Monday, September 10, 2012

Birth Trauma: A Dad's Perspective

St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Family, pray for us!

I often think about St. Joseph's experiences trying to protect Mary and Baby Jesus, and how fathers today must empathize with him.   Not finding a room at the inn is the equivalent today of having to choose a less than ideal birth environment.  The flight into Egypt could be escaping today's hospitals to avoid vaccinations or other risky procedures.  I remember when a nurse tried to forcibly take Emma from me and give her a Hep B shot.

I have always guessed that for the husband, the wife's traumatic birth experience must strike right at the heart of his vocation because he can't protect her or his child from inept caregivers, be they midwives or obstetricians.   I was glad to finally read a first-hand account of one man's experience with his wife's multiple difficult pregnancies/births HERE.  He says,

"I was there to support Mrs. BWF, but I never realized I needed someone there to support me."

Poor thing!  My heart goes out to him.

In preparation for being a supportive mother-in-law, I am reading lots of home birth stories, focusing on the difficult ones like (Warning: graphic photos in following link) footling breech, to help me get accustomed to the possibilities and how they are handled by knowledgable midwives.

I may not be needed for anything during labor and delivery other than providing a good dinner, but I prefer to be prepared.

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