My 4th, his 1st, baby. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 01-15-2010, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think this is the right place to post this.

My littles are 5, 7, 10. My husband loves them, cares for them when they're here, but as their dad and I share custody fairly equally, is def. their stepfather as opposed to their father figure, if that makes sense? And I'm the primary decision maker about their health, major issues, etc.

We're expecting a baby in June -- he's thrilled, I'm excited, kids are over the moon (they've got three other half siblings and three stepsiblings and generally enjoy the dynamic of having a huge family at their dad's).

DH has been great -- understanding about my exhaustion, extremely helpful around the house in spite of working long hours. BUT. Since I've done this three times before, he seems totally uninterested in learning about childbirth, in reading about parenting issues, etc, in spite of my expressing a desire to not be the sole decision maker for our baby. He came to the midwife appt (hired midwives after 2 UC's) and interrupted while they asked about my first 3 births, even contradicted me a few times as I told the stories. Interrupted when they asked about medical allergies to talk about antihistamines generally. Then finally walked away when it came time to check heartbeat/fundal height.

I'm really confused by his behavior, and really concerned. I can't tell if he feels left out (he met my kids about 2.5 years ago; their stepmother was involved in their lives within 2 weeks of their dad moving out 5 years ago), or if he's worried, or ... or ... what?

He acts arrogantly about things -- that is, a woman at a concert he was at had a baby once, and he was next to her when she keeled over in labor, so he's cocky about our birth. His mother cloth diapered his brother, so he's got mad opinions about some elaborate system for cloth diapering, which he's totally welcome to set up. But then says to me last night, "The placenta is that thing that wraps around the baby, right?"

I feel like he's totally disconnected from the birth. He seems dumbfounded that I'd expect him to learn a little bit about birthing and supporting me during labor.

And I appreciate his total willingness to follow the same path I've followed with the first three, but my first husband left me to the decisions -- and then resented me for making all the decisions. I don't want to set up that dynamic in our marriage. I want my husband to know I respect him as a partner, and a capable father.

This is long -- I'm sorry! But any help?
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#2 of 9 Old 01-15-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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He sounds a lot of first time dads! I know when I was prego with DS, DH had "man things" that he had deemed his domain. Like I wasn't allowed to set up the pack and play. That was something he wanted to do. He understood how to put it together, and damnit he was going to do it.
Then things that I wanted him to get involved in, like the decision to vax or circ he just looked at me blankly like "this is baby talk, I'm out of here" He's probably cocky about birth because it scares the crap out of him but you have obviously lived through it before, so he doesn't want to make a fuss and look silly. Men are fragile egoed creatures!

I think it's a little cute.

Anyway, with the comment you made about your ex resenting you for making all the decisions. I don't know all the dynamics that went on there, but I'm betting that was an after thought. Once your relationship was on the rocks and he was looking for things to be cross with you about he thought of that one.

Good luck, congratulations, and don't let the hormones get the better of you!

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#3 of 9 Old 01-15-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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That's so interesting! I guess I'm in a nearly opposite situation. My DH has 2 children, and this pregnancy is my first. He's being ADORABLE wanting to learn and read and talk to me about all of it. I'm not sure if he really was so uninvolved in the previous ones that he truly knows nothing, or if he's humoring me, to make this feel more special for me. Either way is funny and sweet, but I really think it's genuine -- that he paid attention to nothing before and is now fascinated.

I don't know him, but from your description it sounds like maybe your DH is just really intimidated that you've had this experience 3 times before, so he puts up a front. You could try reminding him that no one is really an expert, as every pregnancy is different, and you'd really like his input, since you did too much yourself before and would prefer a partner approach, and see if he mellows out at all. good luck!

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#4 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morgainesmama View Post
But then says to me last night, "The placenta is that thing that wraps around the baby, right?"
I don't have a whole lot of advice about this, as DH and I don't have any children together yet (I have a wonderful DSD though). However, the above made me laugh a little bit. Neither my DH (who obviously has one child, my mother (who has had 2 children) nor her SO (who for all intents and purposes has 6 children) knew what the placenta was. I was explaining that when I have babies, I would like to encapsulate the placenta etc. I showed them pictures of placentas, and they ALL said "How does the baby fit in that?"

Good luck!
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#5 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your replies! I actually had a great talk with DH after posting and reading what was said, and I feel like we're on the same page again.

He was somewhere between afraid of the pregnancy/birth and afraid to be "not-in-the-know" about them, I think -- leading to the mix of what came off as half cockiness, half ignorance, even though on other levels he was being really kind and supportive.

A lot of the problem, too, is that he perceives me as an expert of sorts, even though I'm really nothing of the sort -- involved in the LLL and babywearing communities pretty heavily, and with an AMAZING IRL network of awesome, crunchy, brilliant women, but no kind of expert .

Really, though, I need to focus on how lucky I am that he respects and agrees with the majority of the major decisions I've made with the first three -- he came into my life when all three of my kids would be frequently piled into my bed by morning, and never complained or raised an eyebrow, other than to thank me when I eventually got a king-sized bed to fit my kids kids plus my man . He didn't raise eyebrows about non vaxing, or the fact I was nursing my then 3yo, or that I'd UCed, or left the boys intact -- he had questions then, but always respectful and politely worded, even though he'd never been exposed to the crunchalicious lifestyle I led before me.

And now he knows what a placenta is . I never got around to planting the boys', so they're still in my freezer after 7 and 5 years -- I guess I should be glad he never balked at that either -- and I pulled out the more recent and less freezerburned of the two to show him.
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#6 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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my husband didnt start preparing for the birth of our baby until about 2 hours after i gave birth!
they dont really "get it" until babe is here i think, at least my husband doesnt!

sounds totally normal, hope he jumps on the band wagon at some point and keep bringing up things that he has a choice on.
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#7 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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In all fairness to your dh, I'm on pregnancy number three with my husband and he's always been fairly disconnected from the pregnancies. With each of my pregnancies, he's only been to one appointment (with the last two it was the first one to see how he felt about the provider.) He never heard ds's heartbeat until I was in labor.

He is a GREAT father, just really disconnected until the baby is out.

Mama of three.
 
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#8 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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I'm sort of starting to think that all men are just little kids inside to a certain extent

My SO absolutely INSISTED on buying a $20 dress for dd the other day (I did manage to eventually convince him to return it since we really can't afford that right now) but when I try to talk to him about not vaxing and other things that are really important he seems to get bored quickly. It's like he gets his mind made up by one little thing (i.e. his sister nursed her kids for 6 months each, so that's it....we should only nurse dd for 6 months) and then nothing I say after that penetrates his skull.

I think the pp's are right that it can be overwhelming to a new dad and he is just relating the best way he knows how. Mybf acts like a know-it-all based on his limited secondhand knowledge and his interactions with ds (who is not his) but under the bravado I think he is actually nervous that he just doesn't know enough and can't keep up with all the books and big words I keep throwing at him. encapsulating the placenta, prodromal labor, etc, just seems to alienate him. I don't want to say I "dumb it down" but I try to keep it casual and laid back and to describe things in laymen's terms so that he doesn't feel like I'm trying to trick him into agreeing to a decision that I might have researched but that he really knows nothing about.

I would try just tackling one topic at a time, gently, and not being super pushy about it. I just drop a fact or two, matter of factly (and often as though I JUST found out myself so as not to come across like I'm "educating" him) and leave it alone for a day or two. The Dr. Sears books are great too.....I got a couple secondhand and leave them in the bathroom....captive audiences will read anything, lol.

I'm just throwing stuff out there, don't know if any of that helps, but I would say not to worry too much.....he and I butt heads a lot about how to raise my ds but when it comes down to it he has stepped up in a way that even ds' own father wouldn't do, so I am confident that no matter how he acts, he will be a great dad when the time comes. It is hard when you already have kids but this is his first!

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#9 of 9 Old 01-23-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackies Ladybug View Post
my husband didnt start preparing for the birth of our baby until about 2 hours after i gave birth!
they dont really "get it" until babe is here i think, at least my husband doesnt!

sounds totally normal, hope he jumps on the band wagon at some point and keep bringing up things that he has a choice on.
My words exactly
My husband would rub my belly, talk to babe and even came too appts, but I think it's only because he felt he HAD to or I would go all crazy-pregnant-lady on him. Deep down I knew he loved seeing his babies on the u/s screen or hearing his babies hearts beating, but he wouldn't think his life was over if he didn't get to see and hear certain aspects of my pregnancies. lol

Mom to the best 4 little men ever! chicken3.gif
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