The Expectant Father

He is going to have a Baby !

His wife is in labour, she is bearing all the pains , the pricks, the pressure , smiling , crying , screaming through the pain ! It’s a long wait . He has hours to sit and think. The last 9 months flash in front of his eyes like a film in  slow motion .

He had just come back from a tour. She snuggled up to him and told him about the missed period. He remembers her radiant face and his slow proud smile . She fell asleep soon after, but he couldn’t. How long he sat in a dreamy state with a glass of wine to celebrate this life changing event !

Then followed the visits to the obstetrician , the tests , the joy of seeing the baby during the ultrasound. He loved her voracious appetite, her blooming figure, the ballooning abdomen, and the baby kicking. He spoke to the baby often and could swear that the little thing responded to his touch. And finally the day arrived when he was going to hold close and embrace his beautiful creation ! It didn’t make an iota of difference whether the little one was a boy or a girl. The little baby was his , His , HIS !

He sat there dreaming even as his heart wrung out in anguish over what his loved one was going through . They took her in then, and after what seemed like hours , but really wasn’t , they brought out this little pink bundle of joy . He looked at the baby with wonderous eyes . This was his creation , this beautiful , wonderful , adorable angel , his baby , his life . They brought out his wife a little later…..tired , hair dishevelled , but her eyes sparkling , a thousand unspoken emotions in her eyes.

They held each other close , and marvelled at this creation of theirs , happy , fulfilled and content.

This is the happy scenario witnessed the world over by thousands of obstetricians the world over . The scene depicted in movies and indeed seen with many ‘ in love ‘ couples.

But let us look at another scenario.

The wife tells him that she has missed her period . He starts yelling at her……How could you do this ( as though he is not responsible for it one bit ) . Why can’ t you be more responsible ( Hello ?????).  If you are so keen to get a baby, you manage it all ( What’s going on dude ? ). You think I am going to pay for all the ensuing expenditure….ask your dad to foot it all ( Aren’t you the provider ?).

And  the expectant father doesn’t accompany her to the doctor , complains about the unpleasant symptoms and doesn’t forego his conjugal rights. The day she was unwell with some minor ailment, do you think he sympathised ? He took her to the gynaec but also made it a point to say that this was the wife’s fault….doesn’t she know enough that she has to avoid xyz things during the pregnancy and not fall sick. As though a viral infection is her fault ! And where was he when she went into labour ? He stayed at home and sent her off with her in laws.  He did go much later. And on being told that a beautiful girl was born , all he did was to sit with a sullen face . No love, no smile , no look of gratefulness for all the pain she had borne. Nothing for the newborn little one.

Another scene commonly seen in Indian hospitals…. the pregnant woman is accompanied by a host of relatives …in laws and her own parents  brothers sisters. The poor father is lost somewhere in this crowd. He can’t hold his wife’s hand, cannot give her courage, cannot sympathise and cannot look into her eyes. He is relegated outside as this his first and he doesn’t understand anything ! When the baby is brought out it’s his mother and her mother who get to hold the baby first.. Till someone remembers the poor father and the baby is given to him ! Poor guy. No wonder he feels left out in the first few months when every woman who has ever borne a child becomes the  adviser .

And then there is this other guy , who sees his wife in pain , a whole lot of it. How can she bear it so , she who is like a delicate flower  ! And then they seek him out for his consent to operate on her. For her safety and the baby’s . How brave and strong she is ! She with her soft skin and intolerance to the slightest pain ! Will she be able to handle it ?  But….what is this ? She is being wheeled out and she is smiling ! Oh what a relief ! Now he can be excited about his beautiful daughter !

And the most horrifying nightmare , once in a lifetime of an obstetrician , a scene which gets carved out in indelible ink, a never to be forgotten scene, the haunting faces of all involved , the sudden untreatable emergency ! Where  the expectant father is told the most unexpected news ……that he is never going to set eyes on the person he loved to see first thing in the morning ! There is no little one in whom he would have sought the person he loved and whom he could have hated for taking away his beloved .








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2 Responses to The Expectant Father

  1. Shekhar PRABHU says:

    Perfect….this is exactly what we see during our medical practice all these years. Very well put MADHURANI. You have perfect command over language and hence it becomes so nice to read…… Very 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KS says:

    Madhu ji, I love this post. Only a sensitive doc can capture all of this! – Kols


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