27 Sep Hospital Dash
One of the scariest images for a pregnant dad is the thought of having to deliver your own baby in the car! So the second she announces she thinks she might be in labour, you want to bundle her straight into the car and get going! Seriously, don’t spoil the specialness of pregnancy with fears like this.
Waiting for that phone call!
Those last few weeks of pregnancy are torture, not wanting to make any plans in case she goes into labour. The image of an expectant father pacing outside a labour ward has been replaced by the image of him pacing around work, unable to concentrate on anything, waiting for the phone to ring. It could happen at any time (and you really hope that it does happen before the presentation you have to make to the board this afternoon). The due date was a week ago, but still the suspense is there. We’re an impatient bunch and you won’t be the first guy to ask his partner, “So when is this baby actually coming?” By this stage she will be even more desperate to have baby on the outside than you, so questioning her won’t really help the situation.
Along with her waters breaking in the middle of the supermarket, the dramatic dash to the hospital through frenetic traffic is one of the more enduring images of labour. Fathers who were denied this experience – such as those whose partners were induced or had planned caesars – talk of “feeling cheated” in some way. If you do get to live out the saying “hospital dash”, no matter how much you have gone over the route in your mind, or even in practice, actually driving in a car with a woman who is about to give birth will create an awful lot of pressure. Expect your driving to be erratic at best!
It would be a good idea to issue women who are seven months pregnant a special siren or bright pink light powered by the cigarette lighter in the car. It would be understood that anyone using said light would be on the way to hospital to give birth, giving every expectant father, for one day only the complete dominance on the road with powers that hitherto were only enjoyed by the emergency services.
Jokes aside – remember that in most situations there will be plenty of time to get to the hospital especially if this is her first baby. So make sure you drive safely and concentrate on the road!