For years my husband shared our childbirth story with laughter, positivity, and pretty much sugar coated the part about me digging my nails into his arms for hours at a time! Years later I asked him how did he really feel watching me go through labor. What was going through his head at that time? First, he shared that he was so scared and two, his heart was in pieces while he watched me go through so much pain for so long. He even wished that labor was like wrestling and he could tap in whenever I needed a break. He felt helpless, not knowing what to do or what to say.
But let me tell you, I was so glad to have the man that I made this baby with share in this sacred moment with me. He squeezed my hand when I needed a reminder of his presence, he held me up when my legs wanted to give out. He wiped my forehead when I was hot. He echoed my wishes and made sure they were met in the delivery room. He was there through every contraction and every push and ultimately catch his baby. As a first time mom, witnessing him become a father was so beautiful and fulfilling to watch this man naturally without fail protect his newborn baby.
So to my father’s to be, the very first thing you can do for your partners is to be present during labor. Secondly, you ask your partner before labor starts ( doula’s make sure this conversation happens long before) what does support from you look like for them.
You know your partners better than anyone. You know what she needs (and if you don’t ask her doula :0) But seriously as much as may want to prepare, or call family and do this and that, she needs you to focus on her and her alone.
And here’s a free tip! It’s not about you partners. That beautiful woman just carried a whole human in her womb and she’s about to push a baby out of her vagina, so please save all negative commentary, disagreements and impartial feelings till after the baby comes. You’ll thank me later.