This photo sums up life in this house. They are all about the boys. I'd like to think my youngest was a bit more, 'mine' but really, they're all about, 'Boys Club'. It's roots all come from a rather brilliant man called my husband. From the moment I thrust positive pregnancy tests in his face I knew he was ready to be Dad. There's a lot of cleverness and daftness all rolled into one that needed passing down to some mini versions of him.
I wish I'd have been more savvy when preparing for our first born's birth not just for my experience, but for his, too. He wanted to help so much during those 14 hours, but I could tell he didn't know where to start. He just took leads from me when I needed or wanted things doing, but I know it was very much a, 'You're birthing and I'm watching type of experience'. And nobody really asks how the man is feeling after going through labour. He's not only watched all of that unfold, but now he's emotionally supporting a new mum struggling emotionally and physically, and adjusting to the role of Dad. I felt a mass of guilt on top of everything else, because he was just doing his best with no instruction manual for baby or post natal mum. But bloody hell he did a good job.
So onto baby two we went 4 years later.
I dragged him along to a Hypnobirthing course at 32 weeks pregnant. We sat in a room with 7 other couples. I scanned the room smiling, where many of the dad's looked to be on a spectrum of scared shit they were going to be hypnotised through to faces that highlighted they'd rather be in the pub watching the football. Husband was somewhere in the middle. But he knew it was important that we did some preparation.
It didn't take long to win the lads around. Hypnobirthing is based on logic of the working brain and the science of the body. Once this was tapped into, birth made sense to them. And they could totally 'get' what their partner's would be doing. From there, they were hooked as to how they could help in this process. I have the same reactions from men that I now teach and I love it.
Birth partners', also known as, 'The Keeper of the Cave', have the primary role of being the protector to mum and baby. Practically there are so many ways to hold together the 'baby bubble' that is going on in the birth room. This ranges from managing the type of language used around mum (not swearing, ladies swear away if you need to, I just mean negative use of words towards birth!!) to offering gentle touch massage, reading relaxation scripts, practising grounding techniques if mum becomes panicked, onto some birth partners' choosing to even deliver baby. The choices and options in Hypnobirthing are laid down flat for Dad's to get completely stuck in and not to feel like the third party. It is an experience to go through as a solid unit, and the outcome of it at the end is just breathtaking. You've delivered baby as a team. The bond all three of you have as a result is magic. I'd obviously recommend highly you do a course, but the benefits birthing partners' take away from this is actually quite essential.
The whole experience for my husband second time was more empowering, because he had some power.
Knowledge is power.
Letting your birthing partner into this journey allows him to come away feeling empowered and confident and all round in a better state of mind to begin the crazy world of parenting. Let them be a part of it, because they're actually pretty awesome!
For you Husband, you rock! xXx