Becoming a dad for the first time - week 31

This week we had our fortnightly obstetricians’ appointment.  The obstetrician’s appointments get more frequent as the pregnancy heads into the final stages. The obstetrician checks the mum-to-be’s weight & blood pressure and will check the position of the baby by touch and will measure it with a tape measure and also check the heart beat. Hearing the baby’s heart beat gives you an amazing feeling, Brooke and I both light up each time we hear it.

This week we had our class on Labour & Birth. I’m not going to lie to you. This class has a lot of information. If you are attending this class, please take a pen and pad. You will need to take notes. This class talks about all the stages of labour, birth plan and anaesthetic drugs. There are few videos and images of actual birth you will need to watch. They do not show the whole birthing experience, but just glimpse of it. Yes, it did gross me out. But, I guess it’s preparing me for the real deal and I must admit it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

What to expect in the different stages of labour? (Notes I took from the class)

Early Labour – mild inconsistent contractions, diarrhoea, mucous discharge. Often need active companionship/distractions

Established Labour – more introverted, wants to sit and rest between contractions, may sway and change position during contractions, develop own breathing patterns, may change behaviour

Transition – feels out of control, hot and clammy, yelling and screaming, may push people away, may seek private space

At Birth – Wide awake, feeling of elation, contractions stop for a short time (will start again when placenta & membranes are about to be delivered)

While all the above and more is taking place, you as the support person need to;

·         Be there and give encouragement and praise

·         Listen to her and be her advocate

·         Breathe with her if she starts to panic

·         Encourage her to move about, eat light snacks

·         Wear something she likes

These are all the information I have taken away from the class. However, no amount of reading is going to substitute for the real experience that lies ahead for me. I may able to provide more helpful hands on tips once I have been through it.

The class was really helpful and I would really recommend you blokes attending with your wife. The class really helped Brooke to confirm that she wants to avoid having an epidural if she can. It was reassuring to learn there is no right or wrong when being a support person and that at the end of the day you just have to reassure your wife/partner and be there for them and you need to know that you cannot fix her pain!!!

Brooke still has her cold this week which has knocked her around and left her really tired, it’s been almost 3 weeks now but apparently this is to be expected when there isn’t anything you can take.

 The nesting has continued and while we (yes I say we) have been lucky that Brooke’s mood’s have not altered much through the pregnancy (which the books warn you can happen) she really can cry now at the drop of a hat. So I just try to be there for her when that happens.

On a lighter note, I’m now a proud owner of a new car. Well, not a brand new one. A second hand one as per our plan (refer to Week 29). We are still getting quotes for the cooling unit.

That’s it for this week.