To ask DP to forgive me for DS's birth?

(248 Posts)
CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 10:32:08

Have posted a few times about moderately crap DS birth.

Nutshell - waters broke, on drip 40 hours later, needed forceps/episiotomy, later abandoned on recovery ward (with naked baby) by hospital staff and DP for 4-5hours. DS largely fine, I was largely fine.

A year and a bit on, and it still bothers me.

Someone IRL recently told me the usual 'all that matters' is that DS is fine and I need to let it go - and asked what I needed to do that.

It occurred to me around DS's first birthday that I need DP to forgive me. He has never given me any praise or credit around the birth or year since - never said well done or that he's proud of me, or that I'm a good mum or even thank you for the things I do - all normal things a dad might say to his partner.

He is basically Spock when it comes to feelings - he logics the shit out of them so they don't trouble him.

But I believe that him not saying these things implies he feels ashamed of me. I think that if I could get him to express forgiveness for screwing up or letting him/DS down, then I might be able to let go this over-riding sense of failure I've had since.

For the record, I 100% do not judge the way that anyone else gives birth - it's bloody hard work and requires a huge amount of effort however it happens - I just wish I, personally, had done better. I have never been given a reason for needing the interventions other than 'he was a bit stuck'.

Ideally DS would tell me he forgives me - but I'm not sure I could wait 18+ years!

Would I be unreasonable to ask DP to forgive me? If not, how do I go about it?

Squitten Thu 31-Jul-14 10:48:27

Your thinking about the whole thing is utterly wrong OP. Your birth experience was beyond your control. There is nothing you could have done to change it. Lots of women have difficult births every day. You seem to be taking on a huge burden that simply doesn't exist outside your own mind.

You don't need forgiveness from anyone. You might need some counselling to make your peace with what did happen and move on.

WipsGlitter Thu 31-Jul-14 10:48:38

Well I was also "abandoned" ie DP went home to get some sleep and the staff were busy with other stuff. There is obviously going to be some point when you're left alone after having a baby.

I think you need to 'forgive' yourself for whatever you think went wrong. Maybe seek out some counselling.

My DP doesn't really do emotion either, he's never said 'well done' or anything. If he's a logic person then you are projecting a lot of emotions on to him.

mommy2ash Thu 31-Jul-14 10:49:59

it sounds to me like you aren't sure how to deal with your feelings around the birth and are trying to push the responsibility to others to make you feel better. you didn't do anything wrong and I very highly doubt your partner or your son blame you for anything. In fact I bet he would think the very idea of forgiving you is ridiculous.

I tend to only worry about things I have the ability to change. the birth is over, you are all healthy what will worrying about it now achieve?

I don't think you need forgiving for anything, but I do understand that on a personal level YOU feel you do. Mummy guilt is crap and hits us all in different ways thanks

To play devils advocate: have you considered that he may be of the same mind as us here, there's nothing to need to forgive you for? (Therefore he doesn't) DS dad has never praised or thanked me for giving birth, it wouldn't cross his mind (or mine)

I think the way childbirth goes is far more important to the woman doing it than the man. I ended with an EMCS after DS got stuck, I don't blame myself. I wouldn't expect thanking if id been able to and done anything to prevent that happening.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Thu 31-Jul-14 10:51:15

I wonder if you just need to forgive yourself...?

During my first birth I felt I totally lost control and really could have done a "better" job. When the second came along I told myself I knew what to expect and that I'd prove to myself what a good job I could do.

Needless to say, it didn't quite work out like that, dc2 got stuck and I found myself in a world of pain and tanked up on gas and air, swearing the place down again.

Dc2 is a month old and I feel a bit embarrassed that I totally lost it during labour again. It's something I have to come to terms with...

How you get the baby out bears no relation to how good a mum you are.

And I don't think your DH's issues are anything to do with how you gave birth.

So there are two things here... How you feel about your birth experience and how your DH is treating you. They probably need to be dealt with separately.

Mrsjayy Thu 31-Jul-14 10:51:17

Did your husband go home to eat or shower I think the hospital may have let you down I feel you need to work through this did you have a birth plqn and expectations of what you should be able to do ?

icklekid Thu 31-Jul-14 10:53:52

I had a similar birth vontouse and episiotomy following induction, it was traumatic. If dh hadn't told me he was proud I can imagine feeling I let him down. To be honest he is just as traumatised as I am by it. Midwives have told me to have counselling if and when I feel ready to have another baby and I plan to do that. Just wanted to say totally understand why you feel like you do and wonder if dh was just so upset seeing you go through it he struggles to express these feelings?

What on Earth do you need forgiveness for? None of this is your fault! Your DH is the one who needs forgiving! After the trauma you've been through, (I was there myself with pre-eclampsia and an emergency c-section with a 6 week early baby who was in SCBU for 2 weeks), I'm not surprised you have these throughts of putting yourself down. There is a good chance you have PND, like I had and battled with it for 3 years! Go and have a chat with someone outside of your family unit, and be kind to yourself. He's been un-supportive and you had a trauma, no wonder you feel like this! That's the nature of PND, you feel like it's all your fault and you are some kind of failure! Have a chat with your GP, they won't judge you.

Tinkerball Thu 31-Jul-14 10:54:24

You haven't done anything wrong, although I suspect us telling you this will make no difference whatsoever if gnats what you believe, you maybe should access help to understand these feelings.

Mrsjayy Thu 31-Jul-14 10:54:25

I dont think my husband thanked me for giving birth he never spoke about the labours tbh its pretty grim so its not something he wanted to talk about.

lljkk Thu 31-Jul-14 10:55:34

Where was your DP while you were labouring alone on the ward?

Pinkrose1 Thu 31-Jul-14 10:55:54

You don't need to be forgiven for anything. You have a healthy baby, you recovered physically. You did great!

You do need to address DPs lack of emotional support, but that's an entirely different matter. Try not to link the two things but talk things through with DP. As someone said, he's not a mind reader so needs you to explain your feelings.

JassyRadlett Thu 31-Jul-14 10:57:21

I think you need to let him know what your feelings are, rather than searching for a solution to improve the way he interacts with you - particularly when there is nothing to forgive.

My DS nearly died being born because there was a true knot in his cord, and because he had an enormous head. Whose fault? His, for doing somersaults in utero? Mine, for growing an enormous baby who took longer than anyone was really comfortable with to extricate? Or, no one's.

The reality is that our bodies aren't necessarily built very well to do childbirth. That why, before medical intervention starting saving lives, countless women and babies died in childbirth. That wasn't the fault of those women, or those babies.

I doubt your husband is 'punishing' or 'blaming' you for this - but you need him to know that his behvaiour is making you feel that way, so that he can understand the impact and decide what to do about it - including sharing his feelings with you.

PunkHedgehog Thu 31-Jul-14 10:57:35

Contact the hospital and ask them to arrange a post-birth debriefing. Someone will sit down with you and go through your notes, and you can ask as many questions as you like about what happened, why it happened, why they chose the treatments they did, what the alternatives were, and anything you aren't clear about.

I hope a better understanding of what went on will show you that none of what happened was your fault, and that there is nothing that you did that anybody needs to forgive you for.

The one thing it won't explain was why your DP wasn't there for several hours - that is something you will need to ask him about, and perhaps forgive him for.

After that, if you still feel the same, see you GP and ask about counselling. You have been through a trauma, and that often needs a bit of professional help to get you through to the other side.

Picklepest Thu 31-Jul-14 11:02:35

Op I don't understand tbh. A birth is not in your control. It's not something you have power over. Bit like sneezing. Body needs to sneeze it just does it. Body has grown baby it expels it. It is NOT a decision like shall I do this or this today? At best or worst it's the professionals job.

You should make an appointment to discuss your notes with a midwife. There is counselling available for traumatic births.

You don't need dh forgiveness simply because it isn't something he can give over this instance. He wasn't in control either. Doctors/nurses/midwives were. Stop blaming him. The emotion is misdirected.

I had a tough first birth too. I'm sorry it's proving so hard to move forwards. Took me ages too. A mtg like I describe could really help.

hesterton Thu 31-Jul-14 11:02:41

I wonder if you are really very angry with you dp but are turning that on its head because you can't face that anger. Maybe you need to explore your true feelings as you do probably know really that that he has nothing to forgive you for. Really.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 31-Jul-14 11:03:03

OP - speak to your doctor about getting some counselling. Traumatic births really do haunt you but a few sessions really helped a friend of mine.

It is highly likely that your DH is also traumatised. You are your DS are his most important people. I know you want to discuss it but he might not be there yet. He needs to try to do this for you but in return you need to try and understand.

SalemsCity Thu 31-Jul-14 11:03:20

I thought it was a typo in your post at first. He does.not need to forgive you for anything! He needs to be grateful. And appreciative of what you went through, what you did so that you and him could have a baby. My baby also got stuck but it's not a casr of "ooh he's stuck, better get him out then" ' baby being stuck is life threatening for both you and the baby. My labout ended in an emergency c section with the babies heart rate dipping so low the medical staff (and me) were really worried. I don't feel guilty at all. I'd planned a natural birth but I had no control over my body - there will br many times over the course of someone's life that they don't have control of their body. Your husband sounds useless in that he hasn't praised you for what you did - because a birth deserves praising regardless of how long/hard/traumatic it was - in fact more so in my opinion. But I doubt, unless he's a complete shit, that he feels ashamed of you. He's probably just useless at feelings. If he is the former though and does feel ashamed he is a desperate excuse for a human being and I don't think I could stay in a relationship with someone who loved and valued me so little, because how can he love you if he feels ashamed by the way you gave birth?

I think it might be time to open up the lines of communication with your dh. What do you think? Would you be more comfortable discussing it with a medical professional first?

hesterton Thu 31-Jul-14 11:04:15

Does he know you would like ro hear how proud he is ofyou? Have you opened up totally to him about this? Does he realise how badly he let you down, even I it was unintentional?

lljkk Thu 31-Jul-14 11:07:38

That's what I'm thinking, Hesterton. He's an unemotional guy & it may be he was absent for much of labour because he couldn't deal with seeing his beloved in painful distress.

Op has nothing to apologise for (obviously!). He may not be able to understand that she needs his emotional support. He may not even know how to give emotional support (without that making a bad guy, just bad at dealing with feelings).

MiaowTheCat Thu 31-Jul-14 11:08:29

You need some form of counselling or something to sort it all out in your head. The comment about needing to let it go and how your son is here now - it's well-intentioned but it really doesn't work like that.

I do get how you're feeling though in terms of needing some kind of "forgiveness" for what went on... I've posted before about DD1's birth which had the horrific combination of some of the most uncaring monsters of staff I've ever met, unexpected prematurity, forceps, cuts, tears, back to back pirouettes on behalf of small stroppy madam, no pain relief and being yelled at, SPD and my mother-in-law rocking up in the delivery room as well to add to the whole shebang... DH was fucking useless throughout it all, sat in a corner of the room playing on his mobile phone and complaining he was tired! I ended up so distressed, terrified and bullied that they did a fucking social services referral on me as a resistant patient, DH ranted that he hated me because I'd been harsh on him when he'd had a bad day - all sorts of stuff. If there was some kind of good childbirth GCSE - I'd definitely have failed the fucker.

For a while I did feel like I'd failed everyone desperately - but then I realised (and I have to say - for how shite he was at the birth DH backed me up on this) that I'd been awfully treated, DH had handled himself appallingly, and that everything that had gone on was utterly fucked up and bang out of order - and that the only person who needed to do any forgiving of me - was me because events, human anatomy and the system failed... not me.

Taken me over a couple of years, one course of counselling, one course of CBT and another about to start to get to that point though!

I'm not diagnosing OP here, but maybe she is suffering from PND..this is why maybe she is thinking irrationally..that it is her fault! I can't understand why she would think like this otherwise.

sillymillyb Thu 31-Jul-14 11:25:25

Sweetheart, listen to what everyone is saying:

You do not need forgiving. You did an amazing job! You grew a whole other person, and they are now safely in the world!

I had a similar birth to you, but I was single so no partner - I kept apologising to my mum for scaring her by screaming, but she told me not to be so stupid and I had nothing to apologise for.

Please talk to your partner - maybe you could write things down if easier? My local hospital do birth debriefs too, it would maybe be useful to talk to them?

I'm wishing you all the best, be kind to yourself x

CulturalBear Thu 31-Jul-14 11:27:21

I had a debriefing when DS was 17 weeks old - it helped with some things, but not with others. The reason for needing intervention was not recorded - they said at the time 'his head was stuck' but no-one has been able to confirm that or elaborate on it - ie maybe I'm incapable of delivering any baby naturally as DS wasn't that big (7 14 with 35.4cm head). Maybe I simply wasn't trying hard enough.

The debrief also confirmed to me that DP hadn't been charged with looking after me in recovery, which I'd assumed he had based on the comments by another midwife at the time. He had nearly fainted in theatre (twice) and ended up being sent out.

When I was in recovery he was grumpy and tired - he was dropping off in the chair - and asked if he could go home to sleep after about an hour. I said yes because it seemed daft us both not sleeping (had no crib so couldn't put DS down) plus I expected to be moved to postnatal ward imminently and he would be kicked out then anyway. Wasn't til I was moved to the postnatal ward 4 hours later that I realised he could have stayed there all night but no-one told us.

Being alone with a new baby isn't the problem in itself, it was that I'd had a spinal and couldn't move, couldn't reach call button, couldn't reach the squash etc oh and my baby was totally naked apart from a towel until I managed to get someone to pass me my bag - I then propped my legs up a bit so I had somewhere to put him and managed to get him nappied and dressed on my own.

I think one of the big issues is that assisted births are often portrayed in the media as a weak mother's way out - how many times on OBEM is a mother 'threatened' with assistance and suddenly she manages to push the baby out? Or on here, people mention it too 'as soon as they mentioned forceps I gave an almighty push and s/he was here within two pushes' etc.

I've tried to talk to him about it, but he doesn't want to - he says 'sometimes shit happens' and that's it, end of subject. He doesn't see the point in discussing it.

I value his opinion/feelings because one he is, ultimately, the closest thing I have to a best friend. And two, he was there at the time.

Roundedbuttocks90 Thu 31-Jul-14 11:30:03

How do you mean you could've done better? You bought a healthy little baby boy into this world! Childbirth is bloody hard work and some need a little extra help which is dependant on a lot of different factors!

At the end of the day you are squeezing something rather large through a comparatively tiny hole! It isn't always going to go perfectly. My STBXH never praised me either or told me I was doing a good job. I remember coming home on the Saturday - the day after I have birth and him leaving me with this tiny newborn whom I was really struggling to breast feed and his 3 YO DD. I just remember being so DH shocked and upset that despite the fact is just given birth to my first baby I had to struggle on with his DD too!

But then that's partly why I'm divorcing him!

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