Friday, 27 August 2010

Ventouse the daddy?

Having watched enough episodes of ER over the years I am - should I find myself in charge of an emergency situation - certain that a prompt CBC and Chem 7 would assure a speedy recovery for my unlucky patient, whatever the blood curdling trauma or injury. Afterall, it worked for Clooney and Goose from Top Gun for years!

Pregnancy, however, is a wholly different kettle of fish, complete with its own terrifying technical terminology.

This week, for instance, I have been researching the decisions Mrs B and I need to make with regards to our 'birth plan' - a term that itself sounds a bit too tree-huggy, new age for my liking - and been once again faced with the daunting labour ward language that we're going to have to adopt over the coming weeks.

Ventouse, pethidine, entonox and epidural - they may read like the cast of a Spanish soap opera, but unfortunately they're actually the choices that face us with regards to how Baby B will enter this world. A cocktail of drugs and a plethora of equipment that we can choose to use or ignore when it comes to B-Day.
Furthermore, websites and birth plan guides tell us that now's the time to decide on how Mrs B wants to give birth. Standing, sitting, in bed, kneeling, in the water or, bizarrely, on a birth ball - all are possible, even though this last option conjures up images of Mrs B in one of those giant, transparent, roll-down-the-mountain zorb things, hardly the most relaxing of scenarios.

And then there's the question of my role, what on earth am I going to do on the day? Of course I want to be there by my wife's side, but how much of a role can I play? My fear is that, in the process of doing as much as I possibly can (calming words, massage, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, sponge duty etc), I'm actually just going to annoy the hell out of her. Either that or I'll just be hogging the gas and air!

Would I like to cut the cord? Um, yes, of course, and would I like to tell my wife the sex of the baby? Um, yes again. These are all important questions, but things never quite go to plan in our family, so I'm fully prepared for the moment that I pass out while cutting the cord, or when I tell my exhausted wife that we have a baby boy when she's actually about to cradle her daughter in her arms!

But then again, maybe I'm just starting to panic.

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