My husband and I are planning our third birth, but first HB this April. We discussed this option long before I got pregnant, and he was very scared of the whole thing. After a lot of discussing he agreed to it, and we have had a couple of prenatal appts.

Lately he's brought to my attention that he is still quite frightened and I think my extreme lack of fear, is only serving to confuse him more. I hate seeing my husband like this, and he is proving just how wonderful he is, by supporting my choice regardless.

Part of my wanting to birth at home is because of the close family aspect and he's so much a part of that. I want him to feel that the experience was beautiful and awe inspiring, but I'm afraid his fear will disconnect him.

He is planning on meeting with our midwife and back up OB to talk to them both, and get some of his questions answered and fears resolved. I was just wondering of anyone else out there has experienced this. What did you do? How did you help?

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I'm 35 weeks along and having my first homebirth (but 4th baby). My husband was reacting the same way but he wasn't totally voaclizing it as much as your husband. I finally confronted him about it because through most of the appointments he hadn't really said much of anything. When he finally admitted to me his fear about what could go wrong, I made it a point to call my midwife and relay what he had expressed. He also has a trust of the medical establishment that I don't which makes it more difficult I think for him to relate to why I want to homebirth. Our next appointment ended up being an hour long discussion of all the things that could go wrong, how they are assessed and handled. After that discussion, he had a better understanding of what the risks were and felt much more comfortable with the homebirth. Our midwife was awesome at validating his fears and assuring him that what he was feeling was normal and part of his natural instinct to protect his family. Now he is totally on board with the homebirth idea.
Jen,

Thanks for your response(and all others!) I'm confident that we will move through this, and my husband is determined to. It's nice to hear from someone who's been there and seen it come out ok. Good luck next month! Thanksgiving baby!
Hey Kate...send him to www.fatherstobe.org Lot's of great support for new and expectant dads. Particularily the Fathers-To-Be Handbook. I can highly recommend it.
Doulas can be fantastic support for dads. See my blog.
blessings,
PATRICK
Souds familiar. How is it going? My husband was also hesitant about homebirth but knew it was important to me. I wanted this to be an "our" decision, not a "my" decision. I asked my husband to read Penny Simkin's "The Birth Partner" and we watched Business of Being Born. We interviewed three midwives extensively and he was finally comfortable with the third. He asked her 1.5 hours worth of questions about her experience, emergencies she'd handled and what happens in all sorts of situations. After hearing her confidence with dealing with complications, he was ready to make the switch (I was 35wks). He attended the rest of the appointments with me and we both learned a lot from our midwife- even though we felt we were very well read and knowlegable. He is now VERY proud of our homebirth and his role in it. He went from nearly passing out at the birth of our first (natural, hospital) to catching our second. I'm sure the homebirth is why he has so much more confidence as a parent this time

So, my advice? Be patient with your husband and recognize that his concerns are valid. He wants to protect you and the baby and needs to be reassured that that is compatible with homebirth. After experiencing hospital and homeirth, I believe it is, as long as you are in the hands of a great midwife. If so, she will be able to include your husband in the preparations and birth and educate him on normal birth. Schedule your appointments so he can come and encourage him to ask about his concerns and fears if the midwife doesn't ask him specifically (she probably will).
Carrie,

Thanks for your reply. Things seem to be moving forward and I've just left the door open for him to change his mind if he decides to. Home birth is important to me, but as I've said before, not nearly as important as my husband being able to enjoy the birth of one of our children.

He's been coming to all my appts with me and seems comfortable asking questions when he wants to, and just absorbing the rest of the time. Our mid wife is a wonderfully calming and confident presence and I think she puts him at ease.

We have lots of time so we take it day by day.

Thanks for your advice and encouragement!
I'm SO happy you posted this topic because I was coming on today to post this very same topic!!I am pregnant with my third and due in april as well( we have a lot in common!) My husband is very fearful of a home birth. I had to fairly large babies and a vacuum extraction with the second. He is terrified something will happen to me or the baby.I have tried to ease his fears and we watched some of TBOBB , but he's still not convinced. HE told me he would support me no matter what, but I don't want him to be fearful. THis is a very tough situation and I really would love to have a home birth but I want him to be as comfortable as me. I'm glad everyone is pitching in with their advice. THis is a pretty big road block for me as well. Thanks for posting this blog!
Elliott was born 14 months ago at home. It was an amazing experience: because of many many factors: being at home amidst our familiar smells, noises, etc - without any pressure by hospital staff to reach certain numbers and deadlines. Second, Miguel (my husband) and I had made it a point to prepare for this together. He would be my epidural. We did hypnobirthing classes which was a terrific help in preparing for natural childbirth, and we also attended my midwife's home birthing classes. In those we were rationally told what to expect, how to prepare, what could go wrong (very little). Midwives arrive prepared. Tell your husbands!! We're also expected to have backup doctors etc etc - but am sure you know that. So thirdly, on Elliott's birthday, we lived through this experience togehter, as a couple, in harmony... now knowing how immense the impact of this sharing would be on both of us. Finally, the beauty of it all lies in the discovery and the unfolding of true love that is incarnated in the little human being finally arriving in your home... It is pure magic.
There is a video a dad (and husband of a hb midwife) made called, "Homebirthing Dads". It's pretty simple. He interviews a half dozen Dad's who have experienced home birth and ask them dad questions. It was funny b/c as I watched it I thought, "Who cares about insurance!", but the point is that Dad's worry about different things than we do and that's okay.

Can you connect him up with other homebirth Dads? I know my husband would be open to a phone call if he has questions or just wants to talk about have another Dad's perspective.

I would say definitely get him to the prenatals. Mws are usually really great about involving the Dad.

Good luck!
I think the thing for me and my husband to be comfortable with the home birth was a wonderful midwife who spent time with us and the preparation where they cover everything, including if things go wrong even if it's rare. We had the full transport plan and had to do all the prep work so we knew that if anything went wrong, we knew what we were going to do and where we would go. For me, just knowing that we were educated in all our decisions made me feel empowered and relaxed. It also helped talking to other home birthers and about how they dealt with fears which are normal no matter where you birth. Any chance you can meet with others? Maybe your midwife can introduce you to people who have been through it. Oh, and it really helped my husband to have the doula. He insisted that she help him help me. She was more his doula so that she could guide him in being there for me. While we had the doula, midwife and her birth assistance, the only one I really remember was my husband. It was so wonderful and made us even closer as a couple and parents. Good luck!

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