It’s going on six weeks now since we welcomed, Mattie Elizabeth Lowery, into the world, and I still wake up wondering if I have been dreaming. I open my eyes only to see the most beautiful thing ever. Back in November of 2010, 0ur beautiful angel was just a dream I envisioned. After the initial excitement of the news settled into my head, I got into preparation mode. By that I mean I felt it was only fair to both my wife and baby to prepare the best I could for the arrival. That took searching for all the answers to my questions I had internally. Questions such as 1) What do I do as a father? 2) Am I ready 3) How can I be as much of an assistance as possible to my wife, and our child, while we await her arrival?
I started first as only I know how and began to read the many reference books we had accumulated as time went on. Secondly, I spoke with several fathers who had a similar route we chose to take by having their children at a birthing center with a midwife to get their perspective on how they prepared. They were a huge help to me not only for their experience, but their support as well. Mentally I thought about how I could be more of a help around the house as time went on to help take the load off my wife. We joked by saying either I was becoming more valuable in the relationship, or she was becoming more needy. She said it was both ways. Lastly, I mentally prepared myself for the upcoming event. After this whole beautiful process had flown by, we both knew it was just the teaser to the big day, or night. I needed to match my wife’s calmness, or counter her anxiousness in order to be the best support group I could be.
I would like to inject a side note. For all the fathers to be out there, you have no idea what an impact you will have on the birthing experience you both hope to have if you do your homework. Yes, you have homework! The “bun in the oven” doesn’t cook near as well if mom feels she preparing all on her own. We have always had a teamwork mentality at our house, and this was no different. I knew I wasn’t having the baby, but I could still be in the game rather than sitting on the sidelines. You have every right and calling to do the same. I couldn’t have imagined how much of an influence I had on Mattie being born. Our family members were praising me just as much as they were Taryn for helping bring Mattie into the world. In my heart all I did was cheerlead, but apparently I did pretty well.
I knew I could be a big help to my wife’s health by keeping her adjusted on a regular basis. Pregnancy can be such an easier process when mommy’s spinal health is at its best. Her body is changing day by day, so if her body is given a chance to adapt to these changes, the chance of a great birth is so much better. These misalignments in the spine not only could have effected my wife’s delivery, but also her overall health while carrying Mattie. We also searched out and found a great prenatal vitamin for Taryn to take. She could definitely tell they were keeping her nutritional needs sitisfied. There were actually a few other ladies who were expecting around the same time we were, and it felt like they expected Taryn to share how miserable physically she was feeling as they were experiencing. I can honestly say I heard my wife express her feeling less than great maybe 2 or 3 times. Feeling this way usually pertained to last few weeks of pregnancy due to the uncomfortable positions in bed which usually kept her from getting a great night’s sleep. In my heart, I know she was only able to feel great due to her regular adjustments, her nutrition, and most of all giving her positive feedback on how great I think she was doing, and what a wonderful mother I thought she would be.
The big moment happened that Monday, July 25th, at 11:15pm, when she woke me up to say she thinks her water broke. My heart was about to jump out of my chest, but I knew I had to keep it together for my wife. I maintained composure, gathered all our gear, and off we go headed to Edenway Birthing Center in, Marshall, TX. I tell everyone I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fun driving 95+ mph down I-20 on the way there! We arrived at around 1:10am and things had progressed greatly. Daddy really had to hold it togehter now!
Contraction after contraction, I was there cheering my wife on, wiping her forehead off to help cool her off, tell her what an amazing job she’s doing, and keeping her hydrated and fed when she required it. A few hours passed by and finally Mattie was crowning. Reality was taken to another level when I saw the head. Taryn was doing so great to keep her hips moving enough in the birthing pool not to get in an uncomfortable position. The midwife then looks Taryn in the eye and suggests changing positions one last time to help Mattie’s head clear. I jumped around the pool to a new position to comfort my wife, and then the most amazing thing happened. Taryn feels one last contraction coming on, and fights through the last bit of pain (yes, there was pain even though I had not mentioned any yet), and out Mattie came at 5:55am, Tuesday, July 26th, 2011! Total time from Taryn’s water breaking to Mattie being born was approximately less then seven hours!
I witnessed my wife do the most amazing thing ever, and I feel from the time she told me we were pregnant to the time of delivery she was now my Superwoman. I wrote this to shout out to all the expecting fathers out there you have such a huge influence on your wife’s delivery. We chose to have our daughter at the birthing center, but even if you’re having your child at the hospital, or even at home, get involved, get educated, and get inspired to be that rock for your wife. Be that shoulder she can lean on while she has a contraction. Be that voice of confidence in her ear when she thinks she may not be able to get through the delivery from the pain. Be that source of inspiration she requires when she doesn’t think she can go on from fatigue.
I am proud to say my wife and I both welcomed our little girl into this world working together. I believe we did the little things that made a big difference for our baby coming into the world. Dad, you can do the same for your wife and children. Jump at the opportunity to know what’s happening minute to minute throughout the entire pregnancy. Trust me, your wife and newborn will be glad you did. I hope you find it in you to step up for the experience of a lifetime as I did, because it was so worth it!
Best wishes in family health and happiness,
Dr. Joey Lowery