Letting Everyone Know
It is definitely Dad's job to make the calls to tell people that the baby is here and Mom is doing fine. Mom will be able to receive calls and chat on the phone once she feels rested enough to talk, but Dad is the one who typically makes the first calls to family and friends.
Not every assignment you have as a father and birth coach is fun, but this one is. After the focused intensity of the labor and delivery experience, you get to reconnect with the outside world. Although you will be tired and perhaps a little punchy, by this time you will be riding an emotional high. Your emotions will be shared by those on the other end of the line, who will be eager to hear every morsel of information you can give them.
Two Common Questions
People mainly have two questions at first: they want to know how Mom is doing, and they want to know whether it's a boy or a girl. If you have kept the name of your child a secret, this will be your first chance to break the news. Some people will want to know when they can talk to Mom, and they may even ask how you are holding up.
The average weight of a newborn is 7½ pounds, with nearly all babies tipping the scales between 5½ and 10 pounds. A newborn can lose as much as 10 percent of her body weight in her first day or two of life. The average length of a newborn is 20 inches, with most measuring somewhere between 18 and 22 inches.
When the time finally comes to make these calls, you will probably have been up all night. You might not be thinking all that clearly. This is when you can rely on that list of numbers you've put into the memory of your cell: parents (hers and yours), family members (hers and yours), close friends. You do not want to forget anyone important.
More on the Beauty of Cell Phones
A cell phone is the best communication tool you'll have, but some hospitals and birthing centers restrict the use of cells within their facilities. You need to find out what restrictions exist, if any. Even if cells are restricted, you should still be able to step outside when the time is right and make calls.
If you do not have a cell phone, you will probably end up borrowing someone else's, so it's best just to break down and buy one. If cells are permitted in the hospital, you can call from the labor and delivery room and pass the phone over to Mom if she feels like talking. If you need to leave the room to make calls, or for any other reason, check with your partner first. This could be the first time she has ever been left alone with the baby. Be sure she is comfortable and taken care of before you go.
When to Call People
Some people, usually family members who are close to Mom, will say to you, “Call me as soon as you know. I don't care if it's three o'clock in the morning. I want to know the instant the baby is born!”
In almost every case, these calls can wait until a decent hour of the morning. Do not feel obliged to make calls in the middle of the night. Wait until the morning instead. The same people who are begging for you to call will appreciate the fact that you've allowed them to get a full night's sleep, whether they admit it or not. If they give you any grief for not calling them earlier, tell them you were distracted and exhausted, which, almost assuredly, will be true.
Make It Easy on Yourself
One or two people may volunteer to be part of a phone tree to help spread the news about baby. These will likely be the same people who absolutely insist on hearing the news as soon as it happens. Their enthusiasm is a good thing, and you would do well to make use of it.
Arrange the system beforehand with them. You call them after the baby comes, and then they make some of the calls for you. Not only will this save you a little work, it is a nice gesture that lets other family members be involved. They get a chance to spread the news, which is a kick for them, too.