The verdict. What delivering newborns is like.
A fair few babies later, and it’s time to weigh in on what the delivery process is like. Referring to me, who is delivering the baby from a decidedly external perspective. As a male, I have not yet experienced becoming pregnant, and it may be some time before that happens.
Yoh. Let’s just address the gross misconceptions here. Series and movies will lie to you. It’s brought across as a relatively speedy, calm process. The army of nurses know exactly when the baby will surface, and a few good, strong pushes from mom will pop it right out. Then the new babe. Spotless and ready to be embraced.
No. This is not quite how things transpire.
It’s absolutely frantic. The first delivery had involves a lot of anxious pacing around the room, with a new set of gloves each time the mom has a mild contraction. You’re convinced the baby is going to arrive any moment. An hour later, you still feed yourself the same lie. Any moment now. Two hours later, and the situation hasn’t changed much. Babies don’t magically surface because there’s someone waiting for them. They will be born at a time of their choosing. At no ones convenience but their own.
Eventually the head arrives after a more false alarms than I’d care to count. Childbirth is a verbal process by nature. My goodness. Best described as an auditory assault. A cacophony of wails, screams and grunts. Perspiration rolls of me in waves. I scurry at every single noise. You think “No. I’ve heard this before. It’s definitely not the baby,” but you end up reacting anyway.
A tuft of matted hair signals imminent arrival. I quickly learnt that this is not a passive process. The newborn is averse to exiting it’s home of 9 odd months, and someone needs to provide motivation for it to leave. Clean, soft and cuddly are not adjectives that come to mind. On the contrary. There is blood. Baby poo. A cheesy layer that acts as a natural moisturiser. Vigorous rubs are needed to get the above mentioned things off.
I am aware. I haven’t addressed the mom’s plight at all. Suffice it to say she’s a little breathless after the ordeal and happy to be done.
Cord clamping needs to be performed. At a length which doesn’t leave the baby with an umbilical trunk. Two fingers away from the body (which is the standard) is a bit difficult to gauge on your first attempt. At this point, I’m shaking and just about paralysed with relief that the baby is out. Breathing.
Well. Yes. From there you take your first breaths. It’s just a placenta that needs to be delivered. And inspected. More blood. A period of relative calm ensues. The new little babe is enjoyed and admired. Celebration all round.