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Father of one (born 2000s), from Scotland

Before the birth I was very nervous that I would just be an idiot standing around with nothing to do and that I would not be any help to my wife. I had visions of holding her hand while she sqeezed and huffed and puffed and me saying banal things like "you're doing well dear". In actual fact the whole birth turned out to be an amazing experience and one of the best experiences in my whole life.

I talked to the midwife for a lot of the time asking questions about other people's births and other patients, about herself etc. My wife later told me that this was actually really good because it kept her calm when she was obviously in some pain and discomfort. In terms of masculinity I felt that being there for the birth was a pretty manly thing to do. Being at the pub or elsewhere would have seemed really lame, and in my estimation not at all 'manly'. Our child came out and we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl - a head emerged which was rather a comical sight really and as my wife tried to catch her breath for the final push I was by her side and really proud of her. A little boy emerged and Amy was so pleased and so was I - but the look on her face when she was able to hold the baby was priceless.

I chose not to cut the cord. To be honest I had never even heard of the tradition of dads cutting the cord and thought it was a pretty stupid tradition. Probably designed to give men the sense that they had actually done something and been useful. But I felt that I had been useful and that I would continue to be useful as a dad and so I didn't see the point of cutting the cord and left it to the midwife.