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dh a wonderful husband but a terrible birth partner

(20 Posts)
swottybetty Fri 10-Oct-08 20:01:04

bless him. first time round he kept forgetting to time contractions and would look sheepish and tell me he wasnt sure every blooming time. has no sense of how to touch me when at times i really needed a rub but he;s so awful it made me feel worse. and last time he spent most of the labour terrified and mute sad.

want a homebirth this time, just read loads of ina may gaskin and while i would be appalled by any man who agreed to snog and tweak my nips mid labour, i am envy at anyone whose dp/h's have the confidence and touch to be hands on. getting a doula - am i ok to expect her to be a hands on birthing partner? also last time i was induced so lying down and MWs cheering me on from sidelines. if i'm lucky enough to get the active birth at home i want, would they do anything other than stare at my fanjo and make notes??

BTW dh the world's best dad and he's hot so forgiven for all round labour rubbishness grin

RhinestoneCowghoul Fri 10-Oct-08 20:05:26

Have a chat to him about it - I told DH last time not to be offended if I didn't want him anywhere near me! Turned out I was partly right - couldn't stand any fecking back massage. But when push came to shove he was great to lean on.

Had homebirth and yes, MWs were pretty hands off. Used doppler to monitor between pushes but I chose whatever position was useful for me.

Good that you're having a doula - maybe this will take the pressure off DH a bit?

kazbeth Fri 10-Oct-08 21:31:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ajm200 Sat 11-Oct-08 04:54:13

My DH is a hopeless birth partner too but we can't afford a doula.

You will probably need to talk to several before booking one so can discuss your expectations of the birth and they will soon tell you if they aren't happy with something

Good luck with the HB

SofiaAmes Sat 11-Oct-08 05:24:03

Isn't your mother or mil available? My dh had 3 children before our 2 and he was still pretty useless on our 1st....a little better by our 2nd (his 5th). He was kicked out of the delivery room with his first for hogging the gas and air and not letting his partner (the one having the baby) anywhere near it. His 3rd was born on New year's eve and he spent most of the labor out partying. I was in labor for our 1st (his 4th) for 40 hours and he spent most of that outside on a cigarette break (and when the gas and air appeared...he managed to hog it that time around too). He was actually pretty good by our second (his 5th). But I think that's because my mother had instilled the fear of god (or maybe just her) into him after his behavior on our 1st.
Anyway, he's a wonderful father and even a pretty good dh....just a lousy birth partner. Soooo, I wouldn't hold out too much hope of yours changing...try to get an adequate substitute instead.

ajm200 Sat 11-Oct-08 06:12:02

I suppose it depends on your relationship with your mother or MIL. I wouldn't want either at my homebirth..

When I found out my baby had turned breech I was shocked and phoned my mum for some support. Her response was, has it dear that's nice - did I tell you I have a terrible cold?

I'd love a doula at my HB but its not to be. I'd love someone to support and encourage me and stop me getting anxious without driving me mad or telling me their birth horror stories..

If you can get a doula that you are happy with, go for it..

chunglimum Sat 11-Oct-08 07:20:46

Yes, I can relate to your thoughts about DH. Have you thought about Hypnobirthing? I gives the partner very specific things to do and lots of practice beforehand. I wanted a doula until I read about Hypnobirthing and we managed okay without. Plus, imo it works to keep you calm and cope with the contractions. Don't want to highjack but I can't recommend it enough.

foxytocin Sat 11-Oct-08 07:36:33

i agreed with dh and doula that dh didn't have to be at my hwb dd1's birth was a horrendous induction - even in his words and he had to just sit by the sidelines and keep out of the way of the staff

he is a practical man and was worried about me having a hwb. I used a doula partly to support the two of us.

In reality, when I went into labour he was fantastic. He had to get everything ready, the pool, moving the furniture, contacting sitter for dd1, putting on the TENS, etc.

We had originally planned that while I was in labour, he would bake me a cake from scratch, seeing that he had already cleaned the garage out grin

I also did not want anyone touching me or coaching my breathing etc, so he breathed a sigh of relief when I growled at him to leave me alone when I was hollering over the birthing ball. He was best put to use doing practical stuff to help out and leaving me to labour in peace.

It turned out a fantastic experience for him in the end which was fortuitous seeing that neither the doula or midwives arrived before dd2! Birth story here

swottybetty Sat 11-Oct-08 09:01:06

pmsl ajm at your mum's response to the breech baby. my mum would be more likely to tell me about someone she knows with cancer (someone i must also know given i met them twice eighteen years ago and their second daughter was three years above me at school...!)

foxy i read your birth story before - its fab! i have been lurking on the 1st timers HB thread now for a while. my first was a horrid induction too - so maybe thats not too represntative. i dont really blame him for being terrified, i know i was. i do like the idea of him having practical tasks to do - he'd need a list but i think he'd do well with that.

chunglimum - funnily enough last night i spent most of the evening looking at hypnobirthing stuff on web. really keen to do it - but i think dh would run a mile at anything to do with it. he joined me a a yogabirth weekend lasyt time and was appalled.... and has mentioned the wasted money on any number of occasions since! maybe he did have a point about the fact that the all the other participants were first timers and he was right about the unliklihood of breathing the baby out like you're pushing down on a cafeteria .... grin

aGalChangedHerName Sat 11-Oct-08 09:08:08

Another fab DH but useless birth partner lol. He stood looking terrified the whole time and i kept thinking something was wrong.

On my own 2nd time as he had to look after ds1.

Had my friend there for both my dd's and oh god it was great. Having a supportive, empathic woman to help me through it was amazing.

Dragonfly74 Sat 11-Oct-08 14:50:03

I have no complaints about my dh as a birth partner infact i'm so proud of him.
When our dd 29wks was born she decided to arrive so quickly that dh had to take instructions from the operator. She was safely delivered by dh before the paremedics arrived. xx

ajm200 Sat 11-Oct-08 16:53:38

Wow, Dragonfly, that sounds like quite a birth. My DH would panic and turn into a quivering wreck. He's lovely but doesn't cope in a crisis or labour ward. Last time he took loads of gadgets to help him time contractions, missed most of them as his gadgets were too complicated and on the labour ward, he kept asking if it hurt and how much. The MW eventually sent him off for a walk before I lost it with him completely

Dragonfly74 Sat 11-Oct-08 17:04:10

It was a bit of a shock to say the least. (not something that dh wants to repeat in a hurry).

FlabbyTumSquashyBum Sat 11-Oct-08 23:04:10

Dh is also a terrible birth partner. He gets anxious and says the wrong things (and cracks jokes!). It didn't help that my first labour was a horrendous induction. He said afterwards that it was the most horrible experience of his life (the end product was worth it, obviousl1 grin

We decided on a home waterbirth with a doula second time round. Dh was there but his 'job' was to keep the pool at a good temperature - a practical job that kept him occupied! My doula just seemed to know what to do to keep me calm, and she knew how to touch me. She also had no qualms about telling dh to 'shut up' (he goes on when he's nervous!). He didn't mind as we'd met with her several tmes beforehand and he had a good relationship with her.

My mws were great. I was examined internally once which I could have refused but I wanted confirmation that things were progressing as I thought they were. They basically sat quietly out of the way and never directed any pushing or anything. It was wonderful! smile

Anifrangapani Sat 11-Oct-08 23:09:49

Mine read the paper and did the crossword without shouting out the questions for me to do. I was fuming he did all teh easy ones and left me the really hard ones. I ended up snatching it out of his hand, got one answer and threw it back at him. Having said that I think I waould have launched him if he had tried to touch me ot tell me about the number of contractions / breathing patterns / pushing strategy.

The midwife thought we were a little odd.... she kept finding excuses to leave the room grin

Howdie Sun 12-Oct-08 01:00:39

That is the beauty of a homebirth really. When you have a useless DH, they can be "around" but in another room if they a) don't want to be there or b)you don't want them to be there. But they do come in mightily useful for making the bacon rolls and coffee afterwards and in emptying the birth pool. Doula/female friend = excellent idea! I am a great believer in women having women around them in childbirth. Men CAN be useful too on the odd occasion but men who don't want to be there can actually hinder the process and can make the strongest of women become gibbering wrecks. Women giving birth who have good, strong support from friends around them who have as much confidence as they do in themselves to give birth will fare MUCH better.

Howdie, Independent Midwife

Honeymoonmummy Sun 12-Oct-08 17:59:40

Have you thought about writing out a birth plan for him, a list of things he can/ can't do to help? I'm doing that for my DH after reading it on one of the other threads.

liahgen Sun 12-Oct-08 21:57:09


I don't know your circumstances but did you know about the Doula hardship fund?

I don't mean to be patronising, but it's there to help women get the support without putting it out of reach.

have a look.

ajm200 Mon 13-Oct-08 08:50:05

Liahgen, thanks for the information. It's kind of you to let me know.

We don't qualify for that as DH does work but we've got major outgoings at the moment that leave us totally skint..

hanaflower Mon 13-Oct-08 09:00:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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