As a young girl, I became accustomed to hearing all about labor. How long it took, how “Johnny was stubborn from the get-go,” and, most important, how painful the experience can be. I also witnessed countless knowing looks exchanged from mother to mother as they expressed how “men just don’t get it.” Needless to say, this left me with the impression that labor is impossibly painful and men cannot possibly understand enough to support you.
Approaching natural childbirth for the first time, I had tons of questions, the all-consuming one being: exactly what does “the worst pain you will ever experience” feel like? For the record, I don’t handle pain well, and the thought of a human exiting my body was a bit overwhelming. But I still wanted to try it naturally.
With that said, I knew I needed help getting the birth I wanted. I predicted once the pain kicked in, I would cave and ask for the drugs, ultimately denying me of the birth experience I had planned for. When I heard about Husband Coached Childbirth it seemed like a perfect fit. My husband would be the perfect ally to help me stick to my guns as I worked through the pain. For one, he knows and supports my desire for a natural birth. Secondly, he is assertive.
When the pain kicks in and I’m screaming for an epidural, he would be the one to deal with the nurses and tell them “no.” And he would be my second line of defense. I need his reassurance that I would be getting the birth I wanted even though I felt so weak. Because he is my husband, and I love and trust him, he could make those decisions for me.
Through husband coached childbirth I discovered that my husband is fully capable of supporting a laboring woman and not only can he support, but he is a great pain reliever too! Whenever he was attending to something else my pain significantly increased. So to all the young girls that I come across, I hope to impart to them the truth that yes labor is painful, but with a supportive husband it can be manageable and wonderful.
By Mary Boston
Photo courtesy of Barefoot & Pregnant