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Preemie dads/partners

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My husband doesn't visit this board. But we had a talk last night, possibly one of the first really serious ones since our daughter was born, about our feelings and experiences surrounding our daughter's birth and NICU time. I had some pretty bad PPD that I have been treating, and a lot of it, I think, had to do with my birth experience. I was kind of shocked to hear that my husband had many of the same feelings I did. I mean, I knew it was hard for him too, don't get me wrong, I just didn't realize that he clearly felt it was traumatic. I think at the time he was trying so hard to be strong for me and my older daughter, because I was a basket case. I know they just released a study about men also having PPD. So, anyone else want to chime in with their dh's/partner's experiences?
post #2 of 4
I know my DH was quite stressed when I was in the antepartum unit, but he didn't show it outwardly. He was being the strong male protector (and a good one at that!), but inside, he was terrified! After the birth, when we heard our son's wonderful cry (he was breathing!), DH slept hard all night. That's when I realized how exhausted he'd been over the past 4 days (he'd stayed with me at the hospital that whole time).

The NICU was pretty hard on him too, although I think the antepartum unit was worse for him. I guess once DS was in the NICU and we saw that he *would* be ok, given some time, it was a bit easier. Still stressful, but easier. DH is actually glad they didn't keep DS in me longer (although I think they should have). The antepartum unit time was more stressful for him - not knowing if our son would be ok or not.

But yes, men bottle up their feelings pretty well, and they certainly do experience similar stresses as ourselves.
post #3 of 4
My husband was trying to me strong for me. I was a basket case more days than not. We also had 2 kids at home we had to be parents to. Some days it was too stressful/painful for him to go to the nicu. Even now that she's out, she had to go back in for surgery and then back into peds for turning blue I think he still has these issues. It's also hard for him because he is the time to try asnd make everything all better and there was not much he could do while she was in the nicu. So, I think this is very common.
post #4 of 4
Bob found out about our nicu experience about 2 hours before it started. But we had some issues w the prgncy for the week before hand. Also I had issues w dd1's prgncy. Needless to say we have closed the factory on pregncy.

My Dr found me fully dialated and Maggie in a footling breach position at 24 weeks, 6 days in his office. He told me to get dressed and he wanted to talk to me. As I got dressed, he called the hospital to set up an emergency c section and get the transport team ready to get her to the level 4 nicu in our area. He then kindly called dh who's clinic is down the street and told him what was happening. So dh got there in it seemed about a minute and got me to the hospital.

I turned into the dictator to the nurse and Drs and got into my fortune 500 consulant image I was before I was a mama. DH said later he hadnt heard me use that tone of voice/part of my personality in 4 years. He in medical situations turns into the health care provider he is and he didnt because I turned into my alter ego. So after I was in recovery and Maggie was getting ready to be transported he sat down next to me and cried for 10 minutes. I kept up the personality thing when ever talking to anyone at the nicu. IT helped me survive it I think. Also several weeks later when I talked to my OB, he said I was like a rock and so strong and he had never seen anyone handle the situation like I did.

But we made it thru the nicu experience and after the fact we had stress from it. It was like the falling action in a story. I spent some time talking to one of the neos about it and she helped me get past it.

DH- he had been wanting to buy an espresso machine for a long while. We were getting ready right before MAggie was born to get it. Then it got put on hold. We figured we would have time later on.

Well later on is here and we just bought this great machine he wanted this week. It was a signal to him that his family is ok and life is good. The next day we were boiling a huge pot of tomatoes outside for canning later. The full moon shined on us, dd1 helped, and I sat there nursing Maggie. Beautiful summer night, good jazz cd etc. Bob said he was so happy and at peace. Then he burst out crying and said he has not been this so happy or at peace since before MAggie was born and we took a vacation to San Diego. He has continued to seem like he took a great burdon off his shoulders. I think he will be ok now.
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