or Connect

Birth and AS

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

WIth our new baby coming up in June, I'm thinking about how I will need to plan differently for the birth than I did with #1.

 

DD came 2 years before we realized DH had AS.  I had high hopes and expectations that the birth would be the wonderful partner bonding experience that you often see and read about.  Never mind that DH kept saying he just wanted to sit in the waiting room (symbolically speaking since we had a home birth) like his father got to do.  He kept saying he didn't really want to be there, in so many ways.  But I figured once the baby was born it would be a life transforming opening experience for him.  Boy, I was wrong!

 

Instead it was very frustrating.  DH really struggled seeing me in pain for so many hours. He stayed in his room for much of the time.  Towards the end he got into the birth tub with me, but imagine what it means to be an aspie and be in the water with all that birth fluid and blood!  My midwives just couldn't understand why he left immediately to go shower off instead of staying with me and dd.  I hemorrhaged and instead of being right there by my side as they got me stabilized, he was downstairs on the computer looking up all sorts of remedies that we might need (one of his special interests is holistic health).   The whole experience blew his nervous system out and we hardly saw him for the first two weeks after birth.  My mother had to keep coming to find him and remind him to come and visit us (we where in the guest room).

 

But, now we have more information.  I've let him know that he doesn't have to be there for the birth.  Luckily he has DD to be with and that will give him a focus.  But I do want to have him involved in some ways.  I still have my own need to have him there for support (although it doesn't have to be the whole time).  And I would like for this birth to be different so that we can both heal from the trauma of the last one.  I'm using hypnobabies and hope that perhaps it will help the birth be more gentle on us and give us a way to work together. 

 

How was birth for you and your partner?  What did you learn from that worked better the next time around?  What would you do differently?


Edited by MamaRuga - 3/25/12 at 8:56am
post #2 of 10

I laughed at the part about him showering off right away! With my first birth (a UC), I mistakenly thought that DH would want to catch the baby so I told him to catch when she started coming out. He was very brave and did try, but she got stuck coming out, so I had to take her from him and get her out myself. You'd think he would stick around to watch our first child being born but no, he immediately ran away to the bathroom to wash the birth fluid off his hands while I delivered her myself. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

We didn't find out he had AS until a few weeks after DD was born. This second time around, I did things a little differently. For one thing, I had a friend come over to watch my 4yo while I was in labor so that DH wouldn't be responsible for her. I did tell DH to stay out of the room while I was in labor. Last time was awful. He kept asking me over and over again if I needed to go to the hospital or if he should call a doctor. He was so scared seeing me in that much pain. I remember one time I asked him to hold my hand and and he stared at me in desperation. I could see how scared he was and how much he wanted to just hit the stop button on the whole thing. I didn't want him freaking out this time.

 

Instead, I made sure DD was taken care of and then let DH be responsible for technical stuff. He worked the camera and video camera the first time so that was a big help for him. He felt useful. Like the way your husband ran to the computer to look up stuff when you hemorrhaged. That was something he could actually do for you, so he did it. It was his own way of trying to be your hero, you know? I made DH responsible for getting my emergency medicines, etc. for this second birth. I did hemorrhage and ended up needing both the hemorrhage stop and the placenta expulsion medicines as I had retained placenta. DH was great, even if he wasn't there for the labor.

 

Honestly, having him in the other room knowing what he was supposed to do helped me a whole lot. I didn't feel like I needed to be there for him. I was able to focus on my own labor. Good thing, too, because I pooped a LOT and DH would have completely freaked out. Also, my labor wasn't like my last 21 hour one. It was about 2 hours of labor and then 15 minutes or so of pushing. I was in such horrendous, torturous pain going from 4cm to 10 in that amount of time that I wouldn't have wanted DH there anyway. I just wanted to die. It was awful. I was screaming bloody murder and everything. He, my friend and our daughter came in just at the last minute to watch the birth when I called out for them to come and see. I think it would have been really traumatic for DH to be there for the labor itself.

 

DH was also really amazing with the after-birth stuff. Not the afterbirth, but the time after the baby was born. While I showered, he got his iPhone and took lots of photos of the baby and sent them to all of our friends and family along with baby's stats, etc. It was also really helpful and I know he felt really proud that he could at least do that.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

That is so funny your DH had to run out to wash too!  Those bodily fluids are just too much for them!  (My DH once considered becoming an EMT which just blows my mind.  I often tease him about how well that would have worked out with him having to run off to wash up every 2 minutes.)

 

I think that having an UC birth would be really helpful with an AS husband.  It was so stressful for me feeling caught in between my DH and my midwives (who really couldn't understand him).  We will have another home birth this time.  We did consider the hospital, since it has a really great reputation.  But I realized after the tour that there is no way it would work for my family.  DH would completely check out with all of those extra people around that he didn't know.  Being out of our own environment would not only be more stressful for me, but for him too, which then would cause me more stress.  I'm really glad that we will be at home.  I've also let me midwives know upfront about DH's aspergers (even though he doesn't want me to tell people, I find sometimes I need to do it in order to take care of myself).  My midwife was really glad to know because she thought that DH was just really not on board with the home birth or with her as our midwife based on his body language and lack of interaction at our first meeting.  

 

Having a UC would just take all of those extra people out of the equation altogether.  

 

I'm starting to formulate a list of things for DH to do during the birth, so that he has a clear list of his "jobs".  I think he is hoping to just stay in his room until it is all over.  But I really need for him to be involved in some ways.  If he has a clear list, it might take a lot of the stress of the unknown off of him, too. 

post #4 of 10

Yeah, my midwives the first time were really not understanding of DH. They didn't understand why my husband would not come to my prenatal visits or come into the room to talk to them when they came over. They explained that it "really wasn't working out for them" and all I could do was get angry because it was about ME and not THEM anyway. He works for ME just fine! They also complained that I shouldn't be having a home birth when my husband and I were having problems but there were no problems. Our marriage was great!  They were so concerned that I have this magical fairytale birth that I didn't and I spent a lot of my time just wishing they would mind their own business. I wish I would have had the AS diagnosis the first time.

 

LOL! DH also wanted to be an EMT!

 

 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

So interesting that you midwives were critical.  DH had a really bad experience with our first midwives (well, one in particular) because they really didn't get him.  I think they thought something was wrong with our marriage or something wrong with DH.  Not sure what it was.  They talked to my mom about it at some point during the birth or just after (luckily they didn't come to me with it because I don't think I could have handled it well).  My mother was great in just saying, "hey, this is just the way their relationship is and it works for them".  But DH really felt bullied and unappreciated.  I can understand that more now.  He really REALLY pushed past his comfort zone to be there at the birth, yet it just still wasn't enough to match the midwife's expectations.  Yup, if only we knew the AS back then,  a lot of hurt feelings could have been avoided. 

 

On a positive note, at our last therapy session, DH processed through a lot of his very strong feelings about the first birth.  It was really hard for me to hear a lot of it because he has a very different picture of what it was like (and in my mind, I was the one giving birth, so my picture should be to one and only true experience, right? rolleyes.gif).  Although it was tough for me to hear a lot of it, DH felt so much better afterwards.  He is now ready (and excited) to find a role in this birth.  He is going to help with the hypnobabies cues and stuff like that.  It is something that he will be really good at (he has the most soothing, sexy, deep voice).  We've agreed that he will leave the room to go get my mom (with the camera) at the actual moment of birth so he doesn't have to see the messy stuff.   But, I think it will be a good balance.  I will get his support and attention for labor and he doesn't have to be there for the baby coming out.  

 

I hope the experience will be much more positive for him than the last one and he will have more strength and energy to give to us post-birth. 

post #6 of 10

MamaRuga, are you going to try to explain your partner to the midwife/midwives this time? Part of me feels like I should try to explain things to pretty much everyone who will be present at the birth, just so it hopefully goes more smoothly. Another part of me feels like I am doing something wrong by telling people that he has pretty much no capacity for emotional support or empathy or for even reading my body language or tone of voice. I think because he is very sensitive about it, he feels insulted when I point it out, I just don't want to hurt him. On the other hand, I think they might need to know this won't be like most couples they see during labor. He is the opposite of your partners as far as bodily fluids and stuff, he is undersensitive to things like that. He tends to be on the under-sensitive side of AS rather than the oversensitive side, if that makes sense?

 

He will probably be like your partner Mamaruga, and prefer to be on the computer looking things up. lol.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomethingAnonymous View Post

MamaRuga, are you going to try to explain your partner to the midwife/midwives this time? Part of me feels like I should try to explain things to pretty much everyone who will be present at the birth, just so it hopefully goes more smoothly. Another part of me feels like I am doing something wrong by telling people that he has pretty much no capacity for emotional support or empathy or for even reading my body language or tone of voice. I think because he is very sensitive about it, he feels insulted when I point it out, I just don't want to hurt him. On the other hand, I think they might need to know this won't be like most couples they see during labor. He is the opposite of your partners as far as bodily fluids and stuff, he is undersensitive to things like that. He tends to be on the under-sensitive side of AS rather than the oversensitive side, if that makes sense?

 

He will probably be like your partner Mamaruga, and prefer to be on the computer looking things up. lol.

 

Yes!  My DH is the same way, he feels very sensitive about me telling other people.  In fact, I am explicitly NOT to except for our very closest family and a few close friends.  So, I feel caught sometimes.  In this particular case, I did tell the midwives early on.  It helped them understand his behavior at our initial interview in a different light.  He basically sat with this coat and hat on, arms folded the whole time.  The midwife thought it was because he was really opposed to the whole home birth idea and his body language was saying he didn't like being there.  But  that wasn't the case at all, he is just very very introverted and also very sensitive to cold (hence keeping his coat and hat on since it was winter at the time). 

 

I haven't mentioned it since the first time and I won't bring it up again unless there is some reason to.  They are very different from our first midwives and really want to help him feel good about his role, whatever it will be, so I don't think it will be much of an issue.  I've been really clear with them about what he will do and wont do, so the expectations are understood upfront.  

 

Right now, things are looking really good!  Today is my "due date" (although I've really been trying to avoid any focus on a particular day) so we are in waiting mode right now.  It could be a really stressful time for him just not knowing what might happen at any moment, but he is staying relaxed and really supportive.  He has really stepped up to help more around the house and with our daughter.  Since I am doing hypnobabies, he has a very clear outline of what to do to be helpful during the birth.  We also are clear that at any point he can let me know that he needs a break and I have made TONS of lists for him to follow for both birth and after birth time.  So, hopefully it will all work out fine, or at least much better than last time!  

 

I'll probably be away from the computer for a week or so after the baby arrives, but I'll post an update when I can to share how it went.  But I'm feeling really positive at the moment!

post #8 of 10

I'm a male aspie (recently diagnosed) and I'm having trouble understanding why an aspie would fear the process of birth - but perhaps it's because it was a home birth?

 

I am married, we have loads of issues, but my attendance at the birth of son number 2 (in a hospital in Ireland) was just not one of them. I came into the labour ward, sterilized my hands (standard procedure, that's what they have the bottle of sterilizing chemical there for!) and proceeded to hold a leg as the midwife instructed. There was blood - but there is usually blood at a medical operation. It was a safe environment, there were doctors around, and while of course complications could always happen... it just did not feel scary. We are modern humans, we sometimes get medical procedures, that's all.

 

(I could still get uncomfortable if it came to cuts and guts, but I suspect they'd chuck me out anyway if they had to do a Caesarean).

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Welcome Ramendik! It is great to have a guy's perspective who has been through this.  For our first birth my DH was in the birth tub with me, so it wasn't just seeing the stuff but being in it.  Plus I hemorrhaged afterwards, so there was probably more blood than usual (I was off in another zone so I don't remember what things looked like).  And the midwives told him to "feel" the baby in our dark room to see if it was a boy or girl, and that was also just too much for him.  I think if we were at the hospital it might have been different for him, felt more sterile at least.  But at home it was a different story probably. I think a hospital birth would have had its own challenges for him, too, though, but he might have felt less stressed.

 

Its so great that you were able to be there for the birth and it was a good experience!  I wish that for my DH this time around! 


Edited by MamaRuga - 6/17/12 at 8:42am
post #10 of 10
I am on the spectrum, as is my husband.