#SoCS — Pant-Pant-Blow


The first time my wife got pregnant we were advised by her OB/GYN to enroll in a Lamaze class. These classes teach young couples how to prepare for childbirth and, more importantly, how to make it through labor and delivery.

One of the key learnings from the Lamaze class was how to breathe. Naturally, this lesson was intended for the soon-to-be mother to learn breathing techniques during labor. But the husband had a role as well. He was to be her coach, and as such, he, too, needed to learn the proper breathing techniques in order to help his wife manage the trauma of labor and delivery.

One such breathing technique is referred to as “pant-pant-blow.”

Our Lamaze instructor told my wife that as her contractions became more intense, she should exhale in a pant-pant-blow pattern. She needed to take a deep breath in through your nose when her contraction started and then exhale in two short pants followed by one longer blow. That breathing in and panting out should take about 10 seconds and should be repeated until the contraction stops.

Well, one night my wife’s water broke and we headed to the hospital. She got settled in her room in the maternity ward, where, in my role as her coach, I was by her side.

I was armed with a large cup of shaved ice in case her mouth got dry. I had a small, brown paper bag for her to breathe into should she start to hyperventilate or feel dizzy while doing the breathing exercises we’d learned.

Things were moving along, albeit slowly. She was only about five centimeters dilated after about six hours and her contractions to that point had been fairly mild. So her doctor decided to give her Pitocin to speed things up.

It worked. Within an hour her contractions started coming fast and furious and that’s when she really needed my help. I was there for her, holding her hand, mopping her brow, and pant-pant-blowing right along with her.

Between contractions, I was dropping pinches of shaved ice into her mouth like a mother bird feeding her chicks.

And then the wheels came off the bus. My poor wife was in the middle of an intense contraction and we were pant-pant-blowing together. The next thing I remember was waking up in the other bed in my wife’s hospital room. I had a major headache and a bandage on my forehead.

I must have been a little too exuberant in my pant-pant-blow technique. I somehow managed to black out and, on my way to the floor, I knocked my head on the metal railing of her hospital bed.

Fortunately I was revived just before they wheeled my wife to the delivery room. Still, I was mortified by my failure as her labor coach.

To this day, though, I tell my daughter, who was born that night, that being there for her birth really knocked me out!

Written for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The challenge was to write a post around the word “pant,” just in case you couldn’t tell.

10 thoughts on “#SoCS — Pant-Pant-Blow

  1. JoAnna August 19, 2017 / 6:02 am

    You were a great coach! So enthusiastic! Sometimes I wonder if “pant, pant, blow” works mostly as a distraction, something else to focus on. You certainly provided that, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 19, 2017 / 7:44 am

      Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean they don’t embarrass you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura August 19, 2017 / 8:54 am

    Best Story EVER. (And I can’t help wondering if this made your wife laugh herself senseless or if she was in too much pain to enjoy the irony…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 19, 2017 / 9:13 am

      I think she wasn’t amused at the time, although now it’s one of her favorite stories.


  3. Marilyn Armstrong August 19, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    In Israel, they don’t let father’s near people in the ER. They don’t care if you’re a general in the army. These guys typically pass out the moment someone puts a needle in their kid’s arm. Men.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 19, 2017 / 2:20 pm

      Yeah. The sight of blood does make me feel a little queasy.


  4. asimuel November 18, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    What a story! Well I’m glad you were conscious for the delivery! I’m sure your wife appreciates you being such a dedicated coach during such a difficult process. I’m an L&D nurse… your story is way better than the guy who stared at ESPN the entire time his wife labored, pushed. He sat there, not even looking at her. He acted as if he was just at home, sitting on the couch. The baby was born and no big deal. He stood up for a quick moment to glance at the baby. So be proud of your dedication! I’m sure you’re an amazing Father!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 18, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Thanks. It was an embarrassing moment, but at least I tried. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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