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By Daniel Chavez

Back in August 2014, I found that as a 24-year-old 5th year senior, I was having a baby of my own. Keep in mind, I am a male, so the idea usually hits men and women differently. To me, it wasn’t the perfect timing, but it was pretty much the closest thing to perfect it can be. I mean, I’m graduating my undergrad in May 2016. But boy what I scared. Definitely couldn’t show it, I needed my girlfriend to know I wasn’t some scrub and would leave, so I stepped up. I ended up reading all of the books, watching all of the movies, reading all of the blogs, just trying to figure out what I needed to expect. I felt so ready–then April 14, 2015 came along. My daughter was born at 5:24pm after only 5 hours of labor (luckily).

As the days passed in the pregnancy, I felt more and more excited. She, on the other hand, was getting more and more scared. Another reason I had to step up. Eventually she was asking ME questions about HER pregnancy. Once we reach about 36 weeks, I start wondering the exact process of labor & delivery. I found out the exact route I’d take to the hospital, where she needs to go, who I need to talk to, everything. I was ready. But I didn’t know what was going to happen when the “time” comes. I’ve noticed that older men and women had different views on their choice of advice, but nonetheless they all have their own specific way of doing things. And if you’re not doing it the way they are, you’re wrong. Sometimes I was confirmed with my preparations and sometimes I was apparently incompetent. When the day came, I had no idea what was to happen. I kept feeling my body drop to flush white, super sweaty, I was super nervous.

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Then we got word that it’s happening. Her contractions were close enough, her water was broken, and everything was going well. Just needed to push. In my head I kept saying, “this is what you’ve trained for!” as if I’m going into battle. Turns out I ended up being a pretty good breathing coach. Her epidural was kicked in and she didn’t feel a thing, so the only worry was helping her breath and push. Honestly, that was all it took. Trick I learned, though, when taking a break in between big pushes, just comb her hair. It relaxes her just enough to get a good push in without over exerting—at least, it worked for me. Luckily everything happened safe and sound. Leading up to this, I was so worried about the labor process and what I was going to do. Only thing that gave me a problem was when the nurse showed me the epidural needle right after I told him I hated needles.

So today, two days after the birth of my daughter, I can say this: It is the most beautiful thing in the world and stressing so much about the labor and delivery is just unnecessary stress. Seriously was not as bad as everybody made it sound. Plus, once you see your son or daughter you just melt and everything goes out the window. My advice to men and women in this situation and preparing for such a blessing is to take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. Consider all advice but nothing is absolute. There’s only two people that are absolute in what they have to say, that’s the woman’s doctor and of course, the woman (pregnant women are always right). EVERY WOMAN is different throughout this process and nobody else can know what they are going through. Trust in the woman and doctor, and remember, this is your time and ultimately is it your life—experience it.

Untitled2Left: First picture with Mom and Daughter. My beautiful girlfriend Kirsten and our newest addition, Blakely Dawn Chavez. Born 8lb 6oz at 21 1/2 inches.

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