By MIA FREEDMAN
Look, I’ll be honest. My husband wasn’t much use in the delivery room. It wasn’t his fault. He just didn’t have much to do other than provide moral support and hold my hand.
You see, I’ve never really got into the whole “we’re pregnant” philosophy that some couples embrace.
I’ve always looked at it like this: We are having a baby. I am pregnant.
We are becoming parents. I am pushing a large object into the world through my vagina.
There’s no ‘we’ in episiotomy.
But there’s also no way in the world I would have wanted my partner to be anywhere other than by my side when I gave birth. We never had a conversation about it because it just never occurred to me. I think it’s a generational thing.
My Dad wasn’t there when I was born in the 70s. Men just weren’t. It was women’s business and men stayed outside the delivery suite. He still recalls sitting nervously in the waiting room with his brother when the doctor came out. “Mr Freedman?” he asked.
“Yes,” said my uncle automatically, standing up. “Congratulations!” boomed the doctor. “You’re the father of a bouncing baby girl.”
20 years later, he actually would be. As his daughter Sylvia tells it:
“Not only was my Dad in the delivery room, he delivered me! I feel blessed that my gorgeous dad was there – he supported my mum, snipped me a great belly button AND I’m lucky enough to have one of the most beautiful moments of my life captured on film – my adoring dad holding me and singing me happy birthday just seconds after I was born. I honestly think his presence and involvement in my birth largely contributes to our incredible bond. He was right there when I was brought into the world! I would be heartbroken if the most important man in my life missed a moment like that or worse still was BANNED from being there.”