Father's Away Day
KEYWORDS: parenthood,parenting, parents,father,mother,child,children,humour,humor,satire

Should father's be present in the delivery room during the birth of a child? Opinions have changed about this over the years, in this satirical artricle Boggart Blog describes how the birth procedure has developed over 30 years.

CREATIVE COMMONS: Some rights reserved. Distribution: Non - commercial, attrib, no derivs, All reproductions should be credited to Boggart Blog and linked to "http://www.greenteethmm.com/"

Father's Away Day
by Ian R Thorpe
first posted at Boggart Blog 2006-03-14

A big talking point last week was whether Freddie Flintoff should have abandoned his colleagues in England's depleted cricket team and flown home to be with his wife as she delivered their second child.

It is only quite recently that the presence of Dad at the birth has been tolerated by medical professionals and yet in the last ten years for the father not to be present at the birth has become one of the great crimes of political incorrectness. You may have noticed that most of the earnest but ultimately mingling Politically Correct Half - Wit Feminists who promote such nonsense have never had kids themselves.

Traditionally the people present at the birth of a child were the mother to be obviously, he mother and maybe a sister, and a midwife (though that too is quite recent, it was not so long ago that midwives were burned at the stake if somebody had complained of their milk going sour.)

"A woman needs her partner's support at such an emotionally demanding time" chirruped one PCHWF as the Flint's private business was discussed on daytime T.V.

"Rubbish, total crap, utter effing gobshite," screamed my wife Teri at the talking head on screen, "the last time you want a man blethering around getting in the way is when you are trying to push a squawking sprog into the world."

I fetched her a brandy to calm her and asked what she meant.

"When you are flat on your back with your legs hooked up in stirrups, a baby half out of your muffin, you've shat the bed, are bleeding from what he thinks of as the temple of Venus and you are effing and blinding like a sailor in a sandstorm you don't want to be worrying about whether you hair is tidy or your mascara has run," she told me, "and you don't want to be distracted by wondering if he will ever fancy you again."

I know what she means. When our first was born in 1974 the old regime was still in place, I dropped Teri at the hospital with her mum and was dispatched to buy nappies (this was a variation of the practice established in the days of home birth when Dad-to-be was sent to boil water though nobody in their right mind would ever plunge a baby into boiling water unless, due to some mutation caused by exposure to cosmic radiation or too much Diet Coke the lady has given birth to a lobster.

By the time I had bought nappies, which we already had plenty of, my Brother in Law and a couple of mates had been summoned to take me to the pub where I was kept out of harm's way until it was time to return to the hospital and greet my son.

In 1978 when Gabrielle arrived the story was different. The NHS had plunged into a crisis from which it has never escaped, the maternity ward was understaffed and as I turned to head for the waiting room two large nurses threw a tarp over me and dragged me off to be gowned, masked and put to work as administerer of gas and air and exhortations to "push" and "pant."

This is how I learned about the effing and blinding part of childbirth. My demure little wife was using words I did not know she knew. By the time we reached the final contractions she was using words I did not know. Most of them were connected with a plan to remove my wedding tackle with a very blunt, rusty knife.

As soon as she was coherent I promised to have a vasectomy at the earliest opportunity.

We did actually manage to preserve the romance in our relationship, mainly because I contrived to stay at the effing and blinding end and thus avoided seeing things that should only be observed my competent and experienced medical professionals. That then is Teri's view of having fathers present during birth.

For myself, I would just add that whenever I hear some smug twat, camcorder in hand, saying "it was the most intensely emotional hour of my life," I just want to punch him

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