DH Bailing out on Homebirth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-21-2011, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 24 weeks pregnant today with my 3rd and increasingly confused and frustrated by DH and his changing feelings about homebirth. We've been seeing a CPM for prenatal care and planning to birth at home from the get-go.

 

After yesterday's midwife appt he told me he "might" be alright with a homebirth but that having the baby "swimming" in a birth pool was "too far off on the hippie fringe" and he absolutely was not alright with that happening.  And I thought we were on the same page about wanting to have this baby at home, and open to any sort of pain-coping strategy that worked for me!  Previously he's expressed concerns about the mess of a homebirth, or being yelled at for doing the wrong thing during the birth, but never wanted to actually talk about those worries.  

 

Our other 2 kids were both born in the hospital.  The second was an unmedicated birth with CNMs, in a hospital-based birth center.  DH was there for the whole birth and seemed totally comfortable with the whole thing, including his role as emotional support person.  I was very happy with what he did during labor and can't think of a thing I'd change about the role he played.  (DH isn't my first kid's bio dad so he wasn't present for her birth.)

 

In the 7 years since my second was born I've worked as a birth and postpartum doula, taught childbirth classes and taken a few babysteps on the road to becoming a CPM.  DH has been supportive and involved as I've moved into birth work and has seemed to embrace homebirth and all that comes with it over the years.  We have many friends who have birth babies at home in the last 7 years and he's been totally cool with that too. 

 

But now he is so resistant to the idea of having this third kid at home and I just don't know where to go with it.  On the one hand I recognize that this is the birth of his child too and he ought to have a say in the how and where, but really, I'M the one who is going to do the birthing so I feel like I ought to be allowed to do it how and where I feel most comfortable!  

 

I don't want to issue ultimatums or alienate DH from this birth.  Yet he is issuing ultimatums to me and doesn't seem open to discussing options, risks and benefits, or anything really.  Yesterday he told me he thought people should just go to the hospital and leave birth to "the professionals".  

 

Anyone have any thoughts or experience with a similar situation?  We've still got time to work this out, but it looks like a much bigger issue than I could've guessed so I feel like we need to get working on it...

 

Thank you!

-Maggie

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#2 of 10 Old 05-21-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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My DH isn't too keen on a homebirth either, I am planning a UC as of now - 32 weeks - but to be honest this is MY birth and I am going to do it the way that I feel most comfortable.  This is birth #4 for me - and my last, so while I am open to discussing what is worrying DH, I am not open to changing my birth place simply becasue he isn't comfortable with it. 


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#3 of 10 Old 05-22-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I would be very upset at my DH if I were in your situation not just because he didn't support my belief for birth because he is entitled to his own fears based on his lack of experience or understanding, but with your chosen profession being just that, it would seem with the statement "people should just go to the hospital and leave birth to "the professionals" I would think my DH also doesn't support my career choice and didn't take what I do and am passionate about seriously.  I think I would be more upset about that than his reluctance to homebirth his own child. 

 

The only thing that conquers fear is education.  At least for most people.  Some are just stubborn, haha.  Even with all the research and evidence before them, they are stuck in their ways of thinking because they don't trust themselves.  Only thing I would suggest is to keep exposing him to the positive effects of homebirth and such but based on what you said, he has more exposure than most hubby's so I am unsure what else you could do but tell him your feelings and how much it means to you and also for him to back you.

 

Good luck and I hope he can get more comfortable with it and conquer whatever fears he is dealing with.


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#4 of 10 Old 05-22-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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Maybe he is just getting cold feet. Has he watched any water births? Maybe that would help him be okay with it.


Harmony, mom of dd (14), ds (11), ds (4) and having #4 in June
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#5 of 10 Old 05-24-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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OP, I hear your frustrations. My DH is also skeptical of homebirths. I'm 27 weeks along and he just finished the midwife paperwork, and one of the questions asks: Why are you choosing a homebirth? And he answered: Because my wife wants it. 

 

Which is not exactly a bad answer, but it's not so great either. He and I both watched the Business of Being Born and he's read a father's homebirth blog, and The Father's Home Birth Handbook, etc. but the mainstream conditioning is still there. He was all for it immediately after watching the video, but after a few weeks, the fears set in again. He's very afraid of complications and frankly, his stress level is bound to have an effect on me. I do believe that the choice as to how to give birth is up to the woman, not the father, but like I've said, if you're like me, and you tend to absorb others' moods, it may have an effect on your actual birth. (Just as having *anyone* at the birth who's the least bit skeptical could have an effect on it.)

 

I am just taking this day by day. We will start going to midwife prenatals together soon, as well as attend a Birthing Within class locally. I'm hoping by being around others for whom home birth is a happy, natural choice, that it will normalize it for him, too.

 

Not sure if this helped any, but know that you are not alone... hug.gif

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#6 of 10 Old 05-24-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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Here's just another consideration.

 

What if, instead of worrying about it, you just shrugged or laughed it off? "Yeah, we could put a dolphin in the birth pool and have the ULTIMATE hippie birth!"

 

And just keep your plans.

 

This depends a lot on both of your personalities and dynamics. But I think a lot of guys would appreciate the ability to express their thoughts on that without it being a big deal to you, and if you can have a sense of humor about it some guys would relax. I think some guys get a little heady with power if they make a remark and have their wives running for the hills rewriting the plan. Other guys will dig in their heels the more you push back - so if you say "but this is what we AGREED to" they find it hard to say "yeah I know, I'm just nervous" but instead will give you a huge argument about how it was NOT what they agreed to (or something frustrating like that). So the harder you push, the harder THEY push. On this kind of guy, if they find they can make a comment like that and have it not be the end of the world for you, they relax and stop pushing about it.

 

Anyway, just a thought.


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#7 of 10 Old 05-24-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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It's crazy how many guys have issues with homebirths, even when they've previously been on board with them.

As far as the waterbirth thing goes...tell him it's not hippie, it's good science. Hydrotherapy is a really effective pain relief method. Have you ever had really killer menstrual cramps and gotten into a hot bath and immediately felt better? It's the same thing. Also, a number of hospitals use hot tubs to give pain release to arthritis patients, or in physical therapy. That's not hippie, it's just standard western medicine. You could ask him why he's opposed to something that will ease your pain and make you feel better.

Also, you could sit him down and tell him that's it's really important that the two of you communicate like grownups about something as important as your birth, and ask him to lay out his concerns and listen to yours.


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 10 Old 05-24-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

Here's just another consideration.

 

What if, instead of worrying about it, you just shrugged or laughed it off? "Yeah, we could put a dolphin in the birth pool and have the ULTIMATE hippie birth!"

 

And just keep your plans.

 

This depends a lot on both of your personalities and dynamics. But I think a lot of guys would appreciate the ability to express their thoughts on that without it being a big deal to you, and if you can have a sense of humor about it some guys would relax. I think some guys get a little heady with power if they make a remark and have their wives running for the hills rewriting the plan. Other guys will dig in their heels the more you push back - so if you say "but this is what we AGREED to" they find it hard to say "yeah I know, I'm just nervous" but instead will give you a huge argument about how it was NOT what they agreed to (or something frustrating like that). So the harder you push, the harder THEY push. On this kind of guy, if they find they can make a comment like that and have it not be the end of the world for you, they relax and stop pushing about it.

 

Anyway, just a thought.


thumbsup.gif  This is a really good idea. Humor... could be a natural relaxant (at least for my DH). Because we are definitely having the dynamic you described in the latter part of the post. Thanks!

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#9 of 10 Old 05-25-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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It does sound like nerves to me.  I think you should proceed with your plans but acknowledge his fears/feelings but don't give in to them.  Let him speak his mind but don't let it derail you.  Watching the BOBB was a huge help in getting dh on board.


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#10 of 10 Old 05-29-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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I agree it sounds like nerves, but I suggest moving lightly and accepting that perhaps DH is part of the equation too.  He's the child's father and his fears about your and the child's safety should be valued and validated.

 

I understand that you feel like you're the one going through the birth so it should be your way, but he's half of that child too.  I think it a bit selfish when women ignore the dad's feelings and push forward, he's the dad he's also the partner that has to pick up the pieces if something goes horribly wrong for either of you during birth. And for some men, no amount of watching BOBB or reading Pushed will convince them to see it your way.  So you've got to figure out if it's worth fighting him on this, if it's worth causing harm to your marriage because of it.

 

That said, he's being a childish dolt right now. If he has concerns he needs to express them to you and you should call him to task on that.  Just be mindful while calling him to task that you aren't being stubborn and childish back by ignoring his fears. 


EngineeringMama is an Active Duty military mom, wife to an Active Duty military dad, with two amazing little HypnoBabies (1&2) and a third bean-o on the way with a mid-January 2012 Guess Date.
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