“A miracle is really the only way to describe motherhood and giving birth. It’s unbelievable how God has made us women and babies to endure and be able to do so much. Such an incredible blessing” – Jennie Finch
They say being in labour is the most painful, excruciating pain you’ve ever felt in your life. I had no idea it would hurt that much, though different mothers have different degree of pains. I wish mine was as easy and smooth as the typical labour scenes I’ve seen in the movies – there was one where the woman just sneezed and there you go, she gave birth!
But it wasn’t like that in real life (pun intended).
My husband was with me the whole time while I was in the labour room. I, of course was writhing in tormenting agony with no recollection of what happened. I was too distracted by the pain and instructions by the doctor and nurses, all the while being soothed by his voice.
This is how it all went down, according to him:
I promised to be with my wife when she’s delivering our child into the world, never to leave her side. I promised to guide her using all the techniques we’ve learnt and read. I promised not to cry seeing her in agony.
These were all easier said than done.
I broke the third promise. I just couldn’t bear the tears seeing her like that. I wish I could’ve done more to take her pain away.
She only had a few minor health problems during the pregnancy. Still, they made her uncomfortable as her back constantly ached. This was on top of the restless and sleepless nights. I tried to ease her pain with massages, but I knew they weren’t enough.
It takes a lot to grow a human being inside you, carrying that weight around for 9 months. It takes a lot more to bring him or her out of the belly. In all honesty, I could never do what she’s done. I just wouldn’t be able to bear the pain.
We had a supper date the night before it all happened. She’d wanted hot cocoa, saying that it might be our last weekend date as a pair, since the baby is due next weekend. True enough, she had her contractions in the wee hours in the morning. Upon arriving at the hospital at 5.30am, she was already dilated to 4cm!
What is it with women and their intuitions?
In the labour room, my wife refused to take the epidural. She wanted to be drug free and wished for normal delivery. Seeing her in pain, the nurses urged her to take the drug.
She’s a stubborn one, my wife. She would keep to her words and never let anyone talk her out of her decision, not even me. Then the nurses turned to me, asking me to persuade her to use the epidural. As much as it hurt me to see her like that, I knew better than to mention it to her. All I could do then was to offer her sips of water, words of comfort and encouragement – basically just be there for her.
1.5 hours later, her cervix has dilated to 6cm – and at this point she was in constant and severe pain. It broke me to see her like this, and I couldn’t help but think I was partly to be blamed for her suffering. I got her to this stage, didn’t I? If only I could trade places with her, I’d do so in a heartbeat.
I then started to recite some prayers and asked her to do the same as well to help take her mind off the pain. Truth be told, I was dumbfounded on what else to do.
So I got her to reminisce about our love story, our journey thus far, our running regime and events, our future plans and so on. I realised I was babbling, but it seemed to soothe her a little bit.
Suddenly she told me she felt like pushing as the contractions were getting more and more intense. I immediately ran out to call the nurses (there was a HELP button in the room, but I panicked!)
She was already 9cm open!
It seemed that she was ready to do the push. I helped her with the breathing techniques as instructed by the doctor, and when the nurse asked me to take a ‘sneak peek’, I saw a head full of hair! I got the chills when I conveyed the news to her – but she ignored me completely. I knew all she wanted to do was to get the baby out – she was ready.
I then gave her my hand and she pierced her nails onto it. It was only later I realised that my hand was full of scratches and it was bleeding thanks to her ‘claws’.
But hey, that was just a small price to pay for her sacrifice.
About 30 minutes later, she gave the final push. And she gave birth to a miracle, a blessing of a baby girl! I cut the umbilical cord and recited the prayers for the baby. All the while, never once did I feel nauseated or disgusted seeing all the blood and the insides of my wife.
And I’m always the one who faints at the mere sight of blood.
My wife was a warrior throughout the whole process. Despite being a vocal (and slightly foul-mouthed) person, she didn’t cuss or even cry. I felt she was in her own world, battling the pain that only she understood.
Our daughter was perfect. From that moment on, I knew our lives would never be the same again. Ever.
Having gone through all that, here are some of the things that husbands can take note of while being in the labour room with their wives:
- Take off any jewelleries or accessories like rings, watches, bracelets so that you won’t hurt yourself and your wife while she squeezes and grips your hands.
- When they painfully hold and grip any parts of your body while handling their contractions, just suck it and pretend that all is okay. Don’t show that you’re hurt; she’s in a lot more pain that you are. It’s totally incomparable.
- Never show that you’re disgusted or repulsed over what you see, or the sight of her that you’ve never seen before. This woman is fighting for her life to bring out another life; show the love and respect that she deserves.
- Go to the washroom or perform your prayers earlier so that you won’t miss those crucial moments. And don’t even think of straying elsewhere; you should be with your wife.
- Bring along some snacks just in case the contractions take a lot longer than expected.
You might think there’s nothing much you could do for her, but trust me – let her yell, cuss, scream and shout at you – you’re her punching bag during that time. After all, she risked her life for your child, the least that you could do is be there when she needs you the most.
For similar articles read 4 Important Life Skills My Mom Taught Me That Still Matter Today, and Being a Stepmom : 5 Tips on How to Cope with the Reality.