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Ways to help DH during a surgical birth?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My 3rd c/s is scheduled for Monday and will hopefully be on Sunday if I can get my prodromal labor contractions to pick up before my pre-op appointment on Sunday (my OB is on call and can do it then, Monday is with the attending on the floor).


We planned a VBAC, but a transverse baby left us no other choice.  My DH knows there is no other way, but is reacting very badly.  My first c/s was truly an emergency due to fetal distress (caused by too much intervention beforehand, but once we got there it was an emergency) and the epidural didn't work quickly enough.  When he was brought into the OR, the first thing he heard was me yelling that I could feel them cutting, so needless to say, he didn't deal with that one well at all.


With our second, we planned an HBAC, but ended up transferring.  The c/s was necessary, but not emergent, so the whole process went much better and more respectfully from my perspective and I felt ok with the outcome and much more at peace with my son's birth because we had done everything there was to avoid a c/s and made a choice to save either of us serious injury or our lives.  I knew DH had been really upset that the HBAC had not worked out, once we transferred, he was more upset than I was (granted, I had been in active labor for 30+ hours at that point), but until today, never knew how unpleasant he found the whole process.


He's now become morose over the scheduling of this birth.  He knows with a transverse baby there is no other option, but he's just really not dealing with it well.  I suggested he not be in the OR (not what I want, but I don't need the negativity if he can't get it together) and he said he wants to be there.  Does anyone have any suggestions on ways to make this easier on a partner? 

post #2 of 6
Has he had an opportunity to talk to someone other than you about his feelings? Maybe he could benefit from a one-on-one session with your OB to talk about some of his fears, frustrations and issues. Sometimes just talking it out is what can help the most.

Other than that, maybe finding some happy, positive birth stories about c-sections for him to read might put his head in the right frame of mind. It absolutely does not need to be an unpleasant experience and maybe if he actually sees that other folks can deal positively with it, so can he.

Hugs, mama! And good luck with the birth!!

Edited to add: I know you don't have much time before the birth, but maybe if you call your OB they would be willing to at least talk to him on the phone? Just a thought...
post #3 of 6

I asked my DH what helped him during our c-section, and he said the relationship he developed with my OB during the pre-natal visits helped him.  He felt comfortable (well, more than he would have otherwise) and confident that she was caring and competent and able to keep both me and our child as safe as possible.


While I was in recovery, our son was in his arms for the 45 minutes or whatever...he had never held a baby before.  His recollection is that it was pretty magical and not stressful (ie:  our son was not wailing or crying...just resting after the big move!).


I would also suggest that your husband have some snacks and drinks available for himself.  Things can take a long time and the attention will not be on him.


I also think that men (and people in general) like and need to be helpful and needed.  I think my husband liked knowing that it was up to him to make sure that the camera was charged and had fresh batteries.  He knew he had to make sure I had water poured...lots of little "taking care of the mom so she can take care of the baby" stuff.  Our lactation consultants were awesome about letting him know how he could help with breastfeeding:  timing and recording the minutes per side, audible swallows, and that kind of thing.  Our hospital had a little form to jot that stuff down, and he was able to have a job that was important and of which I was not capable myself.  They taught both of us how to stimulate our son during those first sessions of BFing (stroking the foot, for instance) when he fell asleep.  It helped DH to have concrete things to do.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

This will be the first c/s where we could consult before the surgery.  It was an emergency the first time, and a transport with whoever was on call the second.  Hopefully we can get some of it covered tomorrow as well.  I've given him things to "be in charge of" but he just kind of shuts down.  I think he figures there isn't much to do to help with nursing since this will be our third.

post #5 of 6

For my DH I think it really helped that he was comfortable with the OB (he actually knew him before I did due to his profession). Hopefully, since this c/s is scheduled rather than an emergency situation, the environment should feel less stressful and he can concentrate more on the joy of the arrival of your third child rather than the usual stress that would accompany an emergency c/s.


Hugs and good luck to you!

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

DH is definitely comfortable with my OB and we'll meet with him tomorrow during the pre-op.  I'm getting pretty stressed now though because we couldn't schedule the surgery with my OB.  A major administrative screw-up caused it to happen and he was completely full on Tuesday before they figured it out.  I've been researching the one on call for my scheduled day and I'm non-plussed.  I guess there is a reason she had the only spot available this week.  She is rated quite low in patient satisfaction, mainly due to her lack of concern for patient concerns. And, her specialty isn't even listed as obstetrics, it's gynecology with an interest in HIV and STDs.  I'd really prefer someone with an interest in birth (or at least pregnancy) be the one helping our daughter into the world.


If I didn't think we'd end up in another emergent situation before I could schedule with my OB, I'd completely not show up on Monday morning.  We're first on the waitlist for my OB's day, but that doesn't guarantee anything showing up.  And, my prodromal labor has slowed significantly since my ECV.  So, she's still transverse, but she's now in a comfy position to cause my uterus to calm down. smile.gif I spent the day walking and keeping busy trying to get things going so I could stay for her birth tomorrow, but I've had fewer contractions today than I've had in weeks...

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