Having a baby used to be about getting to hospital on time and finding the right pain relief.
Whether you choose that route or to ditch both those options and have a midwife-attended birth at home as we did, the technology in your pocket could deliver a more delightful time for all.
The role of a husband in child birth is always unclear so in the run up, I devoted some time to picking out the best apps for research, managing and capturing the intensity of labour and then tools for broadcasting the good news.
For a variety of reasons we chose to have an midwife-attended homebirth. I consider it to be a brave choice and one that has enhanced my marriage beyond any other single experience.
But enough about love and how great my wife is pushing out a 4.5kg tele-tubby, the whole thing went as smooth ad it did partly due to my iPhone.
Here are the apps I used in order of their appearance;
1. Baby Name apps
2. Stopwatch for contractions
3. Phone/SMS for contacting midwives/family/work
4. Photos for memories
5. Playlists for soothing tunes
6. Videos for shock & awe
7. Twitter for updates
8. Facebook/SMS/email for the announcement
9. Alarms for reminders
Notes on the use if these apps during labour;
1. Baby Name apps — we used four in all. Some were good for checking meanings, origins and others popularity. We developed a rule that anything in the US top 100 was off limits. No Jayden or Jesus for us.
3. Stopwatch for contractions — invaluable. The native app has a lap timer enabling me to watch length of the surges and the time between them (see pic)
4. Phone/SMS for contacting midwives/family/work — I had promised my fill in that I would inform her when things got real. I cc’ed the staff set up to do my tweeting and my youtubes too. (no joke!)
5. Photos for memories — From lving room couch to floor to hot shower to soothing bath, the phone’s quick start-up camera meant I could get a few timely shots of different parts of labour without leaving the action.
6. Playlists for soothing tunes — With tracks chosen weeks before (our baby was a fortnight overdue) we hit play on my wife’s birth tunes playlist of mostly gentle female singer-songwriters. I wish we had chosen three times more songs as the long labour meant there was much repetition. See pic.
7. Videos for shock & awe — Yuk. Who videos a birth? Well not me, until one midwife said ‘you can always delete it but you won’t get the chance to film it again!’ I agreed to capture bubba’s first moment on mum’s chest. Very glad I did. It was the biggest sense of relief ever.
8. Facebook/SMS/email for the announcement — See pic.
9. Alarms for reminders — With wifey on some recovery treatments and herbal remedies in the hours and days following the birth, a few clicks and I have alerts set up to keep her popping pills and downing potions on schedule.
Despite the valuable contribution of my iPhone during the birth we chose against naming our child Apple.
Catch a photo of Darcy as he is on my wallpaper below.