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Birth and Beyond > DH won't allow birth center birth
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 03:11 PM 06-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by homewithtwinsmama View Post
No vagina, no vote.
I tend to agree, although as a single mom by choice I am perhaps not qualified to even take part in this discussion. While I think he should get to voice his fears, I think it is sad that he wants to be the only one to make this decision - but not to even research the facts. If there are two totally conflicting options, why should the husband's opinion be worth more, when it is the woman who has to give birth? I am so sorry you are having to deal with this!

philomom's Avatar philomom 03:19 PM 06-05-2009
Marriage takes two people sometimes compromising. This baby is his baby, too.


I'm married to a "just in case" and "what if" kind of guy. We chose a certified nurse midwife to deliver at the hospital. And you know what? It was awesome!: Dh was a marvelous support person. Nothing was done to me.. I had no interventions of any kind and the baby never left my arms for anything. With the second baby, I even gave birth standing up with my midwife sitting on the floor to catch. Fantastic!

If you never compromise in a marriage.. you may find yourself raising kids alone. And that's not a choice I choose to make.
DevaMajka's Avatar DevaMajka 03:20 PM 06-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkaha View Post
I'm going to be a voice of dissent here. *dons flame proof suit* That baby is his baby too. You are his wife and he's scared for you both. Perhaps instead of trying to talk him into a birth center or home birth, that energy would be better spent making the hospital birth a good one.
Yeah, the baby is his too, but why does HE get the final say? Why can he just say he won't "allow" : a birth center birth, and that's that?

Why can't she say that she won't allow a hospital birth? Isn't that just as valid as what he's saying?

Even if we go with the idea of both parents being equally involved, then BOTH get an equal say. He shouldn't just get his way because he's more adamant about it. And, I can even see the point of saying that both partners get an equal say- that's his partner, he loves her. And it's his baby. He does have a vested interest in the outcome. But that doesn't mean that HIS opinion trumps hers!

FTR, part of my decision to have a hospital birth was dp's concern about my safety because of my last birth (I'm not opposed to it, and the m/w recommended it as well). But he expressed it in a respectful way, and has the attitude that it's MY body, so ultimately it's my choice. If he had *demanded* a hospital birth, the poo would have hit the fan. Oh yeah, THAT would not have gone well.
It happened to work out well, because we have midwives here, that are welcome in hospitals.
peainthepod's Avatar peainthepod 03:32 PM 06-05-2009
I love my husband dearly. He is my best friend as well as my mate. I trust his judgment and respect his opinion on all things, because I know that he usually makes his decisions with his head and heart, and never rashly.

That said, if he tried to dictate to me how and where and with whom I could give birth, I would kindly but firmly tell him that he could either be 100% supportive of my choices, or he would find himself excluded from the experience completely. My body, my birth, my choice. Period. Birthing is not men's business, and it never has been. Yes, their needs and wishes are important. We should acknowledge their fears and honor their concerns. But the woman whose body and mind are at risk must have the final say.

It is not the man's genitals who might be needlessly mutilated by an overzealous doctor wielding scissors. It is not the man's emotional and psychological health that could be shattered by a traumatic birth experience. It is not the man's very life that could be ended due to some iatrogenic disaster. The woman's body is on the line, not the man's. The woman has final say.

The Business of Being Born is incredibly helpful for many DHs, including mine, but if he's unwilling to even consider your feelings and needs here, I don't know that it will make a difference. I agree with the others that counseling and/or talking to a midwife as a couple could help. In the end, though, this is not about the birth--this is about your husband refusing to acknowledge that your feelings and safety are more important than his ignorant, irrational fears. That is the problem here. He doesn't respect that your needs are at least as important as his. He's very selfishly using bullying and emotional blackmail to force you to do it his way--even though you both know, from experience, that "his way" will only lead to further trauma for you, or maybe worse.

I'm so sorry, OP.
leighann79's Avatar leighann79 03:56 PM 06-05-2009
My DH was against a birth center also. I finally got him to visit it with me and he felt much better after talking to the midwife and getting to ask about the "what ifs".
Sudonk's Avatar Sudonk 04:55 PM 06-05-2009
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had similar issues with my husband and wound up having a hospital birth, then a birth center birth and finally a home birth. Even though he is proud of our choices, he still would prefer going to a hospital and nothing will change that. But after I spent time showing him important bits of the books I read, took him to meet the midwives and otherwise educated him, he backed off and agreed to be supportive when he spoke, and shut up when he simply couldn't be supportive, so I didn't have to know. The births all terrified him from start to finish, but he didn't let that interfere with his ability to help me.

No matter where you decide to have your baby, I highly recommend looking into Hypnobabies. It would educate him about the potential risks of common interventions, but more importantly, it would help him understand that birth can be viewed as a trustworthy process instead of an imminent disaster. The "Fear Release" process would be a huge benefit for both of you (and can be used over and over, even during the birth!) and there is a "Birth Partner, Relax, Be Confident" CD that he can put on while he sleeps, and it can really help minimize his stress about the birth before and during the process.

Good luck, and congratulations on your baby!
Monarchgrrl's Avatar Monarchgrrl 06:04 PM 06-05-2009
I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I'm also of the opinion that no vagina = no vote. But in my case it would be not carrying baby = no vote.

Reading so many threads like this, it really surprises me that so many couples don't talk about this before marriage or before kids. I guess I could understand if a woman's opinion on natural birth and parenting completely changes over the years or especially after a traumatic hospital birth, for sure. But wouldn't most women know if their partner was naturally-minded or inclined all along? My DW knew from the beginning (like way before marriage) that I would be having our baby at home. She was absolutely not ok with it. I told her that it was fine, she would have a few years to become ok with it or she could choose not to be there. End of discussion. My body, my choice. No compromising! Since then, I've talked about homebirth so much that she now sees it as normal and is very excited about it. She's never read one book, website or article about it and would never sit through a movie about birthing. However, the flip side of that is that I've known from the beginning that if she ever gives birth, she will want an elective c-section. Of course I'm not ok with that. But it's her body, her choice. No compromise! (I'm at least lucky that she's 100% AP, naturally-minded on everything else)


Good luck, OP! I'm interested in hearing how it all turns out. Keep us updated after he sees BOBB.
billikengirl's Avatar billikengirl 06:12 PM 06-05-2009
I don't see why, since "it's his baby too" does indeed work in reverse (it's her baby too. AND her body!), that the tiebreaker vote goes to the person who is least rational about the decision.

I also suggest BOBB. It helped me communicate with my husband about home birth. Ours is planned for November.
kirstenb's Avatar kirstenb 06:29 PM 06-05-2009
My DH was against a birth center too. He didn't tell me I couldn't go there (I didn't really leave it open for discussion), but he did make it clear he thought it was a stupid idea not to go to an OB. I know he had no idea of what midwives really were so I had him watch BOBB. It completely changed his perception of hospitals and midwives and he is now 100% on board. I know he wouldn't have read a book or newspaper articles if I showed them to him so this was the quickest way to get his attention. I would have gone to the birth center regardless of his reaction but it was important to me that he understood where I was coming from, especially since he wasn't at DS's birth and hadn't had that experience yet.
weliveintheforest's Avatar weliveintheforest 06:57 PM 06-05-2009
Can you make an appointment to go to the birth center just to talk to them? Your dh could ask his questions and they could provide their info directly to him. They probably have an info package.

Here is an article about home births being as safe as hospital http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7998417.stm
Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 07:00 PM 06-05-2009
I suppose there's the sort of passive-aggressive approach, too. Refuse to do anything for the remainder of the pregnancy, and if your husband wants to know why, explain that you're too sick. When he says he didn't realize you were sick, you can ask him why he thinks you should go to a hospital (a place for sick people), instead of a birthing center (a place for pregnant women), since you're pregnant, not sick.

However, I think the whole subject is just bringing out my nasty side.
happybunny's Avatar happybunny 07:20 PM 06-05-2009
I didn't read every post in detail, so maybe this has been said before. I would recommend for your husband to read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. It was recommended to me by my midwife. She said men like it because it is very technical, but easy to read. Your husband wouldn't even have to read the whole thing. He would learn a lot about unnecessary hospital interventions and the safety of home birth. The last chapter on "The Place of Birth" is great!
wombatclay's Avatar wombatclay 08:07 PM 06-05-2009
In terms of movies, I didn't see anyone mention HOMEBIRTH DADS. It's not the most "professional" of films since it's done more as a "chat in the living room" sort of film, but it's a great resource for dads who are concerned/opposed to homebirth since the whole thing is just a group of fathers talking about their experiences with homebirth. Some of them were initially against homebirth and it talks about how their opinion changed, it talks about costs and insurance, concerns about safety and the nitty gritty of having a baby born at home.

There's a positive review in Mothering Magazine, and you might want to check out their website to get a better feel for the film: http://homebirthdads.com/


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As to the debate about who get's to "choose" and all that... OP, is this tangent helpful for you and the situation you're in? The question of birth location/birth choice and who has more or less "say" in the process is near and dear to many women's hearts, but every family is different and every marriage is approaching the situation from a different place. I'd certainly suggest involving a neutral third party in the discussion and perhaps seeking therapy as a couple or as individuals to help you both address your personal fears and hopes as well as help you come to a meeting point on these things. Pregnancy is a hard time to jump into the fray since there is such an extreme deadline, but you need to feel supported and empowered and he needs to feel confident and capable.

A visit to the birth center, a meeting with a midwife who is familiar with the full story (including his prior traumatic birth experience), perhaps locate a local ICAN or AP group where there are other fathers who could meet with him on a more "manly" level (especially in terms of the prior birth trauma, it seems like BTDT support from other partners counts for a lot... our local ICAN group tries to arrange vbac classes just for the partners so they have a space to work out their own concerns/memories/fears)...

and good luck!
Adasmommy's Avatar Adasmommy 09:55 PM 06-05-2009
I agree with everyone who said to watch the Business of Being Born with him and definitely tour the birth center and interview the midwife together. Don't let him refuse--after all he invited you to prove your point, and you can certainly point out that he is asking you to do something dangerous against your will without even investigating all the options to find the safest!

Make sure he asks the midwife about everything he feels is better about hospitals--she's much better equipped to satisfy his questions than you are!

I feel very strongly about homebirth, and about my husband. I would work hard to assuage his fears so that you can do the birth center route. Having a scared or angry husband would not be conducive to my birthing happily or peacefully and would increase the risks of something going wrong! However, my birthing in a hospital would increase those risks more, both because *I* would be scared and angry and because hospitals do stupid things.

Finding peace for both of you on this subject is the only good solution. Remember he loves you, and take it from there.
shanniesue2's Avatar shanniesue2 01:28 AM 06-06-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by koalove View Post
my advice~ its your body, your birth. a birth center is a good comprimise. maybe a birth caenter that i attahed to a hospital? however, if you do end up in the hospital, hire a doula, and never forget that you can say NO to any intervention. you cant be pumped full of pitocin unless you allow it. tell them to forget it. and peeing in a bedpan??!! thats crazy! tell the nurse youre going to the bathroom. a doula will support you in these choices and be a voice for you if needed.
My response to this is a little OT, so I'm sorry in advance. I do think that no matter where you give birth, a doula would be very helpful (especially since both of you have had some negative birth experiences). However, I do want to clarify that the role of a doula is NOT to be a "voice for you if needed." It is out of the scope of practice for doulas to speak to your providers FOR you. The role of the doula is to support you through labor and (if need be) to empower you to speak up if something is happening that is contrary to your wishes. In the above example, if you are wanting to sit on the toilet to go the bathroom and the nurse isn't being friendly about it, your doula is not in the position to tell your nurse why it is that you should be able to use a toilet, but she is in the position to help you find the words so that YOU can tell your nurse why it is that you should be able to use the toilet.
mpprincess's Avatar mpprincess 05:46 PM 06-08-2009
Sorry, I've not been able to get back to my computer.

Thank you all so very much for your help and support.

I do not have an option of a birth center in or attatched to the hospital. I did have a doula with me at my first birth....it just didn't seem to help. As was previously mentioned it wasn't really her place to speak FOR me and I was too focused on trying to relax to feel as though I had the power to make any decisions. I was bullied very much in my "state of weakness".

I'm going to take my husband to the birth center. I have BOBB in the mail on it's way. I've printed several articles and have set up a time for he and I to watch it and then later discuss (also after the visit to the center). I'm really hoping that all of these things will at least help him to see my perspective.

I really feel he came off so strongly because he thought I'd back down. Sometimes I do. Don't get me wrong, we both give and take in many different things. This time I'm VERY adimate. It never occured to me that I'd feel so strong about how my babies came into the world, just that I wanted babies. Now I realize what a complete journey it is.

My husband has never been an "outside of the box" person. I understand that. He sometimes takes my being black and white for him to see. I do know this, he loves me, and his intentions aren't to be selfish, he's just worried for us. He just doesn't understand right now and I have to find the least threatening way to approach him.

I'll let you all know how it goes!
Adasmommy's Avatar Adasmommy 02:00 PM 06-15-2009
Good luck!

I know what you mean about being surprised by how much the "method of birth" matters. I think the advantages to the baby of staying away from a hospital ought to be persuasive enough, but there really is something to it that is very personal to the mother, too, because interventions are intervening in our bodies and our plans for our babies, and undermining a lot of spiritual, mental, and physical work that we are doing to become mothers. Childbirth is once in a lifetime (every time) and incredibly powerful and worthwhile in its own right.

I told my husband I'm sorry he doesn't get to experience it but he seems happy to let me do it.
Sweetiemommy's Avatar Sweetiemommy 09:40 PM 06-15-2009
It's your body, your birth and ultimately your baby. Your husband has NO legal rights in this situation. He cannot dictate where you birth. And this is your last birth (with him at least, since he is getting his tubes tied, also his decision, I assume). You don't need his permission and I would personally head to the birth center without him. If he can't budge on this issue, which is important to you and involves YOUR BODY, you may want to seek counseling on why he does not feel that you are capable of making a responsible decision. Sorry to be harsh, but he simply has no right to infringe on your birth experience.
Sweetiemommy's Avatar Sweetiemommy 09:45 PM 06-15-2009
Sorry, that was harsh!! I'm just fed up with husbands that don't take their wives comfort and health into account. I know so many husbands who continue this type of misogynistic attitude through the childhood years, expecting their wives to do all the work, while also having ridiculous and unrealistic expectations on what life with kids look like. This probably has nothing to do with your husband! I am just all fired up. Good luck!
Lisa85's Avatar Lisa85 09:47 PM 06-15-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetiemommy View Post
It's your body, your birth and ultimately your baby. Your husband has NO legal rights in this situation. He cannot dictate where you birth. And this is your last birth (with him at least, since he is getting his tubes tied, also his decision, I assume). You don't need his permission and I would personally head to the birth center without him. If he can't budge on this issue, which is important to you and involves YOUR BODY, you may want to seek counseling on why he does not feel that you are capable of making a responsible decision. Sorry to be harsh, but he simply has no right to infringe on your birth experience.
No sense in repeating everything so I'll just say ITA. My 'line' is when dh is pregnant and lactates he can decide to give birth wherever and however he'd like and to breastfeed (or not) for however long he'd like. Until then, it's my decision, end of discussion.
rhiandmoi's Avatar rhiandmoi 09:53 PM 06-15-2009
I think you should let your DH process his fears. Go tour the birth center, and let him ask his big what if to the birth center. I think his fear is something that you need to respect, but he should also be open to the possibility that the BC has a good worst case scenario protocol.
Super~Single~Mama 01:12 AM 06-16-2009
My BF was very nervous about having a birth center birth, and was very adamant that we not have a homebirth. I wasn't so set on a homebirth (although if I get pregnant again that won't be the case) that I couldn't compromise and go to a birth center - but I REFUSED to go to a hospital unless it was an emergency!

We visited the birth center, talked to the midwives, and toured the place and he decided that it was a nice place, and that it would be nice to have the baby there! He then went to each and every prenatal appointment I had, got to know the midwives - and they got to know him. He was respected just as much as I was, got his questions answered, just like I got mine answered. All the midwives knew him by name, and knew that he wanted to participate in the birth. Then he got to spend the night with me and Lincoln in a queen size bed after the birth! It was great - no regrets for either of us.
jillmamma's Avatar jillmamma 10:04 PM 06-16-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Marriage takes two people sometimes compromising. This baby is his baby, too.


I'm married to a "just in case" and "what if" kind of guy. We chose a certified nurse midwife to deliver at the hospital. And you know what? It was awesome!: Dh was a marvelous support person. Nothing was done to me.. I had no interventions of any kind and the baby never left my arms for anything. With the second baby, I even gave birth standing up with my midwife sitting on the floor to catch. Fantastic!

If you never compromise in a marriage.. you may find yourself raising kids alone. And that's not a choice I choose to make.
DH and I are having a similar discussion, and after researching a lot of options, he told me I could do this one. I found a practice used by a friend of ours as well, that has both OBs and CNMs, and delivers at a hospital in the Texas Medical Center of Houston. For me, I get my midwife more naturally oriented natural birth, he gets the OB backup if something goes wrong, plus the hospital is just a tunnel away from Texas Childrens with an excellent NICU if we needed it. For US, this seems to be the best compromise. He was not willing to research or read anything I gave him, so in that particular case, I feel I get slightly more say in the matter (besides the fact that any interventions would be done to ME, not him). He still seems to see birth as a medical matter where you need a lot of well trained expertise just in case, and although I respect that I would want help if something went wrong, I don't want to approach birth just from what if everything goes wrong. Good luck with the two of you, and I hope you are able to come up with a decision that works for both of you!
Evergreen's Avatar Evergreen 12:45 PM 06-17-2009
I think that explaining the situation to the midwives will help. I know a lot of men who after meeting the midwives and touring the center completely change their minds!
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