Today I celebrate my son’s fiftieth birthday. Of course like any mother every detail of that day is remembered as if it happened yesterday.
Fifty years ago father’s were not allowed in the delivery room or even in the labor room. Fathers were left in waiting room, every once in awhile someone would report on progress made toward delivery.
Mothers were left to strangers to help them through labor and delivery and if it was a busy day you spent most of that time alone. This was to be my second child so I knew what to expect. There was no Lamaze training and no family to support me during the twelve hours before my son made his appearance.
Of course the sex of my child was unknown til he arrived. My husband was told, by the doctor, it was a boy, 7 lb.12 oz. and 21 inches long. It was only after we were cleaned up and left delivery room on our way to our room (4 to a room), that he was able to see his newborn son.
I was settled in my room with three other mothers and our children were separated from us, taken to the nursery. Us mothers got our babies for feedings and there were no visitors allowed during that time, not even the fathers. We were not allowed out of bed while we had our babies with us.
My hospital stay was three days, leaving on the fourth day after admission. The nurse brought my son into the room and she is the one who dressed him to go home, he was placed in my arms (I was in wheelchair), for the ride home.
No baby car seats at that time. He rode in my arms in front seat.
Today, Dads are involved from the very beginning, starting with Lamaze classes. Ultra sounds will tell you sex of baby if you choose to know. I personally like the surprise of what you will have.
Labor is still labor, however, having the father sharing this event is certainly the better way, as I know with the birth of my third son.
Today, Dads are not only are in delivery room but often assist and cut the umbilical cord. Dads often are the first parent to hold the newborn.
Private rooms with baby, both parents get to share in meeting baby’s needs such as feeding and diaper changing . A whole lot of bonding which is a good thing.
Times have changed dramatically in fifty years.
Happy Birthday son.