Daddy, the baby is coming, you need to push really, really hard.

GUEST POST 

Victoria Machin, UK.

 

 

Thus spake my 3 year old. Daddy had just got home and had been immediately instructed by both boys, aged three and four, to lie down on his back so that they could check his dilation.

From his awkward position, legs up near his shoulders, my husband was glaring at me, I was six months pregnant and stood in the doorway trying to stifle tears of mirth. As the four year old pulled on some rubber gloves and the three year old hooked daddy up to the blood pressure monitor from his Fisher Price Doctor’s Kit, I stroked my bump and enjoyed the hilarity of the scene playing out in front of me. Some hours later, once the shock of the fast and furious birth of Blue Teddy had worn off and the boys were tucked up in bed, my husband finally got to ask the question; “So what in the world did you three do today?” We’d been watching birth videos on YouTube. For the boys and I it had become our favourite quiet time activity, two cups of milk, a glass of elderflower cordial, a big bean bag and we were good to go for the afternoon. We’d watched hospital births, caesarean sections, home births, water births, births in a forest, births on boats, births in a pool of dolphins…and my boys were birth crazy. We read books, drew pictures, chatted to the midwife and they were BIG on the roleplay. This, for my husband, was the sticking point. Getting off the 5.28 train and straight into a crash section situation, with a four year old anaesthetist and a three year old brandishing an (albeit cardboard) scalpel, was not his idea of a great end to the day. Imagine his relief when our MamAmor doll arrived, he practically wrestled the package from the postman.

Over the coming months, as we prepared for the arrival of baby sister, our doll was an ever present companion. Chaperoning the boys through every possible birth situation their fantastical minds could think of.  Of course, since the arrival of baby Theodora our house is less birth focused and the boys’ interest has moved on too. These days our MamAmor doll is busy racking up a list of places she has breastfed, without a cover of course, she is quite the lactivist, as are the boys.

 

Top Ten Places our MamAmor doll has given birth (so daddy didn’t have to).

  1. At playschool, in front of a rapt audience of fellow pre-schoolers and a slightly flustered preschool teacher.
  2. At the beach, sand was a problem.
  3. In the coffee shop at the supermarket. Daddy was really grateful this one wasn’t him.
  4. In the woods.
  5. On the car bonnet, I had explained that should a car birth be on the cards, I would probably prefer to stay inside the car, rather than centre stage on the bonnet, but the boys thought it was a possibility worth exploring.
  6. On a slide.
  7. Under the sofa, apparently cats do it, so people should too.
  8. At the midwife’s clinic, a bit of a pedestrian location by our standards, but she had asked for a demo.
  9. In the bath, I managed to get there before the taps were turned on, but it was a close call.
  10. At the family day at daddy’s work. I didn’t tell his colleagues about his previous starring role in the birth-re-enactment scenarios, but boy, was it tempting.

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