There once was a Cowboy from Portland.
Blood, needles and gore, he could not stand.
So imagine his chagrin,
When his knocked up wife said to him:
As I see it, you will be in L&D holding my hand.
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I am bit late posting my limerick. Oops. This limerick was inspired by our recent hiring of a doula to assist with Missy's birth.
It may sound like I am picking on my husband at bit. And I am. For as rough and tumble as he is, Cowboy does not do messy, medical stuff well. The guy doesn't watch Grey's or ER, and House - forget it. He doesn't even like to take Gus to the vet.
Although we both know deep down that he would regret not being in the delivery room, he is downright terrified of it.
In fact, part of him would be secretly happy to play out the 1950's father-to-be in the waiting room, handing out bottles of local microbrews that read, "It's a Girl!" instead of cigars (smoking anything but mary jane is so not PC in Portland).
I confided this to my OB during my first pregnancy. Oh how naive of me to be thinking of such things in the first trimester, as I learned the hard way. Anyway, she said you'd be surprised at the number of dads who excuse themselves from the room during the sketchy parts of birth. She suggested hiring a doula, as much for Cowboy if not for myself.
I had never heard of a doula. My informal canvassing for those who have had a doula assist at their births turned up a slew of local friends and acquaintances who have used them with success.
While I was doing my canvassing, turns out Cowboy was doing his. He began offering some of his male friends who are firefighters (and therefore must have been trained to deliver a baby, right?) cases of beer to be our doula.
No way, I told him. Besides you'd probably have to at least buy them a fifth of whiskey to make the offer even remotely attractive. But, I reasoned with him, if we had a real doula helping out, it would free him up to take ocassional jaunts down to the restaurants on NW 23rd if it all became too much and he found himself needing a break. (Conventiently, our hospital is adjacent to one of the hottest restaurant and bar streets in the city).
He spent an afternoon mulling this over and then announced he wanted a doula - and not the firefighter kind. Whew.
So we found one that I think will be a good match for our style. She comes to our house twice before the birth for personal birth classes. If I want, she will come to our house when I am in early labor. She will advise us when to head for the hospital. And will stay there for the entire birth. She then does two more visits to our house to help with breastfeeding and any other post-partum issues immediately following the birth.
Sounds like a party for her.
The point of us hiring a doula is not to abdicate our responsibility in the process, but to create the best odds of having a positive experience. Again, this might be our only chance to have it. I don't want to snap at Cowboy and make an already tense situation worse. I don't expect him to get all mushy and cut the cord and look in the mirror (good Lord, no mirrors, please). I just want him to never regret that he was in the room when his daughter arrives. As much as I don't want him to regret that he wasn't in there because it got too intense.
And if that means he stays "uptown" only and gets the random PBR break, I'm all for it.