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DH has suddenly turned round and admitted he doesn't agree to my homebirth VBAC.

(46 Posts)
whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-Jun-08 19:29:48

So basic facts: Em CS after failed induction for PET 2 years ago.Complicated medical history with blood disorder which means avoiding any intervention is very important. Consequential fear of hospitals. I want a HBAC. He wants me to go to hospital and/or book in for a CS. He believes that doctors know best and wouldn't be recommending a hospital birth unless I was in danger being elsewhere.

Has been blithely doing the 'yes, whatever you want I'll support' line for six months, but after homebirth course last night is now saying he thinks I'm in 'cloud cuckoo land' but that 'he isn't allowed to have a view' and 'will support whatever I want'.

He's latched onto something a junior registrar said that 'no consultant on earth would recommend a homebirth in my circumstances'. Despite the fact a very senior consultant said I had more chance of being run over in the car park of the hospital than having a scar rupture during a home birth. hmm

DH also said, in front of my mum yesterday that he thought that labour was 'bloody boring' (I don't actually disagree with this but don't appreciate him saying so) and that he 'wanted to be there for the birth' but wasn't too bothered about the rest of it.

I've not spoken to him about it since because I'm (a) flipping mad and (b) hurt that he is being such a flake.

I just don't know what to do. My mum would happily be there for the birth but I don't want to drive a wedge between us by banning him but I just feel like he's condemning me to fail by not believing I can do this. angry sad.

Has anyone faced this problem before and how did you handle it. I'm really not sure what to do - I don't actually feel I have any options, for me, I either have to have a homebirth or I may as well book in for a cs now because if I'm not going to get any support and am going to be nagged continually to transfer or go to hospital, the end result will be another emergency caesarian anyway.

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ib Wed 11-Jun-08 19:32:54

Sorry, have nothing helpful to say but can't read and ignore this

I hope you manage to sort it out one way or the other and you get your hb.

whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-Jun-08 19:34:55

Thanks ib. Doesn't help that any argument I make will be discounted as 'you being all hormonal and pregnant' angry

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TREBUCHET Wed 11-Jun-08 19:38:33

I guess the way I would look at it that however idiotic, he's probably saying these things because he's terrified he's going to lose you. People say stipid, cutting things because they're hurting and want you to hurt a bit, too. I know this is not exactly advice but don't want you to feel as though he has turned his back on you, possibly just that he's frightened.

ps re the "labour is boring" comment, If it's any consolation, my dh went for a mixed grill and a pint while I was in labour. decided it was clearly an all night job and didn't want to rely on chocolate and cereal bars.hmm

StellaWasADiver Wed 11-Jun-08 19:40:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ButterflyBessie Wed 11-Jun-08 19:40:40

Can you not find a supportive consultant?

I have had two incredibly positive vba2cs in hospital, in fact I think you have read about them! grin - in a book

I know it is not what you want but if you could find someone who will support you, I had to change hospitals in order to do this sad, but it was worth it

are you a member of the ukvbachbac yahoo group? I am sure Jane A and others could point you in the direction of loads of info to give to your dh to read and digest - any slight wobble my dh had and I found something to back me upgrin

I am sorry you are going through this, another thought either a doula or an IM?

Good luck

Elmosgirl Wed 11-Jun-08 19:40:46

Oh dear poor you. My DP would agree about labour being boring, he sat in the corner of the delivery room reading the magazines I had packed. This actually suited me fine as I wanted to be left alone, he just got involved during the pushing bit.

This should be your decision but maybe it would work to try and make it so you want to consider his interests as well.

So.....if he finds the birth boring if you are at home he can dip in and out, leave the room, sort out tea, have a stroll round the garden etc, and if you can have your mum there as well so you have some constant support. If he is in hospital he will pretty much be stuck in one small room for hours on end....much more boring.

I really hope you come to a decision you are both happy with.

Klaw Wed 11-Jun-08 19:40:59

Whomoved.... I would suggest that he would be most comfortable being the guardian of your birthing space, ie dealing with birth pool, answering phone, making tea and snacks, turning away visitors... etc (ie manly things) while your mum (or a Doula) is your female companion. It's not that you would be banning him, merely giving him an assigned role and so he would be there in the premises at the time of birth.

Perhaps you could ask a Doula to come and do an ante-natal session with you both (and maybe your mum also) to discuss this kind of scenario and hopefully instill confidence in him that HBAC is the best option for you. After all, you can always transfer in if the need arises.

Have you printed out all the positive info on sites like and for him to read?

whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-Jun-08 19:41:03

Trebuchet - that makes sense, he was previously widowed after a particularly unusual and aggressive form of cancer took his wife of three decades in less than 12 weeks. So he is scared for me. Also my liver went wrong last time and was in for ten days feeling fine but apparently quite ill. But I was quite blase about the whole thing because I was besotted with DD and focused on her.

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sophiewd Wed 11-Jun-08 19:41:23

I agree with Trebuchet, I think he is scared, worried, nervous.

Klaw Wed 11-Jun-08 19:45:15

And he's right, no consultant will recommend a Homebirth but they're not experts in natural birth. Plenty senior midwives would be supportive!

After all, how come there are so many HBACs, HWBACs, HBA2C, HWBA2Cs and more out there?

It's about weighing up the pros and cons in your own circumstances and making an informed choice. Which risks are the ones YOU are willing to take?

whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-Jun-08 19:47:59

Klaw - I've got the books, the leaflets etc. We've been to an NCT homebirth evening - he sat there sulking because they were 'biased towards homebirth' (no shit sherlock).

And my mum is meant to be coming to look after DD - although I think DH would actually prefer to do that than sit holding my hand.

ButterflyBessie - I think I do have a supportive consultant, he listened and said 'well you've thought it through, you know the risks and they are low' and then sent me away agreeing not to see me again till 38 weeks when 'hopefully you'll have already delivered'. As far as a supportive VBAC in hospital, that's not actually possible for me - I am banned from the midwife unit because of the previous CS, the staff are unwilling to negotiate on things like monitoring and I know from experience my BP soars when I get within half a mile of the maternity unit.

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expatinscotland Wed 11-Jun-08 19:48:16

It's one thing to think. It's another thing to say it.

To your partner.

Get a doula.

I wouldn't want my own husband there for me unless he was supportive 100%.

This is YOUR body. YOUR choice.

You've been wanting this so much, for so long now. It's so obvious you have thought this through, you have valid and good reasons for it. You have done the research.

You believe this to be the best for your body and your baby.

So it is.

pollyblue Wed 11-Jun-08 19:50:44

Hello whomovedmychocolate,
can't really offer you any advice but just wanted to send you hugs (and your dh a cyber kick-in-the-pants)
It sounds like your DH has got a very bad dose of The Fear, i think Trebuchet sums it up. Maybe his 'bloody boring' comment is because he's trying to avoid being around for labour this time because he's so anxious.
I posted a query about vbacs and epidurals recently, and thanks to your comments and others i'm feeling pretty optimistic about not going straight for the c-section route but booking into a midwife-led maternity hospital which i know (from friends who have had their babies there) will fully encourage an active, positive birth experience but with the back-up of transfer to the main hospital if necessary. Would this be an option for you in your area and something you might feel happy to look into?

hatwoman Wed 11-Jun-08 19:50:46

many sympathies with your situation. not much in the way of advice - except that I do agree with treduchet that your dh is probably very scared.

can I very gently point to something that struck me about your op? you refer to you "failing" and whether or not "you can do it". I really don't think childbirth is about failure or achievement. there's no moral value in the way it turns out. we have enough to deal with without being made to feel that childbirth is something you fail or succeed at. I say this because it seems like you've set yourself a challenge and perhaps if you can change your perspective on this a bit it would help you and dh analyse the whole thing and reach an understanding about how best to plan the birth?

very best of luck. (I would be fuming about the labour comment too btw.)

Klaw Wed 11-Jun-08 19:50:53

seems obvious to me then Whomoved, assign him to dd care and other manly duties and get your mum clued up on your birth preferences. Each person then has a clear and defined role and should therefore feel confident and relaxed

hatwoman Wed 11-Jun-08 19:52:25

btw - my post was not meant to imply you should change your mind, but possibly your approach. if that makes sense

Klaw Wed 11-Jun-08 19:54:29

remind dh that you will have a mw one on one with you at home and a second mw arriving at 2nd stage so that there is one for each of you and baby. I assume you've had it agreed that only confident and supportive mw are assigned to your hb on call rota.....

StellaWasADiver Wed 11-Jun-08 19:57:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ButterflyBessie Wed 11-Jun-08 19:59:09


If your consultant is supportive go back to him and get him to write a birth plan stating his support and all that the two of you agree to and then get him to sign it and circulate it to all the midwives.

My cons did this so when I arrived in hospital I was put in the active birthing room and provided with a lovely supportive midwife. There was no negativity or if there was it was kept away from me.

He also wrote on birth plan that he was ok for me to use the pool if I wanted - didn't

Have you contacted HOM re the MLU?

whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-Jun-08 20:01:32

You'd think that Klaw but pure male pride prevents him from being 'delegated' to childcare. angry

I'd actually quite like to kick him at the minute, but I don't think it'd be very productive.

Hatwoman - ah but you see it is about failure - if I said: yep, caesarian - that's one thing. But if I work really hard to plan a homebirth, spend hours learning about the risks and then convincing midwives and consultants alike that actually it's the best plan for me and then I don't do it - I'd feel disappointed that I didn't try. I have said to DH that on the day I'll call it and if I want to go to hospital I will. I've also said if things change before then (I've had signs of premature labour) obviously I'm not having a homebirth.

I have been offered (the previously unavailable option) of a domino birth if I agree to transfer when I'm 6cm - which sounds like a bad idea. Who in their right mind would want to be put in a car and taken to the hospital in active labour? Also I'm not keen on VEs so how would they be able to determine 'time to go'?

I did have a very long chat to an independent midwife last night who can't cover my birth who listened to all the facts and agreed with me that actually even if I didn't go through with it, it made sense to plan for a homebirth because I'm more than likely succeed and even if I didn't, I wouldn't lose anything from spending some time at home if I did need to transfer later.

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whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-Jun-08 20:09:15

ButterflyBessie - yep, I have four options for places to deliver in theory apart from home, two can't help me - the MLU because of my CS - they have had a recent complete scar rupture and are very nervous about VBACs.

The other MLU with can't deal with me because they don't have consultant haemotologists and would have to transfer me to another hospital 20 miles away if my thrombolin levels were lower than normal in labour (oh and they can't do clotting tests there either - you have to actually have a lab on site because the blood has to be tested within 10 minutes of drawing)

The third, local hospital - six miles away, 32% cs rate, high incidence of infections, my comm midwives are based there, last pregnancy, at past term, they refused to treat me, claimed I was 'complicated' and sent me to the fourth hospital (I don't have a great deal of confidence they wouldn't repeat this).

The fourth is a major regional hospital, I was in the Silver Star care unit last time, my nice consultant is there too - but it's 34 miles away and very big and quite frankly the scariest hospital I've ever been to. Oh and it takes about an hour to park there even after you've travelled there. hmm

Am very tempted to hide in the bathroom and deliver on my own just to avoid all conversations with anyone at this point.

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Klaw Wed 11-Jun-08 20:14:01

You're right WMMC, planning a homebirth seems ideal as you can always transfer IF the need arises. However if everything is gpoing smoothly at hospital you can't just upsticks and go home, can you?

Yes scar rupture is a very real risk but it is no riskier than cord prolapse (why don't we all get sectioned at 38wks then) or of requiring a hysterectomy followng CS (why are all elCS not refused then).

You are likely to be more relaxed and confident at home, and therfore labour progress naturally for you...

but I'm preaching to the converted aren't I?

I'm just waffling in support of you grin

OK, sit down with dh, tell him you appreciate his fears and that he is a man who needs to protect. Therfore the best way for him to protect you is to be the guardian of your birthing space, as I described earlier. Tell him that this is what you NEED from him, and how best he can support you. You need to know that dd will be well looked after and secure. Emphasise how much you need this of him, Men like to be needed

wannaBe Wed 11-Jun-08 20:14:50

lots of issues here imo.

Firstly, it sounds as if he's scared of something going wrong and of him losing you. If you've had complications before then he's had a glimpse of what can go wrong and that has terrified him. Also, while you're looking at the positive comments from consultants/midwives etc because you see this as a positive experience, for him, the negative comments from registrars and others who (to him) know what they're talking about, just reenforce why he should be feeling negative, iyswim?

Re labour being bloody boring, you said that he'd los his wife of three deckades to cancer, so I assume that he's considerably older than you? in which case, he comes from a generation of men who really didn't get involved in the birth of their children. Some men were there, but as a rule men either sat outside in the waiting room or sat in the pub waiting for news. Also, if he wasn't there at the birth of any children he and his former wife might have had together, he may be feeling some guilt about wanting to be there for the birth of this baby, so the comments about labour being boring are made to justify that in some way.

i do think that men have it a bit rough during pregnancy. We decide what to do/how to give birth/whether we want them there or not/whether we're prepared to take risks with our own lives, and men are expected not to voice their opinions on any of it because it's the wife's body and she should do what she wants. And yet it is his wife, and his child.

That's not aimed at you btw but in general.

whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-Jun-08 20:15:39

Needed or shot??? angry grin

Thanks Klaw. I need to learn studious ignoring I think.

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