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  • David Thejl-Clayton

The baby that rocketed out...

Birthing stories are a plenty on the interweb, but they are usually told by the woman. After all who better to share their experiences about giving birth other than the one actually giving birth... However sometimes we forget the partner stood alongside also has their own experiences within the birthing room and this experience could be worth sharing too. So I am grateful for this platform to be able to share my story...


Feeling like a seasoned pro at the whole "birth" thing, Miriam and I knew the drill when the first signs of labor crept upon us. The first thing we did? Head straight to that brunch place we have been waiting to try for ages, and tuck into an awesome brunch... You see, the thing they tell you about in the movies, "Oh my god she is in labor, get her to the hospital, lets hope she doesn't give birth in the car", this isn't realistic at all.


With Olau, our first child, our mutual best friend came over for dinner whilst Miriam was in the first stages of labor, Olau didn't show his face for another 20 hours or so. We knew this time to settle in for the ride and didn't panic as we slowly enjoyed our delicious brunch! The next few hours passed pretty unexcitedly, waiting for the inevitable calls to the midwife at the labor ward, "We think we are ready", "No not yet, you need to wait a little while longer".


We learned from Olau that the midwives will do anything to ensure you are not there any earlier than is necessary. But we also learned that Miriam's birth rythymn is slow, slow, FAST, BIRTH! So we were also trying to be a little cautious. Eventually we got the green light to head into the hospital. Taking with us our "hospital bag" full of snacks, which I took pride in purchasing this time. Knowing that Miriam couldn't care less for snacks during the whole birth thing, I went all out to buy snacks that mainly I would want, including the muchly maligned Pringles, which we will come into later...


Arriving at the hospital we were shown to what I can only describe as the "pre birth" room, Miriam hopped up onto the bed and I began to lay my snacks out onto the table. I turned and looked at Miriam and we acknowledged 'it is time to begin'. You see Miriam had been researching lots of different approaches to labor and giving birth, and ways to naturally cope with the pain and the stress. She had found a technique called "The Meyer Method". Upon hearing this early on in the first trimester, I was a little apprehensive, as it involved a lot of practice and the method essentially relied on the birthing partner to deliver rhythmic pressure to various "zones" on the expecting mothers body. Practicing the process this early on seemed a little alien and difficult to get my head into, but but but, the practice was essential for what was coming next...



David, you have one job!!!

I began the "Meyer Method" and suddenly it all made sense. Miriam began to settle into the process, and each time I applied force to the relevant zone on her body, she knew to expect the next one and where to expect it. This gave her a way to effectively zone out and experience an almost meditation like zen with the process. Each time I missed a zone, she would be abruptly jolted out of this zen and remind me "politely" in her best possible English, "get it right!", "David you have one job!, just one!". So yeah the pressure was on... The "Meyer Method" was one of the most important things in the room at this birth. It helped both Miriam and myself concentrate and to some degree enjoy the process, giving us something to focus on constantly. I cannot recommend this method enough, if you try it though, you must go all out and get completely into it... Trust me it works!


Here the next few hours are a little hazy, so I will skip ahead with a "Rocky montage"...


Excluding the Pringle moment... You see, birth can be exhausting, not just for the mother delivering, but also for the birthing partner. Especially if said, birthing partner is expected to continue pushing regularly on the various pressure points this can also work up a bit of a hunger, which needs to be satisfied, cue the Pringles can. Usually Miriam hates the sound of my chewing at the dinner table, but here in the pre birth room, the sound of my crunching on Pringles was apparently amplified as if I had taken a microphone and PA system into the room and pointed the speaker directly into Miriam's face. The one thing to learn is never ever cross a woman who is in the late stages of labor, "David, stop god damn eating those Pringles", "UGH, can you please stop crunching", "David, put the fucking Pringles away"...


"Rocky montage"....


Cue Miriam's contractions violently stepping up in strength and rhythm, and the knowing exchange of looks between myself and Miriam, remembering exactly what happened with Olau, that it would not be very long at all before the baby was going show their shiny head. We called for the midwife, who checked Miriam's stage of dilation and told us, Miriam was not ready yet, "only 5cm". Again us knowing exactly what would happen next, tried to remind the midwife that things were about to "get real" in the pre birth room. The midwife disappeared to begin arranging the birthing room, but before she could get her last foot out of the door, Miriam went from 5cm dilated to 10cm in what felt like 30 seconds! The midwife double checked and a sudden look of panic spread across her face, "get her into the wheelchair", as Miriam slowly moved down to the chair... "Get her into the wheelchair, NOW"...


We hurried off to the birthing room, knowing roughly what to expect next, and also continuing the "Meyer Method" with the midwife commenting on how dedicated we were to the process and noting the positive effect it was having on Miriam's labor.. possibly too good! As the next few minutes in the birthing room were nothing short of traumatic for everyone in the room, not in a holy shit things are bad way, but in a holy shit things are moving incredibly fast way. The two midwifes in the room began preparing Miriam for birth, but also noticed that the baby (Lill) was essentially beginning to break free of the chains of the womb and fight her way out already, before the stage was even set. I never thought I would ever seen a midwife holding a baby into the birthing canal to ensure that its passage out was safe for both baby and mother. But here I was witnessing Lill being held into the canal by the midwife, to stop her exploding out like a rocket!


Nonetheless the birth went so fast that neither myself or Miriam could keep up with what the hell was happening. I was incredibly scared of the pain and suffering on Miriam's face, and watching her womb muscle essentially flexing like it had been weight training for the last year in a gym trying to force my baby out was terrifying! With the midwife also screaming at Miriam "DO NOT PUSH, STOP PUSHING!"... These moments are the ones that the partner doesn't get to talk about or share very often as the pain and trauma is essentially quite rightly owned by the mother. But I can tell you that it was scary as hell in that room... But I was incredibly humbled and proud of the intense strength and courage that my wife showed to get our baby into this world. As Lill was finally allowed to exit the womb, controlled as it was by the midwife, it still happened so fast that Miriam did not get to go through the right zones and was left feeling robbed by labor.


With Olau the feeling was joy and pure love in the first few seconds, but with Lill, the feeling was pain and questioning, "how, what, when, wait what just happened?". Miriam had gone into shock and was shaking and needing urgent attention, so to give Miriam a little bit of time to come to terms with what had just happened to her body, I took Lill to go and put on her first diaper. By the time I turned back to Miriam with Lill in my arms, Miriam had warmed up and was ready to hug that baby like mad!

Lillian Arent Thejl-Clayton 25/04/19 kl. 5:05

Can my wife PLEASE have a sandwich?!?!

The last thing I can remember from the birth, which is probably the funniest thing from the entire ordeal is when I pushed what I thought was the "call midwife" button, but turned out to be "CHRIST, THERE IS AN EMERGENCY IN THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW" button. Within seconds, 6 hospital staff of varying skillsets zoomed into the room, ready to set into whatever emergency was awaiting them. The emergency this time was that Miriam wanted something to eat... After apologising profusely to the doctors, nurses and midwifes who had just been torn from their other important tasks. I embarrassingly asked for a sandwich for Miriam...









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