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Giving birth without partner-anyone done it? Am I mad?

(27 Posts)
merglemergle Mon 02-May-05 18:56:48

My midwife seemed a bit suprised when I said that this is what I wanted to do. She said she had experience of only one other woman doing this.

For long and complex reasons we have bascially no-one who we can rely on to take my son-so I would sepnd the nex 7 weeks worrying about not being able to find anyone to look after him. Also, he will be absolutely hysterical about being left with anyone except us (this has come on really suddenly in the last few months, and I've started maternity leave early as a result). I had a pretty good labour experience last time (1 hr 10 minutes), no complications-so am confident about doing it alone.

I've thought about having someone with me, but honestly, I don't really want anyone. When I am in pain I really want to be left alone, and I did feel quite crowded in my last labour (just dp + midwife there). I would quite like dp to be there but I am not THAT bothered, certainly not to the extent that I would see my ds being hysterical and upset over it. I know whats going to happen and I can't get worked up over it.

My only concern is that something unexpected will happen. I think I will ask the midwives to speak to/call dp to discuss anything eg emergency caesarean, and they seem fine about doing this. I will have a decent birth plan nailed to every wall of the house (homebirth).

Is this a really bad idea? I suppose if it is a REALLY bad idea I could get someone either with me (which would feel like an intrusion) or with ds (when I would worry about him constantly). Any thoughts?

marne Mon 02-May-05 19:05:11

Hi merglemergle,
I dont think its a bad idea, we are planing to have another baby and if we do i will be giving birth with out my dh as i only trust him to look after our dd. My dh doesnt want to see me going through pain again so he doesnt want to be there anyway.
Good luck and i hope you have an easy birth like your last.

Aragon Mon 02-May-05 19:06:08


It's entirely up to you. If you feel that this is what you want then go ahead and do it. Most women do have someone with them now but it's almost become expected and there are a good number of fathers who sit in a corner and look queasy (from my time as a midwife). I've looked after just two women who went it alone and it was fine. Perhaps have someone on standby who can be with you if you want them to.

coppertop Mon 02-May-05 19:06:27

I did exactly the same thing with ds2. A good friend had offered to look after ds1 during the day but the induction didn't start to work until the middle of the night. Ds1 is autistic too so that made it even more difficult. I decided in the end to go it alone and then have dh and ds1 come to the hospital after the birth. Dh arrived just in time to see ds2 being weighed.

It didn't really bother me that much tbh. I had an epidural so there was no pain. In fact I dozed off during a lot of the contractions. I think it would have been far more difficult for me if I'd spent the time with dh but worrying about ds1.

franke Mon 02-May-05 19:07:28

Have you thought about a homebirth? Sounds to me as if you might not even make it to the hospital, given the short time you were in labour last time

Aragon Mon 02-May-05 19:08:38

Homebirth - now why didn't I think of that? you sound an ideal candidate.

franke Mon 02-May-05 19:09:09

Sorry, missed that you are already having one {duh!!! emoticon]

Flossam Mon 02-May-05 19:10:26

Have you arranged for DP to take DS out during this time then? Cause I was just thinking if it was to happen in the night, he may be able to stay asleep and you have DP there - best of both worlds!

jjash Mon 02-May-05 19:13:11

my dp wasnt with me for births of either of our two kids , though my mum and best mate were.When 2nd child born it was cos i wanted dp to stay with ds then 3 and it was middle of the night.
To be honest i dont know how i would have been with noone with me but a friend has done that no problems .With dd i didnt even get off ambulance stretcher anyway it was that quick!!
I think if you are fine with dp staying with ds then dont worry - you will have your mind at ease over your sons welfare then and can concentrate on bringing the new baby into the world !!

merglemergle Tue 03-May-05 21:31:08

Well thank you people for being reassuring. A part of me is just really suprised that it would be this uncommon. I also feel a bit like I am being told that I MUST have someone with me-in a nice way, ie I have a right to have someone there etc, but I just don't feel like I want anyone. It reminds me of NCT classes a bit-so much emphasis on the birth. I know this baby will come out one way or another, I'm more worried about coping after the birth (sleepless nights....).

stitch Tue 03-May-05 21:34:36

a generation ago most men werent present at the birth.
maybe it would be an idea if your dp was somewhere nearby furing labour? so he could come asap if needed?

stitch Tue 03-May-05 21:35:25

my father took dh out of the labour room when ds1 was born. and to be honest didnt miss him. my sis was with me, and tbh didnt really need him.

expatinscotland Tue 03-May-05 21:39:39

I like to be left alone when I'm in pain, angry, stressed as well. I don't see anything wrong with it - we all have our own way of dealing with things.

DH will be there when this one is born, b/c DD will go w/my ILs, but TBH if I could have anyone I'd rather it be my mother.

march29 Wed 04-May-05 13:12:19

its not a bad idea. in that situation u want to be as ccomfortable as u possibly can. i had dh with me but i asked him to leave after a few minutes shocking the mw! its easier for me to concentrate when i am on my own. you just have to be sure thats what u want.

Bexybear Wed 04-May-05 13:41:07


I know you dont want people around (completely understand that) but a doula would definately respect that wish and just be there in the background to support you if you needed it, act as an intermediary between you and midwives and probably even help hubby if you were at home...

But main reason for suggesting a doula is that if you do have to go in to hospital they will provide some continuity of care and you wont be completely on your own if hospital is short of midwves or they are rubbish

good luck...
my DH was so overwhelmed by my traumatic labour it would have been better if he wasnt there plus the midwife was terrible so a doula would have made a huge difference.

handlemecarefully Wed 04-May-05 13:51:50

I gave birth to 2nd child with only my midwife for company. Dh was on his way but didn't make it in time. For the record I really enjoyed the peace and privacy. Much better than having him there getting into a flap. I'd do it again!

merglemergle Thu 19-May-05 08:30:38

Thanks for comments-thought I'd killed my own thread again!

I'd quite like to have a doula but there don't seem to be any round here (South Wales).

Also-I've done it before, and found it pretty easy tbh (arrogant or what?...). Not sure how much difference a doula could make therefore.

Especially when the same 500 pounds could go on a nice working washing machine...

natts Thu 19-May-05 09:07:29

Hi mm pupuce is a doula,she is in contact with doulas all over uk.doula uk have a great website and i think they can put you in touch with your neareast. it sounds to me that you are very relaxed about the actual birth,and that's the best way to go into labour.
I went on a study day re hypnobirthing that might be an idea, you can buy cd now to get practicing how to stay calm and relaxed. I'm training as a doula, shame your so far away. Doulas can be as active or as invisable as you require.
I don't think your mad at all its every bit as personal having a baby as it was conceiving so why should you want the world and his wife there with you.

ghosty Thu 19-May-05 09:38:16

When I was a student our next door neighbour had a homebirth and her two dds (3 and 5) were present at the birth with the dad ....
Apparently they all saw the baby come out and it was a really positive experience for them all as a family.
Personally we (me and my housemates) were all a bit [shocked] by this (also there was the 'eeeeewww' factor for the children) but according to the mum and dad neither child was traumatised or phased by it at all.
Of course, this may not be for you (I wouldn't have DS witness me giving birth) ... If you are having a home birth then there are all sorts of pluses ... DH is there in the vicinity and will see the baby within minutes of you giving birth and hopefully, if the baby is obliging enough to be born in the night time when your DS is asleep then he can be there if he (or you) want him to be.
Go with what feels right for you ... I personally would want DH with me because I wanted him to be a part of the process ... but if that is not your thing then go with your gut instinct ...

merglemergle Thu 19-May-05 12:00:41

Thanks natts-I'll try that website. If it came down to it, and I did want dh there, do you think a doula would help with ds? I don't just mean watch him, I mean would she have the knowlege and experience to talk through with him what was happening, etc? This is partly our problem-there is no-one who we feel could transition ds through this. Most people we know are freaked out enough by the homebirth (especially since I did haemorrage a bit last time).

Ghosty-I was actually present at my brother's (home) birth and I have to say I think it means that birth doesn't freak me out too much. I also don't recall my mum being in pain, even though it was an 8 hour backache labour with NO drugs! However, I did have my dad looking after me.

Flum Thu 19-May-05 12:02:10

I think its a good idea. My DP fainted during it all anyway. Its a relatively modern thing having the blokies there. Just since the 60's really.

ghosty Thu 19-May-05 21:56:21

Also I have an evil side to me that wanted DH to see me in pain ... after all he got me pregnant didn't he?
In the end I had c-sections ....

merglemergle Fri 20-May-05 11:44:03

Actually, ghosty, that is a good point. My dh still likes to tell "amusing" stories about "funny" things I said during my first labour. Hmmm.

natts Fri 20-May-05 13:45:28

yes i'm sure a doula would be able to explain things and be there for your son too.most doulas are mothers and understand completely the needs of the child aswell. I was also at my brother birth,although i was 14 so i looked after dad.

moondog Fri 20-May-05 13:53:01

merglemergle, I was alone for the birth of my second child (dh abroad and baby was early).My sister and mother were around but I chose to be alone. It was absolutely fine,I have no regrets at all!

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