One new mum has taken to the internet looking for validation after being upset that her husband offered her no support during labour – in fact, he sat in the corner of the room with his phone.
I recently gave birth and to our daughter. My water broke and I was induced the next day due to infection risk. Inductions can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, so I’m not expecting my husband to put his phone away and stare at me the whole time.
Everything was going quite smoothly at first. I got the epidural, was comfortable, baby was tolerating contractions well and labour was progressing nicely. I have no issue with my husband being on his phone here.
The midwife was monitoring baby’s heart rate, and about 14 hours into the induction, the baby’s heart rate dropped and she quickly repositioned me. This happens again and she repositioned me again. My husband was just playing on his phone through this. While the baby’s heart rate was dropping the medicine in the epidural ran out. The midwife understandably wanted to wait until the baby’s heart rate was stable for a while before she left the room to get more of the medicine for the epidural. During this time, contractions were frequent and painful (baby was sunny side up). I was breathing loudly trying to get through them and it was obvious I was in pain. During all of this, my husband was sitting in the corner, head down, on his phone. I would have really appreciated him walking over to the bed and showing concern or offering me comfort at this time, however he didn’t even look over at me.
I was upset about this and on the way back from the hospital I told him as much. At first he tried to tell me that he wasn’t on his phone while this was happening. He then revised his version of events to tell me he was paying attention despite being on his phone when the midwife said the baby’s heart rate was dropping. It upsets me because his attention was divided here. I dropped the conversation here because I didn’t want to start a big fight while also trying to figure out how to care for a day old baby.
This still was upsetting me and a few weeks later and I brought it up with my husband again. He said he didn’t want to get up and come to my bedside because it would make me panic and freak out, so that’s why he continued to sit in the corner on his phone. He also said there was nothing he could’ve done when I was in pain since he’s not a doctor. He said he loves me the most and that I should’ve communicated to him that I needed him in that moment. In my mind it’s pretty obvious that during birth your partner should pay attention and comfort you as needed. His actions and explanations don’t make much sense to me and I’m still upset about this scenario. Am I wrong to be upset?
Needless to say, commenters were not buying his pathetic excuses or his reasoning that she should have told him what she needed.
He sounds useless and immature. What grown man needs to be TOLD to comfort his wife when she’s pushing out his own child?? Why must it all fall on you? (jaded-Kitty87)
“You didn’t clearly communicate!” Seems to be the new go-to of men with weaponized incompetence.
“I didn’t know you wanted me to show some level of interest in my baby’s dropping heart rate and your labor distress! How could I possibly know that you want me to show care in my own child’s survival, unless you TELL me?”
Yet weirdly, once again, these men seem to be fine making common sense assumptions at work, with friends, etc. Hmmmmm how odd. (Surfercatgonolegs)
OP was wanting from him was basic empathy. You shouldn’t have to instruct your partner to show a little care when you are in agony and going through what can be a life threatening process. Sure, they aren’t going to automatically know what you most want in that moment (like, they won’t necessarily just know that you’d like a sip of water, or them holding your hand, or whatever). But any partner should be able to show a basic level of concern and care. She wasn’t expecting him to magically provide exactly what she most wanted in each moment like a mind reader… she was literally just expecting her partner to care that she was in agony and going through some complications. (positronic-introvery)
As people were only too quick to point out – the role of the ‘support person’ is, as the name suggests, to support the labouring mother. It was his job to support her both emotionally and physically, and advocate for her if she was unable to do it for herself. The fact that he doesn’t even look up from his phone while she was labouring without pain medication, is unforgivable.
There’s nothing he could do?? That’s not true at all. There was plenty he could do. Offer you sips of water between contractions, give you positive affirmations, counter pressure, physical and emotional support go a long way in helping a woman through labor. Or at least ensuring she felt supported.
I’m so sorry. Was he not interested in birth classes or reading up on how to support a laboring partner either? Was he present in some other way in the 9 months leading up to birth, like learning how to care for a newborn or be a father? You’re not wrong. There was plenty he could have done or learned to do but didn’t. It’s no secret having a baby is hard. (wat_dafuq)
That’s why, when I give birth prep classes (ob/gyn nurse), I make sure the partner or the person accompanying the mother knows that they will have an active role. Labor is work and not just for the mother. They need to do their part comforting, reassuring and advocating for her, since she won’t be able to do it herself. If your wife and baby are in a situation of vulnerability and possible pain, you get off your fucking phone and help. (deceaseddin1903)
Some people tried to warn the new mum that she may have just had a sneak peek at how parenting will be with her husband in the long run.
Ah I had a friend like your husband. Same thing, wife was in labor and he couldn’t be arsed to look up from his phone the whole time. It was also a preview for how involved he would be with the kid, which was not involved at all. I don’t think he changed even 1 diaper and would just wave to his wife when the poor kid was crying. He was positively SHOCKED when his wife handed him divorce papers 2 years later. (ntothesecond)
What do you think? Could you forgive your partner if they did this whilst you were in labour?