As Sara mentioned in her post earlier this week, our birthing class last Monday included a video of an actual birth. I am BAD when it comes to blood, medical procedures, injuries, broken bones, etc. I knew fairly earlier on in life that God did not design me to be a doctor. So I have been more than a little nervous that this birth thing was not going to be good for me. I want to be the good supportive coach that Sara needs, but was afraid that my weak stomach might prevent me from doing so. I envisioned myself in a waiting room watching Sportscenter waiting to hear how things went. I guess there are plenty of dads who did it exactly this way because that used to be the accepted role for the father. But now it is completely different, and I have felt this pressure that you aren't a good dad if you aren't all up in the doctor's business while this is going on, videotaping the whole thing, cutting the cord, etc. I just wasn't sure I was up for all of that, and I have felt horribly about that.
My mind (and Sara's) was put at some ease after Monday's class. The video showed all of the different stages of labor. The majority of it was basically this poor woman looking ridiculously uncomfortable and in pain. I felt bad for her, but made it through with stomach intact. Then she got to the hospital. Then she hit "transition" phase, which REALLY looked uncomfortable. Still, I was doing fine. I knew what was coming, though. I was bracing myself as best I could. One shot of the head coming through. Then, "one more good push" and the rest of the body literally popped out and we're done. I couldn't believe it. It was almost done before I realized it had started! I guess I didn't realize how quickly (in relation to the whole labor process) the actual delivery was.
The nurse warned us, though, about the delivery of the placenta. She said a lot of people made it through the delivery of the child just fine, but were unprepared for the delivery of the placenta. This, indeed, was significantly more "gross" than the delivery of the baby, but not that bad. Having had the experience of watching piglets and puppies being born, I had seen that part before.
So, in my best Rocky Balboa impersonation, I stand before you with fists clenched in the air and yelling, "I DID IT!!!" I'm not going to say in my newly-found state of bravado that I am a cord cutter, but we'll see. I am relieved, though, that I may be able to handle the support role which is the main thing I want to do.
I must confess that I felt a surprising amount of emotion during the birth video. Instead of feeling light-headed and dizzy, I felt a lump in my throat and tears well up in my eyes. And I was watching a video of someone I don't even know! I can't imagine the emotions I'll feel when it is my wife giving birth to our child. What an amazing blessing and life event we are about to experience!
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