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Father of two (born 2000s/2010s), from Germany

My first daughter was born in a busy night at our local hospital. I felt that I had a lot of responsibility for comforting my girlfriend because nurses and doctors only came to see us every so often. I had taken part in a preparatory course, but still felt insecure, excited and at some point at 2am just very, very tired. Still: We chatted - at least after the epidural had kicked in - and it was a remarkably hot night, a night we'd have spent in the past on our balcony, drinking wine, so it felt a bit like that. The final stages of labour were brief, intense and I was pretty much on autopilot soothing my girlfriend, I think she felt like she couldn't do it but I was very confident she'd be alright, the doctors were relaxed, too.

I was anxious when our daughter had finally been delivered, because she was deep purple and very quiet, not moving much. For a brief period I feared she'd been stillborn. This feeling sometimes haunts me to this day and I remember cuddling up on the floor after all regular medical processes had been conducted, frightened, tired, insecure and not quite sure what to expect next. We left the hospital four hours later and went home and this helped me immensely, in my own flat a child suddenly was far more real, she was living there now, with us.