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“Was your father at your birth?” by Julie Clarke

Many men currently expecting their first child when asked, “Was your father at your birth?” reply emphatically “No!”, and for the rare one who says “Yes!” they usually haven’t had much of a description from their father as to what occurred – you could say for previous generations it’s all a bit of a blank… maybe he was at work, or at the bar, or out in the waiting room, not allowed into the birth room… perhaps he was in the room but ordered to stand at the head end! How ridiculous! It’s important to know everything has changed… for the better…

Dads involved in receiving their baby at birth - Transition into Parenthood Courses - Sydney

Dads involved in receiving their baby at birth – Transition into Parenthood Courses – Sydney

Was your father at your birth?

Most grown men these days have been taught by their fathers how to mow the lawn, how to change a tire on the car, how to BBQ steak and sausages, but can’t confidently turn to their Dad and ask expectantly,
“Dad. How do you support a woman during labor?”
It’s a question that might possibly turn up a blank.

However, for the next generation of fathers, the birth experience will be completely different.

The vast majority of dads-to-be will be able to say

“Ah well you’re asking me something that takes me back to one of the most incredible days of your mum’s and my life…on the day you were born and, by the way, because you were our first, it was a bit of a long day and night actually, we spent hours in the shower with me rubbing your mum’s back for comfort, and then she decided to rest her legs as they were getting tired, so she laid in the bath under the midwife’s instruction and then next thing she pushed you out in the bath, it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen in my life, truly it was like witnessing a miracle!

“…And then all of a sudden I remembered from our birth classes that if I wanted to receive the baby, and be the first person to hold you, to mention it to the midwife, which I did, and so she guided me easily into how to receive you. It was amazing I have never felt anything so soft and vulnerable in my life!
I’ll never forget it, I looked up at your mum and she had tears in her beautiful eyes, and she was crying and I passed you up to her arms and she held you gently and quietly talked to you and cuddled you for a long time. Son, I hope you have an experience as wonderful as that when you meet your first child for the first time. It’s a memory your mother and I cherish together, and always will.”

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