On Being Happy But Anxious 16

It is 3.42am in London and I have just left Nadira in the Labour Ward of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The midwife estimated that baby will make an appearance in between two.and eight hours. I am not allowed to stay with Nadira, which seems peculiar, but they will call me back if anything seems imminent. Otherwise I can return at ward visiting hours at ten.

Things started over 24 hours ago, so I had very little sleep last night. I now don’t want to go to sleep unless they call and I don’t wake.

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16 thoughts on “On Being Happy But Anxious

  • Evan

    Best of luck Craig. My wife gave birth to our first child, a boy, two weeks ago. I sympathise with you having to wait it out!

    Hope it all goes well.

    Kind regards,


  • grumpy Old Man

    Craig. I camped on the doorstep of the Labour Ward. for the birth of our 2nd, 3rd and 4th children after being denied participation in the birth of our first. Did you talk over with Nadira as to whether or not she wanted you there? The mother’s wishes are generally paramount in these cases and if she makes enough fuss, you’ll be there for the magic moment. I am convinced that cuddling the new-born child moments after the birth while the midwife is dealing with Mum creates a close bond between father and child. Be firm with the staff. It’s your wife and child, not the Hospitals. Praying for you and your family.

  • Geoff

    My wife gave birth to our first (and so far, only) child last year. I was in the delivery room for the entire duration and none of the staff even hinted that I should leave her side or made me feel in the slightest bit unwelcome.

    I think it’s a bit off that they want to deny you being there – for the sake of both you and Nadira.

    Well, even if going on honeymoon doesn’t affect your blogging, I’m sure having a newborn around will!

    Best wishes to all three of you.

  • anticant

    Unless there are serious cross-infection risks, they have no business to exclude you. Doctors and hospitals are all very well, but it needs making continually clear to them that THEY exist for YOU and not vice-versa – it’s your body, your health, and your life. You should complain to a senior consultant, and if necessary to the hospital manager.

  • JimmyGiro

    I hope all goes well.

    On this occasion the hospital is right; mothers need to be alone when giving birth, so that their natural hormones can flow without distraction.

    Imagine being constipated, and in public gaze, compared to alone in your own private world.

  • Anonymous


    take the opportunity to get some shut eye, it’s the last chance you’ll get for months.

  • Geoff

    JimmyGiro – That’s a view I don’t think I’ve ever heard before.

    I don’t know where you get the idea that a mother is ever alone when giving birth, at least in a hospital environment

    I don’t claim to speak for everyone by any stretch, but I know my wife wanted me there. She found it comforting to have someone who was ‘with’ her rather than just a sea of strange, clinical staff who are essentially just ‘attending’ to her, no matter how pleasant and friendly they try to be.

  • dreoilin

    The hospital where I gave birth changed policy between birth No 1 and birth No 2. Having my husband there for birth No 2 made the whole experience so much better. It should be entirely up to Craig — unless Nadira has expressed otherwise to the staff. After all, with all the people around, it’s like giving birth in a blooming train station. Thankfully the pain knocks the embarrassment out of your head (!)

    I hope all goes smoothly, Craig, and you’ll be at the champagne shortly, proud as punch.

  • Stevie

    As soon as it appeared that the birth of my son was imminent I was allowed to remain by my partners side in a delivery room right up to and beyond his birth. However, up until then I could only be with her during visiting hours as she was sharing a small room with a few other expectant mothers. It was also hard to leave them both behind later that evening, although to make the most of it I went home and listened to some good music, got my head down early and was back at the hospital for visiting the next morning.

    Moments after his birth, the midwife asked me if I wanted skin contact with my son. This was such an amazing experience as I took off my shirt and had held this beautiful, perfect little person against my bear chest…

    The NHS is in a truely awful state, but there are still many, many wonderful people who work in it.

    …good luck to the three of you

    Stevie xxx

  • Tony Woolf

    I’m amazed at your experience. This battle was fought and, I thought, won, back in the 1960s. Certainly I had no problem staying with my wife in the early 1970s. Best wishes anyway.

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