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Hubby won't let me deliver at a birthing center

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
My happy, wonderful marriage is going to survive this, but Hubby and I are at lagerheads and we have 6 more months to go!

He's got a 22yo son who was delivered via C-Section. Hubby is VERY pro C-section. I am a competitive athlete who has the body to have a healthy baby and we live in Metro DC! The birthing center I want to use is 15 minutes away from the nearest hospital and they'll let me deliver how I see fit! (choir preaching - I know.)

I don't want the iv in my hand so there's quick access to my veins. I don't want to wear a baby monitor. I don't want to be stuck in "stranded turtle" position, I don't know that I want drugs... I don't know enough to commit myself to the hospital. Oh- and I'd sooner take PCP-laced crack than Pitocin!

We talked to my OB who swore I can walk around and kneel and squat to my heart's delight and that I won't be harassed with interference options, but isn't that what she'd usually say anyhow? Why would she justify my fears before I'm in labor?

I watched the trailer to "Business of Being Born" with Hubby and he's sworn that I've been reading "alarmist and extreme" pap that's got me fearing hospitals wrongly. Hospitals, says Hubby, are the safest places to be. We are as opposed as night and day. He wants to put his foot down, but he's been reminded that this is MY BODY and it's ultimately MY DECISION. I hate this fight, so here's the compromise he offered. If I can find an MD (not PhD) who delivered her baby at home or in a birthing center, he'll stop fighting me. But he's assured that despite my youth, health and all signs pointing to go that something will go wrong and this baby won't make it.

And men hate it when you call them histrionic!

Help. Please. We were doing so well.
post #2 of 86
Tell your dh that when he's the one giving birth, he can pick how to do it.

My dh was outright opposed to home birth when I first brought it up. That didn't deter me from continuing my research. What finally made him comfortable enough to support me was interviewing a midwife. She answered all of his "what if" questions.
post #3 of 86
I also feel that it is YOUR body, your decision to make about where you are comfortable giving birth.

As an example, my dh also wasn't too keen on homebirth, but in the end he conceded, if it was what I wanted, then we would do it. And thankfully he's been so good about not bringing up the extra money we're paying in order to have the birth I really want. (since insurance covers hospital birth here but not homebirth with a lay midwife.)

It's not your husband who's going to birth this baby. Why is he so pro-cesarean? Sure, men's bellys aren't being cut open, women's are! I think it's odd he has such a positive opinion of them.
post #4 of 86
Personally, I wouldn't play games with him. I would present the information to him of why I want to birth in the birthing center, and if he wants to believe that all the facts are really just "alarmist" propaganda then there really isn't much else to be done about it. Really, if my husband were trying to force to me birth in a place that caused me fear, he wouldn't be invited to the birth.

I understand that this is his child as well as yours, and that your marriage deserves the effort of trying to work things out, but until he is willing to approach your birthing options with an open mind, I would put more energy into protecting my birthing rights and less in trying to "convert" him. You can contact some midwives, doulas or child birth educators in your area and arrange to have them discuss his issues. He can learn about statistics regarding the speed of emergency transport for c-section and the timing and chances for survival vs. being in-hospital for birth.

But really, to believe that it is safest to be in a hospital? The statistics just don't support that belief. Even my mom, an RN, who was adamantly against me having an out-of-hospital birth, had to admit a month ago that the CDC statistics show it is safer to have a homebirth with a midwife than to be in a hospital to give birth. I'd really be taking a stand on this one, or telling him it's not open for discussion unless he actually wants to get educated and look at the facts.
post #5 of 86
Well, I say he can be pro-c/s when he lives in the body that has major abdominal surgery.

Seriously, tell him AFTER he does all the research then he can have a vote. It doesn't sound like he knows much about birth, to tell you how to do it is rather presumpteous.

I highly recommend Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.

Like the pp said, my dh came around after meeting the midwife and asking his questions. Now he's quite pro-homebirth and is supporting my journey to become a midwife myself.
post #6 of 86
I hate this fight, so here's the compromise he offered. If I can find an MD (not PhD) who delivered her baby at home or in a birthing center, he'll stop fighting me.
Here ya go hon. Fighting all over You win.




And yes, Dorothy "Jill" Mallory is a real M.D. We have personally seen her as clients at the Wingra Clinic. And the Madison Birth Center is a real, independent, free-standing birthing center, not affiliated or attached to a hospital.

Enjoy your birth center/home birth.
post #7 of 86
Has he even gone to your *awesome* birth center?

I am proud of you for standing up for your rights on this - it is YOUR healthy body that will be birthing. And yeah, my OB said all the same stuff - if they were there for anything other than catching I *might* believe them - but you'd have to get that from every possible L&D on-call and nurse and it WON'T happen.

It is safest to birth as far away from a hospital as possible. I often say the biggest labor mistake I made was leaving my hot tub at home to push the baby out at the hospital "for my husband." The interventions that were introduced and scared into me, and my DH who was not as anti-hospital and therefore more easily scared when he saw his wife upset, harmed the progress of my labor and caused me to have issues that had to be surgically repaired two months later. Thanks to the hospital we had no sex for over a year post partum - scare your DH with that one!
post #8 of 86
I would NOT go to a surgeon for a normal birth. If I were you, I would tell him to do some research. If he can convince you hospitals are safest, great. But your research has led you to the opposite conclusion and seeing how you are basing your decision on research and his is based on societal blindness, and the fact that it's your body, you WILL be giving birth at the birth center unless he is able to convince you otherwise. I woudn't leave it up for debate beyond that.

Put his foot down? WTF does that even mean? If my husband tried to "put his foot down" about something *I* had to do essentially by myself, he'd find his @$$ looking for a new place to live. That is OUTRAGEOUS imo.
post #9 of 86

I'm totally with Sublime, because if my husband said he was going to "put his foot down" he'd be putting it down right out side the door and finding a new place to sleep.
post #10 of 86
Sorry, you lost me at "let."
post #11 of 86
Originally Posted by HeathenMommy View Post
I watched the trailer to "Business of Being Born" with Hubby and he's sworn that I've been reading "alarmist and extreme" pap that's got me fearing hospitals wrongly.
How does he know that his ideas haven't come from alarmist and extreme pap about out of hospital birth?

I second the recommendation to read The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.

So, I know an MD who had a homebirth, or rather, four -- Sarah Buckley's children were all born at home. Here's an article by her: http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr.../ecstatic.html
And her website: http://www.sarahjbuckley.com/

There's an MDC member here, doctorjen, who is a family practice doctor who attends births. One of her children was born at home, albeit accidently, but she is a supporter of homebirth.

Other MDs who support homebirth:
Lewis Mehl (did matched population study comparing homebirth and hospital birth): http://www.healing-arts.org/mehl-madrona/mmcv.htm
Michel Odent (researcher and longtime birth attendant, including homebirth): http://www.birthworks.org/bwodent.html
Marsden Wagner (past director of women & children's health for the WHO): http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...ogyinbirth.asp
post #12 of 86
Sorry but there is no room for discussion about this. Unless he plans to be pregnant and go through labor and childbirth, he does not get a say in how this child is born. YOU are ultimately the one who has to live with the consequences. It angers me greatly that MEN think they have a say in anything regarding birth. Their job is to sit there and say "Yes ma'am, no ma'am, okay as long as you are happy, etc etc..."
post #13 of 86

First - It stinks that you have to have this fight with DH.

Second, both DCBC and Birthcare are great birth centers. Either one would be awesome for you. If DH has not yet met with/talked with the midwives there, he needs to. Talking "worst case" with them will help alleviate his fears and help him respect them as highly trained medical care providers who have your and your baby's best interests as their top priority.

Third, if you can't convert him and, compromise for a hospital birth, please take your OB's assurances with a huge dose of skepticism. There are VERY few OBs in this area that agree to minimal intervention, alternative positions and no IV. And none of the female ones I've been with do. I have NEVER supported a birth at any of the DC hospitals without a heplock at the very least. (I have had clients get away with minimal or no interventions at VHC and Alexandria, but it is a combination of care provider and hospital flexibility.) Once you are in the hospital system, you are pressured to do a whole lot of things, and if DH going to join in pressuring you to "just get the heplock/IV/cervidil/cytotec/pitocin/anitbiotics/continuous monitoring/whatever", it makes for a tough go. :

At the very least, can you get him to a Bradley or Birthworks class series? He may tune it out, but there is a huge amount of good information you can slip him in the guise of "childbirth ed".

Finally, I think one or more of the Dr. Sears' kids were born at home. Have to check their books or website to be sure.

Feel free to PM me for more info on the area birthing options and ed classes


post #14 of 86
A local OB here in my small town had homebirths. I don't have any documentation of that fact though...

Pushed has several references to MDs who had HBs or their wives had HBs.
post #15 of 86
Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
Sorry, you lost me at "let."

hahaa I was just typing the same thing.

I'm laughing right now thinking of my DP trying to get up the courage to even utter that word in my direction. ahahhaaaaaaaaaa

IMO, it's not a discussion about convincing, agreeing, letting or not letting. It's a "it's gonna happen with you/without you...you decide which" situation.
post #16 of 86
I agree w/pp about taking him to Bradley classes. Also, let him know you understand his concerns, and let him know if he comes across any (valid) studies that conclude a hospital is safer to birth in (under normal conditions) then you will look over those facts and take them into consideration. (They don't exist).

If that desn't work, well..IMO, there's no argument to be had-you're the one that's birthing, its you that needs to feel comfortable, he'll adjust.
post #17 of 86
Originally Posted by HeathenMommy View Post
We talked to my OB who swore I can walk around and kneel and squat to my heart's delight and that I won't be harassed with interference options, but isn't that what she'd usually say anyhow? Why would she justify my fears before I'm in labor?
That is exactly what happened to me. My DH was very opposed to a birth center/midwife birth. He had issues due to growing up believing in the dangers of birth due to his sister. So I relented and went to an OB. Oh, he (the OB) was a charmer. Super nice and used all the right "buzz" words. Promised I could do what ever I wanted to in labor. He only does c-sections for life/death emergencies, yada yada yada. He flat out lied. Lied to my face. Lied. He did everything he said he wouldn't do....and a lot of it did it without telling me. Like breaking my water at 1cm when he said he was just going to check my progress. Long story short. I ended up with a c-section at 6pm....just in time for him to be home for dinner.

We had some pretty good fights. As the anger I felt towards DH was tremendous. Bad times. So that's something to keep in mind. If you relent to make your DH feel safe and secure and things go in the wrong direction....you may find yourself angery at him. It is not an easy thing to overcome.

Next pg when DH tried to say I couldn't have a homebirth I flat out told him, "No vagina, no vote." I basically told him *I* felt safe at home and that's all that mattered. I added that if he felt safe in a hospital, then he was more than welcome to go there, and sit in the waiting room and I'd call him from home after the baby was born.
post #18 of 86
Originally Posted by Veritaserum View Post
Tell your dh that when he's the one giving birth, he can pick how to do it.
That's exactly what I did. In fact, I told dh, "If I have to birth this baby in the woods by myself, so be it." I would not set foot in a hospital for birth again. Dh could join me in my homebirth or not, but it was going to be MY way, not his.

We had a homebirth in Oct 2001 and just had an unassisted birth 2 weeks ago. And my dh is VERY PRO homebirth now.

If I am the one carrying and birthing this baby, then it's going to go MY way.
post #19 of 86
while i agree with everyone with the basic spirit that it's your body and should be ultimately your decision, it surprises me how many people are simultaneously offended by the word "let" while saying they would completely ignore their partner's concerns/fears and do whatever they wanted.

i am in a relationship that involves two people. when we disagree, we talk, we present or arguments, when appropriate we do research, we come to an agreement. he doesnt put his foot down, and neither do i. if this is something you've done research about and he hasn't ask him to do some reading - and try to find mainstream statistics like the CDC, WHO, or books like The Thinking Woman's which uses obstetrical research. it might be as simple as seeing the statistics showing that the increased c-section rate has not improved outcomes for mothers or babies, or how high the US is on maternal and infant death rates while simultaneously being one of the highest for c-sections (among industrialized nations) and that those with midwifery as the model of care are the ones with the best looking stats - low c-section rates, better outcomes for mothers and babies. you might also want to talk to him about how interventions affect bonding and breastfeeding.

for heaven's sake - he did have a child born via c-section, and like most people was told that if they hadn't been in the hospital and had the c-section that everyone would've died. he's obviously terrified that he could lose you and/or baby, and the way around that is not to tell him he can find somewhere else to sleep if he doesn't like your birth choices. help him understand why it's safe to birth with a midwife, and what risks are involved in hospital births. respect him and his opinion, and help him to understand yours. start taking a birth prep class like Bradley together - hearing those stats from an "expert" even if it's not an MD, and seeing other couples who are on board will help.

are you going to Birthcare? we used them for our homebirth with DS and we had a fantastic experience. if you haven't already done so, take him in there for their informational session. it will help to have them explain how things work, how/why they would transfer to a hospital, what situations would warrant a c-section and how that little drive wouldn't make a difference in outcomes, what they do in other situations (like meconium aspiration, or baby having trouble breathing right after birth) while there in the BC.

give him some time, help him understand. though totally misguided, he does have your safety and baby's at heart. don't forget that.
post #20 of 86

Well said Pixiepunk!
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