The fourth father

Four fathers I met at the maternity ward. When our daughter was born.

The first father was a very nice guy. His wife had some complications, during delivery, and she had to spend the first four nights in intensive care. So there he was, this poor guy, with his new born baby, walking alone around the corridors — day and night. He did not eat, nor sleep for four days. Still, the man was heroically taking care of the baby without a word of complain. We talked quite a lot (well, for being in Sweden!) during those sleepless nights. My little girl kept us awake a lot — in the beginning. So, I had my share of night walks. The poor guy was so tired: his mother came finally to help after few days, and he went home to get some hours of sleep. The man drove one hour and half to reach home, and once there he realized that he had forgotten the keys at the hospital. So, he forced the door of his own garage, and slept there, on the concrete floor, with no heating. A real hero. I got his business card, and still I did not have time (four months later) to write him. Kinda Swedish attitude: yes, yes, I will call/write you, and then you just don’t. Ok, I promise, I will write tonight. Just that he probably did not really expect me to contact him back. Kinda Swedish attitude: write/call me! And you hope the other will never do.


The first father was a good guy.

Religion is like a penis

The second father was Jesus. Or at least this is how me and Bella renamed him. Jesus was walking up and down the corridors with his twins: a boy and a girl. Nothing wrong with that: however, he was wearing some black t-shirt, with a big white cross on the back, and some gospel quotes on the front. Jesus had also a big golden cross hanging around his neck. The funny fact is that the cross was not resting peacefully on his chest, but rather it was jumping up and down, in a perpetual erection. They say that religion is like a penis: it is ok to have one, but do not flash it on the face of people — and don’t use it to take important decisions. Jesus was walking around with his penis out. He asked me when we were going to baptize our girl, and stared at me in disbelief once I answered that no, our little daughter would have lived with her original sin. Jesus told me the story of his conversion: it happened somewhere in Africa, and god knows what he was doing there. His wife was always silent: I adopted the same tactic. He kept talking about the joy of god, and I kept staring at his erected penis hanging around his neck. In silence.


The second father was Jesus.

No baby seat, as you can imagine

The third father was not there. The poor girl delivered alone, and alone was set to stay in the room in front of ours. She had almost no teeth, and I could not say if her age was 20 or 40. Her skin has stains and marks, her hair were long and messy. I did not see anyone visiting her, not the day she delivered, neither the day after. In less that 24 hours, she was outside waiting for someone to pick her up. The baby in one arm, a plastic bag in the other hand. She was wearing no shoes, but some teared plastic sandals: definitively not what you want to have on your feet during Swedish winter. A man arrived after some two or three hours, driving some old car. The woman and the baby went away with him. No baby seat, in the car, as you can imagine.

Fabio Giannelli Gypsy mother with child

The third father was not there.

The fourth father

The fourth father. I saw him in the mirror. He had a smile on his face, and a sweet baby girl in his arms. The fourth father saw his girl, for the first time, at 11.16 in the morning. She had long dark hair, and a funny cute wrinkle was defining the border between her little nose and the forehead. For some silly reason, the fourth father looked first of all at her feet. Then at her big, big eyes. He thought a lot, on what he would have told her — once they would have finally met. When it came the time, he just smiled, and told her “Ciao. Ciao, amore.” The fourth father had his little girl for three hours laying on his chest, while mum was recovering. He sang for his baby, all the three hours. And kissed her. And smiled, smiled a lot.

The fourth father

The fourth father was smiling. Smiling a lot.

2 responses to “The fourth father

  1. Can I tell you about the fifth father ? He was thrilled at the perspective to become a father and he thought he had 9 month to transform the house into a home for his child and its mother… But after six month came the verdict, the placenta was overlapping the uterus and it might cause some problem. The mother to be had to take it easy… 6 days later, she woke him up in the middle of the night, she was having an hemmorragy. When she turned the light on and saw the blood in their bed, she started crying. So the father smiled, reassured her and took her to the hospital, he had courage for two and never showed how scared he was. After 9 hours durnig which the doctors hesitated to deliver the baby, even though he was only due 3 month later, he finally was told that it was not for today. For two weeks, the courageous father did work, work at the house to make it “readier” than it was then, and visit the mother who was forced to stay at the hospital, forbidden to leave her bed for ANY reason. After two weeks, she was allowed to come back home, but she still couldn’t walk, take the car or do anything, because it could trigger another hemorragy. So the father-to-be still had to juggle between the work, the house and the mother, he had to cook, to iron, to paint, to work and prepare himself for his strong boy that grew bigger and enhanced his chance to survival everyday… The days turned into weeks, some were goods and others more difficult. There were other hemorragies, but none were as bad as the first so they could stay at home. They finally reached the 35th week and the doctor said that he would perform the C-Section two weeks later, as the baby would have reached the maturity zone and to deliver also the mother who started to have health issues after 2.5 month laying. He had two weeks to finish the sleeping room, to finish all the work in progress, it was short bu he was confident he could make it.
    Then, the next night, he was woken up by the mother… She had another hemorragy, a bad one, it started one hour ago and was getting worse. She asked him to go to the hospital, and so they were. Once again, he tried to not show his stress, told he was confident they could hold two more weeks, as they had already gone so far. But after the doctor’s examination, it was confirmed that it was the day he would become a father… ALmost one month earlier than he first expected.
    There was a small complication during the C-section : the placenta was located where the doctors had to cut and this resultat in a massive loss of blood, but they got the baby out rapidly to be able to take care of the mother. As soon as the boy was out he shouted vigorously and was brought near his father. The nurse tried to take care of the baby, but he had trouble to breathe, liquid remained in his lungs and he was able to make it go out.
    The doctors had to help the baby breathe and so he was taken to the neo-pediatric aisle, while the mother was patched up and started to recover from the operation. She asked him to not leave the baby alone. So the father had to be strong again, and he left the woman he loved alone to watch over the little baby she just gave him. He was torned appart. After 2 hours, when he was sure that the baby was asleep under his red warm light, he could finally visit the mother. The nurse drove her bed to meet the boy 5 hours after he was born and it was the first moment they spend all 3 together, amongst the beeps of the neo-pediatric aisle and the other babies too young to be born.
    They where in the maternity, without the baby, and the father had to divide his time between his son and his woman… The next day, the baby was breathing correctly and had had no problems for 24 hours so the nurses allowed him to bring the baby back to their maternity room.
    So there was the fifth father, with his tiny son asleep in his rolling bed, bringing him to his mother’s room, smiling and happy that in the end, every one was safe and sound. The house was not ready at all, but, after all, who cared ?

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