Being alone for caesarean. Opinions and experiences please.

(33 Posts)
Grapesoda Sat 05-Jan-13 12:06:36

I am due to have an elective section in a few weeks. I have one ds who lovely SIL will look after. DH is not keen to be in theatre for the "operation" as he is v squeamish. He is actually a v supportive dh, hands on dad, good provider, always sticks up for me etc. but he would rather wait outside the theatre to see dc. I am not actually that bothered, I'm not at all squeamish and not scared of being in the operating room. I know everyone's different and it's up to us but doesn't seem ally weird for him to not be there and me to be only own? Anyone else done this?
Thanks in advance for replies.

Overreactionoftheweek Sat 05-Jan-13 12:23:24

If it's planned you'll probably be fine on your own, especially if you're not bothered.

Mine was an emergency so I really needed dh. He certainly didn't enjoy seeing my insides though! The actual procedure was fine, I could definitely do it on my own if I knew it was coming.

Enjoy your new baby!

tethersend Sat 05-Jan-13 12:31:29

I have had two electives and was unable to hold the babies straight away both times due to BP dropping- DP held them and did skin to skin with DD2.

He made the mistake of looking behind the screen the first time but no the second wink

I would ask him to be there and insist he stay at the head end where he won't see anything; but ultimately your choice and you'll probably be fine.

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 05-Jan-13 12:32:19

I've had 3 planned sections and whilst I look back on them fondly (must have been the drugs or memory block on the bad bits) DH found them all really uncomfortable and doesn't remember them as happy times.

He found it uncomfortable watching me paralysed from the waist down, I had a massive coughing fit and passed out and was sick during one of them. Again I'm not bothered because DC were soon in my arms and all forgotten by me but when DH talks about it he recalls them being terryfing and awful experiences and I bet if I had said he didn't need to be there for me because I would cope he would have been out of the door in seconds.

Do what you feel is right for you.

Good luck!

RooneyMara Sat 05-Jan-13 12:45:48

I haven't had a CS but have given birth totally on my own, with medical staff that is - and it was fine. The saddest thing was not having anyone there after, while the ward was full of families and so on but you'll have DH straight afterwards so that's great.

Hope it all goes really well x

mayhew Sat 05-Jan-13 12:45:50

If you are going to worry about him coping, then how will it help you to have him there? The midwife will stick close to you and the anaesthetist and anaesthetic nurse are usually supportive too.

The midwife will usually pop outside quite quickly to let Dad know all is fine. And then take the baby outside to dad if you are not able or ready to do skin-to-skin.

Grapesoda Sat 05-Jan-13 14:30:26

Thank you for replies.
Roonymara: sorry you had that sad time.
I don't feel it wil help me emotionally to have him there, bit of a pain really to have someone in the room who's not comfortable. But I realise it will be hard to hold baby and I am v v v keen for early skin to skin having been separated from ds1 for a couple of hours. Hopefully nice midwife will help.
I'm relieved not to receive a stream of responses chastising him for abandoning me grin

I won't chastise him, but I think it's a bit weak of him, to be honest. I mean, you're the one having major abdominal surgery, all he has to do is sit there! He won't be able to see anything gory, unless he purposefully gets up and looks over the screen.

mercibucket Sat 05-Jan-13 14:37:36

i had mine without dh. i wouldn't be mad keen on being in an operating theatre either! it was fine, there's lots of company! i felt quite detsched, maybe they use a seditive? or i just zoned out? ds was delivered and then given to dh outside, it then took a long time til i was all sewn up confused and it was nice to know ds was being cuddled by dh

AngelWreakinHavoc Sat 05-Jan-13 14:41:07

I have had 3 c sections and the second one I was on my own due to childcare for ds1.
I was fine and all the medical staff were lovely.
You will be fine smile
Remember to take a camera in with you and the nurses will take pics for you.

PandaNot Sat 05-Jan-13 14:46:55

My DH is very squeamish but coped with both of my sections. However he did nearly pass out in the second one after they discovered a cyst which needed removing! He was quickly removed from theatre and sat in recovery with our dd while I had a two hour operation! He says now he wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I agree that the staff will be very supportive, both anaesthetists in mine were fab. The first one even took a photo of DH and ds while we were still in theatre.

You won't be on your own. The anaesthetist will be there to chat to you and probably an ODP too. Your DH would usually sit right next to your head behind the screen, so he wouldn't see anything. It would be fine for him to wait outside though.

xmasevebundle Sat 05-Jan-13 16:35:27

I had my mum in theatre with me, shes hated the sight of blood and operations.

The anaesthetist spoke to me, all guessed his weight even the consultant, asked his name etc. It seems so quick after i had my spinal it felt 5 mintues and it was all over and done with!

DoItToJulia Sat 05-Jan-13 16:40:54

My DH is very squeamish too. No cs here, but he couldn't cut the cord for ds1 so we discussed in advance that he would not have to do it with ds2. That was mainly so I wasn't stressing that he was being asked to do something he couldn't do.

Do what is right for you and him. Good luck OP!

Grapesoda Sat 05-Jan-13 16:58:56

Thanks. Good tip about the camera. I hope they won't mind.

QTPie Sat 05-Jan-13 18:16:47

Anyone else you want there just to share it with? Family? Friend? I would definitely be there for a friend to hold their hand and just be there.

From ELCS experience, I think that the anaesthetist and MW and other theatre staff will step up for you: support you, hold your hand, take photos etc. Just explain the situation to them - you won't be the first... But staff do vary.

QT

MrsAmaretto Sat 05-Jan-13 18:41:38

I don't think it's odd and think you should do whatever works for you as a couple.

I had an elective & was terrified of the bit at the beginning when they put the spinal in, thing in your hand & catheter. This is the bit your birth partner is not allowed in for. I explained beforehand to them that I was a wuss, and they were very supportive. Likewise we explained that dh & I didn't want to be given a blow by blow account of proceedings or see beyond the screen. Again they were very supportive & gave us practical advice e.g. Dh and me not to look up at light fittings etc incase he saw reflections etc. of the gory bits.

It's a major op and theatre staff are well aware it's scary to many and, in my experience, were very very supportive and kind. I would easily have another elective without dh in the theatre, but was glad of his company & awe in the recovery room.

Grapesoda Sat 05-Jan-13 18:56:24

Yes, he'll be the directly following the delivery. I don't think it's worth having anyone else in theatre as well as that, gets a bit crowded I think, so I can't really think of anyone else who i'd want in with me for support.

Mutley77 Sat 05-Jan-13 19:00:38

I think it would be fine; I would feel a little sad that DH would miss it but in your position I think my concern for his feelings would override that.

1944girl Sat 05-Jan-13 19:40:49

I have had two sections both emergencies or crash.
My DH was not present but this was the old days 1969 and 1972 and both done under GA.The second time be b**** off to the merchant navy to make sure he was not around for the birth.No husbands/partners/mothers/friends/or anyone else allowed in theatre those days but it would of been nice to have him around for the birth.
DH and myself have just had a row tonight over this.For some reason it rears it's ugly head every now and again.He cannot understand how I got so upset that he was not around for the birth of our second son.He came home two months later and acted as if nothing had happened.
Each to their own I suppose.Our DS2 is now father of five, and has seen all his children, including one by EMCS born.
Even after saying how upset I was at my DHs attitude I dont think it makes much differance wether he is in theatre or not when it comes to being a father.The birth is just the start of it all.
His party piece after I had almost died during the first one was going around telling people that it is a lovely thing we have the NHS otherwise the ceasarian would have cost a fortune.Beat that one for sentimentality.

elizaregina Sat 05-Jan-13 19:58:08

my DH also squeamish but he sat with me and didnt see a single thing....he could have done but he didnt. Theatre staff also expect DH NOT to want to see anytyhing - they dont want someone fainting either..

So just to let you know it is possible to have him there and for him not to see a single thing.

HOWEVER the theatre staff seem to be usually very very supportive and jolly you along - esp anthetist...usually!!! They are after all taking care of paitent who is awake during major op - i think you would be just fine to be in alone....

Yes, does your DH know that he won't see anything? they really make sure of that, they don't want any fainters!

My anesthetist was very jolly too smile

SirBoobAlot Sat 05-Jan-13 20:39:13

Do what works for you. My friend's DP was dead set on not being there, until he spoke it over with a midwife before hand, and explained what he was worried about. She reassured him, and in the end he went in, happily, and is now so pleased he didn't miss out on it.

Also - if you want skin to skin immediately, you can ask for it before the operation.

hippoCritt Sat 05-Jan-13 20:39:26

May be worth chatting at your appointments for this, I am sure they could put bigger screen up or sit him at a different angle if he thought he could deal with it without seeing the process. My oh wasn't allowed in for epidural, he had to wait outside

Tinselandchocolates Sun 06-Jan-13 07:49:43

I'm an anaesthetist so have been present at many sections. I've seen many many nervous fathers come in, not see any gory bits and be beautifully emotional at the birth of their child. I've also seen nervous fathers come in and faint, which certainly doesn't help the mum. And I've seen mums come in on their own because that's what suits the couple.
If your DH knows he won't see anything, that he will get first/v early cuddles, that it takes about 45mins of surgery in total, that baby can tend to need a bit of waking up after a section, and he doesn't want to/doesn't think he can cope, then I would say it's very brave of him to admit it. Fatherhood is not about those 45 minutes.
You will be fine on your own, the team in theatre with you will jolly you along. Usually you can take in a favourite CD and music can be very relaxing/distract from the thought of it all for you.
No reason you can't have early skin to skin provided baby is ok. It's tricky and you'll need help but I've done it for many mums. If you're not squeamish at all you might want to think about asking to have the curtain lowered to see your baby delivered, some women really like this moment, and if DH isn't there you can take advantage.
All the very best for a special day.

Grapesoda Sun 06-Jan-13 08:32:13

Thanks so much for all the replies. I have explained to him that he wouldn't see anything of the op but he still can't understand why anyone would want to witness their dw having surgery. He was present during my v traumatic forceps delivery I theatre and that affects his view (although I've explained that this would be much calmer). I know if I insisted he would be there but that's not really my approach to these sorts of issues, I don't find it helpful long term.
I feel quite encouraged now and if I actually got to see dc being born that would be a bonus for me.

elizaregina Sun 06-Jan-13 12:58:17

bless - they dont witness anything you dont see anything except your dw!

my DH saw ALOT more during my first VB!!!! he saw nothing during this!

anyway you will be fine also some theatres have a screen you can watch too

catkins1979 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:46:13

Just do whats best for you as a couple.

MrsHBaby3 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:24:14

I think he should man up! He's got the easy job, you're having major abdo surgery, and can hardly decide actually no you dont want it.

Grapesoda Wed 09-Jan-13 19:54:17

Well, MrsH, i do hear you, but i don't see what help he would be if he's very anxious. Some men talk about feeling quite turned off their dp after witnessing the birth and i don't need that either really. I do get what you're saying but i can't make him want to be there in the theatre.

I agree with MrsH, I would be seriously unimpressed if DH didn't come in become he couldn't deal with it. It's not exactly a walk in the park for me either!

But if you know there's no way to change his mind, what can you do really. I understand why you feel having him there under duress would be even worse.

Grapesoda Sun 13-Jan-13 12:39:13

Thanks for all your comments. Just been informed by obstetrician that I can have the screen lowered to see baby being born, so quite excited now. I doubt this would happen if dh was there, understandably.

Missingthemincepies Sun 13-Jan-13 17:02:43

That sounds like you've got a good plan that will suit both of you. Will be much better for him to be waiting outside with cake and champagne!
Very best of luck.

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