Father’s Day is Coming up! We know two of the greatest dads ever. Continuing with birth stories we decided to get our husbands’ perspective of labor and delivery!
1. What was the strangest thing your wife did/said in labor?
Paul: Well, I can’t say the strangest thing she did, because then she would kill me. Let’s see…what would rank second? I thought it was very strange when Amanda was a few hours into labor with the epidural. She said something like, “How are you guys feeling [to her mom and me]? I feel great. If this is what labor feels like, then I’m ready to have as many kids as the Duggars!”
Viktor: The strangest thing was that Grace didn’t do anything strange at all. She kept herself together the entire time.
2. Did you feel like you were helping or getting in the way? How did you support your wife through labor?
Paul: Sometimes I felt in the way, but for the majority of her labor I felt I was helping. One area I felt I was a huge help was rubbing or putting pressure on her back during contractions. I was in pain from pushing so hard on her back, especially the next day. It was a good work out. Her mom switched out with me every once in a while, which was a huge help to me – otherwise, I might have needed a pain numbing shot for my arms. (Of course, I couldn’t say that I was hurting while she was in labor…that would have just been rude.)
Viktor: I didn’t feel like I was in the way. The best way I could support her was just being with her. I couldn’t take her pain away but I could help ease some of it by squeezing her hips together, massaging her back, and doing whatever she asked.
3. What advice do you have for other dad’s that are nervous about being in the room with their wives?
Paul: Just take it all in. Have fun (if/when possible), especially if you’re a first time parent. While you’re in the moment, the labor will feel like it’s taking days and days, but when it’s all over you’ll miss the excitement and the adrenaline rush you got from it all.
Viktor: Listen to your wife. Make sure you are doing what helps her not what you think is right. Don’t annoy her.
4. What did you think of your wife after your child was born? Did they handle labor and delivery how you expected them to?
Paul: We didn’t expect all of the complications with Amanda’s pregnancy – with her hyper tension and having to be induced – but even with all that, I have mad respect for her. I knew Amanda had a high pain tolerance and she proved it that day/night. Even at her worst pain level, she never screamed at anyone or ripped anyone’s head off. I was proud (and glad).
Viktor: Grace is a role model for women thinking about natural childbirth. I didn’t expect her to handle it as well as she did. She never complained, it was like she had trained for that moment her whole life.
5. Do you think you could give birth to a baby after watching your wife do it?
Paul: No. That’s all there is to be said.
Viktor: No. After watching Grace go through that experience I am 100% sure I could never do it.
6. What was your reaction when you saw your baby for the first time?
Paul: My feeling was extreme joy and amazement. My thought was, “Woa, he’s pretty chunky.” I’m pretty sure I had watery eyes, but I don’t really remember because of the excitement.
Viktor: I was a little scared in that first moment because she was smooshed and purple, and then I was worried because she had shoulder dystocia so there was a lot going on with nurses, doctors and we had so many questions. After everything calmed down I was so happy to just look at her, I couldn’t believe she was mine.
7. What is one memory of that day that really stands out for you?
Paul: One funny memory that I will always remember is how we watched the “American Pickers” marathon on TV throughout the majority of the pregnancy. I think there was a new episode coming on that night, so they were playing replays all day long on the History Channel. When someone tried to change the channel at one point, Amanda asked them not to. I think she said that Mike and Frank’s voices were soothing during labor…don’t ask me why.
Viktor: When Jolie was born the doctor had to actually pull her out and said “wow she has to be a 10-pounder!” After I cut the cord they took her to the bassinet to make sure her arm was okay. As the nurses brought her back to Grace they kept passing her to each other to guess her weight, and when they finally weighed her about an hour later she was 9lbs 10 oz.