DADDY DOULA: STU
My husband Stu definitely found out how capable he was when he unexpectedly “caught” our baby daughter Edith when I gave birth on the way to hospital.
I was 6 days over my due date. I had been sick for over a week with a cold and a terrible cough. I told myself and my husband that I wasn’t ready for birth and that I would be ready once I was over my illness. Stu had gladly taken the reins with our 3.5 year old son Lucas – dealing with his nightly wake ups (yes he was still waking up twice a night). He still made time every day to complete the twice daily acupressure points and he familiarised himself with all of the massage and relaxation techniques for me. All while dealing with a very stressful workplace.
On this day, I lost my mucous plug around lunchtime but didn’t tell anyone, except for Stu. I had decided that labour could still be days away and I wasn’t ready yet. But Stu said he knew that this night would be it, and he prepared his boss to not expect him back in the office the next day.
Stu arrived home to find me in the early stages of labour. I wasn’t quite sure if the labour was established, so Stu started timing them. Within the next 20 minutes my contractions kicked into higher gear. By this time I needed Stu’s constant attention through applying the acupressure points.
During this time Stu had to entertain our 3.5 year old and make phone calls back and forth to my parents and the hospital. Soon the contractions became more intense and the acupressure worked so well that I didn’t want Stu to stop. This became difficult when phoning back the hospital and my parents to confirm we would be on our way to the hospital soon. I think my husband at this stage wished he had a third hand.
Once my parents had arrived for babysitting duties we made a fast dash (as fast as you can when in labour) to the car. Stu kept me calm and constantly reassured me. Whilst driving I had a sudden urge to push. Then I couldn’t stop the urge and my body just pushed. I could feel our baby crowning and pushing further down. Stu then knew that we had to get to hospital or pull over as soon as possible.
Luckily the hospital was only a 5 minute drive away, but it felt like an eternity. Stu tried to keep us both calm, whilst navigating, driving and calling the hospital birthing unit to let them know our baby was on its way. He truly became a reliable and calm multi-tasking man in that moment.
We pulled up finally into the hospital drop off lane. I told Stu just to stop the car because I knew the baby was coming. I stepped out of the car and Stu raced around to help me just as I gave one mighty push. Out came our baby girl into her dads timely hands!
What a sense of relief I had. I truly thought it was magical that we had achieved this all on our own. I completely blocked out the many passers-by who were outside the hospital watching in awe. In total my labour was about 1.5 hours long. So fast that it took us both by surprise. But it left both of us with so much energy and ability to bond and laugh afterwards in the hospital birthing unit. What an amazing entrance into the world for our Edith, and what an amazing dad who had the catch of a lifetime.