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

Iggi101 Fri 03-May-13 12:47:31

He can do it next year.
If you have to cope, you will, but really why should you.
Is the course one nearby so he could come home sometimes?
Am a teacher and really can't think of anything important/necessary enough to take two weeks away to learn!

SantanaLopez Fri 03-May-13 12:47:58

Is this a one off? Will it run next year?

You could theoretically go overdue into the very end of July and have a newborn on your own.

pjmama Fri 03-May-13 12:48:55

You might be overdue. I wouldn't be happy about being left alone with my first baby for a fortnight so early on, it's exhausting and bewildering and lovely and you'll need some support. Do you have a friend or a relative who could come and stay with you?

EglantinePrice Fri 03-May-13 12:50:05

What every one else said. Be a shame for him to miss the first two weeks of his baby too.

aldiwhore Fri 03-May-13 12:50:47

It's a toughy.

My DH has to work away a lot and being self employed we have the mindset that you have to make hay whilst the sun shines, so for us, I'd send him off and struggle through for two weeks, but only because our situation demands we have that attitude to succeed.

If he can do it again next year then that's only a delay of a year and justifiable as you don't have a tight support network at home.

Whatever you decide YANBU. Only you two can really decided what is right for you. Good luck either way!!

Twinklestarstwinklestars Fri 03-May-13 12:51:49

If he does it you'll be fine, I'm due on 17th July with dc3 but will probably be induced before, dc1 and 2 will be off from 19th for the hols and dp will most likely be working away after that. You'll probably get yourself into a routine and with dc1 you'll still be able to nap in the day hopefully. But if you really don't want him to go then he should try and put it off if you feel he can risk waiting for possible promotion.

emsyj Fri 03-May-13 12:52:37

Let him go next year. You will both regret him giving up the chance to spend the first couple of weeks with your new baby, and many folk do have teary moments during the early days and need support. You may also have a difficult delivery (I had a section with DD1) and need some practical help.

scaevola Fri 03-May-13 12:54:13

If he can rebook for a later date without missing career opportunities, then that would be bet.

But if it's something he's burning to do and it will lead to promotion soon, then it's better he goes, on the basis that it's an investment in the long term future of your family. Will you have other people around who will be able to support you?

lunar1 Fri 03-May-13 12:54:54

What if you are late or need a section, my dh works away a lot but this is just too close. He could potentially be going away when you are still pregnant.

Iggi101 Fri 03-May-13 12:56:00

Actually never mind him saying he's feels it would be selfish of him to go - is he happy at the thought of missing two weeks in the tiny baby's life, when so much will be changing?
In teaching many things might lead to promotion, but none are guaranteed. You wanting your dh's support (especially with no family nearby) is 100% guaranteed.

HazelnutinCaramel Fri 03-May-13 12:56:43

It's a bad idea. You might go overdue for up to a fortnight. You might have to have a section so you'll need his help afterwards. You might get a colicky baby who screams all night. There are any number of possibilities and given its your first, you're not going to know what the hell you're doing (none of us do!).

He can do the course any old time. Your first baby is once in a lifetime.

givemeaclue Fri 03-May-13 12:56:55

Can you hire a doula to help or maternity nurse

Weegiemum Fri 03-May-13 12:59:55

My dd1 was born on a Sunday.

The following weekend, dh had booked a locum doctor shift, expecting me to be overdue.

He did 8 hours (of 48) before calling a colleague and coming home. He missed us too much!

quoteunquote Fri 03-May-13 13:02:37

Would he be considered irresponsible if he had to cancel his place on the course at the last minute?

Because if something does not go to plan, such as you going over the due date, having complications, having a c section, ill baby, infection, any of the normal spanner in the works, he will not want to go anywhere.

If everything did go to plan and you work on that premise , could you fork out for a nice hotel or holiday cottage (invite a parent to stay) near the course ? It could be a way round the problem, all go.

kotinka Fri 03-May-13 13:04:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsMook Fri 03-May-13 13:07:04

Any friends locally that could help with the house? Mr Mook was working very long hours before DC1 was born, and PGP meant I couldn't keep up with basic levels of housework- friends helped keep the house from squalor. Stocking up the freezer would cut shopping and cooking after.

I've had a CS, and am currently recovering from a 3rd degree tear following forceps. DC1 was 3 weeks before I had the strength to carry him down the stairs. This time I have more strength but the first two weeks were painful, and I'm still under Drs orders for light duties for the first 6wks. Admittedly I'm not average for recovery and it takes a while for the PGP to go which has added to my issues this time. My CS was an emergency and my recovery/ poor health after (had symptoms of PE) wasn't forseen. This time we were prepared incase of complications as there was more liklihood of them occuring.

Is it possible for him to assume all is OK to go, but drop out should you need extra help?

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:07:05

The dates are just too close, imho.

You could easily go 10 days over your date - there are so many unknowns. He is clearly not 100% happy with the idea, and rightly so.

Am intrigued by what this residential could be that is likely to lead to promotion, ime education jobs don't often work like that.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:11:20

I did go with DH when he had a work thing for 2 weeks when Dd was 6 weeks old, we stayed in a cottage but it was very hard work with a newborn and we counted the hours until we could come home.
If it's anything involving kids on this residential then OP going too would not work and tbh she would probably just want to be at home anyway.

I've an 8 week old and I'd say let him go. Networking is a good way of getting on in the workplace and that is going to help you in the long run.

The first few weeks are actually the easiest as newborns are very sleepy so it is easy to get into a manageable routine by yourself. I had a maternity nurse and ended up giving her every day off as I really didn't want or need the help/interference. Order your groceries on-line, buy pre-prepared stuff and book a cleaner. You'll be fine.

LaGuardia Fri 03-May-13 13:24:08

Clearly no Army/Navy/RAF wives on here today. Some women have to, and do, cope all alone for weeks on end after a birth.

AThingInYourLife Fri 03-May-13 13:31:24

This is a tough one.

I was inclined to say he should go, but if DH had gone with either of our first two, he wouldn't have been here when they were born.

Or he would have had to drop out if the course last minute, which would look bad and might have an impact on getting on it again.

"The first few weeks are actually the easiest as newborns are very sleepy so it is easy to get into a manageable routine by yourself."

That is very, very far from a given.

Lots of women really, really struggle in the early weeks. Especially with their first.

That is pretty terrible advice.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:32:11

LaGuardia - sure some do, and some women walk miles to fetch fresh water, would you do that if you didn't have to??

Worsestershire, am v glad that the early weeks were so easy for you, but they were awful for me, and at this point the OP simply has no way of knowing how it will be for her and her DC.

Networking not necessarily relevant here as OP's DH is a teacher.

Loa Fri 03-May-13 13:34:02

My first was a day early which is usual as fb often late but my second we 12 days late which was a surprise inconvenient as well as we were moving week after.

I had a near perfect first birth ( actually been bloody luck with all)- and she was a near perfect baby apart from not wanting to be away from me at all.

I sat an exam when pfb was about two weeks old and moved house with toddler and new born after second brith. So you can get things do post birth/ near dates.

However despite coping looking back I can't help wishing we hadn't and that we could have just enjoyed things a bit more and been less exhausted.

If you do it - make it as easy as possible - house full of easy to cook/prepare meals and either get help with house work or accept it won't be a priority.

HazelnutinCaramel Fri 03-May-13 13:34:22

LaGuardia of course they do but presumably because they have to. They wouldn't if they had a choice?

OP has the luxury of choice.

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.

Loa Fri 03-May-13 14:02:16

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

OP has no family support nearby her DH is going to be on a residential course for two weeks. Doesn't sound like there is support.

When the DC were younger I do remember days when DH was away or alone weekends when he was away being very long and tiring - which was unexpected as I like my own company.

Personally I liked having DH round after pfb birth to talk though niggling concerns with, just be around, help deal with distant and suddenly unsupported family, help with visitors, cook, clean and tidy round and sit and coo with.

Op you'd get through it - but whether it would be the best thing for you, your DC and your DH is very debatable.

bubbles1231 Fri 03-May-13 14:02:43

Thats ok Wishi smile

whistleahappytune Fri 03-May-13 14:04:23

OP, could I just say how refreshing it is to read of a woman and a man talking together, each trying to do right by the other, considerate of each other's feelings, and mindful and supportive of long-term career goals. How lovely you are and your DH - I'm sure your baby will be lovely too.

It's far from ideal, obviously. And in an ideal world there would be nothing between you, DH and new little one for a few weeks after the birth.

But... it is only a couple of weeks and you definitely can cope. I spent a lot of time on my own (husband a war correspondent) with a newborn, and I actually quite enjoyed it. But you must be super-organised beforehand. Get all your baby basics - nappies, wipes, onesies etc well ahead of time. Make sure that there's plenty of food in the house for you (believe me, you'll eat like a horse if you're breastfeeding) and get bulky or heavy stuff delivered or bought by DH beforehand. It's one thing taking your DC in a sling to the corner for some milk and fruit, quite another if you have to schlep toilet paper, laundry powder and a couple of bottles of wine mineral water.

If you decide to do this, please you must ask for help. Consider asking someone who you think is nice, but perhaps you aren't close to. People can be very generous to new mums and are happy to do so. I swallowed my "pride" and asked for help from a neighbour (who I didn't know well at the time, but who has become a very close friend). She would let me know when she was going to the shops and pick up things for me, would stop in and coo at the baby and make a cup of tea. It wasn't a big deal for her but huge for me, as I was reassured by her company and that if I needed anything, she could be relied on while DH was away.

Anyway, the decision is between you and DH. I just wanted to encourage you if you felt inclined to have him do the course.

All the best to you, OP

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 14:05:27

Wishiwas - did you read all of my post, theone you referred to? I was making exactly that point, that you and I had had very different experiences, and there is no way of telling how it will be for the OP because it is different for every family.

Please do not quote me as saying that the OP will be the same as me.

Lambzig Fri 03-May-13 14:06:12

Sorry, stupid iPad, I meant missing not mixing

Karoleann Fri 03-May-13 14:13:32

I certainly would not get him to go, if you are 14 days late (which is the date alot of NHS hospitals induce at) this takes you to the 2nd August.

A lot of new mothers and second and third time mothers need lots of support and help in the first few days/weeks. Even if you do have a natural birth you're likely to feel sore afterwards, it also affects you emotionally and often you can feel quite weepy a few days later.

You may well have a really sleepy baby (like my DC2 and 3), but dc1 was horrendous, I'd had a bad birth, he was delivered by ventouse, and he just cried contunually. I don't know how I would have managed without DH around.

frazmum Fri 03-May-13 14:14:28

I would say let him go but ONLY if he could cancel at the last minute as you could very easily go overdue by 1-2 weeks. Also you would need some help, if you can't get some family then it would need to be a maternity nurse or mother's help. I had a mother's help with one of mine and she did jobs around the house like the washing, dishes and also held DS when I needed a break.

anklebitersmum Fri 03-May-13 14:21:31

If you think you'll be fine then let him go. He's getting the same kind of leave that DH got and if he manages to be there for the first 2 weeks that's plenty. It's a couple of weeks and he's there for the birth and first week or so at least, right?

As part of your pre-baby prep just ensure that you have plenty of frozen dinners in the freezer for you and stocks of everything you need for baby so that you can just go nowhere, do nothing but you and baby time when he's gone.

You can do lolling and sleeping and lots of cuddling with no guests to have to flap about the house for. He can hoover when he gets home if you're not up for it.

I'd say send him-it's got to best for you all financially to have this course and a promotion under his belt and as a Mum of 4 I'd make the most of having just you and baby and no other responsibilities as you won't have the luxury with number 2.

Honestly it's massively do-able (ask me how I know) if you plan in advance and approach it in a relaxed manner grin

What a fab post whistleahappytune smile

Op there really is no way of knowing how it will be for you. All that the 2 of you can do is keep talking. Think of the worst case scenario, whatever that is for you (for us it would have been that the baby was 2 Weeks late and dh missed the birth and first couple of Weeks) and think about whether that would be a deal breaker or not. If it is then perhaps now it's not the right time for dh to do this. On the other hand if it isn't you might be able to work round it, such as arranging for your Mum / sister / close friend / combination to come and stay with you when your dh goes away.

anklebitersmum Fri 03-May-13 14:24:42

thinkingpositivethoughts honestly you'll have the midwife and then the health visitor all over you and baby like a rash for the first few weeks at least.

They like to see Mum chilling and don't care about housework..mine used to put the kettle on and bring the biccies through herself once I'd let her in grin

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 14:27:41

anklebiters mum -and due to being shortstaffed round here, I hardly saw the midwife and the HV visited once.

Honestly I am not trying to be difficult but everyone is piling in with what it was like for them, and OP does not know yet!

The flip side is thinking how you'd feel if your baby arrives a week early with a very straightforward birth, and is a calm baby who sleeps and feeds well. You both feel fine. Would you / your dh regret him deciding not to go on the course?

There is no right or wrong answer. There have been some excellent practical tips about how this would be possible but also some peoples experiences that if you shared could make this really stressful.

All you can do is talk about it and decide which things would be deal breakers for you both. Hopefully this will help you come to the right decision for you both and to plan practical ways to make it as easy as possible if he does go.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 14:31:55

At last! Yellowdinosaur, I agree.

pickledginger Fri 03-May-13 14:35:48

He's a teacher, so he'd be a home with you full time for those two weeks in August. Ignoring how you feel for a minute, is it worth him missing out on two weeks of time with your baby? Who will be a maximum of two weeks old and possibly a day or two old?

milk Fri 03-May-13 14:36:57

He should only be able to go if he can provide the following:

- 2 weeks online grocery shopping + a few take aways to perk you up
- a cleaner to come over twice a week

Some practical things...

Not having dh for ds1 would have been tough because breast feeding was phenomenally painful and we had a middle of the night supermarket dash for nipple Shields and formula. Couldn't have managed that without dh as I couldn't drive (post section). So having stuff for all eventualities in even if you hope to not need them would be a good move.

ds2 actually slept pretty well at night but was a really stressy shrieky baby during the day which I actually found really hard. Planning places to go / people to visit depending on how mobile you are would mean those was more bearable than just pacing alone.

The plus side of everyone on here is we will be able too help you plan for all eventualities even if you end up with a house full of crap you never need!

anklebitersmum Fri 03-May-13 14:42:49

NotWilliamBoyd I was lucky..had a brill baby (no2) and it was hols when she was born so no school run to cope with. Midwife knew I was on todd though so maybe I got special treatment or maybe I just had the good biscuits wink

CandidaDoyle Fri 03-May-13 14:43:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pickledginger Fri 03-May-13 14:45:42

If he goes off so soon after the birth by the time he comes back you'll have everything in hand. Without him.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 14:47:07

Annie - I did something similar when Dd was 6 weeks old but tbh I just wanted to be at home.

In OPs case the baby might only be a very few days old!

lborolass Fri 03-May-13 14:49:04

I agree with those saying you can't possibly know in advance so it's impossible to be sure you've made the right choice so I'd say keep your options as open as they can be and make the decision at the latest feasible time.

But, I can honestly say that I can't remember anything that stands out about my childrens first two weeks and I really don't think bonding will be affected by being away for what's a very short time is a child's life.

ENormaSnob Fri 03-May-13 14:50:47

IMHO this is one of those situations with no right or wrong answer.

Only hindsight will provide the best course of action. By which time it'll be too late!

I've just had dc4, 4 low risk pregnancies and 4 normal easy deliveries. Normally I would just get on with things but have had a horrendous time Postnatally and tbh, I really need my dh atm.

vanhelgan Fri 03-May-13 14:55:16

In my experience it's hard to know what you're going to feel like after the birth even if things do go well. My DH went away on a work trip in similar circumstances, DC4 was a bit older at 6-8 weeks. We had discussed it in advance and both felt it would be good for his career etc. We also knew that he would have cancelled if e.g. I needed a CS.

As it was DC4 was an easy baby, I had an easy birth and all was well. Practically I didn't really struggle at all whilst DH was away. However from an emotional point of view I took it terribly. I felt completely abandoned and sidelined by DH at the time - like I was playing a supporting role in his career and the kids and I were being relegated to second place. I know (and knew then) that this was unfair and unreasonable of me but postnatally my mind was all over the place.

I'm not saying that will happen to you but I know that when DH and I planned before his trip we could only think of the practicalities - we just didn't see my (over!)reaction coming. I think for me the key was the element of choice. For forces families, self employed etc it's just what has to happen and I think I would have handled that much better.

Oh, also, with your dates DH would have missed the birth of DC1 and DC4 as they were so overdue...

TwinkleSparkleBling Fri 03-May-13 15:03:55

OP I'd just written a really long post. Which led me to this thought.

How exactly will the course lead to promotion? I am a teacher and have never come across this. Is it guaranteed?

If there is a job vacancy it will be advertised. What if your DH does go and misses the first couple of weeks with you both and doesn't get the promotion?

SuffolkNWhat Fri 03-May-13 16:31:37

There are some AST and Leadership courses that run in the holidays (in place of the old NPQH system)

If it is one of those they happen yearly in which case he may be able to defer for a year. However, I would be inclined to look into whether it is easy to cancel the course last minute (going overdue as a reason) and book it. You might not go overdue, not everyone does with their first and the benefit of having a teaching DH is the amount he will be around in the first year because of the holidays.

Also look int baby groups, NCT coffee mornings etc in your area and try to get to one, total life saver in the early days as I realised I was not doing this alone.

Good luck!

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 03-May-13 16:46:54

*it is only a couple of weeks and you will cope"

Sorry, but no one has any idea whether the OP will cope or not. She might, she might not. OP, can he book it and cancel if necessary?

Personally it would be a big no no for me. With or without the benefit of hindsight. It also depends how you want to look back on those 2 weeks - no one knows how it will go for you, but your first weeks with a newborn and as a family could be really lovely if your DH doesn't go. Or they could be traumatic and difficult, whether he's there or not. You just don't know! But I'd rather make it as easy as possible if it wasn't essential for him to go.

Personal experience - DC1 was EMCS so he couldn't have gone anywhere. REALLY struggled with bfing and would have stopped had DH not been there, definitely. DC2, another traumatic birth, although "natural", but I was still in physical discomfort for quite a while. DH took extra time off work so I could focus on bfing, which worked better. He was away for one night when DS2 was about 7 days old, which wasn't ideal timing, but do-able for one night!!

Good luck with your decision.

Iggi101 Fri 03-May-13 16:47:14

I think there'll be a lot of pressure on the OP to not ask her dh to cancel, if he goes ahead and books.
Better not to book at all, unless the cancelling is only to be in case of overdue baby or obvious illness.

thebody Fri 03-May-13 16:50:18

Your baby could be 2 weeks late!

It's your first baby ffs, he has years to build up his career.

Shame to miss this precious time together especially with first baby.

MrsHoarder Fri 03-May-13 16:52:10

He should certainly consider what the repercussions would be if he pulled out late. To add fuel to the no argument, I went into hospital to be induced at 40+12. Ds was born at 40+16. At 40+19 (so ds was 3 days olds) dh had to carry me in to see the gp because I was suffering so badly with infected stitches downstairs.

I rely wouldn't have coped, I couldn't stand up whilst holding ds until he was nearly 2 Weeks old, which was 4 Weeks past his due date. But it want a problem because dh made sure he didn't have to travel for any meetings for 4 Weeks either side of my due date (and moved some things back still further).

whistleahappytune Fri 03-May-13 17:53:52

Thank you yellow!

Pinkflipflop Fri 03-May-13 18:09:47

Absolutely, definitely not!

I've just had my first baby and I could not have coped without dh.

wiltingfast Fri 03-May-13 18:12:27

Have you no one who can stay with you? Because you could run late and you will need access to someone who can bring you to hospital at minimum. Really much better not to be left alone at that stage of pregnancy.actually you really should not be left alone if you are overdue.

Or assuming you do have the baby in time, why don't you go with him? Rent an apt or something and set yourself up there for the first 2w? He has to stay somewhere anyway so probably wouldn't cost much extra.

thinkingpositivethoughts Sat 04-May-13 09:57:43

Hi all, OP here.

Thank you all so much for your replies. Kind of overwhelmed actually - bloody love mumsnet.

For those who were curious my DH's course is part of the future leaders accelerated head scheme so its quite a big deal and very competitive - if all goes to plan he'll be a head teacher in 3 years rather than the 5-10 it would take otherwise so there are pretty good rewards.

We've decided to plan for him to go - I'm going to try and go with him for some of it and then my MIL can stay with me for the rest of it if the baby in a hotel is too tough. He also gets the weekend off in the middle so that helps. If the birth is difficult, c-sec or massively over then he won't go and will hopefully be able to defer to next year -it'll just be one of those things as there's no way he would leave me if I was struggling or ill.

I'm definitely going to be spending July eating Vindaloo and drinking raspberry leave tea to try and get baby out in time though! fingers crossed grin

Donkeyswife Sat 04-May-13 10:07:13

It's a no brainer IMO. He should not go. You might go overdue - very common with first babies. I know I was an emotional wreck when my hubby went back to work after 2 weeks and I had my mum stay with me for a week when he'd gone back to work (maybe that's why I was a wreck grin ).

He can do the course another time - you need him, the baby will need him and FFS you don't need this worry hanging over your neck at this time. I can't imagine why a promotion would be dependent on him doing a 2 week residential course.

ivanapoo Sat 04-May-13 10:23:42

I wouldn't go, unless baby arrives early or is at leadt 2 weeks old. Newborn baby in a hotel sounds like a terrible idea, sorry. It's hard enough at home!!

greenformica Sat 04-May-13 11:39:35

He must do it next year unless a close friend/family member can come and stay with you while he is away. You and your babies needs come first. You have no idea how your birth/recover will be and you will need support from somewhere.

MortifiedAdams Sat 04-May-13 11:43:26

I found the first few weeks with a newborn emotionally difficult. DH often woke to find me sobbing into the sink as I washed bottles at 3am. He was a saint. And I was totally keen on pregnancy, had a goodish birth and handled the sleep depravation ok so it.took us by surprise.

You may need him around for.non-practical.matters.

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Sat 04-May-13 12:26:40

Welcome to parenthood.... Full of sacrifice!

My two penneth.... If he can defer, do it. Its the little things. I KNOW people do cope, and have to cope.... But its nice when you are sat breastfeeding and suddenly feel ravenous, to have dh there to say get us a brew and the biccies, love. Or you really need to grab a quick shower and change of pad in peace because you know dh is cuddling the baby. Or someone just to chat to at 4am as you feed for the twentieth time. Those first few weeks are insane, you are in the bubble and first flush of baby love, and you are really deserving of a nice babymoon.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sat 04-May-13 12:36:00

If he can come home at the weekend then I think it makes it a lot more viable, especially if your MIL can stay. Someone suggested getting a cleaner in few a few weeks. I think that would be a great idea and if you plan ahead and have everything as organised as possible then it should be ok.

I would have hated staying in a hotel. confused

I think it could be fine smile

ShatterResistant Sat 04-May-13 16:39:36

For the first 2 weeks after my baby was born, I practically couldn't bear for my husband to leave the room! I loved him sooooo much, and emotionally I was all over the shop, despite a very uncomplicated birth and calm baby. Looking back, I wouldn't have missed that time with him and the tiny one for anything. Of course I COULD probably have managed, but why would you? As people keep saying to me about the baby, these times are so precious, and they never come around again...

Tailtwister Sat 04-May-13 17:29:25

Unless the promotion is a done deal if he goes on the course, I would be inclined to wait until next year. If he does go, you will manage. Lots of people do, but of course it would be preferable for him to be there, both from his perspective and yours.

jkklpu Sat 04-May-13 17:32:36

If you've decided you're going to go for some of it, might be better to consider an apartment rather than a hotel. That way you won't be hassled by staff, you'll have a mini-kitchen and feel more at home.

maddening Sat 04-May-13 22:03:27

yes I second a sc accommodation. And he should ensure lots of lovely food is there for you as well as lots of DVDs and entertainment for you.

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

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.

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.

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

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

He is acting like a selfish twat

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?

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

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.

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

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

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.

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)

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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....)

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.

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.

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

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 ?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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