want husband to stay "head end" during labour

(47 Posts)
gmets Thu 14-Mar-13 20:20:56

i love my DH dearly but we have a bathroom door closed realtionship,i know everyone poos, waxes, vomits etc but we dont feel the need to share these details with each other face to face. i am growing apprehensive that all the staff at the hospital wil just "assume" we are ok with sharing everything.

i defo want him there at the birth but head end only, he also feels the same. did anyone else manage to have this arrangement successfully. i know its only tv but i have seen one born every minute and although there is a sheet over the womens lap the nurses seem quite happy to whip is back and totally miss the point of it being there to keep some degree of dignity if thats what you wish.

i know that getting baby out safely is the most important and that some people will call me a prudish. but i feel quite strongly about this

anyone else out there feel the same

mrsbungle Fri 22-Mar-13 16:01:44

DH himself was determined to stay head end. I didn't really care. He is a bit squeamish.

DD was forceps and a case of about 10 people piling into the room. I am not sure what he saw then but a lot of people saw a lot!

With DS it all happened so quickly. I was on the bed and it was just me and DH (I was in hospital but the MW was not in the room) and I shouted at him to go and look and see if he could see a head. I can still see him kind of standing in the same spot craning his neck slightly trying only a cursory glance hmm and me roaring go and have a proper look, it's coming! And DS was coming. The head was out so DH got more than he bargained for then.

I expect you should just tell your MW that your DH doesn't want to see anything and she will probably give you a sheet or something. You, honestly, might not care at the time, though.

trustissues75 Fri 22-Mar-13 15:48:39

Doesn't particularly bother me (the OH is already making jokes about standing by with the sieve shock ) Not saying I'm not worried he'll be put off, he might...but then again he's delivered calves etc in the past and is very blasé about all of this.

The important thing is you make sure your MW is aware how you feel about this.

Purplecatti Fri 22-Mar-13 14:04:04

I told oh to stay at my head end as hes squeamish. He didn't. I asked him if he was traumatised he said no. I asked whathe saw and he said our baby head sticking out of my bits.
Nice.
As to poo we are a bathroom door shut couple. And in labour it did happen as i tearfully announced it to the midwife who told me not to be so silly, it wasn't a lot and that it was a good sign. Oh has said nothing about it since. Its as though it never happened. What happens in labour stays in labour.

Loislane78 Sun 17-Mar-13 19:50:24

Pre-labour DP and I were both happy with him staying 'head end' which he did until v near the end when MW was talking us both through everything and invited him for a look. Whilst normally squeamish I think he wanted to see tbh and so he saw her delivered smile

I ended up in stirrups with epidural but it was all v calm, just me, DP and MW with occasional consultant visit during most of my labour. MW did put a sheet over me and I never really felt my fanjo was on show for everyone even with a few internals (stuck in bad position). I puked towards the end but didn't poo and even though then get stitched up, I didn't think it undignified tbh - perhaps cos I didn't have hoards of people in the room.

Better relationship with DP now as he respects what I went through. Would never discuss what he saw with his mates as not like that and keeps it to himself. We're bathroom door closed people but it's v special giving birth smile

ZolaBuddleia Fri 15-Mar-13 18:53:44

I think it depends on whether you mind your OH witnessing your bits, or a general lack of dignity. It's definitely possible to avoid the first, he can stay beside you and just not look. For me giving birth was a dignity-free zone, and I would have been very happy for DP not to have been there except I was frightened.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Fri 15-Mar-13 07:27:09

Before DD's birth I was quite adamant that DH not stray from the head end - however, at the time you really do stop caring about things like that! I honestly can't remember what he did or didn't see. I know I nearly broke his fingers at one point during pushing grin (which he never lets me forget!)

Tbh I wouldn't worry much about him finding you sexually attractive afterwards - I bled for 3 months after DD so we couldn't anyway, and after that the memories have somewhat faded.....

I just asked DH and he said he saw DD crowning and her head coming out and it was magical, amazing and he definitely wants to do it again with DS (due any day now!)

KenDoddsDadsDog Fri 15-Mar-13 06:57:21

Very good point MrRected, again something to think about with birth plan.
But if things aren't going to plan then you aren't going to have to care - I had a room full and the last thing I worried about was a sheet over my hoo ha.
My sis on the other hand had a water birth where here DD plopped out and very easy for her DH not to be goal end.

MrRected Fri 15-Mar-13 00:29:16

OP - my DH is quite squeamish. He stayed pretty much head end and is not a cord cutter or video taping type of dad.

Your DH will be fine head end but I think you might need to adjust your expectations on your own dignity. I have had three kids. During three labours, I reckon least 10 random people gave me internals (Registrars, Consultants, Midwives) - I had my pads CLOSELY inspected to ensure I was leaking amnionitic fluid and not pissing myself. When it came time for the actual delivery for DS1 the room was like Euston Station - there would have been 10 people in the room for various reasons. With DS2 I insisted that all non essential people get lost (so it was just me, DH and 2 midwives). No sooner than he was born though did sundry other people come in - offering tea whilst I was being examined to ensure I didn't need stitches. With DD I gave birth in South Africa, where vaginal birth is a rarety in private hospitals, so every man and in his dog popped in for a visit whether or not I was covered up or not. By the time they were crowning, I can honestly say I didn't really give a rats arse about who was there, I just wanted the baby out.

With this in mind, you might have to be very specific in your birth plan about comings and goings on the labour ward.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 00:27:53

This is another of those wonderful MN threads about something I'd never thought to worry about.

I neither know nor care what DH did or didn't see when I was giving birth.

I'm guessing most things with DD2 as he was supporting me, crouching by the bed and that was a deal more dignified than legs up in sirups having DD1.

Come to think of it dignified and giving birth should never ever go in the same sentence.

KatieMiddleton Fri 15-Mar-13 00:23:12

A sheet? hahahahaha. I doubt there will be a sheet, never mind a midwife to hold it nicely in place. If you have a c-section you get a screen.

But to be serious, in labour I was upright so there's very little to see. I also definitely may have shrieked politely requested dh get the fuck off out of my face keep out of the way while actually giving birth.

Closed bathroom door policy here too, although I did give birth both times in the living room at home grin

bubbles1231 Fri 15-Mar-13 00:19:21

RatPants No I had no concerns about where DH was during the birth. It was his squeamishness!

PurpleStorm Fri 15-Mar-13 00:19:12

I'm not keen on the idea of DH seeing everything either.

He seems to be a lot keener on the notion of him seeing everything than I am.

INeverSaidThat Fri 15-Mar-13 00:18:58

ratpants
I think it is hard to pull off dignified when your arse is in the air and..... oh, I really don't want to go into details..(there were a LOT of details confused ) ... But there was NOTHING dignified about it. blush.

Yes all my births were amazing and incredible experiences for me and my DH but they (one in particular shock ) were not dignified and I was not dignified --not that I think it matters at all

LadyBigtoes Fri 15-Mar-13 00:15:22

I didn't even give birth vaginally, but while attempting to I had an epidural and had no idea if I had pooed everywhere or not. I asked DP "did I poo on he table?" He gallantly said "no" in an awkward way that very obviously meant yes. blush

I wished I had insisted on "head end"!

LittlePushka Fri 15-Mar-13 00:09:03

PS DH and I dearly love one another too, if that matters!!

LittlePushka Fri 15-Mar-13 00:08:16

I had two great, very normal and uncomplicated deliveries and I loved all of it - BUT it was animal in nature.

I would no more have had DH in the same room (never mind up at the head end) than I would have invited a live public screening of the amazing event. For me,...once the need to push came, he was told to push off! And he did, happily.

For me personally , its a girl thing to do ..I have thought that for thirty odd years, since I was oldenough to consider the point and I still hold that thought. Best wishes!

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 15-Mar-13 00:01:42

By the time both my DCs were born, I frankly just wanted someone, maybe DH if he was willing, to finish me off so the pain would go away. I was also so out of it on painkillers that I was hallucinating that I was a telephone. Whether he was head or tail end by that point was beyond irrelevant to be perfectly honest, and I have no idea how much he saw or didn't see of the quite considerable gore involved. As long as I had his hand to squeeze to buggery, the rest of him could have been on the moon and I'd barely have noticed.

Sorry - I can see that for some labours it might be a valid consideration, and there's no harm in making your wishes known, but I'm a reasonably prudish person and by god I can barely express how little I cared about my personal dignity by the end of the process!

RatPants Thu 14-Mar-13 23:50:27

Did some of you really find it undignified to give birth in front of your oh's?
I think I found it the opposite, really and truthfully.

I was adamant that DH stay away from the business end when we had DD but as soon as labour picked up the pace and I stopped caring about the noise I made during contractions I couldn't have cared less if I had an entire army looking up my vag! I was also not arsed if DH ever touched me ever again at that point...I just wanted my baby out safely! As it was DH saw everything and was eagerly anticipating sex as soon as I was ready to have a go! grin

Try not to feel too anxious about this...have a mutual understanding but don't stress out if he decides to have a peek...it won't put him off I promisegrin (if it does he's a cock anywaywink)

bubbles1231 Thu 14-Mar-13 23:35:07

My DH was totally truamatised by watching me give birth to DS2 on my hands and knees at the business end (not intended- we were left to labour with only very occasional midwife support, as every midwife on duty was looking after 2 women!). I poohed myself just before he was born, and he says the image will never leave him. He's VERY squeamish- I was lucky he didn't keel over!

TwitchyTail Thu 14-Mar-13 23:28:18

Just tell the midwife as soon as you get in the room, and tell your husband to stand firm if asked to go down the business end.

I know how you feel - in fact am such a big prude that I had my husband wait in the waiting room and delivered alone grin Everyone thought I was bonkers but it was definitely the right decision for us. I told the midwife and she respected it just fine, and didn't try to pressure me at all. Stick to what's right for you and your husband and sod what anyone else thinks.

DTisMYdoctor Thu 14-Mar-13 23:23:17

DH and I agreed before DS's birth that he would stay away from the business end and that if he witnessed anything I would be mortified about in the cold light of day that he would never speak of it. He never has and for that I am very grateful!

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 14-Mar-13 23:16:08

LikeCandy grin to the pub quote

INeverSaidThat Thu 14-Mar-13 23:08:56

I think this is a great plan (depending on your preferences of course). My DH viewed everything for the first two DC (tears and on all fours.........it can't have been pretty sad ). We both decided, quite casually, for him to stay at the head end for DC3. Much better and much more dignified.
He also declined to cut DC3's cord. He didn't fancy doing it and it didn't have any meaning to either of us.

I would love to watch someone give birth.

RatPants Thu 14-Mar-13 22:58:10

Put it in your birth notes and perhaps advise the midwife at the time if you both feel strongly.

We aren't a toilet door open couple either grin but DH ended up at the business end during both my (luckily straightforward and poo and instrument-free) labours and said it was a beautiful thing for him (certainly not for me!) and it hasn't put him off that region at all, as evidence by ds2 if that is what you are worrying about.

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