If there was ever a warning about the virtues of choosing the father of your children wisely (among other lessons), it would be the story of the man who took his ex-fiancée to court while she was in labor. Let me explain…
According to the Newark Star-Ledger, an engaged couple from New Jersey conceived a child and then later called off the wedding. Apparently, the two were not on the best of terms and outside of “a little text here or there, ‘Are you alive?’” they were not really communicating. The soon-to-be father decided to take his ex-fiancée and the soon-to-be mother of his child to court to get an order that would force her to “inform him when she went into labor, and to grant him access to the baby at the hospital upon birth” and according to the Ledger, allow him access to the delivery room.
And if suing to gain entry into the delivery room doesn’t sound crazy enough, the woman’s attorney, Joanna Brick, shares with the Ledger the best part of this story:
“A court hearing was held the same day DeLuccia [the mother] went into labor and delivered a girl, Brick said, with the mother participating in oral arguments via telephone conference from the delivery room. “The intensity was at a 20,” Brick recalled.”
Let’s give it up for the Man of the Year everyone.
Thankfully, a judge gave this joker the legal boot-to-the-curb, ruling his “goal of wanting to be near the child since the first moment was “laudable” but his “unwanted” presence in the delivery room could put stress on DeLuccia and harm the fetus.” And according to the Ledger, this ruling also sets precedence, as it is the first case in the nation, which explicitly states that, “all patients — and pregnant women especially — enjoy strong privacy protections that let them decide who can be at their hospital bedside.”
To me this seems like a no-brainer. Sure, on the surface, it is very sweet that a man cared this much about seeing his own seed be brought into the world that he would go through the courts to make that happen. Truth is, men have a very long history of fighting and defying the long-held belief that men and women should be kept separate during the birthing process. And in the essay, How Did Men End Up in the Delivery Room?, writer Judith Walzer Leavitt notes how men joined the natural childbirth movement, childbirth educators, and the emerging women’s movement in order to force hospitals to give men access to delivery rooms. The results, Leavitt writes, also had a profound physiological effect on the entire laboring process, more specifically:
“In the 1970s hospitals and physicians gradually relented and permitted men to be in delivery rooms, where they were positioned at the head of the table and could encourage laboring women in their work. The men were happy to be there. One wrote, “While the doctor was holding our baby, the cord still attached to my wife, I felt tears rolling down my face. … The whole delivery was beautiful beyond words. Not pretty, but beautiful in the sense of a God-given natural beauty.” Couples shared the event, strengthening their bonds, and the men made a meaningful start to fatherhood.”
Of course the keyword there is “couple.” That is the rub. And in the instance, where admittedly the two of you are not on the best of terms, wouldn’t a more meaningful start to fatherhood be to relent a little bit? If not for her sake, but for concern over the safety of his seed during his or her difficult and dangerous arrival into this world?”
Childbirth is a laboriously extensive – and from what I hear, painful – process. And complications can and do sometimes arise. I know it’s hard to believe, considering women are built for it and basically do it all the time, but on average, 800 women worldwide die each day during this natural process. And despite being in one of the most medically advanced countries on the planet, about 11,300 newborns die within 24 hours of their birth annually, which is 50 percent more than all other industrialized countries combined.
I don’t know the extent of the relationship of these two, and quite frankly, it is irrelevant. I don’t even care if she is being the witchiest-witch of New Jersey to him. As the vessel of this life-form, her comfort and emotional well-being take precedence.
Fortunately, this court case didn’t land on the bench of a judge with different impressions. Could you imagine the added stress put upon a woman, who was being forced to hold hands with a guy, who might have: just cheated on her; just cheated on her with her best friend/sister/or even mother; left her; stole money from her; mentally abused her; beat her; sexually assaulted her; or quite frankly, a guy she just doesn’t like?
Not to mention how icky is it to learn that this whole court case was being played out while she was at the hospital in labor. At some point, you would hope that a lightbulb would have gone off in the head of this Father of Year that perhaps this is an issue not worth pursuing – at least this way. Talk about unnecessary stress. What kind of dude does that? Not a very nice one, I think. Good thing she didn’t marry him.