Husband Not completely comfortable with HB? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 01-29-2010, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone dealt with this?

He's supportive and he's open minded but he's not 100% comfortable with a home birth. He says he's more medically minded than I am and that's why and he will warm up to the idea of it all. But I guess I'm concerned he will be uncomfortable on birthing day and that will come through to me. He has told me he believes in me, believes I can do this (we are having an HBA2C). He was comfortable with being in a birth center (though we didn't have the option with my attempted VBAC) and I did ask him how that was different as they are the same distance from the closest hospital as we are from ours. His concerns he brought up was safety and if we transfered, would our CPM take off because she's not legally able to practice in MD. My understanding is that she becomes our doula in the case of transfer

I'm looking for information he can read... he's read a few articles about hbing being safer than hospital birthing but I think his concern stands with transfer and our midwife. I do plan to have him go to appointments with the midwife (at least one) so that he can address it with her. I tried to get him to understand that the vast majority of homebirth transfers are non-emergent transfers (ie, uterine rupture or the like) and that transfers before there's a problem is a sign of well managed care.

Obviously we have a lot of time but id like him 100% on board, I know he would support me in anything I wanted to do, regardless of his fears/concerns but I think his concerns stem from the medical mindset of 'if its not managed in a hospital, its not safe' and I want to really address that.

Insight is greatly appreciated! I plan to get 'the business of being born' since that video does show a needed transfer in a non-emergent manner (the mom who's baby was breech, I think, and ended up being really tiny) as well as other wonderful births. He's open to videos, books and articles so please, throw them my way!

Thanks!

Felicia

(Oh and this is why I've insisted on a doula... just in case he does feel like he can't be my support 100%).

~ Fe ~
Mama to C (3-25-06) and A (1-17-09) and Jameson Grant (9-25-10) my HBA2C baby!
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#2 of 18 Old 01-30-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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My dh admits that he was nervous about homebirth when I first brought it up. The biggest turning point for him was taking a Bradley Class and seeing the research on birth statistics. That was eye opening to him to see the common interventions in hospitals and how research was ignored in favor of just doing what was done before or for fears of lawsuits. The biggest stat he still recalls is how Cuba has lower infant mortality rates than we do and he insists it sure isn't because they have better hospitals, interventions, or screening devices than we do. But that class really got him on board and he is rather vocal about how great homebirth is to anyone that'll listen.

I just asked him if his fears were settled before our homebirth or if he still had some during the birth and he admits that he still felt it was a toss up if it was going to work out or if I was going to want to go to the hospital, but I was never aware that he had some uncertain feelings at the birth. I felt supported 100% and also had a doula to totally support me too.

Talking with the mw should help and talk to your doula - she should have some good research material available as well, especially if you're going to take her full class or even just a short class with her. And I've mentioned this before, but don't make any (any!!) assumptions about what your mw can or cannot do... I did that last time and was floored at how much help she could provide if we needed it (including jaundice care and stuff that I thought would be out of her scope) and there were times I should have called her first instead of thinking I had to call someone else. And yes, she'll transfer with you if needed.

You both have lots of time to calm any fears that you have or that come up and plenty of time to prepare for your wonderful birth!

Karen happily partnered mother of 3 beautiful girls (teen/toddler/newborn).
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#3 of 18 Old 01-30-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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I have the exact same question. My husband just keeps saying, "So, it's really okay that it'll take us 40 minutes to get to the hospital?" (It's a 15-20 minute drive.)
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#4 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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I have pretty much the same question.

He doesn't seem comfortable with the idea. My mom has had two home births, my brother and sister, (the rest had medical issues and had to be hospital, I was her first, there are 8 of us kids), and I was raised very familiar with what goes on. My mom trained as a midwife (stopped just short of certification) and led a la leche league for several years. My husband is the youngest of two, and hasn't seen many pregnancies in general, hospital or otherwise.

His heart is in the right place. He was raised believing doctors are good people who know what to do, ands have emergency equipment available. I was unable to be raised that way, growing up watching doctors call CPS on my mom for not vaccinating, and later having my own traumatizing experience with a routine pap smear as a teen (doc accused me, ME, christian, missionary, true love waits abstinence pledge taking [at the time] ME of lying about having unsafe sex), I could name a slew of other such experiences.

Suffice it to say I don't like doctors. And I hate New Mexico's health care system. He does too, but seems to believe this is different.

On top of that, his family would FREAK if I had a homebirth. My family would be fine, they would even want to assist, and having my mom help a midwife would be incredible IMO. But his sister is a nurse. I suspect some of his family is homey enough to be on my side (lots of smalltown Texas folk), but I don't know about his immediate family. And he's so close to them, their opinions will mean a lot to him.

I've approached the subject so gently I don't think he knows how much this means to me. I need this resolved before we start trying, or I might change my mind about getting pregnant at all, if only out of fear.

Does anyone have any good articles I can have him read? Particularly stories that could help him understand my fears of hospitals and doctors (horror stories welcome. I'd love some horror stories that aren't coming from my mom, who has a bit of an interesting reputation with him) and at the same time help him understand the pros to homebirth (again, that don't come from my mom. I've found a few, but I'd love more)?

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#5 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will say he doesn't have the 'doctoors are the best' mindset. And he does understand why I lack faith in the medical system. When I was pregnant with dd our son (2 at the time) started to get very sick. I prodded our ped, something told me it ws diabetes. He told me no way. We went to the er because his bowel was distended. I demanded a blood sugar test, it was elevated and I asked about diabetes. I was told 'theres no way its diabetes. Its not, get that out of your head). 36 hours later he was barely alive, needed bp meds, intubation and we weren't sure he was going to live. He presented with a blood sugar over 300 and the damn doctor actually said 'its just because his body is sgtressed'. When we got to the picu and the doc interviewed us, I said I thought diabetes and he drinks over 120 oz of water a day. That doc flew out of the room so fast, grabbed insulin and a ketones test in the same shot. I was right. The whole time I was right and I had THREE doctors tell me no. So yeah I don't have a lot of faith in our medical system. Had someone trusted me he may not have been on a breathing machine for 24 hours or anti siezure meds, etc. I have a hard time trusting doctors after watching them almost kill my son. (And yes I owe my life to the picu doctor who saved him, but it wouldn't have been so bad if someone had just listened!).

Sorry to rant. Lol.

I know he supports having this babyy at home. I think its the fact that its different. He's never told me that he won't do this or that I have to go to the hospital. He's just not completely comfortable. And maybe he never will be until we have the baby. I do know he's behind me no matter what. If I said tomorrow id rather have a rcs he'd support my desires. I'm blessed in that regard.

Thanks everyone! And karen, I'm looking forward to meeting kc. I referred a friend to her for a breech and she was very pleased!

~ Fe ~
Mama to C (3-25-06) and A (1-17-09) and Jameson Grant (9-25-10) my HBA2C baby!
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#6 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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This is just my opinion, but I'd back off.

You have a wonderful husband. He is on board and supporting you despite his fears. Yes, in an ideal world he would not have those fears and be 100% comfortable. But all you can really ask for is what you've already got, I think.

Chances are extremely high that your birth will go great and THEN he will be 100% sold on it. He's allowed to have his doubts, though I would object if he were pushing those doubts onto you. But it sounds more like you're pulling it from him, rather. I would stop asking him how he feels about it and just appreciate his support. Feel free to reassure him, though - you can tell him "oh, I was reading today that [insert reassuring statistic or fact here]" and I'm sure that will help. So I don't mean stop talking about it. But just stop asking him to be 100% comfortable, when he's not, and when he won't until it's done and over and it went great.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#7 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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The real problem is guys that are illogically opposed to homebirth in a kind of knee-jerk gut reaction and refuse to look at any actual evidence regarding the safety of homebirths. There's not a whole lot you can do there besides not procreate with them. I'm a single mom, and I literally won't date a guy if he's adamantly opposed to homebirth.
But for guys you're talking about, that are basically logical, rational and on-board with homebirth but still a little nervous, I think it is good to show them hard data showing the overall safety of homebirth compared to hospital birth. Homebirth holds up as evidence-based medicine; standard hospital practices like most inductions, epesiotemies, continuous fetal monitoring, over-use of pitocin, 33 percent c-section rate, etc., do not hold up as evidence-base medicine.
This is a really great article written from a dad's perspective: http://www.mothering.com/pregnancy-b...ve-birth-where
Another good resource is a study that looks at just about every midwife attended homebirth in America in 2005: Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America .

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#8 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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I spent a lot of time researching birthing procedures when I found out I was pregnant. I would casually tell my husband all I had learned, and showed him some youtube videos, etc. I was looking at birthing centers, but he was the one who said "We should do this at home". You have enough time, so I'd do your best to let him feel that he's being given the chance to make his own decision. I recommend a Bradley class, as well.
I brought up the idea of not circ'ing to my husband and at first he was extremely resistant. I tried really hard not to get upset (I hate it when we don't agree!) and just mentioned all the stats I had read and the fact that circ'd men don't get the chance to know what they're missing. After a few weeks, he came to me on his own and said he agreed with me. What a way to "win" a "battle"!

Take your time, let the facts speak for themselves. And maybe watch "The Business of Being Born" together. Good luck to you!

Momma to born April 18, 2010!
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#9 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
This is just my opinion, but I'd back off.

You have a wonderful husband. He is on board and supporting you despite his fears. Yes, in an ideal world he would not have those fears and be 100% comfortable. But all you can really ask for is what you've already got, I think.

Chances are extremely high that your birth will go great and THEN he will be 100% sold on it. He's allowed to have his doubts, though I would object if he were pushing those doubts onto you. But it sounds more like you're pulling it from him, rather. I would stop asking him how he feels about it and just appreciate his support. Feel free to reassure him, though - you can tell him "oh, I was reading today that [insert reassuring statistic or fact here]" and I'm sure that will help. So I don't mean stop talking about it. But just stop asking him to be 100% comfortable, when he's not, and when he won't until it's done and over and it went great.
I just want to clarify...

We've talked about it once. I've asked him once. Its not like I've bugged about it.

I'm not asking him to be 100% comfortable nor do I expect it. But he did ask for articles, books and videos he can watch to prepare himself and I don't really know of anything other than business of being born.

~ Fe ~
Mama to C (3-25-06) and A (1-17-09) and Jameson Grant (9-25-10) my HBA2C baby!
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#10 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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My husband went from "It's my responsibility to keep my wife and unborn baby safe. Hospital only." to "I can see why you don't want the hospital. Free-standing birthing center with a homebirth midwife, ok. But no homebirth." to "I can see why you want to be at home. I'd prefer the birthing center, but I trust you enough in this decision."

He was never absolutely 100% comfortable with it, but he did trust the midwife and me. Watching the Business of Being Born helped a lot, as did having a few good heart-to-heart conversations with the homebirth midwives. Giving him things to read didn't seem the most helpful way to get him on board, though.

When birthing day came, he did a wonderful job. He was a bit nervous, but just in an excited general way, and he pretty much was just what I needed him to be (I'm a hands-off birther, and he stayed out of my way ). He now brags about the homebirth and is a proponent of homebirthing, so he definitely came a long way.

Wifey to Hubby, Mama to Boy (2004) and Girl (2009). 
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#11 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sattygirl99 View Post
But he did ask for articles, books and videos he can watch to prepare himself and I don't really know of anything other than business of being born.
There's a ton of good information at Home Birth Reference Site, with great research articles in a link over on the left. Also Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth is great particularly because the entire last third of the book is literature review of all her citations in the book, and the info is very brief on a per-item basis but provides powerful info.

HTH and good luck!
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#12 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I emailed him the articles!

I know I'm lucky beyond belief that he's even supportive. I'm blessed to have a husband who loves me enough to stand back and let me choose this even though he's not 100% comfortable. And he's willing to read and educate himself and that's just amazing for a man!

When we thought we couldn't have a doula due to finances, he offered to read whatever so that he could fill that role. I'm so glad he's open to everything. He's such a wonderful husband!

We are doing hypnobabies, as we did with dd (though we struggled to stay on it when ds got sick). That talks a lot about the what if factor and how to rechannel it and I hope he reads into that enough to rechannel his own what ifs. I've got mine too but I'm working to rechannel them to be positive.

Thanks everyone!

~ Fe ~
Mama to C (3-25-06) and A (1-17-09) and Jameson Grant (9-25-10) my HBA2C baby!
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#13 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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Some additional links to articles that show the safety of homebirth:

Outcomes Associated with Planned Home and Planned Hospital Births in Low-Risk Women Attended by Midwives in Ontario, Canada, 2003–2006
Retrospective study of women planning a home birth with a midwife and a similarly low-risk group planning to birth in hospital. Researchers found no difference in the risk of perinatal or neonatal deaths and serious injuries. The hospital group had a higher rate of all interventions, including cesarean section (8.1% compared to 5.2% for the home birth group). Study authors concluded that midwives “integrated into the health care system with good access to emergency services, consultation, and transfer of care provided care resulting in favorable outcomes for women” whether birthing at home or in hospital. They also noted, “Appropriate self-selection by the women themselves and good screening by midwives likely contribute to the observed results.”

Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529,688 low-risk planned home and hospital births
Nationwide study of low-risk women in the Netherlands planning to birth at home or in hospital. Researchers found no significant differences between the groups in number of deaths or neonatal intensive care admissions. They concluded that “home birth does not increase the risks of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity among low-risk women, provided the maternity care system facilitates this choice through the availability of well-trained midwives and through a good transportation and referral system.”

Outcomes of planned home births versus planned hospital births after regulation of midwifery in British Columbia
Comparison of planned homebirths with a regulated midwife and hospital births with either a midwife or physician. Researchers noted women attended by a midwife at home “had fewer procedures during labour compared with women who gave birth in hospital attended by a physician” or midwife. They concluded, “There was no increased maternal or neonatal risk associated with planned home birth under the care of a regulated midwife.”

The Safety of Home Birth: The Farm Study
A study comparing outcomes of midwife-attended births from 1971-1989 at The Farm in Summertown, TN to those of the 1980 US National Natality/National Fetal Mortality Survey (NNS/NFMS). There were no significant differences between the two groups in labor-related complications or deaths. The Farm group had a much lower rate of intervention, including a 1.46% cesarean delivery rate, compared to 16.46% in the NNS/NFMS. The author found evidence that “elective interventions, which are used more frequently in-hospital, may increase the risk of various adverse outcomes in low-risk women.” He concluded that a low-risk pregnancy attended at home "is not necessarily less safe than conventional (hospital-physician) delivery. Support by the medical and legal communities for those electing, and those attending, home birth should not be withheld on the grounds that this option is inherently unsafe.”

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#14 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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I'm not asking him to be 100% comfortable nor do I expect it. But he did ask for articles, books and videos he can watch to prepare himself and I don't really know of anything other than business of being born.
That is a terrific sign that he wants to learn and educate himself so he can support you. I bet he'll do great.
Some other good books to check out are "Gentle Birth Choices," "Pushed" by Jennifer Block, "Your Best Birth" by the team that did Business of Being Born, and Youtube birth videos. If you just go to YouTube and search for things like homebirth, waterbirth, gentle homebirth, that sort of thing, you'll find tons of great stuff.
Also, midwives are very, very accustomed to dealing with slightly nervous men. I'm sure your midwife would be happy to sit down with him and go over any specific fears or questions.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#15 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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How about connecting with other HBers in the area? Anne Arundel county has a "birthing circle" Yahoo group. There is the Baltimore-NAP & Maryland NAP (natural approach to parenting) groups as well as a Baltimore natural mothering (all yahoo groups.) You can also find other HBers at LLL meetings. Being exposed to others IRL who have had great HBs seems to 'normalize' it in your mind.

One more book rec: "Born in the USA." I think "Pushed" by Jennifer Block" is particularly great since it's a nice read. She's a journalist & infuses narrative story with stats & facts. If your DH doesn't want to spend tons of time reading, he can jump right to the few chapters on HB MWs & HB.

One more movie red "Orgasmic birth" - despite the sensationalist title, it really is a lot like BoBB - just about the dangers of our modern "high-tech" birth system, and what normal birth really looks like.

It sounds to me like you guys are on the right path!
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#16 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm on all of the yahoo groups you've mentioned...

Part of the problem with connecting with other couple who've HB'd is that DH works two jobs, around 70 hours a week. There's not a whole lot of time, lol. That's part of why a group class will never be an option for us, it just doesn't work because he works nights and then pt days. I'm trying to befriend people who've BTDT so that we can maybe get together with people outside of group settings but it's been tough so far!

Thanks for all of the book suggestions! Hypnobabies recommends that I don't read anything unless it's on the approved list (so I should probably check on some of the titles you've mentioned) because of the way their program works (retraining the minds understand/expectation of birth). But looks like DH will be doing some reading... LOL.

~ Fe ~
Mama to C (3-25-06) and A (1-17-09) and Jameson Grant (9-25-10) my HBA2C baby!
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#17 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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Thanks for the info This will still be really helpful, even though mine seems to be more receptive now.

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#18 of 18 Old 02-03-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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Hey. I just wanted to add my 2cents. I had to deal with a similar situation re: my husband not being so sure about homebirth. My life has led me to assume a homebirth for all of my children (I was born at home, saw my little bro born at home, best friend's mom was a homebirth doula, etc, etc...) so I had a lot of time to get comfortable with it. If DH had thought about where a woman might choose to give birth before we got pregnant, it was definitely in passing and he assumed hospital.

I think with him, talking to the midwife was HUGE. Our midwife will become our doula in the case of a transfer to the hopsital, regardless of whether we hire a seperate doula or not. Also, in the case of a transfer where I come under the care of another doctor, she would resume my care and the baby's as soon as possible. i.e. I need a c-section, she becomes doula for operation, back to midwife and all postpartum care as soon as I'm sewn up. He also really liked the "business of being born", largely because you see 5 or so very relaxed homebirths. It wasn't exactly something he'd ever seen before and even if he had he wouldn't have paid it the same attention as now, when he's faced with the reality of it happening soon!

ETA: I also want to say that this was by no means a point of contention for us. He wasn't so sure and although I was, I told him we would decide together what to do, as long as he took the time to consider HB. Once he had, he ended up agreeing on a HB...
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