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#1 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So this is the article. I'm curious to hear about others' experiences of fathers present at childbirth, especially from the fathers' POV, if possible. My husband and I had always planned on having him there. I find he's the most comforting person to have around me when I'm frightened and I also trust him completely to advocate on my behalf, if necessary. But he was listening to NPR one day and they had a show discussing the fallout of fathers attending the births of their children. We talked about it, and mostly dismissed it as being unlikely. However, just the other day, he was at work talking to a co-worker (female) and she asked him if he were going to be present, and then proceeded to tell him horror stories about all the women she knew who were now single mothers because their husbands couldn't handle, and didn't anticipate, the different ways in which they viewed their wives now that they had seen the birth. He's still planning on being there, but is now wondering if he should just stay close to my head rather than actually watch the birth. That's fine with me...I have an OB to do the actual catching and I don't need him for that!

Anyway, just wondering what people think of this, and if anyone has actually experienced either longer/harder labour (as this article suggests) as a result of the father being there, or are there any men out there who are willing to discuss their (lack of) sexual attraction to their wives after seeing the birth?
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#2 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 03:19 PM
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Having my husband support me through both my births was incredibly intimate and comforting. He also caught our second baby and it was probably his best day ever. We have a great sex life, sorry, tmi, but there it is. We had homebirths. I can imagine he wouldn't have felt so comfortable or solid, or helpful had we had hosp. births with male obs, or other nurses/obs trying to manage my labor. That would have gotten in our way of laboring as a couple. Does that make sense? Mary

ETA: you can read my birth stories at www.lovenaturalbirth.com I detail my hubbie's involvement, if you or your dh want to check it out.

Mary, Mama to 3 boys! 9/05 & 8/08 & 7/12
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#3 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 03:36 PM
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My dh was there at our DS's birth. He watched EVERYTHING. Our sex life is great, he was unphased and even remarked to me in the hospital just hours after birth that I should snag a couple extra pair of the mesh undies they give out because he thought they were super sexy

He was wonderful during labor, he knew exactly what to do to help me with very little instruction from me. I can't imagine not having him there. We are doing a homebirth next time and he will of course be there for that, though he's said he doesn't think he wants to catch because he's worried he will drop the baby.

Em, married to Alex, mom to Samantha (11 yrs) and Cullen (5yrs) and Maybe (5/16/2010) Trying to grow 4,000lbs of produce on .2 acres. See my blog!
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#4 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by emnic77 View Post
My dh was there at our DS's birth. He watched EVERYTHING. Our sex life is great, he was unphased and even remarked to me in the hospital just hours after birth that I should snag a couple extra pair of the mesh undies they give out because he thought they were super sexy

He was wonderful during labor, he knew exactly what to do to help me with very little instruction from me. I can't imagine not having him there. We are doing a homebirth next time and he will of course be there for that, though he's said he doesn't think he wants to catch because he's worried he will drop the baby.
I'm LOL'ing, my DH thought those mesh underwear were pretty hot too!

For us, I would never ever want to labor without my husband. He has said that he cannot imagine not being present at the birth of his child, and would feel robbed if he somehow missed our babies birth. He was VERY nervous about it, and having now been through two and approaching our third labor and birth, we are both really excited. It made us even closer to experience the miracle of life together, and to welcome our children into the world together.

This time we are planning a home birth and we could not be more excited about it. As to the sex life thing.....lets just say that if we did it much more I would probably hurt myself To say that we have a healthy sex life would probably be an understatement.
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#5 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 03:46 PM
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My husband was incredible during both my births. We have a great relationship and a great sex life.
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#6 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 03:54 PM
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My husband was great support at my DD birth. He was behind me, but saw everything in the mirror that we had set up. It hasn't effected our sex life, and if anything, it made our relationship stronger.

Carlin blowkiss.gif - loving life with DH guitar.gif and 2 amazing daughtersenergy.gifbaby.gif



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#7 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 04:38 PM
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DH was decent at DD's birth.

But DD was a hospital birth, with interventions. DH is from an allopathic medicine is the answer to all problems kind of family, and needles/monitors made him relax.

I worry about how he'll do at my next birth, which is to be a planned HB. Worrying is not good for birth.

I think that Odent is correct in that men who don't want to be there, or are turned off by the process should not feel like they have to be. Also, if the mother doesn't want the father there, that is fine. I feel that birth is for women and always has been.

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

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#8 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 05:06 PM
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Didn't get a chance to read the article yet. It's a family urban legend that my dad fought to be there all through my mom's labor and birthing me. Easy to picture, it was important to him and I bet he was awesome.

Still, I was on the fence about having my DH there for our HB. He's not all that great when out of his element. And birth is definitely out of his element. But I wasn't hard line about it and he was there through the whole thing. Actually, I do think our HB was harder on him than me. He ran around trying to manage the MW's assistants who were making a mess of getting the birth tub set up, all the while anxious about how things were going. They were touch and go.

Finally, when it came to pushing, the MW asked him to hold a flashlight. More of an honor than a need, but he certainly was up close and personal for every little thing.

So although he didn't really help me, NOT having him there would have been more of a distraction. And he was part of an incredibly important moment. 2 years ago today . . .

It would have been a bad idea for both of us to have him miss it. That's just our relationship, and our culture to some degree.

Hasn't affected sex at all.

FWIW, I wasn't sure about having my mom present or a doula either. My mom turned out to be SO GREAT! Much calmer than I would have guessed, and so supportive. And my doula was the best! Sometimes it's hard to know. But err on the side of including. You can always send them on an errand during labor if necessary.

Good luck!

PS - I read the article, and although it's trying to be contentious, I pretty much agree with what he's saying. It helped me to know that DH was in and around the house, but not "bugging me" at all during labor and birth. He stayed to the back and only helped when I asked. Also, that was one of the things that bothered me about my doula and MW assistants, when they interrupted my fugue state to tell me to vocalize, or do this or that. I was doing what my body told me to. Don't make me think and discuss things!

So yeah, he's on to something. But I'm not sure about the emotional reaction stuff on the part of the dad. My DH is very proud to have been there for the birth itself, and would have felt very left out if he had been asked to miss it.

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#9 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 05:20 PM
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Our oldest was a homebirth and my husband caught him and cut the cord. He has assisted with all of my births and is working on making baby #6 so I'd say no problem here! I couldn't imagine not having my husband's support during labor and frankly I'd be really tempted to schedule a section if I knew he couldn't be there.
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#10 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 05:33 PM
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I think this is a good Q and I think it's smart to discuss in advance. Certainly, I can see how a man might worry that possibly, watching a baby come out of his DW's vagina may make him perceive said vagina as 'not so sexy' anymore.

I personally was concerned as well, but as we took Bradley training & as time went on, we both started to look forward to birth more & more (& previously, I had dreaded it! Thinking it was only ever gross & unpleasant!) DH even watched birth videos on YouTube on his own & got teary-eyed! (& he's one of the least emotional people I know!)

Eventually, HE got the idea to want to catch DS -which he did!

Our sex life is great & he even wanted some action the day after I got home from the hospital!

The moral of the story is to keep an open mind, keep communication open, don't push, be respectful of his feelings. If he wants to stay by your head, so be it. I would just encourage him to think about these issues! His knee-jerk reaction may be, "EW, GROSS!" because that is the culture we were raised in!! It takes time & introspection to overcome our upbringing in this way, IMO.

DH says he doesn't have a problem at all seeing my vagina as 'not sexy.'

HOWEVER - he DID get a bit "weirded out" a couple times about BFing. I'm an A-cup & always have been. If it had been a few hours since I'd BFed, they'd be nice, big round, probably near C. of course, he thought this was very sexy (hey, they did look hot!) Then he'd see me latch on DS & his brain would get a little confused - wires crossing!!! Of course, he watched me latch on DS over & over. But he's OK with it. He just had to not look at my breasts when I was 'stacked' like that . (Now that DS is 18 mos, they don't get engorged like that anymore anyway.)

***Don't take that to mean he didn't like me BFing! He was unbelievably supportive - provided way more help than the awful hospital-LCs! It's just that a few times he found my breasts arousing, then when he saw me latch DS on, it was a little "weird." But it only happened to him a couple times. For the most part, it was no big deal, not a problem.
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#11 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 05:46 PM
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Birthing with DH was amazing. Seriously, the wedding, the honeymoon? Nothing compared to the feelings I had for him as he helped me. Afterwards I would literally tear up looking at him. I'm sure some of it was the birth high of course.

I also know he was an important, nay, vital factor to me remaining home and birthing vaginally. He *knew* what I needed without asking. He walked me through contractions. And he was stronger than the MW which was essential when helping to move DD past my pubic bone.

Odent's comments bother me on a lot of levels, but I've already hashed it to death on FB.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#12 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:00 PM
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Honestly, yes, my DH was a bit freaked out by how big the baby stretched me out during delivery. He talked about it every once in a while afterwards. But, it didn't affect how he viewed me, physically. He still thinks I'm hot!

I wouldn't want to go through labor without him. If I had to deliver with only one person, I would pick him over any medical doctor any day.

Once again, Chesapeake me!
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#13 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:02 PM
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DH wasn't especially helpful or supportive during DS2's homebirth because it was his first birth (my second) and he was having a really hard time dealing with watching me suffer so much. That said, he was very present during pushing, cried when son was born, and we all ended up soo much closer and more bonded through the experience. He bonded better with our son from seeing him enter the world, and had a much greater respect and sympathy for me after having actually witnessed what it took to birth our baby. Oh, and our sex life is better than ever. I think if you have your husband watch a few birth videos so he can be more prepared for the messy realities with someone else's parts before it happens to yours, he will probably be able to deal with things better. It also helps if your expectations of him and his support are not too high the first time out, so there isn't as much pressure on him to be the perfect protector or support person (They expect this of themselves anyway), it will make things easier. Maybe even have a specific support person other than him in case he has a hard time dealing. That way your less likely to be irritated with him if he's not as suportive as you (or he) would like. Either way, I highly reccomend having hubby there if you are both willing for the sake of family bonding. Plus you'd hate for him to be sorry later that he'd missed it. JMHO

Homeschooling, homebirthing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, APing, UC, super crunchy mom to Ezra(9), Adrian(5), and Lily(May 15) : Non-vaxed mom and babes
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#14 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
HOWEVER - he DID get a bit "weirded out" a couple times about BFing.
Me too, exactly! Ha, ha!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#15 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:07 PM
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I would not have made it through labor without my DH. DS was posterior, and especially transistion was really hard. He did not leave my side for even one second of my 30+ hr labor. The last 11 hours, he did counterpressure for my hips to the point where he was shaking and pale, he never gave up though. We were incredibly connected emotionally, and I felt very intense love for him, and I felt very much so that it was 'our' labor. DH watched the entire time I was pushing, caught DS himself, and cut the cord. He said watching his son being born, and being the first to hold him was the best moment of his life.

DH has said it was incredibly beautiful, and says the same thing about me BFing DS. We are much closer because of the labor, and I actually feel much less self concious about my body around him than I did before.

Mama to Xavian, born 11-24-09
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#16 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:16 PM
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My DH was great, but I didnt really need him for physical support. I really went into a zone and was really just focused on the process. But he was there to watch over me and he even caught our 2nd DS, cut the cord both times and he just really took care of me. Our sex life is even better now that we have kids. He has an all new respect for my body and its abilty to grow, birth and nourish our boys.

Wife to DH, Mom to my Intact Boys DS1: Born 02 Pain Med Free Hospital Birth, BF'ed for 9 Months, Partially Vax'd DS2: Born 06 via UC, BF'ed 3 years 10 months, and UnVax'd
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#17 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:28 PM
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Didn't read the article, so I'm just responding to your question.

My dh was at all my births, 1 hospital and 2 home. I would say that it was a very bonding experience for both of us. I got to see him change from a laid back guy into a loving, protective daddy, and he got to see me be a strong, powerful, goddess. The first few minutes right after the babies were born was especially intimate and wonderful since we got to welcome the boys into the world as a couple, and even spontaneously sing to them.

I think it is important to note that I had a doula/midwife as labor support for all my births, so my husband never had to feel responsible for helping me deal with pain, or stressed about making medical decisions. He just got to be there to hold me when I wanted, and witness his childrens' births. The pressure was pretty much off of him. I highly recommend getting a birth doula.

Judy mom to Dash (9), Corbin (7) and Will (3) :
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#18 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:33 PM
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Honestly, the things I think would make a man more uncomfortable with birth are some of the more common interventions that frequently happen in a hospital setting. Seeing someone you love hooked up to a beeping machine and receiving IV fluids looks scary. I've witnessed a few episiotomies and that is really horrifying to watch someone you love being cut on their most private area.

Not to say that a person can't overcome those experiences, especially knowing in advance what to expect. If your dh can manage to remain connected to you, and the things in the hospital can blur away, I think you'd both find that it is one of life's most engaging, beautiful moments when you are bonded and sealed together in a way you never knew you could be.

fwiw, we have home births, but I've attended a few hospital births with friends, so that's where I'm coming from. Also, once I went in after a miscarriage because I thought I was hemorraging, and the ob was extremely bad with me- I've often described what he did to me as rape because it felt invasive and abusive like that. For dh, that was one of the worst experiences ever, because he witnessed someone he loved being hurt by someone in a place of power.

So, my recommendation is to really talk about how you want your birth to go, and how you can maintain connection to each other throughout. I think visualizing it together is a good thing.
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#19 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, everyone, for the great (and reassuring) stories of your experiences. The idea of a marriage breaking down because of a shared birth experience seemed ridiculous to me, but it's not something I've ever done before, so what do I know? Maybe it's some dirty little secret that no one ever talks about! I think I need to make it clear to him that I don't need him there in a birthing capacity, but just in a supportive capacity. The thing about "being in a zone" that could be interrupted by talking makes sense to me as well -- I never quite understood the "WE are pregnant" or "WE delivered a baby" thing (except as a nice verbal way of encouraging inclusivity within the family) -- as far as I can tell so far, of the two people in this marriage, it's just ME who's pregnant. Thanks again! It's great to hear such positive and sweet stories.
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#20 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 07:14 PM
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My hubby was decent during labor. He tried hard! LOL Anyway hubby was right there during pushing and would move to watch DS. He did tease me later because I made a little poop. LOL I could have done without knowing that! He cut the cord
He even found my c-section fascinating, until he realized out daughter was dying.

We have had no sex problems, except caused by ME! Breastfeeding didn't freak him out either. The details are TMI of that though!
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#21 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 08:34 PM
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i think if i had showed DH this article before our first was born, he may have agreed.. well, maybe not until after she was born.. anyway, he was a bit traumatized by watching her birth .. for her birth he wanted to just be there and watch but the nurses kept pushing him to support me and talk to me, and he knew that was not what i wanted so he didn't listen thankfully, the last thing i wanted in labor was to listen to him talk.. after hte birth he was tired (more so than i was) and just felt lost like he didn't know what to do i think the nurses were making him question his purpose when going into it, we had a plan (everyone leaving me alone) .. anyway the 2nd time, we were more prepared for that and he stayed out of the way, and he was more prepared for what he woudl see and it didn't bother him so much.. - this time, we are planning a homebirth and while i want him to be home, he will have jobs other than supporting me.. above all, if its night time and i'm in early labor, he will be sleeping - i don't want him staying up and being all tired after the baby comes.. he will be the host, in charge of checking on the kids (who will be with my mom), i don't need or want him for labor support and he knows that.. so.. really, i agree with the article.. in an ideal world, my DH would like to see this birth because he has seen the others, so why not, right? but he doesn't need to be right there during labor..

- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10), Bently (2/13) , and Robin (11/15)
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#22 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 09:18 PM
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Well, I'd like to weigh in from a different perspective, my husband having NOT been in the room for our first, but was with our other two.

To this day, one of his biggest upsets was NOT being present for the birth of our first child-he was in the waiting room.

It wasn't even that he was especially supportive or attentive during the birth, his perspective is purely being able to see his child take his/her first breath of life. That's not something that can ever be duplicated.

I think in the case of worrying about him being grossed out or surprised by what he may see, all that is needed is a little preparation. Watch graphic videos of labor and birth-not the "above the pubes" versions like on TLC or Discovery Heath. Take a good childbirth class, where all things labor/birth are discussed and NORMALIZED. The most important thing to remember is that he doesn't HAVE TO be looking at your vagina while you're giving birth. He can focus on you, and if he's up by your head, there's not much he'll see anyway.

I just went and asked my husband to weigh in...he said that not only does he hate that he missed being in the room when our oldest was born, but his father also feels the same way about missing his first two children's births-back when men weren't allowed in.

He also said that seeing me physically give birth has had absolutely no effect on how he views me sexually, and that "any guy who does is just immature and probably shouldn't be having sex anyway."

jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 4 amazing girls, an awesome little boy, and a little surprise making a debut this winter.
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#23 of 57 Old 02-01-2010, 09:19 PM
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I think it is a totally unique and personal thing.
For me...I simply can not give birth without DH!
Seriously...never actually hit full blown labour until he gets home!
When he is there, labour progresses fast and I am calm...well most of the time!
When he leaves the room, even for an instant....I seem to panic! Not sure why, because when not in labour we are both very independent. He is always calm, and quiet and a wonderful presence. I trust him more than any care provider in terms of giving me inner strength.
I have no idea if his presence affects his relationships with our children as he has only ever been there so I have nothing to compare it to. Our sex life has never been impacted by it and I was quite afraid that it would be. Quite the contrary, our relationship seems to intensify and strengthen with each birth.

Oddly enough he does get grossed out by other people's births! Not at all interested in any birth pics or videos that I sometimes want to show him. But totally unfazed by our births.

wbg...constantly amazed by Z , cherishing I , inspired by P , adoring K and still getting butterflies when I wake up with B !
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#24 of 57 Old 02-02-2010, 01:25 AM
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All three of my labors were short, even though my dh was there and he is *not* the type to be a sweet, comforting labor coach. He just kind of...stood there.

Watching our sons born did not lessen his esteem or desire for me in the least, either. All three of the births actually seemed to up his respect and love for me and marked very tender, wonderful times in our marriage. But, too, his view of sexuality, and of beauty, are very different from most Western men and his perception of me is wholly uninfluenced by Western ideas of beauty (lucky for me!) so watching the births, and seeing on my body the after-effects didn't bother him in the least.
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#25 of 57 Old 02-02-2010, 04:40 AM
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I think any time we say "never" or "always" we miss it. My DH held my leg for pushing and cut the cord with the first 2, and caught the third himself. I'm preg. with #4 and our sex life and marriage have never been better.
That said, every person and relationship are different. I'm sure some women will labor better alone, or in the company of women better than with their husband. I don't doubt that some husbands are traumatized by seeing birth, and there may be a very good reason why men are traditionally excluded from birth in most cultures. But it doesn't sound like your husband has any reservations *of his own* about being at the birth, so I say go for it. If he wants to stand by your head, that's okay too!

Mom of 4 aspiring midwife "Friend"ly seeker
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#26 of 57 Old 02-02-2010, 05:22 AM
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I did have a friend tell me after labor her husband no longer touched her and his views on sex changed. i didn't want hubby there for that reason and also didn't want anyone seeing me make a poo which I didn't.

My hubby fainted when I got a blood draw once. Down hard. So I honestly didn't think he would make it. He's also not a great advocate but i had bad back labor and his fists saved the day (push in and it helps so much).

In the end he was the only one there (along with a herd of people in green) and he didn't faint and watched the whole thing. However, when he saw the dr grab the scissors for the episiotomy he started to go down and had to walk away. But he recovered and he has no qualms about sex and usage thereof. He was worried that stitches could make a woman smaller and it did, which for me is not a good thing.
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#27 of 57 Old 02-02-2010, 11:13 AM
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This is actually something I have thought about a lot.

Dh was very "turned off" by pregnancy the first time around. I found this to be VERY hurtful and distressing-- I felt like, "Okay, I no longer fit the "feminine ideal," but in a few months I'll be back to normal again-- what happens when I'm old and plump and gray?" It was a really hard time in our marriage, and we kept having arguments when I would be like, "SNAP OUT OF IT! You love me, get over this mental block you have."

I found it so upsetting that I told him I wanted to have a frank discussion of what it would be like for him to see the birth. He told me he really did not think it would have an effect on him, and I took him at his word.

He was awesome It was really a healing experience, in some ways, from the emotional difficulty of the pregnancy, and we look back on it as a hugely important bonding experience in our marriage. He was proud of me for coping so well and making it through with no pain meds, and I was proud of him for being so supportive and going so long with no sleep (and no oxytocin, even!)

I don't think that seeing the birth had any effect on our sexual relationship; in fact, as soon as I wasn't pregnant anymore (still with a significant post-partum stomach, too), his "issues" went away, and we were both emotionally ready for sex long before my body was.

Oh-- and, for whatever reason, this pregnancy has been much better.

Aspiring to 1 Thessalonians 4:11.Wife to Dh, 2004. Mother to DD 3/07.
So thankful for our healthy baby boy, born Easter morning, 2010!
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#28 of 57 Old 02-02-2010, 12:25 PM
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i've read that article and been thinking about it for a while, especially after my sister had her first baby about a month ago. i think odent's main point should have been more about preparation, rather than strictly discluding men from the birthing room. my mom was present for my sister's labour, which did not go well and ended in a c/s... i try to take my mother's comments on her son-in-law with a grain of salt, but she was really surprised at how unprepared and unhelpful he was to the birthing process. now, he really is a great guy, and a good husband to my sister, but i can see how just following the current trend of having the guy in the room, but not requiring that he be prepared in any specific way could be a hinderance... i don't think he was particularily interested in the specifics of the birth process, and was actually confused that the OB and nurses didn't start offering drugs and surgery earlier into the 24 hour labour! having someone like that, who is emotionally invested in the birth (and i doubt he'd have wanted to miss seeing his son born), but not educated on how best to support the main players would lead to a higher incidence of interventions and surgical outcomes. my BIL is probably pretty typical of the mainstream too... i would guess that a lot of women on here are much more educated about their choices and have taken it upon themselves to educate their partners. if i wasn't so educated about how i want my labour to unfold, and what i think the ramifications of following the mainstream medical model are, i highly doubt that my husband would have been able to or interested in gathering this info on his own... certainly the typical 3 session birthing classes that many couples do these days aren't going to prepare the male partner to truly support and advocate for his labouring partner in a meaningful way.

anyway, i don't think Odent is really talking about the emotional support that male partners offer, or that they don't need or want to see their partners give birth, but that anyone that is in the room with a labouring mother needs to be an educated and prepared presence... so automatically including someone who isn't can hinder the process.

hmm... i just realized this is a longer form of the other article i saw. i guess it does sound like he's more adamant that guys are not emotionally capable of dealing with birth than the edited article i read previously. i do appreciate that he mentions that there hasn't been any academic research into the affect that automatically including the male partner is having. it would be interesting to see if there is a correlation betweeen that and the rise of medicalized births.
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#29 of 57 Old 02-02-2010, 12:45 PM
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Dh was amazing for DS' birth. We had a birth center birth with a male OB. But as you know, most OBs aren't there until the end. So DH held my hand the entire time, he kept the room peaceful, he kept me secure. DH was near my vagina the entire time. He saw DS come out, and he started to tear up. That has not affected our sex life. We have a very active sex life, even now when I'm 29 weeks pregnant. DH says it looks the exact same down there as it did before we had kids. We're having a homebirth this time and DH wants to catch baby. I can't imagine giving birth without him, I would have been so scared. I don't want to give birth with just a bunch of women around me, or by myself, or with just a Midwife. I want the people who I love to be near me, to comfort me, and to embrace in the birth of a new life with me. And that is my DH (amongst a few other people). This is something that needs to be discussed with each couple. I'm sure for some a man can hinder the birth, especially if you're not on good terms. But a loving spouse, probably won't. I could never imagine getting a divorce because my DH saw me give birth. If anything, it has brought us closer together. Starting a new path in life, and respecting eachother more, not just as a partner, but as a parent.
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#30 of 57 Old 02-02-2010, 05:18 PM
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This makes me sooo angry I probably can't even articulate what I want to say.

First of all, I think it's much more likely that the stress a man feels from seeing childbirth comes from seeing the woman he loves being in a strange environment (hospital) and treated in a demoralizing way (not listened to or respected, told what to do and when, managed and "saved" by the medical community, etc.).

IMO, most ob/gyns and hospital births (there are exceptions as always, but I'm speaking generally) make birth scary and stressful. Hmmm, could men be reacting to that at all????!!!!

My dh was present at the birth of our son at home. It was peaceful and calm, he was helpful and looked to our midwife for clues on what to do. It was relaxed and wonderful. There were no strangers in and out, no spotlight on my crotch while I pushed (in fact, I caught baby myself when in an on my knees position in the birth pool), no anxiety.

Plus, the assertion that the dad wanting to touch the baby after birth interfering w/the bonding btw mom and baby and hormonal things going on is just ridiculous. Why doesn't he speak out against the hospital procedures like putting baby in the warmer or unneeded c-sections that interfere????

Instead of kicking dad out how about we become a culture that respects and reveres birth instead of fearing it? It seems like common sense to me.

Surprise, surprise, someone in the medical community is telling women that they don't know what they are doing once again!

Sorry if my post is judgemental, disregard if it's not what you are looking for. Mostly I think the author (and medical community in general) is missing the point entirely and this article is ridiculous.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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