The Fathers Who Taught Me
By Karen Winstead, CNM
Photo by PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay
The Jones’ also taught me. They were both professionals, one a physician. They had taken Bradley classes. They did not want continuous electronic fetal monitoring, no IV, and no medications unless absolutely necessary. They worked so well together. I had never seen anything like it before.
They had practiced for weeks before coming into the hospital for their second baby. He could sense when she was tightening up her muscles and he just lightly touched where she was tense. Although I could not recognize the tension, I could see her relax that muscle, and knew he was right.
They just wanted to be left alone to labor together with as few interruptions as possible. No medications for the labor were needed. They delivered their baby on their own. The medical and nursing staff were there only to catch the baby and assist if needed.
I began to realize from this experience how labor can promote teamwork and respect for one another for those that have prepared for it, for those who are supported in helping each other, and supported in making their own decisions.
Labor and birth can empower a man to assume that role of husband and father if given the support, information, and motivation to be a part of the process. The hormones coursing through a woman’s veins at the time she gives birth make her fall in love with her baby and her partner.
It’s a blessing to be a part of the whole physiological process. As a hospital nurse, I learned a lot from these women (and their companions) and countless others who I had the privilege of serving.
I gleaned so much from being at their births, and even got to catch their babies if the doctor didn’t make it on time. Even though there have been many improvements over the years, there is still a lot of disappointment for me in seeing how women are frequently treated.
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