1. The second time isn’t the same as the first time, because you’ve got to handle the 3 year old as well.

    For us the 2 births were very different – first one was a textbook pregnancy and the labour started off in the pool at the Romsey birthing center (now closed), but then ended up with an ambulance transfer to Southampton at 3am, an epidural, forceps attempts and eventually an emergency c-section. 2nd one was heavily monitored (twins tends to cause that), labour started at 36 wks, and then was a natural birth for the pair of them. Neither was anything like we expected – and I think that is completely normal, it never completely goes to plan.

  2. Oh! and bathing – mum gets in bath, dad hands baby to mum, baby gets washed, dad extracts baby from bath and dries it (actually, the tricky bit was what to do with baby A while handing baby B to mum – twins make it all a bit harder!)

  3. Hmm. The “happy end” “nice end” vs “harrowing” “horrific” “train wreck” end

    I know I’m not the target audience for this podcast (having actually given birth myself) but I find this whole portion a bit disturbing.

    It’s a woman having a baby. It’s just about the most natural thing in the world.. I understand that men are squeamish – I picked that much up from the giggles about the potential for stray poo in the birthing pool after a cherished partner has managed to push a giant watermelon out of their body cavity (the hardest most painful thing they’ll ever do – but never mind that, eeeeeuw! Don’t touch the poo!). I understand that men don’t necessarily want to see their partner’s genitals in a completely different state from what they might be used to seeing or thinking about, and of course don’t want to see their partner in pain, but attitude matters, and your partner – who needs your support and love and encouragement at that particular point – doesn’t need to see you wincing or offended by the sight of the business end of proceedings.

    However hard it is, I’d encourage you not to think that the process of having a baby – the thing that your partner is going through – is disgusting, harrowing and horrific. It’s no picnic, but it’s biology. It’s how it’s supposed to work.

    Oh, and Nick’s half-remembered theory about babies crawling out of caesarian openings? Um, no. Perhaps you’re thinking about the latching urge, when newborn babies given skin-to-skin contact will nuzzle and hunt (and wriggle if needed) to find the nipple? That happens.

    Pretty sure they don’t vault out of the womb like an olympic gymnast and order a milktini.

    • Meg, you’re absolutely right that whatever discomfort or ill-ease a dad feels during birth, it is completely irrelevant compared to what the mum is dealing with. Supporting your partner in every possible way is the number one task a dad has.

      As for the caesarian thing… it certainly wasn’t a theory of how all caesarian’s go and how it comes across on the podcast is somewhat exaggerated to what I was half-remembering. I have been trying to find something, anything, to help me figure out where that came from, but nothing seems to support it as being a thing. Which does leave me slightly worried as to why I thought otherwise. I’m sure we’ll dispel it as utter nonsense next time.

  4. Thanks Meg, and sorry if any jokey flippancy might give a bad impression.

    Listening back, I’m wincing at having jokingly said “nice end”. Horrible brain. It was jokey terminology that Rachel and I had used, but I realise it sounds a bit, you know, hate-y. That definitely wasn’t my intention.

    I also definitely could have done a better job of providing the other side of the drugs discussion and talking about why we didn’t want to use strong drugs.

    Very keen to have female perspectives. Would you like to talk about birth from a mum’s point of view, and perhaps especially why you opted for a home birth? (Something a lot of people would be terrified of).

  5. I’d definitely recommend the New Forest birth centre. We we minutes away from a dream birth in one of their pools… before being pulled back out, having to chase an ambulance to Princess Anne, literally supporting my wife during the birth, and being tied to the bed with a power cable after the baby had been harpooned out. The most amazing experience of my life, which doesn’t quite seem real nine months on. Jo did an incredible job on a tens machine alone through the entire thing, although they did remind her she could have gas and air afterwards! (For the stiches. I’ll never forget Jo declaring that it wasn’t working!)

    I still think we had one of the smoothest births of anyone we know, and it would be nice to have another attempt in the New Forest- they really were great there. (If we’re crazy enough to think about a second that is!)

    I recognise that half-pipe changing mat; it’s a blast shield. Worth getting one; you shouldn’t underestimate their range.


  6. Have I been using my top and tail bowl wrong? Water in one side and cotton in the other? There was me thinking one side was for water for the face/body (top) and another side for bottom area (tail). I suppose the reason is that you don’t contaminate face washing water with nasty stuff. That said, who double-dips their cotton buds anyway???

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