The first time I was induced, I was terrified. I was so worried that it would ruin the birth experience I hoped for, I actually considered chickening out. My husband, at the time, didn't help, either. He kept reminding me that I had wanted a non-medicated birth, and suggested we just wait for labor to start on its own. So on top of being anxious and afraid, I was worried my support person was judging me. These were not the kind of things a grown-ass man says after his partner has to be induced... a fact I learned the very, very hard way.
Thankfully, I learned that having an induction isn't as horrible as I had assume. I made it through the process relatively unscathed, and in spite of my then-husband's comments. And the next time I had to be induced was so much more pleasant, even though I was scared, had health concerns to consider, and was worried about my baby. Why? Well, because my new husband was so encouraging and supportive. He made sure that my needs were met, and that I had an advocate every step of the way. When I was more anxious than I think I've ever been, the right words of comfort and love made a huge difference. I knew I could tackle anything that happened, as long as he was by my side.
Labor is is hard and scary all on his own, so having to be induced just adds to the often overwhelming fear and uncertainty. The things your partner says matter, and can either help or hinder the process. Any grown-ass man should try his hardest to be helpful, supportive, positive, and kind, so your partner can weather the process like the badass she is and with the love and encouragement she deserves.
"What Do You Need?"
More often than not, people (especially people we love) assume they automatically know what's best for us. But being induced means losing control over so many aspects of your labor experience, and that's a difficult concept for anyone to understand.
It seems so simple, but asking your partner what she needs can give her a sense of power and show her that you respect her. A grown-ass man doesn't assume he knows what his partner needs to make it through an induction. Instead, he asks her to tell him, and tries his hardest to make it happen.
"Let's Pack A Bag"
One awesome part about being induced is being able to plan for your hospital visit, so you can know without a shadow of a doubt that you have everything you need and want during your stay. A grown-ass man packs a bag for himself, and helps his partner pack hers. He puts the finishing touches on the nursery and calls your mom to let her know that it's time to pick up your older kids for a slumber party. (And he hides a bottle of wine in your bag for afterwards.)
"It's OK To Be Scared"
Labor is scary, and since induction is often necessary in order to maintain your health or your baby's health, it's natural to worry. A grown-ass man knows that it's OK to be scared. He doesn't invalidate his partner's real emotions but, instead, tells her it's OK to be scared and that he'll support her no matter what.
"I Am Here"
A grown-ass man is present when his partner needs him to be (and leaves the room if she needs some alone time). My partner realized that hours in a hospital room together during an induction requires patience, a sense of humor, and a whole lot of flexibility.
"I Want You To Be Safe"
When I had to be induced the first time, I really needed someone to tell me that it was OK to not go into labor "naturally, "and that being induces for medical reasons wasn't a "failure." I especially needed to hear that this option, while not in my original plan, was the safest option for me and my baby.
Instead, my husband at the time made me second-guess my midwife, as well as myself. That was not the kind of support I needed or deserved.
A grown-ass man lets his partner know if he's willing to try weird things to help her get through the process of being induced. Before it required medication, she might want to try sex, nipple stimulation, or spicy food to help get labor started. She might also want to give perineal massage a go, to help avoid tearing during delivery. Her grown-ass partner? Yeah, he's down for it all.
"What Are You Craving?"
More often than not, you're not able to eat from the moment you're induced... and since the process can take a while, you're more than likely to go hours upon hours without eating. A grown-ass man will know what you'll want to eat the moment that baby arrives. They'll also pack snacks to sneak into the delivery room in case you're hungry.
"I Am Your Advocate"
A grown-ass man knows that his partner shouldn't have to, and might not be able to, be her own advocate during labor and delivery. He will learn her priorities and wishes in advance, and help amplify her voice during induction to make sure she's heard and her wishes are respected.
My husband is a master at staying calm and sharing that calm with me. This skill was particularly important when I found out I had to be induced early, due to health complications. Everything is easier when you can keep your cool and manage to breathe through pain, fear, or particularly trying times. His presence and words helped so much.
"Whatever You Need"
A grown-ass man supports his partner in getting whatever pain management she needs during labor and after child-birth, with no shame or judgement from him or anyone else. He knows that she is the expert in what she needs, and that if she changes her mind it doesn't matter... she's the boss.