Is it a big deal if dad misses the birth?

SO, SARKOZY missed the birth of his only daughter, his fourth child. That’s a good start eh?

I’m sure we’ll be assured that the French President’s decision to be away, talking about the Euro crisis with the Germans, while third wife Carla was giving birth to their daughter, was all pre-arranged.

After all, while it is estimated that over 89 per cent of fathers attend the birth of their children, clearly many don’t.

This may be due to a number of factors, like them being panicking imbeciles who make the birth even more stressful for the mother, or fainty wusses who don’t like the sight of blood and can’t ‘Man-up’ enough for the sake of their partner and child.

Or maybe they are just prats like Gordon Ramsay, who famously ‘quipped’ that he missed the births of all four of his children because he feared his sex life “would be damaged by images like something out of a sci-fi movie.”

Ah, perhaps I’m being too harsh. I’m sure there are couples out there who decided it would be mutually beneficial for the bloke to scarper at the point of no return.

After all, it’s a relatively modern phenomenon that the husband is expected to be involved at all. A generation ago it was perfectly acceptable for the new father to avoid any of the gory stuff, then get drunk with his mates, then discharge himself of any involvement in his children’s upbringing other than to occasionally pat them on the head while smoking a pipe and reading the paper.

Bloke was there for the births of all four of our babies. He’d tell you that it was stressful, because of the feeling of being utterly powerless to do anything to help. And because of the genuine worry that things might go wrong for both me and the baby. And because he had to listen to me moo like a cow in the moments I wasn’t swearing at him.

He says he’d never have wanted to miss any of them though, because ultimately it was his children arriving in the world to meet their parents. He formed an instant bond with each of them he will never forget nor want to have missed.

This is not to say that those who haven’t been able to be at the business end of birth don’t have a loving and wonderful relationship with their children. Sportsmen have to be in competitions halfway around the world and teleportation still hasn’t been perfected yet (I wait and hope).

However, I can’t quite believe that Carla would have been totally cool with Emperor Sarko slopping off to meet Angela Merkel as she went into labour (or perhaps it was an elective Caesarian, still a major operation).

I like to think the conversation would have gone something like this: *imagine it with a French accent*

Carla: “Oh Nicky, the contractions are getting very painful, I think it might be soon. . .

Sarko: “Oui my sweet, you just keep breathing and let the nice nursey ladies do their thing. . . I just need to, er, pop out for a mo. . .

Carla: “What? Where are you going?

Sarko: “Hush now ma cherie, save your strength, I just remembered we need a pint of milk, I won’t be long, and er, I just need to pop over to Angela’s to sort out the Euro thingy. . .

*Exit Sarkozy, who returns for just half an hour the following day to meet his new daughter*

Sarko: “Hello love, hello petit baby. Sorry to have missed all the fun . . .

Carla: “You’d better have sorted out that Euro crisis mate, ‘cos I don’t see any milk in your hand. . .”

1 Comment

Filed under Parenting

One response to “Is it a big deal if dad misses the birth?

  1. I guess what bothers me about it, deep down, isn’t so much the dad not being there to support during labor or hold a leg while pushing, or even seeing the moment of birth (though I do feel sorry for anyone who misses seeing their baby born, as I personally found it very magical). I think if you don’t want to be in the room and your partner doesn’t mind, that’s understandable. But why not bring your iPad and sit in the waiting room? Childbirth isn’t exactly “dangerous”, but it’s not without risk to mother or baby. What if something goes wrong? This is where I find fault with Gordon Ramsay, as he didn’t show up at the hospital until over an hour after his premature twins were born via c-section and in the special care unit. Thank goodness everything was fine, but there was a lot that could have gone wrong, and the father should be there for the children even if not for their mother. If she’d lost blood and been unconscious and a baby had needed resuscitation, he’s across town in a restaurant? Please…sit your ass in a chair and be present for your own child’s birth.

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