Labour: A Man’s Perspective

Written by Matty Lewis | Buggies and Barbells

On December 22nd Kate went into labour whilst baking a batch of Christmas cookies. This is my account of the following 24 hours, up until the birth of our first child, Sonny Bill Lewis.

First Stage of Labour

The contractions began around 17:30, the excitement kicked in and I guess you could say we were both relieved that we would be able to meet our newborn baby. Little did we know at this time we would have to wait a whopping 24 hours.

Kate needed to be kept calm during this stage of labour so me laughing at her initially would have to stop, it was time to put my game face on and help her through the process.

Contractions were coming in roughly every 5-7 minutes during the first few hours and only lasting 30 seconds. We both knew that they had to be five minutes apart and last roughly a minute before we could even think about Hospital.

Being our first time, we had no idea what to expect and the call to Cossham Hospital was made pretty early. The midwife gave us some great advice and told us to wait it out as long as possible. We also became attached to the Pregnancy+ app which we used to time length and frequency of contractions.

I basically was on duty for these early hours, 10 to be exact. Rubbing Kate’s back every five minutes, running baths and laying out candles in the hallway to increase the feng shui.

The Birth Centre

Arriving at the centre I felt like a relay runner successfully passing over the baton to the Midwife. Oh how I was wrong, your involvement as a birth partner never ends. It’s all about support, love and re-assurance.

Cossham Hospital Birth Centre

Kate was 6cm on arrival, we did a good job holding out as long as we did. She spent the majority of time in the birth pool, sucking on gas and air at the Birth Centre. How she got through the contractions at home without it I have no idea.

The contractions slowed down from 8am of the 23rd which was a worry for all of us. The midwife broke Kate’s waters to try and speed things up after she has been stuck at 9.5cm for a pretty long time. The reason for this was that our baby was back to back.

11am Kate looked like death, sorry love. She was emotionally drained and extremely tired. The decision was made to send her to the Central Delivery Suite via a blue light ride.

The Central Delivery Suite

The pain of being in labour that long was too much for Kate who had an epidural as soon as she arrived. I was an emotional wreck and I’m not going to lie, I cried, well maybe one tear.

This was the best thing for Kate, after being in Labour now for 17 hours, I couldn’t blame her. Imagine doing the bench press for 20 reps every 5 minutes for that long!

Guys, labour is an emotional experience and I will be honest as a man you feel pretty useless. All you want to do is help, but you can’t. All you can do is be supportive and positive.

Kate was given hormones to speed up the contractions and help to turn baby. After another 4 hours she was inspected, yes she was violated….AGAIN. The decision was to start pushing after another hour at 17:00.

Active Labour

Fella’s grab a bottle of water and get your shouting voice out. This is the business end, quite literally. Yes there will be poo, your Mrs may resemble  Eddie Hall during his World Record Deadlift.

This stage is all about motivation, ensure you are positive and keep up the praise. You may or may not want to watch some of the pushes like I did. I found it magical watching my babies head begin to slide out.

At this point Kate was struggling to push baby fully out the birth canal, as a result there was talk of an assisted birth. This became more realistic when babies heart rate increased due to the stress of being stuck in a vice.

The mention of the word ventouse was enough for our baby as the next push saw his head fully pop out. He looked like something from a horror movie, a head gurgling and wriggling about.

Sonny & Kate

Kate slowed down pushing as they finally eased him out and at 17:53 Sonny Bill Lewis was placed into Mummy’s arms for the very first time.

Written by Matty Lewis | Buggies and Barbells

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