One of my proudest moments as a doula was at a birth that had gone seemingly perfectly, up until the very end where the mom developed a complication that required her to go to the OR. The baby was out and healthy, and I asked the dad – did he want to stay in the room with their newborn and I’d go with his wife, or would he rather go with her, and I’d hold the baby? He asked her if she wanted him to do skin-to-skin, she did.
A few minutes later, I brought his mom to the room and his look of shear relief was almost comical. His mom settled in beside him and fussed over the baby. The color returned to his face and he started telling her about the birth and the baby’s stats. Just then the nurse returned and I slipped out without them even noticing.
The mom was totally fine, and by the time she and I returned to her room, the dad and new grandma were laughing and chatting like nothing had happened. Being in the OR for the mom, getting the grandma for the dad; those things didn’t change the outcome of the birth or the procedure. But I know they made a world of difference to that dad and his first hour with his child. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of as a doula, and the mom might never even know it happened.