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Am I being Unreasonable/Hormonal? DH refuses to come to NCT classes with me

(27 Posts)
Sallypuss Wed 10-Sep-08 12:42:37

Afternoon all. Could do with some MN wisdom please.

I went to the first of the NCT classes last night alone because DH didn't want to come. In fairness, he's said each time I've asked him that he won't come with me but he does want to be at the birth. Last night as I sat there as the only one not with their partner, I did wonder what on earth I was doing. The hormonal mad woman in me took over on the way home and I cried myself to sleep reflecting on the fact that everyone else at the class appeared to have wonderfully supportive partners who gave a sh*t and mine who doesn't even know how many weeks there are in a pregnancy let alone what he should do to support me in labour and beyond (I brought up the subject of post natal depression the other day and he seriously thought it was some kind of joke!).

I'm still very upset about it this morning and would appreciate some MN wisdom as to how, if he won't come to classes with me, I can get him to be more useful than a chocolate fireguard whilst I'm in labour and beyond or whether it would be better not to have him there at all.

Incidentally, I know many women cope alone during this time so appreciate that it wouldn't be the end of the world were he not to be there. Unfortunately, mum/family/friends all live more than 3 hours away so don't really have a fallback position and doula is out from a financial point of view.

cathym Wed 10-Sep-08 12:46:16

Can you try guilt? Say that everyone thought you were a single parent to be and was offering support. Suggest that there is no point him being at the birth as he won't have a clue what to do at the birth if he hasn't been to the classes? Does he know that all the other Dads were there?

SmugColditz Wed 10-Sep-08 12:50:28

You need to tell him that all the other dads were shocked that he didn't bother coming to something so important, and they were horrified until you made up an excuse, bbut next week you're not going to and you'll tell them the truth if he doesn't go with you

SmugColditz Wed 10-Sep-08 12:51:35

or you could do what I would so, and say you'll get your best male friend to come with you instead, and he can be at the birth, as your husband won't know what to do because he won't go to the classes and support you.

Sycamoretree Wed 10-Sep-08 12:51:55

Grrr - I'd have lamped DH if he took this tack - but question is how to get him to change him mind. It's hard not knowing his personality or whether there's any getting through to him. Do you have any friends with DH's who might be able to point out how important and useful it would be? Failing that, outline a worst case scenario where you would need him to act on your behalf during labour etc and where he'd be useless if he didn't know what was going on?

Odd that he expresses wanting to be at birth but not wanting to do the classes. What did he say when you pointed out he was the only DH not at class? It's a chance for him to make some mates to compare notes with too once you turn into a hormal heap once baby is born!

lauraloola Wed 10-Sep-08 12:56:21

We didnt bother with NCT classes and we got on fine. I think some men think thats is all women sitting in a room breathing loudly so try to stay away! Maybe ask him to try and if he doesnt feel comfortable then he doesnt have to go next time?

My dp didnt take much interest in a lot of things as I think he was unsure of how he could learn things. I decided to start leaving my pregnancy and birth magazines in the loo! It worked a treat and he would sit and read them (Sorry if tmi!) He ended up being very clued up and would even tell me things!

He is now reading the next sections of the magazines on how to play with 13 week old dd and what she should be doing now. It is brilliant!!

TheFallenMadonna Wed 10-Sep-08 12:59:33

Mine didn't come to any classes as he had already moved 250 miles away and I was finishing off work before I moved. He was great during labour.

theyoungvisiter Wed 10-Sep-08 13:00:01

IME the NCT classes were actually MORE useful for the men than for the women. I found instinct took over for me and I just got on with it, whereas DH really appreciated having some idea of

a) what would happen (more scary for him than for me as I was too preoccupied to care)
b) what to do to help/pain relief techiques etc
c) how to cope if things went wrong - what questions to ask, when to panic, when not to panic etc.
d) what to do afterwards

He needs to go to these not only to support you, but mostly for his OWN benefit otherwise he will be scared/pushed out/useless/clueless at the birth.

Point out to your DH that if there is an emergency situation YOU may well be unconscious/incapable of making a decision - a lot could rest on him being well-informed and knowledgeable about the choices offered to him as the doctors won't necessarily have time to go into every detail at that time.

Have you asked him why he doesn't want to go? Is it because he thinks it will all be hippies sitting around on the floor imagining their vaginas flowering? Or does he think he knows it all already?

Ours was actually very practically focussed - and as I say, DH benefitted probably more than me. I found the best bit was the friends I made!

theyoungvisiter Wed 10-Sep-08 13:02:28

btw I am not trying to suggest that couples who don't go to classes will not be well-informed etc - I cross posted with lauraloo and thefallenmadonna - but Sallypuss clearly wants her DS to attend so these were just my arguments for helping to convince him that it's not a waste of time (which it's not, IMO, I'm sure it's not absolutely essential but it's definitely useful, plus if you've paid etc...)

notcitrus Wed 10-Sep-08 13:04:17

Maybe get him to talk to the tutor? I think a few of the chaps in mine thought it was all breathing and hippy stuff, some icky anecdotes and mums getting to know each other, and were really relieved when they were assured it would be mainly factual stuff.

Our classes were half mornings (mainly all women) and half evenings (blokes made most of these) - the evenings focused more on recognising labour, how to look after a newborn, etc.

VinegarTits Wed 10-Sep-08 13:05:42

Tell him the person taking the class was a man and go on about how wonderfully informative it was and how attractive he is, if he goes with you then you can just say, oh must be a different person taking the class this week

LadyThompson Wed 10-Sep-08 13:07:41

NCT classes aren't everyone's cup of tea. I haven't gone to them either and I know DP wasn't keen. Just because he won't go to them doesn't mean he doesn't care, but you need to explain that he needs SOME education to be a support to you in labour. Fatherhood: The Truth by Marcus Berkmann, is a no-nonsense, slightly humourous and not too preachy book about pregnancy, childbirth etc for blokes. Order him a copy from Amazon as a prezzy. Men can be wary and intimidated by all this kind of stuff and it can come across as lack of interest. I know you feel upset but give him a chance and try not to nag, just gently encourage. Nothing good ever comes of backing someone into a corner, you see.

lulu25 Wed 10-Sep-08 13:10:43

i bribed mine.

nice dinner one week, selection of beers in the fridge, all shirts ironed for a week etc.

yaNbu though

more Wed 10-Sep-08 13:14:18

Ouuchh, that is bad behaviour. Is he normally of the attitude that this birth/baby/child is going to be all your responsibility?

I would insist that he starts showing an interest. If you want to go to these meetings and want him there for support then he should go. It is not just you giving birth here, it is the two of you that are going to be parents together, and that is a huge thing.

Hope you get this (him smile) sorted.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 10-Sep-08 13:14:39

I booked us onto a 5 weeks alternative to NCT course. DH wasn't overly keen but as others have said I pointed out that 1- he knows squat about labour/childbirth/anything and 2- he may have to make decisions if anything goes wrong and needs to know things also 3- I don't care if you don't want to go I'm the pregnant one and I need you there. That should be enough for any reasonable father to be. He's being a selfish fucker and I'd shame him into going - tell him how embarassed and humiliated you felt and how shocked everyone was that he couldn't be bothered to go with you.

LadySanders Wed 10-Sep-08 13:17:57

i tend to think that he should go if you want him to.

HOWEVER, i didn't do them, and my dp would have been absolutely mortified at attending anything like that. i took him to a lecture on vaccinations at the active birth centre and was extremely worried they would make him sit on a beanbag or eat lentils. he is not what you'd call touchy feely. but he is still an amazing dad, and was wonderful when i was in labour for 2 days with ds2 (his 1st child).

LadySanders Wed 10-Sep-08 13:19:18

sorry, i mean, HE was worried they'd make him sit on a beanbag

TheGreatScootini Wed 10-Sep-08 13:20:27

DH didnt want to come to ours at first.I cried and guilted him into it.He came and really enjoyed it.We made some good mates in that class.DH plays golf with two of the Dads now..
Tell him its more a social thing than a lentil weavy breathy thing?(although of course there is some of that too)

TheBestMum Wed 10-Sep-08 15:05:41

I went to NCT on my own as dh refused to come (a doctor & reckoned he 'knew it all' - nob!)
Was initially upset but then just got on with it & learned alot & met new friends who I keep in touch with 2 yrs on.
Sod, him I say. Carry on going for you.

taxiservice Wed 10-Sep-08 15:17:29

When I went 10 years ago my dh was very negative so I missed many classes. I very much regret it now. Do please keep going and do guilt him into it by telling him that all the other Dads are there and it's a social thing, as others have said here.

NotBigNotClever Wed 10-Sep-08 15:21:16

I've had 2 birth experiences and 2 dhs. Neither of them went to AN classes, although both went on to be present at the births of their respective dcs. H1 was working away all through the pregnancy and I went to NHS classes by myself and was the only one without a partner. I did not care and I don't think it made any difference during the birth - he was the type who would have been useless anyway (drunk). My 2nd dh did not want to go to AN classes, which was fine by me, as I didn't want to go again either and I figured it would all work out OK. In the event, he attended the birth and was completely brilliant. I think going to AN classes would just have wound him up and put him off, frankly.

poppy34 Wed 10-Sep-08 15:32:23

dh has older kids from first marriage - was very cynical re nct and reluctantly agreed to come with me (but was only there for part of day as he had to work so do know the horrible feeling).

he actually liked it but mainly as our teacher was good.. but that said I think on balance it wouldnt have mattered if he was tehre as most of it was aimed at mums so I came away with clear idea of what I wanted and wanted from him. hopefully if you do that it'll give you some basis to start talking to him about what you need from support.

you need to let him know how let down you feel too - its not the end of the world that he isnt tehre provided he can understand what you need from him.. I am assuming he is not completely insensitive given you are now expecting wink

Sallypuss Thu 11-Sep-08 09:23:56

Thanks ladies. Had a bit of a result last night - came home to flowers and a commitment to go to the next class on Saturday! Very relieved but feeling a mite guilty about the floods of tears on Tuesday evening.

Aubergenie Thu 11-Sep-08 09:42:54

Don't feel guilty about the tears. It's not unreasonable to want to feel supported going into one of the most important experiences of your life IMO. I'm glad you got a result!

Sycamoretree Thu 11-Sep-08 12:53:12

And flowers too - double result. Am very pleased for you. smile

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