'When Donna's waters broke I went white'
Publican Darren Tormey (33), who owns Flowerhill Lodge in Navan, refused to be present at the birth of his sons Evan (3) and Harry (2) -- here he explains why.
"The delivery room is no place for a man -- and if most new dads were given the choice, secretly I think they'd agree with me.
"When my wife Donna was expecting our first son Evan, we discussed whether or not I should be there for the birth. But I can't handle blood at all, so I knew I'd stay away -- and she was fine with that.
"Even when Donna's waters broke, I went white as a sheet and she immediately told the midwife: 'Get him out of here!' As Evan was coming into the world, I was sitting in the hospital lobby doing a crossword.
"After everything was cleaned up, I went into see my wife and new son -- and it was a very emotional moment.
"When it came to Harry, there wasn't even a debate about whether I'd be present -- I waited outside until the job was done.
"Naturally, I take a lot of flak about refusing to be there for the birth of my sons -- especially from women. And in other ways, I'm a very modern dad -- for instance, I stay at home minding the boys before the pub opens in the evenings. But I'm not trying to be anybody's hero; our dads weren't there for our births, and it never did us any harm.
"As a publican, we get a lot of new dads in celebrating -- and a lot of lads admit they went in against their will and regret it.
"I tip my hat to the men who go into the delivery room -- but childbirth is not something that I want to witness. And if we ever have another child, you'll find me in the waiting room!"