OPINION: Birthing partner about to deliver

BEFORE I start my rambles this week, engaging though they be, let me first say thank-you to Fred.

I don't know who Fred is, but he is obviously a man of great discern and even greater kindness.

On reading about my pathetic inability to master the chopstick, the darling man bought me a set of beautiful Swedish designed chopsticks with a snazzy holding ring so they stay together no matter how frenzied their manipulation.

Much kindness, Fred.

Fred left them at the office with a lovely note but without contact details so I couldn't thank him privately.

My spirits are so uplifted by Fred's act of kindness they're in the clouds.

Now, to today's ramblings.

We're having another baby in a couple of weeks.

Yes, we are keeping up with royal babies, and no, of course said baby will not spring from my loins. They stopped their springing three decades ago.

It's another grandbubby, due on October 7.

We can be certain of the date because it is a C-section.

There is a lot of birthing talk in our house right now.

My other non-pregnant daughter has been asked to be "birthing partner" to her sister-in-law.

My, how things have changed in the labour ward since my loins did their springing.

Fortunately I came in on the end of the days when the "birthing partner" had to stay outside the labour ward pacing the hallway with a box of cigars under his arm waiting for the midwife to come out with the exciting news so he could light up.

My "birthing partner" in in 1977 took to his role by sitting in a chair and nodding off in between complaining about how boring it was.

For eight hours he snoozed. The only thing that woke him was me sitting bolt upright every ten, then five, then two, minutes with a blood-curdling scream and blasphemous order for him to pass the oxygen mask.

He did come to life when the darling daughter arrived.

He did show delight and happiness and held her and said all the good baby daddy stuff but then uttered the words I have never let him forget to this day: "I have to go home now and sleep. I'm tired. I've been up all night."

He might not have been a great "birthing partner" but he sure has been an outstanding father and an exemplary grandfather.

ann.rickard.com.


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