IN THE PARKING LOT AT MY GOLF COURSE last week I observed an attractive couple loading their clubs into the back of their SUV. After catching each other’s eyes, we quickly realized we knew one another. At first it was wonderment, struggling to understand where our paths had crossed? It came to us, a birthing class over three decades earlier. We exploded with hugs and high fives amazed at this unexpected encounter. When I learned they were up north for the week I invited them over for cocktails.
Mick and Margie arrived late in the afternoon and we immediately began reminiscing about our Lamaze class where we met 36 years earlier. We caught up on our lives as we enjoyed more than a couple drinks joined by my blue cheese cucumber slices that soon disappeared.
We recalled the several weeks of classes. It was a time of great anticipation and excitement, both couples were expecting their first. It was also an odd time in the history of childbirth. One of the fashionable things to do was accompany your wife in the delivery room, but first you had to earn a Lamaze certificate as proof you had been trained. My accounting background did little to prepare me for what was about to take place. Mick’s industrial engineering degree at least taught him what an internal combustion engine was, so he had that going for him.
What the hell were we thinking in the 80s?
My wife, who is now someone else’s wife, after two long days of pushing in the delivery room, finally had a C-Section. Our wonderful Rob appeared from the entrails. I was of little help in the procedure. I realized I HAD LOST ALL CONTROL of the situation. My wife was more than vocal letting everyone on the sixth floor, and likely on the elevators, know deficits in my personality. I was not at all prepared for this experience.
Margie reminded me that she hung in there for 24 hours and finally delivered a 10-pounder. She was reliving this event with a grimace on her face of some note. I did what I know best and made her another cocktail to try to get her through her painful memory. Mick was also gasping for air while he relived the event strictly from his point of view, now wondering why he attended. This is exactly my point. What in the hell were men doing in the delivery room when we could have been mowing our lawns followed by a nap?
There are conspiracy theorists amongst our populace and male attendance in a delivery room falls into its definition.
Don’t do it.