The Eldridge Family

A Birth Suite Warning for New Dads

October 5, 2018
Dad, Newborn, Baby, Birth

Dads To Be, Listen Up

This is a direct warning for new dads to be. Read carefully.

Please Note Two Things: Firstly, this is for your standard run of the mill birth, no c-section and no epidural. I am sure they should also come with warnings, but I can’t help because I didn’t go through them. Secondly, this is for the real dads, not the douchebags who don't want to go in, or do go in and just sit on their phones the whole time. And yes, that happens, my wife is an obstetrician and sees it.

You might have been warned already about what to expect in the birthing suite; you might have read a few posts politely outlining a few things things you should know; you might even think you can imagine what you can expect just because you technically know how a baby is born. Hahahaha......

I have been in there twice now, and I felt ill prepared both times. Here is my brutally honest list of what new dads can expect in the birth suite for the birth of their newborn.

First Things First: Prepare

Don't go out boozing; Eat Nutritious Food; Get your body ready as if you were about to run a marathon, because the only difference, is that you know what day the marathon is on and you have no idea what day the birth is going to be. The day of birth is like no other, so just be ready!

Clear Your Schedule

Got somewhere else to be? Is there a game on tonight? Want to get to a gig?
Forget it!
There is a good chance the birth is going to go for a long time. It will just go until it doesn't, and you just need to be ready for the long haul. If you are going to have an induction, it will take even longer. Clear your schedule.

It’s Not About You

Got a headache? Got a saw tooth? Got an ulcer? Got a broken arm? Recently had a leg amputated?
Who cares!!!
You bring up your illness or ailment just one time during birth, you will be eaten alive. Not sure who will take the first bite though: your partner, the midwife or the doc. Just shut up, put up with it, and outwardly project that you are in perfect health and feel like a million bucks.

Do It Immediately

You can think of yourself as a slave during this whole process. In fact, if you don't you will most likely regret it.

If anyone in that room, asks anything of you, do it, and do it RIGHT AWAY! This is not the office, where any immediate requests probably means 'sometime today'. It is the OPPOSITE. If your wife says, "Pass me the towel when your ready", that actually means, "Get me the towel now or get out of the ******** room".

Just be aware that you are the lowest ranked person in the room, and will be asked to do a lot of things. Don't complain, or take your time. Just do it with a smile, straight away.

Super Strength

So you think you know the strength of your wife/partner? Well, you are going to see a transformation similar to the hulk (just not green and oversized). You will most likely be put into a couple of positions where your partner will be using you as a human stress ball.

The most common position will be 'Squeeze My Hand'. You may be able to handle it, maybe not, but you will be surprised at how hard she will grasp.

The next position is a 'Foot to the Hip'. During the last parts of the birth, it is common for your partner to place a foot on your hip, and hold your hand, and really push the foot into your hip. Hang on!!! It will hit you like some sort of flying kick by Conor McGregor.
Strength of Your Wife During Labour
Conor McGregor, AKA strength of your wife during birth

It’s Just a Vagina

I didn't want to include this, but I think it's important. In the past (especially around 10 months ago), and in the near future, you will think of your partners body parts as sexy and sensual body parts that only you get to enjoy.

However...... During birth, those body parts have a very specific purpose, and its not sexy. With that in mind, just know that everyone in the room will also only be thinking of those body parts as purposeful. Everyone will be taking a look, everyone will be examining. Get comfortable with it. They are all 100% professionals in the birth suite.

Now, most partners will already have know this, but I have heard not all understand it, so I just wanted to include it.

You Will be Wrong

Leave your defensiveness and smart-mouth at the door. Yes, you will most likely be right, but even if you are right, you will be wrong. Just accept it, and apologise, and go with it.

Wife: "Honey, can you please massage me right here?" Points to spot.
Husband: "No Problem!" Smiles and begins to massage.
Wife: "Stop massaging me!".
Your Normal Response: "You just asked me to!"
Your Birth Suite Response: "I am sorry, is there anything else I can do? I am so proud of you! Cold washer maybe?"

Don't think I am kidding! This happens all the time. Just do whatever they want, however they want, and don't back chat. At some point during the day (or many times), you will be doing something wrong, just fix it and move on. Whatever you do, don't get defensive and/or have an attitude.

The Blood

You are going to see blood, just don't be like me and worry about the first bit. I did expect blood, and I didn't feel faint, but after I saw the first bit of blood, I was wondering why they weren't cleaning it up properly and changing the mat my wife was laying on....

Afterwards it all became clear! They didn't clean it up because the whole place was about to look like a gore scene from 'Alien'. There was blood everywhere. The bed was covered, the floor was covered, the doc was covered. There was even blood on the frame under the bed and the pillows. If you are partial to fainting at the sight of blood, you are going to need to fix that somehow (AKA: Harden Up) before the day. You are going to see blood.

Things go Wrong

Ok, you don't want anything to go wrong, but it can. Major things like emergency c-sections, or minor things like an instant checkup of your baby to monitor breathing. Just know, you are in good hands, and there is nothing you can do. Accept it. Whatever you do, don't panic. You are going to achieve nothing except make the situation worse. Just keep calm, support your partner and get out of the way of the important people.

Overwhelming Emotion

This is probably different for each person. But it happened to me, so I am guessing (Hoping) that it happens to others....

Once it's all over, after just a couple of minutes, there is this massive overwhelming feeling of relief and emotion. It might be because you just met your new son/daughter; It might be because you realise that your partner and baby are safe and past the critical stage; or maybe just a just glad it's over because you have massaged all of the skin off your hands. Whatever the reason, get ready for it.

For me, I think it was a sense of relief that they were safe, and I shed a few tears looking at my new baby boy. It only lasts a short while, but it's really amazing.
Newborn Ashton
My baby boy Ashton only minutes after birth

My Personal Tips

Now that you have been warned. I just have a couple of tips:

Get Involved: Don't take the easy option and sit back, don't try to avoid any aspects of the birth. Get involved, this opportunity does not present itself very often, and you will regret not being involved. Get in there, as questions, really try to help and be the best person you can be on the day.

Support Her: Do anything and everything you can to make her day the best it can possible be. No attitude, no back chat, just 100% support every minute that you are with her.
Cutting the Cord After Birth
Me cutting Ashtons umbilical cord
If you are reading this, and about to become a dad, congratulations! You are in for the best part of your life! Good luck, and I hope it all goes well for everyone.

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