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See the news Tulip Siddiq: ‘I needed a caesarean – instead I was at parliament’ | Life and style from Source Digital Trends on 12/02/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.

Tulip Siddiq: ‘I needed a caesarean – instead I was at parliament’ | Life and style

When the Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq found out she was pregnant with her second child, which must have been roughly nine months and three weeks ago, “I said to Chris, my husband: ‘Thank God it’s [due at] the end of January – that means I can vote.’” She is sitting in the living room of her new home in Kilburn, north-west London. It is homely, because there’s a baby in it, but she and Chris have just moved in, and their only furniture is the gigantic plastic toy kitchen belonging to their two-year-old daughter, Azalea. Chris, she says “told me off, said that shouldn’t be the first thing on my mind. But …” I’m expecting her to say something a bit more predictable, about how obviously the baby comes first. Not so much … “My constituency is 75% remain. I don’t know who the other 25% are because I’ve never met them in my life. I have 22,000 EU nationals in my constituency; every single midwife and doctor I had at the Royal Free hospital, where I had this baby, was European. I can be doing a downward dog in a pilates class, and someone will ask me about their settled status. It’s a really important vote for me.”FacebookTwitterPinterest Heavily pregnant Tulip Siddiq (bottom right) attends Parliament to vote in the Brexit debate on 15th January. Photograph: HO/AFP/Getty Images As the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. The vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal was to take place on Tuesday 15 January. Due to gestational diabetes, Siddiq was advised to have a caesarean section at 37 weeks – on the same day. Denied a proxy vote, she had two options: she could have been “nodded through” – a weird process in which two Labour whips and one Tory look at you, exchange glances with one another in mutual assurance that you are alive and of sound mind, and then you go home – but she still would have had to turn up at parliament. She could have “paired” with an MP from an opposite party whose vote would have counteracted her own, but she discussed that in a cross-party new-mum-MP WhatsApp group. The Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson had her pairing betrayed by Conservative MP Brandon Lewis while she was on maternity leave in July. “Jo just said: ‘I really wouldn’t trust them. You don’t understand how I felt, breastfeeding my newborn and seeing the pairing had been broken.’” The only way to guarantee her vote would be recorded was to be there in person. So she delayed her surgery.Seeing Siddiq arrive in a wheelchair caused public outrage – a reminder of how archaic our parliamentary system is that it wouldn’t allow a woman who had been scheduled to have a baby a proxy vote. “Why,” Siddiq asks, “do we expect women to change to suit arcane institutions? Why can’t institutions change?” The scene of her being wheeled into parliament by her husband, then taken into the lobby by Labour MP Clive Lewis (“He’s an army man, he was shooing everyone out of the way”) brought something human to the house – and not just from her own party. Tory MPs David Davis and Nicholas Soames offered solidarity – they expressed great regret at her predicament, and said it wasn’t what they would wish for their own wives. Then came the prime minister. “She was about to lose the most important vote of her life, and she came over and said: ‘I’m really sorry you’re in this position; I regret we couldn’t offer you proxy voting.’ As much as I think she has made policy that has ruined some women’s lives, it was a very humane thing to do.”The next day, she was granted a proxy vote, the first person in history to be allowed this. Not long after, a year-long trial to allow MPs proxy votes in the case of maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption was announced. Siddiq is stoic, and describes her medical interactions in a doughty, mischievous spirit, where people advise her to rest and there are just 17 things she has to do first. But haring into Westminster the day before a C-section was, plainly, very stressful. “You can’t eat for a certain amount of time, they clean your stomach. I should really have been preparing for all that. Instead, what do I do? I’m sitting in a cab, to go to parliament and have this surreal experience.”FacebookTwitterPinterest Siddiq speaks at a Women Against Brexit rally in central London, 2018. Photograph: Wiktor Szymanowicz/REX/Shutterstock We have this conversation as her baby son, Raphael, lies on her, sleeping. The tableau brings out an intense protectiveness, not because he is so cute, or because she is 4ft 11in, but because he is three weeks old, and she is talking in this completely open, unguarded way and, never mind whether or not the concept of nappy brain is a misogynist conspiracy, it seems incredibly unfair to hold anyone to anything they say, three weeks after they have just had a child, let alone write it down. But she has a superb confidence, born, I think, partly because her constituency is in her bones. She has been a...

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