Thursday, 1 November 2012

Too cool for school (Part 2)

As a man, your baby arriving a little early is a good thing. Ideally you want the baby to arrive sometime after it’s gained the capacity to breath and scream unassisted; at a size where man-paws wont crush or damage the child, but before (and this really is the important bit) you’ve spent too long wandering the streets behind a disgruntled, pregnant, baby book fuelled shopaholic. With this in mind the arrival of my son was ideal. We had sleeping arrangements (a baby hammock I’d purchased with air-miles!) in place, together with a few clothes and as many free nappies as we’d been able to obtain through various supermarket promotions... yet we’d avoided buying an excess of fashionable plastic junk or furniture designed purely for the first few months of his life. This has convinced me that many of the organisations that mums subscribe to are in fact front organisations for novelty producing Mafia; in the same way that the CIA might have a shell-company to fund operations, or organised crime may operate a laundrette, the overpriced-junk cartels of the world have baby books and “community websites”!

The fact that the child decided to burst into the world early was bad enough, and I quickly forgot all about the missed antenatal classes and the baby books that I hadn’t read. Those books wont tell you the following anyway:

1. Women in labour are likely to go through all of the positions they went through whilst conceiving.

2. Gas and air is really, really good... Although if trying it as the dad, you should remember that this is frowned on by the medical profession, and doctors will not approve if you’re high when they enter the room for a progress check!

3. You may end up wearing your wife’s clothes at some stage during proceedings (following being doused, head to toe, in wife-vomit!)

After 10 hours in the delivery suite the doctors decided they’d had enough (this was 4 hours after the vomit incident which was where I’d have made any snap decisions that needed making!) This led to perhaps the most interesting, yet traumatic experience of my life – a forceps delivery under theatre conditions. Breaking this down for you, “under theatre conditions” means that the mother of your child is now semi-conscious – due to exhaustion and a spinal anaesthetic – surrounded by all manner of machines (yet sadly and incongruously lacking the machine that goes ping!) and hospital staff. “Forceps delivery” means that they’re going to be pulling the child head first out of your wife, possibly whilst bracing a foot on the edge of the operating table. There is going to be blood, and most other bodily fluids sloshing around, and just when you think it can’t get any worse the baby appears, carefully made up by mother nature as a special effect from the Aliens franchise.

The baby will be fine with all this, but honestly speaking, as the father, you’re better off with a biology textbook and few gruesome sci-fi/horror movies than you ever would be with a baby book.

Oh, and one essential piece of advice. Once you're in theatre, no matter what happens, DO NOT go round the “feet end” of the operating table... you have been warned!


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