Yesterday, Huffpost blogger Catherine Pearson asked a question regarding dads in the delivery room: “Do they really need to be there?” I say a thousand times yes. Yes. Yes.
I’ve seen videos of those ideally relaxing and wonderful births. I never had one of those. Both of mine ended with being wheeled into operating rooms. But honestly, whether I was delivering to the sounds of smooth jazz and the smell of patchouli, or under the bright lights of an operating room – I would totally want my partner by my side.
Pearson sites a few different viewpoints in her article – those who believe a dad’s presence is important, and those who don’t. There’s Dr. Michel Odent, who believes men slow a woman’s labor and should definitely not be in the delivery room. There’s Dr. Chavone Momon-Nelson, who believes that anyone who misses the birth of their child will ultimately regret it. I’m firmly aligned with the latter opinion.
Not everyone has a partner/lover/husband/whatever when they are going through childbirth. But if you do, the experience is so uniquely “yours” that no matter what happens – it ultimately adds to your story and can really be an amazing bonding moment (unless your partner is a jerk – in which case, sorry). After each birth we went through, I felt more connected to the father of my children. Not necessarily because the miracle of birth was so amazing, but because I really felt like we were a team. He was the only person next to me in the operating room, holding my hand while I nervously waited for the surgeons to finish. He waited when they pulled the baby out – so we could see him at the same time. I even find myself going back to those memories when we fight now, to remind myself how wonderful he can be.
Of course, every situation is different; maybe your partner doesn’t handle stress well. In that case, maybe it wouldn’t be the best idea to have him or her by your side. I just know what I experienced with my partner by my side – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.