A Father's Day tribute.
I was aware my husband, Jason, had a phobia of blood and hospitals, we'd been together for 10 years before we had children. It wasn't until we went to the GP together at 6 weeks pregnant, that I realized the extent of his phobia. The GP and I were chatting about the various scans and tests I needed throughout the pregnancy. As soon as we stepped outside the doctor's clinic Jason said to me "don't you ever do that to me again!" I was like "what are you talking about?" And then he explained he was about to faint while we were in there. My heart sank a little and fear set in as I thought of the journey ahead of me and the possibility of having to do it alone.
It was when I was pregnant that I started to explore the idea of Birth Photography. I started looking at the work of birth photographers and it was so emotive it made me cry. I decided I had to hire one, but Jason was overwhelmed by the idea of allowing someone else into our birth space. No matter what I said, he wouldn't budge. I was bitterly disappointed.
I decided to enlist some support and get my mother to attend the birth. I didn't know how Jason was going to respond to labor or birth so it was important to me I had at least one person I knew I could rely on. I had visions of him fainting and missing the important bits! Mum and I made plans around her being my support, my wishes I wanted her to voice when I wasn't able and her taking photos for me on my camera.
I labored at home over the entire weekend with mild continuous contractions. My mum stayed with us because she lived an hour away and we knew things could change quickly. On Monday morning around 2 am, my waters broke while I was laying in bed resting. It was a bit of a shock, the amount of water that gushed out. I had a quick shower and we jumped in the car. On the way, the contractions were intensifying and becoming very close together. We arrived and as they were trying to check me in at the front desk I got really dizzy. I sat on the floor so I wouldn't fall, as I thought I might pass out. It was just then that contractions because continuous. They wouldn't stop and I couldn't get up. Jason stepped up, he scooped me up into a wheel chair and they managed to get me into the room and onto a bed. They gave me some gas which helped to steady the contractions while they monitored the baby. I can't really remember a whole lot of this time, but I have photos of my husband holding my hand and supporting me through this stage. I do remember he had either eaten something that didn't agree with him, which was highly possible or he was very nervous because he kept wanting to run to the bathroom! The last time he said he needed to go, I knew I was getting close, I was worried he'd miss it and I told him to hurry up. At that stage, I'm glad Mum was there to fill the gaps when he was out of the room.
My obstetrician arrived quite quickly, she checked my dilation for the first time and I was 9cm! I was so relieved. I think it really was a blessing because I'd done most of the work at home already and it meant my Jason wasn't hanging around the hospital for too long and didn't get too much of a chance to start feeling yucky, apart from the trips to the loo! Soon after, I was ready to push. Baby arrived with the help of vacuum extraction and I was so relieved it was a quick delivery. I have photos of holding my baby up to inspect her little squished face and Jasons hand is resting on top of my head in a loving a supporting way. He kept fairly quiet but I'm sure he was more comfortable knowing it was all over. I was completely overcome with the oxytocin high that birth brings for many days to follow. It is such an incredibly euphoric feeling. My husband survived without fainting and got to see his daughter being born. He seemed to be comfortable visiting me in the hospital over the following five days and although I regret not having a birth photographer, my Mum got some good photos on my camera.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say Happy Father's Day to all the dads, including Jason and my own Father. I love this image and the tears in the eyes of my Dad meeting his first grandchild.