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Husband wants nothing to do with our newborn baby

(54 Posts)
PinkPeach Sat 22-Sep-12 19:27:42

My husband and I had IVF and I gave birth to our baby girl 11 days ago. We spent 5 days in hospital as she had breathing problems when born. Throughout the pregnancy my husband wan't interested at all, even though he'd wanted the IVF. We've had a lot of stresses with trying to move house and other various life problems which have been going on for months since we conceived, but when she was born he seemed happy and wanted us home.

The first night he couldn't cope with her crying and slept downstairs, but did help out in the day. However, Wednesday night she cried again and he got angry and slept in the living room. His mother is staying with us until 27th to help us out. I've ended up sharing a bed with her since as he's made me feel so bad that he couldn't stay in our bed because of the baby crying. Ridiculous I know.

Thursday morning he was really angry and tired and has said he's not cut out for this. He said he won't cope with the tiredness once he goes back to work on Monday (even though he's always been a really bad sleeper). He made a comment that I'd have to deal with the baby and take me with her if I left as he wants nothing to do with her - I'm not sure if he was implying I should leave or if he will leave us.

I feel absolutely sick that this is happening and am petrified of his mum having to go home as I'm not sure if he will be worse when she is gone.

He hasn't even looked at the baby since whereas until Wednesday night he was feeding her etc despite being tired. I'm very concerned that this isn't just a bad day as he's got a history of being moody and wanting the attention on him. I'm not sure what he expected of a new baby but he was supposed to become a full time stay at home dad in January when I go back to work. Now I'm not sure that he will cope or even want to do this anymore. This then makes me worry about how we'll pay the mortgage if I then end up looking after the baby.

We are due to move house within a couple of weeks and have borrowed money from our parents to do this. I'm worried we will move and he will then leave me or refuse to contribute to what we need to pay our families back.

Please, please can anyone give any advice on this? I'm scared to tell my parents about his behaviour because of the money they've loaned us and and also because I know they will worry sick. My mum is a big worrier and I'd hate to see her stressing, as previosly when we had a problems a few years ago before getting married I could see how much my problems affected her. So far all I've said is that he's not coping, they don't know he's said he doesn't want her. I've also told my midwife the same and she said to get him to a GP, which I know he won't do.

My baby is the priority but I don't know how to deal with him being like this. If I challenge his behaviour it WILL make things worse from my past experience and asking him to leave is not an option - he is very stubborn and wouldn't ever leave if asked. I want our relationship to work and for us to be a family but my hopes for this are being dashed. I never thought this would happen to me and am extremely embarassed as my friends want to see the baby but there is no way I can invite them over with him being like this.

He has been diagnosed with ME (after we had the IVF) and I realise that can cause emotional difficulties but today he told someone on facebook they could have our baby. When she said to him that was a nasty thing to say he said 'I mean it!!!!'

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before? I'm sick with worry and could do with some advice about how to deal with this.

HappySunflower Sat 22-Sep-12 19:33:30

Goodness me, you poor thing!
What does his Mother have to say about it all?
I'm sorry to be blunt, but it sounds as though he is a selfish arse and in your position, I'm not sure I'd want him anywhere near my baby!

Almandine Sat 22-Sep-12 19:34:05

Firstly, on a practical level I think you should start looking for childcare for when you go back to work, and your DH obviously isn't up to the job.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sat 22-Sep-12 19:35:37

I haven't got any wise words I'm afraid but I just wanted to say a huge congratulations on the birth of your baby.

Big hugs for you as its difficult and tiring at the beginning even with support from a dp.

I hope you can get some rl support and outside help and I hope your mil supports you too.

All the best x

monsterchild Sat 22-Sep-12 19:37:50

Poor you! that would be a nightmare!

I'd enlist his mother's help in figuring out what is going on with him. It may just be overwhelming and he didn't realize the amount of work a newborn is.

I also think he doesn't get any attention unless he's being nice and interacting with the baby. It almost sounds like he has PND!

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sat 22-Sep-12 19:38:30

Also my dh found being my second concern very difficult to come to terms with-I mean it literally took about 3 years!

He's fine now and now great with the boys but it is hard for new dads at the beginning too and parent hood is not how anyone imagines it to be. I expect your h falls into that category.

Speak to your mw or hv as they must have contacts for help and support for you and your h.

Hope this passes and he starts being a h and dad you can rely and depend on. X

QueenofJacksDreams Sat 22-Sep-12 19:44:38

I also think he doesn't get any attention unless he's being nice and interacting with the baby. It almost sounds like he has PND!

Was just thinking this myself it is uncommon but not impossible for new fathers to suffer PND. Could the two of you talk alone no baby just for half an hour or an hour to find out what's going through his head right now? It sounds like you're both having a pretty stressful time right now with the new baby moving house and his diagnosis of ME is it possible he's not coping as well?

Congratulations though on the new family member smile

I think you are going to have to speak to his mum about this. You cant cope with a new baby and him acting like this on your own.

If it was me and my partner told someone they could have the baby I would be planning the move on my own. Its all very raw right now for you and a newborn is enough for anyone without this. Please speak to your family or his. Dont keep it in out of guilt. You have nothing to be guilty about. He is the one acting terribly.

I hope you can talk to someone in rl asap.x

dequoisagitil Sat 22-Sep-12 19:47:03


Perhaps if it's possible you should abort the house move if it's going to trap you financially. Give the parents their money back?

Your dh sounds awful, selfish to the extreme. If you can't challenge his behaviour because he gets worse, he really has got you where he wants you. He doesn't get to decide to stay in a relationship with you if you don't want to be in one with him.

CaringMum28 Sat 22-Sep-12 19:52:53

Sounds to me like he's got depression, 1/5 men get it after becoming a dad don't they!?

quietlysuggests Sat 22-Sep-12 19:55:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

peppapigpants Sat 22-Sep-12 19:56:39

Are you legally committed to moving into the new property? If you are buying and haven't exchanged contracts, I would seriously think about whether or not to proceed. It sounds like financially you are putting yourselves under a lot of pressure in a very uncertain time.

There's a saying on here about 'if someone shows you who they are, believe them'...I think your DH is showing you his feelings about the baby and your relationship, unfortunately.

quietlysuggests Sat 22-Sep-12 19:56:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bigwheel Sat 22-Sep-12 19:56:53

Your baby is only 11 days old, it's really early days. Men can take a long time to bond with their babies, no matter how wanted they are. Added to this you have the extra strain of buying a house, packing, moving etc. did you have a traumatic birth? Do you think him seeing you in labour affected him in any way? Lots of men hate having no control and feeling useless when their partners are in labour. It's perfectly possible or men to get pnd, equally a lot of men don't really enjoy the baby stage, they much prefer it when they are talking and walking. Personally I would speak to him, his mother and your hv or gp about it. I would encourage him to take an active part as you can with the baby, maybe bathing, massaging etc and try not to criticise him for anything he does 'wrong' with the baby, just lots of positive praise. I'm sure before long he will love your baby just as much as you, but it may take time.

MolotovBomb Sat 22-Sep-12 19:59:20

Well, I'm quite surprised that he's like this after the birth of what must be a very wanted baby. It's not like she was unplanned. I guess you went for tests, had Clomid, etc, prior to IVF? You must have been TTC to well over 18 months. I can only assume that he's either very depressed, or he's a total arse.

What's his mood like usually after poor sleep?

Babies are hard work. After the newborn stage, comes growth spurts, teething, more griping/wind ... Babies/children are an absolute joy, but the care they need can be tough at times. Its going to be very difficult if you aren't doing this as a unit.

You've got to talk to him. You need to address these issues with him. If it were me, I'd probe and try to assess his mental state. Well, if it were me, I be kicking is arse down to see the GP.

In your situation, I'd be going straight to my parents house with the baby if I couldn't negotaite a way to co-operate in this new situation with my DH. Honestly, this should be THE happiest time of your life, but he is marring things, intentionally or otherwise.

I know financially you have commitments elsewhere, but you need to look after yourself and your little baby, who's 100% dependent on you right now. That baby needs a happy, healthy, functioning Mummy and if you take care of this, things seem like they'll get worse.

Kick him up the butt. Have no fear.

Good luck xx

ecuse Sat 22-Sep-12 20:07:45

You poor thing this sounds awful, but congratulations on your lovely baby I'm sorry this is taking the shine off it. If he's bad enough that you couldn't invite friends round to see the baby, your MIL must have noticed - what does she say? After all, he's her son, she may have helpful suggestions. Or at least if you tell her how worried you are she may be able to extend her stay to support you and him?

racingheart Sat 22-Sep-12 20:07:47

Congratulations on the IVF being successful. I know you have masses to handle right now and maybe not much respect or time for his attitude, but (easy to say) I'd be really kind to him if you can bear to be. Men can get PND too - really badly - and it should be taken seriously. Sounds like he has it. Also, he may be one of those people who reacts appallingly to sleep deprivation. I have a lot of sympathy for that. It can totally change a personality for the worse and make people intolerant, with massive loss of perspective.

If you can, just sympathise, and suggest you don't make any decisions or changes now while everything is so new. When he's in a mood to hear it, you could tactfully suggest the huge shift in responsibility might have made him depressed and ask if he'd consider discussing his reaction to the baby with a GP or counsellor.

If you trust him and don't think the PND is severe, send him out alone with the baby or engineer an emergency where you have to go away for a night or two alone, so he has to bond with the baby.

Don't worry. He may be useless with babies but great with toddlers or children or teens. Hating being the parent of a newborn isn't the end of the world. But hanging in there despite this is important and he needs help from someone to make sure he does this.

Katnisscupcake Sat 22-Sep-12 20:12:27

It definitely sounds like depression to me. Apparently its more common in men when they become fathers than we think.

My DH didn't bond with our daughter for about 6 months. Wasn't interested in feeling her move etc when I was pregnant. But now she is his life. We occasionally have tough times and he cries at the thought that I would leave and take DD away. I never would but he's so terrified of losing her.

So your DH does need help, but it sounds like you will have a fight getting him to a gp. Maybe have a chat with your health visitor?

dequoisagitil Sat 22-Sep-12 21:01:28

Tbh, it doesn't sound to me like this is a new behaviour from him due to the baby. Is it?

If it is, then yeah, benefit of the doubt/give him time to adapt - but from what you said in the op, it sounds like he is like this normally, and it's just now you have new baby, it is thrown into sharp relief... It's no way to live, if this is right. He's not worth your tears.

foreverondiet Sat 22-Sep-12 21:10:17

Sounds like PND. Men get it too, and the combination of the IVF, the mortgage worry, the worry about being full time dad, well its not surprising - you need to get him the right sort of help - I would start with a trip to your GP yourself to ask for advice on how to proceed.

cestlavielife Sat 22-Sep-12 22:04:25

You have a baby now so in a way you do have to challenge his behaviour.
But you could present it as he needs to seek help.
If he doesn't want the baby you ned to leave with baby eg to your parents and let him mull over what it actually means that he doesn't want the baby. Ie he loses you and the baby. Spell it out. But you in the meantime Have to be in safe place to bond with and look after you and your baby.

You cannot look after a grown adult too .
He has to do that.

Also why did you plan to move one month after giving brith ? Can you postpone it ? .

Any way one thng at a time.

Plan to have child care in January in any case if he does have m e you can't expect him to look after a small baby full time .

In your shoes I would pick up baby and go to parents, focus o n baby. Let him come visit and let him sort the house move put if you have to move. Then review ina few weeks.

Simplyut yuca not look after a newborn, look after his needs and move house so soon after birth.m

If he can't cope with. Baby let him handle the house move. In any case it is nuts to move house with a month old baby in tow. So delegate. Movers packers etc leave to him to organise or other family friends.

You focus n your baby right now . That is the most important thing. Tell him to talk to someone and get help if that is what he needs.

cestlavielife Sat 22-Sep-12 22:05:59

Sorry iPad typing badly

Trying to say you cannot look after a newborn
And deal with his needs
And move house

Something has to give .
Baby comes first .

Gennz Mon 24-Sep-12 00:27:31

I’m more of a lurker usually but I had to chime in because I suspect this isn’t PND at all:

Throughout the pregnancy my husband wasn't interested at all

We've had a lot of stresses with … other various life problems which have been going on for months

I'm very concerned that this isn't just a bad day as he's got a history of being moody and wanting the attention on him.

I mean WTF. This sounds to me like an immature man with a history of being a selfish git, throwing his toys because his newborn child is (a) taking the attention off him (b) disrupting his life/comfort.

Obviously I’m only going off your comments in this thread but do you think this might be the case OP? I hope you are okay – surely his mum has picked up that something is off? I mean it is not normal to force your wife to share a bed with her mother in law!! Practically speaking, putting off the move would be good. If you can’t do that, at least talk to your parents or your MIL about how he’s behaving. Best of luck.

catsmother Mon 24-Sep-12 08:14:27

I would tell your midwife absolutely everything - no holds barred. You and your baby are her concern and responsibility and she needs to know about anything which affects your well being - which this certainly does. Explain you would not be able to "get" him to the GP voluntarily - ask what she suggests ? .... I don't know, for example, if she'd be able to wangle a home visit while he was there.

It would be "best" obviously, if this was depression - because that can be treated, but like others, I'm very concerned this is an extremely selfish man showing his true colours based on the other stuff you've shared. If so, then what he's been saying to you is tantamount to emotional abuse - it's foul, and cruel. I mean, what the hell did he expect from a baby ? ..... something which slept through for 12 hours a night and whose cries could be instantly stopped on each occasion just like that ? And what the hell does he expect you to do about it now your baby's here. As I'm writing this it sounds so extraordinarily selfish and nasty that I'm thinking it must be PND - in the same way you read about women who've been affected severely by it ... women who feel no bond with the baby at all, who "hate" it and so on. But I guess there is still a chance that he's simply extremely selfish. I wouldn't leave the baby with him .... this doesn't sound "simply" like a lazy man who won't get up in the night or change nappies for whom that tactic might work.

Either way - you need to proceed as if he's not there. You clearly can't rely on him for any support - practical or emotional - so do whatever it is that you think's best for you. I know that sounds glib and I'm not living it, but for example, it seems madness to proceed with a house move while there's this threat of separation hanging over you - let alone the fact he's disengaged from the baby - you can't live like that for long. Please please also confide in as many people as you can .... you need support from somewhere and this is what I'd describe as an emergency situation. If you were my daughter I'd want to know however much it upset me. The more people who know what's really happening the more help - hopefully - you'll have in sorting this one way or another. Don't pretend everything's fine when it isn't - there's obviously something very seriously wrong - whether it's depression or a case of acute selfishness.

Am so very sorry you're having to endure this at what should be a special time.

arthurfowlersallotment Mon 24-Sep-12 08:35:05

Depression, whatever, he is being a fucking asshole and deserves an almighty kick up the arse for putting you through this.

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