Published on "Essential Baby" Friday 28th April 2017
Immediately after the birth of our second child, my husband and I chose to send out a large group text to close family and friends, letting them know that the baby had arrived safely. After all, at that point in the process, that's all we could even really think about.
The following day we were met with a few unhappy recipients, we were met with questions like,
"Why didn't I get a phone call?"
"Why didn't you tell me that you were being induced?"
"Why didn't I know?"
Because, it was late, and we were both physically and emotionally exhausted. Because, after an extremely complicated and traumatic labour, we weren't thinking about you. Because, the birth of our baby is not about you.
Don't get me wrong here, the birth of a baby is an incredibly momentous occasion in many families, and the extended family and friends are often just as, if not more excited than the parents to be.
The problem with this is, it has a tendency to cloud others' vision. Their excitement takes over, and they don't really allow themselves to see anything but the baby. Forget that the mother has spent goodness knows how long in the throes of labour (let alone the nine months prior growing this life inside her), or waking up from, or recovering from a caesarean section.
Often, as in our case, the father has witnessed all of the above, and has had to put aside his own needs and wants for the short term to be there for the woman birthing his child. The considerations for the emotional and mental wellbeing of the two parents often gets put on the back burner, due to the excitement of the newest arrival.
There was a moment during my second labour, where I honestly thought we were about to lose our daughter. After time, and calm conversation with the doctors and midwives, it was clear that things weren't as bad as they had first appeared. However, in the heat of the moment, my heighten emotional state, plus the physical impact of labour, it all had me in a whirlwind, thinking that this was it for us, and even though things turned out better than we could have imagined at the time, that kind of trauma, even fleeting, stays with a person.
We are fast approaching the birth of our third child, and we've both been feeling a little anxious given what we both went through with our second.
Right at the moment, we're planning on taking our time afterwards, we'll just see how it all goes.
At the end of the day, it's about birthing a healthy baby and parents. If we wish to hibernate for a week before letting the masses know of the arrival, then that's our prerogative.
Because at the end of the day, the birth of our baby is not about anyone else, but us.
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