Yesterday just before 9pm (Norwegian time), I became a dad!
The baby was almost two weeks over her due date, so two days ago my partner was put in hospital so they could start inducing labor.
Nowadays dads are not allowed to stay in the hospital with their partners, to diminish the risk of spreading the coronavirus. So I had to go home until the contractions started. Not great, but we kept in contact via our phones.
Yesterday at 11am she called me up to let me know that the water had broken and her contractions had just started, so I was now allowed to come in. I called my mother, and she drove me to the hospital. I got there around noon.
When I got there my partner had already been put on a drip to boost her contractions. She had also decided against getting an epidural shot in her spine. Most people get that, as that significantly lowers how much pain you are in during contractions. But there is a tiny chance of long-term complications, and you may lose out on that major rush of joy from seeing the baby for the first time. And the epidural also does not help for the pain during the last stretch of the birth, the part where the baby is actually coming out. So she felt better about not risking it, and I supported that decision.
What followed were nine hours of gradually increasingly painful contractions for my partner, and they got bad rather early in that timeline. But she bravely fought her way through them, taking solace the calm periods between the contractions.
Both I and the hospital staff were supportive through the contractions, something she said was very helpful. That support came in the form of putting a hand where she wanted it, getting a cold cloth for her forehead, verbally letting her know what a great job she was doing, and handing her ice-cold water through a straw. I also paid attention to the monitor measuring her labor contractions, and let her know when she was over the worst part of a contraction and on the way down.
Then suddenly, the hospital personnel decided that it was time for her to start pushing. And after a relative short time of pushing, compared to how long the contractions lasted, suddenly our little baby was laying on her mothers chest, confused and crying. And her parents were crying too!
I got to stay there for a few hours while they did some post-birth routines. But after that I had to go home again. Again, no dads are allowed to stay there for long during these coronavirus days.
While I were there I did get to hold her for the first time. She was not happy about being taken away from her mom at first, but she calmed down eventually.
I can’t even imagine how strange this experience must have been for her. It was weird enough for us, and we knew what was going on! Too bad that once she is old enough to answer that question she won’t remember the answer anymore.
But then it was time for me to leave. I called my mother, and she picked me up about 1am. Could not sleep at first when I got home, so I took a long warm shower. I think I fell asleep around 02:30.
So now we’re all caught up! I don’t get to visit due to the outbreak. So I’ll just have to wait to see them until I can pick them up to go home. That may be as soon as in a few hours from now. Normally they would stay two to three days, but everything is weird with the corona about.
But my partner just sent me that picture above, so it looks like they are ok!