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Worried about DH during labour...weird, sorry!

(37 Posts)
spg1983 Tue 30-Oct-12 08:38:16


I'm currently 23w and having a lovely pregnancy so far. This is my first so have never experienced it before, was expecting it to be scary and really hard work but so far, so good.

My issue is that I would love to try and have as natural a birth as possible. Obviously if something medical prevents that then so be it but I'm looking into ways of helping myself to be as relaxed as possible and able to manage it for as long as possible without medication.

What I'm worried about is my DH. He is lovely but I am pretty sure that he has some kind of attention deficit disorder. He's very active, impulsive and easily bored and quite frankly, he needs entertaining pretty much all the time as he doesn't cope well with boredom and will often end up doing silly things if he's bored which then frustrates me as there's then a resulting mess/breakage to clear up. For instance, last night we went to a restaurant for a meal, after we'd ordered I expected to sit and chat but he got bored and ended up studying the kids menu and then begging me to test him on it to see how well he's memorised it.

I do talk to him about labour and am trying to get through to him just how calm I need it to be, and that it may be boring for him but please could he put me first and focus on helping me where possible. He then mentioned he'd be in charge of long as he got to skip tracks he found boring (grrr!). He can't sit down long enough to read a book - surprising as he's a highly educated man but he just can't concentrate enough. TV is a nightmare as he flicks from channel to channel. Then he said he'd bring along a pack of cards so we could play that - I said ok as long as he stopped when I needed to, but he said he couldn't stop in the middle of a series of games!!

I think part of this is me panicking but I just want to be able to concentrate on getting through the pain. I mentioned I was interested in hypno birthing and e laughed at me and said that wasn't going to work because he'd get too bored if I decided to 'zone out' and not include him.

Please tell me he won't be like this when the time comes and that he'll magically turn into the most supportive husband ever...please?!

TomsBentPinky Tue 30-Oct-12 08:43:22

Tell him to get a grip and support you or else he will be waiting outside. He sounds immature and a bit selfish to me.

DangerMousey Tue 30-Oct-12 08:49:42

Have you thought about inviting a second birth partner to join you? A best friend, sister, mum or similar? Lots of people have 2 birth partners and it can be a really useful way of spreading the responsibility for keeping you calm/supporting you?

That way, if he needs to pop out and wander to the hospital cafe for 15 minutes (and memorise the menu!) or whatever, you're not left alone? A couple of my friends have had babies this year and have had a good girlfriend in the room with them, as well as their DH. They have all said that their girlfriend was a better birth partner than their DH anyway, and it was the woman who stayed awake all through the night and held their hands through the contractions, whilst the husbands dozed in the chair/played angry birds etc etc!

comixminx Tue 30-Oct-12 08:49:50

Get a doula or other birth partner to support you as well/instead. You really don't want to be worrying about whether your DH is engaged with the process or not.

TwinkleReturns Tue 30-Oct-12 08:52:06

I agree with Toms. Labour can slow down if you are stressed, you need to be calm. And he can fuck off with dismissing your wishes re hypnobirthing - you are the one giving birth so I suggest you make it crystal clear that you are going to be doing this your way or you will have a diff birthing partner. Honestly the very last thing you could possibly want in that room is a fidgetty, bored and annoying DP.

Seriously, this is where you put your foot down and refuse to budge. It might also be an idea to make him sit and watch a birthing video or one born every minute if he would sit still for the hour - it sounds v much like he hasnt grasped exactly what labour entails and just how important your emotional wellbeing will be during it. Might make him take it all a bit more seriosuly?

TwinkleReturns Tue 30-Oct-12 08:54:08

Although I would recommend you dont watch it with him. Not a good idea before giving birth!

Funnylittleturkishdelight Tue 30-Oct-12 08:55:38

Do you want him in there with you? Would you be happier with him outside and someone else supporting you in the birth?

LookBehindYou Tue 30-Oct-12 08:55:55

Is he trying to make light of the whole thing but will step up at the time? Or do you really think he'll be rubbish at the time? If so, have someone else there. This is the one time when it really is all about you.

pinsent Tue 30-Oct-12 08:58:03

Maybe it might be worth having a another birthing partner there too, maybe your mum or a close friend? Then if DH isn't being as supportive as you need you will have someone else there too. I would suggest having someone there who can be quite firm with your DH if he needs telling.
However DH may find that once things get going he will find his focus and realise how important it is for him to be a little more serious. Maybe giving him a couple of ongoing jobs to do, such as timing the contractions and holding a damp cloth to your head would help.
Hope it all goes well smile

LizaTarbucksAuntie Tue 30-Oct-12 09:04:57

Definately get a supportive birth partner, if yo'ure stressed about it already it deosn't bode well for the pair of you and why put yourself through that.

I hate to ask but how is going to cope with a new born having their needs put before his?

He might well start focusing during the birth and be marvellous but I wouldn't take the chance - especially having been previously married to a drama queen who managed to make my emcs ALL about him and how tired and stressful he found the whole thing. <judgement may be clouded by this>

Bearandcub Tue 30-Oct-12 09:05:53

He might be different once you start Ante-natal classes and realises it is real.

He does need to get a grip and support you though. Tell him that you are asking someone else to be your birthing partner as you don't think he'll act appropriately and see how he reacts. Give him the opportunity to change.

Cluffyfunt Tue 30-Oct-12 09:43:29

Have you spoken to him about your worries?

Is he selfish and you don't think he would be able to put you first?

isambardo Tue 30-Oct-12 10:56:24

Some people just aren't good birth partners, I'm sure he'll be great at lots other things baby related.

You have time to figure out what you want, I would look into getting a doula or consider if you have a good friend or relation to have as your birth partner. Also sign up for NCT or another course which will educate your husband and mean he can be around other men talking about birth. (My husband and I found NCT great for this).

For me (currently 37 weeks pg), my birth partner really needs to have a good understanding of what I want and I need to feel I can lean on them for support. They will be the one discussing everything with medical staff as I will be focusing on labour so they really need to be engaged and informed. Having a paid doula there sounds like a brilliant option to me.

post Tue 30-Oct-12 11:30:07

Can you ask him if he WANTS to be supportive, and will he be willing to do what it takes to do that? It's hard to tell from your posts whether he's just not able to 'concentraye', or if he's wanting to control you, that YOU have to be concentrating on him or he'll play up. Does he work? Does he do it with everyone, just as much as he does with you?

post Tue 30-Oct-12 11:30:50


greenbananas Tue 30-Oct-12 11:31:38

This is all about you and what you need to feel comfortable and supported during labour. I know it's unfashionable to say so, but some men are best kept out of the delivery room. Some obstreticians think the current trend for including men in the deliver room has gone too far (e.g. here is a link to a newspaper article).

My experience of labour was that I had less pain when I was able to disappear inside myself and sort of shut off all my higher brain functions. DH wanted to be with me during the birth, and stayed in the room for the first part - bless him, he tried so hard to be supportive, but he kept on talking to me and I told him to "just shut up!" The midwives pretty much threw him out (he was really cross!) He missed the birth, but has been a great dad since.

I am 39 weeks pregnant again, and this time DH's job is to stay at home and look after our 4 year old son smile Do whatever feels right to you - and don't feel pressured by your DH into doing this his way!

nickeldaisical Tue 30-Oct-12 11:33:27

you need to make him a list of all the things he can be doing while you're in labour.

especially things like filling your water jug, sorting out your snacks, making sandwiches, reading a book....

spg1983 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:34:51

Thanks for all the replies. I think (hope!) that he'll grow up when the time comes and listen to what I want/need. He has a very responsible job that he's very good at (I know this as we work at the same place) so I know that he can be sensible when needed and copes well with pressure, maybe this is why he 'lets go' in such an extreme way when not at work??

I've seen other threads where women have given their DH a list of things they'd want them to do during labour, I think I'll have a go at one of them.

With regard to having someone else there, I'm not sure if I'd want to... my best friend won't be able to take time off if I'm in labour during the day (she's a teacher therefore can't swap days or take time off unless she's ill), my mum works full-time and is not exactly the most interested person when it comes to pregnancy/babies but DH's mum is recently retired and is great - I get on really well with her and she'd definitely sort DH out if he was annoying me. So I may have her on stand-by if needed - she lives 10mins away from the hospital. I'd like to think that we can get through this as just the two of us but I have a feeling I won't be in the mood to give second chances if he starts bugging me!

I feel so pathetic when my midwife asks me about my birth plan and what concerns I have and the only thing I am genuinely concerned about is DH! Also what's playing on my mind is that his ex-wife had a son with him - she got a long way through labour and then couldn't push any more - labour suddenly slowed down and she was knackered and they had to do an emergency c-section. I'm 99% sure that DH was fine and didn't stress her and therefore contribute to things going not quite to plan but I can't get that worry out of my head... I do get on v v well with DH's ex - do you think it's worth me talking to her about it?! I know she wouldn't be offended at all at me bringing it up - she discusses her pregnancy/labour etc with me.

nickeldaisical Tue 30-Oct-12 11:37:07

actually, maybe a HomeBirth would suit you both better?
because then he can be cooking, making sure all the baby stuff is tidy, ready-to-go.
he can also do useful things like helping the MWs setting up the gas and air, counting inco pads, fetching you more pillows, typing on your live birth thread on MN, massaging your back, running your bath, making sure you have towels, nightie etc, checking all the nappies, maternity pads, cooking, getting drinks, shopping wink, playing quietly on the playstation, stripping the bed and waterproofing it, making sure your tens batteries don't run out, compiling the text messages for sensing out after the birth...

nickeldaisical Tue 30-Oct-12 11:39:49

i had 2 birth partners pls DH at home - one was very practical and hands on support for me and the other did shopping, cooking, etc with DH. and took photos.

spg1983 Tue 30-Oct-12 11:49:25

Oh my goodness I can see how that works for others but a home birth would be my idea of a nightmare...with a hospital/MLU birth I'd have cleaned the house beforehand and therefore come home to a lovely clean house with baby. With a homebirth I couldn't concentrate with wondering what household gadget DH was taking to bits and which previously tidy room he was messing up.

I also don't like the idea of not having medical back-up instantly there if needed which I think would stress me even more.

Sorry sad I feel like I'm coming across as a real diva - I just want to go into the MLU and close my eyes and have a nice bath and try to breathe my way through it, knowing that I'm in the right place if I need more help. And deal with anything else that happens as and when we need to.

Someone in RL has suggested getting DH an iPad for Xmas which he can take into hospital with him - he can use it to time contractions etc and watch films or surf the net etc...think this may be the best option so far.

nickeldaisical Tue 30-Oct-12 12:17:45

no, no, that's fine, what works for you is the most important thing.

but it does sound like one of your birth prep plans will be getting him to concentrate on his jobs so you can concentrate on yours.
I know everyone says that when you're in the birth part that everything else becomes unimportant, but I was never able to switch off- I was over-thinking everything all the way through. So I can see how you'd be predisposed to wondering if he's entertaining himself.

yes, I like the ipad idea- then he can update MN too. But definitely get him doing the practical things like food and drink, because it will take him out of the delivery room when he's getting annoying (even if you don't fancy food)

nickeldaisical Tue 30-Oct-12 12:20:41

I do think it's also a good idea to have your MIL.
she can be a practical support to you whilst knowing how to get rid of your DH when he's annoying. grin

motherinferior Tue 30-Oct-12 12:21:11

He does know babies are quite wearing and often quite boring too, doesn't he?

spg1983 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:51:29

Haha yes he does - he's got a son and is great with babies. I think it's just the labour that he'll struggle with!

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