A father tells of his helplessness in the face of his wife’s suffering. And a birth that ended in chaos. Logged by Anja Reumüssel

I collapsed in the bathroom. Tears ran down my face. I felt helpless, delivered. It wasn’t even me who was writhing in pain on the bed next door. But I suffered with my wife and could not help her. I could run after doctors and midwives, ask for help, ask for medication. But I couldn’t take my wife’s pain away. I could only hold her hand.

When I collapsed in the bathroom, we had already been in the delivery room for ten hours. It would take another five hours before it was all over.