This is such a lovely hypnobirth story from the father’s perspective. Matt, the husband of a midwife, tells his story of the birth of his son Billy, a super quick first labour – just 3hrs 14mins from the first contraction to Billy’s arrival!
My wife Tracy, being a midwife, always joked that if I was ever to help her in a delivery my role would be fetching hot water and towels! During her pregnancy we were taught hypnobirthing by Sharon. These sessions helped me see the fathers place as providing a safe, relaxed space for Tracy as she went through the stages of labour.
We went to bed the night before at the normal time, no signs of labour. We both then woke at about 12.45 am. Tracy was in the bathroom and I came in to find her sitting on the toilet shaking violently (in hindsight some of this was shock I think). She was clearly in a lot of pain – she looked up at me and said ‘it hurts’.
Both of us were quite scared for the first hour because of the suddenness and strength of the contractions. They were only about 1.5 minutes apart lasting about that time. I ran the bath, and called the midwives. One of the worst parts of the whole labour was waiting for the longest 20 minutes ever to speak to someone!
Once the midwives arrived I felt better although Tracy didn’t I don’t think. By then I realised that things were a fair way along, while Tracy still feared she was in the early stages. I was already up and down the stairs inflating the birthing pool in the kitchen and filling it, also of course responding to the midwives requests for towels!
I left Tracy mostly while she was in the bath, just making sure she had water to drink. Once she was in the birthing pool I sat with her through the contractions with a hand on her shoulder. I could hear her at some points put into practice the hypnobirthing techniques, especially in terms of her language and mindset – choosing to say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ and ‘I can do this’ rather than the opposite.
It was amazing to see my wife through labour, and the presence of the midwives helped me to relax, I loved seeing her personality – sense of humour, courage, love (twice during labour she asked me if I was OK!) and her faith – evident under stress.
The moment of birth was hard to describe – I suppose wonder is probably the best word. Suddenly the fact that all those months of pregnancy and preparation have been about an actual person – it was almost a surprise when a little person emerged from the water to join our family!
It was brilliant to be at home and really relaxed with the midwives as we sat on the sofa sharing tea and toast and enjoying our gorgeous boy!
You can read Tracy’s story of her birth here.