It's Never OK for a Father to Miss the Birth of His Child


Nicolas SarkozyWould you ever forgive your husband for missing your child's birth, for any reason? That's the question I can't stop thinking about after reading about French President Nicolas Sarkozy. His wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy delivered the couple's baby daughter (more than two weeks late -- ugh) in a Paris maternity clinic Wednesday night. He visited his wife -- reportedly for only half an hour! -- a few hours before she gave birth, but then skipped out to go to a meeting, missing his only daughter's big debut.

Sarkozy has three sons from his two previous marriages; Bruni-Sarkozy has a 10-year-old son from a previous relationship. So they've both been down this childbirth road before. But still ...

Can you believe he wasn't there for the actual birth?

Yes, yes. I know he's a very important man, with very important things to do, and lots of people depending on him: Sarkozy had to rush off for eurozone crisis talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Frankfurt. And OK, he did come back a short while later, about three hours after the baby was born.

But there's no getting around that his wife had to go through the final stages of labor and delivery without him. And he'll never really get that rush of seeing his daughter being born. And his daughter will grow up knowing her dad didn't bother to stick around when she entered this world.

So maybe it's cool with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Maybe she thinks it's no big deal that her husband missed their daughter's birth. Maybe she puts the needs of the country he serves before her own. And if so, I say bully for her.

But me? I don't think I would ever have been able to totally forgive my husband had he missed the births of either of our children. And more important, I don't think he'd ever have been able to forgive himself.

Would you ever forgive your partner for missing the birth of your child?


Image vie World Economic Forum/Flickr

birth stories, delivery, fathers, labor, labor & delivery, pregnant celebrities


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hutch... hutchfam2007

I would never forgive my husband for missing the birth of our child, and he would never forgive himself unless there were extremely extenuating circumstances.

My best friend just had her third son a few months ago and her husband missed the birth by about a half hour because he didnt want to leave work early. I honestly cannot understand it but she was not upset by that at all, her feeling on the subject was that it didnt matter if he wasnt there for the birth as long as he is there in his sons life every day after that.

nonmember avatar Caroline

There are lots of men who miss their child's birth, and they have a great reason. They are active duty military. And while their wives & girlfriends would prefer that they attend the birth, they aren't going to hold a grudge.

jpfsmom jpfsmom

I had a friend go into labor a month early so unfortunately her missed it because he was out of town for work and of course it was a snow blizzard or some crazy thing kept him getting on the flight home. She understood and he felt horrible but they laugh about it. I imagine moms that have husbands in the military must have to deal with it.

TC00 TC00

People in the military don't always get that option. 

People who work offshore also don't always get that option, especially with the push for not inducing labor.  While I am wholeheartedly for not inducing labor if it's not medically necessary I would hope that they take other factors into consideration.

My son's father was in Iraq when he was born so he missed it, when I have my next child there is a darn good chance my boyfriend (will be husband by then) wont be there because of his job

LKRachel LKRachel

I think we should thank the wives of those in the military who sometimes don't have the option but to be ok w it. I know two families where the dad had to see their child over the Internet. Those families already make incredible sacrifices but that includes not getting things that we often take for granted.

Kritika Kritika

My best friend's MIL gave birth and afterwards asked her husband to bring her a cheeseburger. That's all she wanted was a cheeseburger. In the hospital elevator he ran into his Italian good ol' boys and instead of getting her the burger, or even telling her anything, he left with them and was gone all night "celebrating". This was before cell phones so she didn't have a clue till he showed up the next day. They're still "happily married" with 3 kids now so yeah I guess you can forgive and move on...

sweet... sweet.lil.mama

Only if he was In the military stationed overseas..

norwg... norwgnwood

There are situations where its ok for a man to miss his childs birth... Like he is out of town and the baby comes early or he is over seas because he is in the military. Heck there could be an accident on the highway and he just couldn't make it but to leave for a business meeting? OH HELL NO!

CoolR... CoolRelax

Fortunately my husband was back from Iraq when our girls were born, but he missed the majority of the pregnancy (my girlfriends are still mad that they had to deal with me all those months).  Sometimes you don't have a choice.  I can see it if the father is just bs'ing around and misses it.  But otherwise - get over it.  A father being present for the child's life is more important than him being present for the child's birth.

purpl... purpleducky

My spouse was there but it was like she wasn't. She slept through the whole thing. I didn't need her help or guidance so it was no big deal for me.

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