Hello, I'm Erin and new to the boards- also new to homebirthing and unassisted birthing! After my experience birthing DS in a hospital, DH and I both agree on home birth. He would prefer to have a MW there for "just in case". I, on the other hand, want it to be a very private event and don't want anyone there except me, DH, and DS.
DH is "on board" with UC because I've voiced my concerns and preferences to him, and the reasons behind them. I've made it very clear that I'll be more comfortable (and therefore have an easier/better birth experience) if there is no one there pestering me! So he understands. What he doesn't understand is that I need HIM to be my MW, for all intents and purposes :P I need him to be just as educated as I am on the birth process and emergency situations and everything in between. I need him to know that this is a NORMAL process and keep himself calm, so he can help me stay calm. If he's nervous or stressed, it's going to affect me- I don't want that. But he doesn't quite get it. I think he figures he can just step in during labor and play super man.... but he won't now what's going on! I'm sure all would be fine... but at least just for my peace of mind and comfort, I need him 100% on board and willing to get involved before the baby comes.
If you need a midwife, then get a midwife.
I don't think it's fair to put your husband in a position that he doesn't want to be in.
My husband was supportive about UC (100% on board), but didn't educate himself one iota. All he did was support my choices, stay calm and quiet during the labor and birth, and be the father and husband that he is.
My husband is not a midwife, and I didn't feel that I needed a midwife. If I'd felt that I needed a midwife, I would have hired someone for whom it is a calling.
Ok perhaps I worded that wrong... I'm not expecting him to "be a midwife" in the medical sense. I need him to be there to support me (as a MW or doula would do) and be educated on the subject. I won't have a MW there to say "this is what's going on in your body right now, stay calm, you can do this" etc. I feel like DH thinks that if there is a MW present then he doesn't have to KNOW what's going on, because someone else will. Does that make sense? I need him to be more than just "there". I want him to be a part of this as much as I will be.
I don't feel that I need a midwife. And I don't feel that I NEED that support. I already know how to do what I need to do, and know how to handle emergency situations, and how to manage difficulties or stalled labor or any of the above.
What I do feel is that if DH Is going to be there, he needs to BE there and be involved. Otherwise I just want him to steer clear of the whole situation so he doesn't make me nervous!
So I'm just looking for advice on how to encrouage DH to read, watch movies, etc. I've made it as easy as possible for him. I bookmarked only the most important excerpts, and highlighted them, so he can at least read those. I've been trying to get him to watch some movies with me, but he's just not really motivated.
I just don't want to go into labor and him all of a sudden freak out and be asking me questions about what he should do, what's going on, etc. I won't have the time or the want to educate him at that point. At that point, I'll just ask him to leave the room so he doesn't stress me out! lol
Hi Erin! I get what you're saying - that you might want/need help from DH during the birth. However, I agree that putting him in the position of midwife isn't ideal. If you need a midwife, then please hire a midwife! I'm sure you could find someone who'd be super hands off.
That's great that your DH is supportive of your desire to UC. That's huge!!
Kimberly, mom & wife - about pregnancy and birth
DD 2004; 3 babies 2007-08; twin DDs 2009; DD 7/12/11 hospital VBAC after 2 cesareans!
I agree with pps. Actually my biggest issue after finally getting DH on board with a UC has been getting it through his head that he is NOT supposed to be the midwife. That there is nothing that needs to be "done" to make the birth progress normally and what I need from him is purely support and nothing more. I would feel very uncomfortable relying on DH for a midwife's duties - I wouldn't want to put that pressure on him, even if he did have a midwife's skills, which he doesn't. In fact, I am not relying on myself as a midwife either - if I wanted or felt I needed the outside monitering/knowledge that a midwife provides, I would hire one.
So I guess that is to just to say, it sounds like you might be better off hiring a midwife than having a UC, because you seem to want what a midwife can provide. I hope if you look for one you can find one you really trust - maybe one who will stay in another room unless you want her, for example? That way you could still be in private with your DH but have the midwife skills on hand that you seem to want available.
Me and DH and sweet baby DD born 08/2011.
I replied to this yesterday but apparently it never posted?
Anyhow... I believe my wording was incorrect. I was in no way inferring that DH needed to be my MW if the medical sense. I only meant that I would need his emotional support and for him to be as educated as possible about every possibility (we BOTH will be) so that he is not nervous or uncomfortable. Knowledge is power, and that whole bit, right? ;)
If I felt I needed a medical professional there then yes, I'd hire a MW. But that's not what I need. I need DH there to be a part of this amazing experience and unless he is open to learning what to expect, he won't be a very valuable asset to the process! I don't want him to not know what's going on when the time comes and be nervous or worried- therefore making me nervous and worried, despite all my prep.
Does that make better sense?
I would never put him in a position where he had to do more than he felt he was capable of (ie: be a MIDWIFE). I have taken it upon myself to study up on stuff so that I have that knowledge.
All I was asking for was some advice on how to motivate DH to get involved... not how to turn him into a male midwife overnight!
Yeah, ok. That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying. I think watching lots of UC videos would be helpful for you both.
Kimberly, mom & wife - about pregnancy and birth
DD 2004; 3 babies 2007-08; twin DDs 2009; DD 7/12/11 hospital VBAC after 2 cesareans!
Erin- Hi! I just read your op for the first time. I was really excited to hear responses cause I feel I can relate to all those feelings....then I started reading replies and thought, either I totally misunderstood what she wants/is asking OR these other sweet mamas have misunderstood. I agree, with them: if you feel you need a MIDWIFE in every sense of the title than you would benefit from a trained and experienced midwife. BUT I actually didn't think that's what you WERE saying. Maybe cause I felt I could almost have written the entire post myself I just assumed you were totally having the same problem I'm having! I want to know if there's a way to encourage, motivate DH in doing a bit of research without coming off as 'nagging'.
Is there a way to simply spike his interest? I think if he did a bit of research he might be more prepared for a positive experience and thus increasing the peace in the birthing atmosphere when the time comes. Also I think there are several red flags that 'moms/dads to be' should be aware of [but unfortunately are not regularly educated on by caregivers which puzzles me] this is important in decreasing the risks of sad outcomes. For example: Any woman, whether UCing, homebirthing with MW, or planning a hospital birth with OB could suddenly be faced with 'cord prolapse' and have no idea what crucial immediate steps need to be taken to increase the chance of her babies survival. In this case maternal position and efficiency of transport could very well be the difference between life and death, joy or grief. And if this is you and your DH is the one present he could be very helpful in ensuring immediate transport and supporting you in the safest position. That's just one example but there are others that I would feel so happy if DH took the interested in learning what the red flags are and the best way to assist the situation, you know? I think a more educated mom and dad is really important regardless of your birthing choice. Some woman feel they have all the medical safety possible b/c they are under OB care but if you are unaware of these things that could occur at home before labour even onsets then you really are at a disadvantage. And same goes with expecting Dad's and their potential to be as helpful as possible.
I don't mean to bring up scary emergency situations to instil a sense of fear. But to point out that like you said, knowledge can be power, and in rare circumstances that knowledge might turn what could have been tragedy into a miracle!
I have read a UC story that was particularly touching to me with DH. Buuut...it was a bit of convincing to get him to hear it out in the first place. I don't know what would really create an interest for him...
I'll be waiting to hear more ideas! I know there's more momas out there who have been successful with this! Please share! How do you motivate dH????
Sunshinemomma- that is precisely what I was getting at :)
I actually finally got DH to watch The Business of Being Born with me so that he would understand a little more where I'm coming from, and see for himself how HB's go down and that it's nothing to worry about. Of course, they were all MW assisted, but it's a start! :P
We discussed reasons and options after the movie and came to the conclusion that he still would feel more comfortable with a MW present. So now I'll be on the hunt for a MW that is ok with well... staying away from me unless we really need her :P I figure, as long as I can get my HB I'm happy... I just don't want to go back to the hospital. And I think my main concern with a MW is just the same as with any medical person.... I feel like I'd be losing options and be told what to do. I don't want that. I went through that at the hospital and it was horrible. I couldn't relax, none of the nurses or dr's were supportive, my OB actually seemed pissed off that she had to come in at almost midnight-- Like I could help it that I wasn't dilating, no matter how much pitocin they poured into my veins. Pitocin I didn't even want or need (and that made already bad back labor intensely painfu!).
I just don't want to take any chance of going through that again! It destroyed my birth experience and hindered my bonding with DS and made me feel like a horrible mother. So home it is! And DH did a pretty good job of reminding/reassuring me that a MW is not going to be the same as the hospital personnel. [Theoretically] she will be more supportive of our desires and natural birth and will *listen* to us! I think I've just been having a hard time associating ANY sort of birth helper with something GOOD lol
But yes- I want to be educated (MW, OB, or UC) on every possibility. I actually found some MW text books online that I wanted to order, and more MW books about herbs and other remedies/solutions for labor/postpartum issues. I figured if I basically study to become a MW I'll know what I need to know :P But I want DH to be aware, also. I'll be a little busy, you know! lol
But anyhow.... problem solved. I recommend the movie! I've already watched it 2x and love it. I think Laura Shanley also have books/vids you can purchase. www.unassistedchildbirth.com
Other than that... I'm still working on DH so hopefully we can both find some good info that peaks their interests!
I understand what you mean, now. You want him to be able to be present with you and supportive at the birth, rather than nervous.
I don't actually think that it's necessary for him to be educated on the topic (as you might like him to be) in order to be calm and supportive.
As I said, my husband didn't read a thing -- though I would often "share" with him things that interested me -- but during the birth he was very calm and supportive (and this is for a naturally anxious person!). He was very present, did exactly what I needed throughout the day, and just was excellent in every respect.
Sometimes, he did funny things, such as when I asked him to bring the bowl for the placenta, he brought a soup bowl! LOL no way that was going to fit. I told him which bowl to get, and he got that one. Then, we put the placenta in it and he was so into the placenta. We called it "Grandmother" and kept it for about 10 days (drying naturally) before burying it.
Anyway, what I'm saying is that he may not need the education that you think he does to be amazing at the birth.
And, I often invited DH to watch youtube videos and movies with me. Orgasmic birth and birth as we know it were two favorites, plus a lot of unassisted videos on youtube. It was great (so long as they were actual videos, not photo montages, and didn't have cheesy music).
So, that's all that I can offer. :D
Thanks :) You're probably right... he probably doesn't need to know everything :P I guess I just figure what would make me more comfortable in that situation would be the same for him. He mentioned previously his concern for "what if something goes wrong" which is why I figured *knowing* how to handle situations would put him at ease. But thinking back to our last birth, he did do an amazing job even though I didn't think he was retaining anything I told him during the pregnancy :P
LOL to the soup bowl!!!
I also tell him things as I am reading, or as I learn them- hoping it sinks in! I'll def. be getting him to watch more videos with me, as that seems to be the best way to grab his attention.
I would think that him knowing everything you know would ease his mind. I'm sure he wants to feel prepared so that when you're doing your thing and in the zone, he doesn't inadvertently do anything off, right? As your supportive and involved partner, I imagine he'd want to be calm, clear-headed, and not be caught off guard or unpleasantly surprised by whatever comes. My husband didn't read everything I read, but like Zoe, I was often talking to him. I had a lot of processing to do and he got to hear it all, but was right there and listening and behind me all the way. The one thing he did read was Emergency Childbirth. It was crucial (IMHO) that we both knew about certain scenarios and the technicalities of it, and so we both felt better prepared going in to it together like that. It's a quick read, too. :)
Vegetarian Spiritual wife to Joshua (HS sweetheart, together since 1999); mother of Eve (Dec 2003) Cian (March 2009), and Sage (March 2011)! <--!
My book about what I learned from my experiences with childbirth was published April 2011.
It would've been really helpful for me to have a birth sheet on hand to look at during labor. I had all this information and totally forgot to allow for the fact that my memory is horrible in stress situations. A nice piece of paper with all the info would've been awesome.
I know what you mean about your husband. I have been wondering the same thing. I did get him to watch the Business of Being Born and it helped him realize why I wanted a home birth so bad. He's totally on board now with a home birth, only problem is he's more comfortable with a mw also. I just have to get him on board with UC
Hey, we actually went through something similar. I didn't think you meant you wanted your husband to literally be your midwife but to be there in a supportive & understanding way of your choice. My husband and I have talked about UC but we hadn't been completely sure about it. I knew one thing - at home - whether assisted or not assisted, I did want him to be there, and if he wasn't supportive of it, we'd go with a home birth midwife again for my next birth even if it wasn't ultimately what I wanted - because I wanted him to be comfortable too and I want him to be there. He was open to the idea but still nervous about it, mostly for after the birth. I didn't push the idea on him at all (and was still thinking about it a lot myself anyway) - I just mentioned ideas here and there about why it made sense to me, (mostly because I realize how having anyone, even a well meaning midwife there, can be a hindrance - I DO think it affected my labors) and on his own he came and said he was not nervous about it any more and if it was what I wanted to do, he was totally okay with it. He said it made a lot of sense to him after he looked into it more. We have a lot more reading to do on the subject but I totally know what you mean about wanting his support!