Heroic dad delivers baby. Mother was probably also there but we can’t be sure.

So, this story was all over my screen earlier this week. A couple were on their way to hospital for the birth of their second child. Mum told Dad en route, ‘Honey. We’re not going to make it. Pull over!’ (or words to that effect). By the time hubs pulled in to the carpark of a fruit shop and hoofed it to the passenger side, the baby’s head was already out. He called 000 and the operator talked them through the rest, including a minute or so of brisk massage to encourage the baby to take her first breath. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an amazing experience that this family have just had, and hats off to Dad for being such a fantastic support to his wife, especially in the absence of a machine that goes ‘PING!’. But seriously, the reporting of this on the commercial networks here has really ground my gears!

‘Heroic Dad delivers and saves newborn’s life’!

‘Adelaide Dad delivers daughter in family car’!

and this cringeworthy interview, in which serial asshat David Koch directs all but one of the questions to the baby’s father, while the mother is forced to sit there smiling awkwardly, with nobody even mentioning the fact that she is OUT OF THE HOUSE, WEARING MAKEUP AND NOT EVEN COVERED IN BABY SPEW a mere couple of days after her baby was born. Sorry, ‘delivered’. By her husband. (Maybe that’s why she looked so daisy-fresh. After all, her husband did all the work, right? She was just along for the ride, according to the headlines). At the conclusion of the interview – during which the brand-new parents are publicly grilled about whether they plan to have more children, and the wife’s mother is referred to as ‘the Dragon’ by a man I assume she’s never met – Koch has the audacity to effusively congratulate the husband without acknowledging the woman sitting right beside him. You know, the one who probably sat there doing a crossword while her husband reached in and hauled a baby out of her vagina. He actually looks surprised when Samantha Armytage gently interjects with a brief ‘Well done’, to the mother. It really is some of Kochie’s best work since that time he told us how he supports breastfeeding in public provided we ‘keep it classy’ (and apparently took credit himself for how classily breastfed his own four children were, according to the linked article).

I met some new friends at a mothers’ group not too long ago. By coincidence, one of them had used the same private midwife as I had, so we knew we had some common ground as far as our attitude towards normal birth goes. In conversation with another mum there, we heard that my new friend had had a planned homebirth, but her labour had progressed so swiftly that the baby was calmly born before the midwives could get there. The other mum was horrified and slightly confused. ‘But, who delivered your baby then?!’, she gasped. My homebirthing friend and I exchanged a look, and I was nodding before she had even spoken. ‘I did’, she said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. And of course, it is.

Pregnancy is not a medical condition. Birth is not inherently an emergency. Pizzas are delivered. Babies are born. And mothers usually have something to do with the process, if they’re allowed to. The least we all can do is recognise that.

My heartfelt congratulations to Ailie Waye-Harris and her husband Caleb on the roadside arrival of little Eloise earlier this week. By the sound of things, you both did an amazing job guiding her safely earthside. Please don’t imagine for a minute I’m implying that Caleb is not a hero for the part he played. More so that I wish Ailie’s strength and courage were also being celebrated. This headline from your local paper is far more to my liking:

New mum Ailie Waye-Harris gives birth to baby Eloise in car with help of husband Caleb

Now really, isn’t that more like it?

21 thoughts on “Heroic dad delivers baby. Mother was probably also there but we can’t be sure.

  1. Ever since Columbus “discovered” America (a place that already had a sizable population of human inhabitants at the time), the folks reporting the news have proven to be just a little biased, haven’t they?


      1. My sister-in-law was asleep went her first baby just fell out of her, full term and all. She was at the hospital hopped up on drugs. She was pleased, but I was like, “Dude, you missed out!” Craziness.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, but your headline wouldn’t sell papers or have viewers tune in. Remember news isn’t for the readers, it’s a business.


    1. Thanks for reading, and for your comment. I understand and agree that that was the agenda of the headlines. That doesn’t make it right, though. At least one editor must agree with me – the last headline isn’t actually mine, it was the story as it appeared in the family’s local paper. Besides, I’m sure it would be possible to have a punchy, exciting headline without completely ignoring the mother. Off the top of my head, how about:
      Brave Mum and Dad deliver own baby in dramatic roadside arrival!

      But of course, we seem to need just one hero, and if there’s a bloke present, that’ll be him. I’m also sure this story wouldn’t have gotten the same air time had the mother been, say, a plump 40 year old instead of an attractive young blonde. As you say, ‘news’ is a business, and they know what sells.

      I’m going to pull myself up here, before I start using words like ‘paradigm’ and ‘narrative’ and completely alienate my existing followers! This blog is supposed to be a forum for me to whine about the kids I chose to have, to my audience of ten friends and my mum. Not sure what came over me yesterday… whoops!


    1. Aha! It was YOU! Thanks for sharing – it’s so strange seeing my words flying around social networks without me being a part of one! (Been toying with the idea of a twitter account just for this blog. I’m a virgin twit, though. What are your thoughts?).


  3. First of all, asshat is my new favorite word. Second, I am also new to twitter and I find it appalling. It is everything that is wrong with the world… but, when something gets picked up and you start getting all kinds of alerts, it give you an intoxicating high. It’s dangerous, like quicksand or a pint of ice cream. I want to know if you go to the dark side! Great post, too, but the way. I love the line about pizza… but now I want pizza.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm, that’s what has me a bit ambivalent about Twitter. I quit Facebook and blogging was going to be my alternative outlet. On one hand, it feels like turning to Twitter now would be akin to quitting smoking only to take up hard drugs. On the other hand, I have pithy observations and ‘that-moment-when’s going to waste over here, if they’re not worth an entire blog post. What to do, what to do?


      1. Haha, yes, it’s a lot like hard drugs. What has me sour on Twitter is you have these moments, and you write something that feels moderately funny, and then nothing. Yet someone who writes something like “Why didn’t someone at my wedding speak up? Fuckers.”- and this is a quote- gets 63 retweets and 131 favorites. Maybe I’m just rolling with the wrong crowd? Or maybe there are just that many unhappily married people out there who feel like this is really funny? Maybe I’m twittering all wrong. Maybe you would be twitter gold. Then if you are, I’m going to follow you and beg for your scraps.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Twitter is great. It is very different to Facebook. I like it better in some respects. The trick is to follow the right people. Curation of your feed is incredibly important.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I really get this. We had an unplanned (un-“attended”) home birth with our second and nobody ever shut up about how well my husband had done with the delivery. Someone even told him he had superpowers. As I recall it, his “superpowers” consisted of following the directions I was giving him as I also went through labour??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Superpowers! That’s both hilarious and kind of awful. I clearly recall the stunned obedience that was my husband’s ‘superpower’ during both my straightforward hospital labours. Can only imagine he’d bust out more of the same with an unplanned freebirth.

      What really got under my skin with this was the overtones of blame directed at the mother, too. It was subtly implied that she’d ‘left it too late’ to make the hospital run (because you totally have a little countdown timer hidden somewhere once your labour starts, so she KNEW they wouldn’t get there in time), and had therefore obviously put her baby and self at risk, hence needing to be ‘rescued’ by her husband. Ugh.

      Let me wish you heartfelt, extremely late, congratulations on your own surprise homebirth – you and that superhero husband of yours!


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