Getting Hubby on Board — The Bump

Getting Hubby on Board

I'm pregnant with my second child due in August. My first baby was a csection due to "failure to progress" AKA failed induction (I WASN'T READY! I TOLD YOU!). Before I even consented to the CSection with my daughter, I demanded my OB commit to allowing me to VBAC my second. I had already done a LOT of research on birth methods and was not happy about the CSection.

Flash forward two years - I am a terrific candidate for VBAC. Never got to active labor, "childbearing hips," within delivery and BMI requirements, and have the desire. I've done a lot of research about the risks associated with both VBAC and R/CS (about 2 years of research) and am very aware that for me, the VBAC is the way to go. I'm exceptionally committed to my decision and feel strongly about it.

However - I have NO support around me. My mother in law believes that I am being "risky" and my husband can't understand why I'd risk a uterine rupture - his comment was, "If I told you 1/200 people died in a plane crash, would you ever fly?" He also mentioned that if I had to work so hard to find a supportive provider, it's probably not a safe option. In the past two years, I have shared multiple VBAC stats with him, we've had the conversation 100 times, and yet I still don't feel that I have his support. I'm terrified that without his support, I will get to the delivery room and cave to the "easy" R/CS. The most frustrating part? Until I first brought up the conversation of a VBAC, he didn't realize that it was even an issue after a c/s. Gah! 

How did you get your husbands and support people on board? Did they have concerns? How did you address them? Did you have your hubby's full support in the delivery room? Did it make a difference? 

Re: Getting Hubby on Board

  • stellar2325stellar2325 member
    edited February 2015

    Ugh. I feel your pain @Wering.

    Some background: I had a traumatic emergency c-section with my first due to baby's heart decels. After, of course, I opted for the cascade of interventions which, i do believe, played some role. Fortunately, OB told me right after coming out of recovery that I was a good candidate for a VBAC.  I am now due with baby no. 2 in April.

    My first birth was really scarring to me and I spent a lot of time over the last 2 years with the what-ifs, and self-blame, and anxiety on how I might have done anything differently to have avoided the emercency C.  A VBAC ... or at least a TOLAC, has been so important to me, I wanted to try everything possible to make it happen ...

    My husband has always been ok with the VBAC because the doctor said it was ok, but his limit is at anything the doctor recommends. There were a few times early on in this pregnancy where I was questioning my OB and asking about options and telling him, for example, that it "might not be so bad if my water broke to wait a while at home" even though the doctor said she'd want me to come in right away for monitoring... that sort of thing.  That did not sit well with him and I have learned that if I do anything to insiunate that I'd do anything more "naturally" than the doctor recommends, or if I imply the doctor might have other motives (like a hospital's labor "clock") he gets very uncomfortable and angry, accuses me of being a conspiracy theorist. At one point - even threatened that if I "continue to act like this, this will be our last kid." (We have always planned on a third.)  Basically, I was going through the motions of educating myself and he couldn't really understand and saw it as me being "crazy" and irresponsible.

    Anyway, I ultimately recognized we were coming from the same place - we both want what's safest - but were on different pages about how to achieve that outcome. We just sort of hashed out where we were each coming from. He was always going to default to Dr.'s orders.  I have done more research than him and know that doctors DO have certain institutional concerns that don't always make them the most VBAC friendly people on earth.  On the other hand, I've read some loss birth stories where women took the natural birth/trust-yourself-over-the-doctor thing too far and THAT would be the kind of regret I simply couldn't live with.  Once he recognized safety WAS my number one concern (and not just having a "special birth experience") he was much more willing to open up to me.

    After many, many discussions with him about safety, and my own personal trauma and feelings, we have come to a place where a) we UNDERSTAND THE ROOT of what is driving the other person's feelings (we both want what's best for me and baby) and b) are educated about the best ways to get there.  We are now both comfortable with me exploring my options during labor, but that if the baby's safety is in jeopardy I have read enough research that I won't push a natural birth over a "safer" option.  Basically, if baby's in jeopardy during my TOLAC, we're heading for the OR.  End of discussion, and I'm comfortable with that.

    That said, I think your husband needs to get educated about the dangers that come with repeat c-sections.  Could he sit down with your doctor and hash out his concerns? Doesn't he recognize that if your doctor is suggesting a VBAC, that's the superior option? Talking personally with the doctor was helpful to my DH. 

    Sort of related: I showed DH stats on how doulas are helpful and he agreed we could get one! Apparently he's a facts-driven man ... so find out what's driving your DH and work from there.  But to get to where we're at now, it took about 6 months of long discussions, etc. So prepare thyself.

    Good luck!!!


    ETA: Per my doctor (and the reading I've done) non-VBAC-friendly docs just aren't delivering you at a hospital equipped for an emergency c-section/NICU in the case of a (very rare) uterine rupture.  My understanding is that if the hospital is equipped for that unlikely scenario, most providers are willing to try a VBAC.  So in other words, it's not that the provider feels it's unsafe or a bad option, it's just that they need the right facility to manage you if something did go amiss.

  • @Stellar2325, I hear your pain. My CSection wasn't "traumatic" in terms of how it went down. But it did do a lot of damage to my psyche regarding my body, my worth as a woman, etc. I understand that those concerns aren't rational now (kind of) - but they were my concerns. I want this VBAC - within all medical safety - for several reasons, and one of those is to try to heal my traumatic birth experience. My daughter was also born with a dairy intolerance (gastro) and even today has symptoms of pre-asthma. These are things that can be attributed to CSection vs Vag birth, and I want to try to avoid those issues for my new baby.

    Thank you for the advice on coming to an agreement based on goals/needs rather than facts. My husband isn't refusing to educate himself - he just isn't interested. Trust me, I've sent him enough articles and shown him enough for him to have access to that information! 

    Maybe this weekend we'll do an excercise called, "What I want out of this birth" and we'll see how many of our thoughts align - REGARDLESS of birthing method. 
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  • stellar2325stellar2325 member
    edited February 2015

    @Wering. That is the absolute hardest part.  Embarassingly, what ultimately worked was that I constantly nagged, talked about it, e-mailed him articles, repeatedly explained how traumatized I was ... until he came around and realized this was a big. freaking. deal. to me and I wasn't about to let it go. And unless he wanted to hear me yak every moment of the day he was going to be a little more open minded...

    Still, when we had our last doula visit (2 weeks ago) I started weeping a little bit telling her how upsetting parts of DS' c-section birth were for me and afterwards DH said he "had to try so hard not to laugh" at me when I was crying.  My jaw about hit the floor! Especially because he is generally a nice guy and not an a-hole.

    I think it is just that as a man he is physically incapable of understanding the importance of childbirth for women.  Anyway, I just decided that this was gonna be one of the few things I REALLY put my foot down about and I wore him down. ;)

  • Husbands want to protect us. Let him know you understand that's his motivation.
    How can you help him see that a VBAC is statistically safer than a repeat? What's his language? Is it numbers or real life stories or scientific articles or movies?
  • I'm thinking Hubby is coming around. We had a talk this weekend - not centered on VBAC - about doctor choices (we need to switch) and hospital choices. In the midst of that conversation, my desire to VBAC came up. He said that his biggest fear is that if they tell me that I need a csection, I'm going to fight them on it. This was new information to me - I thought his fear was centered around the VBAC itself. It turns out, its more about being scared that my need/desire for a VBAC will overwhelm common sense in the moment. The first thing I did was reassure him that first and foremost, I want a healthy baby. And if I need another section - so be it. HOWEVER - it's TRYING for the VBAC that means the most to me right now. Just the ability to TRY. 

    We agreed that we will (at a later date) do some research on when a csection becomes necessary and what questions we might ask. Therefore, we can try to fight the "you're not progressing within X time" argument or the "You're 40 weeks, let's do it today" argument, and succumb to the "cord is wrapped" or "baby is in distress" argument. 

    Hopefully this will put us on the same page for what is a reasonable reason for a csection vs. an unreasonable one. With my daughter, I wasn't in "active labor" at all - and they only gave me 12 hours to try to get there. (Amazingly, that 12 hours coincided with the end of my doctor's work day.) Knowing what I know now, that's RIDICULOUS. Should that happen again, my husband and I will be prepared to fight for 12+ more hours, request a discharge even if its against medical advice, etc. If I need one, I need one. But I refuse to get one "just because it's more convenient" for anyone OTHER than my baby.
  • stellar2325stellar2325 member
    edited February 2015

    I had a very helpful talk with my OB about when a c-section (or intervention for that matter) is "a discussion" versus an emergency.  It was really useful and helped me, her and DH all be on the same page.  My DH was also very worried I was going to "go rogue" and throw common sense out the window.  We both got educated and are on the same plan now.  If the OB tells me there's no time for discussion, then no discussion. Period.

    Took me a long time to figure out what went wrong with birth 1, though, which also freaked my DH out.  With my first, all the interventions (pitocin, etc.) were presented as "here's what we're doing" when it really should've been a discussion.  To be fair, I didn't know I had options so I COULD'VE asked for more time or other options and OB would have obliged, I just didn't know.  Cue "cascade of interventions" ... cue an actual emergency DID arise.  For a long time though (and this is key) it was hard for me to separate the interventions from the c-section ... I was convinced "I had an unnecessary c-section" - but that wasn't really true.  My c-section WAS necessary, but very likely because I allowed some UNnecessary (more convenient for the doctor) interventions beforehand.  But, yes, my DH kept hearing me say the CS was unnecessary and the doctor saying it was a true emergency and rightfully thought I was acting like a nut. But now we've sorted everything out and DH knows I will make the logical choice.  It was amazing once everyone had all the facts, the right choice are  clear for everyone.  Birth can just be so confusing, especially with birth trauma.  No wonder I had no idea what was going on.


  • Ardmhs83Ardmhs83 member
    edited March 2015
    Everybody is really quick to worry about UR, which is rare, you're right.  Have them keep in mind that UR isn't always a fatal thing either.  However, nobody wants to talk about accreta and how that is more likely with repeat cesareans.  I get aggravated when people look at the c/s like it is a walk in the park and is safer than a VBAC, which isn't the case.  Giving birth, either way, has risks...if you're pregnant you can't totally avoid all risks b/c the baby has to come out one way or the other.  Their is very strong data out there that says a VBAC is a safer option over a c/s any day.  Seriously, accreta is scary...have your nay sayers look it up.  They can also look up how it is more common to get adhesion's from surgery that could lead to things like a bowel obstruction, that can be very deadly.  Your "support" people just need more facts about the c/s so they can see what you're seeing.

    Good luck!

    I also must add that a hospital having a VBAC ban has nothing to do with its safety.  It is political and money reasons...that is it.  A lot of hospitals don't want to comply with the ACOG recommendations of having an OB and anesthesiologist on the floor the entire labor.  It is a lot of work for them, so they just don't want to do it, so they ban them.  
    I'd also suggest you hire a doula to help you navigate through the truths and help advocate for you with your OB/hospital.  

    Edited to add the last few things...
    PPD/PPA has been super hard, but I'm making it! Slow steps...
    Mom to Carter (6), and Calianne (1).  
    Proud VBAC, natural birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering momma!

  • I have had a successful VBAC and it was a year later , I was fine I don't know what all the fuss is was a lot more painful than a section but the recovery was fast. This time I have elected for a section but it's just a personal decision as I don't want stress Incontinance and have had too many VB now !
  • We aren't TTC #2 until early next year but I've already had VBAC on my mind for  several months now which surprises me because after my c/s with DD I had it in my mind that I would have another c/s for sure.  I was induced with DD, pushed for 3.5 hours and c/section after because her head was just way too big.  Now that I've done yoga for 2 years and am just healthier in many ways I feel like I'm so done with surgery - I had a hernia operation last year.  I won't be doing a VBAC because I felt I missed out on a vaginal birth but because I'm sick of surgery. LOL.  DH thinks I'm nuts and tells me to wish for a smaller headed baby next time.  I already know he won't be a fan nor will my mother because apparently big heads run in my family.  I'd like to think it's possible.  The hospital I delivered DD at is not accepted by our insurance anymore so we will be going to the hospital I had my hernia surgery at and I'm pretty sure they do vbacs but I need to start researching.  I figure once we are TTC I will start interviewing OBs that are affiliated at that hospital.  I want to be prepared for the worst - so I also want an OB that is just as great as the one that did my c/s with DD - stitches, no staples and you can't even see my scar (barely).
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • At my 12 week appointment I told my doctor that my husband has some questions and concerns about a VBAC. I asked him what would be a good appointment for him to come and discuss them. I was told any appointment is fine. They have a fact sheet about VBACs. They go through the entire sheet with us to see if we have any questions. My husband is coming to the 20week appointment with me to discuss this. Hopefully that will ease his fears. The practice that I go to had 12 doctors and has been around for over 20 years. They had one case of rupture over 10 years ago. According to my doctor.
  • I think he just needs more education. 1/200 is not the risk of death from a rupture at all. A study I read said it was 6% of the 1/200 ruptures which is a tiny number!
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