I wasn't planning on writing this post at all but something struck accord with the story I watched this morning and felt like it was something Matthew and I could relate too.
This Morning featured a little segment this morning talking about the effects Labour and Childbirth has on the Father...a great topic to cover if you ask me, and one that isn't widely spoken about. A study at Oxford University suggests more should be done to support fathers through Childbirth to prevent post traumatic stress syndrome.
In all my Midwife appointments, antenatal classes and even conversations with friends I was always told the tales of childbirth from being sick, pooing yourself in front of everyone and the dreaded crowning...yikes. But I found when I was pregnant and after that there was no one there for Matthew to support him from a 'birth partner' perspective. It was just me telling him what may or may not happen, from videos I had watched or books I read, not that I really knew how I would react as we were 1st time parents.
When Matthew and I talk about my labour and delivery with Finley we recall it slightly differently, I'm not sure if that makes me more hardcore or it really did effect him so much more. The labour itself was perfect, relaxing and we chatted away for all of it...no nerves just excitement to finally meet our little boy. Then after 2 long hours pushing we knew that it would be an emergency some way or another.
The doctor walked in and advised forceps, I think this is where my memory begins be be hazy of the whole situation, even now when I think back it is almost dream like...a women's natural response I suppose.
I had been flung back on my bed, people talking to me, doctors prepping everything around me but I couldn't see anything...it was happening to me but in a strange way I was detached from the whole thing, I had no knowledge or feeling of what was happening at any given moment. Matthew on the other hand still had access to all his senses, he could see his wife led there in what is an emergency situation, not being able to do anything to help plus on top of all the hustle and bustle he is about to become a daddy, feel his little baby for the 1st time...something I had access to for 9 months before hand.
I remember Finley's head being born and at that moment the midwife pushing the emergency button above my head, a loud authoritative alarm rang and people rushed into the room...looking back I am thinking he may have been stuck but for merely seconds but as as soon as extra help arrived they went again and little Finley had arrived. I recall it all happening but don't remember feeling one tiny bit scared through any of it, maybe because I just knew I had to get on with it or because the adrenaline I was feeling was drowning out any feelings of fear or anxiety I had.
Ask Matthew to recall the same scenario and he describes it very differently, he has said to me in the past it was the scariest moment of his life and truly thought that he was going to loose us both. I remember hearing Finley crying for the first time and looking over to see Matthew standing there crying with relief that we were both okay. He truly saw the experience as horrific, something he never wants to repeat.
From our experience I truly believe that labour and childbirth can really effect your husband or partner, they are the helpless one and all they can do is look on and probably feel a little spare part if an emergency situation arises. I know I did the physical side of birth but if I put myself in Matthew's shoes I have no idea how I would have coped, not very well I don't think. Luckily my birth was no where near as traumatic as it could of been and I am so thank full that we both recovered really well.
I'm really glad that This Morning covered this topic today and it means I was able to share with you all our little experience. You can catch the debate they had here http://www.itv.com/thismorning/life/should-men-be-present-birth-children-debate/
Personally I think that counselling for new parents should be offered more frequently, and if not at hospital it should be something that the Midwifes and Health visitors ask about when you are back home. They have massive post-natal depression questionnaires for the mums but ours didn't utter a word to Matthew. Of course we look back fondly now and reminisce all the time but I think having access to a support network for PTSD would have been great, something that I definitely think needs more publicity for anyone who may or has suffered in the past.
Please do let me know if you had similar experiences or if you have any questions do let me know.
I hope that has helped some people but please don't be put off having tiny babies, yes they are a handful....a handful of pure loveliness and happiness....soooo worth it!
Love Kayleigh x