We've done it twice, and at least two AoM regulars (its founders) are about to, so... what are things you fathers wish you'd known, or were glad you knew, when the day comes?
Here are some of mine:
* There are lots of procedures after birth nurses do for their convenience, but they won't if you say otherwise. Say, "Is it medically necessary?" If not, you can do otherwise. For example, the baby does not need a bath immediately. That vernix stuff will be absorbed into the skin. He has other priorities at the moment.
* ...they say the baby will do better at breast feeding if he gets his first snack in the first hour, spending that whole hour on Mommy. Our first never did quite get breast feeding (there were other issues too), but our second got it in that first hour and never looked back.
* That burst of energy she gets that day comes for a reason. She'll need it. Better not to spend it being super-mom getting the house ready.
* Don't tell her she has to push. Think how it feels if you do that on the john. Now think of pushing out something the size of a baby's head. The body will decide when to push. (Of course, medical necessity overrides this and everything else.)
* The staff are familiar with "birthing preferences," that is, a list of things you want (again, overridden by medical necessity as needed). Draw them up and give it to them, posting it on the door, and they'll tell you if something just isn't going to work. For example, you can say, "Ask Mommy about her comfort level, not whether she's in pain" (people in a fog are suggestible, and you might not want to direct her attention to pain) or "baby stays with Mommy except when something procedure is being done -- no nursery."
* Don't worry about the gross. I have a weak stomach ordinarily. It didn't even occur to me in the moment to get queasy at seeing bloody stuff. It's different when you have to be a rock -- when your only real job in the moment is to be a rock.