Having a child is special, for the mother and the father. How involved was your partner/husband in the labour room? Did you allow any other relative in the labour room during the birth of your child(ren)? Would you have the same people around you again if you were to have another child?
With our first baby my husband helped me at various points during my (loooong) labour by bringing me a heat pack, telling people what I wanted when I didn't have the energy to deal with them, but mainly just being there as emotional support. My Mum was there too and was also a big help.
With our second baby, my husband was standing by to help but I didn't need him for anything really (he brought me a glass of orange juice but that was about it) so he just watched. Afterwards he cut the cord and held the baby while the midwife helped me out of the bath. Our daughter was there for the birth that time too, which was lovely. I'd do things the same way again if I had another baby.
I allowed only my husband into the birthing centre when I was in labour. He tried massaging me, but that simply added to my pain. He stood up for me when I was being pressured to sit in a wheelchair, which was great because I'm not good at being assertive with strangers. He also held my hand and ecouraged me during the process, and helped me shower afterwards. He was wonderful. I would do the same with our next child.
My partner was so involved that it made things so much easier. We went to the workshop about pregnancy and labour in the hospital 2 weeks before I went in labour and it really helped. on the day he left work early and took me to hospital, he let the nurses know about my contractions and massaged my back until the baby came. The nurses let him cut the umbilical cord and he placed the baby on my chest, it was a wonderful experience.
My husband was as involved as I would have liked him to be. I remember after having my first child, I felt an intense hunger, and he fed me with his hands. He also helped me shower and dress. During labour, he held my hands and handed me what I needed, like water, socks, or whatever else. He also prayed for me, which was very special. He was also very supportive after labour, and cooked and cleaned and helped with the baby as much. This is true for both children. I didn't have anyone else in the room, and that's the way I wanted it.
Only my husband. We tried for a natural birth for the first and third child, but ended up with 3 Caesars. I was very glad to have him as a support person, especially as he was able to take care of the babies all three times while I got stitched back up.
My husband was not with me for the birth and that was the way I wanted it. He was brilliant through the whole pregnancy and after the birth, when I arrived home. He had the house spotless, cooking done for a fortnight and in the freezer, nappy service for a month.We had 2 weeks on our own with our baby - no visitors. We visited both sets of grandparents on the first Saturday I was home.
My husband still says that he would not have been able to watch me in pain, knowing that he could not do anything to actually help. He has never really changed. He is a rough and tumble boilermaker but cannot bear to see the women in his life in pain or vulnerable or threatened in any way.
I always felt and still do feel that birthing is women's business and that they do it best on their own with as few people around them as possible (particularly people that cannot be of any help). Women need to concentrate on the task at hand and to do that they need only a quiet and safe environment.
For my personal experience, I would never change a thing.