Having experienced the dubious ‘joys’ of childbirth from the spectators point of view I think it’s fair to say that God is a man and, what’s more, he’s a man with a fairly bizarre sense of humour. That the child should exit via the route it does is enough to warrant a bemused shaking of the head but that the mother-to-be has to wait until the child has first developed a head the size of a cannon ball is, quite frankly, a joke too far.
Mind you, the shock of realising that God and Frankie Boyle share the same sense of humour is nothing compared to the astonishing realisation that women will still line up to go through it all! That they might opt for it once is vaguely understandable; they are after all being swamped by hormones and bedazzled by newborn babies. What I truly can’t understand though is why on earth they would choose to go through it all again. Yet they do!
Apparently we had a fairly easy time of labour, in fact I barely raised a sweat. It all started about 1am in the morning - I woke up about 5am - and we were both fully expecting to be back from hospital in time for lunch and nappies. Sadly, that time table proved far too optimistic and it wasn’t until 10pm that evening that the lure of “gas & air” finally persuaded Leanne to head into hospital.
My wife had set her heart on using the birthing pool and that all seemed to work quite well for the first few hours. Then she was given a choice between the pool or better pain killers. I’m sure I’ve seen people make faster decisions but I can’t recall any and we were out of the pool, onto a table and away with the fairies faster than you could say Pethidine.
Finally, at 5:40am the baby arrived, much to everyone’s relief.
Leanne was of the opinion that knowing the sex of the baby beforehand was going to take away some of the joy of the moment, so my first real task of note was to sex the child.
I had imagined that this would be a hit and miss affair but as it turned out it was fairly straightforward, largely on account of our little baby boy possessing testicles the size of dinner plates – at least by comparison with his size. Thank God our proportions change as we grow to adulthood, if they didn’t men would be walking around the streets carrying their balls in wheelbarrows and women would have headed for the hills long ago.
So, having established that he was a he, my next task was to cut the cord. I can’t say I’d been looking forward to this, in fact, to be brutally honest, I’d have been perfectly happy pacing the hospital corridors and smoking the occasional cigar, suitably distanced from the gory details. Sadly, this is regarded as very old fashioned and, whether we like it or not, the man is now obliged to remain in close proximity for the entire event, no matter how gruesome it gets.
As it turned out the cord cutting wasn’t that bad. It was just like cutting through a bit of gristle, although I felt strangly obliged to mumble “God bless this ship and all who sail in her”.
And there we had it, one child expertly delivered after 30 odd hours of shouts and screams and umpteen cylinders of nitrous oxide.