Husband to Jo, father to Adam, 5 years old and Nicki, 2 years old
"Finding a hospital that allows the father in both the labor and delivery rooms is not a problem here in the US as it is widely practiced. I got to be present on the birth of my 2 sons. Though excited, I felt very helpless seeing my wife suffer during her long labor but I knew I had to be there if it's the best and only thing I can do for her at that moment. I tried getting myself involved during labor (like it would help) by asking the nurse about her medicines, what it is, what it's for, how to read the monitor, what I should watch out for, etc. Maybe it was my way of de-stressing and, in a way, diverting her attention from the pain even for just a few seconds. During delivery, she was trembling due to the anesthesia so I just held her hand for support and let the doctors do their job. My wife knows me to be a very relaxed person - I seldom panic or over-react, and really, there was no need to. I knew my wife was in good hands."
Partner to Aileen Elizalde, father to Farris Ethan, 3 years old
"My partner and I attended Lamaze classes under Chiqui Brosas-Hahn because she wanted to have a natural birth, which is also why we went to Manila Doctor's Hospital – they have a Lamaze room where the male partner is allowed during labor. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Due to fetal bradycardia, an emergency Caesarean section had to be performed on my wife.
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While being transferred to the operating room, I was asked to sign a waiver. I remember that we were taught in our Lamaze class to 'always ask, because you have a say in what the OB would do to you/your wife', thus I was always asking the assistants 'teka,, saan niyo siya dadalhin?', 'ano ito?', 'Hindi pwede yan.', to the surprise of my partner. When the baby came out, the OB-Gyn was kind enough to involve me by making me cut the umbilical cord which isn't a common practice there. I nervously smiled as my hands trembled in cutting the cord, then I quickly followed the baby to the neonatal ICU. That made my partner feel abandoned and confronted me afterwards.
"How can you leave me there alone?''I need to be with the baby. He might get accidentally traded with another.''That's what you get for watching too many teleseryes''I'm serious. All babies look the same at birth and I need to make sure he won't get switched.'
Witnessing my baby's birth is what keeps pushing me to be a good father to my son. Soon we'll make him witness his mom and dad's wedding."