I could just scream! - Mothering Forums
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December 2008 > I could just scream!
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 11:08 PM 11-14-2008
35 weeks along and yesterday Dh tells me he's not comfortable ("freaked out", specifically) with our birthing plans (UC, which HE suggested, but now denies).

I'm completely freaking out, panicking, stayed awake until 2:30am crying my eyes out, I felt so traumatized, out of control and violated at my last birth (same insurance as now, so same hospital, the other ones nearby that I could go to have worse rates in everything maternity related too).

And he doesn't even understand how I'm *feeling*. Just like with many of my other choices in life he doesn't understand why I can't just be like everyone else, and why if millions of women birth in the hospital *why* is it a problem to me? I'm just overreacting.

Same things he feels about the daycare I run. That you know, tough, other people have to leave their kids in daycare (duh I know that I run one) so I should go work elsewhere and put our kids in daycare, what's the big deal? It doesn't even matter that I've done the math and even if I earned $20/hour after childcare costs and taxes I'd bring in $200 more a month than I'm bringing in now with 2.5 kids in my care and financially we are *screwed* right now. I'm sure he thinks we should just ask his mom to provide care for our kids and I should go to work. Regardless of the fact that every part of our lives she becomes enmeshed in gives her more power and control and we both hate that. Regardless that both Dh and I are so annoyed about how she's brainwashed our child that Obama is a "bad bad man", ect, ect.

For him, its just all about earn as much money as you can, even though you may be miserable. He HATES his job, he had to take 6 weeks off last year because he was honest to god suicidally depressed. But he still goes and does it 7 years in and out (he's also like 3 months away from a bachelors degree too that he restarted two weeks ago and then just dropped cuz he flaked and we'll see if he gets back in asap or not). Because it pays the bills. So my desires to stay home with my kids? I should just suck it up and work elsewhere. Um, and yeah, my income making skills would net me around $12-$14 an hour and $20 an hour for my skills (and 7 years of no actual work experience outside the home/daycare) is completely crazy and unobtainable.

I can't imagine UC'ing without his support. Much less with him freaking out on top of it.

JoyofBirth's Avatar JoyofBirth 11:31 PM 11-14-2008
Wow, mama. That sounds really tough. I have no advice or help at all. I'm sorry. I just wanted to give you a big hug and say I'll hear ya anytime you wanna vent. I hope you guys come up with a solution very soon.
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 11:44 PM 11-14-2008
Thanks Jessica. He's so upset that he feels he doesn't get a choice in the matter. I've told him yes the baby is 50% his, but my body is 100% mine. And its not like this has a good compromise here. I either birth at home and do what *I* want, or I birth at home and do what *he* wants. So what about *my* say in the matter? He doesn't even get how upset I am about THAT.
candyapplez's Avatar candyapplez 11:46 PM 11-14-2008
Can you transfer to a midwife and do a homebirth? Other than that

I can empathize about the job I'm a nanny and my DH is always telling me I need a real job.

I hope you get some resolution soon.
Funny Face's Avatar Funny Face 11:48 PM 11-14-2008
The only thing worse than feeling unsupported in something that matters so much is finding out at the last second! I know this must be so hard- I've read the stress you're under in other posts as well. You must feel very betrayed by his sudden change of mind.

Does he expect you to find an OB all of the sudden or just show up at the hospital? Have you tried asking him exactly what his fears are so you could address those individually?

I really hope you can find a solution that works for both of you and gives you a safe haven to birth.

I know how frustrating it is when dh wants you to just go out and get a job, even if the pay off isn't worth it.
namistenicole's Avatar namistenicole 11:59 PM 11-14-2008
StarMama, I'm sorry you're dealing with so much stress right now. My husband is a medical traditionalist too, and confessed the other day that he wished I would just go to the hospital and have a regular birth. Grrrrrrrr...... My only idea for you is to maybe hire a doula so you can birth in the hospital with a little more comfort/support. I know you had to give up your MW plans because of cost, but maybe a doula is a possibility? I don't know what they cost in your area, mine was $650.
hollycat's Avatar hollycat 12:12 AM 11-15-2008
sweetie, im so sorry.
listen, you dont have to solve all your marriage or work or child care issues now. put em aside.

the birth issue is whats up, is there any chance he just had a momentary freakout? can you compromise by doing a UC... with a MW standing by?
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 12:28 AM 11-15-2008
My first choice was a homebirth with a midwife, but we can't afford it, we actually had a pair of wonderful women for awhile before it was very clear we couldn't do it.

I'm trying to find a low cost doula (one that needs certificate hours or some sort) because in our area a doula is about $1200 and yeah, we don't have that (if we could have had that much before the birth we could have afforded the midwives!).

Last second stress is making this so so much worse that's for sure. He figures I can just call kaiser back up and start prenatals with them at this point. He's scared of "me dying". Nothing concrete. I asked him to read. He's too busy with his own life "could you see me reading BIRTHING books?!". Wow, yeah I would think that you could do that.
blooangl's Avatar blooangl 12:18 PM 11-15-2008
I have a couple of friends who are doulas, and basically...they act as labor support, and, by law, can do nothing medical. They can't monitor the baby's heartbeat, they can't check you, they can't move the cord if something is wonky...they can't tell you if it's best to transfer...or not.



I don't want to stress you out further, but many doulas wouldn't be comfortable with a UC.
Funny Face's Avatar Funny Face 02:33 PM 11-15-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by blooangl View Post
I have a couple of friends who are doulas, and basically...they act as labor support, and, by law, can do nothing medical. They can't monitor the baby's heartbeat, they can't check you, they can't move the cord if something is wonky...they can't tell you if it's best to transfer...or not.



I don't want to stress you out further, but many doulas wouldn't be comfortable with a UC.
Maybe I misunderstood but I thought she was trying to find a doula if she goes to the hospital? Have you checked www.bellywomen.net?
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 04:31 PM 11-15-2008
What a horrible, horrible situation, mama! I really feel your desperation! And I am sorry sorry that DH doesn't seem to be able to listen to your feelings! It must be really frustrating. No advice here, but a big , and I hope you will be able to work through your issues together somehow!
mom2annika's Avatar mom2annika 05:28 PM 11-15-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarMama View Post
Last second stress is making this so so much worse that's for sure. He figures I can just call kaiser back up and start prenatals with them at this point. He's scared of "me dying". Nothing concrete. I asked him to read. He's too busy with his own life "could you see me reading BIRTHING books?!". Wow, yeah I would think that you could do that.

Have you seen "Knocked Up"? Even that guy read Penny Simkin's THE BIRTH PARTNER. It's the only one my DH read too for that matter. And he was working offshore in the Gulf at that point, so I'm sure his choice of reading matter was a good joke. Put a paper-bag book cover over it.

Maybe you just need to make a plan that he can opt into or not.

GL!
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 08:43 AM 11-17-2008
How are you now, Lisa? Has the situation changed in any way?
Mamaperk's Avatar Mamaperk 10:43 AM 11-17-2008
Ya know, my DH was not supportive at first ... and eventually came around for our first UC 5 years ago ... he bragged to people about how he was the first person his son saw as he was born, and how his wife birthed a 10lb baby at home with no medical assistance ... blah blah blah.

He is a strong, alpha male type guy ... he wants someone to blame if things go wrong. He's admitted this to me ... he even went as far as to say, "If we're in the hospital and something happens to my wife or baby, I can punch the doctor out" ...

My DH wants to make sure we are safe. He is afraid of birth in many ways because he understands that it is one area in his life where he has absolutely no control, and cannot fix it. He had a little freak out (mind you this is our third up/uc) a couple weeks back when he walked in and saw me listening with the fetoscope ... "What are you doing?" ... and why I didn't just say "listening to baby's heart beat" I don't know but ... "Checking to see if the baby turned breech today" ooooohh boy!!! "Hon, if the baby is breech we're going to the hospital ... I know you are all natural, hippie I know my body, blah blah but I'm not going to stand by and watch my baby suffocate during birth" ... YIKES!!! He just had a momentary freak out and I was able to reassure him that baby was indeed head down because the heartbeat was down low and so were the hiccups ... and he got over it.

Your DH probably is feeling lots of pressure right now. My DH is our sole provider and each time I've gotten pregnant, he started talking about things he can sell to make money or how he can get another job or ... It's almost as if he is working out the stress of having another life depending on him.

Sorry this is so long but I just wanted to let ya know that I've been there ... and things turned out fine. My advice would be to 'table' this discussion with your DH for a couple days ... focus on lovin' him and making him feel secure and loved in other areas of your marriage and life ... Then when he seems to be more open, try discussing these things again. Explain your feelings about being violated or dealing with hospital staff ... put it in 'his' language and relate to him in a way that he will understand. For me, one thing I asked my DH was "WHen was the last time you submitted to an exam where someone examining the inside of your body through your most private body parts?" and he said, "Men get prostate exams" and I asked, "HAVE YOU HAD ONE?" (knowing he had not) and explained that women, the delicate sex that we are, since the time we are 18yrs old are expected to go in for vaginal exams and humiliating medical procedures without question... I also explained that some of the inhibitions I had felt in our lovemaking over the years, was due to this fact ... I don't want other people sticking their hands inside my body, screwing things into my baby's head, deciding for me when it's time for me to push, etc. That helped him to understand a bit ...

Sorry this is so raw and long ... but I just wanted you to know that I've been there and have gone through these sorts of things with my DH. I'm here for you ... feel free to PM me if you wish. ((( Hugs))))
bronxmom's Avatar bronxmom 03:29 PM 11-17-2008
On the birth, maybe this is a far out there idea but are there other women in your area who have UC'ed or at least homebirthed? I have never UC'ed and am not sure I'd be up for it, but if I had that experience I would totally help someone out for free by agreeing to be there and help another mom through it - esp someone in your situation. It wouldn't be professional medical help but it might make you and your DH more comfortable. I feel like you DO need another person on-board at home if you're doing it on your own. Could you try to post on the tribal section to see if there's anyone who could help? Don't know where you are in CA but it seems like there are a lot of Cali pple on these boards.

Another idea is to talk to your partner about how if he's freaked out about the UC, the best thing to calm him is for him to have knowledge and empowerment- and that comes from reading. I'd also recommend the relevant sections of the Birth Partner - it's an easy read, very straightforward and bulleted in places. I think there's a part on what to do if the baby comes and there's no doc/mw there. I'd also make an agreement that you try UC and if you run into any concerns or trouble that you transfer to the ER or call 911. Obviously that would suck but at least you'd give it your best shot.

Sorry - sounds like you're in a tough position.

On the other stuff re work, etc. It sounds like your dh is one of those very "tough" types who believes he needs to suck it up and do what's needed to get by even if he's miserable. I can relate - not so much on the miserable part - but definitely on being someone who believes willpower can trump other stuff and really prizing "toughness". It's taken me a long time to open up, soften and ask for help when it's needed. I like being the one who can "do it all". The problem, as my partner has emphatically pointed out to me, is that this attitude can make you moralistic and way too hard on other pple, esp those closest to you who you feel are not doing everything they can or who you feel are "making excuses" or whatever. Sounds like your dh is stuck in this situation and needs: 1) to be made aware of it and asked for empathy and understanding; 2) talk through his own issues and realize that you guys can work together to make things happen and that you don't want him to be miserable and that you can brainstorm how it's possible for both of you to get what you want - even if not necessarily at the same time. Eg., the priority now is the birth and you and the baby immediate post-partum but that you guys will figure out what can be done so he's not doing a miserable job he hates just to get by even if it takes a while - I'm sure he sees it as you against him and that's just not fair or valid. It's not your fault he's stuck - but him approaching it as a team can help shift all the thinking. I know you won't figure all this out before the birth and that's the most important thing, but trying to have that convo might help shift the dynamics you guys are locked in and allow you to approach the upcoming birth as a team.

Good luck to you guys.

PS - have you thought about using or borrowing against your 2008 tax return for anything related to the birth or just alleviating some financial pressure; I calculated our taxes if the baby is born before Jan 1 and I think we'll get at least $2,000 back ($1K child tax credit alone), which I am thinking of as the baby paying for his own birth B/c I am totally freaked out that we are spending our savings on this homebirth
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 04:34 PM 11-17-2008
Well we've been able to have a non-angry conversation about things, which is a good first step. Both of us said things in anger that we didn't really mean, he knows and cares about my fears, which is a major thing. Both of us have done some research about the midwives available at walnut creek kaiser, and I'm waiting for a return phone call from them today with some questions.

Things are not decided at all yet, but we're working on it...
sbrinton's Avatar sbrinton 02:49 AM 11-18-2008
How would you and he feel about trying to labor for a long time at home and going into the hospital at the last minute? Labor at home long enough that you are well into active labor (around 6-8 cm) and then show up at the hospital to push?
candyapplez's Avatar candyapplez 03:21 AM 11-18-2008
how did the phone call go?
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 04:32 AM 11-18-2008
Sara that's what I've figured if we do the hospital birth, showing up as last minute as possible.

Well the phone call was both good and bad, I wouldn't be risked out of a midwife attending the birth for diet controlled GD, nor would I be risked out for GBS+ status (I was - last pregnancy). However the lady was very rude to me (a big fear coming from the was going to homebirth aspect), and didn't have any midwife appts available until dec 5th. Waiting until I'm 38 weeks along to go in and ask questions isn't really sitting well with me. I'm going to call another close kaiser tommorow (we have several in our area), because I want to actually speak WITH a midwife, and not a desk person.
namistenicole's Avatar namistenicole 01:34 PM 11-18-2008
Yes, keep calling until you get what you need. Eventually you'll get someone who is nice... and eventually someone will get you into a canceled appointment. I'm so glad you have some options, even if they aren't your preferred options. But keep fighting for what you want. Good luck
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 02:08 PM 11-18-2008
Ok so this is SO a topic I'm bringing up in therapy... I was keeping Dh notified of what I was looking into and let him know information I got from kaiser, and from a few doulas and doulas in training... the doula recommended by the midwives we were going to use is willing to take me on for $200 (when in this area the going rates are $800-$1200) and I just got irritated silence from him. Like come on, is my birthing comfort not worth ANYTHING? I know money is really tight here, but I'm not full of it when I say the hospital will push interventions to make their jobs easier/to go with their standard of care.

But I think I'll leave the topic to therapy, so we can actually have a calm talk about it.
namistenicole's Avatar namistenicole 04:12 PM 11-18-2008
Does your Kaiser health insurance cover 100% of all your L&D care? If it's not 100% then you're paying for those extra interventions anyway. And they can be expensive!! Maybe if you put it to him that way $200 won't seem so bad...
annanicole's Avatar annanicole 05:02 PM 11-18-2008
Food for thought. Our husbands sound very similar.

Maybe I can get into your husbands head for you. At this point in your pregnancy your husband not only feels responsible for you but responsible for the new baby. The realization that it's going to be him and him alone taking on that responsiblity by you UC'ing is too much for him right now. Let him voice his concerns all of them, try not to rebut them until he has voiced every concern and has gotten everything he needs to say off his chest. Then you'll get to the real root of what's going on and I bet very much he feels like your safety and the safety of your unborn child are soley on his shoulders, and if you think about that for a moment from his perspective is a very very scary thing!!!

Now on to the money issue again a HUGE deal to a man is financial security. The numbers that you have done put them on paper, show him where you are, show him what can be done and what cannot be done. leave the mother in law issue out of this conversation...it will go no place good

And I'm a firm beleiver in this baby in your belly belongs to you and your husband. And yes it is your body but a terrifying birthing process for either you or your husband is not a good thing.

Good luck Mama, I'm sorry this is happening now this late in the game!!!!
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 05:49 PM 11-18-2008
Nope Kaiser doesn't cover 100%, however the billing is only for each 24 hours in the hospital ($400 for both mom and baby) and there is no percentages to be paid for say extra interventions/medications and such.

Oh Annanicole I so know he feels very responsible for the baby and me, I completely get why he's worried, especially considering my first birth (bullied into a induction because they said I had pre-e and then found out after delivery that no, I didn't have it) where he was in tears worried I was going to die.

I'm so so angry because he brought up the idea of UC'ing (I wouldn't have considered it otherwise), and then decided that he wouldn't tell me about how he was feeling until our therapist dragged it out of him because he 'knew it would cause a fight'. He's been doing this a lot lately with a lot of subjects, either entirely avoiding conflict and conversation or intentionally letting me believe things that aren't true in order to avoid conflict. If I can't trust him to be honest, then I'm just completely thrown for a loop and have no idea which way is up!

And I am angry that he'd be upset about $200 for a doula. Really angry. When I bring up my fears about the hospital he just simply doesn't *believe* that my fears are founded in reality (like that the hospital would push interventions... he thinks it would be 'easier' for them to just leave us alone if that's what we want). That's another for-therapy conversation there though, I've gone round and round with him on it already with no luck.
annanicole's Avatar annanicole 07:33 PM 11-18-2008
lol you might be married to my husband. He thinks by not saying anything and avoiding an argument is sooo much better then him stomping through the house angry slamming cupboards and just plain not talking. YEAH RIGHT!

I didn't find out how anxious my husband was about us having a homebirth until I decided that I wanted to switch back to my previous midwife group where b/c of distance we could only have a birth center birth. dopey men.

Here's what I think for you. You are more enlightened this time, you know how to say no, Doula's can't speak for you, your husband can!!! And I think if you do go the hospital route to assuage your husbands fears, your husbands responsibilities are to protect you and your birth.

good luck mama!!!!
candyapplez's Avatar candyapplez 03:25 AM 11-19-2008
StarMama
You're in my thoughts and I'll keep praying for you keep us posted!

I'd do the doula my dh thought it was a waste with Bryce and after the birth he was glad we did it.
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 01:26 PM 11-19-2008
So you have decided for sure to give birth at the hospital then? That must be a bit of an adjustment. I admire you for just going with what DH said... of course his feelings are very important, but I am not sure I could do that... perhaps that's why I haven't got a husband though ! Of course you are upset about the doula issue, I think she is giving you a pretty good deal for $200! I wish you a lot of strength!
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 01:58 PM 11-19-2008
Well I haven't decided for sure anything yet... but I've decided to at least look at how the midwife situation works at kaiser.
StarMama's Avatar StarMama 08:08 PM 11-19-2008
Well after much fighting I have an appointment with a midwife at kaiser on friday morning (if my MIL can cover the daycare). I'm really sad, I don't want to even go. *Sigh*

The lady on the phone was such a PAIN! Trying to get me to come in and see an OB instead, saying that my questions could be answered in a hospital tour (um really, the tour person could tell me what the standards of care are regarding constant/intermittant monitoring, having a heplock instead of an IV, birthing in my choice of positions, ect?). I certainly hope that the midwife I'm seeing will be a little more understanding about my desires in childbirth.
mom2annika's Avatar mom2annika 01:54 AM 11-20-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarMama View Post
Well after much fighting I have an appointment with a midwife at kaiser on friday morning (if my MIL can cover the daycare). I'm really sad, I don't want to even go. *Sigh*

The lady on the phone was such a PAIN! Trying to get me to come in and see an OB instead, saying that my questions could be answered in a hospital tour (um really, the tour person could tell me what the standards of care are regarding constant/intermittant monitoring, having a heplock instead of an IV, birthing in my choice of positions, ect?). I certainly hope that the midwife I'm seeing will be a little more understanding about my desires in childbirth.
Well, I'm sure the tour person could give the standard answers, but you probably already know what those are! (i.e. "whatever's most convenient for us"?) No, a tour person---probably a nurse---wouldn't have that info because those decisions are made by the OBs or midwives and then put into your chart...where the nurses can't touch them, only follow orders.

FWIW my first DD was born in a hospital that was NOT natural-childbirth friendly. I had no drugs and she was perfect (9 and 10 on her Apgars). I could not have accomplished that without a doula. I'm a little older/wiser now, and my doula has retired, so we'll be on our own for this one. But we're not planning on going back to the hospital either. We're using a free-standing birth center with two midwives (both of whom sincerely want to be there for every birth...it's a new center).

$200 could save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run and seems pretty cheap. I paid $800 for my doula almost 4 years ago (including a 6 week, 18 hour CBE class). The goal of the hospital is to get you in and out as quickly as possible to make room for the next patient.

I hope you guys can work it out! GL!
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