One Born Every Minute – Our Birth Experience #oneborn

The fab series One Born Every Minute is back on TV in the New Year (on Jan 4th in fact) and I will definitely be watching! I loved the previous series and applaud the mums and dads involved for allowing their birth experiences to be shown – something that is a very, very private thing. Although it can appear frightening, I think actually seeing babies being born is such a good thing for mums-to-be – you can read or talk all about birth when yo’re pregnant but seeing someone go through it is – I think – very helpful.

This latest series takes place in Leeds and has linked up with Netmums to allow bloggers to share their birth experiences.

The first episode (on Channel 4, Weds 4th Jan) focuses on Dads and Fatherhood, so I’m not best-placed to talk about that in much detail, but I do have quite strong feelings about the place of men in their childrens’ birth, so I can speak to those.

Our first son was born in 2008 and I think I really had it quite easy – I’m overweight, so was told that I’d be sure to develop gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and all those other terrible things. Not to crow, but I actually had a totally trouble-free pregnancy which I think I was fairly relaxed about – in fact, we only went to one antenatal class because I’d done loads of research myself and was quite happy that I knew what to do with a baby (ha ha ha). I was a little worried about the birth – as my bump grew I thought to myself ‘that’s got to come out somehow’… but having said that, it was a certainty that it was coming out somehow, so what can you do??

The labour was pretty straightforward too – I had a good night’s sleep, then woke up and started watching Saturday morning telly, feeling the first twinges at about 9am. It carried on getting stronger until – sorry to be crude – rather conveniently, my waters broke while I was having a wee, so no mess to clear up! After that it was time to phone the unit and we went into the hospital at around 1pm, where Biggest Boy was born at about 4.30pm. All very convenient, during the daytime and time for a good night’s sleep afterwards (ha – hospital ward anyone!!!)

All through labour, I was very aware of Mr W as I don’t think he knew what to do with himself – labour and birth is all about the woman so although men are encouraged to be there, be supportive and all that stuff, I think it’s difficult when they don’t know what they can do to make the pain stop or how to encourage you and all those things – I really do sympathise with them on that score. The one thing that irked me at the time was that were sent off to the ward, then Mr W had to go home. The time during the whole process when I most wanted him with me and when I really needed his support (including changing a massive first poo at 2am) then he wasn’t allowed to be there. I did think about asking him to just sit in the chair and hope no-one noticed him til morning, but didn’t, just bade him goodbye with quivering lower lip!

From Mr W’s point of view, he has told me since that he had the elation of becoming a father, yet he went home alone, to an empty house and didn’t quite know what to feel and he was back at the hospital at 9am promptly the next morning having barely slept at all.

I have read recently of plans to allow new dads to stay with their partners in hospital and, although obviously costly, I think that’s a great idea. During my very short stay in hospital, I was less worried about privacy than the fact I’d been landed with this baby then had my support taken away. I know there are Health Care Assistants there to help you, but they are after all strangers, however well meaning they may be.

Watching One Born Every Minute does bring back all the memories of that exhilarating – yet frightening time – and also the birth of number two baby, but that’s a story for another day!

One Born Every Minute is on Wednesday nights at 9pm on Channel 4 from this Wednesday and available to watch online at www.channel4.com/oneborn

If you’d like to share your birth story then please do – Mums, how did you feel after the birth? Would you have preferred your partner to stay with you? Dads, how did you feel being asked to leave so soon after the birth of your child?

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12 Responses to One Born Every Minute – Our Birth Experience #oneborn

  1. Kate Takes 5 says:

    Great to have you joining in Stacey. Thanks for linking up. x

  2. Kirsty says:

    I agree Stacey, I think it is important that Dad’s are involved from the get go (especially with the pooey nappy changes ;o))
    Look forward to Baby No 2’s story – do I feature?

  3. Jay says:

    I was surprised to hear that Dads are sent home – I know for my own birth the hospital staff banished my Dad from the room and he had to try and peer in through a window in the door, but I really thought times had changed since then. I really don’t see why Dad’s can’t at least sit at the bedside overnight if they wish – it’s not as if that costs the hospital anything.

    • Stacey says:

      Yeah, they are very much encouraged to be at the birth but I think privacy issues etc on the ward mean they can’t stay. The article I read pointed out the extra costs involved in giving couples private rooms. Personally I wouldn’t have minded just being on the ward – I had my curtain drawn the whole time anyway as did theother ladies so no-one woud’ve been bothered by us.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Stacey. The idea of letting partners stay is interesting. After Jessica was born, I was supposed to stay in for 1-2 days but I went home the same day because I really didn’t want to be without my husband, Mark. A week later, I was back in with anaemia for obs, and we got put in a side room. Mark slept on the floor! The midwife on duty told me he should have gone home at 8pm. Then she smiled, shrugged and left us to it. He wasn’t doing any harm (except to his back!) and at that time I really needed him.

    • Stacey says:

      Thanks for your comment – for my second baby I was supposed to stay in an extra night (in addition to the one night due to having a spinal) but pushed to go home because I didn’t want to be there on my own.

  5. Pinkoddy says:

    Yes I quiet agree about dads being able to stay. With our last son my waters broke at 35 weeks. After giving me an internal they sent my husband home (13 miles away) and when I was screaming in agony they didn’t think he’d make it back in time – very frightening.

  6. Judy O'Connor says:

    My only child, is now 17 and a half. I watch OBEM every week and cry uncontrollably when babies are born. I ended up having an emergency c section and my husband didn’t make it to the hospital until it was all over. I regretted later that he wasn’t there and also I feel I misssed out on what I had imaged her born would have been. Was looking forward to having her put on my chest after she was born with my husband by my side. All I can remember was been woken up and handed my baby in a babygrow and i could n’t wake up properly to feel the elation and joy of just giving birth. I guess that’ s why i cry so much when i see these babies being born naturally. I am so happy that she was safe and a healthy baby. Just wondering do any other mother’s feel the way i do bout a ceaserian birth.

    • Stacey says:

      Thanks for commenting. It’s really interesting to hear how other people experienced birth and it’s such a shame that it didn’t turn out how you wanted it. I’m sure many mothers feel as you do about it – both those who had caesarian births and vaginal births as I guess you can be out of it with drugs/pain/epidural then too…

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