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Not sure if this is a pregnancy or relationships question, but a bit of advice would be lovely...

25 replies

motherinferior · 10/06/2003 08:27

DP and I aren't at each others' throats, but we're certainly getting very stressed-out; baby2 is due in about 4 weeks, and before then I have to finish work, take my driving test AGAIN (yep), sort out all the baby stuff we don't currently have sorted (most of it), etc; dp is equally stressed, he says - and I believe him - with work going bananas for him too. And we have a two and a half-year-old daughter who sops up any other bits of energy we have.

I should say first that dp is a very, very good father and, more, a co-parent - we really do share childcare. But he is, and was last time, more than slightly crap at stuff on pregnancy, childbirth, etc. I have to bully him to read anything on childbirth, think of names, etc. Matters aren't helped by the fact I am opting, this time, for a home birth (well, in reality, to stay at home as long as poss till I shout EPIDURAL NOW!!!) and he's terrified, after last time in hospital. For such a generally anti-medication person he's very 'trust the docs' when it comes to labour. And he also thinks I'm underestimating the effects of childbirth at 40 (I'm reasonably fit - or was till I got SPD; and I think in pretty good nick, but I take his point). I feel rather as if I'm nagging every time I suggest getting baby clothes out of the loft, has he thought any more about names (!) etc. Once more, I should stress that when it comes to real babies, he's totally up for it. But I am stressed. Got another two weeks at work, I reckon (plus sodding driving test). Any suggestions, however obvious, would help me not go out of my head - I've got work to do!

OP posts:

WideWebWitch · 10/06/2003 08:38

I can't remember who said something like 'the greatest labour saving device is still money' but she had a point (I'm pretty sure it was a she). Could you pay a student or your babysitter (if you have one) to do some of the boring drudgery stuff, like getting baby stuff out of the loft, a bit of cleaning, fill your freezer with meals, look after your dd etc? On the home birth front, could you print out some positive stuff about home birth and ask him to read it or condense it into a one page executive summary for him? I know he's your dh, but YKWIM I hope! Or could you ask someone who's had a happy home birth to come and talk to you both, or you, but make sure he's there and able to listen? Also, would it really matter if you put off the driving test for a bit longer? Might it help you to feel less stressed since you've only got a short time to go? Hope something in there is helpful, I'll post more if I think of anything else.


doormat · 10/06/2003 08:50

Hi motherinferior, my dp is EXACTLY the same. O.k I am not pg now but when I have been he had little or no sympathy.As far as he was concerned women work in paddy fields in asia and give birth in them so what was all the fuss I was making.Our first child's name was argued on the step of the hospital(he was a day old) coz he avoided it for months. (his answer was always WHATEVER), as for the clothes in the loft, it was why do you need them now, you washed them all so they should be o.k I tried to explain to him that they needed another boil wash and freshening up after lying there stagnant for years. His answer WHATEVER. In the end I got MIL to visit to kick his backside in touch and he hated the two of us "nagging" him.
As for the labours all he wanted to do was disappear (he never did he knows what is good for him)he does not like blood and squeamish things but I will give him his due once he seen the baby was "coming" he was very supportive.He is also an excellent dad and would do alot of night time feeds when they were newborn.

To be honest I dont think alot of men understand as they dont feel the baby growing inside.(I know I will get slanted for the last comment but in my experience it is true) How many times have we felt the baby kick so hard and grab our dh's hand to our over inflated bellies and then the kicking stops.It is like they are totally oblivious to the fact that a baby is coming into the world. All I can say is that you have my sympathies, you are not alone.Hope everything goes well.


motherinferior · 10/06/2003 08:59

Thanks both...WWW - we do pay a cleaner, and dd is in childcare four days a week while I work - and will be for three days a week from July while I'm off - but you are right, money does help. Driving isn't being too awful - I've put it off a couple of times this time round, and I think I need to give it one more go.

All in all, I need to stop work soon and stop going up my own bum, I suspect - should knock off at the end of next week. Must finish off a couple of articles and send them off with invoices!

OP posts:

Jaybee · 10/06/2003 10:25

Try not to get stressed. Re. the clothes - tell him that you want them down by Friday so you can sort them out at the weekend or you will leave your dd with him all day on Saturday while you go out and buy new stuff. Re. the name - tell him that as he is obviously not interested you plan to call him/her xx or yy - if he doesn't like them then he should come up with some other suggestions. Re. the birth - it sounds as though you have doubts re. a home birth too - but to be honest I don't think they realise that these things are important. My dh was just the same - I think with the second one it is just not the same for men.


aloha · 10/06/2003 12:31

My dh is a journalist (and great father with more experience than me ) and has never, ever read a single word on pregnancy, childbirth, babycare - anything. I think it's just how men are. Also, it was fine. As for getting him to do the other stuff, I have turned him into the king of DIY (well, nearly!) by giving him tasks and a deadline - eg Could you please put the trellis up on Saturday morning while I take ds to the park. To my amazement - and his - it has worked. Tons and tons of praise for his efforts has also worked, and he now actually asks me if I want anything done with his powertool (fnarr, fnarr). What I mean is, suggesting didn't work, but specific instructions with a time slot did -again, without being sexist I think men like this approach more. As for names, I agree - just tell him what you like and if he doesn't like it he'll come up with ideas pretty sharpish. Anyway, I think you sound great, he cares about you hence the worry about childbirth, and he will be there for the really important stuff. Not a bit surprised you're stressed with work, a toddler, a birth and a driving test to fit in!! The huge advantage of fairly serious pre-birth complications for me was that I was stuck in hospital so no work, no housework, no possibility of doing ANYTHING was actually quite relaxing. Can you take a day or two off to have a hair cut/colour, pedicure etc and get the cleaner to do a bit extra? That usually works when I feel my life is falling around my ears.


mmm · 10/06/2003 13:15

How about presenting him with a list of names you like and getting him to pick out one's he likes? As for getting the stuff out of the loft try saying 'I 'm too big/have vertigo 'so he HAS to scale the rope ladder. We say ' that's a Man Job' as a kind of joke I hasten to add, but it gets things done ! Fingers crossed for your driving test and your birth.


easy · 10/06/2003 13:58

IME men never read up on things beforehand, it's akin to asking directions, they see the need to read-up as a sign of weakness.

Yep, I'd come up with names yourself if I were you, he'll tell you if he doesn't like your choice.

Don't you have a friend whose bloke would get the stuff down from the loft for you (my cleaning lady's husband is a gem for such things)? Just say your dp is stressed out at work, and get it done when he's out. I know you might think it's a cop-out, but it would save
a) you continuing to worry about it
b) a row, cos it really doesn't seem worth rowing about such a matter as this.

Final advice which is really impossible to follow:- CHILL OUT, what doesn't get done gets left, and anyway the arrival of the new one will probably galvanise your dp into action.

Lots of love, and best of luck, don't forget to post within hours (if not minutes) to tell us on arrival !!!


codswallop · 10/06/2003 14:21

make a list and let him do it in his own time


motherinferior · 10/06/2003 16:01

Thank you. I do appreciate all this - and any more ideas would be v gratefully received; I'm now going to go and BUY that cheapo chest of drawers from the dubious shop round the corner, which means we'll have somewhere to put baby clothes (and I have bought some as well, anyway - we had to give lots back to my sister!) thus removing ALL obstacles to loft-removal scenario; I have definitely decided to stop work at the end of next week rather than a week later - giving me a week to Do Stuff/Not Do Anything, and have assessed my workload and realised this is perfectly possible so I don't even have to stress out too much about it (I may have to be firm with clients. Oh good); have booked haircut and eyelash tint; and have also secured services of dear friend to babysit a week on Sat so we can go out and have a meal/mindless film, with strict embargo on discussing babies, children etc. Also spoken to dp who is feeling ill (ah, so that's why he was getting so crabby last night) and told him firmly to come home early and be fed soup by me.

And have Six Feet Under, Frasier and the West Wing on tape as well.

OP posts:

motherinferior · 10/06/2003 16:05

And I can always fall back on the plan I had last time to call a girl Delilah. Which I still like.

OP posts:

SofiaAmes · 10/06/2003 23:21

You sound just like i did 9 months ago. My poor mother had to listen to daily calls from me in tears telling her that I just couldn't take it any more and I was going to divorce my dh etc.etc. She gave me the very sane advice to try to hang on til I had the baby and maybe things would be better then. Very wise advice of course. Dh is a gem now that I'm no longer pregnant.
I remember one night where I just totally lost it and climbed into the loft at 9 mo. pregnant (not quite sure how I fit) to get baby clothes out that I had been nagging dh to get for months.


mmm · 11/06/2003 07:41

I like Delilah too, good choice.


motherinferior · 15/06/2003 19:01

just thought I should update you - stuff is out of the loft and cotbed assembled (dp seriously thought, bless him, that we could leave it in pieces for the next 6 months on the bedroom floor); new chest of drawers installed (I put the handles on) and dd's clothes ruthlessly sorted as well (also gave dp no excuse not to go into loft, as he had 4 big bags to take up there). I'll sort the rest of the baby clothes over the next week Names - I'll go with what I like. Childbirth - scary books lying around (suppose I should practise some breathing, really). Driving - will happen, whatever, and is NOT really the biggest thing on the next few weeks' agenda. Work - well under control, just as well as I managed to break my glasses on Friday and need to nip to optician's tomorrow (thank god it's sunny, but you can only wear prescription sunglasses at your computer for so long, really).

Thank you! Now on to the next trauma, of actually producing baby, I suppose. Dd said last night 'I want to be a baby and live in your tummy', eliciting tears on both our parts...

OP posts:

mmm · 15/06/2003 19:36

That sounds better. Good for you, now it's time to get your feet up and relax ...


Dannie · 15/06/2003 22:08

Motherinferior, I do admire the idea of a night out without talking about babies. I wonder if dh and I could manage one before our own impending happy event without talking about work OR babies? Maybe if we went to the cinema...
Good luck with the home birth!


motherinferior · 19/06/2003 10:09

And, my lovely friends, at the age of 40, 37 weeks pregnant, on the fifth attempt, fourth instructor and a mere 17 years after first setting bottom to driving seat, I HAVE FINALLY PASSED MY TEST!!!!!!!!!

OP posts:

SoupDragon · 19/06/2003 10:14

Wahey!!!! Congratulations!!


prufrock · 19/06/2003 10:15

Hurrah! Well done you.


princesspeahead · 19/06/2003 11:37

well I think that CLEARLY promotes you from motherinferior to motherfantastic - well done!!

now you just have to give birth painlessly in 90 minutes in a calm, candlefilled room without breaking a sweat and then you'll be mothertoogoodtobetrue :0


princesspeahead · 19/06/2003 11:37

and that was meant to be a smiley. damn!


aloha · 19/06/2003 12:28

Congratulations! It's a great feeling, isn't it?


Marina · 19/06/2003 12:32

Congratulations, there is hope for me yet (must re-start driving lessons, preferably not with sociopathic moron from Dave Miller, after baby is born). Well done Mothersuperior!


winnie1 · 19/06/2003 12:37

Motherinferior, fantastic... well done you... you give me hope!


mmm · 19/06/2003 12:45



ANGELMOTHER · 19/06/2003 12:52

Well done Motherinferior you give me hope and strength to continue............

Seriously BIG congrats...
Any secrets to success?

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