“I’ve heard new fathers say, ‘I never knew such love was in me,’ but I always knew, I just didn’t know what to do with it. When I saw her I knew. I knew her and I knew what to do,” writes Russell Brand in a surprisingly intimate account of his daughter Mabel’s birth.
Sharing his story
The British comedian and activist welcomed his daughter Mabel with partner of several years, Laura Gallacher, in November, who he also wed in an intimate ceremony just last month.
Outspoken and frank at the best of times, the birth was a big moment for the self-confessed sex and drugs addict, and now he’s shared all the personal details about what it was like becoming a father for the first time in his newly released self-help book entitled Recovery: Freedom from our addictions.
The labour begins
Russell begins his intimate retelling of the birth with the moment his now wife whispered those four little words many expectant fathers will have heard in the middle of the night. At 3am on a Friday morning Laura woke to tell him, “I think it’s started…” and with that Mabel was on her way.
As Laura’s labour was just starting to increase with intensity, it all became very real and raw for the 42-year-old. “This is plainly about the body, about pain and muscle and groaning and blood and dilation…This is the path in essence, from unlife, to life,” he writes.
To the hospital and into the water
“Once in the birthing room, with its pool, which is a big bath, its rolling purple, pink and blue lighting and cavernous, intimate solitude, things start to improve. I now have a few jobs…”
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Conclusion to previous fatherhood book The Expectant Dad's Handbook: Pretty good, good to plug men in to what women go through (as much as you can with titchy scribbles words) but not so powerful as Birth Without Fear or Birth Without Violence – books that explain how the medical profession has masculinised child birth and removed it from the domain of women. . I suppose people will say before medical advancement women/infants died in labour more, much more and that's true. . A lot of the time I've noticed technical evolution is used as a pair of twinkly silicone ankle cuffs, to hobble debate. . Anyway a good book, credit to the author, it's personable and warm. . Birth Without Violence – a total classic of the genre and a philosophy for life, death. And a new book sent to me by the author Sophia Walker – THANK YOU . #parenting #trewlit #bookstagram
It’s a girl!
Meeting Mabel for the first time was a watery, magical experience for both new parents and anyone who has ever had a water birth will have experienced this particularly frozen in time moment.
“The baby looks like an effigy of a baby, a doll, a special effects baby, a model, the motion is provided only by the water. All is so quiet and still. Laura and I both reach down and she takes her. ‘It’s a girl…’ I watched the life flow in and in this moment when she came online, when her consciousness ignited, I felt new life enter me,” he writes.
Russell writes that it was this very moment when he realised that he knew he’d finally found what to do with the love he had saved up inside of him and it had been waiting for his little girl.
“I climbed into the pool. Laura talks to her daughter: ‘Hello. I’m your mummy. I’m your mummy and you’ve done so well.’ She doesn’t cry but we do. Not sobbing or weeping, tears run as if a newly acquired altitude is wringing them from our faces.”