to not want my husband with me when I give birth?

(136 Posts)
mishymoshy Tue 11-Jan-11 20:08:42

For the following reasons:

1. I am worried he will see something horrendous that will be forever etched on his mind and he won't be able to look at me the same way

2. The fear of (1) will make me unable to relax

3. I don't want him to get upset seeing me in pain, and am worried it will freak him out (variation of (1)) and therefore someone else would make a better birth partner

However he would like the experience of seeing his child born. I think he assumes it will all be straightforward, but it might not.

Anyone else given birth without DH? Or wished they had??

chandellina Tue 11-Jan-11 20:11:36

YANBU. I had huge problems in labour trying to get in a SPD-friendly position to push, and it didn't help having DH sitting back in a chair staring at me like I was the entertainment! DS finally came in theatre, with forceps, and DH later admitted he'd taken a peak at all the gore - which I really wish he hadn't.

onceamai Tue 11-Jan-11 20:14:11

When it all got too much I had to insist he went and looked out of the window (or something like "go and **ing look somewhere else. Could get on with it when he wasn't watching and apologising on my behalf for swearing! Apparently it's not uncommon.

WimpleOfTheBallet Tue 11-Jan-11 20:14:17

I peronally don't think YABU at all..BUT I would suggest he waits in the waiting room as you may suddenly decide you want him after all.

My DH was a right pain during my labour as he went ino a panic as my labour got complicated...and I was wrrying about him! He then almost passed out and had to be sent out anyway!

I was not/am no self conscious but if you are and you think you might concentrate better without him then that's fine.

ethelina Tue 11-Jan-11 20:15:01

1. I am very very very glad my DH was there, and I asked him to look down there when Boy was crowning, I thought one of us at least should see what was happening. He was reluctant to look prior to the labour starting but in the end the midwives sort of encouraged him to see. He's glad he did now. It certainly didn't scar him for life. In fact he said it wasn't that bad really.

2. When you are that far into labour a herd of elephants could come stampeding through and you won't notice. Relaxing doesn't come into it IMO.

3. I presume he's a grown man and quite able to cope with the situation, given that he's got a good few months to get used to the idea.

4. He wants to. I'd let him. Its a treasured memory he will remember for the rest of his life.

pickgo Tue 11-Jan-11 20:15:17

But how will he know what you've been through if he's not there?
It's such a huge thing in your lives and he won't have a clue and afterwards you might end up feeling resentful. He might minimise the experience and any after effects because he won't understand.
Plus it is his child and it might affect his bonding with it if you get a head start as it were.
For both your sakes make sure he is there IMHO.

fel1x Tue 11-Jan-11 20:17:06

It does seem a shame that he really wants to be there (I presume to support you as well as to see his child being born) but you dont want him there purely because you are worrying about how he will cope with what he see's.
Surely he's grown up enough to know what he;s getting into and make that decision himself?

Mutt Tue 11-Jan-11 20:17:58

I think if you deny him the opportunity to see his own child born, that could do more damage to your relationship than anything he might see.

You seem to be treating him like a child - surely it's up to him whether he wants to risk being "freaked out" by seeing "something horrendous". He will undoubtedly see something amazing and life-changing and all the blood and gore will likely disappear from his mind the second his child is place in his arms.

bb99 Tue 11-Jan-11 20:20:46

Not U at all - am reticent to have DH at the birth of our next child because of all the stupid supportive things he said last time hmm.

My MW suggested the hospital could ring him to be in the waiting room when I got 10cms dilated, so he could be there at the end IYSWIM or he could spend a lot of time in the waiting room and pacing the corridors (yes - I belong to the 1950's!)

Or, two birth partner - one to look after birth partner 1 (DH) and also to support me grin

I have finally given in compromised as it's been a rough pg and he's paranoid - but with the proviso that if he's in any way shape or form distracting or daft I will tell him to go somewhere else...

So, there are lots of options for you - what does DP think?

ethelina Tue 11-Jan-11 20:21:45

Exactly Mutt. DH said the very same thing about not remembering the gory bits as soon as he saw Boy for the first time.

Schnullerbacke Tue 11-Jan-11 20:23:07

Let him be there but talk about your worries. And as others have said, once the show is rolling, you couldnt care less. He doesnt have to be at the 'business end', just get him to cool down your face etc.

My Dh was at both births, didnt faint, no nightmare screams in the middle of the night so I assume he is alright

My DH missed the last few hours of labour and the birth. (not his fault). But I still, 2.5 years later, have huge sorrow and resentment about this, unreasonable but there it is. I resent that he missed being there through the hardest bit and doesn't fully appreciate what I went through. I resent that I was on my own and I resent that he missed the experience of seeing his son be born. You need to get over your fear that he will 'see something' - what he will see is his partner going through the most intense experience of her life, and his child coming into the world. Don't shut him out of this, you will both regret it (probably).

BeenBeta Tue 11-Jan-11 20:23:21

If you really dont want him there then of course he shouldnt be. However, he wants to be there so its not so easy to say.

Frankly as a bloke, my experience was that it was a wholly positive eperience and you should not worry about him seeing you in pain or something horrendous happening. How do you think he would feel if someting horrendous happened and he wasnt there?

If he was saying he didnt want to be there and you were forcing him into it I WOULD be advising against and your concerns would be very valid. That is not the case here though.

A willing supportive birth partner is what you really need to fight your corner. Sorry, I have to say this, but when you are laid on your back with a MW refusing to give you an epidural or wandering off for an hour as happened at both our DSs births you need someone to stick up for you.

mishymoshy Tue 11-Jan-11 20:24:03

But for every man who says it was magical I'm sure there's another who will say it was upsetting. I've even heard of men being put off sex afterwards.

I would want him to be near by so that he could see the baby as soon as it was out.

I don't think men will ever fully appreciate how hard childbirth is, even if they witness it.

If he really really wants to be there I suppose I can't say no, but I'm hoping to persuade him out of it.

CMOTdibbler Tue 11-Jan-11 20:26:19

DH didn't want to be there as he knew he would be rubbish at supporting me, so I got a doula.

In the end, he was around, but she took the pressure off him, so he could wander in and out, and I didn't have to think about him at all iyswim.

Onetoomanycornettos Tue 11-Jan-11 20:26:50

YOu are not unreasonable, but he wants to be there, so I would let him. My husband wasn't at the birth of my dd1 (for many and complex reasons) and it was for the best, it was not my finest moment and it was too gory by far for me, let alone him. He was there for dd2, however, and that was a much better birth and his presence was not intrusive (I didn't actually need him there).

If your main worries are about what he can tolerate, then I'd leave it to him to decide that on the day, he can always look away or go out at certain points. If your worry is about being inhibited I would discuss this with him frankly, and tell him you will be doing whatever you need to to get the baby out, and it may not always be pretty. At least then you have a basis for organizing it nearer the time, perhaps with another birth partner (I had my mum first time around).

Mutt Tue 11-Jan-11 20:28:10

I'm sure that's an urban myth - I don't know anyone who's been put off sex by the sight of seeing their child born.

But I have seen probably hundreds of threads on here alone about blokes pestering the mother of their DC for more sex!

Please don't deny him this experience if he wants to be part of it.

pascoe28 Tue 11-Jan-11 20:29:20

I think discussing it between the two of you is a good idea.

Do you know his wishes?

I was at the birth of our little girl but on the strict understanding that I stayed "north" and did not look "south" at any point.

It worked for both of us.

Hope you come to a mutually-agreeable arrangement - conscious that that isn't necessarily possible.

Onetoomanycornettos Tue 11-Jan-11 20:30:01

I don't think it has to be a life-changing magical moment, though, for men. I asked my husband if he was pleased to be at the second birth or sorry to miss the first, he said it was quite interesting (!) but that he wasn't fussed either way. For many people, it's not a mystical experience, but hard work and not terribly relaxing, but if he's keen to be around, I would have him around at the hospital, even if you don't want him in with you all of the time, you may feel differently once you are in labour.

Malificence Tue 11-Jan-11 20:31:12

The only type of man who is "put off" by watching his partner give birth isn't fit to be a father in the 1st place.

Why have a baby with a man if you aren't sure that he can handle the birth without freaking out or viewing you differently afterwards? hmm

BeenBeta Tue 11-Jan-11 20:39:37

mishymoshy - I do know a man who was really against being present with his wife at the birth. He literally looked green with worry in the days before the birth but his wife forced him to be there. She had an emergency casarian (complications during the birth) and he told me in detail the awful experience of seeing doctors/nurses rushing in to get his DW to the operating theatre.

It affected him badly. However, it affected him badly only because he didnt want to be there.

Your DH does want to be there.

jojosmaman Tue 11-Jan-11 20:41:26

Yanbu- I didn't want my husband with me at ds's birth for all the reasons you mention. I knew I wouldn't be able to focus and would be worrying about what he was doing. As it happens I had to have a crash section so neither of us were there but I would much rather have my mum/friend/ midwife supporting me rather than my hubster who fainted with a splinter once!

Ps I'm sure there is evidence of rising cases of impotence amongst men with some suggesting that is from men increasingly witnessing births? I think the midwife told me this when I'd said we'd decided he'd be there for the labour but not the pushing.

But I suppose if hb had wanted to be there I wouldn't have said no.

Mutt Tue 11-Jan-11 20:42:46

Of course I wouldn't force a man to be there if he didn't want to be. That's entirely different.

But he so does. It's the OP who wants to take that decision out of his hands.

Sidge Tue 11-Jan-11 20:42:46

I can understand your concerns but think that if HE wants to be there you need to allow him to be. He will probably stay away from the business end IME - most dads do!

I think you're slightly patronising him; you're assuming he won't be able to cope, or will be forever sullied by viewing you in pain/birthing his baby. He may well surprise you, some men are much more capable when push comes to shove (ha!) than you expect.

My DH was with me for the births of DDs 1 and 3 (both elective sections) and was my absolute rock - I couldn't have done it without him. There's still pain, nerves, tension and lots of gore (he saw bits of me reflected in the overhead theatre light that I'll never see!). He missed DD2s birth (as did I - I had a crash section under GA) which though essential was such a shame.

Seeing me having our children has made us stronger, closer - we have a unique shared experience of seeing OUR children come into the world. I know it's cheesy but it's an incredibly powerful situation for most couples.

I think you need a compromise - maybe have a spare birth partner if he really struggles, but play it by ear don't ban him outright. He may resent you for it.

theevildead2 Tue 11-Jan-11 20:46:03

I don't think YABU at all. ANd his needs aren't as important... as you are the one giving birth. He has a life time starting immidiatly after. Do what you feel comfortable with

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