain for what could be a further 14hrs (it can take an hour to get just another 0.5cm!), so we opted for some diamorphine to take the edge off and hopefully allow her to get some sleep. In the meantime, we asked about an epidural and spoke with an anaesthesiologist to start the process.
To be honest, I’m glad we went for the drugs, despite being dead-against it from the start; it was a relief to see my wife coping better with the contractions and not being wracked with pain. Surprisingly enough, within 3 hours of having the first drugs, we had another exam and she was 10cm dilated already - we basically skipped the 1st stage and went straight to pushing!
My wife was a machine during stage 2. I could not be in more awe of anyone, ever. She went at it for 2.5hrs, pushing hard with every contraction, not once complaining or saying she needed a break. She wanted that baby out! It was amazing to see her just smash it. She smashed child birth and I couldn’t be prouder.
Believe me though, as a “spectator”, if you’re involved in the labour process with someone you love, you will never feel so powerless in your life. You can literally do nothing but be present and supportive, and that’s hard. However, the reward you get when you see your child for the first time... Wow.
I’ll tell you more about that part another time, but for now, here’s a picture of my son and he’s fucking gorgeous!