Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Need Some Advice

This is a call for advice that goes out to everybody - whether you're a parent or not, male or female, I want to hear your thoughts...

I have a girlfriend that is pregnant. In fact, she's only three weeks ahead of me in the baby baking department. She already has a two and a half year old son, and a husband who I love, but who I think is a bit of a suck.
When she was delivering her son, her husband Drew didn't want to be in the room with her, but he insisted that if he had to be there, that he just wanted to stay up near her head and didn't want to have to "see" anything. All was going fine until one of the nurses asked him to hold Tracy's foot while she was pushing (apparently she had to grab something, or leave the room or something like that). Long story short, Drew saw some stuff that traumatized him. He said he refused to be in the room should they ever have another baby.

Now, about a week before I found out I was pregnant Tracy asked me if I would be her coach through labour because she wanted me to be the one in the room with her if Drew refused. I didn't hesitate because I consider it to be an honour, and uh, hellooooo, girl bits are girl bits, and I know what goes on down there.

So here is my dilemma...considering I'll be over 8 months pregnant myself (if she doesn't go in to labour earlier than that) do you really think it's a good idea? I mean, if she has a long labour am I going to be much use or am I going to be totally wiped out from being on my feet? And even though I've seen births before, and my plan is not to be directly at the baby's port of entry, do you think it will freak me out? Maybe so bad that I will decide NOT to give birth to my baby? Obviously I don't have a choice about that - but you know what I mean.

Since she found out I was pregnant she has told Drew that he needs to be in the room with her - but he's freaking out and really doesn't want to. I've offered that if Drew wants to be there for the "pre-pushing" part, then I would come in for the actual labour.

So I need to know - am I crazy for still planning on doing this? I really want to support my friend...but...


Blogger Reggie said...

No, I wouldn’t. Your circumstances have changed since you said yes. She has plenty of time to find an alternate.

Some guys/people freak out at being on the looking end. Others find it a marvel of God.

I have had two buddies that hated the whole experience so much that they thought different of their spouse ever since.

If you have any hesitation I would take it as a no. Your gut feeling is right.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Rock Chef said...

Ooh, that is a tough one! My wife did that for a friend and they had a great time of it, but Clare was not 8 months gone at the time! When having our first child, my wife stayed in the hospital for the last week or so before giving birth. In that time she HEARD lots of women giving birth which was not seen as a bad thing!

Overall, I would say go ahead. You seem like the sort of person who will be a great partner (though how a guy can refuse to be present at the birth of his kids totally escapes me!) and I think you would find the experience useful for your own labour.

Hope that helps.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Backpackermomma... said...

Your idea of him being there for the pre-pushing part and you stepping in when the good stuff starts to happen seems like a fantastic compromise. That way you can be fresh for her, not exhausted yourself, and still be the supportive friend. If she wants you in there for longer than that, you might want to say no. Not for the traumatic reasons, but for the sheer tiredness (and irritability...heehee, that might not be appreciated!)I can remember hearing other women giving birth when I was in labour and they were just screaming and moaning and in such auditory pain and all I could think of was, "Ladies, get the friggin epidural! This stuff is amazing!"

4:10 PM  
Blogger Logziella said...

You may want to talk to your doctor about it as there is a great possibility that just the emotion or accidental pushing on your part in order to help your friend (it's hard to not push when they are saying to push...even if you are not the one giving birth!)and that could send you into pre-term labor!!

I had 3 friends with me in the delivery room when Logan was born (along with Chuck) and one of them was only 2 weeks behind me pregnancy wise and my doctor warned her to "NOT" push and even mentioned it could send her into labor.

I would say, to be on the total safe side, to say "no" as (like Reggie said) your circumstances have changed.

Your butterbean is the most important thing in your world right now...even over supporting a dear friend.

Just my 2 cents worth... :0)

4:24 PM  
Blogger Princess of the Universe said...

Oh sweetie, I would so like to go off on a feminist rant right now about Drew- but I'll save it.

I agree with Reggie, what is your gut telling you?
Does your friend have other options? A Mom? Another non-preggie friend? I'm sure you will totally be there for her in other ways, but that might not be the best one.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I think logziella makes a great point about being careful not to push yourself while in there with her. They could always go with a Doula - I know if I get pregnant again, even though Zig and my Mom were amazing at the birth, I'd consider having a professional pregnancy helper there as well.

And, just my two cents on her husband's discomfort: I'm sure he's a great guy, but if she can push that baby out, he can be there! I don't care how uncomfortable a guy is with "seeing stuff" - it's far more uncomfortable pushing a 7 - 10 pound baby out of that tiny space than watching it! Seeing things that tramatized him? Try being the one doing those things! I say - he should get over it and be a man! :)

Of course, I've never seen myself give birth. It may be a truely scarring sight. On the other hand, I don't know how I could have gone through giving birth without my husband there. Watching him watching me was what kept me going.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Rock Chef said...

Well said, Alyssa. After seeing my wife give birth it did change how I looked at her - not only was she everything she had been already (friend, lover, etc) she also became me hero.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Sitting in Silence said...

I'd say no as well, Afterall it's all about looking after bean and yourself...

I have been at a friends birth and while this experience was amazing and I still to this day feel so honoured that she asked me in the first place.

It was emotinally draining all-16 hours of it.

I cant even start to imagine giving birth without my DH, I kind of feel sorry for this girl....

6:15 PM  

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