My Granny gave birth to my dad in a hospital room in England whilst her husband waited at home for news.
They were friendly with the doctor so he called by on his way home from work and threw stones at my Papa’s window to wake him so he could tell him he had a little boy.
Then my Papa went back to bed and waited until hospital visiting hours the next morning so he could finally meet his baby.
My Granny’s experience was typical of the time but it’s a sharp contrast to modern births. I don’t even think I let my husband go for a pee during our daughter’s birth. He was by my side cheering me on, fetching me drinks and offering encouragement where needed.
Journalist Gets Schooled In Why Dad Should Be At The Birth
Nowadays, not only are dads encouraged to be present for the birth, they’re expected to play an active role in it.
Sadly, one journalist didn’t get the memo. When Sarunas Jasikevicius, coach of Lithuania’s Zalgiris Kaunas basketball, was doing a post-game press conference, one reporter made it clear he thought basketball should be a player’s top priority.
The team’s star centre, Augusto Lima, skipped the semi-final game so he could be present for the birth of his child, something most people seemed to accept as being perfectly normal and expected. One journalist, however, couldn’t get his head around it and kept asking Jasikevicius why he had let Lima skip the game.
The coach told him: “When you have kids, you’ll understand. Because that’s the height of a human experience…Do you think basketball is the most important thing in life?…When you see your first child, you will realise what the most important thing in life is. Come and have a chat with me then. Because nothing can be more majestic in the world than the birth of a child. Believe me. Not titles, not anything else. Augusto Lima is now in heaven emotionally. I’m really happy for him.”
This outburst from an important figure in sports shows just how far we have come from the days of men sitting awkwardly in waiting rooms whilst their babies were born.
Men are now an important part of the process and they can expect support from their workplace to make that happen, even if they happen to be international sports stars.
If you’re a dad to be, check out our Dads-To-Be: A Guide to Labour & How To Support Her.