Last week, at the end of an eight hour shift, I got to care for and witness the most glorious bub full of thick black hair entering our world for the very first time.
Mum was an absolute champion, breathing baby out like a birthing goddess with a few little squeaks in between, and dad was a blubbering mess with his head in one hand, clasping her hand with the other.
When bub rose to mum’s chest, they all embraced and flooded the room with their happy tears and bundles of oxytocin. It was a brilliant shift and beautiful birth with the most in-love, soppy-go-lucky couple and I left on a high.
Then naturally, as I do whenever I am a part of another baby entering the world, I relived my own births on the drive home. Some days I am that motivated by women that I plan on conquering the whole calm birth thing ‘next time’ – and then other times I feel like an epidural is the most suitable option given my partner kind of opted out during my labours.
Questions about childbirth (answered by mums and non-mums). Post continues after video.
You see, what I have learnt in my nine years of midwifery is that without a doubt, there are two – only two – types of partners. There are the partners like the above. The Osher Gunsbergs of the birthing world. Those partners that see, hear and feel everything their partner does and almost birth the baby with them.
These partners are tactile. Loving. Nurturing. Intuitive. They breathe with their partners; they reposition them, massage them, caress them. They kiss their foreheads and proceed to wet them with a cold face washer. They run their fingers through their labouring partner’s hair and run them a shower, getting their clothes drenched just to ensure their partners are comfortable and warm enough.
They jump at any alarm that goes off and monitor things closely. They are actively involved in every aspect of the process and you can bet they are more knowledgeable than many other partners. These are the partners that never skipped a birthing class; that had a birth plan from day one that counted down the moments until they could share this special moment with their loved one. These birthing partners are admirable. They have dreamt of this moment forever.
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Please meet Georgia’s youngest brother, Wolfgang. We call him Wolfie for short. He and @Audreygriffen did so well on Friday when he was born perfectly formed with ten fingers and toes, healthy and happy at 3.97kg. (Though between the delivery bed and the scale he did do a massive poop – and the doc agreed that if he hadn’t he would have topped 4kg easily.) I am in complete awe of my wife. What I witnessed her do, the power I saw her summon from within her to bring this boy into the world was utterly astonishing. As he came closer and closer, her body began to unleash an incredible energy that was absolutely not going to be held back. Yet Audrey was able to harness it, guide it, and use it to transcend the extraordinary pain she was feeling and channel it all towards an energy that brought this boy alive and well into the world. That I’ve known Audrey for over five years, and yet had no idea that within her this whole time was an almighty divine force capable of bringing life into the world like this blows my mind and was astonishing to witness. I can’t think of any single thing a man does in his life that physically equates to what I saw Audrey do. For me – any marathon or endurance event I’ve ever raced is essentially a wander to the kitchen compared to what I saw Audrey do on Friday. Wolfie’s big sister Georgia was in the room with us via the most perfect playlist that she made especially for the occasion – and this boy came into the world to the sounds of Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce and Khalid. Less than an hour after he was born, Wolfie met G for real – and she’s the best big sister he could have ever hoped for. We are in love and drowning in gratitude, oxytocin and new baby smell.