Please please Dh will you READ the birth partner book? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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We've been so strapped for money this pregnancy that we didn't take any birthing classes this time around... the $100 one our insurance covers was useless last time, and anything I'd really like to do cost a lot more... so I bought books off amazon and used book stores...

I didn't fret too much about Dh being all super prepared since the midwives I had chosen were a team and would come over even in early labor if I wished.

But now that we've had to switch plans to either a hospital birth or a UC (and as much as I hate it, I'm just really feeling not comfortable with a UC and a freaked out dh) I REALLY feel its important for Dh to have a clue about labor support.

I'm also going to be having a doula-in-training at the birth as well, and friends who will support me in whatever way they can as well...

I'm just so frustrated! I put post-its in the birth partner book so he could read the parts I really want him to understand, and he hasn't touched it yet. *Sigh*.

I know something is going on with him right now, he's been very withdrawn and grumpy since Wednesday (our hospital tour was tuesday night) but as I've asked him about that too and he assures me everything is ok its just more frustration! Is his depression coming back on? Is he just upset about money? Is he upset about something I did/didn't do? I just don't know.

It doesn't seem to matter how much I talk about the birth and my feelings around it, I think he sees it as a medical situation, like a surgery or something, yk? He commented yesterday that the birth has been ALL I've been talking about for at least 3 weeks after I commented on my poor friend's boyfriend being bombarded at dinner. Well, yeah it is all I'm thinking about pretty much. I mean, really? Huge life changing event around the corner, nervous about where I'm going to be birthing at, nervous about potential emotional and/or physical trauma at the hands of hospital staff I don't trust, ect.

I just really really wish it could all be around ME for a little bit here. About my birthing needs, my emotional needs, he doesn't have to exactly *know* how birth feels for me (really I think that's pretty much impossible for him to get as 1)A man and 2)A man with difficulties dealing with emotions), but certainly understanding that this is a Big Deal (and not on the level of a gallbladder removal or something) and a genuine desire to do whatever I need to support me.

Alrighty tomorrow I'm definitely calling back the doula-to-be I've spoken to briefly. There is another doula-in-training who REALLY wants to be at my birth who's leaving town on the 20th (I'm due on the 19th) so I'm really considering seeing if they *both* want to sign up to be there if they are both in town! Then I'll def. have one doula I can count on, and another who might be there (I've had a feeling that my due date is earlier in the month and that I'll be going earlier in the month, but who knows of course).

Doing my best to make this situation as best as I can regardless of what level of involvement my Dh will be willing to provide (he'll be there for me I know the whole time and do his best in the moment, but having knowledge of comforts he can provide, positions, how to perhaps talk to me best, knowing the stages of labor, ect would be what I really desire) because well I can't MAKE him do anything... but darn it, from about September last year until about April this year we were doing so VERY VERY WELL. Such a team. Working hard to support each other. I miss that. We stopped therapy around then when I was soooo sick from the pregnancy and things just slipped and we're in therapy again but so far we're not having successful visits, but rather leaving unfinished, disjointed, me crying half the time, ect.

Rawr! Thanks for letting me vent mamas. Wish me luck in a convo tomorrow about really letting him know the importance of reading the information I desperately want him to have.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#2 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 12:24 PM
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I'm sorry mama. That's not a fun position to be in at all.
I can't get DH to read The Birth Partner either, and that was the deal when he decided he didn't want to take a class. I find it frustrating, but he is so supportive otherwise, so I can only imagine how that frustration must be magnified for you. I don't think they're really impressed with the life changing importance of birthing until it actually happens in many cases.
Hang in there. Be gentle with yourself! And, good plan with the doulas. Your DH might step up to the plate in the end, but you are wise to take some control and line up people who will for sure be focused on you.

For greater things are yet to come...

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#3 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 12:51 PM
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Hopefully you can find a way to relax and make peace with where your partner is at. Taking control of the birth for yourself, and not worrying so much whether or not he will be able to support you in the way that you want him too. If you have a doula - or two! - and supportive friends who also understand your birth desires then you should be good to go. Surround yourself with those who will support you during the actual labor - this sounds like it may or may not be your dh. The Birth Partner book is great, but that in and of itself is not going to make your dh suddenly this amazing birth partner - that is a big book filled with LOTS of information. Obviously you have read the book yourself, so you will have your own ideas on how you want to be supported for this labor. You can tell people exactly what you want them to do or not do while you are in labor. Trust your doula -she will have lots of tricks up her sleeve if she attended a doula training - which I'm sure she has if she is a "doula-in-training" - I have never heard of that term before - does that just mean she is working for national certification? Remember, she can come over as soon as you start labor and just be there for you...

Trust yourself, what you know. You know a lot. You have strong ideas on how you want your labor to go, so be the strong woman that you are. Most women just go to the hospital and let it happen to them - you are going to be an active participant in this birth - that's wonderful!

Just my 2 cents. I find that it is more stress trying to make your dh into something that he is not then just taking control of the situation for yourself and letting him jump on board whenever and however he can...
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#4 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 01:03 PM
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I wish he would do some things that would at least make you feel like he was invested in this which seems to be the root of the problem for you, not so much just a book, KWIM?

However, men go through their own set of anxieties and mental stuff as the birth approaches. Also remember that traditionally, birth has been a female event. I personally don't even feel like it's all that "natural" for men to be relied upon as support people at births, though I think it's great for them to be there as emotional support, for the birth of their babe, etc. I would be very sad if DH weren't there, and he provides a very, very special type of support to me during labor...but it's entirely different than that of a doula or midwife and I think you are all set with your doula(s) in that respect. Remember also that this birth is going to be highly emotional for him too so even if he DID read the book, it's more than likely going to go out the window in the thick of labor.

I just asked DH if he ever read that book when I was pg the first time because I know I gave it to him to read and he said "no", and I told him about your frustrations and he seems to think it's pretty normal. These are stressful economic times and that is generally where men's minds go I think when the birth is imminent. Not that he shouldn't be supporting you, but I also think sometimes our expectations are a little high.

It also sounds like your anxieties are a little peaked because of your hospital situation. Maybe you could talk to him about that specifically? I'm so sorry you're feeling that way, that makes a HUGE difference in how you're approaching the upcoming birth. It's entirely different from someone who is feeling confident and excited about their caregivers. You are likely feeling like you need a bit of papa bear protection from him right now that you're not getting. (((hugs))) Have you read Birthing From Within? I seem to recall that you didn't have access to a ton of reading material, but if you tool around online even you might find some good insight for how to let go and become more confident about your birth.

mama to 3 girls: Abigail 2.12.05, Eliana 8.26.06, Willa 1.9.09
RN-BSN 5/11, CBE, former doula
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#5 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 03:45 PM
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My dp is similar. Each time he could really care less to be involved in the birth and didn't want to read or learn a thing about it all. This is my 5th birth and I just do it alone and go through the process alone.

He is not one of those men who will be in the birth pool with me or do much of anything, other than rub my shoulder in the same spot really hard until I want to smack him (this is in labor and it's annoying!). He wants to just be there but have as little to do w/ anything as possible. I'm surprised he cut cords! He thinks it's all very gross and disgusting, even seeing or feeling baby in my belly is. It's sad...

I hope he comes around....I know mine never will. We were also going UC until we found a MW who takes our insurance (thankfully!!!!) and it was a hard situation to be the only one on board w/ that and confident in that and have a partner the exact total opposite of one needed for UC. Funny MW wants him w/ me in case of a transfer and needs us to have someone to watch our other children (we have no one) and I am telling her I'd rather him stay behind and watch them (at least I don't have the stress of knowing someone is able to watch them) and the stress of having him around. I'd rather be alone at this point. I even go from not wanting him in my room during the waterbirth to maybe letting him be around. Who needs someone there that thinks it's gross and weird and sick to birth a baby?! Kwim?! I think my birth will be more relaxed and comfy w/out that added crud.

I so know how you feel. I really do. Too bad we don't live near one another so we can be one anothers support team! Good idea about the doula. I would but we have a mw I really feel confident in and an assistant of hers. I think that's enough for me I think you having a doula will be really good for need this to be about YOU and your need a relaxed enviornment to birth in, you deserve it! I think a doula can help in so many ways...especially if you have a partner who can't/won't.
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#6 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 03:55 PM
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My husband would never read a book for me either. If it's a picture book, he *may* look through it, but in general he's a tactile learner (engineer by trade) so he learns best while doing whatever it is. So basically, I've already planned on having a birth team where he is not in a critical role. :

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#7 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AmieV View Post
I wish he would do some things that would at least make you feel like he was invested in this which seems to be the root of the problem for you, not so much just a book, KWIM?
Yes, this is exactly the main thing for sure.

I'm doing my best to get things lined up for a good birth and let him be there in whatever capacity he can be, I'm just really sad that he isn't as involved as I wish he would be.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#8 of 9 Old 11-30-2008, 09:48 PM
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My tactic is I read the BIRTH PARTNER book, which I LOVE by the way, highlighted and put tabs on stuff I wanted DH to pay attention to, then put it by the toilet. Now mind you, I'm due tuesday 12/2 and I put it there about three days ago. He's purused it a little and will only remember a bit at a time, but it works with his learning style. I was beginning to panic that he wouldn't prepare AT ALL, but I think its getting more real the closer it gets.

Lea RN, Wife to Josh (5 years), Mama to DS1 (19 mos)
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#9 of 9 Old 12-01-2008, 01:15 AM
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My dh has also refused to read anything and is fed up with me going on about the birth, telling him info I've read about birth and different support stuff... I've given up. But I feel ok about it now because I've got a doula. He was getting really offended at the mention of a doula, but I had her come over and meet with us, and he was marginally convinced of her usefulness, barring money issues. Well I convinced my brother to get me a doula for xmas and I feel so relieved! Dh can support me as he wants, under direction of someone experienced... who HAS read the books!
Anyways, I hope you get both doula's-to-be, and have a wonderful birth. And I hope he comes around, eventually!

...And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die.

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