Gary Slevin, 51, is a midwife from London. He has five children, aged 19 to 33, and has been married three times. He says:
Since I qualified, I’ve delivered more than 2,000 babies. Some women are very surprised when they’re told I’m going to be their midwife — but they get over it pretty quickly when they realise I’m there to help them.
The Daily Mail recently ran this article on men doing ‘women’s work’ and it highlighted to me an area in my profession that I hadn’t really explored before.
How would you really feel if a male midwife was going to care for you during the birth of your baby? How would your partner feel? Would you ask to have a female midwife instead?
Why is it acceptable to have a male obstetrician or gynaecologist? Or do you prefer to see a female doctor?
A few weeks ago, I was looking after a woman having her third baby, she had 2 boys already and they were thrilled to be having a very much wanted girl. As a midwife and mother of 2 I often get asked the same questions from my colleagues and women ‘Are you going to have a third?’ or ‘Are you going to try for the boy?’
I’m used to it now, I’m getting pretty good with my response depending on my mood, I smile and say ‘Well yes my husband wants a boy but the likelihood is it will be another girl and we can’t just have another child to have a certain sex can we so um (now I’m bluffing) we’re undecided but I’ll let you know when we’re trying’ (that usually shuts them up). I also have the great excuse that we live in a tiny 2 bed cottage in London and I know a baby could sleep in a draw/washing basket where ever but I already feel guilty that my eldest has to share with her loud destructive little sister.
Both my husband and I are one of 3, we said all along we would love to have 3 that’s until we had 2 children and the reality hit us at bath and bed time, who would get the third child ready? With 2 there’s enough hands to manage it all (just), with 3 one child always gets left out, queue the phrase typical middle child syndrome, apologies to my sister.
So in my head I’m done, no more children I’m grateful for what we have, 2 beautiful healthy girls and yes a boy would be lovely or even another girl but why when I did my annual bank holiday Monday loft sort out was I overwhelmed with the vast amounts of baby stuff all organised in labelled bags? As I tried to rationalise giving it all to charity or selling it on EBay my empty uterus wept as I sniffed the tiny white baby grows remembering those precious first few weeks with my new born baby……………..
Yup so I’m
100% 97% 92% – I’m almost decided on no more babies (at least for today). Yes – I’m completely happy with what I have and so I should be. I’ll enjoy these two great small people I have in my life, until my uterus starts weeping again and the crying is too loud to ignore.