Don't worry, MicksGarage haven't diversified and become Ireland's 1 millionth lifestyle and fashion blog, but we do have some practical and timely motoring advice for parents to be.
We say timely because just last week a beautiful baby girl was born, just a stones throw from here, near Junction 4 on the M50 Motorway....and we do mean on the actual motorway! As we understand, Mum, baby and the team of Dublin Fire Services' paramedics who assisted are all doing fine but we're confident in saying, all parties concerned would agree it was a less than ideal scenario!
During pregnancy us chaps can sometimes feel like a bit of a spare part and in fairness there is only so much we can actually do outside of being supportive and getting involved. The girls do all the hard work - turns out growing a new person is pretty tough going, both mentally and physically. Myself and my partner have got two kids and have a third on the way and my advice, for what it's worth is based on nothing more than my own experience.
So with that in mind here's 6 things I think are worth knowing when your partner is pregnant:
1. Know your route to the hospital:
It goes without saying, if your partner is in labor the journey to hospital needs to go as quickly and as smoothly as possible! That doesn't mean driving fully lit, like Colin McCrae on a special stage, breaking red lights and arriving at the hospital with a perfectly executed handbrake turn in a plume of tyre smoke (more's the pity)
What it does mean is precisely the opposite - smooth, calm driving and plenty of planning. Embrace your inner boy scout or pretend you're Nicky Grist (he was was Colin McCrea's co driver) and break out the maps! You need to know the quickest route from wherever you are back to your partner and the quickest route from there to the hospital. If like myself you live outside a busy city and have to navigate your way in, there may be numerous routes available to you. Try out the different routes and see which is quickest. Some routes will be affected more than others at rush hour so bear that in mind too. Trips to antenatal classes and hospital scans are ideal times to test out your potential routes.
2. Know what's on
: Have a look at the local what's on guides for events that might be taking place on or around the due date. Again this may be more of an issue in built up areas (I suppose that's where hospitals tend to be) but if there are any major events taking place that necessitate road closures or abnormally heavy traffic such as marathons, music festivals or cycle races you want to be aware of them and know which roads may be closed or which areas on your route to avoid so you can adjust your route accordingly.
3. Know what's wrong with your car - Questions you should be asking yourself:
We're not saying you need to go out and spend a fortune getting your car into tip-top shape, just make sure all the basics are covered
4. Know how long you've got!
- Does it start every time on the button?
- Is it serviced?
- Are the oil and coolant topped up?
- Is there air in the tyres?
- Are the tyres in good condition?
- Do you have everything you need to change a puncture?
Ok as the lady on the M50 will testify, you never know exactly how long you've got to make it to the hospital but on average
, for a woman having her first baby, labor lasts 12-24 hours from her first contractions to delivery, so chances are you have more time than you think. BUT, and it's a big BUT, every pregnancy is different, so don't take that for granted! The point i'm trying to make here is that you don't need to go all Colin McCrea at the first sign of a contraction!
5. Know when to Celebrate!
As the due date approaches you're going to need to be on red alert, pretty much at all times.
So for a couple of weeks either side of the D Day you need to be in a cat-like state of readiness and fully able to drive. That means no mad nights out with your mates and no sneaky cans watching the match on the sofa. You'll have plenty of time to celebrate after the baby is born.....actually that's a lie, after the baby is born you'll have no time....ever...for anything! at least for the first few months anyway, but enjoy it, it's great!
6. Know where to go when you get to the hospital!
Ok that might sound daft but for all the scans and antenatal appointments you'll be going to a certain part of the hospital, that part of the hospital is rarely the part where the babies come out, that happens somewhere else! so find out where!!
If you're super keen on being prepared for all eventualities or just super paranoid about running out of time and having your baby on the side of the motorway here's some more in-depth reading material about when babies won't wait! 13 tips for delivery if your baby decides to make a quick entrance:
Lastly, and completely unrelated other than they're glaringly accurate and incredibly funny portrayals of life with children I wanted to include these cartoons by fowllanguagecomics.com