Note on Husbands in the Birthing Suite

I was chatting with some friends – two of whom are also in the third trimester – about giving birth. What it was like for us (and what we were like during . . .) and also what it was like for our husbands.

From what I remember, Micah was at his most calm and collected while I breathed through contractions, and even as I was grunting/yelling/vocalizing through the pushing phase.

“You’re doing great, Lizzie. That was a really good one,” he’d say once a contraction had subsided. I’d absorb his words, take another breath, and relax so I could do it again in a minute or so. Never at any moment was there any fear or panic, or even a ruffling of his feathers through either of our children’s births. If I remember correctly, he may have once admitted that it was a little weird to hear my pushing noises. I can understand that. It was weird for me, too. I think, at least the first time, I wondered where that noise had come from before realizing that it was me.

What was labor like for your husband? Did you need him by your side? Was he more nuisance than help? Or could you not have gotten through it without his hand to hold?

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4 Comments

  1. He may be banned next time. And he may be thrilled about that. I labored at home for 24 hours before going in, and he took the dog and left the house, because I “yelled at him too much”. Then, for the next 8 hrs at the hospital, he just doesn’t do well in hospitals. With blood, needles, any of it. I had to force him to go over and see his son and to get away from my head, because he “was afraid to see anything” at the other end. He still curses me for seeing what he did. I always get jealous of “supportive husband” stories.

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    Katy Reply:

    Oh, I don’t mean see the baby while I was pushing. This was after he was delivered, but the cradle was by my feet.

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    lizzie Reply:

    Oh, that is so funny! What did he think he was going to see in the baby’s cradle? Granted, they can be a little funny looking, but they are also so soft and warm and helpless.

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  2. i told caleb during our birthing class we had to take, not to listen to anything they were saying about helping me during labor. “Get right in her face and tell her she’s doing great!” they said. I turned to him and said if you do that to me, I’ll probably hit you. (But not really…) I didn’t get any meds until very near the end (not by choice, though i think i might choose none this time if i labor as quickly) and what he did was perfect for me. Stayed outta my face, and told me when a contraction was peaking so I knew to expect relief soon. Other than that, I wanted quiet, darkness, and to mostly be left alone. 🙂 I don’t even think I held his hand ever.

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    lizzie Reply:

    I agree! If Micah had been any more “involved” or “supportive” I don’t think I would have handled it well. I definitely needed some space and to not have to think about him. I’m curious, if you birthed in a hospital, did they give you the quiet and the dark you needed? I spent so much of my time in the hospital being monitored that there wasn’t much time for me to labor the way I felt my body needed (mostly because I was so far along when we got to the hospital).

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  3. I did hypnobirthing (and about to do it again in a few days/weeks) so I pretty much block out the entire outside world (including my very loving and supportive husband) to focus everything inward. I knew he was there and I appreciated it, but he was pretty quiet – I think he wasn’t sure what he could do. And I didn’t really talk to him at all. So he just got to sit by the jacuzzi tub watching it all happen. This time around, I told him he could be my birth photographer – that way he can have something to do rather than just sitting around. And, while I take a gazillion pics of the babies after they’re born, I realized I have hardly any, if any, of me and my babies right after birth or in the hospital. So, it’s worked out well for us both but I almost think he’s had the harder job – sitting and watching and waiting and feeling kind of like there’s nothing he can do to help. It must be hard. Yet, I appreciate his presence. I am interested to see how it all goes down this third time around! I just hope we make it to the birth center in time! and that we don’t forget the camera 😉

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    lizzie Reply:

    I relate to this. I’ve done hypnobirthing to a degree with the boys (I read a book and practiced relaxing, but I’m not sure I got in as deep as I could have). Micah says when I’m going through a tough contraction he can tell I’m really relaxed and that it is best to just watch me and wait it out. I don’t know that I’m as relaxed as he thinks I am, but it’s good to know that I give the illusion. 🙂 Anyway, I think that is a great idea to have your husband be the photographer! I hope you make it to the birth center on time, too, although I’m sure if you don’t, it will be that much more memorable! Good luck!

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  4. ya know what, it WAS dark in the room. i don’t know if it was because it was in the middle of the night or what. basically, i checked in at 4 am and was at a 6. I told them I wanted an epidural and they said it would take 30-45 min. During that time we were left mostly alone and they had the lights either dimmed or mostly off, which i really was grateful for. I think it just helped me relax. by the time the anesthesiologist was in the room, they checked me and i was at a 9. my labor slowed down quite a bit after they gave me a partial epidural (which i would pick every time if i choose to get one, i could still move my legs and feel pressure). anyway. not sure how this time will go, i’m hoping to labor quickly like last time and go natural, but her position might not make that possible. we shall see!

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