Friday, February 26, 2016

A Father's Role: Two Days Away From Baby Bender

We are 2, "TWO!" days away from the arrival of Baby Bender! It feels like it has been an eternity since Morgan and I found out we were going to have a child and now we are a mere week away from meeting our little bundle of joy.

On Tuesday, Morgan and I had our very last doctor appointment at Columbia Saint Mary's on Prospect Avenue and I am sad to say that I am going to miss them. I have enjoyed leaving work early to attend appointments with Morgan, to see how the baby is progressing and to hear his heartbeat. Judging by his constant movements, I can tell he is going to be a natural born athlete.

Our OB is Dr. Jacqueline Irland of Columbia St. Mary Hospital on the Eastside of Milwaukee. We absolutely love her. She has a fun, warm and spunky personality, but what separates her from other doctors is her use of hypnosis techniques during labor. The idea of hypnosis is to use it to help the mother disassociate labor pain or pretend the pains are something different. Morgan and I took her weekly hypnosis class, using different tools, sounds and visuals to help train our minds and bodies.

One of my favorite things about using hypnosis is the defined role of the father as being the protector and consoler. A woman in labor can be very vulnerable and feel invaded with the various checks and procedures done in the labor and delivery room. It is the father's job to make sure that nothing goes to the mother without first going through the father. It is the father's job to make mother feel at home and comfortable in the hospital bed as much as possible whether that's by decorating the hospital room or controlling the volume level. I feel that in this way I am honoring my wife and am supporting her fully as we prepare to celebrate the arrival of our son into the world. In some ways labor will help me fully embrace fatherhood because of all the things I have learned through hypnosis to do for my wife during child birth and will also be important in bringing up our son in life. Having the patience, confidence and love to help our child grow each and every day is something that I will start to learn from going on this beautiful adventure of labor with my wife. However, the crazy ride won't just stop once the little guy is born!

It's hard to believe that in a few short days I will be looking into the eyes of my son and holding him carefully close to my heart. I already know it is going to be so emotional for Morgan and I and that we are going to be so excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. It is going to be such a wonderful, intimidating and joyous experience!

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