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15th Feb 2017

Dave Moore on his famous delivery room experience

Dave Moore

Being in the delivery room for the birth of each of my children was massively important to me.

I’m not really sure how much it meant to my wife, the stunning, amazing, beautiful mother of my fabulous children. She had other things on her mind; you know, like getting children to pass through hips that evolution has narrowed over the last few thousands of years.

But these delivery room stories aren’t about her. They’re about me. So, let’s start at the beginning.

2009 in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. A warm, jovial male nurse asks me for my autograph. I snigger. Hardly appropriate, mate. My missus is doubled over in massive agony here. Maybe later on. He asks again. Seriously, dude. Not now. Oh. Oh, no. Wait. He’s just asking whether I’ve signed the forms at the reception desk. He does not, I repeat, DOES NOT want my autograph. Ground, please open up and swallow me now.

No, wait. My mouth is moving. Oh, no. I’m trying to explain this massively embarrassing scenario I’ve found myself in instead of accepting the mortification and moving on. I decide to point out that my day job on the radio means that, occasionally, people ask me for my actual autograph. Ugh. Cringe. Why am I doing this?

Oh, God. There’s more. I utter a now infamous quote that my wife enjoys mentioning at every opportunity,

“You see, I’m slightly famous.”

Yes. Yes, I did. Did it get better once we got admitted and moved up to the birthing suite? Did it heck! A little background. When our first was born, I was still doing breakfast radio. This meant I got up at 4:25am every day. This day was no different. I ate a small breakfast at home. I had a cup of tea and some water during the show. We headed into the hospital at about 10am. By the time we got to the administering of the epidural, we were at about 1:30pm. I’d only eaten some Sultana Bran, like, nine hours previously.

The anesthetist asks me to help hold Tracy still, as it’s mildly important that the epidural’s needle goes into the correct part of the spine, apparently. I man up and sit on the front of the bed, holding Tracy’s arms firmly. As I do so, I start to realise I’m feeling weak. Maybe even a bit woozy. The more I concentrate, the more faint I feel. I ask the room to stop what they’re doing. Midwives, nurses and an anesthetist all do just that. I say I’m feeling faint. I attempt to explain (at length) about the hunger and lack of food. No one cares. Just me.

I’m ushered out of the delivery suite and sent to the shop downstairs for sustenance; sweet, sugary cola and some chocolate. Then, I wander back upstairs, where the epidural has been successfully administered even, miraculously, without my assistance. When Andrew Ben Moore did finally arrive, my wife needed some after-care, so I was told, rather unceremoniously, to strip off and give him some skin-to-skin time.

I had felt a weird mixture of emotions that day. UseFUL. UseLESS. Scared. Excited. But, at that moment, when this tiny, helpless human snuggled into me, I knew I was something more than that day’s complex mix of emotions.

I am Andrew’s Dad.

And Samuel’s Dad.

And Nina’s Dad.

And Anna’s Dad.

And I’m prouder of this than anything else in my entire life.

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