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30 years ago – birth changed me

November 8, 2018

My oldest daughter was born on election day thirty years ago tomorrow.  I’m sitting her thinking about how that event changed my life.  It set me on a trajectory.  It helped inspire my writing the Birth Navigators.

That first birth which was against all the planning, the expectations, and the desires of my wife and I helped to face the world of childbirth with open eyes.  Standing there next to the surgical tent, was not in my dreams, nor the months of physical recovery my wife had afterwards.

I’m not dismissing the joy of having my first born to hold, to care for, tho change, and to show off, but that would have happened despite the birth scenario.  So for those of you about to birth, I salute you.  However, birth is not an event that may go as planned.  4 Births later I realized that not one on my four children’s births were any where near the same.

It’s thirty year out, but those different birth experiences are just as relevant.  Hospital surgical emergency birth, vbac in the hospital with nurse midwifes, midwives at the Indianapolis birth center, and midwife in out own place.  This different experiences placed me in a position to see birth from various angles.

Your childbirth experiences will possible me completely different than mine.  You focus and philosophy my be quiet opposed to mine.  The goal is still the same, to bring home your child.  So in thirty years you may look back and say, we did it.

My advice still rings true.  Guys you need to walk in harmony with your mate.  You need to protect her plans for childbirth.  You also need to be informed.  If you aren’t prepared to support your mate, there will be consequences.  You may take home a baby, buy injure your prime relationship with the mother.  This is one of those moments in life where you can’t take it back.  Letting her down now is her time of need is not cool.

You may never be prepared for what happens during the event of birth.  But as long as you are her wing man, protecting her as best you can, you will have done your duty.  Too many guys take birth on like it is just another stroll in the park.  Be prepared.

What can you do?

  • Take time off from work to attend prenatals when possible.
  • Attend childbirth education classes.
  • Read some books on childbirth. (The book I wrote for men is still available: Men at Birth, by Phillip and Genny White.)
  • Have you mate write down her expectations for the delivery, and then read it as it matters.
  • Watch some youtube videos that she picks out for you to know what she is expecting.

I pray that in thirty years you will be able to look back as I have and think how birth has changed you to.  No matter what happens over those years, you’ll see think of that birth and the resulting child as one of the most important events of your life.  Fatherhood is an achievement that only grows with the years.



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