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Christian, France

"This was our third baby. For our first I was totally unprepared and out of my depth. I just remember not knowing what the hell to do. We also had a doctor who was quite abrupt with Pia and hardly noticed I was there, so that made us both lose our confidence. Our second baby was born by planned cesarean for medical reasons. I wasn’t allowed to be there and that had been really tough. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so powerless as watching Pia being taken into the operating theatre. So this was going to be our last baby, and after six years already of being a father, and being a bit older and a lot wiser, I wanted to really be a part of this birth. I wasn't tense about it like I was for the first two.

In the end, Pia had to have a cesarean. After about 16 hours of labour, it turned out that our daughter’s head was positioned in a way that made it impossible to be born naturally. It’s really unusual, but it happens. Unlike the previous cesarean, I was allowed to stay with Pia. It was a crazy and incredible experience. Luckily I’m not squeamish. It sounds like a negative story, but it really isn’t. For all those hours that Pia was in labour I felt like we were a real team and I felt so connected to it all and surreally calm. The staff were fantastic and did everything they could to avoid it being a cesarean. They checked in with us every time there was any kind of decision to be made, and they were really kind and respectful of Pia and of me. I feel like actually we were really lucky."

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