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To be annoyed that partner looked during childbirth?

(877 Posts)
IsoBordem Sun 09-Aug-20 09:06:26

I recently had a pretty terrible birth experience. It was the most dehumanising experience I have ever gone through. The hourly internal exams (done twice due to a student midwife) was already pushing my limits.

Before the birth I had one request for my partner - I did not want him looking down there at any point. During the delivery the doctors offered for him to have a look, even though I said I would prefer if he didn't. He ended up watching twice.

I know I am likely being unreasonable to be annoyed. I just wished the one person who was meant to be supporting me would have listened to my wishes rather than dismissing me like my doctor did.

OP’s posts: |
FudgeBrownie2019 Sun 09-Aug-20 09:11:37

I don't think there's any YABU/YANBU here - you're obviously very hurt and upset and whilst your partner can't take it back, you're going to have to process and recover from these feelings because they'll eat away at you otherwise.

Do you feel able to speak to your partner and explain how you feel, calmly and comfortably? And could you speak to your MW about how your labour has left you feeling and ask for some support in processing the residual feelings? flowers

LouiseTrees Sun 09-Aug-20 09:11:46

He maybe felt like the doctor kept asking him. You are both right to be annoyed , because it’s your body and your rules, and being unreasonable. The unreasonable side being you haven’t said why this was a big no no in the first place. If it really was a big big problem for you then you should have really gone to town on telling him. He maybe thought it was just vanity when in reality I suspect you have a deeper reason. But unfortunately what’s done is done. You need to work through how it affects the future not the past. What is your concern now that he’s seen that? Should there be one?

Horehound Sun 09-Aug-20 09:12:28

I think it's a big moment for a dad too and what is the harm in him looking?
Of you weren't happy with additional examinations due to the student nurse, why didn't you say?
I can see both sides, maybe he should have listened but at the same time he would have liked to see his child born. I doubt he was judging what you looked like down there.

mummydarkling Sun 09-Aug-20 09:13:28

So sorry you had a difficult experience. I think these days there are services available for people who have had traumatic births and need to unpack them to move on.

I had a difficult time with our eldest myself. I would say don't focus too much on him looking, as he too was in a maelstrom at the time, but rather on moving forward from the birth. He may have felt under pressure as most of us are socialised to follow "doctors orders".

I wish you all the best. Talk to your midwife about accessing a review of the birth with a view to avoiding PTSD.

MsMiaWallace Sun 09-Aug-20 09:15:02

Could be worse I've not long had a c section.
They didn't put the screen up so DH looked down.
Let's just say he knows me inside & out!
Think he regretted it though as he almost passed out.

Ponoka7 Sun 09-Aug-20 09:15:05

Was it the actual birth he watched? Did that mean that he took his concentration off supporting you?

The Doctor should have absolutely abided by your wishes, but your partner might have just got caught up in the moment.

EyeSeeWhatYouDidThere Sun 09-Aug-20 09:15:35

I also requested my husband didn't look, the midwife encouraged him to and I was furious at the time, and if I hadn't been exhausted I would have yelled at him but then later I nearly died and had more than one person with their arm right up inside me contracting my uterus and realised that him looking was the least of my worries grin I had totally forgotten about it and did mention it to him recently about it (DD is now 6 months) and he honestly didn't remember actually looking anyway. I understand how hard it is to feel not listened to and out of control, but think its probably more use to deal with those feelings than focusing on this one. By all means, have a quiet conversation with him if you feel able to without it escalating but maybe see if you can get a birth debrief and some counselling. It's a really tough emotional time anyway without trying to deal with birth trauma too, take care flowers

AtLastEarwax Sun 09-Aug-20 09:16:08

Hmm dehumanising? I have to assume this wasn't an IVF pregnancy.....

It depends on why you weren't ok with it? Tbh my hubby found it amazing to see ds head coming out, it was a proud moment he said. Could your other half felt curious and his dad instinct kicked in? Maybe this might have been the only time to see it and would have regretted it?

I'm just trying to play devils advocate and seeing it from how he may have felt??

Hope you are healing well x

CrowdedHouseinQuarantine Sun 09-Aug-20 09:16:35

he was looking at the baby no doubt, a bit excitement to see a baby being born, his baby

Dededa Sun 09-Aug-20 09:17:21

I guess that rather than worrying about the implications of him looking, you’re upset that he ignored your wishes. I understand that.

On the other side, I think I can understand if he just got caught up in the moment and forgot what you’d said. That by no means excuses it or makes it ok, I’m just saying that during birth, adrenaline can kick in for everyone and things that you both planned end up not happening in the chaos of getting that beautiful baby into the world so it may have been done with no intent at all.

Sexnotgender Sun 09-Aug-20 09:18:54

I think it's a big moment for a dad too and what is the harm in him looking?

Because it’s the woman’s body and she gets final say as to who looks at what! It’s not a bloody spectator sport.

ibuiltahomeforyou Sun 09-Aug-20 09:19:10

@AtLastEarwax there's no need for whataboutery, OP can feel however she wants to feel about the birth regardless of how the baby was conceived. It's toxic to rank these experiences - not least because IVF mothers can then feel guilty if they experience PND.

OP, I had a horrific birth and I went back to the hospital for a debrief afterwards. It really helped me get a handle on what had happened during the process and why. They were so apologetic about what had happened too.

IdblowJonSnow Sun 09-Aug-20 09:19:25

Yanbu. He should have respected your wishes. Did he forget and get caught up in the moment? Is he usually respectful?
Sounds like you had a negative experience overall, which I can relate to.
It's a time when we're often not in control which can be frightening, humiliating and all sorts of things.

Mommabear20 Sun 09-Aug-20 09:21:27

After so many strangers going down there my husband would be the last of my concerns 😂

alfreds Sun 09-Aug-20 09:21:42

I think it's fine to feel as you do. I had c sections with both of my dc but had they been natural births I also wouldn't have wanted dh to watch them being born.

For me it would be unnecessary, some things he doesn't need to see.

It's your body and pregnancy and birth is such a huge thing that comes with a lack of control and autonomy.

The difference Ivf makes to this I don't know!? Competitive one upmanship there.

GoshHashana Sun 09-Aug-20 09:23:08

what is the harm in him looking?

She specifically didn't want him to.

PicsInRed Sun 09-Aug-20 09:23:11

I can see what you mean, OP. That it made you feel that you weren't a human patient, in terrible pain, that you were merely some inanimate object to be observed, a curiosity. That your wishes and feelings were completely irrelevant to the humans in the room. Feeling dehumanised can be terrifying, instinctively, because of the poor care which can result.

That your husband participated, rather than acted as your advocate, must make you feel so unsafe - he didn't have your back when it counts and that will make you wonder if he would adequately advocate for you in future medical events.

I hear you.

DipSwimSwoosh Sun 09-Aug-20 09:24:10

It ia your body and your wishes should have been respected.

Extracurricularfatigue Sun 09-Aug-20 09:24:12

I said YANBU as you should have your wishes about your body respected, by your husband and medical professionals. I can though imagine that he was very excited and forgot, and it is such an unusual and remarkable thing that I think that is understandable. I still wish I could have actually seen one of my babies appearing, and I’m rather jealous that my husband did.

BGirlBouillabaisse Sun 09-Aug-20 09:24:22

I hope you're okay OP

Childbirth IS invasive, it is painful and you are poked and prodded a lot, you might tear badly, you might need to be cut open. I went into the process knowing that I would have to put my body in the hands of professionals to a large extent. I'm saying this because it sounds like you need to talk to someone about how traumatic and invasive you found it.

I think you're focusing your pain and trauma on your DH when it's actually that the entire process overwhelmed you, which is entirely normal thanks

AtLastEarwax Sun 09-Aug-20 09:25:03


I think it's fine to feel as you do. I had c sections with both of my dc but had they been natural births I also wouldn't have wanted dh to watch them being born.

For me it would be unnecessary, some things he doesn't need to see.

It's your body and pregnancy and birth is such a huge thing that comes with a lack of control and autonomy.

The difference Ivf makes to this I don't know!? Competitive one upmanship there.

IVF is dehumanising, if you have experience you'll know what I mean

DDemelza Sun 09-Aug-20 09:25:37

I think your husband should have respected your wishes.

Perhaps your husband just looked to shut the doctor up, though.

Wishforsnow Sun 09-Aug-20 09:26:58

Yanbu he disrespected your wishes to not look at your body when you were vulnerable. I don't understand why he would think that is OK. Sorry you were treated badly by the drs/midwifes that sadly seems very common

alfreds Sun 09-Aug-20 09:27:32

I do have lots of experience of Ivf and fertility treatments @AtLastEarWax doesn't mean I would be happy to have my wishes violated during the birth or that I'd be happy to leave my dignity at the door just because I'd been through an invasive procedure to get there.

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