Is it ever OK to miss your baby's birth?

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2010 ( 62 moms have responded )

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2...

Former footballer John Barnes was commentating on a football match when he was informed his wife was having their baby. He decided to stay and watch the end of the match and then go to his wife.
John Barnes has been widely criticised for this decision.
The article above gives other examples of celebrities who have missed the birth of their kids.

I'm in 2 minds about this, my husband wasn't at the birth of our eldest, but he was there for my youngest.
With my eldest, he REALLY didn't want to be there, and I respected that (also realising that he would probably be more of a hinderence anyway! lol) when I got pregnant with our youngest though, I insisted that he be there (mainly because he kept joking about how "easy" it must have been, and I wanted to show him it wasn't!!!!)

Anyway, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world if the Dad doesn't want to be there, or if they end up missing it.

What do you think?

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Sharon - posted on 11/12/2010

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You guys are missing the point.

He wasnt' WATCHING a game. It was his JOB. His PAID FOR JOB as a football commentator.

[deleted account]

It's between him and his wife - SHE is the ONLY one who has a right to be upset. Plain and simple! End of story!

Mary - posted on 11/12/2010

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I think it's a highly personal decision between the mother and father...and no one else's opinion of that decision is relevant.

We all come at childbirth from varying cultural, social, religious, and personal backgrounds. What is important to me, and my childbirth experience is not necessarily of value or importance to another. While some of you may be aghast at the mere notion of your partner not wanting to witness the birth of his child, other women find the thought of him being anywhere near the room simply unbearable. As long as SOMEone is there to support her, and it is someone of her choosing, it really shouldn't matter to anyone else who that support person is.

Don't get me wrong, I wanted my husband there, and he very much wanted to be there. He was a bit worried about not being able to stomach it all. I told him he could do whatever he felt comfortable with...he could stand at the head of the bed and stare at the wall for all I cared...and if he need to hide in the bathroom, I'd be fine with that too. As it turned out, he geot so caught up in the moment that he was right there, watching as that beautiful little head emerged into this world, and his hand held hers as she lay on my belly, and cried out to the world that she had arrived.

I'm glad we were able to share in the wonder of her birth together, but I also know that had he not been there, it would have absolutely no impact on either our relationship, or the bond that they share. Simply being present at delivery does not a good father, or partner make. It's what they do long term that defines them as a father.

[deleted account]

I think it's great when the Dad is at ther birth, but sometimes it's NOT POSSIBLE! My cousin's husband is a surgeon and he was operating at the same hospital his wife was giving birth at. So what was he supposed to say - just hang in there with your hemorrhoidectomy, Mrs Jones, I have to dash down the corridor to see my wife giving birth? (And then she'll have her own hemorrhoids!)

April - posted on 11/13/2010

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it would send a bad message to me if my husband didn't want to be there.

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[deleted account]

I would not consider it ok at all, especially if we had planned for him to be there. Special circumstances would not be a good enough excuse as far as I'm concerned and I would be very resentful.

[deleted account]

Sarah yeah, I think they have to have been working there for 3 years or something though to get the full pay...on a bad note though my husbands been threatened with possibly redundancy with the cuts being made so not all good!

C. - posted on 11/14/2010

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Eh, I'm kind of on the fence about this.. My husband wasn't able to be there for the birth of our son b/c he had just gotten to his first duty station a little more than a month before and they refused to let him take paternity leave. Anyway.. I think if you have a choice to be there and choose NOT to be.. That's just plain CRAP. If you don't have a choice, you don't have a choice and nobody can blame you or resent you.

Nikki - posted on 11/14/2010

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I think it's a very personal thing. I would like my husband there during the pushing/delivery part because it's such a special time, I could have done without him throughout the rest of it though. He actually had the cheek to tell me his back was sore from holding the shower head and got angry when I yelled at him!! Well he has been politely informed that if he is to attend the next birth he will keep his mouth shut!! I don't think it's anyone's business but the wife's.

Sarah - posted on 11/13/2010

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@ Jennifer : and people slag off the NHS lol and yet they give people full pay for Paternity Leave, I think that's great!
You're lucky.

I could be wrong (I often am!) but I'm not sure Paternity Leave existed when my oldest was born well, not paid leave anyway.
It was with my youngest, but we couldn't afford for him to lose the money. He was actually there for my youngest though.

[deleted account]

Dana you actually took the words out my mout...

"It's between him and his wife - SHE is the ONLY one who has a right to be upset. Plain and simple! End of story!"

[deleted account]

Mary your hubby holding you daughters hand at her birth has made me cry damn it! That is beautiful...

[deleted account]

Chad had just finished school, was unemployed and looking for work when I went into labour. He was there for ALL of it, including the 3 months after she was born until he found a job.

Good thing? Bad thing? Hard to say! It had it's benefits but it was an extremely stressful time financially. I will say I was grateful to have him around though.

[deleted account]

On my first child he got two days off the day she arrived and the next day, which was a friday so he had the weekend then with us.

He got full pay and a bonus, as a gift for baby.:-)

[deleted account]

My husband's job didn't offer any kind of paternity leave or paternity pay. He took the day our son was born off (unpaid) and went back to work the next day. His was a full time, salaried management position. He actually ended up using a vacation day to cover the day our son was born.

[deleted account]

Sarah it depends who the father works for. My husband works for the NHS and was entitled to full pay for his paternity leave, but even if he had only recieved the statutory paternity pay he wouldn't have missed it in that instant either.

[deleted account]

Well said Dana.
Even though my partner had no choice in missing the c-section, i had one friend i had not seen in a while say "was himself there?" i said no, not for the c-section but he was there 15mins after it.The look on her face and she said "ah sorry,Well my fella he was there".I could of slapped her.I mean come on.I said to her "hey, i should of told the doc to hold on for him and hope for the best that my daughter was alive by the time he got there, just so he gets to see her being brought into the world".Which she felt was so important no matter what.lol
What a family goes through has nothing to do with anyone else is how i feel on this matter:-)as i have said in my last comment.

[deleted account]

Ok, me too Cathy lol I didn't read the article either. If she had already given birth then I suppose it's not too big of a deal. But you would think he would then be in a hurry to meet his new child.....

[deleted account]

I think that whoever the mother feels comfortable with having there, should be there if they are comfortable with it too. If Steve had been uncomfortable like Pete, I probably wouldn't have let him in just because he would have done more harm than good. I think it would be nice if dad's at least WANTED to be there. But I'd understand if they couldn't because they may pass out or something. My brother passed out when they gave my SIL her epidural so if it's like that then it's pointless to make them lol Now, not being there because of a football game? That's a smackable offense in my book lol Football game? Birth of baby. One weighs a LOT more than the other on my moral scale lol

Nichole - posted on 11/13/2010

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Ideally the father should be there. I was so worried with all my preterm labor issues & all the time my husband was taking off to make sure he was there for me, that he'd miss the birth. Thankfully he was there for it. He turned pale as a ghost and nearly fainted but even he's glad he was there.

[deleted account]

Okay. He was a COMMENTATOR, which means he could have had anyone who could see and read fill in for him. His presence in that studio was not crucial to the game. He was also asked if he wanted to go, which obviously means the studio was okay with him leaving. In my opinion, since he refused to go and there wasn't even anything stopping him, he's an asshole.

It's a completely different matter when you can't get a hold of the father or his workplace won't let him leave or he has no transportation. All of these things are possibilities with my husband. I will be pissed more at his idiot boss than at him if he can't make it to the birth of our daughter. It's his boss who'll need to worry about the possible detachment of his balls, should that ever happen.

I think the father should at least be in the same hospital. Not necessarily in the same room because, from what I've heard, a woman in labor is a scary thing. Not everyone can handle it. But I'm sure the mom will handle the dad pacing the hall much better than finding out he's off at some football game and figured he didn't want to leave.

My husband will be pissed if he misses our daughter's birth. She's our first and only child and he has said plenty of times there's no way he's not going to make it to see her. Thankfully the hospital where we're having her is pretty much across town from where he works and he can walk there if he needs to.

LaCi - posted on 11/13/2010

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I don't think it's a big deal. There are a lot of reasons people could miss it. Have to work out of town, military duties, whatever. If they have nothing going on and they just don't "feel like it" then that's pretty shitty. But whatever.

My boyfriend had to work, he took off for the csection. I was in the hospital for the next 3 days and he was there as soon as he got off work until he had to go to bed. I would have understood if he had been there less, but I appreciate that he did stay as much as he could. Had he not been able to take off work, I don't think it would have bothered me much. I wanted my mom back with me during the csection anyway, he was there for the aftermath.

Tracey - posted on 11/13/2010

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He was there to put the baby in, he should be there to get the baby out.
I'm sure whatever channel Mr Barnes was commentating for would have made loads of money selling clips of him flapping about his wife being in labour to TV outtake shows.

Tracey - posted on 11/13/2010

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He was there to put the baby in, he should be there to get the baby out.
I'm sure whatever channel Mr Barnes was commentating for would have made loads of money selling clips of him flapping about his wife being in labour to TV outtake shows.

Sarah - posted on 11/13/2010

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The thing with the 2 weeks Paternity Pay Jennifer, is that it's only about £120 a week. Many people just can't afford to lose the money, we certainly couldn't. My husband took a week off as Holiday instead.

Stifler's - posted on 11/12/2010

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I think it's something you have to discuss and plan ahead carefully for really with holidays and with the husband's boss and if you really want someone there you need a contingency plan for if your husband absolutely can't make it (like someone else coming with you). That's if you are both adamant that he is going to be there. My husband just told his boss months in advance that if I'm going into labour and he gets a call he's leaving.

Ez - posted on 11/12/2010

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I think it's a personal decision. Some women take strength from their partners. Others spend the whole time worrying about their reaction. As long as both parties are happy with the situation, I don't think it's an issue.

[deleted account]

For me I'd be devastated if my husband wasn't there for the birth of our child. I think he was truly selfish. My husband was really supportive when I was in labour with Logan and I wouldn't have had it any other way. If the mother of the child didn't want him there then fair enough. Luckily in the UK men get 2 weeks paternity leave so it doesn't matter if you go into labour when they're at work - unless they work away or something lol!

Kate CP - posted on 11/12/2010

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My hubby won't be allowed in the room this time around. He doesn't want to be there and honestly he was kinda useless last time. However, he'll be in the waiting room just outside. If his butt ain't at the hospital I will be UBER pissed.

Lacye - posted on 11/12/2010

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I don't really think it's a big deal. When I went into labor with my daughter, my sister called my bf at work and told him, and he asked me if I wanted him there. I told him the truth, I had the best care, it was going to take a while anyways because I was not dilating like I should have been, and all he was going to do was worry the piss out of me. LOL. He was at the hospital when I had her but he was not in the room, which I really couldn't blame him because I knew he would have fainted at the first sight of blood. I had my sisters in there, both have had children, and to me that was more comforting because they knew what I was going through.

Charlie - posted on 11/12/2010

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Thats right Emma , its only a recent occurance that men are getting more involved in pregnancy , births and even parenting !

Stifler's - posted on 11/12/2010

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Men always used to miss the birth of their children, they had to wait outside in the hallway/waiting room. If their wives are cool with this who cares. My husband came to all my scans with the first baby and for the entire labour and birth but this time we got back from holidays and he had to work the day I got my scan as he had no holidays left. It was no big deal. I'd want him there for the birth and I think he'd want to be there for this baby too though. If it's an emergency birth with the next one I wouldn't be pissed if he didn't make it, he works an hour away and has no phone service half the time and doesn't drive himself to work they have a bus and work vehicles.

Sharon - posted on 11/12/2010

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Well, by all means. Have your husband break his contract and be sued into the ground and wind up broke and bankrupt.

Is that likely? No, but why chance it? What I do know is that news casting, sports reporters & sport commentators are in the very public eye. His job isn't the kind of job you can jump up from your chair knocking things over in your haste to get your wife and keep your reputation. Even showing signs of being excited about your wife givng birth can hurt your career. The guys walk a delicate and fine line between being proud dads and uber geeks. Its hard for them to know where the line is drawn.

Being put on the spot by a joking co-host? who knows? I didn't hear the tone, but my husband had a co-workers who constantly teased him about me going into labor during a meeting. And I did, and he finished the meeting. I had driven over to pick him up after my OB said "You're in labor, can you drive to the hospital or should I get the ambulance?" I drove 45 min across town, waited 15 min for him and drove back and was my OB pissed off, lol. I KNEW if I had told her he wasn't at his usual store but across town, she wouldn't have allowed it.

After that, we both had reps. He had balls of steel, apparently, and I was superwoman. Kinda cool.

I expected certain things from my husband so I didn't marry a military man, a fireman or a policeman. I wanted a man who would be home every night 8. Marrying a footballer - whole 'nother world there. Hell, my husband loves sports but I am not a football widow. He considers our family more important than his golf game. I love that about him. But if I had married a golf pro (sorry nasty visions of tiger woods dancing in my head now, lol) I would have to weigh that someday he might have a major tournament on the line when I would need him.

I have no idea how big a guy that man is in the soccer commentators world. Maybe he's not well known and needs a good dedicated reputation? Maybe he's super huge and has to maintain a rep? I dunno.

But I'm willing to cut the man some slack.

[deleted account]

Sharon mentioned something interesting. It was his job. I think the only person that matters is his wife. Everyone else can criticize all they want but it's a pretty personal thing. Was his wife upset? Had they talked about it before hand? Did they decide that he would be there and he just chose not to leave?

It's not so cut and dry!

Charlie - posted on 11/12/2010

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Um my dad was at work when my mum gave birth to my sister he would have given anything to be there but he was 10 hours steaming out at sea he could hardly get back in time .

If he had a regular shore job he would have been carrying her into hospital.

Maria - posted on 11/12/2010

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Sharon, Just a thought but are there alot of employers out there who will not let a father leave work to be with a wife in labor? I think even on air he could have walked away there is usually more than one comentator at an event. What if he took ill, would he have to stay till the end of the game or could he get medical attention for himself?

Maria - posted on 11/12/2010

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The only exception to this rule is being overseas. Military families often cannot choose where they will be and when. Outside of that if both parents are in a relationship with each other and commited to raising their child they should both be at the birth.

Rosie - posted on 11/12/2010

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i don't care if its his job. if i'm in labor and my husband was a t work, he'd be clocking out, end of story. the only job that i would find to be unacceptable to miss the birth of his child would be military (far far away military). even if he was a surgeon with his hands on the presidents heart, he better fucking stop what he's doing, and come to me. with that last one, i'd give him a little time to find a replacement, lol!

Jessica - posted on 11/12/2010

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I can't imagine a dad wanting to miss the birth of his child, especially for a stupid football game! But, I guess that's up to the couple... and if mom doesn't mind, then I guess its ok. I know I'd be really upset if mine didn't want to be there, but thankfully he really does, so no worries there!

Jenn - posted on 11/12/2010

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Honestly? I sometimes wish Brian had NOT been there to watch the twins be born. He did change a little bit after, he even said once that now he "sees me as Mom and not a sex goddess any more". Don't get me wrong - we still get it on a lot hehehe!!!

Eliz - posted on 11/12/2010

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I think if they are working and unable to get away then its ok. Like all those men in the military whose babies are born while they are overseas. But if they have the ablility to be there and their wife wants them there then I think they should be there.

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2010

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My husband turned up once he knew I'd been rushed to another hospital, so he was in the hospital.

To be honest, I think if I'd put my foot down and said "You're gonna be there! Or else!" he would have come. But I knew he'd be a waste of space! LOL!

I actually wouldn't let him in to the delivery room for 2hrs after our daughter was born!!

Guess it's just what you're both comfortable with.

[deleted account]

EEK! I can't fathom why the father wouldn't at least want to be nearby? I definitely think it's a big deal for the father to be there -- at least the father of my children. There are very few reasons that would excuse Chad from being at OUR child's birth. Everyone else can do what they like, I suppose.

Chrystal - posted on 11/12/2010

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In my opinion, I think it's kind of selfish for a dad to not want to be there for the birth of their baby. They helped create it why wouldn't they want to be there? I understand it's not the cleanest thing in the world, and is kind of gross when you are giving birth, but that's not fair to just leave the mom there with no dad there. And I don't think I could ever explain to my child that your dad wasn't there for your birth b/c he didn't want to be.

Becky - posted on 11/12/2010

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I think it depends on the circumstances and on how the wife feels about it. Of course if he's deployed or working out of town and can't get away, well, what are you gonna do? There aren't many other excuses I personally would accept. Illness that prevented him from being allowed in the hospital would be another.
When I was pregnant with my first, my husband's grandfather died when I was 36 weeks pregnant. The funeral was in Ontario. It was a hard decision for him to make, but he ultimately decided not to go, even though at 36 weeks, the chances that he'd miss his child's birth were slim. As it turned out, I developed pre-eclampsia and had to be induced 2 days after the funeral, so had he gone, there's a good chance he could have missed the birth! (although I would have asked to just be monitored in the hospital until he got home, if possible.)
My husband was reluctant to be in the room for our oldest's birth. He hates hospitals and he swore, he'd be there, but he wasn't watching! Well, guess who had his head right down in there when Cole was coming out?? He said, "it's too cool not to watch!" I think he would actually regret missing the birth more than I would be upset that he wasn't there.
But ultimately, I think the husband should go with what his wife wants, if possible. If she really wants him to be there, then he should do everything in his power to do so.

Nikkole - posted on 11/12/2010

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If my husband wasnt there i would have killed him! He only got to be off for a day with my first son but with our daughter he got to take off for almost 3weeks which was awesome for me since i had a c section! But if he missed the birth i would be very upset!

[deleted account]

For me my second daughter had to be taken out so fast at 4.30 in the morning, by c-section.My partner didnt make the birth but had her until i was all fixed up.Dispite him not wanting to leave me for four days before i had her, take him to leave for bubs to decided to kick off, big time lol.



He has the rest of his life to make it up to her not seeing her being brought into the world but at least she was brought into the world alive and healthy.



I cant speak for all women but on my first child, my partner was my strength and i couldn't of done it without him.I could also finally breathe when i saw his face coming into the room holing my second daughter,he then had her for over an hour back on the ward.

If this mans wife didnt mind i mean its not the worse thing in the world.Life goes on and aslong as hes in the childs life for years to come, then what more can one ask for.Just missing one day in turn for years of being by his family and caring for them and watching his kids grow, is good right.

[deleted account]

My ex decided to leave me when I was 7 months pregnant, but he was still at the birth of our son. He WANTED to be there. I could understand if circumstances prevented a man from being at the birth of a child, but I never could've had a child w/ a man that wouldn't WANT to be there.

Jocelyn - posted on 11/12/2010

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If the dad is out of town on business, or there was a family emergency, then yes, it is ok to miss the birth. In this case, staying to watch the end of a football game, I'm sorry,but that is NOT an excuse. I would be beyond PISSED!

Sharon - posted on 11/12/2010

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The man was doing his job. You know? that thing that helps provide a secure future for his wife and offspring? People need to shut the fuck up. He was in the middle of a match (I guess?) and who was going to fill in? what happens to the money that was paid to him? if he left right then, could he have made it in time anyway?

What about all the military dads who couldn't be there? Care to rip them to shreds too?

My husband worked for Home Depot, uh yeah, I think they could find a replacement or do without him for a few hours.

Now if the husband were WATCHING a football match and chose to miss his childs' birth, I'd kick his ass.

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2010

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Yeah I think personal experiences/circumstances play a large part with this one! lol :)

Rosie - posted on 11/12/2010

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i don't think it makes you any less of a father, i think it's his responsibility. it's the least he could do when he helped create the child, he could support his wife through the delivery.
i think alot of this has to do with the fact that grants dad wasn't involved in ANY aspect of my pregnancy. labor, or my childs life. i may be a bit biased! :)

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2010

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Maybe it's because my husband wasn't there for my eldest that I'm quite nonchalant about it.
He doesn't feel like he "missed out" or anything. Once he heard all the gory details about the birth (which was AWFUL!) he was probably really relieved he wasn't there!! I was more than happy with my Mum and my best friend there.
I certainly don't think any any less of him for not being there.

It was nice to have him there for my youngest, which ended up in C-section, but if he had REALLY not wanted to be there again, I would have understood. I don't think that missing the birth or just not wanting to go makes you less of a good father, it's the bits that come afterwards that matters the most! IMO. :)

Amanda - posted on 11/12/2010

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My children's fathers were always there for the births of all 4 of my children!! The only exception is deployment or if they are no longer living. Other than that if they helped make the child they need to be there to welcome them into the world! I wasn't even with my exhusband when my youngest daughter was born, but he drove over an hr in the blizzard like snow to see her born, now THAT'S a real father! :) Just my opinion

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