Dads & Dads-to-be

How to prep DH for L&D

I love my DH. He means well and has wanted to be very hands-on and proactive this entire pregnancy. We've discussed the birth plan and other decisions for when our LO gets here. But he threw out a question to me last night and I didn't know how to answer... DH caves whenever I ask him to do something. I try not to abuse this power to easily, but it is what it is. We both feel very stronly about a natural delivery, but I threw out the question, "What if, in a moment of weakness, I ask for an epidural? What would you do?" and he was stumped. He asked what he can do to help me stay strong but he said, "seeing you in any pain isn't good for me; I'll just want to do whatever to make you feel better, even if I know it's not what you want or in your best interest." So how can I prep DH to stay strong in the delivery room? Any advice from you dads?

Daisypath - (2EEx)

Lilypie - (CszI)

 

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Re: How to prep DH for L&D

  • Ultimately, it's your body. If in the moment you want the drugs, I don't think it should be his job to talk you out of it. He can ask "are you sure?" or remind you of your reasons for not wanting them, but I believe it's ultimately up to you.
    http://i.imgur.com/LQTLw2Q.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • I would add, once in L/D, things change pretty quickly. I get the whole natural thing, but at the end of the day, pain get can get in the way of the work you have to do.  That is your call, alone. 

    I certainly would not make that decison for my wife, ever.  When it comes to L/D and breastfeeding, I will listen, but the decisons are hers.

    I would not be so quick to dismiss the epidural.  Easy to now, but L/D can get pretty rough, real quick.  My wife went through two days of being induced, and another 12 hours of labor. Pain management is necessary at times, especially during that time.

    image

  • Hire a doula.
    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • Honestly, I just wanted my DH do listen to me and do what I said. You don't want to have to repeat yourself or worry that what you're asking for is being ignored. Some things you ask for might sound crazy, but when you're in labor you might just need something crazy to make it through. 

    I agree with the PP and you shouldn't ask your DH to try to talk you out of it.  

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  • image ridesbuttons:
    Hire a doula.

    Yes

    ETA: Really, this is up to you, though.  Train yourself.  If you don't want drugs, don't ask for them.

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  •  I know you asked the dads but I am piping in. Ultimately the doctors will listen to you and what you ask for, not to him. Let him off the hook on this one because even if he is strong they will give you an epi if you ask for it. Trust me, you may (read this as probably) feel like killing him if he argues with you on anything during labor. Also be open to anything because I don't know too many people whose labor went exactly as they planned. I've had both natural and with epi, so you will have to see how it is in the moment because no one can ever truely explain birth pain to you and because each birth is unique. Congrats on getting close!

    Proud Mommy to Kaylie 12-04, Alaina 5-06 & Annalise 6-08 imageimage
  • DH and I had a code word for if I really wanted an epidural vs. complaining because it was tough. 

    That way he knew if I was serious and wether to keep encouraging me to get through it or to get me an epi.

    i was induced and ended up using the code word so it worked well for us in that there was no debate about whether I was serious, it also made me really think about it before I used it. 

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    August 24, 2010 Sweetpea is born!

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  • image LuckyDad:
    Ultimately, it's your body. If in the moment you want the drugs, I don't think it should be his job to talk you out of it. He can ask "are you sure?" or remind you of your reasons for not wanting them, but I believe it's ultimately up to you.

    I agree with this. I wouldn't put him in that spot.

    I was hell bent on a natural delivery, having passed 2 kidney stones, I had thought it would be easy. But things didn't go as planned and 26 hours in, much vomiting later, I wanted (needed) an epidural.   I am glad DH wasn't all, "but you said..." at me. I might have punched him in the face had he said that. Instead he said, 'you got it. I'll go get the nurse now." 

  • image ridesbuttons:
    Hire a doula.

    Yes

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  • image ridesbuttons:
    Hire a doula.

    This and also think of a code word to use when you really mean it. That way you can say, "I can't do this. I want drugs, dammit!" all you want to vent. But if you really need them you will have a word to use that he will know means you really want pain relief and you aren't just venting. 

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  • image polooo26:
    image hopecounts:

    DH and I had a code word for if I really wanted an epidural vs. complaining because it was tough. 

    That way he knew if I was serious and wether to keep encouraging me to get through it or to get me an epi.

    i was induced and ended up using the code word so it worked well for us in that there was no debate about whether I was serious, it also made me really think about it before I used it. 

    All I can do is picture someone screaming elephant along with some bad words. Does it make me a bad person if this makes me laugh?

     Not at all. :-)

    i wasn't screaming though.

    I moaned out the code word (pronto) he buzzed the nurse done and done. 

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    Dec. 11 '09 FET... hpt 12/18
    Beta 12/21 151 Beta 2 12/23 284
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    August 24, 2010 Sweetpea is born!

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  • image LuckyDad:
    Ultimately, it's your body. If in the moment you want the drugs, I don't think it should be his job to talk you out of it. He can ask "are you sure?" or remind you of your reasons for not wanting them, but I believe it's ultimately up to you.

    +1


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  • Less "how to prep DH" and more "how to prep yourself"

    I have nothing new to add. Ultimitely it's your decision, dr/nurse is going to ask you and I agree with who ever said they would punch dh for pulling, "but you said..." if you happen to change your mind.

    It's your hot body, you do whatcha want! (don't put that on DH)

     

  • When I saw 17 replies I knew we had been hijacked for a moment.  Pretty funny....

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  • image LuckyDad:
    Ultimately, it's your body. If in the moment you want the drugs, I don't think it should be his job to talk you out of it. He can ask "are you sure?" or remind you of your reasons for not wanting them, but I believe it's ultimately up to you.
    This totally.  FWIW, my DH is the exact same way.  I did end up with a med free birth.  How it worked for us was all in the communication.  When I was struggling, I didn't say that I wanted the drugs because then I would have asked for something I didn't necessarily want.  The communication from my end was expressing what I was struggling with.  I said things like "This is really f'ucking hard!" "I don't know if I can do this anymore."  "WHATTHEFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCKKKKKKKKKK ZOMG AHHHHHHHHHHH THIS SUUUUUUUCCKSSSSSSSSSS"  and things like that. 

    That allowed DH to help me through things by being empathetic & encouraging.  He did not ask if I wanted drugs.  In my birth plan, it stated that I would ask for drugs if I wanted them, and to not offer them unless I asked for them.  That was simple & easy to follow.  DH & the nurses didn't offer drugs to help me with what I was struggling with.  Instead, everyone addressed what I was having issues with.  Yes, it was hard.  You can get through this contraction.  Etc. etc. etc.

    If I had asked for drugs, DH would have had them there in about .02 seconds I'm almost sure.  lol.   If you set yourselves up to not be confused during labor, it is easier to get through it.  GL & feel free to PM if you want to chat more.

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  • image sofamonkey:

    image LuckyDad:
    Ultimately, it's your body. If in the moment you want the drugs, I don't think it should be his job to talk you out of it. He can ask "are you sure?" or remind you of your reasons for not wanting them, but I believe it's ultimately up to you.
    This totally.  FWIW, my DH is the exact same way.  I did end up with a med free birth.  How it worked for us was all in the communication.  When I was struggling, I didn't say that I wanted the drugs because then I would have asked for something I didn't necessarily want.  The communication from my end was expressing what I was struggling with.  I said things like "This is really f'ucking hard!" "I don't know if I can do this anymore."  "WHATTHEFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCKKKKKKKKKK ZOMG AHHHHHHHHHHH THIS SUUUUUUUCCKSSSSSSSSSS"  and things like that. 

    That allowed DH to help me through things by being empathetic & encouraging.  He did not ask if I wanted drugs.  In my birth plan, it stated that I would ask for drugs if I wanted them, and to not offer them unless I asked for them.  That was simple & easy to follow.  DH & the nurses didn't offer drugs to help me with what I was struggling with.  Instead, everyone addressed what I was having issues with.  Yes, it was hard.  You can get through this contraction.  Etc. etc. etc.

    If I had asked for drugs, DH would have had them there in about .02 seconds I'm almost sure.  lol.   If you set yourselves up to not be confused during labor, it is easier to get through it.  GL & feel free to PM if you want to chat more.

    I'm not sure that the bolded part is realistic.  In our case, one day we had a due date, the following day we were being rushed into L/D to be induced, 2 weeks before that due date.  Baby didn't arrive until two days after that.  Two days of going through an unplanned induction kind of trumped all of the planning we did before the day arrived. By the time labor started, my wife was already an exhausted, in pain mess.  We were as prepared as can be with a birth plan, but that did not make it any easier to get through.

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  • How about preparing yourself? 

    If you don't have a doula, you need to get one. Work on breathing/relaxation techniques (with your DH) DAILY. 

    You will NOT get enough support from the nursing staff to help you manage the pain. They probably spend most of the time doing paperwork. Your husband is not an expert in these things and even with the best of intentions and his heart set on helping you go natural there's little he will be able to do if you don't practice together.

    Remember, you're the patient. The doctors CAN'T deny you an epidural if you ask for one, no matter what your DH says.

  • There are a ton of responses....I didn't know this many women visited our page.

     I honestly don't have any advice, I'm in the same boat. At the end of the day I wanted my wife and son to be happy and healthy. Whatever steps needed to be taken, I would do it.

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  • image ladyjenna13:
    When I saw 17 replies I knew we had been hijacked for a moment.  Pretty funny....

    *whistles innocently*

    http://i.imgur.com/LQTLw2Q.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • My wife wanted a birth as intervention-free as possible, but she had to have an epidural because the pain from induction was so intense that her blood pressure was going up.  I actually had to be the one to let her know that she was not a wimp for taking the epidural, and remind her that if her blood pressure went up too much, she could need a c-section, which no one wanted. 

    Ultimately, we had a plan, but we were willing to alter it, because the ultimate goal is the delivery of a healthy, happy baby.

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  • image ladyjenna13:
    image sofamonkey:

    image LuckyDad:
    Ultimately, it's your body. If in the moment you want the drugs, I don't think it should be his job to talk you out of it. He can ask "are you sure?" or remind you of your reasons for not wanting them, but I believe it's ultimately up to you.
    This totally.  FWIW, my DH is the exact same way.  I did end up with a med free birth.  How it worked for us was all in the communication.  When I was struggling, I didn't say that I wanted the drugs because then I would have asked for something I didn't necessarily want.  The communication from my end was expressing what I was struggling with.  I said things like "This is really f'ucking hard!" "I don't know if I can do this anymore."  "WHATTHEFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCKKKKKKKKKK ZOMG AHHHHHHHHHHH THIS SUUUUUUUCCKSSSSSSSSSS"  and things like that. 

    That allowed DH to help me through things by being empathetic & encouraging.  He did not ask if I wanted drugs.  In my birth plan, it stated that I would ask for drugs if I wanted them, and to not offer them unless I asked for them.  That was simple & easy to follow.  DH & the nurses didn't offer drugs to help me with what I was struggling with.  Instead, everyone addressed what I was having issues with.  Yes, it was hard.  You can get through this contraction.  Etc. etc. etc.

    If I had asked for drugs, DH would have had them there in about .02 seconds I'm almost sure.  lol.   If you set yourselves up to not be confused during labor, it is easier to get through it.  GL & feel free to PM if you want to chat more.

    I'm not sure that the bolded part is realistic.  In our case, one day we had a due date, the following day we were being rushed into L/D to be induced, 2 weeks before that due date.  Baby didn't arrive until two days after that.  Two days of going through an unplanned induction kind of trumped all of the planning we did before the day arrived. By the time labor started, my wife was already an exhausted, in pain mess.  We were as prepared as can be with a birth plan, but that did not make it any easier to get through.

    I believe I said (and what you bolded) to set yourself up to not be confused.  Confusion with communication is not at ALL the same as preparation.  I never ever claimed that, now would I.  You know why?  Because things like your induction happen all the time.  

    What I said, meant, and will reiterate is that it would be beneficial for you guys to get on the same page communication wise.  Meaning, don't say you want drugs if you aren't sure.  Meaning be clear with what you need - even if it's to just scream for a few minutes.  Telling your spouse (or nurse, or doula) that you are having a hard time is fine, and should be met with encouragement, empathy, and reassurance is that is your preference.  If you don't want your spouse (or nurse, or doula) to offer you drugs until you ask for them specifically is a reasonable expectation. 

    I made no statement towards anything else.  Sorry if that was mis-communicated in any way. 

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  • image ridesbuttons:
    Hire a doula.

    This.  Or else...just don't ask your DH for an epidural.  Leave him out of it.  If you're in labor and you can't deal with the pain, ask a doctor or nurse.  There's almost always one in the room with you, and if not then they're pretty easy to call.  Just don't tell DH why you want the nurse.

    You can't put someone in charge of "not letting you have an epidural," because you need to have the medical right to whatever you ask for, and no one (even your H) has the right to deny it to you.  L&D is really hard on our poor helpless DHs without putting him in this impossible position, so don't do it.

    FWIW, I did get through labor without an epi, and I did not ask anyone for the epi even though I thought I might cave.  The pain is intense, and you're not quite in your right mind or able to articulate much during the contractions, but you do get breaks in which you should have total mental clarity.  It's not like you'll suddenly lose it and start saying crazy things that you'd never say otherwise. 

  • Thanks for the replies, ladies and gentlemen! It's not that I'm not preparing myself, it's just that since neither DH nor I have ANY idea how we'll be during L&D I'm trying to plan out different scenarios to prepare myself and him if necessary.

    Daisypath - (2EEx)

    Lilypie - (CszI)

     

     image

  • image Scout2005:

    image ridesbuttons:
    Hire a doula.

    I agree, that's too much to put on him. 

    He can and should be there to support you, but he's going to be emotional and anxious. Imagine he was in horrible pain, and asking for pain meds, and you were tasked with talking him out of it. 

    I'd fold like a cheap card table. 

    Agreed with all of the above.  And a code-word would be my second solution.  

    image

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  • Yeah, I wouldn't put that on him. too many "Natural Moms" will regret not doing their drug free birth... and that's not something you want your husband to have to endure. IF you think you'll be weak... hire a doula. they have witnessed many births and are there to advocate for the mother as well as help the father know what to do... I know my hubbers loves me and babies me; so I'd never put this decision on him, as he wants to tend to me when I get something as minor as a cat scratch 

    Eat your food people. You are pregnant, not made of glass. ~PrimRoseMama
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  • image crystalbaby:

    image LuckyDad:
    Ultimately, it's your body. If in the moment you want the drugs, I don't think it should be his job to talk you out of it. He can ask "are you sure?" or remind you of your reasons for not wanting them, but I believe it's ultimately up to you.

    ITA. I think it's good to have a birth plan in mind, but I think people set themselves up for disappointment if they think that their birth is going to go an exact way. Birth is unpredictable and I think that you should give yourself options. I don't think that you should have your husband be the one to deny you drugs in the delivery room.

    Agree.  It's unfair to ask your husband to do this.  Either you'll be angry with him for arguing with you, or you'll be mad at him for allowing you. 

    You take responsibility, and be open to the possibility that your birth may not go the way you have it planned out in your head.  Be flexible.

    Stay at home mom to a house of boys: two amazing stepsons, 12 and 9, and our 4 year old.
  • I don't think that's fair to put on him. Hire a doula and prepare and educate yourself so that it doesn't happen. If when the time comes you decide you DO want the drugs, he shouldn't have to shoulder the blame the next day when you've already forgotten how much pain you were in at the moment.

    This is my siggy. Love it.

  • If it is a back pregnancy then he should allow you to get one.  If this is your first child, then I would have multiple options or do what MW and I did, we did what ever we thought was best as the labor and delivery unfolded.  From what I understand, a lot of the people who try to script out their L&D end up having it change based on what is happening once L&D start.
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