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DH won't allow birth center birth

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I wanted a home birth with my first. My husband said "over his dead body." I assumed to keep everything nice it wasn't THAT big an issue.

I knew I'd made a mistake in my giving in after my child birth classes were finished. I cried and poured my heart out to him but his opinion didn't change. I gave birth to my daughter in a typical smaller hospital. I HATED it. I was able to do it "pain med free" but the fact they pumped me full of pictocin (even though I was progressing quickly) didn't make it very easy. Not to mention being yelled at to stay in my bed and urinate in a bed pan cause the nurse didn't want to have to "keep up with me".

I felt so cheated. I feel like I missed out on what could have been a positive expeirence instead of a helpless fearful one.

I just found a birth center in my area! I thought this would be the perfect "meet in the middle opprotunity". After speaking to my husband he still says it's a no go.

I'm so frustrated. He said if I can give him enough substantial evidence that I'm not issuing our child a death sentence he MAY consider it.

Can anyone help? Any literature I could show him? Any words of wisdom that may help sway his opinion?

This is our last child (hubby wants to get "fixed" after this and I am ok with that) so this is my "last chance".

This pregnancy was very unexpected and I'm having trouble "connecting" with it. Not sure if it's the unexpectedness or the trauma of going through my daughter having a severe illness the first 2yrs of her life. So I also feel a birth center birth would help me bond with baby a little more.

SORRY SO LONG.
post #2 of 54
I'm honestly not sure what information to give you. Babies can die in a birth center...or at home...or at a hospital. I can tell you that I'd be really pissed if my husband took it upon himself to unilaterally decide that I had to be treated like crap, and experience more pain than necessary (I've never had it, but everyone I know who has says pit labour is way more painful than natural), for something he's not even willing to research himself. It's not up to him to decide that your body should experience more pain and trauma, and a bigger risk of unnecessary surgery.

Grr...I'm not even thinking straight. Hospital interventions and bs have caused me to lose all the sensation in my bladder. For about six months, I couldn't even feel my clitoris. If dh took it upon himself to tell me that I had to do it that way, just because he had groundless worries about our baby...but wasn't even willing to research things himself, I'd be angry - like I'd be sleeping on the couch angry.

As for your husband saying, "over my dead body", is he actually clued in to the fact that his body isn't involved in this...and yours is??
post #3 of 54
Umm yeah, the burden of proof is on your husband IMO. You did it his way the first time and have "evidence" that is not your preferred path.

But for the record I don't think men should have much of a role/say in pregnancy/child birth outside of supporting what women want. I know that there are many who disagree.

ETA: The Business of Being Born is a good place to start, as is Birth in America. I also really was inspired by the books "Pushed" by Jennifer Block and "Misconceptions" by Naomi Wolf
post #4 of 54
Thread Starter 
Yes I'm very upset. I do understand where this fear stems so I'm trying to be gentle about it. I know if I explode he will shut off completely and that will get us no where.

His first son flat lined twice while his ex was being prepped for emergency C section. So I understand why this is a soft place. I just wish he could hear me out.
post #5 of 54
Sorry I don't have time to go through these sites and find the specific info you're looking for but they're filled with info that I would hope can convince your husband (also have him watch the business of being born):

http://www.childbirthconnection.org/...?Visitor=Woman
http://pushedbirth.com/

I'm sure more ladies will have more recommendations - but you should find lots of documentation showing that home birth is AS safe IF NOT SAFER than hospital birth. Many of them refer to studies done in those European countries where home birth is the norm and it is shocking how the US spends by far the most money of the 1st world nations on maternity care, yet our infant mortality rates are on par with some of the smallest and poorest of them. It kills me that I can't recall the study that spells this out (gives the amount we spend (we're on top), and then details the infant mortality rates and what countries we join on the bottom - hugely eye opening, I would love to be able to quote it better if anybody has a link?
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
If dh took it upon himself to tell me that I had to do it that way, just because he had groundless worries about our baby...but wasn't even willing to research things himself, I'd be angry - like I'd be sleeping on the couch angry.

As for your husband saying, "over my dead body", is he actually clued in to the fact that his body isn't involved in this...and yours is??
PERFECTLY PUT.

I, too, would start with "The Business of Being Born". Sometimes it's easier to get a partner or family member to sit down and watch a movie than it is to get them to read something, you know? If he is willing to read, DEFINITELY get "Pushed" by Jennifer Block - and if you haven't read it yourself, it's a must (especially given your circumstances).
post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseDuperre View Post
PERFECTLY PUT.

I, too, would start with "The Business of Being Born". Sometimes it's easier to get a partner or family member to sit down and watch a movie than it is to get them to read something, you know? If he is willing to read, DEFINITELY get "Pushed" by Jennifer Block - and if you haven't read it yourself, it's a must (especially given your circumstances).
No, I've not heard of that book. I'll have to make a trip and pick up a book and a movie :...DH won't sit and read a book that's for sure.

I have a family friend who is a midwife I was thinking of having her over to speak to him as well. I wonder if he'd think he was being cornered.....
post #8 of 54
Just a thought, but if my DH were to dig his heels in like that and make a decision about my body without my input, there would have to be something else going on. That's just not a 'partner' thing to do. If it is just the fear associated with his other birth experience, then maybe finding someone to mediate a conversation would be a good idea. For my marriage, a counselor or a pastor would be my first call, just someone who can keep us calmly speaking about the issue at hand and not let the conversation dissolve into a crying, screaming fit. With his emotionally charged reaction and your emotions likely being affected by a pregnancy, and third party might give you a little insurance that the conversation can be productive and not detrimental to your relationship.

Also, many people (but especially men) do well with a set time in the future to discuss an issue. If he agrees to watch BOBB, let him know that you aren't going to jump on him when the credits start rolling and expect him to have already processed the information. Give him 24 hours to process and think and ruminate and set up an 'appointment' to talk about it the next night.

Also, there's a movie called Orgasmic Birth, and the special features includes a short video called birth by the numbers. It's FANTASTIC for those of us who like research and numbers and evidence. If he wants proof, it's right there, with numbers that he can easily verify as correct from WHO's website.

Just my $.02, HTH!

For what it's worth, my husband gave me a look of utter horror at the mention of a homebirth. We stumbled across BOBB and now he's less willing to go into a hospital than I am.
post #9 of 54
There is plenty of valid research which shows that midwife led care is equally safe and results in greater maternal satisfaction when compared with obstetrician led care.

One done in the US was published in the British Medical Journal in 2008. I'm sorry I don't have time to find the sites before I go to work but if you Google midwifery led care you should find it. If not, let me know and I will send you several articles when I finish work tonight.
post #10 of 54
Could you convince him to tour the centre with you? He may realize after seeing it that is "hospital like" enough to make him feel safe as his decision making on this is obviously fear based.
post #11 of 54
my advice~ its your body, your birth. a birth center is a good comprimise. maybe a birth caenter that i attahed to a hospital? however, if you do end up in the hospital, hire a doula, and never forget that you can say NO to any intervention. you cant be pumped full of pitocin unless you allow it. tell them to forget it. and peeing in a bedpan??!! thats crazy! tell the nurse youre going to the bathroom. a doula will support you in these choices and be a voice for you if needed.
post #12 of 54
I think husbands get forgotten in the whole traumatic birth arena. He obviously went through something terribly frightening with his son's birth and b/c he loves you and your child, he doesn't want to risk going through that, and seeing you go through what his first wife went through. I imagine he's grasping at any bit of control he can w/o consciously realizing how completely uncontrollable labor is.

Birthing From Within might be a useful book to review; if you can find a BFW class that would be even better. I"m not much for the artsy/new age-y aspects of it, but there are good exercises that get you thinking about fear and birth that could be good conversation starters.

My husband was also traumatized by our first birth, that ended in c/s where the epidural failed on the table. The doula I had for my VBA2C was wonderful for my husband. She was very reassuring to him about the whole process ("this is normal" "she's fine" "this is what a woman in labor looks like") and it really helped him be able to support me.

Frankly, you need to birth where you feel safest and he needs to deal with his fears in a more constructive manner. Bullying you into the hospital is only going to lead to resentment on your part. I second the recommendation for a counselor - but make sure it's someone who's also well versed in childbirth and birth trauma. A doula or midwife might have some names, or maybe contact postpartum support international for a referral. In the end it is still your decision and you are the one who has to live with the consequences and he impact of those decisions on your marriage. it's very much a rock and a hard place.

The likelihood of a repeat of what he and his first wife went through is pretty tiny.
post #13 of 54
It took DH actually experience a birth outside an hospital for him to realize how cheated he had been the other 3 times.
The first time he ever felt his presence and help was not only welcomed but encouraged was at the birth center birth of our 4th child.
BEfore then at the hospitals, he was left feeling like an unwelcomed guest who had nothing to contributed. Because he was not allowed to help much, he felt very powerless.

I think you should talk to your husband how much more he will be able to be a part of the process and how much you need his help.
post #14 of 54
I think it's really hard for people to think logically as opposed to react emotionally when it comes to birth & babies in general. I can understand that, but I think it's important for people to recognize this - & try, as much as possible, to make decisions based on logic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dylan1984 View Post
...home birth is AS safe IF NOT SAFER than hospital birth. Many of them refer to studies done in those European countries where home birth is the norm and it is shocking how the US spends by far the most money of the 1st world nations on maternity care, yet our infant mortality rates are on par with some of the smallest and poorest of them.

Exactly! The fact that one-third of births in The Netherlands are HBs is I think a crucial datapoint to show that it's perfectly safe - as opposed to something nuts & on-the-fringe.

For data like that, I think the book "Born in the USA" by Dr. Marsdan Wagner is the #1 best source for someone who "needs convincing" . The fact alone that this man is very pro-HB & is a OB himself & was the head of maternal & child health for the WHO... doesn't get much better evidence than that, IMO! The book was published in 2007, so it's very current.

(Since you said he won't sit & read, I still recommend getting it & underlining things & reading aloud to him - again, the credibility of the pro-HB messsage coming from Dr. Wagner should be helpful.)
post #15 of 54
DH wasn't quite so unreasonable but was opposed to the home birth concept. I finally laid it out for him: My uterus, my choice. The baby can be joint property (bad word, I know) once it's born but until that happens, it's my body on the line not his. I of course also offered up the research, info, we met with several MW's who answered his questions, etc.

ITA though that that level of unreasonableness is not a partner-like behavior and signals possible bigger issues.

Ultimately I do find it fascinating that men in general seem to be under the impression they should be able to dictate how women give birth.
post #16 of 54
You need to take him to visit the birthcenter. My husband was sold after visiting and talking with the midwife. She involved HIM so much more than any dr. ever had and I think he realized what a difference this experience would make for him as well as for me. He said that he loved how involved the midwives allowed/expected him to be in the whole process. His opinion was always asked for and they talked to both of us, not just me. Plus,when he asked his own questions, he got great answers.

Take him on a tour.
post #17 of 54
Business of Being Born is a great husband-mind changer and its available on Netflix if you are signed up...and if you aren't, you can do the 2-week free trial they always seem to have running.

I have a lot of sympathy for your situation, I had a mainstream OB/hospital birth with #1 due to DH's strong fears. My husband is afraid of a lot of things when it comes to the kids - flying on planes, swimming in pools, birthing outside a hospital - all of which come down to him feeling so passionate about protecting our babies and when he feels a situation is dangerous and he can't control it he just goes a little bonkers! Given that marriage is a lifetime partnership, and the child belongs to both, its not as simple as "my body my decision" (I wish it were) - your feelings are completely real, and you should have most of the say, but his fears are real TO HIM and I think your instinct to "be gentle" about this is right.

Anyway, my DH was at least willing to listen and learn, and between childbirth classes, some reading and watching that movie he was able to move over time from only believing OB + hospital was safe to being very supportive of midwives, birth centers, less interventions etc. Unfortunately we don't have access to a birth center, but for birth #2 we went with midwives, and drove to a more baby-friendly hospital further away, and stayed out of the hospital for almost all of the labor (which stressed him out a little!) - so it was a big improvement for me.

Does the birth center do a parent meeting or tour or open house intended for interested potential patients? I think it would help a LOT if you could convince your DH to at least GO with you - one visit, no strings attached. When you are there, let him ask every question, and explore every worst case scenario he can think of. Is the birth center connected to a hospital (some of them are right across the street or very close so in the event of transfer it happens quickly)? He should ask about how they monitor pregnancies and decide someone is high risk, and what happens then. He should ask about what situations would cause a hospital transfer and what happens then. The birth center itself should give him the specific statistics on their OWN outcomes - what % of women transfer? what is the c/s rate for their patients? how many births do they do successfully every year? how does their rate of mortality or morbidity compare to the US average?

Anyway, that's how I would start if we HAD a birth center option here and I needed to get DH comfortable. He would need to see it with his own eyes and hear the facts from THEM, not me.
post #18 of 54
For my husband it helped him to visit the Birthing Center. It helped him to see that they have everything you need to keep your baby alive as they do at a hospital they just hide it. After meeting with the midwife at the birth center is what made all the difference for him to get on board!
post #19 of 54
I'm going to be a voice of dissent here. *dons flame proof suit* That baby is his baby too. You are his wife and he's scared for you both. Perhaps instead of trying to talk him into a birth center or home birth, that energy would be better spent making the hospital birth a good one. Find a support person who will help you to the bathroom so that the nurses don't have to deal with that (just take off the monitors and go in there. really, the thing won't explode, and they can't punish you for it), a support person who will remind you that you don't have to let them turn up that pit, or even start it in the first place. A good support person will help you to be empowered to have a good birth while also supporting your husband and making him more comfortable with the whole birth process.

Good luck and happy birthing-where ever you do it!
post #20 of 54
I don't think anyone mentioned this already, but the Homebirth Safety sticky in the HB forum has a lot of resources for calming nervous husbands. There are also a few resources from other websites that I like, such as this "What if?" article and this analogy:

"The poop analogy. Sorry- it's just the closest way for a guy to relate to birth! I asked him to think about when he needs to take a big poo, like one that requires some work to get out and maybe even some pain. Imagine if you couldn't do that privately - but had to be up on a table, with a spotlight on your butt, people sticking their fingers in to see if the poo was coming yet, telling when and how to push it out, everybody staring at you. How would that go? He agreed that it would probably inhibit the process more than help it. So then I asked him to consider being able to go into his own private bathroom where he's relaxed and comfortable, to just sit and concentrate and do what he needed to do - going along with his body's urges to get it out; relaxing when he needs to, working on it when he needs to. That made sense to him."

I know that is kind of simple, but some guys just don't seem to get what a private, and personal matter birth is. I think one of the more unfortunate parts of your situation is that your husband seems unwilling to learn/research on this matter at all. My DH took a little convincing for our HB, but he is very numbers oriented and once he had seen the evidence, he knew it was the better choice.

The other thing, and maybe you know about this and maybe you don't, but what were the circumstances that lead up to the emergency c/s his first wife had? Yes, sometimes there are genuine emergencies, but OFTEN the situation that came up to that c/s was caused by interventions that the hospital created in the first place! Birth is a very delicate mechanism that we don't even fully understand, and when you mess with any little part of that, you are running a risk by not letting your body proceed naturally. Just as your body intuitively knows how to grow and nourish that baby, it knows how to birth it, too.

I encourage you to not just let this go with your DH. Especially since you said this is your last baby and are feeling disjointed from the pregnancy as it is. Hopefully he can recognize that you would never intentionally choose something that would endanger your life or that of your child. And the birth center should be able to back that up with their personal stats (which you should ask for). If not, heed the advice and hire a doula. No one should have to be treated like an invalid in a hospital just because they are having a baby. Good luck to you, Mama!
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