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Mother of four (born 1990s/2000s), from South-East England

I had my first two in hospital and my husband was there throughout, supporting me through the long first labour and the much shorter second labour (I was only in hospital about an hour before the baby was born). He didn't cut the cord or anything, he was much happier at my head end. Then I decided that I would prefer to have my next child at home and whilst he would never have told me what to do, he was not happy about this - he is a doctor and was very anxious that he would be expected to take on the role of a doctor rather than a nervous father. So we were very careful not to tell the midwife when she came to the birth at home of my third child that he was a doctor and everything went very well. Again, he stayed at my head end and wasn't keen to become involved in the birth at all on a practical level and he admitted afterwards that it was lovely to all be at home after the birth as a family. Fourth time around, I also had the baby at home, this time he couldn't pretend not to be medical as the midwife knew him. But she was extremely experienced and didn't ask anything medical of him (why should she, this is her specialism!) and the birth was extremely straightforward and lovely.

I don't think that I fully appreciated quite how terrifying my husband found each of the experiences of my labour. He didn't say anything (he wouldn't - he never tells me anything!) and I, normally very sensitive to other people's feelings, didn't responds perhaps like I should have. I think pregnancy makes you rather self-centred and focused on what is good for you.