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My husband cut the umbilical cord when our boys were born – I think. To be honest, I was in a bit of a haze in the moments after each of our children arrived and I don't quite remember clearly how things went.
Still, I think I recall him with the doctor's scissors in his hand, and later him muttering something about it being surprisingly "tough" to get through.
Recently I came across a Reddit thread of dad's talking about their own experiences with the tradition of cutting the cord. Although not all those that replied had the chance to give it a try (and quite a few opted out), here's a look at what the men had to say...
lantheria: I cut my daughter's cord, as i was hoping to. i was surprised at how tough the thing was, actually. it was like there was a guitar string in the middle.
Wontoncookie: My daughter's cord was quite scary with all the blood.
just_run: I was given the option, but chose not to. I don't really see the appeal.
BlankPages: I did both and will do #3 on the way. It's very tribal. You feel very powerful – like none of this is official until you make it official. You feel like a god. You missed out, bro.
MisterWanderer: My son had a bit of breathing trouble due to long labor (just from being compressed and not coming out nothing serious) so all "we would like this to happen" stuff went out the window.That said I was not all that interested in cutting cord honestly.
boxofrain: It was like cutting a [expletive] bungee cord and I loved every second of it.
[deleted]: My father told me it's like cutting the inner tube of a bicycle tire. He was not far off. It was also the first of many awesome things that I've gotten to do with/because of my daughter.
hobbes9: With both kids I was given the opportunity. First was a c-section, second was a very quick natural birth. With the second, I remember my words exactly: "No, no way. Definitely not. No." I got some funny looks too, but I think it was more out of amusement from my reaction.
Vintagejosh: They offered, I cut, and it splattered pregnancy all over me.
fatbastard79: I cut the cord and it was pretty cool. Like cutting through thick wet rope.
LongUsername: We put it in our birth plan that the doctor was to cut the cord. I had no desire to do it, even though it's one of those "dad" things they say. I don't feel like I missed it at all.
It's interesting to me to read their replies, because not only had it never occurred to me that most whose children arrive via C-section wouldn't get the chance, I'm surprised by how many chose not to when given the opportunity. Not that I can really blame them, cutting an umbilical cord is not exactly something I'm itching to do, but I imagine if someone had asked me if I wanted to I would have just said yes out of a sense of obligation. I'm a bit of a pushover like that.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Ernest F
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.