Being Dad part 2

Posted: 24/08/2011 in baby preparations, being dad

In this installment I plan to write about the actual process of having a baby from a dad’s perspective.

I’ll open with a disclaimer “Ladies and Mrs Bunny Chow you may read on under the understanding that I wholeheartedly agree that you got the worst part of this deal and have it a lot tougher than us, we are soft and simple creatures and just wanted to put my perspective out there as I saw it through my eyes.”

Disclaimer two. “Do not read on if you are squeamish”

Phew with that out of the way, I mentioned in my earlier essay that as a simple and caring creature, I tend to panic and worry about the well being of Mrs Bunny Chow, this I freely admit did cause some tension whilst waiting for the arrival of Monkey Boy. The amount of snow and the fact that our chosen hospital was on the other side of London didn’t help, but looking back I should have trusted Mrs Bunny Chow’s intuition and not insisted that we visit the hospital every time she started having contractions.

Speaking of contractions nobody warns you that they can come and go for weeks in advance of the main event, years of badly made television and films have been based around the premise of, Oh dear she’s having a baby it’s now time for the big race to get her to a doctor in time. Antenatal lessons and some of your reading materials will point out that in most cases and certainly ours there is plenty of time between the start of the process and the wailing little bundle of joy at the end of the process.

It’s hard to brake those preconceptions that the media has foisted on us though so I urge you not to be like I was and panic at every twinge, trust your beloveds intuition and if necessary remove yourself, play with your PlayStation, go to church, go shopping, actually don’t go shopping, you will be emotional and come home with cuddly toys that you don’t need, I did. Just get yourself somewhere where you can calm down and even if it doesn’t calm your anxiety at least you won’t be increasing hers.

When the time came for us to eventually go to the hospital, Mrs Bunny Chow had already been having strong contractions for nearly twenty hours, she was using a TENS machine which I’d heartily recommend, but our initial plan had been for us to try a water birth and if possible avoid drugs even though we were open to them if needed so we presented ourselves to the birthing unit of St Georges Hospital in the middle of the night for them to submit Mrs Bunny Chow to many indignities. These included examinations to check dilation as well as lots of the usual hospital type test, blood pressure etc. etc., and strapping her into a machine to measure her contractions.

Convinced that nothing much was happening they persuaded Mrs Bunny Chow that some sleep would do her the world of good and administered a shot of Pethidine which had the desired effect of allowing her some rest and me to bed down on a mattress on the floor for a few hours of much needed rest. I’m not sure how long she got but I managed a couple of hours interspersed with mutterings of my lack of consideration and exclamations of you got me into this state you can stay awake with me. For the most part though she was pretty considerate given the circumstances.

Come the morning and another round of examinations we had the aforementioned suggestion that we go home and I had my moment of madness where I explained how that was not going to happen. They did capitulate though and instead moved us to the general labour ward where it was decided that they would get things progressing artificially. They did this by using what I can best describe as a plastic crochet hook to reach into Mrs Bunny Chow’s womb and break the waters. This was obviously excruciatingly painful for Mrs Bunny Chow so they gave her gas and air otherwise known as Entonox or laughing gas to help ease things. This didn’t have the desired effect though and caused her to begin vomiting.

As we were now going down the intervention route a foetal heat monitor was attached to Monkey Boy’s scalp and Mrs Bunny Chow was given pain relief in the form of an epidural to the spine (yes it’s a bloody big needle) as well as being attached to the contraction monitor machine again and the indignity of a catheter and being confined to bed. She was also given an artificial hormone supposed to speed up the process and encourage dilation.

Despite these many indignities the epidural greatly improved Mrs Bunny Chow’s demeanor and comfort allowing us both to get some rest if not any sleep. I even managed to pop home and shower, before heading back to the hospital via the cuddly toy shop again.

As midnight of our second night in hospital loomed ever closer another intrusive examination was carried out by yet another midwife who said that Mrs Bunny Chow still wasn’t dilating sufficiently but suggested that she get a second opinion from the consultant obstetrician. He promptly arrived and said actually things were about to happen. Suddenly all chaos broke loose, the room filled with important looking people, the obstetrician put on a face mask that I kid you not resembled something that would be worn by an Ice Hockey Goalie. The end of the bed was removed and Mrs Bunny Chow was forced to assume the classic movie position with her legs in stirrups.

Mr Obstetrician took up his position between Mrs Bunny Chow’s thighs and after about ten minutes of grunting groaning and swearing with his hands in my beloved Mrs Bunny Chow’s crotch the obstetrician called for the Ventouse Device which is best described as a small sink plunger that they attach to the baby’s scull to allow them to pull. After a minute or two of this yanking there was a terrifying sucking noise as the Ventouse detached itself and came flying out as speed, broken as it whacked against Mrs Bunny Chows inner thigh.

Having given up with the now broken Ventouse Device Mr Obstetrician called for the forceps. Again I am not writing for dramatic effect here but these resembled the biggest salad tongs you have ever seen. I’m told that they cause no lasting harm to the baby but holy cow are they big and do they look evil.

At this stage I was asked to move from my position at Mrs Bunny Chows head end to the other side of the bed to allow the Obstetrician a better view of all the monitors. The only way to facilitate this move was to walk round the business end and as I passed I couldn’t help but have a look at what was going on down there. It is a moment I will never forget and whilst I don’t regret having a look I certainly would recommend that the head end is definitely where you want to be.

The forceps of evil obviously did their job as intended though as within minutes Monkey Boy was brought kicking and screaming into the world.

From here I was taken off to the other side of the room with the paediatrician to check Monkey Boy out, gasp at the size of his scrotum (I later learned that this is because of raging hormones and not my influence) and check he had the right numbers of fingers, toes etc, before cleaning up his meconium (first poo) and putting him in his first nappy and clothes.

I’ll write more about the aftermath of this momentous occasion another time so for now.


Mr Bunny Chow

  1. charliem says:

    Good grief lad, you keep trying to tell me it's worth it. That hasn't helped the cause

  2. I promise that was by far the worst of all be it told warts and all and from my perspective at least worth every minute of it.

    Sorry to scare any expecting fathers and or mothers out there, I promise my next update on being dad will be more pleasant.


    Mr Bunny Chow

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