Heart & Soul: The flower in our garden

  • Family
  • Saturday, 16 Aug 2014

A new father gives an eyewitness account of the miracle of the birth of his daughter.

IT WAS a Monday and I slept at 2am that morning. I don’t usually do this on a working day, but Manchester City had a game on TV so it was understandable.

Typically, they lost to Wigan, got knocked out of the FA Cup, and I went to bed grumbling about the two hours I could have spent sleeping.

At 4am, my wife woke me up and said, “My waterbag just broke.”

By 4.30am, we were already in the labour room in the hospital.

Admittedly, I had done little to prepare myself for labour. I did realise that physically, there wasn’t much I could do to alleviate my wife’s pain.

But I wanted to be as accommodating as possible to ensure that everything involved in the birthing process transpired seamlessly. And the only sure-fire way for me to do this was by not touching anything in the labour room.

By 2pm, my wife’s dilation was not showing any significant progress. So, upon the doctor’s advice, we agreed to have her induced to expedite the delivery.

Once the drip kicked in, her contractions intensified exponentially and as a husband, this was when your gonads are put to the test.

As the word labour itself suggests, contractions hurt. My wife described it as “very severe period pain”.

But as a man who has never experienced menstrual cramps, I can only imagine this to be very, very unpleasant.

Seeing my wife trying to control the pain as the contractions got more frequent and stronger was already painful. I tried to show moral support by breathing together whenever she did that blow-breathing thing we learnt in prenatal class.

As far as any form of sideline support goes, however, I only experienced a tiny, negligible speck of the agony she was going through.

By 5.30pm, her dilation reached 10cm and it was time to push. The labour bed was put into delivery position and the midwives came in with the trays of unfriendly-looking instruments.

My wife was twisting and turning uncontrollably, and witnessing this, I couldn’t do much except to just hold her hand, brush her hair, and whisper that God was with us through all this. I tried to be with her by grunting along and cheering with the midwives with every push.

Amidst the pandemonium, images of the day we met, our first date, our wedding, and the day we moved into our house flashed before me.

I started tearing up as I began to imagine the day my mum gave birth to me and the similar pain that she must have gone through.

At exactly 6.12pm, our daughter was safely delivered into this world and my wife, who was in indescribable pain just seconds ago, smiled gleefully and was seemingly devoid of anymore discomfort at the sight of the little baby.

I hugged them both and breathed a sigh of relief like never before.

After 14 hours of labour, little Orked was brought into the world on March 10 early this year to complete our little family.

I am not able to clearly describe the experience of being in the labour room for the first time. It’s one of those things which you will never be ready for and just have to wing it when the day comes.

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