Pregnancy App Article: "Partners in childbirth"

Week 35
Things partners need to know about childbirth
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It's not you, it's me
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Other half having a baby? Bear these solid gold nuggets of Mumsnet advice in mind.

1. Babies wait for no man
"My husband was working overseas. I rang him on the Tuesday to tell him I was in labour and he needed to come back. He said: 'I'm really busy at work, I won't be able to get back until the weekend at the earliest.' His boss took the phone off him and calmly said to me, 'He'll be with you tomorrow afternoon at the latest'."

2. Forget social niceties
"When we arrived at the locked hospital doors at 4am and I could feel the baby crowning, my husband rather helpfully told me to 'stop making so much noise', as I would wake up the other patients."

3. You're not in more pain than your partner
"My other half was incessantly complaining about the smallest, tiniest ulcer on his tongue during the birth of my youngest. I was screaming the hospital down and he was showing me the tip of his tongue."

4. Try not to be too squeamish...
"My husband fainted twice. He also, at one point during an internal, zipped his face up in his coat. Idiot."

5. ... or too inept
"He got my hair caught in the bloody mini-fan we had to cool me down, and suggested cutting it out. I managed to untangle it between contractions."
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He was looking at the monitor I was wired up to, helpfully telling me when I was having a big contraction. I had already noticed, thanks.
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I work in maternity, and once heard a partner being so supportive of his wife enduring a long labour: 'I know just how you feel, I once did a really big, hard poo and it really hurt'.
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My partner fainted while the doctor put in my epidural. Everyone then ran about fawning over him - bringing him water and toast. I was like, 'Er, hello?'
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DH was holding my hand ready for the first push - and said, 'Ewww, attractive face!' as I started pushing! Needless to say, he got called every name under the sun.
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I was fully dilated and in transition when my husband piped up, 'Would you like an Eccles cake?'
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6. Bit of a thirst on you? Ignore it!
"I decided to go for a walk while having contractions to move things along. My husband suggested we stop in the pub for a quick drink."

7. Get involved - but not too involved 
"Opened my eyes at the end of a long push to find him THIS close to my face doing NCT breathing. Fortunately for him I was too entangled in wires to smack him."

8. Focus on the main event
"DH became utterly obsessed with parking. I'd been pushing for nearly two hours, they were starting to talk about intervening, and he suddenly informed me that he just needed to put some more money in the machine. 

He started fumbling around for change and was about to leave the room, when the midwife yelled, 'Are you parked in an ambulance bay? No? WELL STAY WHERE YOU ARE THEN'. 

Our daughter was born five minutes later."

9. You might have to be a bit brave
"I held his hand through an enormous contraction at the transition phase and afterwards he looked at me and said huffily, 'You've hurt my hand'."

10. Remember: a human is being brought into the world
"7cm dilated. Contractions every minute or so. Phone rings and DH answers:

'Hello? Oh, right. Yes, hang on, I'll just pass you over [tries to hand phone to me] It's the bank.'

I look at the midwife. The midwife looks at me. We both look at DH. DH takes phone back.

'I'm sorry, could you ring back another time? She's having a baby at the moment.'"
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Get more tips on childbirth etiquette
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