Dads Helping Dads Figure Out Being a Dad

Ready, Set, PUSH!

During our weekly Tuesday OB appointment, our doctor recommended that we induce.  Wednesday was our due date, but he prefers to induce earlier to reduce the risk of complications leading to a c-section.  He indicated that in the past, only about 10% of his inductions have resulted in c-sections.  For almost a month, Mel had been at .5 cm dilation, and induction (or a c-section) was beginning to seem likely, so we figured we should take his advice and go for it.

We got some dinner, checked and double checked the hospital bags, and headed over to San Dimas Community Hospital at 1 am for our reservation.  At 3, Mel was given the pre-labor drug, intended to thin the cervix.  By 9 am the dilation had increased to 2 cm and contractions were noticeable, so they pushed the meds to start labor.

Then we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Dilation was still sitting around 2 cm, when the doctor decided to break the water (around 3 pm).  Instantly, dilation increased to 6 cm, and contractions intensified.

Some friends (Mark and Laurel) called at about 2:45 wanting to come by.  By the time they arrived, Mel was indicating that she needed to use the bathroom.  Mark and Laurel, both EMT’s, exchanged a knowing look… it was coming.

I called the nurse and she checked the dilation, walked to the phone and called the doctor at his office.  He needs to come NOW.  Pull him from his appointment, she is 9+ and is feeling the need to push.

All told, Mel went from 2 cm to delivery in less than 2 hours!

It would have been faster, but there was a minor complication with the umbilical cord wrapped around the neck.  This is common, but can be dangerous.

Perhaps the most amazing part of labor/transition was watching the way that the human body dealt with the overwhelming pain of delivery.  When Mel was getting close, she entered an altered state of consciousness.  She seemed to be going back and forth between delirious (at times appearing passed out) when there was no contraction and oblivious to everything when there was a contraction.  I found it helpful to take her face in my hands and touch foreheads to get her attention.

A recommendation — if anyone is waiting until the end to come, call and tell them to hurry when she reaches that point!

For first-time dads-to-be:

Forget the stages that they talk about in birthing classes.  Here they are in terms that you will remember (for natural birth, no epidural) ;)

1) water breaks/early contractions

2) “I can’t do this” stage (this is what she will be saying/screaming — my wife indicated that we needed to leave the hospital and tried to get up out of bed, IV and all, which was the transition to stage 3)

3) Altered state of consciousness/”I need to do a number 2″

4) “I need to push” (strap yourself in, it’s coming)



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Category: Life
  • BlueCollarWorkman says:

    Well congratulations! I liked your actual steps of labor, I found they were true too, for my 2 little girls! I made the mistake of laughing when my wife was in the “I can’t do this” stage. I laughed and told her that she can’t exactly go back, there’s only one way this can go! She didn’t think it was very funny. Addendum to any of these steps: If you say the wrong thing, you will observe the pained stare of death. This is to be avoided!

    March 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm
    • Jeremy says:

      Thanks for reading! While we were waiting for my wife to dilate, by dad was in the room with us. He quipped, “I know what stage of labor you are in — it’s the ‘I can’t do it stage!’” At the same time, I was trying to think back to the stages of labor that we had learned, and of course couldn’t remember. That stuff is great for a textbook, but it does little to help when you are going through it. I thought that for first-timers like me, having some memorable way points would be useful. And, your addendum is well-worth noting! I barely kept it together when my wife indicated that we needed to “get out of here and go home” because she couldn’t do it. Fortunately, she couldn’t see me laughing, because I was physically pushing her back down onto the bed — she was already getting up!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm
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