My big question is: 'are dads under valued at birth?'
By that I mean during the birth of their own baby not their own birth. I am a dad and the whole process of giving birth I can say is very stressful not to mention painful for the mums, but how many people actually spare a thought for the dads?
An actual dad. Credit: The Opinionated Dad
Around the time my little baby was born I was getting quite bad chest pains so much so that we called the non emergency number as it was around 7pm. There was an ambulance at the door within 10 minutes to check me over. The pain had already reduced by the time they arrived and I didn't need to go to hospital (I think it was just stress).
However within 12 hours we had to get to hospital because my wife started having contractions. I drove her in and my chest was still quite painful but I'm sure my wife was in even more pain. They checked her over and got her into a ward where they could monitor her and the baby. The pains were coming strong and frequent so we knew she was in established labour. I was there holding her hand and talking to her to try and keep her calm and sane. The midwives didn't tell me much apart from when to move out of the way so they could assess my wife.
We had been on the ward for a few hours when a doctor came in and told me I needed to go and get scrubs on because they were going to give my wife an emergency cesarean section due to a pre-existing condition.
A few moments had passed where I wasn't really told anything apart from where to get changed and where to go. We next saw each other in the operating theatre where I had been worried sick that something was seriously wrong.
Finally we were together again and I could hold her hand while they cut her open and gave birth to our beautiful baby girl.
Credit: The Opinionated Dad
In that moment nothing else mattered and all the stress had faded away.
My wife hadn't had chance to hold her before we got rushed out of the room because of a complication. I was literally left holding the baby.
I didn't have a clue what was happening or what i needed to do. We had been to antenatal classes but it was all to focus on breastfeeding, birthing positions and comfort of the mum, which to be honest was a bit useless in my situation. I had a million and one thoughts running through my mind: where is my wife? How is she? Will she be ok? What do I do with the baby? How am I meant to feed her? When do I feed her? What do I do if she poos? I felt like I was going crazy. I hadn't slept for 30hrs by this point.
Finally I got called into the recovery room where I was told that my wife had suffered a bleed and needed to be operated on. My wife started to come round and finally got to hold our baby. I obviously put on a brave face for her and kept all my concerns and worries inside and hidden away. We were both very happy in that moment. However, due to the sedatives my wife was given she can't remember much of the birth. That worked in my favour so I decided to keep those feelings of being completely useless, lost and being scared beyond belief hidden away to protect what my wife could remember.
My wife then got moved to a ward and I was told I had to leave as it was outside visiting hours. So I had to leave my wife in a very vulnerable state with a baby she has barely had any time with. I couldn't sleep at all with worry of how my wife and daughter were doing.
Slowly my wife got better and she didn't have a clue how I felt as I kept it all from her to take some of the strain off. She has literally just found out because I asked her to proof read this for me.
Men always get told never to show emotion and if they do they are told to man up or shut up. I think it would have been better to tell my wife before today as I have kept this burden buried for the last two and a half years.
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