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

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 05-May-13 10:27:52

When ds3 & 4 were born dp had to go back to work the day I came out of hospital.

Obviously it's different as he was home at night. With ds3 it was fine, I wouldn't have minded if he'd had to go away. (ds 1&2 are alot older) but with ds4 it was a nightmare having a toddler to deal with too. Also my csection scar came open slightly so he had to take a few days in the end.

Staying in a hotel would have been the last thing I'd have wanted to do though.

EasilyBored Sun 05-May-13 10:17:23

Does this make me a bitch? If I was on a networking trip with someone who explained that his wife was actually in hospital at the minute, giving birth (if you go two weeks over.due) I wouldn't be tertius inclined to get to know him any better as it would make you sound like a bit of a twat.

Any number of things could happen. Evenif you have a totally straight forward birth, I needed DH there to do all house work, bold the baby when he wasn't eating and bring me food during the every half hour feeding sessions. Not to mention that my husband would not havevoluntarily missed those first couple of weeks with what should be the two most valuable things in his life.

ivanapoo Sun 05-May-13 10:16:36

The thing is if your partner isn't on the scene, or is in the military, or works off shore you know you don't really have much choice but to cope.

I fear knowing your husband went on this course voluntarily could lead to resentment and at worst trigger pnd.

I can only speak from personal experience but having my DH around for 3 weeks after the birth strengthened our relationship as well as his relationship with DS, massively. We went through the worry, the night settling, the adoration together.

Also how will your DH cope on the course if he's coming back to sleepless, sometimes stressful nights in a cramped hotel room?

Sorry if that's not what you want to hear op.

My dh has never had paternity leave or been at the births and I managed fine. Do people really find it that useful to have their partners around for that 2 weeks? I'd personally go for the course. Surely it is good for the family?

LIZS Sun 05-May-13 08:57:51

I wouldn't bother with the hotel plans , you'll want to have your own things close by and feel able to slob around a bit. Put MIL and any friends on stand by, fill the freezer with ready cook meals, do internet shops and Milk and More. If baby arrives on time by 2 weeks you may be ok alone as longa s you can nap in the day and have the odd break. Would dh have the opportunity to escape overnight occasionally ?

LaQueen Sun 05-May-13 08:49:05

Tricky...but, short term pain, for long term gain.

My DH had just started up his own company, when DD1 was born. So, he wasn't around much in those first months, because if he didn't work the mortgage didn't get paid.

But, looking back we're glad he put the work in back then because we've really reaped the benefits since, as a family.

Stock the fridge up with M&S ready meals, and hire in a cleaner to come twice a week, while your DH is away. And, then just concentrate on your lovely new baby smile

glastocat Sun 05-May-13 08:44:21

I couldn't have coped at all, among other things I was recovering from SPD and carpal tunnel syndrome so I could hardly lift my baby. I was induced at 11 days over and ended up having a crash Caesarian, blood transfusion and eight days in a high dependency unit. Hopefully this won't happen to you, but you should plan for the worst and hope for the best. Even without all the health problems the thought of a new baby in a hotel when you may still be bleeding a lot, hormones all over the shop, sorry but it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Fuckwittery Sun 05-May-13 08:32:43

eugenes, or she could decline induction as i did as my cervix was not favourable at all, go for daily monitoring and have the baby at40+18 !

you need to think v v carefully about how your dh will cancel, how that will be perceived, and if its going to be ok for you to have a normal on time delivery but just say, i am tired and i need your support at home.

kritur Sun 05-May-13 06:52:47

Ah the future leaders thing... Headship of a 'challenging' school in 3 years, that's just the very best thing for someone with a family. Teaching at the best of times is a license to neglect your own kids in favour of other people's, Headship even more so.

Personally I don't think he should go. Things will most likely be fine, I'm a single parent and have been since pregnancy so doing it on your own isn't the issue. Him being prepared to leave you with a potentially days old baby is more concerning. It sounds like his career is more important. Not a good start to fatherhood.

(in any case previous fast track to headship schemes have been cancelled so his accelerated progress is at the mercy of government policy....)

Laquitar Sun 05-May-13 06:41:49

When i read the title i thought he is going on holiday and i was going to say Leave the Bastard!

OP people are different but i would really hate being in a hotel with the newborn. I wouldnt like an apartment either. I want to be at my own house. I think having your mil coming over sounds a good idea. And dh to visit you on weekend.

MrsHoarder Sun 05-May-13 06:11:52

If you go with him, how will the midwives see you? I saw mine 4-5 times in the 2 Weeks after giving birth, both for mine and ds's benefit.

Can you get someone to come and sray with you and the baby whilst he goes? My mum and DMIL both came down for the two weeks immediately after dd birth to help - DH then used his two weeks paternity so we could have two weeks back in Scotland with our families.

Could something like that work?

EugenesAxe Sun 05-May-13 05:02:17

It really comes down to whether you'll need to be induced; it's about 10 days after isn't it? So in that scenario you'd have a couple of days at most. I would see how flexible they can be about it, personally, and if they can't be then I'd probably leave it.

Your MW could give you an idea of how clamped shut everything is around your due date - for DS1 mine did a sweep 40+3 and I was about 1cm dilated; I had DS 40+6. Some people go for sweeps and they can't get any fingers in there at all; in that case induction is possibly more likely.

Look it's true that newborns (mostly) do sleep a LOT. But rarely at night and it fucks you up. You can't really understand the potential to feel helpless; you also don't know how BFing will go for you. Baby blues will be kicking in; it could easily be a horrible time for you without support.

Fuckwittery Sun 05-May-13 04:38:58

god no! you could so easily be 10-14 days overdue and first baby labours are notoriously tricky, even on time with a couple of days in labour but stitches you will need help. areyou sure that it wont be worse to cancel last minute? will there not be an element of, oh your birth wasnt bad enough to cancel, whereas actually most normal births with first baby you need support.
i dont think you can underestimate the massive shock of having your first baby and a hotel is not a nice place to have a newborn when youre bleeding heaving, need ready access to fridge and breastfeeding snacks and not have to get dressed to sit in.a restaurant with leaky boobs and wailing newborn. someitmes you have to feed for hours on end to get supply going.
let alone bottle feeding in a hotel if you have to not sure how the practicalities would work

BonaDea Sun 05-May-13 00:48:07

My pfb is 6 weeks old. I honestly had NO idea how hard these first few weeks would be. Seriously. You will need help!! Also does your DH want to miss out on the first few weeks of your lo's life?

Let him express interest and do the course next time round.

foreverondiet Sun 05-May-13 00:14:22

OP - can you get someone to come and help you for the 2 weeks? Maybe advertise for a local student?

Or can you afford a maternity nurse (v expensive though)

ChasedByBees Sat 04-May-13 23:01:44

Newborn babies are asleep the vast majority of the time, having to only consider yourself and baby for a couple of weeks would be great - you can eat when you like, sleep when you like, establish feeding etc.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Nope, don't recall that at all. I recall a baby who woke screaming with a forceps headache every 20 mins for her first night in hospital. I remember my husband and I having to take turns to let her sleep on us as she would scream if we put her down for the next three or four nights after that.

She was not a baby I could leave to sleep and get on with things.

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 22:59:20

I should use the review button more sad but typos aside you get the drift

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 22:57:26

I had my DS on my own (sis came to hospital but after several hours went home to check on her kids and DH) I had support after the birth from family bit essentially did most of it on my own and it isn't onerous if that's how it is - you just manage.

I know the feeling behind missing out on 'bonding' time but actually babies are rather boring for the most part and a couple of weeks doesn't mean missing out on very important changes.

I think whatever feels most comfortable for you both is the way to go and frankly unless your DH is a totally arse who dodges his responsibilities then he will still get to do lots of bonding and nappy changing etc after the course. Some people though I was selfish putting DS in nursery to finish my degree just after I had him but he has never claimed mental scarring from it.

Amykins35 Sat 04-May-13 22:52:29

I personally think he should do it. Newborn babies are asleep the vast majority of the time, having to only consider yourself and baby for a couple of weeks would be great - you can eat when you like, sleep when you like, establish feeding etc. I'm speaking from experience as exH was self employed and workedthe day I was in labour, baby was born the next morning and he was back at work several hundred miles away that night. I wa isolated, had no one to help and had never even held a baby before so was clueless but working it out gave me confidence in my abilities

readyforno2 Sat 04-May-13 22:48:54

My dp left when ds2 was 4 days old. He was working offshore and was away for 4 weeks. It was pretty difficult but I got through it.

Preparation is the key, I had a load of easy home cooked meals in the freezer and online shopping is a godsend.

Don't push yourself too hard, if you don't need to do things, don't.
Enjoy the time with your newborn where you don't need to share him/her. Don't know if your planning to bf but it could be a good opportunity to camp out on the sofa and get yourselves into a routine.

As others have said, what about going with your dh? Is it possible for him to be at home for the weekends?

NigellaTufnel Sat 04-May-13 22:46:31

He should not go. It's a no brainier.

He is acting like a selfish twat

ChasedByBees Sat 04-May-13 22:39:38

X-posts with others about sc accommodation.
If you go this route speak with your midwife now about how to get post natal check ups - they're important.

ChasedByBees Sat 04-May-13 22:37:22

I think I wouldn't have liked a hotel but if you can get support at home, that could work. You'll have home visits by midwives and health visitors - being at home will be easier. In a hotel, you'll have room service wanting to come in, lochia in a hotel bed oh god the lochia, no other rooms to escape to. If you can stay at home, do. Otherwise get a cottage rather than a hotel room.

My experience was not so great and I needed support. I was so tired I was hallucinating.

It could be DH, MIL, family or a friend but having someone to share those early days with - someone who'll respect your new bond - is important IMO.

roamingwest Sat 04-May-13 22:06:24

I wouldn't do a hotel. Miserable.

Speaking as someone who is coming to the end of 3 months of having an essentially absent DH (work and exams) and newborn I would seriously think about the potential effect this could have on your relationship (you and DH, he will bond with the baby when he returns). We make these plans as couples but it is very very hard not to let the feelings of resentment bubble up when post partum and, as another poster said, allow yourself and DC to feel second to his career. If he's coming back at the weekend that's good and presume he'll have uninterrupted time at home following his return?

Other than that take advantage of any and all practical help you can muster and do not try to be brave if you feel you are not coping. Make sure DH plays a part in preparations and planning for the time he will be away; emotionally that will help you. smile

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