This week we are back with my guest series – The Partner’s View. I set up this guest series as I felt that often during child birth the partner’s feelings and thoughts are overlooked, and then never discussed together afterwards, which I believe is vital for you to understand the full picture of such an important event in our lives. I’m really excited to introduce Emily from Babies and Beauty, and her partner who is sharing their birth story with us. I’ve read lots of stories about child birth the second time round, and it is always different. This is a moving story where Emily’s partner is really prepared for the birth, and to be supportive for Emily during and after the birth. I really hope that P is better now, I can’t imagine how hard that must have been.
1. What were your thoughts and feelings leading up to the birth of your child?
Excitement, anticipation, all of the emotions you get leading up to any big event. But, also incredibly nervous. We’d been through this before so we had a little bit more knowledge of what was to come. I’m not sure if this is actually good, bad or even useful though as every birth is incredibly different.
2. As a birth partner, how did you prepare for the birth?
With Patrick being our second, Emily was a lot clearer in what she did and didn’t want which was a stark contrast to Noahs birth as she’d been quite laid back about that. I made sure I was familiar with all her wishes because I was going to be her mouthpiece if she wasn’t able to communicate properly in the height of labour. I also (okay maybe Emily pushed me into this – but I’m glad she did) went through our hospital bags so I knew what was where and in which bag, just so when she needed something fast, I could be as helpful as possible.
3. Tell us a little about your partners birth?
It was an induction for Patrick, at 36 weeks which was scary. We found out two weeks prior that Emilys waters had actually broken at 29 weeks when we thought they had. Although P seemed in no distress, he needed to be out. So we were taken to a labour room, she had her examination, pessary and some monitoring, and then we were advised to have a walk around. Emily, being Emily was adamant she could already feel things happening so we just relaxed in the hospital lobby with some magazines and coffees. Around 9pm we trudged back to our room, she bounced on the ball, we laughed and chatted (her mum was also with us) and then around 12pm, Emily started to get uncomfortable so she got changed to her PJs just incase. I remember thinking she’d have the baby before 6am, because Noahs birth had been relatively quick, so I text around to her siblings and we all made guesses on time and weight. Around 1pm they managed to break her waters and gave her a little gas and air as her examinations were really uncomfortable for her, the hours seemed to completely fly by and when it got to around 4am Emily swore she needed to push. The midwife, who was a student, seemed quite reluctant to believe her, she kept wandering off and I could tell Emily was becoming agitated. She began to push and the midwife checked her at that exact moment to see his head descending. At that point the red button was pushed for others to come and help, but only one lady managed to get in, in time, she also ripped her cannula out during the panic, queue blood spouting everywhere. Just like that Patrick made his entrance to the world, at exactly 4:30am on the 7th of June, weighing a good 6lb 5.
4. What were you most afraid of during your partner’s birth?
I knew Emily was nervous about tearing with Patrick, as she did quite badly with Noah. Understandably as he was a chunky 9lb 13, so naturally the thought of that worried me as I just wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. Then of course, he was going to be premature, he’d been without 80% of his waters for over 6 weeks, so we knew there was a lot of problems that could come with those circumstances. Unfortunately, we experienced some of those too.
5. What was the best and most positive part of your partners birth?
His safe arrival, knowing Emily managed to do it just how she wanted. Initially Patrick seemed perfectly healthy, so that was a nice feeling and of course I had two sons now. What more could I want?
6. How did you support your partner and baby after the birth?
It’s a hard one, you don’t really think about what you did till you have moments like this to sit and reflect. I mean, I feel I’m quite hands on with both boys so help out as much as I can with day to day tasks. I’ll take the boys to let Emily get some rest. But in those days after labour, we were still at the hospital for a week with P. It was a hard, long week, he was incredibly poorly in intensive care so I just made sure any opportunities for cuddles outside of his incubator in the first days, went to Emily, I felt as though she needed them a little more than I did.
7. What advice would you give to a birthing partner?
This is a tough one, you’d think going through it twice already I’d know a thing or two, but in all honesty it’s so relative and different for everyone so you can’t ever be fully prepared. However, I’d make sure you know where everything is in your partners bags, you don’t want to be asking her where your deodorant is, mid contraction – I don’t think that would put you in the good books. Also do exactly as I did this time, get to know their wants and really don’t-wants for labour, because you never know when you might need to speak up. Lastly, don’t put their phone in your back pocket and then sit on it for 6 hours, Iphone screens are not that strong. Sorry Emily!
A bit about Emily
“I’m Emily, I’m 24, a mummy to Noah and Patrick. Babies and Beauty started in September 2013 whilst I was looking for an outlet to document my first pregnancy. I found blogs extremely helpful, turning to them for advice, tips, recommendations and of course some humour in those tired hours of the morning when I’m up with my smalls, and I wanted to be exactly that for somebody else out there – thus Babies and Beauty was created. Whilst juggling a full time job, two vivacious boys and a household, I sneak away to my computer and get lost in my little ‘me time’ that is this blog.”
Thank you Emily and her partner for taking part in my guest series. If you would like to take part in my guest series, then just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org