It's easy for new moms to poke fun at their husbands for slacking off once the baby is born. After all, it's not as if they can breastfeed or anything. But when a pregnant April Neubauer from Wisconsin began having seizures during delivery, her husband proved everyone wrong.
Neubauer suffers from a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can affect a woman's ability to have children.
"I was unable to have kids at all," she told WBAY News, "so I didn't know I was pregnant until eight weeks in."
When she and her husband, Maxamillion Neubauer, learned they were pregnant, the happy couple put together a birthing plan to include "immediate skin-on-skin" contact and breastfeeding. However, while giving birth, April began having seizures.
"They broke my water and I was 9.5 [centimeters] dilated, and then I had a seizure," she told the news outlet.
Cybil Martin-Dennehy, a registered nurse at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, told reporters that April suffered a second seizure prior to having a C-section. Not long after, Rosalía Lupita Valentina Neubauer was born and April was taken to the ICU to recover.
That's when the story took an exciting turn for the better.
To honor Mom’s wishes, Martin-Dennehy reached out to the father and asked if he'd be willing to step in and "breastfeed" baby Rosalía using a new system that she had created.
"I said, ‘Well, I’m already shirtless, and I’ll try just about anything once.’ Everyone got pretty excited and went for it,” Maxamillian said.
Martin-Dennehy told WBAY she was shocked. "This is the greatest night of my life," she recalled. "I can't believe this is happening."
She told reporters that this wasn’t the first time she had asked a father to breastfeed. “Usually I get a look of disbelief,” she said, “but Max was 100 percent."
Martin-Dennehy didn’t waste any time once Max agreed. Instead, she grabbed a fake nipple shield, feeding tube, syringe and formula and began setting him up immediately. Soon after, the shirtless father—donning a red heart "mom" tattoo over his left breast—got busy and began breastfeeding his daughter in a rocking chair.
“It was with him and that’s fine, it’s her dad," April told People magazine. "I’m definitely happy and very grateful that he was willing to do that and not opposed to doing it, like most other dads would be. He knew how important it would be to me and to us. Knowing my husband and how he is and his personality, it didn’t surprise me. But I didn’t expect it to happen either.”
"Everything that has happened during birth went opposite of the way April and I had wanted, but the outcome was amazing!” Maxamillion told Mom.me. He added that he “never thought in a million years he would do something like this,” but he also never thought stepping up to be a father would go "crazy viral."
Martin-Dennehy hopes the photo will encourage future parents and medical staff to think outside the box (or breast).
"The worst someone can tell you is no and that they don't want to do it—or, you can let Dad be part of this really special moment," she said.