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Lives of Doctor Wives: Delivery question

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Delivery question

My husband and I are expecting our first child in February, and at my last OB appointment my doctor asked if my MSIV husband would want to deliver our baby (with the OB at his side of course). We honestly had not considered that an option until she mentioned it. Now we're trying to decide whether or not my husband will deliver our little one. We're curious what your experiences have been. Have any of your doctor/med student husbands delivered your kids? Would you recommend it? Was it an amazing thing your hubby is super proud to have done or something you don't think you'll have him do again?

I've told my husband several times that if he wants to deliver our baby that's fine with me or if he just wants to hold my hand and cut the umbilical cord that's fine too.

Thanks for your feedback!

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Blogger Bea said...

congrats on your pregnancy! I will be interested to hear what others say, but I have to humbly suggest it's not the greatest idea. I had a very healthy pregnancy all the way up until labor, and even labor was fine until the VERY end. At the end, once our daughter was out, she didn't cry for a few seconds. My husband rushed to see what was going on and helped them suction her and get her breathing. Then, I had complications with the afterbirth. I kept bleeding profusely and they needed to quickly get things under control. I was in a huge amount of pain (I won't get into the details) and all I wanted was my husband to be right by my side holding my hand. By then, our daughter was pink and crying and being held by my mother in law. I practically snapped at my husband (I blame it on the drama at the time) to come soothe me. SO, all this is to say, you just don't know what will happen, regardless of how great things have been so far. I would rather have my husband by my side than down there, not because of anything other than moral support. I think he already felt conflicted because he had his wife and baby in need around the same time... and he wasn't delivering at all! That's my advice anyway.
Best of luck either way and hope it's a wonderful experience!

October 27, 2010 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

We, or should I say I, considered it. If it was our first I would not have wanted him to do it. But since it was our third I thought maybe he would want to. However, when I asked DH if he'd like to deliver the baby it was an immediate, "no thanks." He said he just wanted to be there as a husband and a daddy. But if it's something the both of you want to do then go for it. Congrats on the little one!

October 27, 2010 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Adriana said...

My husband is in his final year of residency in OB/GYN. Funny but EVERYONE asked us with each of our three kids if he was going to be the one to deliver. I felt the same way you do. If he wants to fine with me. I trust him more than anyone else in the world and if he wanted to then I was OK with that. He had no desire what so ever. He to just wanted to play the dad role. We also had some unexpected things happen in the delievery room at different times and I was always very thankful he wasn't the one delievering the baby.

October 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Jaidi Clayton said...

We considered it with our 3rd who was born between 2nd and 3rd year. But in the end I had an emergency C-section. But what we had told the doctor was that it would be up to me at the time. I was perfectly fine with my hubby doing it, but I wanted to make sure that if I needed him, he would be next to me, not below me, for lack of a better way to put it. My hubby is the one that keeps me grounded. When I am freaking out, he whispers in my ear and calms me down.

So I recommend that if you both feel comfortable with it, do it! But make sure that he knows and the doc knows, that if you get to a point where you need him with you, more than delivering a baby, he can be there. That is the most important thing. Who catches the baby is nothing, when you think about what you are going through to get it out.

Good luck with the baby, pregnancy and delivery! It is an amazing adventure!

October 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Congratulations! How far along are you? I'm 36 weeks. I personally want my husband to be there holding my hand, especially since this is our first. Even just yesterday at my cervix exam, he asked me if I wanted him to be by side when the doctor checked me, or watch the exam. I said, don't play student, be my husband. He was completely fine with that. He'll get plenty of student/practice time with other doctors.

I'd be really interested to hear what y'all decide to do though!

October 27, 2010 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

My hubby stayed in hubby-mode, and I was glad. I wouldn't have minded if he wanted to catch, but my preference was to have him with me.

October 27, 2010 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger EthidiumBromide said...

You never know what might go wrong in the process... there will be lots of qualified, trained physicians present, but only one person who can hold your hand and be your moral support through the entire experience.

Plus, you never know how your husband might react when it's not just a patient, but his wife. My best friend's father is an OB/GYN, and he fainted at her birth. Even though he had delivered hundreds and hundreds of babies, it was an entirely different experience than watching his own daughter being born!

October 27, 2010 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Just Another Doctor's Wife said...

Personally I really preferred my doctor-hubby to simply stand by my side and experience becoming a parent with me. And yeah, don't think mine could have ever endured the complications that ended up happening! In the end, I just wanted him to be my support, not my doctor.

October 27, 2010 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger The Berls said...

He would feel awful if something happened (even if the doctor was right there). I had my husband just enjoy the miracle that birthing a child and becoming a father is..plus I wanted the MD put our baby right on my chest after he was born...they are so slippery and I definitely wanted the MD to do that not hubby!

October 27, 2010 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger faith said...

First off, congratulations on your baby! That's just wonderful. I hope you're feeling good and that everything is going smoothly.

I told my husband that the decision was up to him, but I think I felt relief when he said he'd rather just give me the support I needed. I didn't expect to feel that way.

I think it could be different depending on your birthing method. I had an epidural with our second (born during undergrad) and that was much more relaxed; I don't think I would have minded if he hadn't been right there. Our third - and possibly fourth (due Feb)- was without an epidural and I think I would have been miserable without him right by me.

Good luck with the delivery whatever you decide. It'll be an amazing experience.

October 27, 2010 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

We had our first child during MS3, right after DH completed his ob rotation. And honestly, it's one of the best things we've ever done. He loves to say that his hands were the first to ever hold her. It was so exciting to have him "doctor" both of us. If you can, DO IT!!! I was worried I would feel alone, but it was the complete opposite! I felt like he was coaching me and my girl along... So go for it!!!

October 27, 2010 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Tantalizing Titillation said...

I personally would LOVE my husband to!!! (MSIV now -- and got to deliver a lot of babies last year on his OBGYN rotation ... plus he's been around delivery all his life) What a job and a privilege that he has the knowledge to be able to!!!! I have heard once they become physicians that sometimes they will back off a bit during delivery because they legally cannot deliver their own --- my husband's dad and grandfather were both OBGYNs. Call me crazy....but I wouldn't even mind Jake's dad being in there because he's delivered SO many babies -- and three minds in there are better than just 1....and my gosh there is nothing pretty about the process. Jake's grandfather and dad were both OBGYNs in the room when Jake was delivered. It's a special time that I can't wait to have some day!!!

October 28, 2010 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Thanks everyone! We really appreciate all your comments and insight.

October 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger John and Kelly said...

It's so funny how different couples can be. My husband was a MS4 when my daughter Lucy was born by c-section and he just peeked behind the drape occasionally. I wanted him with me during the procedure but then I insisted he stay with her, not me, the minute she came out. However, if we hadn't had the c-section I still would have wanted him with me.

However, my brother-in-law (a gen surg PGY2 at the time) delivered their first and they thought it was great. Well...at least he thought it was great and she warmed up to it. Their son was even born with a "strand of pearls" - the cord wrapped around his neck - and my bro-in-law calmly unwrapped it like it was no problem at all. To each their own, I say, provided both parties are in agreement and DrH is really comfortable under pressure.


October 28, 2010 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Kathi the wingspouse said...

Let us know which way you go. Now the next question is to video record or not. My friend shared her "very detailed" video and I almost had myself sewn shut! I'm glad there is nothing out there to document that wonderful but very painful experience. Ouch. Your experiences, ladies?

October 29, 2010 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Video? Oh, that would so not happen in my hospital room!

October 30, 2010 at 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I just say that I am SO happy you posted this!? I have read all the comments and it's given a great deal of insight into this matter. I'm not pregnant by any means, but I have always thought that I would want my husband to deliver our first baby because, well, he CAN (which is so cool to me), but after reading many of these comments it caused me to reconsider and have a more in-depth conversation with my husband. Since I'm not pregnant we don't have to decide right now, but it definitely gave me more to think about once I do find myself in this situation. Thanks!

SIDE NOTE: My husband says that if he WERE to deliver the baby there would have to be a boundary. As in: he delivers if it is a normal delivery but the minute complications arise, he needs to step back and allow the others to do the work and stand by his wife. So there is always that angle too.

November 2, 2010 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Behrmans said...

My husband delivered both of our kids. I think it’s awesome and it will be great story to tell them. Doctors are in the room if any completions arise. My son came out not breathing, the Doctors took over and everything turned out fine. I also had a very natural delivery. You know lots of pushes and catch. ;)

November 2, 2010 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger TheFamousStacie said...

My husband delivered our little girl. I think it is really neat for her that her daddy delivered her. He wasn't keen on doing it again, and let the OB deliver the next one, but I think it's a really fun story!

November 3, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I had my DH deliver our fourth child, of course the Dr. was right by his side but he did it!!! I loved the experience, and think it will be a fun story for our son. After all not everyone can say they delivered there own child.

November 4, 2010 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Mommy B said...

We recently had our 3rd child, and with #2 and #3, the doc was happy to let my hubby deliver the baby (we were applying to Med School when #2 was born and he is MSII now for #3). We both thought it would a special experience, but when it came time for the baby to make its grand entrance, both times, I didn't want to let go of his hand and the doctor ended up catching the baby.
So, like most ppl have said, if you both like the idea, go for it! But be open to change if things aren't exactly as you imagine it will be - labor and delivery rarely are!
Good luck and congrats!!

November 7, 2010 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

My husband was one week from starting med school when we had our first child and an MSIII when I delivered our second child. The med student in him would have loved to be part of the delivery, but I specifically told him that I needed him to be holding my hand and coaching me through labor, not standing at the other end getting a clinical experience. I'm grateful that I was clear about my wishes, because both labors were very fast and hard, and both times it was my husband who helped me pull through it. If he had been too preoccupied delivering the baby I think it would have been much harder and frustrating for me. In my opinion, helping the mother work through labor to deliver the child is as much of an accomplishment (if not more) than physically delivering the baby.

This worked for me and my husband, but every marriage relationship is different! Just do what feels right, and like Mommy B said above, be ok with changes because labor and delivery rarely go exactly as you expect it will.

Good luck!! Child birth is an amazing experience and holding you newborn baby will be the most wonderful thing you've ever felt! :)

November 9, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

One more comment- do hospitals even let you record deliveries any more?? Seems like they don't for fear of liability reasons, but maybe that's just where I'm from?

November 9, 2010 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

We had the same decision to make with our little one. Eventually we decided that his job is to be a husband and father first, and a doctor second. After talking to a friend who delivered his baby, he said he wasn't really able to support his wife so it was a good thing her sister was there to help her with the labor. Something to think about I guess.

November 9, 2010 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Thanks for all your comments!

Update: Our little guy was born last Saturday and my husband delivered him! Going into delivery we still weren't sure whether or not he'd deliver the baby or if I'd need him holding my hand. In the end, he counted and coached me through labor and delivery and gowned up at the end to catch our boy. Hearing hubby's voice was exactly what I needed to focus on, and we both loved that he was the first to hold our little guy. :)

January 22, 2011 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Congrats, Heather!

January 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger kateandmatt said...

I am a midwife and get to catch babies every day! My soon-to-be husband and I have talked about this alot, he is a MS3 and birth surrounds us, because of what I do for a living. This is such a great post because of the insight. We are not close to having babies yet but I always have said I want him to catch our baby, now I am not so sure. He would be fine and is great under pressure- but you ladies are right- husband and daddy first, doctor second.. we'll see when the time comes!

October 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM  

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