This is gold.
Damien has captured what birth and his role is all about in the most perfect way.
This is Birth through Dad’s eyes (You can read Chelsea’s version HERE)
RACE DAY the perfect analogy!
“For 4 months we had been practicing our Hypnobirthing Australia™ roles.
If I think back to the day George was born it reminds me of the times I’ve trained and run marathons.
To run a marathon takes months of training (hypnobirthing), research of what to expect (understanding birth), a race strategy (birth plan) and a contingency plan (all your tools).
So after months of research, training and planning our day had arrived.
February 8th 2018. 41 weeks + 6 days.
Just like waking up on race day, I felt a bit of nausea when my phone pinged at lunch time. The text read “I think I am having surges about 7 minutes apart”.
Soon that nausea had disappeared and we were on to the ‘questioning’ phase .
Race day questioning refers to the mental checklist of self doubt which you start to tick off in your head.
“When we get to Fiona Stanley we are going to floor 3” – Check.
I arrive home, walk to the door and get ‘the rush’. The adrenaline rush you get when seeing the start clock at 1 minute.
7,6,5,4…fingers on your watch, 3,2,1…..and off you go.
We both know that we could be waiting a few days, so rest is best.
Like a marathon things start slow and easy.
The relaxing playlist is on, Chelsea is sitting on a yoga ball, taking small bites of food and keeping the water up whilst measuring waves.
I take this opportunity to grab myself a quick feed to keep my energy up.
I’ve decided to leave Chelsea alone and let her sleep but 30 minutes later she is back up walking around.
The time is 5:30pm and things seem to be moving well, surges are between every 2-3 minutes for over a minute.
I call Fiona Stanley who say to come in but likely we would be sent home. They only admit woman over 4cm dilated.
Things seemed like they were moving well so we slowly got ourselves ready and we were off.
The time is now 6:45pm. After multiple surge breaks from the car to the ward we had arrived for our assessment.
I’m counting surges now and we are well under the 2 minute mark.
Our lovely midwife comes in to do the assesment.
*honesty moment* – In my head I am thinking “please be more than 4cm…..I don’t want to carry these bags down to the car again”. Hey, they were heavy. No judgements.
Thankfully she was 5cm and we were told we could stay and I get to work.
At this point in the marathon I feel like we’ve just clicked over the halfway mark.
You’re in your stride now, you feel good and confident that you’re plan is coming together, however in the back of your mind there is still apprehension about the next half, the harder half, hitting that wall or slowing to a walk are still realities.
Chelsea has stripped off and has made her way to the shower, cranked the heat and is just enjoying the water on her skin.
She is riding the waves well and is really relaxing in the shower.
I have set up a chair with the yoga ball wedged in between the arms. It’s perfect height that she can stand in the shower and lean over the ball (winged that design, but I’m considering a patent on the design because it worked great).
Lights off in the bathroom, fake tea candles flickering, I’ve covered the clocks with our birthing plan, lights are dimmed in the main room, the entrance door has our plan and a sign to say we are hypnobirthing, surges of the sea is playing aloud so Chelsea can hear it and snack table is prepared.
I’ve managed to speak to the midwives and they have been superb in listening to our requests.
It’s now 8:30pm and Chelsea has requested a bit of gas and air. I’ve jumped into the shower at this point and have a cup which I am filling and pouring over her shoulders.
I’ve offered up snacks and Ribena to keep her fuelled, she accepts it or pushes it away with her head.
Its that 32km mark in the marathon where you know the finish line is in sight but you’re getting tired and little niggles starting to creep in, but with just under 25% of the race to go you’re confident.
I think I heard small “hooray” from Chelsea about this.
Chelsea is still rolling with the waves but the tone has now changed to more “grunty”.
The midwife pulls me aside and says that she believes Chelsea is very close.
Chelsea, still in the shower has instinctively gone to all fours, removing the chair and using just the ball for support.
We’ve just hit the 40km mark of the marathon, the last 2kms of the race to go.
These last 2k’s are the victory lap of all the months of hard work.
I remember thinking “WOW, this is my Wife! Is this my Wife? WOW!!”
11:30pm and after a penultimate surge, out popped Baby George’s head. Just seeing his little face almost toppled me to tears. His little face was a bluey purple, his mouth and eyes firmly sealed and little forehead crinkled.
The midwife set my hand position and placed them on top of his head as if to catch him.
The final surge approaches and Chelsea instinctively moves from her normal all fours position back more, as if she is sitting onto her heels.
With one final surge out comes his little body and legs. A big splutter and his little cry starts.
I have our new born child in my arms and i just start to ball my eyes out.
We just crossed the marathon finish line!
The medal at this marathon finish line though is a million times more amazing!
The best finishers medal ever.
Chelsea sits down and turns around and i pass him up towards her and give her a kiss.
The midwives didn’t even rush in to clamp it because they had actually read our birthing preferences on the door. AMAZING!!
I saw Chelsea completely differently. Like a super human!
It really was the best moment of my life.
Being given the tools to help, the knowledge to understand what was happening and the responsibility to be useful and supportive really made me feel apart of the journey throughout pregnancy, labour and the birth.
I feel like it gave me a bond with my baby before he was even born.
I cannot thank Pip enough for the classes and for your ongoing support. You have been fantastic and we will be back if/when number 2 comes along.