By Stephen Malley
CHILDBIRTH has a reputation for stinging a bit. However, only people like me, a traumatised husband, can convey the true agony of the experience.
I didn’t know how much parking to put on the car
I’d heard that this process could take a while, but I’d also watched enough movies to know that it could all be over within an hour, so there’s no way I was forking out for all-day parking. My only option was to run out every 60 minutes to top up the meter. Yes, I might have missed the big moment, but at least I didn’t waste £12.50. Now that would have hurt.
The cafeteria didn’t sell sparkling water
I’d filled the overnight bag with an excellent selection of drinks and snacks but thought sparkling water would just get shaken up on the dash to hospital. So imagine my horror when I discovered that the cafeteria only sold the boring still variety. These are the sorts of grisly details they don’t warn you about in your NCT class. There was a large Tesco ten minutes away but there was no way I was leaving my wife’s side for that long, she might have snaffled all the Pringles.
The wifi was shit
If there’s one thing that makes me consider the day my son was born as the very worst of my life, it’s the fact that I couldn’t stream a single episode of Friends. I needed some comfort viewing at a very stressful time and was let down by crappy NHS infrastructure. My wife was okay as she had gas and air. I had to suffer the buffering circle of doom with painful clarity.
I had to sleep in a chair
My wife’s labour went on for such an interminably long time I was forced to sleep sitting upright. The resulting neck pain was pretty damn severe, almost unbearable. Now, I’m not saying my wife didn’t have moments of discomfort, but at least she had one of those cool beds with the controls that make your head go up and down. You don’t even get those at the Premier Inn.
The delivery room TV was stuck on ITVBe
Initial elation at having a private room with a television soon turned to despair when the midwife brusquely informed me that the remote control had been lost. I’m not ashamed to admit that I howled in agony when my first-born son came into the world to the sights and sounds of Dinner Date. To make matters worse, Sharon chose Nathan when she quite obviously had more chemistry with Paul.
There was a massive queue at the hospital Costa
After all that waiting, the actual childbirth bit seemed pretty straightforward and it was time for a much-needed coffee. The midwife just laughed when I asked her for a caramel cortado, so I was forced to trek down two whole floors to the Costa in the lobby. I had to queue for 20 f**king minutes, and it was only as I was leaving that I noticed they sold sparkling water. Ouch.