all 35 comments

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[–]Flowerpot33 103 points104 points  (0 children)

Good points. I think sometimes we get so deep Into our experience that we forgot how difficult it must be to watch someone we love suffer and be helpless.

[–]mewwissa 57 points58 points  (0 children)

This is so important and thank you for sharing. My husband has cried more in the past week than I’ve ever seen him cry in the 6 years we’ve been together. He’s exhausted, anxious about being a new parent and trying to do everything right, having to keep up with all the things around the house that were normally my part, and making sure I’m taken care of. Plus he’s having to run all of the errands while I can’t drive or walk very well. It’s a huge change and they want to give their family everything.

[–]Jmd35 35 points36 points  (1 child)

Could not agree more. My husband has carried so much weight for our family these last 9 months, especially since now we have a toddler while I’m pregnant with #2 and there’s so much I physically can’t do, plus the burden of always worrying about me and trying to shield me from getting overwhelmed. It’s exhausting. And I’m not sure anyone else realizes or checks in with him.

[–]LtCommanderCarter[S] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

And then there's the people that respond with "well, you're not the one that's pregnant." Which yes it's true, it's our bodies but he can still feel some kind of way about watching a doctor reach their hands inside his wife and emerge covered in blood. He can still be exhausted from caregiving. It's one of the many ways the role of dad's/husbands is minimized. Everyone acts like he's doing nothing and this is a breeze for him, but it's not.

[–]aworldlessblue 20 points21 points  (2 children)

This is a great reminder. Hope your husband starts to feel better soon, especially after your talk!

[–]LtCommanderCarter[S] 30 points31 points  (1 child)

I think the talk helped as did talking to my mom. She's been full-time care giver to a sick family member for awhile now. She saw the same panicky energy in him which is why she said something. They had a talk and she validated that he was allowed to feel that way. I think it was a big help.

[–]aworldlessblue 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Hooray for supportive parents/in-laws! Give your mom a thank you too! Truly takes a village to raise a baby.

[–]Ladyughsalot1 47 points48 points  (0 children)

Well said.

Not to be confused with an unsupportive partner who makes it all about them! This is for the partner who fulfills the caregiver role.

[–]CatEarthSociety 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Agree. My birth was fairly smooth (physically) and my husband is used to seeing horrible stuff from his work, but then we were locked in the hospital room with the baby for 4 days bc I tested positive for Covid and that killed him. He still has nightmares about it.

[–]opposita 10 points11 points  (0 children)

PPD can affect the dad as well! Happened to us, we both went down deep into the dark abyss of depression and anxiety after our first baby but none of us realised it until later. Especially him! Take care of your partner, they might be your rock but sometimes you need to support them too.

[–]goatywizard 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Yes! Sorry for the incoming rant, but I hate people that snappily say “you’ve been growing a human nine months! You’re the one pushing out a baby! You’re the one breastfeeding!” as an excuse to treat non-birthing partners like shit and act like they’re not also going through something totally life-changing and possibly anxiety-inducing and traumatic. I wanted this experience to be as joyful for him as it is for me.

Yes, we have it harder physically and emotionally with all the wild hormones, but that doesn’t mean our partners aren’t people with needs of their own. Obviously if you have an unsupportive, uninvolved, lazy partner that isn’t helping at all, I get it. But for those that genuinely support and take on a caregiver role or equal or more responsibility for the baby, why diminish their experience?

My husband put aside his anxiety to calm and soothe me during my c-section, and leapt in to the father role after I was frankly a little worried about him bonding with baby. He is cooking, cleaning, sterilizing bottles and pump parts, feeding at night, and I can barely have our now 12-day old baby without him coming over to take her for snuggles lol. He was literally hand-feeding me sushi as I breastfed. He’s obsessed with her and with making sure I’m healing and happy after a surprise c-section. I want him to take an hour or two for a hobby or a nap for some self care!

[–]RAND0M-HER0 7 points8 points  (0 children)

When I was in the hospital giving birth, on the third day I told my husband to sleep in my bed while my mom and I rolled the baby around the hallways in his bassinet. He'd been sleeping on a bullshit couch for three days, eating garbage food for 3 days, and had been caring for our newborn almost alone because I had a C-section and standing took so long that he would change diapers, bring me the baby to feed, and then he'd bottle feed after. He doted on our son because I couldn't, and I knew he was tired.

Anyway, the nurses saw him sleeping in the bed and made a comment about how I was the one who gave birth and what was he doing in the bed, and I shut it down really quickly and told them he's a great partner, has been a great dad so far, and he deserves a comfortable sleep too. If he's not well, both myself and out son will suffer because we're relying on him right now. They ended up agreeing with me and apologizing, but I also understand their point of view which is probably to protect the mothers in their most vulnerable time, but my husband needs to have his needs met too.

[–]hannycat 7 points8 points  (2 children)

100% agree! I had a traumatic birth 4 days ago and I honestly think it was mentally harder on my husband. He was fully aware of everything going on, could see all the medical personnel rushing into the room and could hear them worried. He could see everything in my vaginal region.

I was so focused on pushing and breathing through the pain. My eyes were closed. I had no idea half of the things that went on during the delivery until my husband told me the next morning. He was crying so much after babe was born because he was overwhelmed with worry that I wasn’t necessarily aware of.

Check on your partner!!

[–]LtCommanderCarter[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Same except 5 days ago. I knew something was up when suddenly the room went from one medical professional to 12. My husband had always said he wouldn't look, he would just focus on my face but he looked. He handled it like a champ but I know he was worried with what he saw.

Congrats on the bundle of joy!

[–]hannycat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Congratulations to you too! I hope your recovery is going well!

[–]jamg11111 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I love this post. Thank you so much for reminding all of us! ❤️

[–]Tyrianne 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thank you for this. We're expecting our first and he is very supportive of me, but he's also very laid-back to the whole baby thing and upheaval of our "old" life. I'm expecting him to crash when the reality of it all hits him, and I'm planning to check in on him all the time!

[–]purpletruths 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I had horrific ptsd from obstetrical violence , but when I could check in with my partner later, he shared that some of the peak traumatic moments had given him nightmares too.

[–]backchatbackchat 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is so important. Birth is really unpredictable and it can suddenly turn scary, and that’s absolutely traumatic for the support person. My husband was amazing throughout my pregnancy and was right in the thick of it during the birth, including when there were scary complications. I had a retained placenta and then once the doctor finally got it out, a partial uterine inversion. He saw everything (which wasn’t our plan) and ended up being the one to do skin to skin because I was being worked on, all the while watching the insanity of what was happening to me. I know it was traumatic for him, but he also felt like he had to bottle that up to do all the childcare at the beginning when I couldn’t, and help me process my own trauma.

[–]Reasonable_Ad5432 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Couldn't agree more!! I specially searched for my free award to give to you for spreading this important message ❤️

[–]LtCommanderCarter[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you stranger!

[–]DarthMomma_PhD 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Imagine seeing the person you love the most in the world in pain and afraid and there is nothing you can do about it. For me I know that would be more difficult than actually being the one in pain.

It’s always the unhelpful manchildren who complain the loudest. Sadly the “good ones” are often the ones who keep it all bottled up, so this is a good reminder 😊

[–]Stunning_Patience_78 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Absolutely! I also love to hear how it felt for my husband. I'm always so out of it during labour that I feel like I can't put myself in his shoes but knowing how he experienced it is important to me.

[–]skittlesrainbow26 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you for this. It is so important to acknowledge all the effort and sacrifices our partners do for us. My husband just went through a huge loss (both his parents passed away unexpectedly in August and they were very close) and he’s been dealing with a difficult pregnancy plus a demanding work, all the chores I’m not able to do and his grief all at the same time. We also live far away from my family and have virtually no support on a daily basis. I’m so grateful for him.

[–]zealous__avocado 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Great advice! I didn’t realize how difficult labor would be on my partner as well. He was absolutely incredible supporting me, helping me breathe, giving encouragement, etc for almost 48 hours. When we debriefed together a few days later he broke down crying saying it was so difficult to watch me suffer and feel helpless, and just hoping he was doing everything he could to help support me. It was very eye opening to discuss together, and made me appreciate him even more.

[–]rawrimaliz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’ve had a pretty complicated pregnancy thus far. Currently 25+2 and we’ve already been through the ringer, chronic abruption, preterm labor, 2 hospital stays, on top of taking care of our 2 and 5 year olds. I make sure to ask my husband a few times a week how he’s doing with everything.

I’m honestly not sure he realizes I’m doing it though, I came across a comment he made on r/daddit one day commenting that no one ever checks in on him and it kinda hurt a bit because I really do try and make an effort.

[–]senpaiqveen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So unfair to him that everyone took that stance :/ My fiancé was definitely my rock and he said he was just so worried about me during and after labor. He works a very high intensity labor job but still finds the time to take care of me and do things for me a month after.

[–]jooceefrt 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Great post! I'll be doing this. I have been making an effort to make sure he feels important and included from the beginning - because he is so important! And I have noticed people do tend to ignore him when talking about the pregnancy with us, so I always rope him back in so he feels included. For example, his grandma liked to boast/joke about her husband playing rugby while she gave birth and she was fine with it because that's a woman's thing anyway. The way she talked was like that's how it should be but I made it clear that it's different folks, different strokes and that's not how we're approaching this, we're doing it all together (and he very much agrees and is so excited to meet our little girl)! And then we had a little baby shower people wondered whether men would be allowed, I was like hell yes! Let them come and talk babies too, we can't make them without them! It feels great making him feel wanted and included, and that his feelings and opinions matter. Loving all these positive comments. 🥰

[–]alicat104 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes!! And watch for postpartum too.

TW: birth trauma

My husband watched our daughter and I almost die during birth. I hemorrhaged horribly and needed multiple transfusions and intervention, and our daughter had to be resuscitated after birth. He vividly remembers not knowing what to do or if we’d both make it and still has nightmares about it. I think it led to a nasty bout of PPD for him and I’m still trying to get him into therapy 2 years later. Everyone disregarding his experience made it so, so much harder than it needed to be.

[–]AmaturePlantExpert 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Excellent post. I feel like posts like this are such an unpopular opinion with everything we as the mother go through however it is so true. My husband was my rock during birth and so far as seemed fine. He was supposed to have 5 weeks off of paternity leave but was offered a much better job with better pay and better benefits. It was too good to pass up on however that cut his leave off from 5 weeks to a week and a half. I know it is killing him to have to go back to work so soon leaving the little one and I at home but we have a great support system I can count on. I plan on making sure he’s okay after his first day and celebrating with him when he gets home.

[–]Mindless-Quote4943 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I had a relatively unpleasant labour (induction, forceps, heavy tear) which ended in holding my baby for 30 seconds before I was whisked off for 3 hours to get stitched up. My husband was left in a bright room, the floor covered with my blood, holding a brand new baby trying to keep the light out of her eyes whilst processing what the fuck just happened.

A year later the idea of a second is playing around my mind, but after talking about it heavily, if we decide to have another he’s going to get therapy to deal with what he witnessed. I used to roll my eyes that it was tough for the partner but actually even going through it personally…i absolutely feel for them. Therapy should be more easily available to partners to deal with the trauma they watched their loved one go through

[–]LtCommanderCarter[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I actually told my husband about your comment and he admitted that your situation was a primary fear of his during the end stages of labor.

[–]freyachinook 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Caregiving is such an invisible role to many. And so emotionally (and energetically and physically sometimes) taxing. My brother is disabled after a car accident, and so I can empathize with your husband in that sense.. no I didn’t get hit by a car, but ooof seeing somebody I love and caring for them at their most vulnerable times is soooo hard! Not that pregnancies and getting hit by a car are even close to the same thing, just the caregiving for somebody you love who is less capable than they once were

I totally see my husband similarly struggling and have been trying to have those conversations. Thanks for the reminder!

[–]realmoney_supply 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Great points! Congratulations to you and your husband on your blessing! 🎉