Turning pain into joy
As I walked through the hospital room door, I can barely put into words the emotion I felt. The first thing I saw was my perfectly formed, lifeless, little boy. He had been placed on a stainless steel trolley right near the door. I remember this so clearly because it made me furious. It felt so wrong for him to be there like that. Time stood still for a moment, as I stared at him. He was perfect, he was real, he just wasn’t alive. My emotions raced, from rage, to despair, to disbelief. I found it hard to control them as I looked over at my beautiful, sad wife being spoken to by the doctor and midwife that had helped her deliver our stillborn baby boy.
I can’t remember all the details of that day very well. But I can remember with great clarity the words that were running through my mind.
“THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN”
I decided I would channel my anger into determination and fearlessness.
Jen and I buried our baby boy and made a pact that we would never go through that experience again. We decided we would have another baby and that we would have a boy. We would leave no stone unturned to make sure this next pregnancy and birth would be a success, and that we would have a perfectly healthy baby boy.
We found a book called supernatural child birth that was extremely helpful as it gave examples of people who had had problem free, pain free, pregnancies and deliveries. Their ideas suited me perfectly.
We wrote out a statement about the pregnancy, the birth and our baby. The statement described exactly how the pregnancy would go, that it would be a joyful, fun experience for everyone in the family, free from all the superstition surrounding pregnancy.
Our statement said that our baby would be protected throughout the pregnancy and birth. That no harm would come to him in any way shape or form.
Our statement said that the delivery would be quick (our first baby was overdue and had to be induced, and I watched my wife endure an extremely painful labour for nine hours, there were complications that put the baby in a distressed state.)
But not too quick (our second baby came so quick that he was born on our bedroom floor.) So we wanted enough time to get to the hospital without rushing, but once we got to the hospital the labour and delivery would be quick, short, easy and painless.
Twice a day I would read out our statement with enthusiasm and absolute conviction, my wife Jen did the same. Once I had read the statement, I imagined myself standing outside the hospital speaking on my mobile, telling my father what an incredible experience the birth had been, and how perfect our baby boy was.
Our doctor had given us the due date of the 23rd of November. My wife mentioned to me that the last week of a pregnancy was unnecessary, and did I think we could go for a due date a week earlier. I was extremely motivated, so I thought, we’ve gone this far, lets go for everything. So we chose the date of birth to be the 14th of November.
At 2.00 am on the 15th of November, Jen woke me to tell me her waters had broken. She had a shower. We called my mother who lived close by, to come over to look after our children. We then called the hospital to tell them we’d be there shortly. The hospital told us to hurry given our last child was born at home. But we knew this time everything would be peaceful.
We arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes later and were given a room to wait in. Jen and I sat and chatted for about 20 minutes. I had a cup of coffee.
It was amazing, my wife was having a pain free labour!
In the middle of a conversation she stopped talking and said “wait”, “I’m having a contraction”, she closed her eyes for a minute and said, “it’s like pressure”. About 15 minutes later she had another. I called the nurse, she came in and said, “don’t worry this could take while”. She was mislead because we were so calm and Jen was in no pain at all. The nurse said “I’ll just check anyway”. She checked Jen’s condition. “Oh my goodness you’re fully dilated, we better get you to the birthing room now”.
Because our baby was ready, he was very low, so the three of us walked slowly down the corridor to the birthing room. Halfway down the corridor Jen said, “wait, wait”, we waited for a minute while she had her third contraction. Ten more steps and we were in the birthing room. Once in the room the nurse said, “at least wait for the doctor to get here”. She then told me to get Jen’s pants off, which I did, as she got things ready for the doctor to arrive. I helped Jen climb up onto the bed and instantly our baby shot out like a bullet into my arms.
Five minutes later the doctor walked in and made the comment, ” I see you don’t even need me”. “Never a truer word spoken”, I thought. The midwife, who was also pregnant, walked over, and looking at Jen, myself and our baby, said ” Now that’s how you have a baby, I’m gonna have my baby just like that”.
Half an hour later I stood outside the hospital making the exact same call I’d imagined every day for last nine months.