Simon Bradbury ~
Simon is a father of three who all arrived via very different delivery methods. From a medically recommended caesarean in 2003, to an unexpected VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) in 2009 with an array of medical aids, to a natural, drug free and informed VBAC delivery in 2011. Simon is the proud and active father to his three children, and active supporter of his wife who is now a Doula and Childbirth Educator. Simon attended Beer+Bubs in 2011 and strongly attests to the benefits for him as an active birth partner and father for the birth of his son later that year.
I am about to share my three birth stories, all different, all special, and all resulting in my amazing children, now 10 (Jaida), 4 (Alyssa) and 2 (Joel).
I was 27 years old when our first child Jaida was born on 30th September 2003. At the time I was working casually as an accountant while finishing at University.
Being our first child I really didn’t know what to expect. We knew that we weren’t going to be going past the 38 week mark as my wife has Type 1 Diabetes so we were told a caesarean birth was the safest option for both. Unlike a natural birth, we knew exactly when we were going into hospital. We had booked in for that day first thing in the morning and at the time I remember it feeling all a bit scripted and managed. Looking back because we both didn’t realise the process and what to expect I feel we weren’t given all the information to make that decision for ourselves. I feel like had we been given all the relevant information then we might have made more informed choices.
On the day I felt my role was to be there and support my wife in any way that she needed but I really didn’t know what that was going to be. It would have been very helpful to know before going in what to expect and what my role was to be. I was very aware of trying not to say the wrong thing but to also be supportive in any way possible. Although I do recall that because it was a caesarean, and it was the first surgery procedure I had seen firsthand, I did make the odd comment about seeing certain organs on the table and is that suppose to be in there! Probably wasn’t helpful in hindsight.
During the whole birth I clearly remember two very conflicting emotions, the overwhelming feeling of amazement both for my wife and my soon to be first child, and absolute fear of anything going wrong. Looking back on that day I felt a completely new level of love and appreciation for my wife that I just wasn’t expecting. I really wasn’t prepared to feel that and that is the most amazing memory I will have for life.
As it was a caesarean birth, there seemed to be a lot of medical staff in the room. I remember on the day thinking how many people actually need to be here for this. There were a few medical students in the room and if I could go back and change something it would be that. I remember feeling that there were just too many people and it created a tense environment instead of a relaxed one.
One thing that happened that I didn’t expect was when Jaida was born, they rushed her away to the other side of the room away from both Carrina and I. I wasn’t really prepared for that to happen. I was torn between staying with Carrina, who had lost a lot of blood during the birth, and being with Jaida. Carrina also didn’t get to hold Jaida straight away. Obviously a mother holding her baby immediately after birth is a very important bonding process on many levels and that is something that I know I wasn’t happy about happening. Again because we didn’t know what to expect throughout the whole process we felt like we had to just do whatever they were saying.
I am certain that had I done a Beer + Bubs session before Jaidas birth I would have been much more prepared as far as what to expect on the day. I would highly recommend that anybody expecting a child, be it first born or not, attend a Beer + Bubs session. Like anything in life, if you go in prepared you then you get fewer surprises and can enjoy the moment that much more.
Our second and third children arrived very differently, with the aid of us being determined and much more informed. Those stories are yet to come!