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Present Father! This New Dad Talks Over His Wife When Describing Their “Birth Story”

Topher Klein wants other fathers-to-be to know that just because they’re not the one giving birth doesn’t mean the birth story isn’t about them. Some deadbeat dads take a supportive, backseat role during childbirth. Not Topher. “The role of ‘father’ is not a subordinate one — during childbirth or ever.”

Ashlynne Klein opened up about her contractions when Topher interjected, “There’s so much people don’t understand when it comes to epidurals–” He proceeded to shed light on female pain management during labor. Ashlynne looks at him lovingly, “Sometimes I start to say something and I just don’t say it right. He always says it better. I’m so lucky.”

Talking about your birth story is such a big part of giving birth. A source close to the couple told us she visited their home for dinner after the arrival of their firstborn and after four and a half hours she had heard the whole story. “I don’t have kids and I don’t really like babies, so I didn’t care about all the details. I especially didn’t like how Topher started by telling me how the baby was conceived, it was vile, but they seemed like they really needed to tell me about it,” she explained. “Ashlynne and I were in the kitchen and she started to tell me more about the birth and then Topher ran in, red-faced, and sweaty to cut her off and kind of just say it louder. I went home and took my birth control.”

But the road to delivery wasn’t an easy one. For nine months, Topher experienced a “sympathetic pregnancy” — i.e. physical and psychological symptoms that men feel when their partner is pregnant. “The manifestation he felt from my pregnancy was really hard on his body. He really struggled and I had to step up and be there for him however I could,” Ashlynne said.

Topher is now writing a book about his experience, as well as starting a podcast with another local “present father” where he’ll use his experience to help expecting fathers (and mothers) navigate their own pregnancy and fatherhood journey. A proud Ashlynne told us, “Topher is such a colorful storyteller. That’s why I fell in love with him. He insisted on a home birth because he did so much research and knew he– I mean we– could do it on our own and didn’t need help from anyone. I don’t know what I’d do without him… probably go to a hospital.”

After educating himself on breastfeeding and even sharing in eating the placenta with his wife, Topher makes sure she isn’t alone for a single moment. And though reproduction is shared by all life forms since the beginning of time, some breeders are special. Topher notes, “It’s kind of my thing, you know?” Ashlynne beams, “My life really began when I became a mom.” “Our life,” he adds.