At 8AM the call came in and I sprang into action. I was Plan B. My friends Rob and Susi were having a baby. Plan A was “Dad assists in the delivery room”. But after several shaky childbirth classes, it was decided there should be a Plan B, also known as “Sixties Dad Plan”. That’s the plan where the woman does the work with trained professionals and the dad paces the waiting room, maybe nipping out for a quick Scotch and a smoke. If we went to Plan B, I was there to assist Dad. (What, you think I was going into the delivery room?!)
When I got the call, Dad had already watched the water break and run out of the room to vomit. Plan B, it was. It was time for a SuperHero to take over. That was Grandma Bunnie, who instantly whipped into a phone booth, changed into scrubs and emerged as Dr. Bunnie, M.D.
Next kink in the plan was that Susi was scheduled for a C-section and wheeled away on a gurney. That left Dad and me in the family waiting room, which was very homey and comforting. Until two women down in the Maternity Ward began giving birth, clearly without enough drugs. The screams made the waiting room take on the ambiance of Abu Graib.
Amazingly, C-sections don’t take that long, and, before we knew it, Dad’s new daughter was being wheeled in on a dessert trolley for his inspection.
The most wonderful thing about birth is, even if the father has to fall back to the B Team as “Sixties Dad”, there is still really important work he can do.