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Do I need DP to stay with me the night after a c section?

(46 Posts)
LadyThompson Thu 28-Aug-08 11:03:53

I'd really appreciate some advice on this. I'm having a c-section and from what I have read on here before, I think I'd quite like DP to stay at the hospital the night after I have it. I'll be in my own room and they provide campbeds for partners if wanted. But he doesn't want to. It's not that he doesn't love me or doesn't care - I know he does v much - he hates hospitals, is incredibly squeamish (and tbh I think disturbed by the fact that I'll have had an operation - I know he is worried about coping with being there when I have the section). He also says if he stays he will be under the nurses' feet. The thing is, maybe I'll feel too rotten to want him there, I don't know (you know how it is when you feel really rough) but I am a bit worried about the baby crying in the night and not being able to cuddle her as I won't be able to sit up. He'll stay with me all day, and so maybe the kind thing to do would be to let him go home to sleep and come back next morning. And that's the problem: I don't know who is being unreasonable, him or me. Lost all perspective on this one! Perhaps I am getting into a fret over nothing?

mazzystar Thu 28-Aug-08 11:08:08

I've had 2 c/s and it wasn't an option. The quality of care I received from the nurses was great, even though it was a busy dept.

Whilst I think it would have been lovely for dh to stay, I coped perfectly well, and as you say it enabled him to go home and sleep comfortably, sort a few things out and come back refreshed.

If it were me I would see how you both feel at the time and not get over anxious about it in advance.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 28-Aug-08 11:10:22

He is being unreasonable. Your body is going through the hard work of pregnancy and then you're going to have to face, have, and cope with the after effects of major surgery (plus look after/learn to feed a newborn baby while recovering).

Putting up with being at hospital for a night, when you're a bit squeamish, is NOT a lot to ask. DH wasn't allowed to stay with me when I had DS but he would not have left me unless he absolutely had to.

Of course if he won't stay, the nurses will help you with the baby and you'll have a button to call them with if you need them at any time so you'll be fine.

But he should be thinking more about you here, I feel and less about how HE feels.

BloodySmartarse Thu 28-Aug-08 11:12:15

my dp was like this.
was fab during the birth (like he had any choice, arf) but really refused to stay.
i was disappointed, but actually i really enjoyed my first night as a mummy alone with my little bundle of oh-my-god-what-have-i-done-now! wink
point is; i do understand the reluctant but loving partner bit.

but i hadnt had a section...

i havnt had one so i dont know how much help/moibility/pain you'll have...

i think, if you really want him there for practical reasons then you can insist. not that that will neccessarily get you what you want...

i do know the night nurses were fab with me when i was alone; helped out when i needed it and such, just holding the baby if necc and stuff. but it doesnt sound like all hospitals are like that... luck of the draw and how busy they are i imagine.

could you maybe have a doula?

as whos being unreasonable... hmmmm, i dunno. like i say, mine did this too and im still hmm to this day about him needing a good sleep after a tiring day (whos had a tiring day now??)... so imo, yes, hes BU. but sod all you can do to change it just by being right is there. if he feels that passionately about hospitals then hed no doubt be more of a pita/stress to have around than not.

taliac Thu 28-Aug-08 11:13:00

It depends on the hospital.

Can you rely on the nurses to bring you your baby every time he/she cries? To put them down again for you after you've fed or comforted them? To bring you drinks if you are thirsty? To help you get comfy if you need it?

If you can't, and at most NHS hospitals they are hard pressed, then you need your partner.

Frankly, you are going to be on tons of drugs, unable to get up on your own, and dealing with a brand new baby who will need you. I'd insist on the help if it were me!

I don't know if this is your first, sorry but with c/sections its really important with the medication to keep ahead of the pain if that makes sense. If you wait / the midwives make you wait until you are hurting before you have more pain relief, you will suffer needlessly. Ask for more the second you feel the last lot wearing off. The midwives IME can sometimes be a bit crabby about this, so its another area where your DH can help!

penona Thu 28-Aug-08 11:13:20

My DH left about midnight and returned at 8am... I had some complications post section so was on a high dependency unit overnight (like a ward with 5 beds and other women) before being transferred to a private room the next day.

There was no way my DH could have stayed even if he wanted to (not allowed, no room, etc) - just wanted to let you know that it might not be possible (obv am not wishing you complications etc!!!) - have you discussed with your hospital the various post section scenarios?

Also, that first night the nurses were on hand to do everything baby wise - they brought them to me for feeding, cuddling etc and changed them during the night as I clearly couldn't. I was lying down but managed to cuddle both my babies in this position! I had a catheter so no need to visit the bathroom.

I would speak to the hospital together, to understand what support the nurses will provide if you are on your own overnight, then you can both know what the implications of your decision are.

LiegeAndLief Thu 28-Aug-08 11:14:02

It wasn't an option for me, and ds was in SCBU so didn't need help lifting etc. TBH I was so drugged up I don't think I really noticed that dh wasn't there. On the other hand the mws were very helpful to me, helped me get up and to the bathroom early the next morning etc, so if I had had poor postnatal care and a baby to look after I think I would have really wanted him. Mazzystar is right - why don't you wait and see how you feel on the day? Either of you might change your mind depending on how things go.

LazyLinePainterJane Thu 28-Aug-08 11:15:38

Well, others might disagree with me, but unless he has a very good reason, if you want him to be there, he should. You will have been through enough over the last 9 months to have your partner stay one night with you in a hospital.

LiegeAndLief Thu 28-Aug-08 11:16:33

Oh and to say he doesn't want to stay because he is sqeamish when you are having an op is ridiculous. Very much like my dh who, on being told he couldn't come into the theatre whilst they were putting the spinal block in, said "thank god for that, I can't stand needles!".

taliac Thu 28-Aug-08 11:17:03

Oh and FWIW, I've experienced both - my first c/s DH stayed with me and it really helped. 2nd c/s, DH had to go home because of DD1, but I knew what I was in for and had already made sure I'd get all the help I needed at the hospital so it was tiring but fine.

And as BS said, I actually rather enjoyed it being just me and the brand new baby. But I don't think I could have managed alone if it had been my first.

Sawyer64 Thu 28-Aug-08 11:20:45

My DH didn't stay with me. Tbh,that first night the |Nurses will be checking you constantly,and will be on hand to hand you the baby and help position them in a comfortable position.

You won't be on your own,as they will make sure you have a bell etc.

You will be tired too,so you'll probably get more rest without anyone else there.

Also IME that time alone is a very special bonding time for you,which you won't get again,I felt it was surreal,as I'd always had "normal" deliveries,but with the CS I "suddenly" had this new baby without much "effort"hmm and I needed that time to convince myself I had "given birth".

After those days in hospital, you have to "share" your precious bundle.

Moomin Thu 28-Aug-08 11:20:58

I've had 2 elective c-s and both times dh wasn't allowed to stay over, but it was OK. The c-s were done early on in the day and I was able to sit up by the evening. I was allowed to cuddle the babies and try to establish feeding throughout the 1st night, helped by the midwives, who were very busy but always came when I called and were lovely. By the next day I was up to have my shower and managed the next few nights Ok on my own, with a little help with the lifting from the MWs.

However I would have loved to have had dh with me in a private room - it would have been lovely for bonding and also for my sore tummy, having him passing the baby to me, etc. not to mention both us just staring at the baby in wonderment which is what I spent my first night with both doing smile. Dh is a medical person and not squeamish at all, so that would not have been an issue but even if he wasn't I think he'd have wanted to stay over anyway.

Before I had the dcs I was the most squeamish person in the world and was almost phobic about hospitals. BUT I was hospitalised with both dds before I had them and spent many weeks in hospital having injections, bloods taken, etc. It actually cured me of my phobia as I had no choice and had to get on with it. If your dp can just put your wellbeing above his feelings he might well find he forgets about his fears and enjoys getting to know his dc and helping you out.

mazzystar Thu 28-Aug-08 11:22:09

Also, this may be controversial - whilst the idea of a private room is appealing in theory, I personally much preferred being on a ward with other people at first. It has its drawbacks in terms of noise, but it can be a bit isolating in a private room.

I actually think you don't necessarily need him to stay - but you won't know until the time comes, depending on your emotional state. For me the first few nights alone with both dcs were nice little bonding times. It was later, when the sleep deprivation etc kicked in that I needed more support.

tiggerlovestobounce Thu 28-Aug-08 11:23:11

It wasnt allowed at my hospital. TBH I'm very glad that they didnt let husbands stay in the ward. Its undignified enough recovering from having a baby and starting to breastfeed without having random men around the place, but you say that you will be in your own room, so that shouldnt be a problem.
I think that you would be able to manage, but if you want him to stay he should, as it is very minor compared to what you are doing for him.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 28-Aug-08 11:23:21

agree with taliac - when it's your first sometimes it's very scary. I WAS ill after my birth and it was a traumatic birth so I accept most people might not feel so 'disabled' after a CS; but even having been through what I had been through over the last 3 days of labour, I felt a pressure on me to DEAL with ds and i simply wasn't well enough, not by a long way. It was as if they had gone up to someone who had been in a serious car crash, and said "I'm just leaving this baby for you to look after, he may cry in a couple of minutes and even though you are on a drip and have injuries which mean you can't move, you should try and heave your body about to pick him up, even though you have no idea how to pick a baby up and haven't held one since you babysat for your cousin about twenty years ago"

YES, I could have done with my husband to support me that night, even though the MW's came when called......

sorry for the diversion, LadyT, of course your birth will be nothing like this (my cs was a dire emergency after 3 days in labour) but I still think it's alot for you to deal with and your DH should be with you if YOu want him there!!!!

LadyThompson Thu 28-Aug-08 11:25:12

This is all extremely helpful - thank you so much. It is my first, and I don't really know what to expect, other than what I have learned on MN. I am very fortunate in that him staying is actually an option, as I will be in my own room and they offer campbeds for partners if desired, which is amazing, I think. But yes, I guess if I have any complications, I presume I would be in the HDU anyway (penona, I hadn't thought of that, doh).

If I absolutely IMPEL him to stay, I think he might. But tbh, I want him to want to sad and however fab the nurses may or may not be, and you hear such horror stories sometimes, if my DD is crying and I'm too weak or in pain to look after her that night, I would prefer him to be the one to feed or hold her, or help me change position in bed or whatever. I think I might have a quiet word with the obstetrician about it as well, she's great and she might have a view. When I had kidney stones earlier in the year, the one day I felt so ill I actually NEEDED hours with no visitors. But I think with a baby to care for it might be different.

Sawyer64 Thu 28-Aug-08 11:29:43

Also everyones experience of C-Section is different.

I wasn't on "tons of drugs",I was given a suppository at 4.30pm after my section at 10.30am, and at 5pm I walked down the ward and got into a nice bath,and got myself out.

I think I was lucky as I wasn't in pain,didn't need to stoop at all,it was painful if i coughed or tried to haul myself up the bed with the Monkey pole,but that wasn't from the scar area,that was my abdominal muscles much higher up,having gone slack,I had no strength.

The advice I was given was get moving asap,even if its just a couple of steps. Don't lay in bed and get stiff. Ask for painkillers when you need them,and then wait 40 minutes or so and then get moving.Worked brilliantly for me.

taliac Thu 28-Aug-08 11:32:06

Bloody hell Sawyer, no way could I have done any of that post c/s!

BloodySmartarse Thu 28-Aug-08 11:33:15

i know exactly what you mean about wanting him to want to. that expresses perfectly how i felt which is why in the end i said go on then, bugger off. see you in the morning, and you better be early.

like i say, and someone else agreed, that first night alone was quite magical for me. not in a hearts and flowers spangly sort of way, but it was just so surreal to have this little screwed up, eyes closed, meowing bundle breathing gently on my chest... those quiet moments will stay with me forever.

so i REALLY hope you get some of those, and that you dont in the event have too much discomfort and pain. my v best wishes to you whatever happens x

Moomin Thu 28-Aug-08 11:34:32

yes... you might find that there's a lot of 'wanting him to want to' before you scream in his face to do something throughout the experience of being a parent, tbh grin

But seriously, I think you need to have a honest chat with him - tell him your fears and emphasise the fact that you and he will be able to spend that first night as parents together with your baby and it will probably help the bonding process. Don't expect him to offer via osmosis or telepathic thought (that don't never work, no sir) - tell him clearly how you feel.

taliac Thu 28-Aug-08 11:37:01

grin at Moomin and the telepathy.

raines Thu 28-Aug-08 11:37:59

Hi LadyThompson,
having read some of the other threads, I think we might both be having a c-section, at the same hospital and maybe with the same doctor. Would love to hear your experience - when are you booked in for?

BTW, I am insiting that the hubby stays - both for support for me physically, and the bonding with the baby!

taliac Thu 28-Aug-08 11:38:11

By the way, whatever happens, you will cope. I don't know how, you just do!

3andnomore Thu 28-Aug-08 11:39:33

hm, if realy hates hospitals and has a thing about them, than I think it would not be fair to expect him to sleep there!My dh isn't good with Hospitals neither.
Tbh, I had no trouble getting my ys out of his little Hospitalcot thingy after my CS....

LadyThompson Thu 28-Aug-08 11:39:50

Yes, Sawyer, people's experiences seem to vary so wildly. I'm not a wuss, especially, and in theory I am keen to get up and about as soon as poss, so I am hoping for good pain relief afterwards to enable this. Certainly not averse to suppositories as I hear they are the most effective ways to take painkilling drugs! Hmm, is there anything you can do to help keep your abdominal muscles higher up strong during pregnancy? I wonder.

Honoria, sounds like you had a rough time sad

I do feel cross with DP as in one way I think it's small sacrifice for him to make, in comparison to my bigger one (!) but at the same time, I do see that he can't HELP his squeamishness (just like I can't help my irrational fear of spiders) and I think some of his issues about hospitals relate to the death of his father, hence I feel mean for pushing it sad

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