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Question for The Men: What was childbirth like for you?

(61 Posts)
morningpaper Tue 26-Apr-05 20:16:19

Someone posted on the thread about the NCT about how inaqeduately the antenatal classes prepared men for the shock of seeing their wife in labour.

Chaps - How did you feel about this?

I think my DH is totally traumatised by seeing me giving birth. In a way it was psychologically worse for him, sitting there and feeling helpless for 27 hours. At least I was doing something. I also had a NEWBORN immediately afterwards so there was no time for memories to form. Whereas he went home and stared at the wall trying to sleep and I think it consolidated the horror of it all in his memory.

I wondered how other husbands felt about their experiences in the labour room...?

compo Tue 26-Apr-05 20:18:26

My dh said if I had seen what he had seen I would never want another baby!!

nerdgirl Tue 26-Apr-05 20:20:38

I remember feeling sorry for poor DH the first time. I was the centre of attention. He was just there. Nothing useful to do. Watching me in pain. Horrible really.

wheresmyfroggy Tue 26-Apr-05 20:28:17

dd1 was born at homerton-training hospital

Once dw was in established labour there was never any less than three midwives in the room at any one time and dw didn't want me anywhere near her anyway for the most of it...then baby's shoulders got stuck after over two hours pushing so was quickly moved from the pool to a suite, an obstertrician suddenly appeared and took over and things moved very fast and were quite scary, all through this stage i had dw's hand (or rather she had mine-Tight!!!!). That was quite traumatic to say the least but as soon as dd1 appeared and was fine the atmosphere was instantly relaxed

DD2 was at st georges and dw and i spent most of the labour alone in a suite listening to the radio and chatting (inbetween contractions of course) and when it came to pushing dd2 was out in minutes so was actually a very pleasant experience


On neither occasion did i venture anywhere the "buisness" end of proccedings (Didn't cut the cord or any of that nonsense-I dont ask them to do my job so why should i do theirs) and that probably saved on a great deal of trauma on my part

Pruni Tue 26-Apr-05 20:31:04

Message withdrawn

morningpaper Tue 26-Apr-05 20:32:06

Yes I think cord-cutting is a bit over-rated myself.

(My DH tried to stay away from the business end at all times, but he said that when it was over, he looked over and saw the midwife stitching me up and blood was gushing in a steady stream from her elbows - he said the image burned itself into his brain.)

compo Tue 26-Apr-05 20:34:11

Wow, seems like my dh is the only one who wanted to see everything. he even touched ds' head as he was being pushed out (which I refused point blank to do)

jbadgirl Tue 26-Apr-05 20:35:28

My dp just kept apologising for it being his fault that i was in pain (bless him) he did look down the buisness end and saw ds's head and thought it was amazing.

I dont think he was too traumatised and would do it all over again im sure!

wheresmyfroggy Tue 26-Apr-05 20:35:33

The nearest i got to any of that was catching a tiny glimpse of the placenta in a bowl after dd2 (looked like a brain)

AngelCakeUmm Tue 26-Apr-05 20:39:09

My dp says its was emotionally tiring and he felt totally useless for the whole 16 hrs we were there.
He said it was the best day of his life......But it was runined cause he was sent home 1hr after our son was born and all he wanted to do is be with us.
He said after he got home it was the looongest night of his life and he could not sleep so he was just watching the mins/hrs tick by wishing it was morning.
Personally i think it is worng that the men are sent home as its a life time experience that you want to share and they have to wait

AngelCakeUmm Tue 26-Apr-05 20:41:32

Compo your dh is not the only one my dp was exactly the same he watched it all from that end and he also touched ds's head he was sooooo excited

Nemo1977 Tue 26-Apr-05 20:43:52

my DH said it was a great experience but then the midwife had left him to do everything so he was checking for contractions on machine, had the gas n air ready for me etc as midwife didnt believe i was in labour. He said he didnt have time to feel psychologically helpless etc.
There was only one midwife to about 4/5 people and she came in to tell dh she was off to do a c section with someone..lol
I am glad he kept his cool personally as i was out of it on diamorphine n the air

AngelCakeUmm Tue 26-Apr-05 20:44:31

And i must add Dp also cut the cord He wanted to feel involved in the 1st secs/mins of his sons life and no he was not traumatised by any of it and said he would do it all again.

Newbarnsleygirl Tue 26-Apr-05 20:47:23

My dh thought it was great!

He had a good look down there, the midwife even gave him a torch so he could see dd head. Lol!

I don't think I would have done very well without him either. He was fantastic, very supportive and never left my side.


Am off to go and blub now

morningpaper Tue 26-Apr-05 20:54:57

Angelcake: We hadn't slept for two nights and as this was the longest period without sleep in his life, DH was starting to hallucinate and as soon as dd was born, I didn't see much of DH apart from the door flapping behind him as he darted for bed ...

zippy539 Tue 26-Apr-05 21:03:39

Dh refuses to talk about either birth because he was totally traumatised. First was an emergency section due to pre-eclampsia when we were both led to believe that ds was dead, second was a planned section which ended in a spectacular pph!

I had counselling because tbh both births left a bit of an empotional fallout (!!!) but dh just tries to block them both out. I know that he winces when he sees a pg woman in the street because he found both occassions completely horrific and I feel awful because I feel he didn't get/wont get the support he needs to deal with his feelings.

Don't know what I'm trying to say, except that I do think that in some cases the feelings/shock of men are overlooked!

motherinferior Tue 26-Apr-05 21:06:21

I think my DP felt a bit of a spare part during the mad rushing around into emergency theatre with DD1 (well, he was, to be honest). Second time round he filled the pool and did his best to be supportive, but looked pretty horrified at the prospect of cutting the cord (I am genuinely not sure if he knew he might have the option of cutting it. Not great on antenatal preparation, my dp). Apparently he stayed at the head end 'because the midwives seemed pretty busy', yeah, right.

I should add that he is a very hands-on father. Just not great at childbirth. As I happen to feel that childbirth is essentially a female experience, I don't mind that much.

motherinferior Tue 26-Apr-05 21:07:36

Oh, but I do think the experience of seeing me in a lot of pain, plus the last-minute frenzy into theatre, were the main reasons he was so dead set against a home birth second time round. That and his worry I'd poo in the pool.

Which I did.


And he had to clean up

lou33 Tue 26-Apr-05 21:24:29

with our first, dh nearly fainted when he saw the episiotomy scissors going down, and went v pale when he went to cut the cord

he says the sight and sound of those scissors will haunt him forever

Lizzylou Wed 27-Apr-05 12:16:17

PMSL Motherinferior!
My DH was very traumatised by it all, he started crying at one point saying I was so brave...I remember looking at him and thinking "what the bloomin hell are YOU crying for??" I ended up comforting HIM!!! He said he felt very helpless and scared especially as it was taking so long and DS then got stuck.

FLUM Wed 27-Apr-05 12:26:08

From Flums DP:

Did some timing for an hour or so. Flum pretty hysterical so tried to calm her down. All went a bit ER and for a while. Baby found to be upside down unexpectedly, midwives keen to cut a hole in Flum to remove baby. Flum screaming for them to 'kill her now, but save the baby'. So guessed that meant she was in a fair amount of pain and she was fairly keen for baby to be external ASAP too. That was very disturbing.

Told to put on scrubs - Cool, felt like George Clooney.

Flum wheeled to theatre, I followed, Flum still screaming hysterically, v. disturbing. Blood everywhere. Feeling a bit queezy. Told to hold Flum down while they put in epidural needle - it was MASSIVE, like a horse syringe. They couldn't get it in as Flum wriggling like possessed she-devil. They dug around with needle for a while.

I said 'I'm going'. Nurse said 'Where?'

Woke up on Flums labour bed. She came back later with a baby. Sweet little thing. Flum looked like she had been beaten up.

Had to go home for a sleep, called Flums mum so she could come and sit with Flum while I went home for a kip.

mummytosteven Wed 27-Apr-05 12:34:53

DH found it very scary seeing me give birth - it took ages, and various complications) - meconium in waters, distressed baby, cord round neck, ventouse delivery, all very medicalised by end with lots of doctors about. i was quite out of things due to 2 doses of diamorphine. he felt quite uncomfortable when I was going through the talking about my labour all the time phase the first few weeks after the birth. I was very surprised by how stressful DH found it.

DH held DS before me, because it took a while to stitch me up - silly but i still feel a bit

Anchovy Wed 27-Apr-05 12:41:48

Ds was an elective CS, in that we knew 2 weeks before that CS was needed and op itself was scheduled and all very calm and civilised. When we got into theatre, it turned out that the anaetheticist (sp?) was a very old friend of DH's parents (his father is a doctor, but long retired) - anaeteticist hadn't seen DH for about 20 years. My obstetrician also knew FIL but hadn't connected him with me as I don't use DH's name. So they all had a nice chat catching up on everything while I was having a Life Changing Event.

At an early stage there was a sound exactly like a bowl of washing up water being thrown on the ground, which was my waters going when they made the relevant incision. They went all over DH's feet (fortunately he had those white wellies on). He tells me that "waters" is a bit of a misnomer as it wasn't clear and there were "bits" in it (he said they looked a bit like chicken livers!)

triceratops Wed 27-Apr-05 12:53:35

DH had to hold me up in a squat for ages. He also spent the first stage walking about 10 miles with me up and down the street. He also held ds while I was being stitched up.

He says that it was not as bad as he was expecting and that he would do it again, which is lucky because he is going to have to. He cried absolute buckets when we got ds home after two hours, said it was the relief as he had been worried that something might go wrong.

Lizzylou Wed 27-Apr-05 12:57:23

Mummytosteven had almost exact same experience as you re: cord round neck, ventouse delivery and I was also soo out of it, they took DS away (later found out to revive him, which made me feel even worse) and DH held him first when he came back. I felt horribly guilty afterwards as I was falling to sleep (I hadn't slept for 3 nights at this stage) when I was supposed to be cuddling my beautiful baby boy!

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