This week on my series – The Partner’s View, I’m excited to introduce Charlie from Ramblings of a Reluctant Mother. Charlie’s partner tells us about their action packed and scary childbirth of their daughter Cecily. It was meant to be a planned C-Section but ended up being a (very) quick natural birth. I loved reading this and enjoyed the references to Jason Bourne!
What were your thoughts and feelings leading up to the birth?
Well I guess for this one, it was a combination of many different emotions, the overriding one was certainly excitement! It was however a photo finish for the top spot between anxiety, unadulterated fear and the thought of am I going to be ready for this, how will this monumental change effect everything from relationships, friendships, work and everything in between.
As a birth partner how did you prepare for the birth?
Charlie made the decision that she didn’t want to attend NCT classes so I tried to learn as much as I could through books and online research. As a couple we also attended Parentskool, a parenting class in Hove, which was a great insight into what to expect during the first 6 months of welcoming our new arrival.
Tell us a little about your partners birth?
This could be an entire novel in itself! Charlie was due to have a C-section at 9am on March 8th. Cecily was born naturally at 08:10 a mere 73 minutes after Charlie went into labour! Amongst the mornings events were being sent a paramedic in a car and NOT an ambulance after the 999 call handler did not mention Charlie was pregnant. Then when the ambulance was finally dispatched finally, by which point the contractions were happening every 90 seconds, it was driven by what I can only assume was Jason Bourne!! The four mile trip was spent mostly on the wrong side of the road and I was sat in the ambulance watching helplessly as Charlie went through the pain of the contractions and the gas seemed to make no difference, it was very hard to watch. When we got to the hospital it all happened very quickly, we got into the room and just minutes later I had a beautiful daughter, I really didn’t have time to take it all in, the way it all happened was a bit of an unexpected shock and really not what I’d been preparing for.
What were you most afraid of during your partners birth?
The first thing was the speed at which the contractions arrived, the books spoke about the first contractions being on average 20-30 minute apart. Charlie started at about 120 seconds! This rapid start to the labour was certainly rather scary and did make me worry for Charlie and Cecily, then with the confusion over the ambulance I was scared we might not make it to the hospital in time and Cecily would end up being born in the ambulance or even worse at home. I was also worried, and unfortunately it turned out to be a valid worry, that Charlie wouldn’t be able to have her planned C-section.
What was the best and most positive part of your partners birth?
Unsurprisingly the arrival of our amazing and brilliant daughter Cecily. Although the tea and digestive biscuits were a massive plus point!
How did you support your partner and baby after the birth?
It was certainly a very busy time! Charlie was in hospital for four days so I would make sure I was off work and visiting everyday. Make lists and be prepared to fetch and carry lots of things.. In the first few days I would also change and hold Cecily as much as possible when Charlie needed a break. This did not stop when they came home, I always try to help and give Charlie a break as often as possible, it’s important let the mum have some time even if it’s just to sleep. Another thing would be keep everything ticking over at home and making sure it’s a good place for new mum and baby to come back to.
What advice would you give to a birthing partner?
Apparently the big thing for Charlie… hugs!! To be honest the main one is support, it is the key, but don’t try and interfere too much and never question what your partner wants. In hospital there genuinely isn’t too much you can do other than let the amazing paramedics, nurses and doctors do their thing certainly in the early stages but beforehand make sure bags are ready to go and you have a rough idea of what’s going to happen!! Oh and possibly make food and freeze it for their return!
A little bit about Charlie
“Hi…I’m Charlie and I’m now a first time mum, yikes!! I had my gorgeous little girl on the 8th March. I love her so much but just as I felt nervous about becoming a parent during pregnancy, I still have all these feeling now she’s here. I have no idea what to expect in the coming months and years but I am excited about my journey, however I am also scared, hence the use of the word ‘reluctant’ in the blogs name. I feel I should clarify that for me that word means nervous and unsure about how to be the best mum.
Thank you so much to Charlie and her partner for joining my series. If you’ve enjoyed reading and would like to take part, then drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org