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Not sure I want hubby as my birth partner anymore ... (warning big whine)

(53 Posts)
Rochwen Thu 09-Jun-05 13:46:30

This is more of a whine then a question but perhaps some of you had similar experiences. I need some advice (and sympathy, )

After attending our first NCT class yesterday hubby and I started discussing childbirth and I found that our views totally clash and, probably due to my current hormonal state, his attitudes upset me very much. Due to previous surgery I will probably not have a very straight-forward birth and end up with either a c/s or an instrumental delivery. I have an appointment with a consultant booked in week 36 where we will be discussing my birth options. I have decided that I will ask for a planned c/s and I think given my medical history there is a good chance that I will get one. However, when I told hubby about my decision he said taht this was 'out of the question' as it is major surgery (doh !) and I will have a 6 week recovery period (how quick does he think I will be jumping about after a forceps birth and a major episiotomy?) and that we (!!!) should try for 'natural' birth as this is better for the baby (???). I couldn't believe what I was hearing. How can he dare to decide what kind of birth I should be having ! Anyway, when I told him about my fears of a long labour, instrumental deliveries and emergency sections he just said told me 'not to worry', and that 'thousands of women have babies everyday' and 'you'll survive, it's only a couple of days'. That was not what I wanted to hear and his insensitive attidude really upset me. He just can't seem to comprehend that I'm genuinely afraid.

Then we continued discussing what would happen during my 'trial of labour' (if I decide not to take the c/s) and I asked him if he would fight my corner when the consultant or midwife wanted to do something that I didn't agree with and he simply said that in situations like that we have to trust the professionals. Unfortunately I don't trust the professionals and now I don't trust him anymore. I now feel that I will be all alone during my labour with no-one to take my side.

I always felt safe in the knowledge that hubby would be there for me and make sure everything would be alright but after last night's conversation I'm just not sure anymore.

I wish I could have a doula but there are not doulas up here.

I'm sorry this has been such a long-winded whinge but I really needed to get it off my chest. I'm still very upset.

acnebride Thu 09-Jun-05 13:51:59

You're certainly getting sympathy from me Rochwen. Looking at what he said, if it's any comfort at all I think he was trying to reassure you. People just don't understand exactly how dismissive this is - not 'sounds' - IS. I had a slightly similar experience but from a friend early in pregnancy, not my partner late in the day. Horrible for you.

It's great that you have a consultant appointment. I hope you get some more helpful advice.

bundle Thu 09-Jun-05 13:57:11

I don't think he was being sympathetic at all, the "thousands of women have babies every day" attitude is usually trotted out by men (who, shockingly, never give birth). i had a trial of labour scheduled for dd2's birth and because my bp plummeted and hadn't had an epidural by then (few contractions, not v painful) ended up having a general anaesthetic which isn't very nice. so it is worth thinking every eventuality through yourself first. do you have a female friend who could be your birth partner? or could you persuade your dh to respect/adhere to your views?

giraffeski Thu 09-Jun-05 13:58:40

Message withdrawn

gothicmama Thu 09-Jun-05 13:59:17

is there anyone else who could go with you instead - after my birth experience I was so glad dh was there to back my corner as everyone took more notice of him - although it was only through writing my birth plan that I made him understand it was about me and what was the right way for me to give birth

acnebride Thu 09-Jun-05 13:59:32

Looking again I can't believe he said 'out of the question'... what on earth????

Cooperoo Thu 09-Jun-05 14:00:01

Oh Rochwen you poor thing. It is so patronising to be told 'thousands of women do it every day'. I do think your DH is trying to help but has achieved exactly the opposite effect.
The consultants appt will be a real help. I would try to make sure that your DH is able to come with you......or perhaps it might actually be better if he isn't there and you can tell him then the side you want told.
Point him towards the positive section stories on this site. Six weeks is the max you are out of action for and like you say what does he expect you to be doing after any invasive birth proceedures. It may of course not come to this and your consultant will be best able to advise you.
I truly know what it is to be scared about the whole birth process. I had a huge sobbing fit when I was 6 mths preg first time round telling DH that there was no way I could do it, and have had lots of worries and fears this time too.
The best way to cope is to be as well informed as possible. Take care.

bundle Thu 09-Jun-05 14:01:01

oh and tell him, you're having a baby, not a birth. harumph. (that's you, singular)

mears Thu 09-Jun-05 14:01:56

Rochwen - sometimes where there has been previous surgery, a vaginal birth is actually a better option due to previous scarring. Depends what the previous surgery was. Don't be too hard on your DH - men's minds work differently that women's and they cannot always express them selves in words that we prefer. Perhaps he is concerned about you having surgery and the risks of C/S which are very real. Is he going to be with you for the consultant visit?

acnebride Thu 09-Jun-05 14:02:18

If there is the slightest chance that he thinks things will be 'back to normal' on day 2 after a vaginal birth, I would consider any sources of serious support for after the birth, now.

Cooperoo Thu 09-Jun-05 14:03:17

When I say your DH is trying to help I mean he is trying to make you believe you can do it, but in a very crap male way. Or am I being charitable?? A birth plan for you will be very important I think.

pooka Thu 09-Jun-05 14:04:16

What about what is best for YOU? When push comes to shove, it's your decision, but I would be seriously worried if you went against your instincts and had an unpleasant, health threatening natural birth at his instigation, because of the effect that might have on your relationship. Would it be a good idea for him to come with you to see the consultant, having prepared yourself for asking loads of questions about instrumental deliveries, what the consultant would advise etc. You may find that the consultant suggests a c/s, in which case your dh trusting medical professionals implicitly would work in your favour.
I don't want to sound like an advocate of c/s. I'm not - haven't had one and wouldn't want one unless had pre-existing medical reasons or tricky labour that necessitated such major intervention, but I think that it is important that your dh realises that NCT classes do not necessarily cover all bases when it comes to labour outcomes. In an ideal world everyone would have natural, uncomplicated (pain free!) deliveries, but that's not always possible.
And if you do go for the c/s route, make sure ou plan as much other help post-delivery (i.e. relations and friends) beforehand.
Good luck!

footprint Thu 09-Jun-05 14:06:40

Hi Rochwen, I really feel for you.

Just wanted to say that my husband was a bit like this before the birth, although not as bad.

HOWEVER, when it came to the actual birth, he was wonderful, supportive and sensitive.

Iklboo Thu 09-Jun-05 14:07:19

Oh Rochwen, that's awful, poor you. Tell him you'd be quite happy to go through a natural birth if you can tie a slip-knot round his b@lls and every time you get a contraction and feel pain, you yank on it as hard as you can. (I'm not trying to be flippant here ladies, just trying to cheer Rochwen up a bit!)

Rochwen Thu 09-Jun-05 14:07:48

Thank you all for your kind words, that is really making me feel better, you really seem to understand. I'm not being oversensitive then.

It's unfortunate that I'm so irrational at the moment and I can't seem to have a decent conversation with hubby about that, I just break into floods of tears (men really hate that). I was thinking of writing him a letter explaining exactely my worries and fears. Do you think that would help?

I would love to have anohter woman with me for the birth but I don't have a really close friend who has already given birth. I'm not sure the NCT teacher would do it, and she does have kids of her own to look after. Really it's a shame there is no doula up here.

Thank you so much again for your sympathy, kind words and advice.

shrub Thu 09-Jun-05 14:08:20

i would question his motivation for wanting you to have a natural birth - is he squeamish (my dh admitted he was after very difficult first birth) and thinks he will cope better in a less medicalised environment (naive i know) or being selfish about the 6 week recovery time? have had 2 c-sections and was mobile the same day and felt fine after a week, just tender around the op area. having just had my third baby, i think the more we need reassurance during the pregnancy the more the men go weird on us its not your hormones - you wanted to be treated like a goddess and rightly so, this is such a special time in your life!

JoolsToo Thu 09-Jun-05 14:08:42

I was searching for words but mears has echoed my thoughts

mears Thu 09-Jun-05 14:10:14

Have you spoken to your midwife about your concerns? Do you like her? If so, can she look after you in labour if that is what is suggested?
Definately write down your thoughts and fears for your DH - he make understand better then.

expatinscotland Thu 09-Jun-05 14:12:06

I think I'd go for another birth partner. Sorry, but I'm one of those who feels like I am the best one to make decisions about my body. Especially when it comes to reproduction.

My husband was firmly in my quarter and I would not have wanted it any other way.

This is YOUR delivery on YOUR body and you should NOT feel pressured or bullied into making any decision.

Just my 2p, but as you can see I feel quite strongly about this.

giraffeski Thu 09-Jun-05 14:12:52

Message withdrawn

Rochwen Thu 09-Jun-05 14:16:45

Iklboo, it worked, your post made me laugh !

Mears, the talk with hubby only happened yesterday evening, so I haven't had a chance to speak to anyone. I just always assumed hubby would be waht I need during labour. Now I'm not so sure anymore. Unfortunately I haven't seen the same m/w twice yet, so I couldn't build up a rapport with any of them. I will speak to them about it when I next see them though, perhaps they have a good suggestion.

I know what you all mean about hubby just wanting to help and he is a very lovely and supportive man but I just think he has no understanding of just quite how frightened I am. ...and yes, unfortunately he is the kind of man who has his fillings WITHOUT any injection whereas I am and have always been a total wimp. I just don't trust myself to 'survive' a birth.

Pooka, what a clever post, thanks.

Blackduck Thu 09-Jun-05 14:18:22

I think you have to get to the bottom of this if he is going to be there. The last thing you need when it comes to the crunch is a partner who isn't going to go with your wishes and is going to make it difficult, you don't need that stress on top of the labour itself.
Is he scared? Scared for you? the baby?
What are his real concerns?
What are the real issues?
Having been induced, had an epidural, a trolley dash to theatre (ds in distress), near C'section and finally a forceps delivery I can't image what it would have been like if dp hadn't supported me all the way.....

Cooperoo Thu 09-Jun-05 14:18:44

Definately write down how you are feeling for you as well as for your DH. I have had a number of factors worry me during this pregnancy due to factors out of my control and I have written them all down and written letters to people every time. I have only sent one letter but have made DH read what I have written so he can better understand. It had really helped me to reread them too when I am calmer etc. I have had several sleepless night and getting up and writing it all down has helped me clear my head and get back to sleep.

mears Thu 09-Jun-05 14:21:58

Rochwen - your feelings are totally natural and many women feel like this, whether they have had other medical problems or not. In the unit I work in, we do not meet the women coming in in labour antenatally but meet them on the day. That does not mean that you do not build a trusting relationship on the day. When surveyed, the women said that they were more concerned about having continuity antenatally and post natally than during labour and they rated the care highly. Does your unit provide one-to-one midwifery care do you know? You can also arrange to meet the midwife manager of the labour suite to dicuss any labour concerns. Do not feel that you have no-one to talk to about it. If you do have an attempt at a vaginal birth it will be really helpful for you to have a birthplan of care.

expatinscotland Thu 09-Jun-05 14:23:11

Why doesn't our infirmary have midwives like mears?

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