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Honey, please go Boil water - Page 2

post #21 of 46
fourlittlebirds, I just want to let you know how much I always enjoy reading your thoughts on birth. Most everything you write really hits home for me, and I thank you for that because I often have trouble putting in words what my voice is singing upstairs in my mind. I can't stop dancing long enough to process my own thoughts...very aggravating sometimes.

So yes, thank you.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I'm also only 7 weeks pregnant. I'm more than willing to accept that our opinions could change in the next 8 months or so. But I'm too lazy to put that disclaimer in everything I write about my thoughts on the future.

Y'know, claiming attachment issues because of not being at an event that would be changed by his presence at the event feels a bit like the people who claim that fathers can't bond with babies unless they get to give the baby bottles.

He's still going to smell the baby fresh from the womb, rub vernix into her skin, wait for a few hours after his cord stops pulsing, boop her nose, let him grab his finger, etc, etc, etc. All those things that I'll be doing to bond with our child too. Because I'm not getting a free ride on attachment either even though the hormones'll make it easier (which makes it all the more important that nothing disrupts them).

I want to birth like a cat.

Then we can raise our child as a human.

Oh, and my dh doublechecks his opinions and beliefs on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. If he decides that he will regret not being there (and he's currently reading Sears's Father book--and Sears is a *major* father as birth partner supporter) he will let me know and we'll work through it. He's not the suffer in silence type to any stretch of the imagination.
Nuff said. : ) Sounds like you have it pretty much figured out. The whole attachment thing is something I read about. And we all know, most people can't be described as "textbook'. : ) You're right, things can change or they may not. If you and your dh have fully communicated your feelings and both agree, COOL! Sorry, I hope I didn't offend you. I like to try to understand others when their ways differ so much from mine. : ) I hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and have an awesome birth!!!
post #23 of 46
havent read all replies yet, juggling bub on lap.

but my partner HAD to be there for birth of our son (hospital "managed" vaginal) if it were not for him i would have had NO support & no one to hold my hand & comfort me during that hard time.

now for this birth i am debating, if i will send him out at any point or not. i know i will need to Go Into Myself like i did with my son, the only reason i can see sending him out is if he starts to get antsy or nervous. if i can feel any tension i will have to break that by sending him out. otherwise i know i will want him to be there, to massage or do other "partner like things which shall remain nameless"

i don't think that birth impacted our sex life though. that's one of those things my mother warned me about "dont let him see your hoo hoo when the baby comes out!! he'll never want you again!!!!" well maybe some men are like that, not my partner. he wanted to watch & was disappointed it wasnt more gory


ok just my $.02
post #24 of 46
i'm with you sapphire-chan.

i don't think that my husband will miss out on the attachment by being in another part of the house (if that's what he/we want), or by being uninvolved in the birth process.

it really is about it being different for different people--their needs are different.

i think my husband is perfectly capable of overcoming his stuff--there are times when he transcends into complete zen and it's really amazing to be with him. it may be this way at the birth--he may go with me into that 'primal space' with no problems.

or, he could be a nervous wreck.

and being a nervous wreck WOULD impact his ability to be present and to 'attach' to the child (and vice-versa).

so i think that being calm is important, and if that means being away and coming once the baby is born (within minutes afterall), or by being able to be deeply present in the process, then that's what it means.

and ain't nobody gots no right to be a-judgin' it as somehow cruel or abusive or whatever.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
and ain't nobody gots no right to be a-judgin' it as somehow cruel or abusive or whatever.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
and ain't nobody gots no right to be a-judgin' it as somehow cruel or abusive or whatever.
I'm lovin' this one!! So true, so true!

My DH was calm on the outside during my previous 2 hospital births, but inside was freaking out. So with this one, being a UC, he is just going to be calmly freaking out downstairs keeping the kiddos occupied. Either way he will freak out so it wouldn't matter where I am. That's his problem to overcome, not mine. I did what I could and now I have to step back and let him face his own music. But I still love him dearly!
post #27 of 46
Quote:
So these are valid issues. Odent doesn't take the questioning far enough, however. We need to also be asking: what is it that makes these men nervous? What is it that keeps them from entering a primal place? Would their behavior be different (just as the laboring woman's often is) if there were not observers? Why is the mother sometimes apparently self-conscious and distracted by her mate and not by clinical observers? What is it about the way men and women are conditioned to be with each other in various subsocieties that affects how they relate their sexual relationship to the birth process? Etc.
This was a huge part of the giant post I wrote that got eaten. I'm so glad you brought it up; I didn't have the energy to revisit everything I'd said. And of course, I think you expressed it better than I did.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Y'know, claiming attachment issues because of not being at an event that would be changed by his presence at the event feels a bit like the people who claim that fathers can't bond with babies unless they get to give the baby bottles.
On the one hand, I agree that you can certainly go overboard on this and men and women can bond just fine & dandy with babies they don't birth themselves, don't witness the birth for, and don't hold until a few minutes after birth (or whatever). And if the husband is going to be detrimental to the woman's ability to birth, then he shouldn't be there. His participation in that moment is less important than the woman's ability to birth well and peacefully. However, I also think it's a mistake to assume that it never has a profound effect. And I really do find the bottles analogy to be a poor one. There are many ways for a father or a mother to nurture a baby, and breastfeeding doesn't have to be "IT." Not breastfeeding doesn't mean a woman won't feel bonded to her baby. At the same time, I don't think anyone would suggest that fathers or mothers shouldn't hold their babies, since they can bond regardless of whether they hold them - kwim? There is no real replacement for missing the birth, and though it may be totally unnecessary, that does not mean that it cannot also have great meaning and significance on a very deep level.

For us, my dh's witnessing dd's birth was a deeply bonding and profound experience, both with our daughter and with me. This is not going to be true of all men, but I don't want to downplay how significant it was to my husband, either. Two years later he still speaks with unbounded love and awe about seeing dd being born. I know that he will do so until the day he dies, and I don't think it would have been the same for him if he'd been outside the room and come in after the baby was born.

I think also that fourlittlebirds' points were excellent. Part of what this is bringing me back to is allowing the father to also enter the primal sphere/space. My dh spoke after the birth about how all he wanted to do was climb into bed together, the three of us, and snuggle up and sleep. I feel that this was his primal instinct to hole up in the nest in warmth, love, and protectiveness. We were prevented from doing this by being in a hospital. He was ejected from the most powerful instinctual role he had by not being able to sleep with us (he was on a cot on the other side of the room). He had no desire to interfere with what I was doing with the baby, but he felt an urge to be integral. I feel that my dh is someone who is deeply in tune with himself and unafraid to welcome feelings and instinct. He was the one who predicted, to the day, when I would have our baby. He was very comfortable with birth and was not an intrusion at all during my labor. I don't know, as I'd have to ask him, but I think long parts of it were not exactly cerebral for him. He was zoned in to me and to the birth. Hours passed and neither of us noticed.

So I don't think it's as simple as one or the other, and there really is no blanket answer since different couples/mothers will have different relationships and needs. A more interesting question is that of root causes of the entire situation rather than simply addressing that it exists (which has its own value, but becomes much more meaningful when more deeply examined).
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I'm also only 7 weeks pregnant. I'm more than willing to accept that our opinions could change in the next 8 months or so. But I'm too lazy to put that disclaimer in everything I write about my thoughts on the future.

Y'know, claiming attachment issues because of not being at an event that would be changed by his presence at the event feels a bit like the people who claim that fathers can't bond with babies unless they get to give the baby bottles.

He's still going to smell the baby fresh from the womb, rub vernix into her skin, wait for a few hours after his cord stops pulsing, boop her nose, let him grab his finger, etc, etc, etc. All those things that I'll be doing to bond with our child too. Because I'm not getting a free ride on attachment either even though the hormones'll make it easier (which makes it all the more important that nothing disrupts them).

I want to birth like a cat.

Then we can raise our child as a human.

Oh, and my dh doublechecks his opinions and beliefs on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. If he decides that he will regret not being there (and he's currently reading Sears's Father book--and Sears is a *major* father as birth partner supporter) he will let me know and we'll work through it. He's not the suffer in silence type to any stretch of the imagination.
Sapphire, FWIW, I had similar feelings before the birth of dd2. Dh was downstairs with dd1 when dd2 was born (mostly because dd2 needed him there with her and not to be in with the birth, but we had talked about the possibility a LOT). He really was fine with it and it really was good to birth unhindered. And no, it did not effect his bonding with the baby at all. We are working through ideas, plans, feelings, etc., for the birth of our next baby.

Interestingly, I was just contemplating the couples vs. solo birth thing and discussing it with a friend who UC'd with her husband. She said something similar to what I think fourlittlebirds is saying...that her husband was IN the birth energy with her...that he was in there with matching intensity. So I think some of it may have to do with that. I was thinking that I'd like dh to be in (part of the birthing energy) or out (not in the room) but not right near me and betwixt and between. But...my thoughts on this are all pretty unformed, so I'm not sure if I'm at the crux of it or not.

Oh...and I really really like Odent too but when I read that article it rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe some women want a motherly midwife type, but maybe some others want an intimate birth with their partner, maybe some want a solo birth, etc. He makes some assumptions that I think are wrong.
post #30 of 46
I just think that Odent is asking questions that need asking...and one's personal answers to those questions are what matters to the individual and her/his choices at birth. I see this work of Odent's as a very much necessary counter to the current trend that partner participation is 'best' for all, for all manner of reasons concerning birth itself and the family's various relationships over time--mom/dad relationship, mom/baby and dad/baby relationships, etc. Partner participation in birth is simply NOT best for all! And for some, it is actually contrary to normal birth, bonding, and the marriage.

I see this article as a valuable way for women first, and their partners, second (yes, in that order) to figure this very important issue out for themselves as they go. It can free people from expectations handed down by Bradley, and even by some of the UC authors who promote partner participation in a fairly religious way (not only in terms of a particular religion like Christianity, but as a fundamental belief about birth and marriage).

There is no one right way! I know that when I first started having babies, I was basically 'raised in the religion of the all-importance of close partner participation at birth'. Frankly I was fairly disappointed by my partners' (plural, over time/divorce) participation...even tho we UCed...and I became a mw and saw how some dads make wonderful birthing partners and some don't...and finally began to see that that 'religion of partner participation' was NOT 100% workable for everyone.

I have to say that as a feminist, there are just *very* few men whose work I read or listen to, whatsoever--most especially (tho not only) when it comes to women's lives and bodies, birth and so forth. There are a few exceptions...Odent is an exception for me. I think his work tends to transcend the usual gender clutter/bias involved with men speaking of reality and especially women's reality. I think he's quite brave in asking questions--but then, I like to 'question authority--and everything else'. As I have often had to tell people in the course of my life--"I'm just ASKING! It's not a judgement, not trying to tell you what is right for you....JUST ASKING", because asking the presumably 'forbidden' questions is so very freeing.
post #31 of 46
it is something to think over- not every relationship is the same, nor do people want the same thing from their relationships .

----------------
to take this completely a different way looking at how much "defensive" practices have taken over mainstream births - this seeming to have changed on a parallel with widespread birth education and dads in the birth room
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
As I have often had to tell people in the course of my life--"I'm just ASKING! It's not a judgement, not trying to tell you what is right for you....JUST ASKING", because asking the presumably 'forbidden' questions is so very freeing.
EXACTLY!!! I was only ASKING, not JUDGING as some of the previous posts imply. : ) Thanks!!!
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
we've discussed this, and while i do want him around, i don't necessarily want him in my space.

i know that there are differences between feeling unwell and labor, but i think that there are likely also some similarities. and i also know that he's nervous about the whole thing anway (not UC< but birth).

so, i think he'd be happy to be able to read, watch movies, or whatever while i do my thing.
This is how I want it. I am going to ask dh to take everyone to the park or block the halway with the baby gate and my room and bathroom are off limits unless I call for someone.
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
This said, in case of transfer dh is not allowed more than 2 feet from me and that only to fetch food and more water.
!!!!!!!
post #35 of 46
VERY interesting article! I passed it along to DH to see what he thinks (he hasn't responded yet to my IM )

And I LOVE this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I want to birth like a cat.

Then we can raise our child as a human.
post #36 of 46
Honestly, I think if DH hadn't been at my last birth, it would have been better for me. My mother was there too (she is not allowed at my next birth), and the two of them together decided to ignore me and call 911 when they thought DD wasn't breathing (she was, she just wasn't crying). DH admits he was petrified the entire time I was in labor and afterwards. He won't read any literature and prepare himself in any way, so it's his own fault, really. I am planning a UC for my next birth as well, and he is still very scared and doesn't want me to do it. However, he wants to be there for the birth of our child. I thought about hiring a doula to be there for support, but I don't want ANYONE there except DH (if he can get his act together). I'm not even sure I want him there. Luckily we have lots of time, as I'm not even pregnant yet.
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobyfeeder View Post
Honestly, I think if DH hadn't been at my last birth, it would have been better for me. My mother was there too (she is not allowed at my next birth), and the two of them together decided to ignore me and call 911 when they thought DD wasn't breathing (she was, she just wasn't crying). DH admits he was petrified the entire time I was in labor and afterwards. He won't read any literature and prepare himself in any way, so it's his own fault, really. I am planning a UC for my next birth as well, and he is still very scared and doesn't want me to do it. However, he wants to be there for the birth of our child. I thought about hiring a doula to be there for support, but I don't want ANYONE there except DH (if he can get his act together). I'm not even sure I want him there. Luckily we have lots of time, as I'm not even pregnant yet.
Yikes, I'd go with your gut on this one. Personally, I don't think I could have someone there who was petrified and who had called 911 without my consent. Honestly, I think your husband's wanting to be there is an important factor but shouldn't outweigh your comfort and safety. That said, I hope that you and your dh can work it through and he can get through his fears and develop trust.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaJ2005 View Post
I don't trust anything written by an MD, for one. I think if your partner is well studied and truly learns about the different stages of labor and what we go through, he can be a great help and comfort. (cuts made by Flapjack)
Erm, this is Michel Odent we're talking about here- the gentleman responsible for the introduction of the ubiquitous and overused birthing pool, who pioneered the idea of gentle birth techniques in hospitals and who is the biggest advocate for normal birth, bar none, that I'm aware of. The sensitivity to the needs of the labouring woman that he demonstrates can be excelled only by someone with a uterus, IMO. University qualifications don't have to be a disadvantage.
The first time around, my ex went off and did his own thing at times while I was labouring, and that didn't feel good. I needed him, needed the support, needed the reassurance, and it wasn't forthcoming. Really, what I needed was for him to tell me that he loved me and that nothing would change once we were grownups and parents rather than messed up adolescents, but : you have to be an adult to act like an adult. He couldn't even be with me during Rowan's birth, and that was inevitably hard, but by the time Isaac came along I had the inner resources to get him out regardless of the fact that I was working solo.
Then came Skye, and the month of beautiful birth stories (aka prodromal hell) and a new husband. He was wonderful. When I really needed him was all those nights of contracting, but not hard enough to get our baby out into nose-beeping territory, to love me, support me, reassure me and to make me feel like a beautiful, sexual, desirable woman even when I felt devastatingly broken. In the end, we induced her together with a day in bed, rubbing his semen into my cervix and just talking and loving on each other, and that was one of the most amazing days of my life (that's the Friday, the day before her actual birth-day) Since then, yes, our sex life has irrevocably changed- there is this very real awareness between us that this is the act that made our children, and brought our daughter out, and there's a level there that I never got with my ex. It's going to be interesting to know what sex is like when I no longer squirt milk across the room at random moments and can get myself up to the chandelier without trapping a nerve...
Oh, I digress. One of the stresses last time was the fact that he nearly missed DD's birth because he wanted to tell his dad that my waters had broken so it must be real labour this time... Somehow, he hadn't picked up on the fact that birth can be fast as well as slow.
This time, we're going to take things as they come. He doesn't want to have to think about umbilical cords or placentas, and I want to cut the cord but not until after the placenta is out, so, you know, this is working out nicely. We have a 2yo, a mad springer spaniel and two buoyant boys around the house, so one of the ways he can speed my labour is by being mum so I can tune into my inner birthing goddess... if I need him, I know he's there. If I don't, he's cool with that. Bless, I just realised how lucky I am :
post #39 of 46
I had a midwife assisted birth (though it was Pamelamidwife who is completely hands off and didn't really do much during the actually labor but be a supportive presence). Dh kept hovering and wanting to help but not knowing what to do. I felt so much better when he went in the living room and watched a movie with dd. I could see him from my vantage point and that's all I wanted.
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
I had a midwife assisted birth (though it was Pamelamidwife..)
: Sooooo jealous! (mutters to self, I grew up in Oregon, but I just *had* to wait until I moved to Indiana to get pregnant...(incoherent grumping))
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