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Worried DH will be a rubbish birth partner

(12 Posts)
MotherKat Mon 25-Jan-16 23:31:26

Hi all,
Long one sorry.
31 weeks today.
My DH is a sweet guy and has really been trying, reading all the books, coming to classes and trying hard to be supportive.
The problem is he's really bad at it.
If I get mildly stressed he flies off the handle (we're nearing the end of some major renovations, the electricians have made some mid level mistakes and having had a long day it got a couple of FFS from me and a stomp about as I logged them to raise tomorrow) he went into hulk mode, moved the bed back and stomped downstairs saying that I had "triggered his male instinct to fix things" he's about as practical as a lead windsock, so I'm guessing this has come from one of the books. Earlier today I had my first day back at work after a month off, over half of which I spent in hospital, I've heard a lot about how stressful it was for him, and how little he could do when having to visit me almost every day (I probably would have minded him skipping days less if he'd brought me more than a days clothes at a time) so meeting me after work (he's a freelancer and normally works from home but we had no power today) he told me how tired he was and how little he got done, he had his laptop and internet, his blog went up, I don't understand the issue, but ok, I guess being outside can be tough on an introverted person, but I was shaking with exhaustion at the time, and still had an antenatal class to get to, he made me promise to get an uber home rather than he bus, that counts as consideration right?
Anyway, the crux of my issue is this, we're hoping to do hypnobirthing, he's supposed to be he strong one for that, handle the questions, help me feel safe, that kind of thing, I really don't trust him to do that right now, am I being too harsh, will he step up?
Help me please mumsnet, you're my only hope.

ColdTeaAgain Mon 25-Jan-16 23:36:28

He might step up and surprise you. He might be completely useless! Tbh from what your post says about him, I wouldn't have much confidence in him.

You were in hospital and he moaned a lot about how hard it was for him? Doesn't bode well.

isthatpoisontoo Tue 26-Jan-16 11:07:51

This is not good. It might be fixable, though.

I introduced my partner to the idea of not making himself the problem. I think a lot of people are taught that showing how inconvenienced they are is the best way to show they care. People visiting those in hospital do things like sitting there for hours when they know the person they're "visiting" is going to be unconscious, they don't eat, or they stay there all night, etc. In other words, they treat themselves badly, and report that they've done this, to show their dedication. It can be quite hard to do different, actually, and say "I'm going to do this, to look after myself" when someone you care about is hurting.

If my partner or I do this when what the other person needs is actually support, we gently point it out. It's usually when one of us is injured or ill. We say, "don't make yourself the problem." I've found it's better to not get into detailed criticism, just let them change their behavior. It doesn't always work, he did still once yell at a useless doctor. It helps, though.

In terms of the birth, I think you should ask a friend or hire a doula. He's not going to change that quickly. Maybe he will be better, in the end, but why live with the stress and worry about it?

outputgap Tue 26-Jan-16 11:14:44

Oh God! I don't know where to start on your ds, so I'll just skip to the hypnobirthing. Although dh was with me, and helpful in terms of finding the archers podcast and then the hypnotherapy cd, he didn't participate in it in any way. It was really my thing, and I found it helpful. You don't need him for it to work, in other words.

But he needs to shut up and actually be supportive, not burst your bubble by whinging. Christ alive.

Mine played games and went to sleep for dd1! The midwife actually made him up a bed. I thought it was hilarious.

Fifi10 Tue 26-Jan-16 12:02:23

Not quite the same situation but I know DP will be too be useless and he will readily admit this as he is squeamish and would rather sit quietly than intervene if shit hits the fan.

That said we have already talked about things and whilst he will be present and do as he is told I will also have someone useful with me (DM is a mw). I think the advise pp have put about getting a doula or additional birth partner are great as they will be there for you and not make ' themselves the problem' (I loved this analogy poison). But obviously a conversation needs to be had with your DP about why this is necessary!

sepa Tue 26-Jan-16 12:06:22

He might surprise you when he is in the moment and realises your pushing an actual person out!

My OH was on hospital for 3 weeks last year. I visited him everyday (my choice) although I never complained about it it is very hard work to visit daily. I was so drained by the time he came home. Not saying your OH was right in the way he dealt with it just saying that it's hard work (I would have laughed at me a year ago if someone had said visiting someone in hospital was hard)

DaffyDuck88 Tue 26-Jan-16 12:28:51

I too was a little nervous about my DP being as supportive as I'd need during the birth. His Mum was also an ex-midwife but if anything I feel that made him a little more blasé about the whole thing until the time came thankfully. Plus, he spends a lot of time online and I was really anxious that he would spend all his time commenting to strangers about the labour rather than looking out for me and DD. I needed to know he would be there with me, not just observing it if you know what I mean. We also did hypnobirthing which really, really, REALLY, wasn't his cup of tea. BUT, as it turned out, although the meditation stuff wasn't for him he totally understood and was surprised by the calmness of the birth experience in the video's we were shown. He had never considered before that the experience could be traumatic for both Mother & Baby. So although he was never going to do any touchy-feely-meditation stuff with me it gave us the space to talk about my fears re the birth becoming unnecessarily medicalised etc, or my anxiety causing problems. Once I knew he had fully grasped that - I was fine and on the day he was brilliant. I listened to my tapes every day and gave into the whole my body and baby knows what it's doing - jus go with it thing. We had a great birth, quick, surprisingly for my first and probably my only given my age at the time (DD arrived day after my 45th Birthday). I did have a pal as a possible back-up though. And did tell him early on that if he couldn't support me through the hypnobirthing then I would have to rely on someone else. It's hard but I think you really have to be honest about how you're feeling. If you feel you need someone else there to be the buffer/buckstop whatever then now is the time to start planning it. Clearly you get how he is nervous too but you will have enough on your plate and seriously when t's happening, it's happening!

Actually if you are doing hypnobirthing a large part of that is about both of you vocalising and sharing your fears - your HP coach could really help you get the message across in a constructive way maybe?? You could even broach this with them (coach) in advance.

Very best of luck - mine totally surprised me by being just how I hoped he'd be and making our DD & I the focus. Hope yours does the same.

MotherKat Wed 27-Jan-16 10:27:00

Thank you all so much,
Had a long chat with DH last night, he doesn't see how he's behaving as out of order, but agrees he needs to not lose his rag as much.
We have a doula booked as a back-up anyway, he says he can't promise to hold it together in during the birth but will try.
Is this good enough or am I fooling myself?

Dixiechick17 Wed 27-Jan-16 10:38:50

I had both my Mum and husband with me. I used hypnobirthing and like someone else said I was so focussed on that that I really didn't utilise either of them. They were just there if I needed them, I didn't want to be touched, didn't talk and any decisions were made by me. My labour was extremely straightforward though. It might be worth getting him to listen to some relaxation cds too to prepare him, instead of you just listening to them. Make sure you write down anything you really don't want so that the midwife can see it in your notes and hopefully he will sort his sh*t out on the day.

Oysterbabe Wed 27-Jan-16 10:45:13

I had similar worries about my DH. TBH when it came to it I was barely aware of him or anyone else being there, I was just focused on my body and the job in hand.

Cirsium Wed 27-Jan-16 10:57:14

My DH suffers from anxiety so I was worried about how he would cope during DDs birth. We decided to ask a friend to come too. It worked really well for us, although like Oysterbabe I was not aware of them for much of the time. Except for briefly feeling really pissed off that they were having a nice chat while I was in agony and another when I got very concerned that the dog might not have been fed (he was at his sister's house being spent spoiled by her owner).

Cirsium Wed 27-Jan-16 10:59:33

No idea where spent came from in my last sentence. hmm

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