Most times you only hear of what the mother went through and how the whole pregnancy/birthing experience was for her, and although she is the person at the centre of it all, fathers also go through a roller coaster of emotions.
We have two other children, both born in hospitals via ‘conventional’ births. I still remember these births and they were both quite traumatic. The first time I remember thinking during labour (at the risk of getting lynched now) ‘ if one of them is not going to make it …..’
The second time was no better, during labour, which this time was long and painful I had the same feelings again. ‘Just end this pain, they’re not both going to come through this!’
The reason I mention these things is because of how traumatic it all was for me.
Third time lucky and we decided for a home birth, a water-birth utilising HypoBirthing. We started the prenatal classes and the hypnosis sessions and I must admit I was very unconvinced, I had never been hypnotised before although people had tried it. The very first session ended and I thought it hadn’t worked at all until I was asked where the time had gone.
There-after we continued with the classes and the prenatal care and it was all as if it was a completely new experience, we were kept informed and it was a more comforting secure experience knowing that the person you are talking to is the same person who will be there until and through the birth.
When the time came and my wife went into labour, I had prepared the birthing room, the birthing pool was blown up and everything was set for a home birth.
Then my boiler blew up!!!!!
Panic set in, because it seemed all the months of preparation, the nights spent listening to the soothing voice of Marie Mongan (founder of HypnoBirthing-the mongan method), the excitement of this new (to us) way was all going to be in vain.
Even thinking about it now makes me emotional.
A quick call to Regina and all was well. No stress, no panic, just calm professional, maternal and caring. She said she had a spare pool at her house and all the equipment, ‘pack your bags and come over’.
So we ended up in her front room.
The birthing experience probably needs a whole page to itself, but I will briefly try and describe it.
Magical!! That’s it in one word, or in two-Absolutely Magical.
The room was candle-lit, soothing music in the background, the two midwives, my wife and myself all conversing quietly, more to suit the mood than for any other reason, cups of green tea in hand and the smell of Lavender or some other calming scents filling the room.
My wife relaxing between contractions in the warm tub. As the waves of contractions came, the midwives done their thing, unobtrusively and quietly, Marie Mongan soothingly talking, calming my wife like no drug could.
I simply cannot describe it, but after two hospital births my only thoughts were that women should NEVER be put through that kind of trauma.
This, in contrast was an uplifting, calming, beautiful experience.
The baby slipped out quietly into the water, and my wife turned and picked her up, I cut the cord and when they carried on to deliver the afterbirth, I sat on the sofa wrapped in a blanket with this beautiful girl snuggled against my chest, crapping all over me!
The post natal care was also brilliant and the fact that we dealt with only one person throughout may seem irrelevant but it plays a huge part when you think about entrusting the care of your loved ones to somebody for so long, implicitly trusting them as you go through a life or death transformational experience that results in the birth of a new life and the most precious thing you shall ever have.
I cannot recommend Midwife Regina and her colleagues enough. The work they do is unique and priceless.