Husband going away after birth- WWYD?

(118 Posts)
thinkingpositivethoughts Fri 03-May-13 12:45:50

I'm due on the 19th July with our first DC. My DH is a teacher and we were looking forward to him being around for ages after the birth but he has just been offered a chance to go on a residential course for the first two weeks in August which would likely lead to promotion.

I know its only two weeks and I think he should do it but I can't help feeling scared about how I'll cope afterward - we've got no local family and might be quite isolated. DH feels like he is being selfish just thinking about it but I think long term its good for all of us (and he would never choose to be away otherwise)

I don't really know how I feel about it but I know other women do it and could do with some tips for pulling myself together and coping if he does go

CloudsAndTrees Fri 03-May-13 13:36:26

I usually think threads where omen are wondering how they will cope on their own with their children are quite silly, but not this time!

You could be overdue and end up having the baby just a couple of days before he is due to go. No course is worth missing the first weeks of your baby's life for.

And that's just if things go smoothly, what if you end up needing a Caesarian, or you have any other kind of more-traumatic-than-average birth, or you have a high needs baby, or you just feel like most new mothers and want all of your new little family to be together?

Just no.

maddening Fri 03-May-13 13:37:06

I know there are no local family but could your mum come up for a couple of weeks? Or even one week and find someone for the other week eg mil?

If so you could get a cleaner and get dh to make some good batch meals to freeze so you have food for the duration. Do food shopping online.

It's doable IF you are healthy and have a good birth by your due date - if you were two weeks late or had a physically/emotionally hard birth then support would be needed imo. And he might regret missing first 2 weeks. Whether you would be happy to have your mum up for 2 weeks is an individual thing - I would be fine as long as someone was there.

If there is no alternative support i personally would say no if it were me but I was v tender post birth (generally good birth but lost my core strength).

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:41:36

I'm sure that it could be done, it's just whether it has to be done as potentially it's so far from the ideal.

Loa Fri 03-May-13 13:42:07

Post DC I have found that while we can cope with situations we find ourselves in - actually recovering from them takes a heck of a lot longer especially if like us you have no nearby family as you just don't get a break.

Saltire Fri 03-May-13 13:42:26

Well as the wife of a serving member of teh RAF, I would say "If he can get the chance to go next year, then cancel this years".
I have been lucky to have DH actually with me for the birth of both our 2, but he was almost immediately after DS1 was born and it was horrible ignores completely fact mad MIl arrived but we had no choice in the matter.
You , if I am reading OP correclty, have the choice grin
You do. I think you both need to sit downa nd discuss how you feel about it.

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-May-13 13:42:29

I think I'd g

treas Fri 03-May-13 13:43:17

Out of interest - if he did not go would it be detrimental to his career, and therefore, your family, if he didn't go?

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-May-13 13:44:14

Sorry, I'd go with maddening.

If your mother could come it would be doable.

Although it doesn't sound like he wants to go, so it might be moot.

He'd be missing a lot by going.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 13:47:14

Actually I disagree completely.

Firstly the idea of dad being indispensable at the birth is an obvious nice to have. Coldly objective but true. Many women give birth alone or with a girlfriend.

Idea of dad having to be around at first two weeks is also not required. That's come about because of how mat leave and pat leave is presently structured. From experience, which I understand is limited, we found dad was bugger all use really in first two weeks. It was easier later on when I needed a break after several weeks no sleeping. Or limited sleep. Also it's much harder to build your own routine with them around. It can become paralysingly scary at their return to work.

Its far easier to know you have support in the background but get on with things yourself.

Personally, I'd say he should get the promotion prospect sorted now. The boat may sail. He might not get that opp again. You will be fine. It's a baby. Not brain surgery.

Different obvs if health goes wonky but if ur both healthy u really can cope very well. You can always have another he can be hands on immediately with. It will not affect his bond one jot.

Good luck.

zzzzz Fri 03-May-13 13:49:52

You'll be fine, but he might regret it.

bubbles1231 Fri 03-May-13 13:51:24

My Dh had to go away a month after DS1 was born, for a couple of weeks. I had no family locally.
It was fine. I told the health visitor & she was lovely. She stressed the importance of having a target for each day, even if it was just walking up the road to post a letter. She phoned me a couple time times to see if I was managing.
I slept when DS1 slept and we made sure we had portion sized meals frozen for me so I could just bung them in the microwave.
I went to the local toddler group which was very friendly (bonus!) and met a couple of people who's children were born around the same time.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:52:09

Wishiwasanheiress - ok that was your experience, mine was the opposite and DH was invaluable during those early weeks.

I wish people would stop recounting how it was for them so therefore that is how it will be for the OP, as at this point in time there is just no way of knowing!

bubbles1231 Fri 03-May-13 13:52:31

aargh "whose"!!!

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 13:52:32

My DH has had to travel shortly after I have had my DCs but never quite that close and for that long. Could he come home Friday night and leave Monday morning in the middle of the course or does he have to be there for the whole duration?
My DH travelled for a week when DD was a couple of weeks old, but she was my third and my mum was staying. It was absolutely fine but any longer would have been a bit confused

silversmith Fri 03-May-13 13:53:28

I was 14 days overdue - first babies are often late. I had a bloody awful time for the first 6 weeks (first 2 weeks particularly) despite a relatively easy birth. My husband (not military but working with them and having some similar trips abroad) was asked to go on a 4 month course starting 6 weeks after my due date (so 4 weeks after the actual birth date). This was a course he'd been wanting to go on for 3 years, and is a definite career enhancer. He said no without even asking me, as he knew I'd have let him if he asked (and then not coped). He's just done the course this year, whilst I've had a much easier time looking after a one year old alone.

You might be fine - you might not. I really wouldn't risk it. The chance will come up again - he should be taking advantage of the summer holiday to be with his family this year.

Myliferocks Fri 03-May-13 13:54:00

My OH had to go away for a week when our DC5 was 3 weeks old.

The difference was that he found out after I had given birth so we knew whether I would be fit and well enough to cope with 5 DC on my own.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:54:18

Going away when a DC is a month old is not the same as going away when potentially the DC could onlybe a few days old, though.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 13:54:29

FYI I've had two csecs. One emc one planned. Coping with a baby after each was far better than I ever expected. Yes this is just my experience but people all over the world have babies with and without dads or without for short periods. It really isn't the end of the world.

Although u will be told incessantly it is. Do what U BOTH are comfortable with. That's enough and best.

LedaOfSparta Fri 03-May-13 13:55:54

My dh is RN and missed the birth and first week of dc1, had 2 weeks with us then went away for a further 4 months. It was fine, we did it because there was no other choice. Would I choose it? No way!

OP, could your dh tentatively say yes to the course but pull out in the event you need him at home?

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 13:55:54

Bubbles, precisely. That was YOUR experience. No difference. Your not objective either!

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:57:10

Noone has said it's the end of the world!!?

However, is it essential and are they both happy that it is the right thing to do? That is what is important.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 13:59:05

Oh heck I've just replied totally wrongly. I'm on iPhone. Didn't read name properly. I'm very sorry. sad it was WIlliam I think not bubbles.

Of course I could have reread and cocked up again. Aaaarghhhhhh! I give up. SORRY

bubbles1231 Fri 03-May-13 13:59:38

You're right Not but my DS was 2 weeks early, so it could have been 2 weeks. If I'd had any complications then DH would have cancelled.
OP your Dh could plan to go but if you end up being overdue or having a caesar then he would probably want to cancel.

Lambzig Fri 03-May-13 14:01:13

I think you would be fine, it might be hard, but if you both decide he should go, you will cope. (DH went away two weeks after DS was born for a week for work leaving me with a toddler and. No help locally, he didn't really have much choice - it was hard work, but it was ok, I had to be utterly regimented about getting stuff done and with DD, but it was doable)

My worry would be that you could go two weeks over and then theoretically he would be away. If you had a c section with no support at home, they might keep you in longer, so maybe you need a backup plan of having DM or a close friend to stay.

The big BUT for me would be your DH missing so much. Can he really face going away and mixing out?

Littleturkish Fri 03-May-13 14:02:09

I was in a similar situation a few weeks ago (teacher DP, school event) but only five days and when PFB was three weeks old.

I found it incredibly hard AND I had lots of support. I felt terribly abandoned and believe it triggered PND as I felt so isolated and under prioritised.

If I had the chance again I would insist he stayed.

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