Brand new mom - need advice about husband (VERY long - sorry)
I just had my little girl a few days ago, and am already having a pretty serious problem with my husband. He was wonderful to me throughout my pregnancy, and amazing during the delivery of our baby girl. Right after though, he completely fell apart, and now I almost feel like I'm a single mother.
While we were in the hospital, he told me he was completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of having a child, and he was scared. Don't get me wrong, I understand. I feel much the same - I imagine it's fairly normal to feel that way. Our baby had jaundice so she and I had to stay an extra night in the hospital so she could be under the lights all night. I had to take her out for feedings and changings, which involved unhooking wires, removing her blindfold, turning machine off and on, etc. It was intimidating, and I was already sleep deprived, scared, and stressed. My husband wouldn't stay with me. He was "too tired". I practically begged him to stay, I needed his help, and above all, his support. I needed it desperately. He still wouldn't stay. I was practically hysterical when he left - but it didn't stop him. I felt so incredibly alone when he left.
I was up all night with her, she didn't like the blindfold and the lights, so it was really hard for me to get her to settle down...but it was very important she spend as much time under the lights as possible. It was a sleepless night.
The next morning, he came back saying he felt like a new man, the sleep did him a world of good, etc. Even though I was still very hurt and upset, I let it go because he obviously needed that full night's sleep very badly.
We finally got to go home, and again, he fell apart. He says he's terrified of hurting her, he's scared of her, he is upset about the huge change in his life, etc. His way of dealing with it is to completely step back, not hold her, not touch her, basically try to pretend she doesn't exist. He told me that if he says he needs time to himself, I need to just let him go and take a walk or something to get away. I asked him what happens when I need that. He just looked at me. Didn't say anything. Apparently that's not an option for me.
So here I am. He won't help me with her. He'll get things if I need something, but won't actually help me with the baby. He walks around like the end of the world has happened, and he refers to her as "that kid". She sleeps in a bassinet in our room, and he is now sleeping in the spare room. He says he just needs me to give him "time and patience". He says he can't help it, he doesn't want to feel this way, he feels horrible, but he can't help it. I can't help but feel abandoned and alone. I'm tired, I'm scared, I'm overwhelmed too. It's not just him.
So I don't know what to do. Do I just give him space and hope he comes around, while in the meantime I'm becoming more and more resentful of him, and more and more sleep deprived? Or do I get tough with him and risk having him COMPLETELY losing it? I know that it's normal for him to be so scared and such, but is it normal for him to want to have nothing to do with our child? I can't tell you how much it hurts me to hear him refer to him as "that kid" and not want to hold her. It breaks my heart. She's so beautiful, and so helpless and defenseless. She needs us, both of us.
Please help - any advice is welcome. I feel so overwhelmed with everything having to do with having the baby, and this on top of that has me feeling as though I'm on the verge of an emotional breakdown. I want to be understanding of his feelings, but at the same time, it's so incredibly hard on me, and I feel it's unfair to me...and I don't know how to deal with this.
1st off congrats. Sounds like you are really going through it. Its so hard on what to advise. Its not normal. Me and matt where scared but he couldnt leave her alone. As it dosent seem normal behavior then clearly he needs help. It seems he nos he has a problem. Would he see a doctor?that would be an option!it seems he has more that just dad nerves!maybe chat to your hv to or you call a doctor and ask for him. Meam while you need help so could family come to stay?from what you have said it dont sound like he is just be lazy it sounds like he has a problem
aw hun men can be selfish pigs cant they my oh was really scared to hold her at first wouldnt go near her but gradually he started to do stuff and now his great with her i would maybe give him a lil bit of time and see how it goes sorry cant offer much more advice congrats on ur beautiful baby girl what did you call her if you dont mind me asking? xx
Hi sweetie.... as I was reading your post, I started off feeling abit sorry for your hubby and then by the end I was quite angry with him. I know it is a massive deal having a baby and I have struggled over the last 4 months, but I would of gone completely insane without the help and support of my hubby. It may sound abit harsh but he needs to get a grip and deal with it!! You are already tired and emotional due to hormones without him acting like a child. It is over-welming but that baby is completely dependant on both of you!
Like you said, where do you go if you need some 'me-time'...? He needs a reality check! I'm gonna get off my high-horse no... sit him down and talk to him and tell him how you are feeling..
EVERY man feels like this hun in the early days, yours just doesn't seem to be dealing with it very well. could you talk to his mum/friend etc, get someone else to have a word, in the "how are you getting on?" way not the "your wife told me to tell u to wise up" way? i cant imagine how hard this must be for you. i dont know your husband, so i dont know how he'd react but if it was me and my oh, id tell him to wise up.
My DH was like yours, brilliant throughout my pregnancy, but really struggled afterwards. I had a difficult birth (the labour was fine, it was just the last half an hour what went a bit haywire!) and that has really affected him. We had to stay in hospital for 4 days (he was not allowed to stay with us), so I struggled through the first few nights on my own. He was great though as he came in every day for the entire time he was allowed (10-8).
When we came home it was when he started to struggle. We had been home less than 24 hours when reality hit and he couldn't stop crying. He would get involved with Daniel but was so stressed and worried about doing it wrong and the responsibility that he wasn't enjoying it. Top it off with the major issues we had with feeding and it made for a few difficult days. After a couple of days he broke down and told the midwife how he was feeling and she gave us some strategies to cope. She said it is actually not uncommon for dads to get the baby blues, or even a form of PND, so asking for help is important. Do you have anyone he could talk to about how he is feeling?
It was really tough for about the first month, I'm not going to lie, I was trying to get used to the baby and support DH at the same time, but it HAS got better, and now DH comes in from work and goes straight to Daniel for cuddles and play. It took a while to get there but it is so much better, it's much more how I thought it was going to be.
Anyway, I've rambled on, mainly to show that you aren't the only one to experience this, but also neither is your OH. I would really say talk to your MW or doctor as that was the real turning point for us.
maybe there is a bit more too it?
did he have a happy childhood? reason I ask is my friends husband was the same, he was terrified of any attachment to the baby just in case he accidentally hurt the LO or something happened to her.
turned out that when he was 8yrs old his younger brother who was only 18mths sadly passed away and it affected him all these years later. he had never mentioned it to his wife before, locked it away.
sadly some men aren't baby lovers, they feel a bit left out and helpless, I know my OH did when I was breastfeeding, he always thought it was me, me, me.
he just needed to find his own way to bond with her.
give it some time, suddenly he has not only you to care and provide for but a new life. we feel that life growing and moving over 9mths, that whole 9mths they rely on us to tell them what it feels like, we already have that bond and they don't.
BTW men can suffer PND too....
be strong, you doing great xxxx
Could it be possible he has PND?? I know it sounds crazy but men can get it aswell... You have to remember that it's just as over whelming for them if not more so..We're women we carried them babies for 9 months we already have that bond..It's instant from the day of BFP.. Men don't have that, it's a new person, a new life they've never met never bonded with and all of a sudden their responsible for it!!! My OH was the same.. He tried his hardest not to hold her or change her bum because he was terrified he would hurt her..He said because she was so small he felt all fingers and thumbs..She was 8lb 2oz but she wasn't very long so she really was like a little dot. I can understand why men are scared but then again women have every right to be just as panicky!
Perhaps try sitting down and talking to him to work out some sort of way you can share the responsibility. Failing that perhaps ask a family member to stay for a few days or go and stay with a family member for a little while..You've just given birth and you need all the rest you can get. It's not healthy for you physically or mentally to be dealing with everything on you're own
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter sweetheart, she's very beautiful.
You poor thing, I don't know how I would have coped without my DH so it's completely unfair that you should have to do it alone in those first precious weeks. Stress can make you forget that you are suppose to be enjoying this precious new bundle. Sounds like he is either selfish, or has a form of PND. I would get him to speak to someone. Don't give him a choice, you NEED him now and if he can't be there for you, he needs to seek some help to try to make progress as a father, having "me time" is not on. That time was finished when you decided to have a baby lol. But in all seriousness, he can have this "me time" until she starts school if you let him. Tell him he has to speak to someone about this....Otherwise you're relationship is really going to suffer sweetheart, and as you already said - you will resent him for not being there for you
Any opinions, advice, statements or other information expressed or made available on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com by users or third parties, including but not limited to bloggers, are solely those of the respective user or other third party. They do not reflect the opinions of BabyandBump.Momtastic.com and they have not been reviewed by a physician, psychologist or parenting expert or any member of the BabyandBump.Momtastic.com staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com are not a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on BabyandBump.Momtastic.com. BabyandBump.Momtastic.com does not endorse any opinion, advice, statement, product, service or treatment made available on the website. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.