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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH is a very supportive and loving man. He defers to me on most issues because he knows I am smarter and more logical than him (that is not a diss to him, it's just truth...he is very smart in his own ways). He has agreed to a UC because I think it's best, and although he has fear, he is dealing.

But I worry about labor. He is not going to freak and call 911 unless I specifically tell him to, but I am afraid of his fear. I am worried about what will be his visable worry while I labor. How do I handle it? He admitted to me the other night that he is worried about what he has to do. I assured him that I don't intend for him to "step into" the role of midwife but I can tell he has lingering doubt. In his mind's eye worst case scenario he sees me bleeding out and the baby not breathing and him trying to deal with this trainwreck all by himself. He has told me that having our MW at the last birth really put his heart at ease because IT GETS HIM OFF THE HOOK OF MAKING DECISIONS.


So how do I deal with this? How do I help him to be less fearful? This is my last baby, my last birth. I am accepting of what happens, whether that be transport or perfect birth. But I don't want him to sabatoge me (it will be accidental, but that won't make me feel any better) with his fear.

Thoughts?
 

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How would you feel about a solo UC?

Many men find it difficult/impossible to step out of the "protector" role in order to allow women the space they need to get into "labor land". While many people have wonderful couple's UCs, you should only have someone at your birth with whom you feel 100% comfortable.

Michel Odent has some fascinating stuff on labor, adrenalin, and the neo cortex. It may help you decide to go it alone. Or it may help your dh become the birth support person you need.
 

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Knowledge is power.

The more information regarding regular, natural births, natural "happenings" during birth, the less likely that he will have fear. I am sure there well be a little nervousness as the day approaches, like there is when you begin any new, important project that you have learned how to do, but have never actually done before; but, as the time goes on, he will become more comfortable in his abilities.

Unless you are a person that needs a lot of support for outside sources, a UC allows you to go inside yourself and find out what you need and just do it. I love the fact that my DH is there for me, but when I am in labor, he just hangs out talking to me and getting me things I may need. I just need him "there" not doing anything, because I am allowing my body to "do" its thing.

If you really desire an UC, then go for it. It sounds like your DH is willing, although a little nervous. That is to be expected. He can keep the phone real handy, "just in case" and 911 is very fast, so there should be no real problem that you two can not handle.

But mostly, give him info, men like that. Let him know exactly what to expect, step by step. Babies will naturally come out, VERY rarely do they need assistance, so there should not be any need for him "do" anything specifically. I believe, the more info he has on natural birth, the less fearful he will be. If he is willing, he'll be there for you.
 

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Yep I agree with them.

I also had this trouble with my dh (who has been told he's a genius his whole life but can't remember things like removing dishes from the table, or to put the parking break on when you're parking on a hill)

I had to bully him and get him to verbalize his fears (the specific ones anyhow) so that I could teach him how to handle each situation. My mw also helped (we did prenatal care with one), and I bought him the G.White book to have as a manual to study so he felt a little better.

I actually don't know if he felt any fear durring that birth, things went really fast (40mins from start to cutting the changing the bed) and he was totally THERE, clicked into me and labored together. Couldn't have been nicer or more perfect.

He did have a breakdown a few weeks later, but the uc was not the problem.
 

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My dh has intellectually accepted that this is for the best, or at least he defers to my knowledge on the subject, but he definitely has his fears. He requested that i list "what if" scenarios and what he could do about them. That seems reasonable to me. If it sets his mind at ease so he can just focus and be there, knowing there is a backup plan for the scary things, then i am happy to oblige. I think that once we are there, he will be so caught up in the birth atmosphere that things will be good.

HTH
 

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my husband finds comfort and inspiration by reading birth stories. we read them together--and that helps bring up all sorts of topics about both of our fears and concerns and how to manage them before they happen (we're not pregnant and we have no children. i'm big into preparation as a way of managing and mitigating my fears).
 

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My dp also finds comfort in reading birth stories (after I prescreen them
j/k). We worked through our fears together. Okay, I worked through my fears and then helped him work through his. The more he learned about the whole process and how things "naturally" should go, the more confident he was. Plus he also feeds off of my confidence, so the way I portrayed things and information to him was positive, and in turn he had a positive outlook. We went over the "what ifs" and all of that. *sigh* It takes time, but the more you support each other and keep learning, the more confident you both will be.
Peace and love to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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How would you feel about a solo UC?
DH would NOT be ok with that. He has been there for the birth of all of his children. No way would he agree to it. And nor would I ultimately want it. I did most of my homebirth labor alone while he set up the pool (3 hour labor) and helped the MW carry things into the house and took care of the children. I didn't need him then. But when it came time to push, which is a very intense time for me emotionally as I let go of the baby, I need him very much. I plan to labor in here in my room, with my music, pretty much alone. But when it comes time to push, I am sure I will need him. And he will want to be there to witness the birth. He says there is NOTHING like it!


Quote:
But mostly, give him info, men like that. Let him know exactly what to expect, step by step. Babies will naturally come out, VERY rarely do they need assistance, so there should not be any need for him "do" anything specifically. I believe, the more info he has on natural birth, the less fearful he will be. If he is willing, he'll be there for you.
He is certainly willing, but he doubts the 'able' part I think. And he is not a big reader, so giving him things to look over is useless because he won't do it. So we talk about it, but I am afraid he is just not 'getting' it. He was willing to make the leap to homebirth with fear, but I think our MW allayed most of what he was afraid of (namely me dying). She was annoying, but very capable. In fact, I wanted a UC for that birth and while he said he obviously couldn't force me to do what he wanted, he was Big Time Scared. After that birth, with no interventions, went very smoothly, he was willing to consider this time having a UC.

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I had to bully him and get him to verbalize his fears (the specific ones anyhow) so that I could teach him how to handle each situation.
This is a really good suggestion. How did you go about getting him to open up? Did you just keep bringing it up over and over until he broke down and told you his specific fears? Because I don't think Dave HAS specific ones. Just sort of an overall unease that I am dumping this into HIS lap. When it's just the opposite! Our hospital births became HIS show because I was too incapacitated by pit to do anything other than scream. It was our home birth that I was the powerhouse birthing woman.

Thanks for letting me bounce this off of you ladies! I knew you would understand! I am glad it isn't just my DH who is having some of these issues. I know it's just because he loves me so much. I need to get him to see that this *is* the safest way for me to birth.....
 

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What about getting a copy of Dr. Gregory White's Emergency Childbirth? My dh liked having a copy of that in our home. It's not a bad book for anyone expecting to get, regardless of their birth choices.

We researched birth (and hence UC) long before we decided to conceive. Okay, I mainly researched and then presented information to dh. Intellectually, he was there. We started watching the Baby Story show on TLC. That's when it really hit him what actually goes on in birth and what complications can come from peopl einterferring. He would be yelling at the TV and telling them to leave the woman or baby alone.

mandy
 

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my husband is very communicative, possibly moreso than most men. even so, getting him to hammer down what he's thinking and feeling can be difficult. Quite honestly, men are not in the practice of figuring out why they feel a certain way, only acting on that idea or fear to mitigate whatever risk they're feeling in regards to the premise.

As an example, your husband was afraid of your dying in childbirth, so to mitigate this fear he wanted someone around who could help you if you were getting dangerously close to death and needed medical attention. He had the fear, he acted in a way that would mitigate that fear.

UC is largely about empowering and overcoming fears instead of mitigating them. This doesn't mean that you're unprepared, but rather that you face your fears, understand where they come from and why, and then look to the underlying (errant) assumptions that are feeding that fear. Then, you're able to see the situation more clearly and overcome that fear.

So, i have learned that 'spiritually' men are protectors. When they are unable to protect, they feel powerless and therefore are fearful (often irrationally). To mitigate this inability to protect, they enlist others whom they think are able to protect (MW, doctors, etc) to aid them in their 'duty' as men--protectors of wives and children.

What many men fail to realize is that, spiritually speaking, there are places where women have to 'go alone' (such as the birth process) and that even the best protectors cannot stop what is happening and they may actually inhibit it and cause more damage and more danger than simply trusting in the woman's ability to do what she needs to do.

It is said in the old wise tales that a woman must walk through her death to bring forth life. birth process is a confrontation of our mortaility. But this is necessary--one way or another (birth process isn't the only way)--for every woman. Every woman must confront her death to bring forth life. This is part of our spirit-growth.

Men confront death through protecting. They're willing to be warriors and hunters to bring us what we need (spiritually, physically, etc). They want to protect us from death and injury--and this is natural to them. But what they often loose sight of is that, as humans and spiritual beings, we also must be willing to confront and walk through death.

Part of this fear is our cultural notion that death is bad or wrong. Death is simply part of life. It can be very good, in fact, and is absolutely appropriate. Of course we do not want death to come 'too soon' but by making peace with death (through warrior/hunter experiences or mother/creative experiences), we overcome the fear of death and truly learn to live.

simply beginning by begging the question of why he fears your death and what death is and means can be a great introduction to this process of overcoming his fears. Also, being pragmatic and pointing out how intervention is more likely to injure or kill you or the child--so that sort of protection, while valued, isn't always the best choice.

in a sense, he's going to have to trust your deepest wisdom--and that can be difficult because it is at cross purposes with his spirit-idenity, to protect.
 

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Wow.....that was beautiful and profound. What a wonderful way to describe men. It was truly inspiring, and I totally agree. (I just never could have found such a beautiful way to explain it)


~Moose
 

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i'm glad that you find it helpful. i hope that you and your husband engage in deep spiritual growth through this experience together.

men are truly wonderful creatures. they have such a different life-experience from ours. extracting ourselves from our cultures can be difficult, but getting down to the basic experience of life--the spirit experience--and talking about that can be very helpful in overcoming social conditioning that may push us to act and react in certian ways.

all the best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went back just now and re-read this thread. Wow. Dave ended up being the strongest force in our UC. He kept my head about me, encouraged me to stay home when I thought about transporting, and was basically all around Good Guy of the (two) Day(s).

I love my dh!
 

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When my DH and I were first discussing homebirth, he expressed a lot of fear. I told him that if, during labor, he could not handle his fear then I would ask him to leave. He was shocked for a moment, then he did a complete 180 and has been very supportive since then. Truthfully, birth is the realm of women, and men are traditionally invited.

If my husband freaks during labor, I WILL ask him to leave. I am highly affected by the energy of those around me. I think though, that you will find your husband to be a pillar of strength when the time comes, as I think mine will be. Manly stoicism helps them deal with situations that they cannot control.
 

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Have him read Unassisted Childbirth by Laura Shanley. It's short, and easy to read -- no big long complicated sentences like in Childbirth Without Fear (sheesh! I'm STILL trying to get through that one!)

Also, go to her website. http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/ Lots of cool pictures and lots of nakedness too, which is a bonus for any guy!


** I actually really truly gave my husband the books I had read in order by photos, or degree of graphic-er-ness. Hey, gotta keep their interest somehow!
 

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Reading all of these responses gives me a little bit of hope but also leaves me feeling very dejected.

The problem here is not my partner (the guy), but my wife. She is vastly uncomfortable with the notion of UC and would much prefer having a midwife (TBA, knowledgeable attendant, someone anyone!) present for the birth. I have tried my level best to get her to understand why that won't work for me.

I have asked her to address her fears. I have asked her to research. I have given her loads of information and facts and statistics. I have told her what I would want/need done in certain what-if scenarios. She has read Emergency Childbirth, The Birth Partner, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Heart & Hands, and one or two others. I have sent her UC birth stories that she has read. I have sat her down to watch the UC birth of Psalm and Zoya. We have gone to crunchy prenatal classes together.

I feel like I have done everything I can to quell her fears and to understand that I need a particular environment in order to birth my babies peacefully and confidently. And that I need her full support in order for this to happen.

Sending her away, I feel, is fast moving from a last resort to my only option. It would be a huge detriment to our relationship, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my health and safety and that of my babies to help her feel comfortable.

I feel like we are at an impasse and I don't know what to do next.

What makes it all the worse for me to deal with is that she is a self-described feminist, who was involved in the anarchist movement in the 80s, and she doesn't understand the importance of autonomy during birth, nor does she understand the importance of being able to give birth without assistance -- the life-long confidence that comes with being able to climb that mountain all by oneself.

A friend of mine suggested that my wife may feel like she has no role during labour/birth, so she is attempting to assume the role of midwife, which is completely antithetical to what I've been saying I want/need for the past year. If I take that away from her, then what does she have left? I feel like the notion of simply being with me is too difficult for her to fully grasp.

I honestly don't know what to do, at this point. I'm going to have her read Childbirth Without Fear (the long sentences won't put her off
) and I'll have a look through Birthing From Within, particularly the art therapy sections, to see if that might be worth giving to her as well. Beyond that, I'm at a serious loss.

ETA: Also, it must be noted that she is over 40 and does not wish to ever be pregnant. She is extremely intellectually-based and statistics-oriented. Anything that can remotely be perceived as new-agey or flakey is an automatic turn-off (which is mightily screwy since she is also a Wiccan priestess). Laura Shanley does not appeal. I've tried.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Chantelhayes View Post
I went back just now and re-read this thread. Wow. Dave ended up being the strongest force in our UC. He kept my head about me, encouraged me to stay home when I thought about transporting, and was basically all around Good Guy of the (two) Day(s).

I love my dh!

That is EXACTLY What happened with my last UC.
My DH was concerned about his role our entire pregnancy and then when it came down to it, he was my rock, and the only reason that I made it through what was the most profound and intense and wonderful experience of my entire life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Originally Posted by kettunainen View Post
ETA: Also, it must be noted that she is over 40 and does not wish to ever be pregnant. She is extremely intellectually-based and statistics-oriented. Anything that can remotely be perceived as new-agey or flakey is an automatic turn-off (which is mightily screwy since she is also a Wiccan priestess). Laura Shanley does not appeal. I've tried.


Perhaps it will turn out as mine did. Dave was so very hesitant about having a UC. In the end, HE was the one that was the solid rock, and he never had fear when she was crowning. He immediately tuned into what was going on. Our doula (my good friend) still is talking about how blown away she was at our communication. Here was a small child literally hanging out of my body and we were talking each other through it. When it came down to it I needed him much more than I thought I would. Not physically but emotionally. I never expected to be in for a 33 hour labor. Even my first baby, an induction!, was less than half that long. I really ended up needing a lot of support and was so glad that he was able to step into that role and be free of his fear for me. He said at the time that he might have had a flicker or two of doubt but all he could focus on was getting ME through the hours and hours of labor.

I hope it works out for you and that she is able to be present for the birth of your babies. Perhaps she is working through some deep seated feelings of regret over not having born children?
 
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