A behind the scenes account of giving birth.

Giving birth is a testing time, and an emotional roller coaster of a ride for all concerned. Fortunately, there is a plethora of blogs covering just about every aspect of pregnancy, labour and motherhood which can answer most questions on the subject. There are even blogs that vividly cover every possible approach to the conception, but that is a different type of website. But, despite this wealth of readily available information, there is one aspect of the process that is constantly overlooked. That is the role of the granddad.

While the average pregnancy is spread over nine months, poor granddad had all the stresses and strains condensed into the space of a single month, culminating in one very long and tiring day.


Here is the tale of one such day.

The mad dash.

What they never tell you about giving birth feature image

As soon as we got within one month of the due date an alcohol ban was imposed upon me due to my being on-call. Not that I am a midwife or doctor, but because Nanny and Granddad were assigned to babysitting duties. The plan was that once labour started, we would take care of granddaughter #1, leaving the parents to get on with the business of having grandchild #2.

And so it was, that after months of planning and waiting, we finally got the “I think I’m in labour” call, and we set off into the night, hoping that we arrived in Plymouth before the baby did.

Baby weight.

One common issue arising from pregnancy is that of baby weight, but I never realised how dramatic it could be. During this last month, I have have had several people comment about how much weight I seem to have lost, and Rachel is convinced that it is because I have not been drinking. It has been a tough few weeks, and I dare say that the people at Naked Wines have been worried about my lack of activity. But, fear not my trusty vintners. Last night, I cracked open a Rod Easthope Syrah in celebration, and normal service has been resumed. Cheers.

Pushing and panting.

Everyone knows that the arrival of a baby involves much pushing and panting, but as I soon discovered, you don’t realise how physical the process can be until it gets going.

“I want to go outside,” said granddaughter #1.
Why not, I thought. It’s a nice sunny day and it will get us out of Rachel’s way while she vacuums, tidies and dusts everything that is already clean in her daughter’s house.
“Push me, Granddad,” said #1 as she climbed into her peddle car. After a few laps of the garden and a brief visit to ‘the museum’ (her Wendy house) to view the dinosaurs and spiders, she tired of driving and decided it was time for some exercise.
“Can we have a running race, Granddad?” she said, taking her position at the bottom of the garden. It didn’t take many sprints back and forth to realise why some athletes (allegedly) need performance enhancing drugs. Never mind gas and air for the mother, it should be readily available for the babysitting granddad, too.

Tearing and stitches.

After tearing around the garden and trying to keep up with a toddler for the day I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t end up with a stitch. She might only be two-years-old and two-foot-high, but it is incredible how much energy you have to expend to keep a small child entertained.

Never again.

For anyone who has never had the experience, I can report that having grandchildren is a rewarding, yet arduous affair. Fortunately, when we visited a proud and exhausted new mum in hospital, she informed us that two pregnancies of continuous sickness and two babies with 37cm heads is also quite an ordeal, and that she will not be supplying us with any more grandchildren. Phew, thank goodness for that. I am not sure I have got the energy. Although, the boy is getting married next year, so I might have to go through it all again.

When a child is born.

For some strange reason, granddads don’t get inundated with flowers, cards of congratulations and questions about the baby, but just for the record, it was a girl, 8lb 11oz, and she is called Erin.


Granddad and granddaughter are both doing well.
 Baby icon noun_108166_cc

Baby by Saishraddha Malage from the Noun Project