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Father of two (born 1990s), from South-East England

My wife was overdue and it was decided that she should be induced. Even then, the labour lasted 30 hours and ended in an emergency Caesarean. Neither of us slept during the time she was trying to give birth and I have only a hazy memory of being in the theatre whilst our son was delivered. I couldn't see the section itself as the operation area was screened off from the parents. He was passed to me almost immediately to hold, and I'm sorry to say I felt no bond then. Even though I was warned to expect that it was still disappointing, though it has changed as he has grown and we are now very close.

During the wait my wife developed a temperature and our baby was placed in the Special Care Baby Unit for a couple of days. This looked ridiculous, as he was three times the size of any of the other babies in there and obviously healthy. Even after leaving there he and his mother were kept in for observation for two weeks, which was a trying time as we live more than twenty miles from the hospital and I was travelling there after work every day, saving my parental leave for when they came home. He never showed any ill effects and we brought him home even though we were advised that he should stay in for another week.

After this experience our daughter was born by elective Caesarean. It was a lot quicker and there were no complications, though it did feel a bit automated. I was not expecting an immediate bond and so was not disappointed this time. Again, we have grown close over time.