Wollongong Hawks forward Dave Gruber is the proud father of a baby girl.
Gruber was by his wife Kara’s side when she gave birth to Grace Nicole Gruber on Thursday at 5.30pm at Figtree Private Hospital.
Nicole entered the world after a six-hour labour weighing 3.97kg and measuring 52cm.
Gruber said mother and baby are doing well and resting comfortably.
‘‘We’re thrilled,’’ he said.
‘‘You don’t realise the signficance until you’re actually there for the event.
‘‘Kara was great. She was a trooper the whole time. I’m so proud of her and I’m so proud and happy to have a healthy child.
‘‘You look at other people’s kids and you think ‘that’ll be really cool some day’. Then all of a sudden you have your own. You hear that first cry in the delivery room and it all changes.
‘‘That first cry was big for us, just to let you know everything’s ok. It’s the best feeling in the world.’’
Gruber and his wife both hail from Iowa in the US.
They became Australian citizens together almost two years ago and are over the moon about having their own little true-blue Aussie in the family.
After worrying for the past month if the Hawks’ playing schedule would prevent him from witnessing the birth, Gruber was ecstatic he was there every step of the way.
‘‘The hospital staff were great, excellent. Our doctor even let me have a little hand in the delivery,’’ the 31-year-old said.
‘‘I was excited. I thought ‘I’ve gotta cut the cord, that’s my job’. But when it got going he said ‘hey I need you to put these gloves on, you’re going to help’. I was like ‘really? Ok’. He guided me and I got to help deliver my first child. What an experience it was.’’
Hawks management was busy this morning trying to arrange a flight to allow Gruber to join his teammates for this weekend’s road games against Adelaide and Perth.
Wollongong take on the 36ers tonight before backing up for Sunday’s clash with the Wildcats in Perth.
‘‘It’s been a long couple of days for Kara and I, but nothing we can’t handle,’’ he said.
‘‘You’re on an emotional high and the adrenaline’s flowing. We got a lot of good wishes from family and friends. The support has been overwhelming. Hopefully I can ride this emotional high the rest of the season.’’