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Why I Freaked Out Because She Wanted Natural Childbirth

By Kevin Weiss

Updated September 24, 2012

(And Why It Turned Out Okay)
Take Charge Routine
Photo © April's Grapevine Photography
I will readily admit that when my wife first told me that she wanted to have our baby with no medications, I panicked. My mind started going to all of the advice that I had been given over the proverbial water cooler. It could be summed up with this: My only job was to call the anesthesiologist early and often, screaming, "Epidural!" louder than she could.

That’s what all the dads told me.

So here I was talking to my wife and she’s telling me that we’re not going to go that route. Not to sound like an uncaring soul, all I could worry about was: So what did this mean for me?

Here are the things that went through my mind:

  • I would be all alone with a screaming wife.
    Early on in the pregnancy, heck, maybe even before the pregnancy, we had agreed that there would be no one at the birth who wasn’t at the conception. I truly think this was aimed more at my mother than hers, but we applied it across the board to be everyone so that there wouldn’t be any issues. That said, when you think about the epidural, I really pictured it being her laying in bed comfortable and me kicked back in the hospital recliner watching TV, fetching her ice chips and being in charge of the remote. (Okay, I’d probably really let her have the remote, but you get the idea.) No epidural really changed that image.

  • I would have to go to childbirth class.
    So if laying in the recliner was the hallmark of my original image, now it involved her needing a lot of support. Support that I wasn’t qualified to give her. I would have to prepare and that meant childbirth classes. We would have to hee hee hoo hoo our way to something else. What, I wasn’t sure, but the best place to look seemed like childbirth class. Right? So I signed up for pillows and birth balls.

  • What if I couldn’t handle the delivery?
    So something that I wondered about, that she wasn’t worried about was how would I handle the delivery? I know that most women worry about squeezing a watermelon through a hole that’s well, not a watermelon. Would my woman freak out? Would she cry? Would she – goodness only know what she would do. And in turn, what would I do? My options were wavering between throw up or pass out. I think I’d be given an F for either. And that was my fear for a vaginal birth…

  • Would there be blood?
    This probably seems like a no brainer, right? There is blood. A lot or a little, I wasn’t sure. Was it my wife’s blood? Or the baby’s? Perhaps both? Would it smell? Did I have to look? Then someone told him that his girl friend threw up. I knew if she barfed, I would not be far behind. And don't get me started on amniotic fluid.

  • She was going to blame me for everything.
    The short answer was yes. If she told me before birth she didn’t want drugs and I held up that end of the bargain, “No matter what!” I was in trouble. But I would also be blamed if I caved and let her have drugs because she said that whole “no matter what” thing before labor. Or what if she yelled at me and said I did this to her? That didn’t seem quite fair.

The good news is that she stuck to her guns and not only did she not want an epidural but she wanted to build me a team to help her. She wanted me to be there to hold her hand and watch our baby be born. We took a great class with not a single hee or hoo. It turned out that birth balls were actually comfortable. I didn’t notice any blood, but nor did I look, I was too busy wiping her brow and holding her hand. The only thing I did get to do that was a part of my original plan was ice chips. It was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life.

You can read my tips for other dads here.

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