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birth plans and partners

(25 Posts)
soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 00:46:27

How many ladies had trouble convincing their husbands of their mode of delivery?
I want a c section and he is not keen on the idea. He cannot understand why I would want one. I want it for various reasons, I will discuss if asked(but not in the question)
My friend wanted a home birth and her husband hated the thought.
Is it just us or have your husbands/partners also wanted to have the final say in the birth plan? If so, how did you deal with it?

I feel like he has full say once the baby is out, but since I'm the one giving birth, my preference should be more important.I posted this on a men's site and got slammedsad

Sausagesarenottheonlyfruit Wed 17-Aug-11 01:31:09

When he is the one delivering a baby, your husband is at liberty to give birth any way he chooses!

Why does he think he has the right to dictate what happens to your body?

Is he controlling in other ways?

To answer your question, my DH wouldn't dream of arguing with my birth preferences. He is there to assist, support and advocate for me, and considers himself privileged to do so. I like to think this is the experience of most women.

Sausagesarenottheonlyfruit Wed 17-Aug-11 01:34:36

Additionally, can you explain what you mean when you say get will have full say when the baby is out? Because I sincerely hope I'm reading too much into this, it being late at night and all

soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 01:40:29

Hi Sausagesarenottheonlyfruitsmile
I meant he will have equal say in the deciding things related to the baby.
I am so mad at the reactions in that bloody men's website that I wasn't thinking clearly when I typed.
I asked the men how to convince my husband of my birth plan and they told me to "accept my husband's decision". fuming

Sausagesarenottheonlyfruit Wed 17-Aug-11 01:48:57

What sort of website was that?! Sounds awful, what a bunch of clueless neanderthals. Unfortunately there can be a gang mentality on forums (MN no exception), seems you were a victim of a nasty one in this case. Don't let them get to you, they don't affect your life in any way.

soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 01:58:12

I knowsad My DH is amazing but he can be a bit of a chauvinist (rolls eyes)

I'm not going to change my mind about the c section and I'm worried about the effect this will have on our relationship.
I feel so frustrated because he should support me. The focus should be on a happy mother and a healthy baby. Not on who gets to decide!

I asked my mum to come over for 4 weeks after the birth to help me because DH will be away at work. DH is less than thrilled. The men on the forum told me "millions of women recover form birth and take care of a baby so get a life and tell mom not to come". GRRRR.
I am at a high risk of PPD due to a prior history of depression and I want my mummy around for supportsad Plus this is my first baby so I'm a bit clueless.

nannyl Wed 17-Aug-11 08:10:54

I must be very very lucky.

OH has always been 100% supportive in my plan for a home-birth.

As it is baby is fine, in the right position and I am low risk, but I would still have been planning a homebirth with an IM if baby was breech, or if i had some minor risk factor that meant NHS didnt consider me to be "low risk".

Have had his full support throughout. Im nearly 37 weeks now, and all set for my home-hypno-water birth.

I also have NO intention of being routinely induced at 42 weeks.
1) because i KNOW my dates are out a bit and mine are right
2) because i'll be opting for monitoring, and all the while baby and placenta are fine, i will not consent to induction, though of course if there seem to be any issues I'll consent to induction without question. (will re-think at 43 weeks)

I certainly have less than normal opinions / intentions, but still have his 100% support

soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 10:39:19

Can some more ladies contribute?
Did most of you who opted for c sections have the full support of DH?
What is wrong with my DH and what do I do about it?

nunnie Wed 17-Aug-11 11:26:03

After lots of dithering I have finally agreed to a plan with the Consultant that I will have an ELCS at 39 weeks, however if I labour early will have a trial labour.
As for my DH he was very supportive and ultimatly said it was my choice and he was only there in a supportive capacity during labour as that is all he can offer having a willy restricts his ability to labour for some reason wink

He did however have an opinion which I think he was fully entitled to and I listened to and could see exactly where he was coming from. It was just an opinion he was not saying this is how it will be if it isn't like this then I am not interested in being there etc.

I am sure once it comes to it he will be very supportive and once the baby is here it will all become irrelevant how it got here.

My husband feels useless throughout pregnancy and labour even though I couldn't have got here without him doesn't seem to matter. If I told him he wasn't entitled to an opinion on any aspect of pregnancy or labour then I would just be adding to this feeling of uselessness which I don't personally wish to do. Just because he has expressed a concern about my choice does not mean he wants to take control it just means we can discuss it and hopefull eleviate his fears which have led to the opinion.
I can only speak for my DH, but his opinion does matter to me, whether I follow it is my choice but I don't think by expressing it he actualy expects me to alter my own opinions, he just wants to express rather than bottle.

Tangle Wed 17-Aug-11 13:18:39

I wanted a HB - DH wasn't keen. I started early (about 12 weeks, IIRC grin) and just brought it up as a concept from time to time. I'd leave web pages open that talked about the reality of HB so that there was a chance he'd pick up on some information, rather than relying on a knee jerk reaction. What really swung it was when we went on the hospital tour at about 32/34 weeks (conveniently, just after an NCT class on birth positions) and he saw for himself just how tiny some labour rooms are - and got to talk to some of the MWs re. VEs and time lines. Suddenly he started to realise that a HB had some advantages over hospital birth and by the time we got to me in labour he was fully on board (and is now a major HB advocate).

Like Nunnie, I don't think its unreasonable for DH to have an opinion or concerns about how I'm hoping to bring a baby into the world - I married him because he loves me, and he's demonstrated his commitment to me a number of times over the years. Seeing your wife in a potentially life threatening situation is scary, and I think its hard for many men to realise that this is one time where they have to take a back seat and they can't step in and sort it all out - some men cope with that better than others! I would reserve the right to make the final decision, but I'll also extend the courtesy of listening to his concerns - and I expect him to do likewise.

That said, DH is very good at listening to me and will (usually) take on board what I say. He might not understand at first, but he will try to do so - not just decide he doesn't see it the same way so I must be wrong. Is your DH trying to dictate that you can't have a CS and can't have your mum to stay, or is he not understanding why you'd want those things and expressing himself badly?

I'd ignore everything a bunch of chauvinists that you've never met said, TBH. Did you pick that particular men's website for any specific reason or was it just unfortunate?

If your DH doesn't want your mum to come then he needs to rearrange his work so he can be there for you. Or he needs to come up with an alternative that will leave his wife and child supported. DD was a fairly straightforward birth, although I did loose a bit of blood - I greatly appreciated being molly coddled for the next week or two, and DH was able to be there and do all the cooking, shopping and nappy changes so all I had to do was sleep and feed the baby. I don't know how I'd have coped in the first week if I had to do all the cooking, shopping, washing, etc, as well.

NorthernChinchilla Wed 17-Aug-11 19:13:49

I am also aiming for a c-section, and my DP is right behind me (in fact, his concern is the hospital not going for it).

I think it would be worthwhile trying to sort out why your OH doesn't want you to have a section: is it a fear that you or the baby may be harmed? Does he have some slightly old fashioned approaches around 'labour is what women do and therefore you should'? You'll have to find out they why before you can get the right tactics for approaching him.

It goes without saying that you should decide, and you should have his support. However, it may be that his resistance to a section is based on fear, or some out of date information, both of which can be tackled.
If it's a matter of him trying to get you to agree that you should give birth the way he wants, then you may have more of a fight on your hands.

It's also interesting about your Mum coming to stay, and his reaction to that. The two issues combined may suggest he's feeling a bit powerless about the whole thing, and is trying to re-exert power in a rather unfortunate way.

Sounds like you had a horrible experience on the men's site, when you were looking for insight: try to ignore the 'ugh's of the cavemen...

fraktious Wed 17-Aug-11 19:33:27

Big caveat: I knew tons more about birth and babies than DH, I also knew far more about my mental state and the impact it hard on my options which were 2 hefty arguments for my say going. If he'd been an obstetrician it might have been more complex!

If you take a very simplistic view I got my own way. I wanted a hands off natural labour or a CS. I got the first with full backing of the care team for proceeding straight to the second if necessary. DH, however, was behind me 100% even when he really didn't have a clue why I wouldn't want an epidural etc. Do you know why he's objecting? Is ge worried about the tangible, physicsl risks of surgery? Can you explain to him why you want a CS? I would hazard a guess that what's wring is that he doesn't understand just how big a deal this is for you. Maybe he's worried that with him at work you won't recover well from a CS and a VB would be less of a physical strain?

I wouldn't rule out a VB totally but at the end if the day birth is not a process which is happening to your DH, it is happening to you (and the baby, but baby can't voice opinions).

However I take his point about afterwards. 2 to 3 is an adjustment you need to make by yourselves, even if he has a good relationship with your mother. Could she come after 2 weeks of paternity leave? Or stay in a hotel nearby rather than in your house?

soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 21:52:57

Hello Tangle and Nunniesmile
I wasn't implying DH shouldn't have a say. I value his opinion. I respect his judgement. But I don't feel that I should be expected to change my decision based on what he is more comfortable with because this is more about me than himsad
I'm so glad other ladies also felt that they needed help in the first few weeks after the birth.I can't imagine handling it all by myself!!I want a c section and the recovery is tougher with a c section.I can't handle it on my own.

I picked the stupid website because my DH used to frequent it. It is shocking to find out how men really think.angry

I think he isn't trying to dictate(because he knows he can't), but he will be very disappointed if I make that choice. Partly because I'll want a private c section if I can't have one on the NHS.We can afford it, because I feel this is the kind of thing one saves up for. He can be so stubborn and I'm feeling really unsupportedsad

soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 22:00:30

Hi fraktious!
I like your suggestion. I'll tell mum to come after his paternity leave is up.
I can't ask her to stay in a hotel, but I know she'll make herself scarce once DH is home;) We have a guest bedroom and she can stay there.

The reason he's saying I shouldn't have a c section is that he comes from a family of women who have popped out one after another without any trouble whatsoever. He feels I'm being a 'fragile princess'angry
Who is to explain to him that there is nothing fragile about a c section. They slice the abdomen open, how is that fragile?!
My family one the other hand is a separate story. If something can go wrong with childbirth:its probably happened to one of them. If not all.
He's the kind who says- this is what you were made to do by nature, why are you fussing? Grrrrrr.
I even tried to feed him the BS about "my vagina will stay tight" but he didn't go for it. Dammit.
On a serious note, I have given him so much literature to show him how a c section compares with a natural birth and why I prefer it. He knows very well its safe, thats not what he is worried about.

fraktious Wed 17-Aug-11 22:06:48

Does he know your family have an obstetrical history which could make you high risk? And that you know all women are built for giving birth and still scared but your fears go beyond the norm?

That said my mother had 3 CSs, both grandmothers had nightmare births and I had a relatively easy time of it so family history isn't always the best predictor!

You need to talk about this and understand each other's point of view. Only by understanding will he accept your decision and by understanding what his concerns are you can lay then to rest.

soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 22:12:39

I'm actually aware that I may just have an easy birth. However,I'm one of those "what if things don't work out?" kind of people. Anxiety is my middle name, and I don't fancy having a bout of clinical depression in the middle of my pregnancy! I feel nice and safe with a c section despite its risks(I'm crazy, I know)

I am going to end up doing what I feel is right, because I have to. I just wish he could be more supportivesad

He knows all of that but still acts so STUBBORN. Sigh.I don't want something as stupid as this to mess up our relationship

fraktious Wed 17-Aug-11 22:19:30

But it's not stupid at all! It's a huge, huge deal and freaking out about it whilst pregnant or processing it in the aftermath of dealing with a newborn isn't going to help.

You know it's not the easy option, hopefully he can appreciate that you're making an informed rational decision.

Honestly though, anxiety and VB aren't incompatible and you could always have a trial by labour with CS on standby as it were. Talk to your MW and maybe ask to see the perinatal psych team. At least doing that, even if you don't change your mind, will show willing towards your DH.

soniavitello Wed 17-Aug-11 22:22:55

I'd do it if I could trust DH to stand up for me if they try to attempt an assisted birth. I get panicked and very hysterical in these situations so chances are the staff won't listen to me.
If I could have confidence in the fact that he'd never let them attempt an assisted birth, I would think about a trial of labor.
My midwife won't even let me see the consultant to discuss a c section anyway.
I'll have to look into private care....

Tangle Wed 17-Aug-11 23:07:47

Sorry if I misinterpreted your previous posts - there have been other threads where the view has been more or less "DH isn't the one giving birth so his opinions don't matter", and I didn't find it clear whether you were starting from this point or from "DH expects to have the final say, even though we don't agree". I was trying to clarify and didn't intend to offend blush.

Re. the website - I think it might be more of an indication of how that particular subset of men think, rather than how all men think.

Re. your last post, maternal request is a valid reason to have a CS - as per NICE guidelines (Section 4.8). As such, your MW has no authority to prevent you discussing this option with a consultant, although the guidelines do suggest that if fear of childbirth is the reason for the maternal request then support should be offered first and that an individual consultant may consider it unethical to agree to a CS in the absence of a medical reason - but that in such a circumstance the consultant should refer the woman for a 2nd opinion.

If your MW persists in not allowing you access to further information or discussion re. CS then you can take an alternative route:
- by asking to see a different MW,
- by talking to your GP and asking for a direct referral,
- by talking to the Head of Midwifery and talking through the issues (and asking for a direct referral)
- by finding the name/details of an obstetric consultant at your unit and calling their secretary.

If it were me I'd not use the last one unless or until I'd tried all the other options - the first three are much more playing by the book, and whilst there are times where I think side-stepping the usual channels can be a good idea I think its probably worth trying to follow them before potentially putting a lot of backs up by ignoring them!

Does your DH come to all your antenatal appointments? Your MW should be working with and for you to help you plan a birth that you feel at ease with - a good MW would help you to get your DH on board. I wonder if its worth leaving your DH to one side for the moment and trying to resolve the issues with your antenatal care - and then you and your HCP's can present a united front. I think I'd find it very frustrating that DH would take from the MW/consultant what he wouldn't take from me - but there are times when the end justifies the means, and if you think that would be a way to get him to be more supportive it might be worth considering.

How would you feel about a vaginal birth if you had a doula to support you - to help you stay in control if things didn't go entirely to plan and to help express yourself clearly to the HCP's in that situation?

I'm glad your DH will be around for a couple of weeks after the birth - I'd (again blush) got the wrong impression and thought he was heading more or less straight off and thought you should be able to cope with no support at all. Asking your mum to come when DH has to go back to work sounds like an all round winner smile.

sugarsnappea Thu 18-Aug-11 12:58:18

I convinced my husband - and then thoroughly converted him to the idea of a home birth with my first child. Through the labour (24 hours) he was my coach and was brilliant, unfortunately I was whisked off to hospital at the very last minute - undiagnosed breech, crash section, very stressful. He was sent home (midnight) and told to come back at 9am during visiting hours. He left not knowing whether either of us were OK/ alive and afew days after we got home he crashed, surviving on adrenaline and fear for days left him bed bound and emotionally drained. He has put his foot down about the labour this time, (private consultant led) and I figured that he has so little control over my labour and birth really (just gets to watch me having a difficult time of it all) that I'd give him that.
Listen to his side, are his reasons valid? are they more valid than yours?
Your body, your baby, yes but also, you are his wife who he loves and worries about and it is his baby too.
I hope he comes around, take care

soniavitello Sat 20-Aug-11 04:25:26

Hi again Tangle! Sorry I disappeared for a bitsmile

Thanks for the valuable tips! I'll definitely try to get them to give me a c section on the NHS. I was aware of the recent changes in the NICE guidelines, but I didn't know those were actually taken seriously tbh! I thought it just depends on the hospital, and mine is not keen on CDMRsad

Nevertheless, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My midwife is so against c sections that her speaking to DH will be counterproductive actually. I do think he expects to have the final say in this decision and that is driving me up the wallangry
As for your doula suggestion, I considered it, but I'm not sure how seriously they would take an external party. I never really understood the concept of doulas myself!Besides, I think I just really like the idea of a c sectionblush

As for my DH taking leave, I can ask him to. So far he had no plans of taking more than a couple days off. However if he wants quality time with the baby and me without mum, he'll have to take a leave. I can't really be left all alone some 2 days after a c section! More than anything, I don't know if its such a good idea for the baby in case I feel too awful to move around.

Boosaphena Sat 20-Aug-11 10:25:05

In all of my births (am on no 3) myself and dh have had an equal opinion. It is my body but I am his wife and it is also his child. He doesn't want either of us pit at any risk. We've sat and talked through all the options. No1 'normal' hospital birth seemed right thing to do. No 2 hb-dh not keen so joint apt with mw to discuss pros and cons, ending in full and complete support from dh. No 3 c section due to previous traumas. I'm not keen, but dh has sat with consultant and me and they have explained the risk of any future vbs. I am now comfortable with this.
I don't think it's fair to just say because it's not his body he doesn't have a say, equally it's not right or fair of him to dismiss your wishes. Have you talked it through. And as for your mum staying, surely if he's not there, it doesn't really matter to him?
I would ignore all those male forums, they sound like utter arseholes.

monkeybaby2 Sat 20-Aug-11 10:53:34

Hey Sonia, just read your posts and really feel for you. Is my first too and it's stressful enough trying to navigate all this stuff without DP refusing to live outside his own head.

From my own perspective, I expect my DH to have an opinion but ultimately the final decision is mine. I'm not necessarily entrenched in my views so he has the opportunity to convince me but in the end I'll still decide myself. If DP thinks he has the right to make medical decisions affecting your body then I assume he must mean that you are now making the medical decisions for his wink Remind him that next time he wants pain relief at the dentist for a filling, you might decide he should have a 'natural' experience instead....after all, men have been having dental work in your family for years without behaving like fragile princes.....

In all seriousness though, if he can't respect your opinions on this (he doesn't have to agree it) just ignore him. You want him to be part of the decision making process but if he's going to be so selfish and refuse to support you then he'll lose that privilege. It's your body and no one can force you to do anything.

Sonia, I'm very proud of you - stick to your guns. That kind of tenacity is going to be just what your baby needs when it's born. Good luck, I hope all turns out well for you xx

soniavitello Sat 20-Aug-11 16:28:20

monkeybaby2, thanks!! Your post made me laugh and cry at the same timesmile

I do believe that marriage is not about unilateral decisions, but I also feel that two people don't always agree. In which case, the one whose life is less affected should compromise. In this case it is my husband. Whatever themode of delivery may be, I will have to deal with it if things go wrong. So I feel like I should have the final say.
I wish he'd understandsad

Tangle Sat 20-Aug-11 21:00:06

I guess its just possible that he's seeing it as he may have to deal with it if things go wrong - if he sees a CS as unnecessarily risky he may be worried that there are problems with the surgery that leave you incapacitated for an undefined period of time (or worse), forcing him into the role of carer and single dad. If that is the situation he's going about about his concerns in completely the wrong way, but it is possible he's so negative about CS through fear. (I was quite ill last year resulting in me being ambulanced to hospital, and DH was very supportive but his reactions since have shown how badly he was affected - he loves me, he cares, he doesn't want to see me in that condition again and he would be/is concerned if I am enthusiastic about a course of action that he perceives could put me at higher than necessary risk.)

re. your earlier post, it does sound to me as though this particular MW is as much of a problem as your DH is. From what you've said I completely agree that asking her to talk to him would achieve diddly squat other than a "lets get this foolish notion out of Sonia's mind" party. However, if you can get a different MW who's prepared to listen to your concerns, refer you to a consultant and then support you in your informed choice (and IMO a supportive MW is what all women deserve - however they wish to give birth) then it might be a way forward.

If a doula's not right for you that's fine - it just struck me that it was a way that might help you feel more supported while you try and arrange a CS in the face of opposition from those who should be helping you, and/or might make you feel secure enough that someone would help support you in a vaginal birth with very low tolerance before proceeding to a CS - so a compromise position with your DH. But if they're not right for you then that's fine - again, it was just something that might be a way to help you smile.

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