*sigh* WWYD re: natural birth/disinterested DH

Avatar for thesunshinekid
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Registered: 09-22-2001
*sigh* WWYD re: natural birth/disinterested DH
11
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 10:43pm

So.  Before we even decided to get pregnant, DH and I discussed a natural child birth in a hospital.  He was all for it, encouraged me to read and said that he would do whatever he needed to do to prepare and support me. We planned this baby.  I told him exactly when I would be fertile and he got right on it.  No hesitation, no questions.  We tried for one cycle. 

Six months later after finding out that I'm pregnant, I'm at my wits end.  My DH is a workaholic.  I mean that very, very seriously.  He is an attorney, a part time (roughly 20-30 shows per year) professional equestrian judge for national/international events and he is currently entrenched in a very detailed and intricate remodel that he has basically insisted on completing with his own two hands (he is a very gifted person, as you might have guessed, and is capable of such a feat - to my chagrin).  He is completely disinterested in anything having to do with this baby.  I'm not kidding. 

He hasn't made any effort to help me prepare for her.  He won't talk about names.  He isn't too interested in feeling her move.  He won't read what I've asked him to read.  He won't talk to me about our plans for the birth. 

I realize that I have a bigger problem than a natural child birth.  And I will address that, be assured.  Now just isn't the time to call this crazed man who works with power tools, criminals and horses onto the carpet.  I'll do that later. Understand, he is a very good man who happnes to be overtaken by his desire to provide an amazing life for his family.  Here is what I'm asking/looking for :  If you were in a similar situation, would you proceed with your plans for an entirely med free birth, knowing that you very well might be laboring alone for the vast majority of your labor and potentially dealing with an uninformed partner during the birth? 

My fears are thus:

  1. He won't pay attention to my actual needs during labor and I'll wear out. 
  2. He won't be emotionally invested in the process of a natural labor and delivery.
  3. He won't know what to do when I am in pain (he isn't very good at watching me in pain)
  4. He will fail to disengage from everything else when I say that it's time to have the baby
  5. I'll be so tired and frustrated that I can't deal with the emotional let down and the physical pain.

I promise, he's not a toad.  He's going through a great deal (his father died in June) and the only thing he understands is work.  He's a brilliant father who is committed to the wellbeing of the family.  I've tried to discuss this with him.  I don't get much response or I get a half hearted reply about how busy he is and that he is trying.  I'm sure at this point that I just need to make my mind up what I can and can't do. 

Help a Momma out!

Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012


Avatar for thesunshinekid
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2001
I can't tell you all how much I appreciate these truly heartfelt and generous responses. I spoke to my doctor today about a doula. He is getting me a list of his preferred doulas and calling me tomorrow.

I know that DH is burying a great deal. He is nervous and the loss of his father has been greatly impactful - especially since it happened so quickly and to a man who was in relatively good health!

As the time draws nearer, I will re-engage. I think my plan at present is to school myself and really study my former labors and deal with the fears I had during them. I am at times an introvert and at times an extrovert. I was in active labor with my daughter almost the entire time without meds. My epi came in the last 30 minutes or so of labor. I remember clearly what lead me to that decision and I'm going to focus on getting around it.

Thank you all! I love our little community of November (and the sweet October gal who stopped by) Mommas!!

Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2010
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 11:16pm
Sorry about your mom :smileysad: that has to be hard. Maybe a doula?
Pregnancy%20ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2012
thesunshinekid wrote:

Here is what I'm asking/looking for :  If you were in a similar situation, would you proceed with your plans for an entirely med free birth, knowing that you very well might be laboring alone for the vast majority of your labor and potentially dealing with an uninformed partner during the birth? 

My fears are thus:

  1. He won't pay attention to my actual needs during labor and I'll wear out. 
  2. He won't be emotionally invested in the process of a natural labor and delivery.
  3. He won't know what to do when I am in pain (he isn't very good at watching me in pain)
  4. He will fail to disengage from everything else when I say that it's time to have the baby
  5. I'll be so tired and frustrated that I can't deal with the emotional let down and the physical pain.

 

I completely empathize with you. My DH is also a full blown workaholic and his hectic schedule makes it hard enough to find any time togethor let alone prepare for this baby.  I am half thinking it is a btdt thing that makes him less involved this time - the mystery has been completely removed from pregnancy and childbirth and he didn't have to do much of anything during the last 2 labours. It is frustrating to bring up issues (and topics with him and receive answers such as 'well I can't say no' or 'yah, sure, whatever'.

Now on to your questions - first have you gone through any part of active labour unmedicated before? If so what sort of needs do you have? I am very introverted and lost in myself during labour and don't really need much support aside from fetching water, heated towels, nurse, etc until transition and pushing and even at that I only really desire a comforting presence. I am however going to try to make a crash course for dh (instructions in a folder for him to help keep me focused) and hope he will get a chance to look at it before hand.

A second thing to consider - do you have another friend or family memeber that would be good at giving you the support you need during labour? Maybe just discussing this option with your DH would be enough to bring him back to the reality of the situation.

You are in a tough place - the loss of a parent is difficult and I think you may be on track by saying that his extra efforts may be a way for him to cope with the loss. Best of luck, I hope you find a way to make it work.

Tabatha

 

Proud Mom to Annika (4), Jamie (3), and 4 angels. Anxiously awaiting Baby #3!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2008
Hey, I feel for you! And I am sure, once it's time for him to step up, he will. My husband is also a workaholic. I feel like a single mom most of the time (we've been married for 19 years, have 5 kids and I raised his kids from his first marriage when they were teenagers, also, so I"m used to it). But, once at the hospital, my husband does what I need him to do. You may just need to remind him some key things in early labor. I'm sure once you are in labor, he will be snapped to attention! :smileyhappy: I've also usually had really good nurses that coach dad a bit, too.
Rachel Mom to five great kiddos and one angel in heaven (MC @ 9 weeks) Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers
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Registered: 05-27-2002

I can definitely see where you are frustrated. It does seem very much like he is trying to not think about his father's death and staying busy. It would be nice if you just knew what was going on in his head!! When discussing having our 4th, my FIL's death is part of the reason my husband gave for not wanting a 4th. He is worried that he too will die at a younger age leaving me with 4 kids. Anyway, my point is that you never know what their rationale is for some of their actions/thoughts.

I also have nobody other than my husband since my husband is military and way too far away from either of our families. I know how important it is to know that one person will be there for you and know what you want/need. I hope the closer it gets, the more he will open up. It may just come down to sitting down with him and demanding his attention be put to that. KUP and good luck!!

Margret

Lilypie Maternity tickers
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Registered: 10-05-2006

I am sorry that your DH's priorities are not equally divided. I would strongly suggest hiring a doula who will support you during labor and will keep you on track and be your advocate. We hired a doula who is also hypnobirth certified (we are doing hypnobirthing) and I am excited to have the extra support. DH will be involved but he is new to this too.

If you don't want to hire a doula, then I would suggest having a close family member or friend with you during labor who can be your support. Your DH could come around by then but it would still be nice in the off chance that he won't be of much help.

Good luck.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2012

Sorry he's being that way.  DH has been doing that to some extent. It's like somedays he's all gung ho and then some days he's not.  I told him the other day that maybe I should have just decided to have an epidural and not do Hypnobabies.  He asked why and I said, well, based on your level of commitment.  There's a way to do it for those whose husband can't be there, but we're not going that route.  We're doing it as if he's going to be there.  But if he's not going to commit, then I need to get started on the other options. 

Anyway...I like what mandmleona said about using the skills you already have.  Also, is there any way you could hire a doula?  That's kind of what they do.  She would attend to your needs, know when and what you need.  This will get you the support you need as well as her knowledge of how best to help manage the pain.  Maybe you could just explain to him that these are things you will need and a doula will be very experienced at it. 

Hopefully, it'll all pass and he'll get passed whatever is going on with him internally.

Pregnancy%20ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2008

I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time getting DH to be involved. It must be extremely emotionally exhausting for you! It sounds like to me that he is focusing on immediate tasks, at the expense of this pregnancy. Could it be possible that he is throwing himself even more into these projects as a way of dealing with the stress of losing his father? How did he act during your previous pregnancies/births?

Hopefully he will rise to the occasion when the birth is an "immediate task". If I were in your situation, I would proceed with my plans for a natural birth, assuming that DH would be of no help. I would try to psych myself up in the weeks and months leading up to the birth and try to reframe DH's lack of involvement as a personal challenge.

Personally, my situation is somewhat similar. I am not expecting DH to be able to make it home for the birth. Even though my mom and sister will be present, I am not counting on them to be my emotional or physical support. I will be going into the experience with the expectation that I will be 100% on my own. I haven't given the prospect too much serious thought yet, because it can be overwhelming. My main strategy will be to combat my anxiety and try to maintain an optimistic, determined attitude going in. Granted, I've never given birth so I have no idea what to really expect. 

Maybe in the coming weeks your DH will start to come around and realize that this baby is actually happening. I sure hope so!

Julie - eagerly awaiting DH's homecoming & the arrival of our first DS, due 11/29/12

Avatar for thesunshinekid
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Registered: 09-22-2001
My mother is relatively estranged from me and has been for years. The rest of our family just lives too far away. It's THE SUCK.

Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012


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Registered: 01-15-2010
My dh is only partially on board with me going natural with this baby. He never wanted to feel my ODS kick. Is there anyone else that you can rely on to be your support? I have my mom there for me too.
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