by the Psychologist Eleonora Damiani
Bringing a life into the world is an extraordinary and exciting experience that should involve both members of the couple. This is not always possible, but where it is, it is important both for the child and for the parents that father and mother live the most salient moments of this journey together.
Choosing to have a child
Choosing to have a child means deciding to implement the riskiest and most overwhelming project that two people can face together: to create a human being.
Pregnancy is a path that begins with the shared desire to generate and culminates with the moment of birth. The couple consciously, or sometimes even unconsciously, chooses to bond for life, setting expectations not only for the child on the way but also for the partner. The partner or the partner become containers of compensatory hopes with respect to the shortcomings experienced in the family of origin, where each of the two is lived in the imagination of the other as the father or mother they would have liked to have.
It is important that men and women start from the positivity of the pregnancy test perceive themselves united in mutual differences facing disillusionment of the expectations they place on the other, before the child presents himself in the flesh with all the joy and fatigue that entails.
The relationship with grandparents
In some families the figure of grandparents it is still very preponderant, especially when we approach parenting. Convinced of the greater experience of the father and mother or of the father-in-law and mother-in-law, the new parents risk being divided inwardly between what they would feel like doing and what according to some elements of the family of origin should be done, as if there were written precepts.
There is no manual for parents. In mutual listening to oneself and to the other, the best way to make the family environment welcoming and comfortable is hidden.
It would be better than the father was always present to ultrasound scans as it is essential in the moment of delivery. It is not explainable in words how intense the hours of labor can be for the couple. If the baby’s father has the opportunity to be next to the mother, her pain seems to become his pain too, the impetuousness of the contractions seems to involve both of them. Each becomes a source of support and protection for the other when looking at each other they can remind each other that suffering is needed to see the outcome of their creative act. And when the baby comes out the emotion is so strong that woman and man in the following years will feel they are linked not so much by that boy or girl, as by the intense moments lived together to bring him into the world.
It is therefore important to that the couple remain united during all the salient moments of pregnancy and in particular during childbirth. Incredible as it may seem, together they are the protagonists of the most natural and at the same time most extraordinary act for a human being: giving life.