Christine and Andrew started their pregnancy journey traditionally with OB care. However, as the pregnancy progressed, they began feeling more and more frustrated about the fact that appointments were fast and shallow. There was not in-depth preparation for childbirth, and they felt there must be something missing.
The couple decided to begin their own research, which led them to switch to midwifery care and homebirth.
Their commitment to giving birth at home grew as they became closer with their midwife, and as she answered their questions and prepared them deeply on what to expect during the entire process. Both Christine and Andrew recognized the added layers of safety in their homebirth experience because they did know their midwife so well.
Whenever there were questions about what happens if something goes wrong, their midwife always had a quality answer on what to expect and the protocol.
Christine expected to go beyond 40 weeks, for at 38 weeks she and Andrew decided to go camping. On the trip, her water began leaking. They went home the next morning and prepared for the onset of labor.
Throughout the process of labor, Christine and Andrew worked together. He kept up with what she needed and encouraged her through contractions— reminding her to breathe and relax. This was incredibly helpful during Christine’s long and arduous pushing phase.
Andrew recalled how amazing it was that the midwife was able to recognize when to step in and provide feedback and when to stay back and remain an observer.
He truly understood that it was his duty to be Christine’s support person.
After baby was born, he needed resuscitative breaths. Christine and Andrew were calm and confident during this experience.
Once he was breathing and stable, the midwives began tended to Christine, as she was bleeding a good bit.
After a while, the midwives had to perform an internal examination of the uterus to see what was causing the bleeding.
Though uncomfortable, Christine and Andrew both felt completely calm during what could have otherwise been a traumatic experience, as the felt heard, understood, and like the most important people on the birth team.
I am so appreciative of this episode and the perspective it brings. It’s so important to focus on mothers and their experience of birth, yes, but what a disservice we are doing if we’re not showing up for dads and helping them see how they fit into the equation. Christine and Andrew worked together so beautifully before, during and after their birthing experience, and Andrew’s understanding of his responsibilities as the birth partner certainly added massive value to their homebirth. I hope this episode acts as inspiration and as a roadmap for other fathers who are looking for ways to be involved in the birthing experience. You’re part of this team, and you’re incredibly important.