Husband Support During Labor: a Birth Story of Two Laboring as One
Thank you Hannah Swope for contributing this beautiful birth story that has such a strong sense of husband support during labor. You are one incredible mama and we love your birth story!
Before Labor, my biggest concern was:
Leading up to the birth of my daughter in February of 2019 I was almost giddy with anticipation. I had learned through the birth of my son that birth is incredible and I had become obsessed with reading birth stories.
My only concern was that my husband would not make it home in time. Since my son was born we had moved across the country and back. My husband’s job now required that he be gone for two weeks and home for two weeks.
We moved to Idaho to be closer to his job in Wyoming, making the distance only a three and a half hour drive rather than him flying home to us in North Carolina. Our baby girl was due February 19th and that was the day he would get off work.
My parents had come to stay with us a week before our due date. Their support was invaluable, but I missed my husband, knowing that he was the most important person I needed at the birth. I knew I could do it without him if I had to, but I did not want to. I find so much strength in him.
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Around the thirteenth I started to feel like things might be happening. I wasn’t having contractions and so I didn’t feel confident in saying labor was coming. It was only at night when I was trying to go to sleep but nothing would happen during the day.
With my son, I was happy to let him cook as long as he needed, but with my daughter I was anxious for her to be born. I wanted it to be when she was ready, but I wanted it to be sooner rather than later.
As time went on I was getting a little more emotional by the day. I spoke to my husband every night on the phone. I wanted him home but didn’t want him to leave work early if she wasn’t coming yet, but my husband, being the sweet and tender man he is, knew I needed him so he decided to come home.
He decided to come home.
His drive, which should have taken him just over three hours, ended up taking him seven because one of the roads was closed and it started snowing profusely. He arrived home just before two a.m.
After he showered he told baby girl that she could come whenever she wanted since he was home now. Not two minutes later I had a very obvious contraction. About seven minutes later I had another one and they continued from there.
We decided to get as much sleep as we could, especially my husband because he had been awake for twenty hours at this point. I slept for about an hour before needing to be up during my contractions. I got some warm milk and honey to settle the bit of heartburn I was having.
Early labor begins!
I stood in the kitchen leaning against the counter, swaying during my contractions when my mom came up the stairs. She had heard me up and was too excited to stay in bed.
At that point the contractions were about five minutes apart and getting closer. Over the next forty minutes they went from five minutes apart to about two minutes apart but I was still able to talk through them. I didn’t think delivery was as close as it was since I hadn’t started contractions that long ago.
I almost went to labor in the shower but decided to call the midwife on call. She had told me that my second baby would most likely come quicker. I called her at about five a.m. and told her what was going on. She asked if they were getting more intense and I said, “I think so?” She suggested I just go ahead and head to the hospital.
I finally woke my husband and we got our bags and my mom and got in the truck. I called the gal that was going to take pictures for us and told her to meet us there. We arrived at the hospital around six a.m. They began the admittance paperwork while I continued to have close contractions.
We had a wonderful surprise:
During one contraction I grunted and they asked if I was feeling pushy. I told them yes. They checked my dilation and the nurse asked how far dilated I thought I was, I told her I had no idea. “You’re a nine.”
It was no wonder they were having trouble getting the heplock in my arm.
They told me to take small breaths during my contractions until the midwife arrived. Once she was there she told me I could push when I was ready.
I picked a position to birth in:
I had them drop the foot of the bed so I could deliver on my knees and elbows. As I was rolling over I had another contraction. My husband held me and I held on to him as I had been doing through each contraction.
***Do you want to read advice from a dad to a dad on how to be a strong birth partner like Hannah’s husband? Check out these 9 tips from a new dad all approved by the doulas of Babynest birth services***
As soon as I was in position another contraction came and I pushed with everything I had. felt like that was my only choice. They told me she was crowning. Another contraction came. Her head was delivered. I could see her sweet head.
I told my husband, who was kneeling right next to me with his elbows on the bed, ‘I don’t think I can do it,’ but I whispered a prayer and asked for the strength to deliver her.
A moment of surrender:
My prayer was answered. As the next contraction came I pushed again and she came the rest of the way into this world. The midwife caught her and handed her to me between my legs. The world stopped at 6:44 a.m., only forty-four minutes after arriving at the hospital. She weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces.
This birth taught me to rely on God when things feel impossible.
When I felt like I couldn’t do it, God stepped up and gave me the strength. I needed my husband and I needed God. Each birth is different and every woman deserves the birth she wants.
My sweet girl was born less than five hours after labor started and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. She waited for her Papa to get home. I learned that as I rely on the Lord, His timing is perfect.
I look back on this birth and do my best to implement that principle of trust in God as I parent my two children. With each birth, I have learned more about me, my relationship with my husband and my relationship with God. Birth, as well as life, does not need to be feared, but rather can be revered, celebrated and anticipated as we trust in God and in our support team.
Thank you Hannah for your beautiful story and testimony of trusting in God’s timing.