LAST Friday was the most extraordinary day of my 32 years on this Earth because it included the best moment of my life along with several of the worst.
Without going into too much detail, let’s just say it was a long labour. Thirty-nine hours passed between first contraction and last and at many points inbetween Jenny was in unbearable pain.
After witnessing childbirth for the first time I can only say it’s a good thing that men don’t have to do it.
The world’s population would plummet because so few males would volunteer to go through the trauma of labour, even though the survival of the species would depend on it.
The other thing I realised last week is that the NHS is quite simply the best thing about this country.
As a healthy man, I have very few chances to judge the merits of the country’s health service.
But I got a good long look at the NHS last week.
We were in Calderdale Hospital for 20 hours before Ciara emerged. In that time, seven midwives and five doctors helped Jenny through labour.
Their professionalism and compassion were extraordinary. In the moments when my exhausted mind turned negative, I comforted myself with the knowledge that the roomful of dedicated medical staff would strain every sinew to protect Jenny and our unborn daughter.
I am immensely proud that the first thing Ciara saw when she entered the world was a friendly female doctor wearing a uniform emblazoned with the letters “NHS”.
I am eternally grateful to her and all her colleagues for the work they did last Friday.
But, most of all, I’m proud of Jenny, who endured agony alone to bring joy to us both.