A New Father’s Journey: Week 5

Hi everybody and welcome back to babynames.co.uk. I trust this new post finds you well.

Shortly after our twelve-week scan, we had an appointment to meet our midwife. (I would later understand that this isn’t common practice but as Ana and I lived in New Zealand during the pregnancy, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity of selecting one midwife for the entire term. Amazing, eh?) The meeting was to discuss Ana’s progress, her health and to begin making a ‘birthing plan’.

I was told that I was one of two in our pregnancy ‘support team’. I asked who the other person was. “Me, and I am the one needing the support,” replied Ana.

I wanted to be involved in this process, which is why I made an effort to attend the appointment. But a member of a pregnancy support team? I had nothing to bring to the table.

“You’ll be fine,” the midwife told me.

I am unsure how she came to this conclusion as the midwife had not even looked at me. I know I wasn’t the one in need of her expertise but just a little eye contact would have gone a long way to reassure me. When I sniggered like a schoolgirl as she said ‘vaginal birth’, she definitely made a point of looking my way.

The week prior, at our three-month scan, I had read some facts about different countries’ traditions and laws on naming babies. So, in an attempt to regain some dignity with the midwife, I decided to share my newfound knowledge.

Fact attack!

In Australian Aboriginal culture, the female tribe members gather around the mother and chant the family’s relative’s names as she begins to push. Whichever name is spoken as the placenta is delivered, is the name given to the baby.

I relayed all of this to the midwife.

I continued: “So you could be chanting, ‘Julie, Shannon, Lauren, Bruce’! The placenta arrives on ‘Bruce’ and I guess you just have to keep your fingers crossed that the baby is a boy.”

I was quickly informed that the placenta is delivered post-baby and asked if I had any further questions.

As I got to know the midwife over the next six months, I came to realise that she was, by definition, very blasé about pregnancy. She had been in her profession for several decades and had seen it all. Her attitude played a big part in Ana’s pregnancy, ingraining a calm and confident mindset, which also rubbed off onto me.

I often worried throughout the pregnancy if I had what it takes to raise a child but I am not even sure what that is. But as the midwife reminded me: “Even idiots have babies, it’s not that hard.”