This one’s for the moms-to-be out there.
As a mother-to-be, you’ve almost certainly been getting prepared. You know your due date. you know what week you’re at. You’ve got the nursery planned out (or set up already), started figuring out which diapers to use, which bottles will be best, and of course, decided whether to go with froggies or birdies on baby’s bath towels.
You’re probably also looked at, registered for, or taken birthing classes at your hospital. You might have pre-registered. As a very pro-active gal, you’ve also started working through the Plan-Ahead series (or maybe the planning checklists in the book). You’ve got this as under-control as you can (and, you admit, there’s a lot you can’t control, but what you can, oh boy, you’ve got that!), and you’re feeling pretty good about things.
What about him? You know, your husband (or boyfriend, or whomever your birth partner is going to be–and if he’s a she, just adjust pronouns and other words as needed). That guy that’s going to be by your side through the birthing process. Do you trust him as a birth partner?
We both know he’s a great guy. Funny, smart, handsome, fantastic at grilling burgers. We both know he cares about you and would do anything for you.
But…there’s something in you that’s just a bit concerned about him. Your concern probably falls into one of two categories (they’re listed in the book, and I’m not going to list them here, lest you decide that you should be concerned about both categories), and that makes you feel just a little bit uneasy. You absolutely want him by your side during the birth, but you kind of, just a little bit, also want someone that you know will be steady and fully equipped as a birth partner.
As a side note, that’s one reason people hire doulas, even if they’re having a hospital birth. They’re experienced, generally pretty steady, and they’re usually pretty well equipped as birth partners, that being their job and all.
Let me paint a different picture for you. What if, instead of that little bit of unease, you looked over at him. Funny, handsome, smart. And you thought about him by your side during the birth. You realized he’s going to be steady, solid, and he’ll know what to do. Even if he doesn’t know what to do, he’ll know enough that he’ll be able to figure it out and you know he will completely take care of you. You can trust him.
Did you have a little shiver there? That’s a pretty exciting scenario. And if that’s your scenario, you’re in a much better situation that most women heading into the birthing room.
If you can trust him as a birth partner, you’ll be able to focus on birthing your baby. You won’t be splitting your attention. You’ll be able to relax, knowing that he’ll do the right thing, the thing in your best interest, and that you’ll be surrounded by steady loving care.
I’m not a woman, and I’ve never given birth, but I’m pretty sure that sounds appealing.
If you want that, don’t just dream about it (though even as a guy, that scenario sounds pretty great). Figure out what your concerns are about him as a birth partner. Then work through them together.
There are resources out there that can help. The Field Guide to Being an Awesome Birth Partner is, I think, a great resource. It may not be the right resource to address your concerns. Leave a comment below, or email me, and I will do my best to help you find the right resource for you.