What to Expect At The Hospital When Your Wife Goes Into Labor
Other Articles In This Series:
- What to Expect At The Hospital After Your Baby Is Born - Complete With List of Items To Pack!
If you are about to have a new baby, you might be curious as to what you should expect during your hospital stay. Check out a few useful tips and advice on what happened during our visit with our newborn!
Regardless of how you both plan on having your new baby, sometimes mother nature has other plans. For my wife and I, we had just settled down to bed at around 1am and by 2 am, the process had begun. She woke me up to let me know that she thought the baby was going to make his appearance shortly, but she was unsure. Since this was our first little kiddo, she really didn't know how it would all feel or start. Since she had lower back pain to go with her increasingly painful contractions, she thought it might just be false labor. She decided to take a nice warm shower and when she was done, she sat down at the kitchen table to decide if she wanted to go to the hospital. While she was bathing, I calmly collected all the stuff we needed at the last minute. Since she was't panicked or anything, I even had a few minutes to shower myself. We packed everything up and away we went. Half way to the hospital she had no doubt this was the real deal. At this point she called our family and raised the baby DEFCON level.
Since it was early morning, we had to go in through the emergency room entrance where she was treated to a wheel chair ride into the building. Despite what people tell you, it wasn't like in the movies where people were rushing around and running to get you into the delivery room. Her contractions were still a good few minutes apart at this point. After what seemed like an eternity, but was really only a few minutes, she was wheeled into the labor and delivery wing where she was received by a registration specialist and was asked a ton of questions. The registrar was trained well though, and walked us through the process in no time flat.
Now came the triage process! Was it really "BABY GO TIME", or was something else afoot? The Mrs. received a thorough exam and they checked her dilation. It was a bit of an odd experience to watch this, but it was all part of the process. Once we were told that this was the real thing I quickly started texting those that we wanted to be a part of the festivities. So far no panic but reality was definitely setting in. After what must have been a trip to the hospital at warp speed our family was in the waiting room and the doctor was on her way.
At this point nurses were buzzing around and pretty much started checking in on us every five minutes or so. Because it was actually shift change we went through two nurses, but it was a smooth transition. Everything went smoothly and baby's momma progressed very rapidly. At this point my wife was asked by the staff if a few nursing students could watch and participate in the process. Since the Mrs. herself remembered what it was like going through nursing school she agreed without hesitation. To my gentleman readers, let me make this abundantly clear, you have no say in this matter what so ever! Don't even try to assert your will at this point in the process. Your opinion is meaningless. What I can tell you though is that if you get a choice in the matter, as a parent please be open minded to this learning process. I can assure you the nursing students were not actually delivering the baby, it was the doctor and trained nurses.
And so the pushing and actual birth began! Much like my wedding day, it seemed to go by very fast and some of the details remain sketchy at best, but it was a wonderful experience. I'm told that my wife is a baby bearing machine and made more than one of the nurses jealous that their own labor didn't go as smoothly. As to the actual process I'll skip the details. The one fear I'll put to rest right now is that even if mom and dad forget all about the lamaz process or forget about timing and special breathing techniques; don't worry because unless you deliver in the back of a taxi cab, the medical staff has done this before and they will walk both of you through it I promise.
Now let's get back to those students.... During the process my wife was very comfortable with everyone in the room and she was comforted by them being there. She was not a circus side show, and people were not coming and going through her labor. As far as I'm concerned letting students watch and participate was the best decision ever! During the baby processing phase, the RNs and medical staff took great pride in explaining every step of the the process to the students, which as a new father helped me out a great deal. My questions were answered before I could ask them and believe me I had more than a few!
Mother and baby did such a great job that in less than half an hour we were being whisked away to the mother and baby floor for some well deserved rest and bonding time. If you choose to deliver in a hospital that features "birthing suites" you might get to skip this step. It was however an easy transition, and our new baby was always within two feet of me during the short trip downstairs. Besides, you'll probably be going into daddy mode and you'll be ready to Terry Tate anyone who tries anything anyway.
The first day at the hospital was a bit of a roller coaster ride as well, but I'll save those details for later!