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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have been logistically separated for five months and he will be coming to stay with the kids and I for one month in one short week and I am a little scared about being in a "real" marriage again.

Background: We got pregnant with our fourth and I had severe "morning" (read all day and night) sickness for the first ten weeks. Then hubby had to travel and while he was gone our eldest had some severe medical issues that came to a head and I started to bleed heavily and could not get into a doctor for three weeks to determine the cause. Major stress.

We got a diagnosis for the eldest and where told that she would need surgery, and I got into a doctor and found out that the baby was Okay and that maybe my nursing our 2 year old was the problem. All this was done when he was traveling, and I felt very much alone with the stress.

When we figured out what was wrong with our eldest we decided (and I very much supported) that I should take all the kids back to the states to go to a pediatric hospital and have a specialist deal with it as it would be a life-long issue and we wanted someone who only did kids and who we would not ever feel like we didn't understand due to language issues.

So I relocated the kids to my parents house and set up an appointment with the hospital, and then our host country (Japan) had an earthquake with radiation concerns for pregnant women and we decided that it would be best just to stay put until baby was born. When we left it was sudden, but I knew that with all things going on there would a chance that it would last this whole pregnancy.

This all makes sense and I think we made the right choices, but it has definitely put a strain on our marriage and my mental health. I am exhausted with this pregnancy (four weeks left!!!) and with dealing with three kids who haven't seen their father in a long time and just plain dealing with the knowledge that I do have a husband who could help but is half a wold away. (We have been together twice for a week each time, so the toddler still has a grasp on who his daddy is). I know that other people do this sort of thing for longer periods, but the fact that it was all sort of "up in the air" for so long kind of messed with my head.

Current issues: I need so much more sleep! My middle child has been sleep walking/peeing and my youngest is just plain hard to nap with the set up we have and I haven't managed to fix it. I finally broke last week and scared everyone with the fact that I really could not stop crying for two days, so I am now getting some help with the older kids so that I can nap whenever I get the baby to sleep and that has helped my physical/mental breakdown.

My problem is that my husband still doesn't get it, because he doesn't see it. We talk or email every few days and I tried to tell him how tired I was, and all I got was "OMG so am I I have had to work until 6:00 all this week"! When I told him how close I was to losing it, I still had to hear about how "women seem to need more sleep than men, I function on much less without freaking out". Okay.

I am worried that when he comes I will be expected to take care of his jet-lag and that he won't be very helpful at first--and in my mind I needed him here last month, so waiting for him to adjust will be painful.

My other issue is that I have a problem with him as a birth partner. He is afraid of blood and freaked when I am in pain and is just no help at all, yet since he is that daddy I am expected to be happy that he is here for the very end of this pregnancy? He refuses to learn about childbirth, and has no tolerance for me acting like anything hurts, so contractions that leave me on my knees or unable to talk are spent with him yelling: "get up, talk to me...." just out of fear and it's really not fun. I don't like to push in front of him as it hurts and he really just stresses me out. We almost missed the hospital with our third as I didn't want to deal with him and almost waited too long to wake him up.

He was here for our first baby and our third, and I really did not find him helpful. With our second he was traveling and I had an acquaintance as my birth partner as we had just moved, and I hemorrhaged and had to have an unmediated "vaginal scrub" (holy heck it was awful) and I still count that as my least stressful birth
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I wanted a peaceful home birth for this baby, and with him here it is just not an option, so I am having to let that go (unless of course baby hurries up and comes this week).

So many issues, most can be boiled down to that fact that we don't seem to "hear" each other. I am sure he isn't as thoughtless as I think he is. I am sure he is missing me and his kids a lot. Alas I am bitter that I have had to shoulder so much of our issues alone, even though I know we didn't have an ideal choice. I know it isn't his fault, but I feel like he doesn't give me credit for having to do so many trying things this year. The whole diagnosis after repeat illnesses we went through with my daughter was done almost exclusively when he was gone (for work) and I have never felt that he really understood how trying that was for me. He was home for her last two tests, so feels like he really a part of it, but he was not the one who the doctors where calling crazy for insisting that more be done. At the point he was there, it was clear there was a real problem and I wasn't just making things up so we were treated much better than all the previous times I drug my three kids and pregnant bleeding self in for emergency appointments.

Phew... That felt good to let out!

Any ideas on how I can let my anger go, and just reconnect with my hubby in the month we get to spend together? I really do love him, and am okay with the fact that he was not born to be a birth coach! Wish I could find a way to talk him out of wanting to go with me to the hospital...After this next month the plan is to wait another month after he leaves for work and I will fly all the kids back to wherever we will be living at that time (forgot to mention we may be relocated to another country in the meantime--so much going on). TIA
 

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I feel like I have to comment because this is the kind of post where if you see a lot of views without comments, you're going to feel unheard.

I don't know what you should do about reconnecting. I don't see how your DH could possibly understand how tired you are--you have three small children (and one is sleepwalking? !!) and are pregnant. You do need more sleep than he does because you're gestating and you're getting less.

I think you should find another person to go with you to the birthing center and ask that he stay at home with the children. I don't see how you could have a peaceful homebirth with three little kids and a husband who is not clued in to anything. I don't see why he needs to be the one with you. You're giving birth, for goodness sake. This is one time when it can be all about you. If you think he can't handle taking care of the children, then get someone else to stay with the kids at home and ask another someone else to take care of you at the birth.

I don't think you need to worry about reconnecting with him and not resenting him and all of that. You have a lot on your plate! Let him worry about that.
 

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I'm also parenting alone- though DH and I are together- we're physically apart- it's just the way things are for now. I'm pregnant and I'm tired and when I did call last night to tell him I had reached the end of my rope- he reminded me that it was long distance and I should use the computer to skype instead. I was in tears and hiding in the bathroom because it was the only quiet room in the house at the time.

I don't know what to say in terms of advice because I'm in a very similar place. DH is better about labor, but he's not great. I kind of plan to be on my own with him in the room. Last time, he had the audacity to complain about being tired. At that point I had been in labor for 20 hours and it wasn't progressing well. I'm pretty sure I threw a shoe at him.

:)

Take care of yourself for now. He's not hearing you, and you shouldn't have to MAKE him hear you. Reconnect as you can and focus on self care while you need to. Look for support in other places if you need to.
 

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my dh was in the military, so i get where you're coming from.

at first it will be weird. he won't know how or why you keep the house running in the way you do. he'll sort of mess up your flow and it might be that you snap a bit at each other, but it's normal. you guys should talk about that.

it's irrational for you to mad at him for being unable to be there, that's true, but it dosnt mean that it's not normal. you just have to work through it. you should talk to him about that too. your anger, the fact that you know it's unfair and irrational but that you need to work through it and you need him to be understanding while you do. you also need actually try to let go of it though. i think that's easier if you can be honest about your feelings and if he can be tolerant.

and for your birth, seriously, get a doula. plenty of dads who want to be there but have a hard time with it, are more comfortable being able to support mom by handling water, food, clean up, etc. while someone else does the hands-on part. IME dads like you describe often become much more comfortable and helpful when you add a birth partner who can fill in to the parts that he finds scary.

hth!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks ladies, for the advice and letting me vent!

I talked to my husband --who will be here in 12 hours!!!!-- about not being there for the birth and he was totally on board with that idea. Unless something weird happens, my cousin will be my doula and she has done it before. Phew. I think "everyone else's expectations" where giving me 7 kinds of heart-attacks and the whole impending labor and birth issue was really what was freaking me out. I was getting a lot of "hold the baby in until hubby gets here" and the fact that I really didn't want him in the room and no one else really gets that was making things worse.

We will get through this, and I will be mindful of my needs and try to ignore all the helpful hints I am getting from my mother
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