Are Dads Under Valued At Birth

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?

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 to keep her calm and sane. The midwives didn’t tell me much apart from when to move out-of-the-way so they can access my wife.

We had been in 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 u 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.

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 then 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 it for me.

Men always get told never to show emotion and if they do they 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 2 and a half years.

What do you think? How valuable are the dads around the birth?

 

Originally posted at www.Theopinionateddad.co.uk

5 thoughts on “Are Dads Under Valued At Birth”

  1. Wow! How come no one has responded to this post?! I am a HUGE dad cheerleader. Cheerleader of men in general really. I don’t agree with the societal norm of a man suppressing his feelings. What’s the point of that?! Men are great feelers and nurturers in their way. We should embrace both parts of our being, the swift action and the flow. I also agree you should have shared this with your wife. Sacrifice nothing for the sake of true intimacy. Just as we women are gentle and strong, so are men.

  2. I am sorry that you had to go through this, and I think both new moms and new dads are grossly under-informed about the birthing process in general, to the detriment of everyone involved. Here in the US, you generally get one 3 hour class. My husband and I opted for Bradley classes, which is a natural birth technique and is 12 weeks, describing each stage of labor and every intervention option, and our teacher made us write two birth plans – one where everything went the way we wanted it to and one for emergency C-section. My husband was an integral part of both the labor and post-labor recovery.

    And I think men opening up more about their feelings is necessary for our species to evolve to the next level. Both genders need to break out of the stereotypes that no longer serve us.

    • Thank you for your amazing comment. I love how different but very similar the UK and USA are with things like this. I don’t think it will be too long before gender stereotypes are gone completely as there have been some advances in peoples views and opinions.

  3. That sounds like a terrible hospital. When I was having my first baby they made a mistake with the epidural and I had trouble telling when to push; I listened to the doctor and they said I was not timing it right, I listened to the midwife; wrong, the younger nurse was in time with the midwife. So I listened to my husband and pushed only when he said to. “You’ve got it,” the doctor cried. And my husband became a dad.

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