Dad's Birth Story (Jaxton)
I am a very hard working, and a very motivated person. With that personality and mindset, I always have a plan. There is a constant need for me to feel in control of my life.
I believe there is an inner desire that is written in a man’s genetic code for a husband/ father to provide for his family.
Years ago, I made the goal for myself to attend medical school. I wanted to provide a wonderful life, not only for myself but for my future family.
One day my wife approached me and told me that she was late on her period. I knew exactly what that meant. Confirmed with appropriate tests, I was ecstatic to know that I was finally going to be a dad.
Thoughts of being a father fast-forwarded through my mind and focus was drawn to the later years of playing baseball, riding bikes, and camping.
When the reality set in, I quickly reverted to a medical fact known as Naegele’s Rule used to calculate the due date of my new baby. The due date was going to be November.
I feared November, like an unprepared coach feared the super bowl. I prayed for success, my plate was definitely full. Final exams, Graduation, National Boards, and Baby’s due date all fell within days of each other. How was I ever going to survive? I quickly tried to replace feelings of fear with feelings of joy focusing on the positive things of being a dad.
Many times through my wife's pregnancy, I would lay my head on her belly and tell our baby while still in the womb, how much I loved him. It would be so considerate of him to wait and come after my graduation, and after my medical boards.
During my OBGYN rotation, I learned that if you ever want a baby come unexpectedly, set a date of when would be the most convenient time for them to come, then they do the exact opposite.
November 2015 came faster than I expected. One of my most precious highlights was seeing my pregnant wife at 39 weeks pregnant wiggle in her chair trying to find a comfortable position while sitting at my graduation.
Fearing that baby would come, I scheduled my exam only days after my graduation. As I prepared to leave the house the day of the exam, I told my wife to call the testing center only in an emergency. The lady at the testing center must have thought I was nuts when I told her that my wife might be calling.
The exam was more difficult than expected; I exited the exam with feelings of failure. I sat in my car in the parking garage for a good 45 minutes before I could even gather my thoughts to drive home. The exam lasted close to 6 hours. But I needed to be thankful, knowing that I tried my best and now I play the waiting game, the wait for the results and the wait for baby.
Being medically trained I was VERY against the thought of having a home birth and all the problems that could go wrong. What I did not recognize is that there is more of a chance for everything to go right. We are trained to watch and expect for complications. Never in medical school were we trained on how to handle a normal healthy delivery.
Due to the luxuries of having “connections” with in the hospital, I had envisioned that there would be teams of doctors and surgeons, all waiting in the room, for that “just-in-case-moment.” I viewed it as a process that requires medical intervention most of the time. I stand proven wrong.
I was worried that I would drive the midwife nuts with all my medical questions, but for a dad, I needed to make sure. The two most important things to me in life, (my wife and baby) laid in the midwifes care.
I learned that midwives are not just some hippie lady with weird traditions. I was greatly impressed with the vast medical knowledge that our midwife had.
When I learned of any possible complications with pregnancy, I would approach our Tiffanie our midwife with the smirk that I was determined to stump her. I think I asked her just about every question in the book. Yet, time and time again, I was proven wrong.
We had visited Tiffanie's office on the 17th and she checked my wife. I was surprised to know that she was already 4cm dilated.
After asking permission to attend of course, I went to the movies with my friends. Towards the end of the movie I got a message that I needed to come home.
The car speed could not match my excitement. At that moment, all the worries of graduation, and the waiting results of my exam, set clear in the back of my mind.
I came home to find my wife laying in bed resting. There was a neat feeling that was in the room.
I was amazed how my mindset at that moment changed. I was her protector, I was her comforter. I was the father and I was going to do anything for the baby and her.
I was so concerned and wanted to make sure that all of her needs were met. I wanted to call the midwife hours ago but I promised myself I would stick to the rules.
Dealing with fathers before, the Tiffanie gave instructions not to call her unless contractions reached a certain length.
I actively and impatiently kept tract of every contraction. There were many times that she did not even tell me when a contraction was happening. She hunched over a medicine ball calmly rocking back and forth. I could see it in her face, but honestly could sometimes feel it myself -- not the contraction, but a hard to explain emotion when I knew she was having one.
After timing consecutive contractions less than 4 min apart and lasting close to a minute, I texted Tiffanie.
I started to fill the tub. I was so excited to do so. It was not a chore, but an exciting thing that I got to do. Preparing the birth tub where I knew that in not much time my son would be born. I took great pride in checking that water temp and calculating exactly how many gallons, the flow rate, and time it would take to fill. Luckily,I remembered the equation for volume of an elliptical as this shape most closely resembled the birth tub.
What was taking Tiffanie so long to arrive? I texted her over 5 min ago. I had turned lights on, moved the car, and opened the garage door. I wanted to make 100% sure she would have no problems finding our house. The logic left me that it takes her a little while to get here.
My wife let out a soft moan right when I sent a text to Tiffanie, “BETTER COME NOW.” As I had pushed send I heard her rolling in her equipment in our garage.
My wife kept the position leaning over the medicine ball. I would comfort her by squeezing on her hips, helping to relieve her. My hands and wrists were tired from pushing so long, but I hardly noticed them, as I knew I was fulfilling my own set promotion.
During my medical training, I approximated that I had helped and participated in over 30 deliveries. But when I saw my wife, I knew no more about birth than a child who believes that babies are delivered in a basket by storks.
The comfort that Tiffanie provided of normality was not only for my wife, but for me as well.
I had made the decision to be a help and support to my wife through the birthing process. There was a small leap of faith for me, and that faith lied in my wife and in the midwife.
My wife entered the tub. I saw she immediately found relief. She requested I get in with her, though hesitant, I was happy to do so. At first the water felt really good and I loved being close to my wife and holding her. Soon I found the water to be a little warm and beads of sweat started to form on my upper brow.
I had a ton of questions. I wanted to know every exact detail of what was going on during the birth, but I decided not to pursue them.
I had pictured that I would be leaning over the tub watching the progression of labor, but I found myself setting behind my wife supporting her. My vision was obstructed by her hair and 40 week pregnant belly.
I was surprised how quickly baby came. I felt the baby crowning and in one more contraction, there he was!
Though I have seen many babies born, nothing can prepare you for that moment when your own child, my son, was lifted up out of the water and placed on his mother’s chest. I took in every moment, every smell, every sound.
His first breath was music to my ears. Although I know by heart every exact physiological mechanism that happens when the baby takes the first breath, not one of those entered my mind when I first saw my new son. Time stood still.
They talk so much about women and the birthing process, how their state of mind changes, how there body and spiritual side changes, but little is addressed on how the father changes.
I am very proud of myself, I saw a side of myself that I never knew I had.
I was brought to ease with the feelings of peacefulness that Tiffanie and Amy carried with them and how they made my wife and I feel throughout the entire process. I soon realized that was MOST important.
Jaxton was born 1:13 am, Wednesday.
Thursday, Jaxton was lying on my chest asleep when I took my phone and checked the results of my test. I had passed my nation boards; a test that I spent so many years preparing for and so much time. But at that moment meant so little to me. Nothing was more important than being a dad to my new baby.