Everyone knows that mother and baby are the stars of the childbirth show. But dad plays an essential supporting role. He often has the best vantage point to watch the whole wild story unfold. Four real dads weigh in on what it’s like from his perspective.
“As the dad, you’re such an add-on to the whole process—you feel that way throughout the pregnancy, and then labor is just the culmination of it. I definitely felt a little guilty. Here’s my wife, in miserable pain for 30 hours while I get the chance to take a nap and have a snack. ”
— Jason Platt Zolov, dad to Isaac
“When the doctor said it was time to push and everybody scrambled to come in, then I felt like I knew what to do. It reminded me of when I’d spot my buddies doing bench press at the gym. I got into my athletic stance over her and I was holding her leg, encouraging her: ‘Great job! You can do it!’”
— James Dopman, dad to Isabella and Sofia
“I saw the top of the baby’s head and I was freaking out because I thought it was the whole head, and it was so tiny, I thought there must be a problem. Then all at once, Kari pushed and the rest of the head came out, and I thought, ‘Now, that’s a head!’ It was big, like a softball. Then the doctor rotated the baby upwards and I saw my daughter’s face. It was wild. I kept thinking, ‘There she is. There she is.’”
— Jason Bennett, dad to Jorja
Cutting the cord
“Cutting the umbilical cord was like cutting a tough, two-dollar steak. It wasn’t easy to cut at all. I sort of wanted to take the scissors home with us as a souvenir, to document the first contact between me and the baby.”
— Jason Bennett
First seconds with baby
“Watching my wife meet the baby for the first time was a beautiful moment, even more than seeing the baby born. Merrie was so choked up, so in love, it hit me hard emotionally. All the time she’d spent with the baby inside her and now she was finally meeting her. It was seeing our family together that was most powerful for me.”
— Greg Koehlert, dad to Ede
Read more: 4 real moms on how childbirth really feels
Guy Freemantle says
What is a “non real” dad as opposed to the “real” dads in this contribution?