Reluctant Partner? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-29-2008, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
wild fire child's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know I've heard a lot worse stories about unsupportive partners, but I would like a bit of advice on mine. I'm 20 weeks along, interviewing a midwife Friday. I have literally always known that when I have children they will be born at home. My fiance is reluctant rather than unsupportive. He was raised with a very 'standard' attitude towards medical things, birth definitely being one of those, and he is having a hard time adjusting to my mindset. He keeps proclaiming that he fully supports what I want, and we'll do it no matter what, but he is extremely uncomfortable with a midwife and homebirth. Not the 'at home' aspect so much, but the questions are more along the lines of schooling and such for midwives - the fact that doctors spend so many years going through medical school is worth much more in his eyes than the 25 years' experience plus schooling and licensing that this prospective midwife has under her belt.

So, I've kind of run out of reassuring things to say to him and for him to read, I think maybe different points of view and what others have gone through might be helpful, as well as maybe other partners' fears and/or dad-written stories?

He is afraid that me posting this is just going to wind up with a lot of responses bashing him for being unsupportive which is exactly what he's trying not to be, so hopefully my wording was clear enough to prevent that.

Oh, and this is my first post on mothering, though I've been a member for a while and been a terrible lurker. My mother posts on here (as SevenVeils) and keeps telling me it's a great place. So hello!
wild fire child is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-29-2008, 05:53 AM
 
tpintsch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northeast, PA
Posts: 183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi and Welcome! Your fiance sounds like he only has yours and the babies best interest at heart and he just needs some reassurance. The best thing he can do is write down all his questions and concerns and discuss them with your midwife at your next appointment. What is really nice is that most midwives are willing to take the time to explain everything. Our appointments tend to be at least 2 hrs long and I leave her home feeling so uplifted and encouraged and hubby feels so reassured about our homebirth. You can always try and buy or borrow some books if your fiance is the reading type. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer is good at supporting the safety of homebirth. She sites many studies in that book. For me the thing that really turned my husband around was that homebirth allows us to bond as a family afterwards without being separated. The hospital would have pressured him to leave at night and our son wouldn't be able to be as involved. I love the idea of having our baby and being able to cuddle in our bed together as a family. Goodluck mama. I know after he sees the evidence and talks to your midwife he will feel a whole lot better.
tpintsch is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 12:08 PM
 
Kim919's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 635
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild fire child View Post
I know I've heard a lot worse stories about unsupportive partners, but I would like a bit of advice on mine. I'm 20 weeks along, interviewing a midwife Friday. I have literally always known that when I have children they will be born at home. My fiance is reluctant rather than unsupportive. He was raised with a very 'standard' attitude towards medical things, birth definitely being one of those, and he is having a hard time adjusting to my mindset. He keeps proclaiming that he fully supports what I want, and we'll do it no matter what, but he is extremely uncomfortable with a midwife and homebirth. Not the 'at home' aspect so much, but the questions are more along the lines of schooling and such for midwives - the fact that doctors spend so many years going through medical school is worth much more in his eyes than the 25 years' experience plus schooling and licensing that this prospective midwife has under her belt.

So, I've kind of run out of reassuring things to say to him and for him to read, I think maybe different points of view and what others have gone through might be helpful, as well as maybe other partners' fears and/or dad-written stories?

He is afraid that me posting this is just going to wind up with a lot of responses bashing him for being unsupportive which is exactly what he's trying not to be, so hopefully my wording was clear enough to prevent that.

Oh, and this is my first post on mothering, though I've been a member for a while and been a terrible lurker. My mother posts on here (as SevenVeils) and keeps telling me it's a great place. So hello!
If he is supportive of your choice, I think thats great. As the second half of the pregnancy goes on and he is able to meet the midwife and work with her he will probably slowly aquire a lot of knowledge about the midwife way of doing things vs. the typical OB practice. If he is being supportive now, that means he is open to learning, which he probably won't be able to avoid even if he wanted to. As he learns more I'm sure he will slowly understand more and more & be on board 110% by the end.

When I first brought up HB (before I was ever pregnant or planning to be) my boyfriend just kind of raised an eyebrow and let it go. When I got pregnant he was like "oh, you were serious about that?" I'm 30 weeks now and started seeing my MW at 6 weeks, as time went on and he learned about the whole pregnancy/birth process (just by being around me, he didn't do any of his own research) he changed his mindset without any pushing at all from me. He now scoffs at women who are planning their epi's and have lots of interventions. He seems proud that i'm going to birth at home.

Good luck for a happy pregnancy & a happy new daddy
Kim919 is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 12:12 PM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can you get him Business of Being Born to watch? It shows birth and medical settings to be as incompatable as they truly are (in normal circumstances).

What has he read so far? For my XP he viewed the hospital/home debate as one of neutrals. After reading Birth Your Way (Kitzinger) he realised i was MORE at risk of harm in hospital, and really got on board for the SAFEST and best dilvery we could manage.
GoBecGo is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 01:17 PM
 
mrforbes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can you find a home birth class or a birth class that addresses home birth in a positive way in your area? We took a home child birth class run by a local doula trainer and even though my DP thought he knew everything I think it helped and getting real hands on practice with techniques also helped. I agree he should definately talk to the midwives you're interviewing about his questions and concerns.

Think about hiring a doula. This will help you by having someone to help him. And give him a support person as well and a place to go with questions.

It sounds like part of the hesitation could be helped by helping to give your fiance a way to help you. Does he know how to support you in labor? Try The Birth Partner book or watch some home birth videos online or The Business of Being Born. Anybody who watches a home birth and compares that to a hospital birth will I think, see a big difference.

Baby wearing Mamma to DS, dealing with all his allergies....and thriving w/another little bundle due in Early Feb
mrforbes is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 01:21 PM
 
laohaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your DF sounds like my DH, except maybe slightly more reluctant than mine. Mine was definitely reluctant, but once "we" (I) made the decision, he let it go somewhat (but was still anxious and reluctant).

I think it's a process. I don't think there's anything he can read or anything you can say that will just make him totally relax about it, and that's ok. My DH was willing to have an open mind, and it sounds like your DF does too (even if he's very nervous about it). Because he had an open mind - and by open, I don't mean only open to homebirth, but just open to reassessing his assumptions either way - he was able to think critically about our experiences during pregnancy and birth.

So when we saw an OB for early bleeding (before I had a MW), he was very frustrated with how the OB treated me and the fear tactics he used. Because DH was open-minded, he didn't take the fear tactics as gospel, but thought to himself, gee, is that really right? In EVERY case? What was his motivation for saying that?

He saw a news story that made a huge deal about a woman who "didn't make it" to the hospital and birthed in the car, and saw the fear implied by that story. Mom and baby were just fine, it was just another birth on the side of the road, but DH was able to see how the assumption was that if a doctor was not on hand, chaos would reign and people would start dying everywhere. Or something. Even though he felt a hospital was safer still, he could see that it was ridiculous that human birth is seen as such an emergency to that extent.

So, little by little, he really started questioning his assumptions on birth. As he learned more about it, he started to feel more comfortable with it. His family always told the story about how when his sister was born, she "tried to strangle herself" (it was a family joke obviously) since the cord was wrapped around her neck. Though it was a joke, it was always the story of how dangerous that birth was. When he learned that nuchal cord is very, very common and rarely a big deal, it was hard for him to accept, and he was definitely afraid of it. But after the 30th "look honey, this birth story had a nuchal cord too, and the MW just looped it over the neck" he started to see it differently.

I think if your DF is willing to support you, all you can do is to appreciate that, and appreciate that his nervousness is because he wants you and baby to be safe. And if he's open-minded, he WILL learn, even if he doesn't pick up a book and read (no, my DH never read Ina Mae or anything either).

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

laohaire is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
wild fire child's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For me, the story of my own birth is enough to scare me away from hospitals, but where I see that my mom was forced to go to a hospital and when she got there labor completely stopped progressing and she wound up with an emergency c-sec because of it...he sees as 'if something goes wrong'. I tried explaining that ORs have prep times anyways, and we live less than 5 minutes from a hospital and about 10 from another one that will be open in the next couple of months, but I guess the fact of being right there is more comforting to him.

The really odd thing is that he trusts my mom to act as midwife for me. Though she does not have the medical training or supplies like oxygen that a hired midwife would have, he would be totally fine with her here and no midwife. I think ideally for me, I'd like to have the midwife there because of those supplies, and have my mom as doula, but to where the midwife would be hands-off enough that my mom basically acted as midwife anyway. Of course, I haven't spoken with the midwife about her feelings on this, and it's hard to say at this point whether my mom will be able to be here at all.

He's agreed to read some things, but not much, so I've been picking out birth stories that I think might help him. We haven't been to the library yet to find out what they have in the way of books. A lot of books and websites are not quite valid in his eyes though, as they put a spin on things that looks too contrived, like they're hiding some statistics or only showing what benefits them.

Is there a place I can go to find out what specific training that midwives have to go through to get licensed in my state? Or what credentials really mean? To me experience is worth more than training, but he thinks those years in medical school teach way more.
wild fire child is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 03:40 PM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can ask your midwife to furnish you with the details of her education (she'll be used to nervous dads-to-be ) and go from there with that one. I would point out to him that many Obs qualify having seen less than 5 un-drugged vaginal births - some see NONE. They see a million worst-case-scenarios and are very poorly equipped to deal with nature taking its course. A midwife is TRAINED in normal birth and sees hundreds in her training. She knows all the levels and variations and has seen so much more of what is naturally within the realms of "normal". An Ob will all too often intervene when you veer even slightly from textbook - has your baby read the textbook?
GoBecGo is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 05:00 PM
 
redebeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: The Slough
Posts: 341
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your man sounds like my husband 5 years ago.

2, almost 3 homebirths later, I can't leave him alone at a party without coming back to him talking about home vs. hospital birth and trying to talk everyone into having their babies at home. He wasn't there for my horrible hospital birth with number 1 (different babydaddy), so he didn't experience that true crappiness of all that, but he takes my word for it.

Give him some time, get some movies and books and hopefully friends that have some experience that can sway him. For a movie I suggest " Birth Day" by sage femme productions. That's a movie my husband and kids love, it's very inspiring and gentle, not too graphic and hit you over the head political.

We read (well I read aloud to him) the handouts our midwife gave us, and those helped alot too. The facts are there in black and white, homebirth is as safe as birth gets for normal pregnancies. If he's rational, a little education will change his mind sooner or later.

Plus you could always scare him with the threat of catching a "superbug" at the hospital. I'm cool on catching an untreatable form of staph, thank you very much. But that's a last resort because if you do have to go, you don't want him worried about that too. Good Luck!

Elizabeth, mama to 4 kids and 5 chickens.
The grateful recipient of 3 home water births, 1 being an accidental UC.:
redebeth is offline  
Old 07-29-2008, 11:35 PM
 
shanahan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
this sounds a lot like my DH... He says he'll go along w/whatever I decide - but I really want him to be on-board, not just along for the ride, y'know?

what I've learned about him - and most men - is that if I get all animated and on my soap box, etc. about the benefits of hb, he'll just tune out. He really needs to hear the info from other people - or from me in a very understanding "y'know, I was worried about that too, but then I learned that xyz" kind of way.

So, we are going to watch Business of Being born - and I want him to come to a meeting w/a midwife. He also came to a "meet-up" w/me of local hb supporters, but the topic wasn't really helpful for talking him into it - but I'm hoping he'll come to a future one (in a few months, they are having a "dad's at homebirth" meeting, which could be REALLY helpful... Can you see if there are any local "meetup.com" groups in your area?

loving Mama to Killian (6/07) and Breckin (3/26)
shanahan is offline  
Old 07-30-2008, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
wild fire child's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, they do seem the same. He definitely doesn't want to hear me just keep preaching, which is why I've tried to be pretty low key about it so far, not forcing too much on him. I should look into meetups in my area, I know there must be some, it's the hippy center of my state, and the second largest city to boot...I'm just rather shy, so it's kind of hard for me to get out and meet a new group of people.
wild fire child is offline  
Old 07-30-2008, 12:30 AM
 
DWAXSMOM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NY
Posts: 546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My husband was very apprehensive until we went to our hypnobirthing class. The instructor gave all the info I had given to him but coming from her he was able to hear it. He saw that this was not just another cause I had to support. He was given research and facts that went over his head when I was going on and on aboout HB. He now is very supportive. He is now just worrying about if I will be distracted by our older children. What a great turn around!
DWAXSMOM is offline  
Old 07-30-2008, 12:52 AM
 
mustangtbn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: just this side of Utopia
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your DH sounds very much like my DH before DD was born. What made the difference for him was coming to meet the midwife the first time I interviewed her and to some prenatals after that. He asked about all his concerns and of course, she'd heard them before and addressed them all truthfully and confidently. After meeting her, he was impressed with her knowledge and experience, very low complication statistics (a mere fraction of complications you see when people use OB's, even if you are still only talking about "low risk" pregnancies) and the amount time she took with us. He quickly became very much a champion of homebirth.

And of course, after the birth, he couldn't imagine having done it any other way. : It was never a question between us as to whether to homebirth again, only when and with which midwife.

I second having your DH watch the Business of Being Born, too.

T , mom to S and C
mustangtbn is offline  
Old 07-30-2008, 01:57 AM
 
*MamaJen*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 5,266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like a lot of other people have said, your fiance sounds like my partner a year ago -- he was supportive of my choice, but nervous that the midwife wasn't medically qualified to deliver a baby. I think he had some idea that it was all about crystals and herbs.
In some ways it's a rational fear -- I think most people in this country don't realize how much training and experience most midwives have.
I think what really got my partner 100 percent on board was actually meeting the midwife. He was able to ask her about her training, about what would happen in various situations, that sort of thing. Now, he's as big a homebirth pusher as you can find.
One book I would really recommend for your partner is "Pushed" by Jennifer Block. It's very current, very solidly researched and written in a factual, journalistic style. Business of Being Born is a good choice for a movie. For medical studies, I would recommend this article: "Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America."
My birth story link in is my signature -- it's very non threatening.
Oh, and welcome to MDC!

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.
*MamaJen* is offline  
Old 07-30-2008, 05:30 AM
 
Lizbiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Looks like you've already gotten a lot of good responses - but I was in a similar situation - supportive but uncertain spouse - and here's what changed our situation:

1. I read a lot and tried to also keep an open mind to my husband's perspectives. We talked a lot and had a great many conversations with our midwife before signing on with her. She was fantastic about answering our questions.

2. We toured the hospital where we would have given birth. This tour pretty much sealed my decision to homebirth and was absolutely key for my husband. After seeing how knowledgeable and supportive our midwife was, and how unsupportive the hospital setting was going to be (it was so hard to get good information from our practice of physicians and from the hospital itself), he was set on the homebirth as well.

3. We took a great natural birthing course taught by a doula with many years of experience. She was awesome and she and my husband really connected. He learned a lot and was a pro by the time I went into labor.

Good luck Mamma! Your husband sounds great - it's totally natural and normal to think very seriously about where and how you two want to bring your little one into the world.

Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).

Lizbiz is offline  
Old 08-04-2008, 06:46 AM
 
SevenVeils's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lurking in my Lerkim
Posts: 6,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild fire child View Post
the fact that doctors spend so many years going through medical school
And manage to completely screw up so many perfectly normal births

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild fire child View Post
So, I've kind of run out of reassuring things to say to him and for him to read, I think maybe different points of view and what others have gone through might be helpful, as well as maybe other partners' fears and/or dad-written stories?
I want to say, I'm proud of you for sticking with your desires, and I'm proud of him for not making it hard for you to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Can you get him Business of Being Born to watch? It shows birth and medical settings to be as incompatable as they truly are (in normal circumstances).
I also recommend Birth As We Know It. I have the DVD, I can loan it to you.

I'll give you a list of books that really turned G around. He was practically having apoplexy at the thought of a home birth, especially knowing that he had absolutely no say in the matter (I may get flamed for that, but there is no way that I would ever have a baby in the hospital if it wasn't for some unusual medical need). I know your library has most or all of the ones that I'll recommend, but if they don't, or if you want them on a longer term, I can ship the ones that I have to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild fire child View Post
For me, the story of my own birth is enough to scare me away from hospitals, but where I see that my mom was forced to go to a hospital and when she got there labor completely stopped progressing and she wound up with an emergency c-sec because of it...he sees as 'if something goes wrong'. I tried explaining that ORs have prep times anyways, and we live less than 5 minutes from a hospital and about 10 from another one that will be open in the next couple of months, but I guess the fact of being right there is more comforting to him.
I want to quickly say that I wasn't exactly forced to go to the hospital. The way that I see it is that I was stupid. I put too much trust in my midwife, and even when I knew that she was wrong and I should stay where I was and let her leave if she chose to, I ultimately got fear-tacticed into going in. But it was ultimately my choice. You know? I hate that your birth was taken from you, and I bear responsibility for that. Does he know that you would have been born just fine at home, that the midwife freaked out and the doctor flat out lied to my face?

Your other points are absolutely correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild fire child View Post
The really odd thing is that he trusts my mom to act as midwife for me.
I didn't know that. I'm flattered

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild fire child View Post
He's agreed to read some things, but not much, so I've been picking out birth stories that I think might help him. We haven't been to the library yet to find out what they have in the way of books. A lot of books and websites are not quite valid in his eyes though, as they put a spin on things that looks too contrived, like they're hiding some statistics or only showing what benefits them.
Well, this is correct, I mean no matter what you read or hear on any subject it is colored by the author's point of view. That doesn't mean that someone is hiding something though.
SevenVeils is offline  
Old 08-04-2008, 11:17 AM
 
*clementine*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also have the DVD "The Business of Being Born." If you want a copy of it PM me and I'll mail you mine.
*clementine* is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off