Concerned about DH fainting during labour (long I'm afraid)

(13 Posts)
islander99 Mon 25-Feb-13 09:54:54

My husband is lovely and couldn't be more supportive. However, he has an unfortunate tendency to go dizzy and faint in any medical environment. This can be at the GP's, visiting someone at hospital or watching a reflexologist touch my feet on holiday(!) It has been going on since he was a kid and the issue has been avoided by his raging good health.

However, he went dizzy at my 12 week scan when the sonographer took the measurements for the nuchal fold, so my optimism in him surviving the labour is fading! I'm currently 18 weeks with my first baby. We went to the GP to discuss this, who wasn't particularly helpful about a solution. He suggested a referral to a cardiologist to double check there is no heart related reason (which is an absolute battle to get him to book) in the hope that a subsequent referral to a psychiatrist may be covered by the BUPA cover he gets through work.

Asking around, friends have suggested hypnotherapy and I think part of the battle is making himself as informed as possible beforehand. I can of course have another birth partner, but really I want our baby's birth not to be shared with others. I'm quite pragmatic and am fine with sending him out during blood tests/ exams and keeping him at the Head end, but I really do want him representing our wishes should I be unable to. The other alternative is to plan for a homebirth so that he can feel more in control of the environment, which I think would be pretty great as long as the baby has one of those lovely straightforward births. DH would panic far more with rushed hospital transfer.

He is putting no pressure on me whatsoever about this and thinks I should choose what is best for me. I, however, want it to be our shared experience and him not to feel any guilt about missing something crucial (which he will). I also do not want midwives fussing over him when I'm in labour!

Has anyone got any similar experiences or wise suggestions for me?

Bambi86 Mon 25-Feb-13 10:08:25

What about hypnobirthing? My DP is very similar, but now he is super informed about every stage of labour/what will happen etc and feels very involved. I think it's really boosted his confidence and given him a role during labour.

I read Marie Mongan's book first, and then we booked a course. Couldn't recommend the course enough, DP loved it and feels very prepared for birth. Good luck!

discobeaver Mon 25-Feb-13 10:11:06

Oh dear. I really think it sounds like you may have to give birth without him, which tbh I don't think is such a bad thing.
You should be focused on YOU and your baby, not have half a mind on whether your husband is going to flake out at any point.
Also I don't think seeing the birth is such s crucial thing, it's the next twenty years that are really important.
I can see you eant him thete to support you, but realistically is that going to happen? It also doesn't sound as if he's that determined to beat this thing in time for the birth and is leaving things up to you. I also would not opt for a home birth because it's it is easier for him!

BlatantLies Mon 25-Feb-13 10:12:31

I would go for whatever birth suits you and would give your DH permission to see how it goes. Tell him it is ok to leave the room if he feels faint. It will take the pressure of him and may make it more relaxing for you as you won't be worrying about him. He may wll be fine.
Make sure the staff know and make sure he has a chair. The staff won't mind at all, it is much much better for them to know.
I know it's the woman that does the actual birth bit but it must be hard to watch a partner go through it. My DH mostly stayed at the head end of the bed although he did cut the cord for one of our babies.
I wouldn't underestimate your DH queasiness.
Personally I wouldn't bother with hypnosis.
Congrats and good luck.

Olgathebrickshed Mon 25-Feb-13 10:16:07

I would excuse him completely from the birth experience. It will still be a shared experience, and you will have endless shared experiences with your baby to follow. Once you are in labour, you may well not care much whether he's there or not - but what you don't need is to worry about whether he's okay. You will need to focus completely on yourself, without any distractions. My DH was there for mine, but so was my mother. Much as I love him, she was the one I listened to.

discobeaver Mon 25-Feb-13 10:33:32

Does this also mean that if/when your child needs medical attention in the future, you will be the one lumbered with every single Dr's appointment?
That's not really fair is it?

GingerJulep Mon 25-Feb-13 20:27:32

Some hospitals/MLUs (and obviously homes!) allow you to have two birthing partners.

I know you weren't keen on sharing too widely but would it take the pressure off slightly to say hire a doula/independent midwife/your mum for you and have him there (with head between knees in a chair if necessary!) to support you, but with someone else who also knows your wishes if necessary?

Alternatively get the second birth partner to support the first one?

Good luck!

sw11mumofone Mon 25-Feb-13 21:39:06

Why don't you try and solve his problem while you still have time - in whatever way you think could work. Maybe the heart check, maybe hypnotherapy, hypnobirthing course (although we have done one of those and i'm not sure it would help with something this severe), counselling or whatever you think could have a chance of success. Maybe he could gradually come to more appointments with you as your pregnancy progresses. Give him the chance to see if he can turn this around in time. Then make a decision closer to your due date. If he decides to go for it, have a second birthing partner prepared and take both if you can. If not, have the second one on standby in case your husband doesn't cope.
My DH is pretty bad in medical situations. He passed out onto the floor having his first ever contact lense put in by an optician, has to lie down for blood tests etc. But he was amazing during the birth of DD. He totally stepped up to the mark and nothing fazed him at all. And it was a pretty traumatic birth. You never know, if you can work on it for a few months now he might surprise you.
If you end up deciding against it, don't dwell on it. The support after you get home is definitely way more important!

sittinginthesun Mon 25-Feb-13 21:45:33

My DH cannot even watch Animal Hospital, he is so squeamish. He tried to be supportive at ds1's birth, but I sent him out half way through. Ds2, we arranged to him to stay at home with ds1.

He can always wait in the parents' room and have regular updates. He will be allowed to pop in and out as his feels able. Most of the early stage is pretty boring anyway.

Floralnomad Mon 25-Feb-13 21:48:43

My husband was at the birth of our first child stayed at the head end and still managed to feel dizzy and be sick 3 times ! I had an ELCS with the second and we'd already agreed that he would wait outside the theatre and be given the baby ASAP after the birth , there was no way I wanted him in theatre causing a fiasco . He doesn't feel he missed out on anything and I'm sure would rather have not been at the first birth either in hindsight .

PuzzleRocks Mon 25-Feb-13 21:56:00

I had the same concerns but these were alleviated by the fact my Mum was there, which we both wanted. According to my Mum he was a little peaky at points. I can't say I noticed, I was a little preoccupied, I thought he was fab. The midwives wont give him a second glance, I can promise you that.

He wasn't there second time around as he was at home with for DD1 so I had my Mum and sister. It was no less special for either of us and he bonded with both our daughters the instant he saw them (be that immediately or 6 hours later). Go with your instinct. Congratulations and all the best.

thingamajig Mon 25-Feb-13 21:57:17

I went for a homebirth for my first partly because my DH is so bad in a medical environment. I wanted to anyway, but it did help a lot, and although he missed the actual birth, he was able to pop in and out throughout (whilst painting the kitchen hmm ). And he cut the cord, which I never would have expected (maybe he was more frightened of the MW who asked him to) While I was labouring, I didn't care much one way or the other, but it was nice to see him.
DH has a lot of odd phobias (baked beans, cotton wool and milk, anyone) and I was very doubtful about how much help he would be with the whole parenting thing, but he has grown up no end and got control of himself since becoming a father. I'm not sure how much help any of that is to you, but do consider a HB, and there IS hope that he will improve with fatherhood.

MiaowTheCat Tue 26-Feb-13 18:24:38

My husband nearly keeled over when a scan diagnosed a missed miscarriage - hence me being worried how he'd cope in the delivery room.

In the end (although he was crap on the supporting me front) - he was fine - even coping with the forceps coming out and then the placenta being removed manually in chunks and turning around at the wrong time to see the shredded placenta being carried out in a bucket... shellshocked by the experience and traumatised slightly - but we both were as it wasn't a smooth or pleasant delivery.

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