Rekindling relationship with DH after traumatic birth - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 09-28-2008, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really want to put things right between us, but I don't know how to go about it.
I feel really betrayed by the fact that he didn't take any interest in learning about pregnancy and birth, that he didn't do the simple things I'd asked him to do while I was in labour (encourage me to drink and be nice to me), and that he didn't do anything to protect me and DD during our hospital transfer nightmare.
I feel that the whole awfulness could have been avoided if he'd made sure I drank enough (I ended up getting pretty dehydrated) and if he'd just believed in my ability to do it and told me so. The only reason I agreed to the transfer was because both he and the midwife obviously doubted me - I was sure that I and baby were fine, but I couldn't continue with my 'support' people being so unsupportive.
This lack of faith in me is really worrying me. I'm also worried that he has no respect for me anymore, after having seen me being treated with such disrespect by both the midwife and the hospital personnel. I was basically raped and tortured in front of him (cervix stretched, episiotomy and forceps delivery all without warning or my consent and without any pain relief whatsoever, or as far as I can figure without any good cause either, apart from to punish me for attempting homebirth) and he did absolutely nothing to stop it. Then later when I broke down and begged him to help me get out of the hospital with DD ( they kept us there for 4 days) he exploded in rage and told me the whole thing was my fault, because I didn't trust the doctors (?!) and walked out, leaving me alone there.
We haven't had sex since - tried once about 2 months PP and it was excruciatingly painful for me, not to mention the flashbacks it brought back. I would really like to at least try to be physically intimate with him again, but I need to resolve some of these issues first. I don't know how to bring up the issues without making him angry or defensive, which have been the only reactions I've gotten from him on the very few occasions that I have brought it up.
I guess I just need him to really appreciate how much this has affected me, how worried I am about what it says about the state of our relationship and I need him to make some effort to repair the trust between us.
Any ideas how I can go about this? Is there a structured way we could talk about it without getting him all defensive from the get-go? (I've tried the 'I' statements, but he still just hears criticism)
Thanks for reading this.

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#2 of 7 Old 09-28-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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wow..honestly, i'm not sure I *could* re-establish a relationship under those circumstances.
I think I would have to tell him how much he hurt me. Just discuss taht you are going to say some things that might be hurtful or critical, but you NEED to say them, because it is how you feel. He can't talk, it isn't a conversation, he is LISTENING to what you have to say.

i think I would probably attempt an analogy....tell him that you felt raped. That you felt liek you were held down and horribly, painfully raped RIGHt IN FRONT of him, and ask him how he would feel if, instead of doctors, it was some strnger holding you down and shoving things inside you.
Sadly, it sound like he is of the "trusting doctors" mindset, where he feels that, regardless of how awful, painful or violating it was for you, that what happened to you was "okay" because it was a "medical procedure" done by "doctors".
I think that most men don't understand how horribly violated some women can be by even normal, non-painful gynecological exams and treatment, and to have been treated that way in a violent, painful, disrespectful manner was just as psychologically damaging and physically painful as being raped by a stranger.

the fact that when he exploded in anger, he screamed at you that you should have "listened to the doctors" is REALLY telling to me. it tells me he was NEVER truly on board with the homebirth.

at the same time..he was probably terrified out of his mind. god only knows what was flashing through his mind while you were in labor (I'm not sure of the circumstances of your transfer or how much danger tyou migth have been in?) but odds are, he felt VULNERABLE and SCARED. and most men don't handle thos types of feelings well. so, his "macho" kicked in and he became an a$$, because anger is a defense mechanism, and to a guy, its better to be a complete donkey and lash out in rage than deal with the very terrifying emotions of fear and helplessness that you feel when your wife is in agony and she and your baby might be dying for all you know, and you can't do anything about it.

It sounds really really tough.

don't push the intimacy...personally, it was over 10 MONTHS before i could have relations after my first traumatic birth..and those episodes of "trying" did NOT help my ptsd, or dh and i's relationship when we'd have to abort the attempt with me crying in pain and leaving him frustrated and even more angry and frustrated and confused.

hugs and good luck

CPST
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#3 of 7 Old 09-29-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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In that situation, I would request that he attend marital counseling. It sounds as if you two do not have a foundation upon which to communicate. You will keep trying to share, open up and heal and he will keep hurting you, even if it is inadvertent.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#4 of 7 Old 10-01-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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Our relationship has sufferd since our birth too... he tried to be supportive but didn't do any research & criticized me for researching too much. So he didn't know what I needed for support, but he did try, & I think he was just as freaked out about beeing in the hospital as me. BTW, who the heck was your MW that she doesn't have faith in a birthing woman & why is she a MW? Anyways, yeah, sex has been pretty nonexistant for us & uncomfertable for me. I think maby for different reasons though, instead of feeling that my yoni was violated I feel that it is... I don't know what the word i'm looking for here is... not worthy? I dunno... It was useles during birth, she had to come out a gash in my gut insted. Anyways, I'v really been trying to heal our relationship, but still want nothing to do with sex, & that really stresses our relationship. So, what I did yesterday was look up pictures of lovers (you know really romantic paintings of like Lancelot & guenivere, Romeo & Juliette, etc...) and printed them out, also a beautifull picture of us kissing, then cut them out & glued them to a piece of card bord, today I am going to paint on it. It's a vision board, & has worked for manifesting many other thing in my life, so I figured I would give it a try for this!

ps. maby you could add images of beeing whole, healed, loved & safe to you vision bord. You can use words & phrases too, but use positive present tence ie: "I am healed" insead of "I am working on healing"

Elisha; happy, working, mountain/river/music, single mamma to Charlotte hearts.gif 03/16/08.      http://rivermamma.blogspot.com/

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#5 of 7 Old 10-04-2008, 04:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisabeeprague View Post
I really want to put things right between us, but I don't know how to go about it.
I feel really betrayed by the fact that he didn't take any interest in learning about pregnancy and birth, that he didn't do the simple things I'd asked him to do while I was in labour (encourage me to drink and be nice to me), and that he didn't do anything to protect me and DD during our hospital transfer nightmare.
I feel that the whole awfulness could have been avoided if he'd made sure I drank enough (I ended up getting pretty dehydrated) and if he'd just believed in my ability to do it and told me so. The only reason I agreed to the transfer was because both he and the midwife obviously doubted me - I was sure that I and baby were fine, but I couldn't continue with my 'support' people being so unsupportive.
This lack of faith in me is really worrying me. I'm also worried that he has no respect for me anymore, after having seen me being treated with such disrespect by both the midwife and the hospital personnel. I was basically raped and tortured in front of him (cervix stretched, episiotomy and forceps delivery all without warning or my consent and without any pain relief whatsoever, or as far as I can figure without any good cause either, apart from to punish me for attempting homebirth) and he did absolutely nothing to stop it. Then later when I broke down and begged him to help me get out of the hospital with DD ( they kept us there for 4 days) he exploded in rage and told me the whole thing was my fault, because I didn't trust the doctors (?!) and walked out, leaving me alone there.
We haven't had sex since - tried once about 2 months PP and it was excruciatingly painful for me, not to mention the flashbacks it brought back. I would really like to at least try to be physically intimate with him again, but I need to resolve some of these issues first. I don't know how to bring up the issues without making him angry or defensive, which have been the only reactions I've gotten from him on the very few occasions that I have brought it up.
I guess I just need him to really appreciate how much this has affected me, how worried I am about what it says about the state of our relationship and I need him to make some effort to repair the trust between us.
Any ideas how I can go about this? Is there a structured way we could talk about it without getting him all defensive from the get-go? (I've tried the 'I' statements, but he still just hears criticism)
Thanks for reading this.
Can you just give this to him in the form of a letter? It is short, but I think it is a well written/thought out way of putting how you feel into words, then maybe you could go from there? Also, once communication is established, ask him what his feelings were throughout the whole process-maybe he was very scared, and didn't feel like he could help, but has a hard time admitting it, and takes his emotions out on you instead of being open. I would have been terrified about the thought of you getting hurt, and then angry at myself for not being able to prevent "them" from doing what they did to you/your child.

Momma to G 12/06 A 2/09, AND ANNOUNCING... Welcome big boy! A 5/10/10 9 lbs 10 oz! We and had our 3rd UP/UC!
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#6 of 7 Old 10-06-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
In that situation, I would request that he attend marital counseling. It sounds as if you two do not have a foundation upon which to communicate. You will keep trying to share, open up and heal and he will keep hurting you, even if it is inadvertent.
This. Completely.

Mom of two girls.
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#7 of 7 Old 10-26-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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oh mama. ((((hugs to you)))))
i had a similar situation with my most recent birth, and cannot imagine how much *worse* i would be feeling if my dh was reacting to me like that. im so sorry. i have tears in my eyes reading your post. i would demand marital counseling. there is not a way to get what you need from him without him learning how to open up and see you.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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