Tuesday, 25 September 2007

It's all about me, me, me...

There was an interesting article on BBC News at 10 last night. It featured the delivery of a baby at home, without a midwife in attendance (she was stuck in traffic), and consisted of an interview with the baby's father who called 999 when the contractions were 1 minute apart, and was talked through what to do. A key section went something like this:

Interviewer: so how did you feel - doing this all by yourself?
Father: Well, it was a big responsibility, quite scary really...

Continue on with more platitudes and exclamations of sympathy and horror from the interviewer at the hideous ordeal the father went through, whilst he shyly took his applause.

Fair enough, I thought. Perhaps the baby's mother was too traumatised by the whole experience to consider going on camera. But then the camera panned left - to the baby being calmly breastfed by the mother, listening patiently as her partner had his moment of glory.

Now, forgive me if I'm missing the point here, but wasn't it the mother who did all the work and ran all the risks?

Oh yes, and at the end of the article they revealed that this was planned to be a home birth (hence the intended attendance of the midwife) and that one baby is born like this every week. ONE BABY EVERY WEEK! Now, I'm not an advocate of home births (as a seasoned veteran of epidurals and one emergency c-section), but you have to wonder if there is not some NHS think tank sitting in a room somewhere with the chairman saying "This home birth thing is getting a bit out of control. How can we stop the numbers rising? Ideas, anyone? Nigel?" "Well, John, we could try scaring the pants off the fathers. Tell them they might have to get down the business end...?" "Brilliant Nigel. Call your mate at the BBC."

Conspiracy theory, anyone?


  1. When I had my kids, 21, 19 and 18 years ago, I was never asked if I wanted to give birth at home - I didn't, I hasten to add. With the last two I was glad of the rest in hospital. But when their father and I were going through our divorce it was suddenly thrown at me "and you went to hospital to have the kids!". I should've left him years ago!

  2. I beg your pardon? That has GOT to be the lamest grudge to hold I have ever heard of... You clearly were a saint in every other way for him to have to pull that one out of the hat (and also, yes, for sticking it out with him for so long...)


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