The appointment with the midwife yesterday confirmed our suspicions that Lauren is in early labor. She of course is uncomfortable and exceedingly ready to conclude this pregnancy and meet our son Andrew face to face. Holding him in her arms, she will be able to rest in a way she has been unable to for weeks and months now.
And that all sounds very good to me also.
The Man’s Perspective
I too will rest easier once Andrew has been born and both he and Lauren are safely and soundly on the other side of this birth and recovering from it all.
For all the labor and delivery not only my wife has been through, one might imagine it’s old hat by now. But it’s always exhausting. It’s always uncomfortable. And it’s always a difficult thing in its own way, even for fathers.
And as much attention as the woman’s experience gets – and rightly so, don’t misunderstand me – this episode is for the husbands and fathers out there.
You too have a struggle. So I will share my experience, and hopefully that sharing will help you to be as calm and helpful to your wife and child as you can be in these times.
Advice to Fathers
First of all, remain calm. You have to.
And you have to pay attention, but not in a frantic or spastic way. Your job is to provide for and protect your wife and child. But sometimes the counterintuitive thing is that – in these times more than most others – you can help your wife and child most by knowing when to be patient and watch and wait as the process proceeds apace.
Your wife will have an easier time with labor and delivery if she can be as calm and comfortable as possible. And she will have an easier time being calm and comfortable if you remain calm.
Also, on that note, sometimes you will find that by asking her too often if you can do or get anything for her you will make yourself into a perfect nuisance.
Know when to ask her for her benefit, and when you are only asking to make yourself feel like you are doing something. And if you find yourself pestering your wife just to feel like you are doing something, stop that. Don’t be self-indulgent, particularly right now.
Sometimes what you can do for your wife in labor is to give her some space. Or just be with her patiently and calmly.
Still other times, she clearly does need something. And sometimes she does need you to ask if you can get her that thing because she won’t think to ask you on her own.
Just make sure you’re serving her for her sake rather than to feel good about yourself.
Other than all that, it can’t hurt to deliver a well-timed and tasteful joke now and again if it’ll make her smile and lighten her mood. And tell her she can do this, and that she’s doing well, and that you’re proud of her, and that you love her.
You might not believe how much help little encouragements like those can be.
Now too is as good a time as any to come to terms with the fact that you yourself, oh man, are a limited and finite creature. You cannot provide for and protect your family against everything the way God can. So own that.
Your wife being in labor and delivery is a perfect opportunity to go to the Lord in prayer for wisdom, endurance, strength, patience, and grace – not only for your wife, but for you too. You’re going to need it, brohim.
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