Friday, November 18, 2011

{Labor is not a Spectator's Sport, or How that Baby Came Whether we were Ready or Not.}

Howdy, Ballpoint+Pen Readers,

       I am Hubs, known outside the crafty-blog-o-sphere as Nicolai, Ali's husband.
My lovely wife asked me to write a guest post for Ballpoint+Pen with
my impressions of "Labor Day".

       Let me just tell you, for an expecting Papa expectations are about as
good as packing peanuts are nutritional when it comes to the
Child-Birthing process.

       First, let's talk Labor Education. I like many supportive
daddies-to-be attended the mostly free pregnancy classes with my
lovely wife. Depending on your disposition, these classes are either a
great help by defining terms and procedures or a fire hose of
information that will drowned a expectant daddy leaving him with a
half glazed look accompanied with nods of agreement to whatever the
expectant mama wants.

       I thought that the classes were helpful personally. If for no other
reason to have some form of reference for later. When you are in the
delivery room and someone says, "Pitocin" you at least can rest
assured that word has to with some kind of drug. You are now in the
right category for the conversation's context. You aren't as lost as
you could be. Also, forceps…. kind of scary to think about, worse to look at.

        In all seriousness, its good to have a general understanding of whats
going to on to at least be informed on what birth-plan you will be
following. During Labor is no time to make decisions. Decide as much
before hand, down to what snacks to bring into the delivery room and
what drugs you are willing and not willing to allow them pump into
your temporarily plump mate.

       Second, do what works for the both of you. We learned all kind of
bizarre techniques on pain management and whatnot. Visualization
therapy was the fun one. We closed our eyes and were supposed to think
of a happy place for our minds to go. By the end of this exercise we
were having our astronaut butler vacuum for land-mines in the living
room because sweeping is inefficient. 

My imagination went a little too far, but we laughed a lot, and
that is what were thought would be our outlet: laughter. I would make
her laugh and we we could get through any contraction. That didn't
really happen.

       Third, reality is not stranger than fiction, it's just way more
intense. I knew Labor would be painful for my Ali Lou, but I don't
think I was really prepared for how difficult it would be to see her
in pain. It was emotionally tiring to be that on edge for so long. She
was an amazing trooper and labored at home for about 12 hours before
we even called the hospital. I think the main thing that kept her
laboring at home for so long was sheer embarrassment. She didn't want
to be sent home for coming too soon. By 8:30am we went to Hospital and
she was already 4cm dilated. This is really what encouraged her to
really try and go completely natural. We made it this far, let's just
go all the way. In the end, it's taking each contraction at a time.
Work through that one, don't think about the next one. I kept telling
her that each contraction was the last one and everyone thought she
would punch me in the face, but she didn't.

       Last little tidbit, when it comes time to push, let the professionals
do their job. My wife was amazing. She was the one that informed the
midwives it was time to push. Once they realized she was not kidding,
a whole army of battle ready nurses and midwives entered the room,
taking their battle positions. I felt a little under prepared in my
shorts and t-shirt. I just kind of got out their way. For all you
daddies to be who think you want to watch the baby head out of there,
you don't. You very really don't want want any of that. Your wife
needs you to hold her hand encourage her, not to make ghastly faces at
her when she is trying to work that baby out. This was the only time i
cried through the process. Seeing my lovely wife in such pain was not
easy, but seeing that little one be lifted up was an amazing reward.
Our little one's cord was too short, so it was more of a, "here you
go, she can lay on your stomach for a couple minutes."  Oh, and side
note, the Placenta is every nightmare rolled up and covered in blood.
Don't look at it, you will either turn to stone or puke. Both are bad.

       And here's your most amazing part men, cutting the cord. Only after
your blessing and snippy actions do we actually get to move on with
our lives. It's really our only important job through the whole thing.
Theoretically, you hold all the power. Men, we are blessed. We have
the easiest job getting that pregnancy started and the easiest job
finishing it up.

       To wrap up this really long-winded post, I thank the Lord for a
complication free labor and delivery and for the wonderful gift my
little Hannah Lou is. I Love my little family.


  1. This made me a little teary. Beautiful post and even more beautiful pictures. So happy for your family.

  2. This is so sweet!! Seeing it from both perspectives! Can't wait to see little Hannah again today and hold her!

  3. Love it! So beautiful :)