Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Cool and Calm Reasoning of Men During Child Birth


I think that most of us blokes try to approach child birth with support for our ladies when they go into labour, but let’s be fair; the vast majority of us are at a loss and can only hold a hand. 

We say things like, “Push,” then look to nurses and mother-in-laws for support, thinking they have all the ‘get out of jail free cards,’ to get us through the experience. Sometimes we get the odd stinging reply back from the partner who is in the throw of labour.

I was talking to my son and daughter-in-law after the birth of our grandson Dennis on the 20th of January 2016. (Mentioned in previous blog) I had been to see him for the first time and was playing with the granddaughter who was toddling about.


The conversation went onto how the daughter-in-law’s labour came about. Claire was saying how she had been tiding up and had just put something on the shelf when her water's broke. Lloyd, my son, reacted the same way as I had during the birth of my four sons. He panicked and called for Mum-in-law and all clambered into the car and off to hospital for delivery and a rather disorganised night out. We were all laughing about the event afterwards and it reminded me of a comical and rather embarrassing thing I did during the birth of my fourth son, Ryan.


I decided to tell Claire the story and Lloyd started laughing because I, no doubt, had told him before and he was about 11 years of age at the time.


It was 1996 when I turned up in the hospital car park at Basildon, Essex about 6am. It was a summer morning on June 10th and I remember seeing the mother-in-law’s partner coming out of the hospital in the early hours as I was running across the car park. He had driven Hayley to the hospital with her mother. Hayley, who I was with, had decided to stay at her mother’s that night because the house was closer to the hospital.


I got into the delivery area to find Hayley and her mother, Barbara, standing in a corridor about to enter one of the many delivery rooms along the corridor. One side of the corridor had delivery rooms and on the other side was a line of doors that were toilet cubicles.


There were a few nurses going about their duties as we entered the small room with a bed and the pull around curtains. There were also monitors and things and a chair either side of the bed. Hayley no sooner got up onto the bed when she said, “I need to pee.”


There followed a commotion where by Hayley would not use whatever it is they bring in and insisted that she wanted to go back into the corridor and across to the toilets. I just watched dumfounded as Hayley got up from bed and walked off with her mother and a nurse trying to advise her. Hayley was often stubborn about odd things and on this occasion she was going to pee in the toilet even though she was having a baby.


So there I am, thinking 'women are rather strange.' I’m here, sitting in a small delivery room in an unusually quite birth area of a hospital. Well, at least the expected baby would have good attention. It did all seem to have a lack of urgencey, or of expectant mothers. Maybe, it was just an unusual quite moment. Well, I waited and I waited but still Hayley, Mother-in-law (Barbara) and nurses did not return. No nurse popped in to say, “Don’t worry Colin, she will not be long.”


There was nothing and the whole place seemed empty. There was a complete lack of screaming mothers and busy nurses or even crying babies coming into the world. Here I was – a bloke alone in a delivery room of a hospital birth unit. I was feeling rather out of place. Perhaps the zombie apocolypse had happened. It seemed as though I was waiting for ages.


Then I heared a sudden upheaval in the delivery room next to me. Some people had arrived. I was sitting there listening to the nurses telling some poor lady to get onto the bed. It seemed more like the sort of thing one might expect in a hospital birth unit. It all sounded wonderfully normal. I could hear the lady moaning and crying out as the people around said words of comfort and so on. It was obvious that the lady was actually giving birth and now everything began to seem and sound normal for a birth unit in a hospital.


For the merest of moments I felt assured and refreshed at such expectant normality. Then to my horror I heard the nurse call out instructions. “Push Hayley push – you’re doing very well.”


I clutched my teeth in total frustration and muttered to myself, “Oh God! They’ve gone back into the empty room next door.” They must have thought I had gone on a walk about or a pee. Isn’t that just like women?


The call of another cry of pain and again I heard, “Push Hayley – good girl – you’re doing well.”


I shot up and marched out of the empty delivery room and proceeded next door, where it was all happening. This was it! The moment was now! I wanted to be in on the action for Hayley. Imagine in later years if I was not there during the birth. No one was going to say, "Colin was not there at the birth."

With great aplomb and gritty determination, I went into the new delivery room as the nurse again called, “Push Hayley push.”


I pulled upon the draw around curtains to see Hayley and the mother-in-law and nurses. The nurses were different from the ones who were with Hayley before she went to the toilet. I would also like to point out that Hayley, who was giving birth, and Mother-in-law were different too. I can’t say if an expectant father was also among the entourage because it was at that moment my skills of perception kicked in. I shut the curtains and walked off, knowing I had made a bit of a pig’s ear of that little escapade.


I saw the Hayley that I 'obviously' knew with familiar mother-in-law and nurses coming across the corridor from the toilet cubicle.


“Where have you been?” I heard someone say. I can’t remember who.


I just mumbled. “I thought it was you in there. Her name is Hayley too.”
   



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