I will never forget the first full night alone in hospital after having our first born Archie, I was terrified. After a very traumatic birth I was exhausted and in agony with a baby who would not feed. I had no clue what to do with this precious little gem. Just changing a nappy was a minefield and don’t get me started on doing up a babygro.
James had been with us since Archie was born in the early hours the day before just popping home for a few hours after the birth. It was the first full night, but now it was time for daddy to go.
We had finally got Archie to take a bottle after breastfeeding had been unsuccessful. James was feeding him and he was actually taking it. I think the stress of the birth and not being able to breastfeed had made me so anxious and teary which Archie could definitely sense. He was so content in James’s arms and finally guzzling a bottle.
Dad’s visiting hours had come to a close and a midwife had come over and told us it was time for James to go.
We asked her for ten more minute’s whilst Archie finished his bottle and she agreed. Two minutes later another midwife came over and literally hollered at James “visiting is over now , you need to leave” so James had to hand Archie to me and say goodbye mid feed. I remember sobbing and asking the midwife to let James stay a little longer but it was a firm NO.
Why ? Why is it so forbidden and un natural that the other parent would want to stay and spend the first night with their child? After all they love them just as much , are just as excited.
How amazing would it be to have dad there and to embrace this total learning curve together. Mummy could actually rest and close her eyes for ten minute’s.
The way that dad’s are treated in the hospital is so different to way the mum is .Mum is offered tea and toast etc but dad has to go trudging around to find a coffee machine or cafe. It both baffles and angers me the way they are treated in comparison. It’s like they are strange alien creatures with no right to be there. They are made to feel so awkward. In my opinion it’s just so wrong and un natural that they are made to feel so isolated.
Others may have a different opinion and could not think of anything worse than the dad staying. To me it is the most natural thing in the world , I think you should be able to decide and not have that decision made for you. Granted we have come a long way with child birth to the days when dads were not even allowed to be present at the birth and women stayed in hospital for two weeks after birth to sleep and recover.