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Thread: De-briefing - it's important isn't it? *long - sorry*

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Brisbane, Australia

    Default De-briefing - it's important isn't it? *long - sorry*

    As some of you may know, I gave birth to a beautiful son, Jack on Monday, 7 January. He's now 4 days old and he's the most gorgeous child. I had an almost 11 hour labour which was very tiring both physically and mentally. Thankfully, my husband was by my side, every step of the way.

    Yesterday I was feeling emotional, and was doing ok. DH was asking if I was ok and I was at the time. Between him asking the last time and when he made a comment to me taking too long in the chemist asking about new multivitamins the total time elapsed was about 15 minutes (I was gone about 5 minutes in the chemist), Jack started crying in the car and DH wasn't sure how to handle it. This was understandable as it's his first child...but the fact that he had a go at me as I "left" him with a crying baby upset me so much that it reduced me to hysterics. I was crying and demanding that he take me home...Jack was still crying in the car. We got home shortly after and I calmed down ok but had a few little cries later on that night.

    Today I went to the doctor and he asked how my mood was, and at that time, I honestly felt I was much better. This afternoon about 5.00pm, I just broke down into tears over nothing - I'm still crying now. DH suggested I have a shower to have some time to myself as I told him I felt alone within myself, (if that makes sense).

    I've had my mum here since Sunday and she's been wonderful, helping out doing stuff around the house and offering tidbits of advice here and there to DH with regard to Jack. We've had visitors almost every day and it's been lovely having them here and receiving the beautiful gifts that they've brought for Jack. I want to be alone, but at the same time am terrified of being alone. I've done this all before without a problem with my first child...had one 5 minute baby blues cry and that was it.

    After having my shower and having time to have a think about things, I've come to the conclusion that I've not been able to debrief in the sense that I haven't been able to share my story in more detail with our visitors as I feel I haven't been able to get a word in. I've tried, but get spoken over the top of and that's one of my pet hates. I just told DH that and he scoffed at it and walked out of the room.

    My sister and her family were here earlier but I wasn't able to tell my story. It's important isn't it? I feel like I'm not being heard/listened to and I don't want it to impact on my mental wellbeing.

    Mum goes home tomorrow, which I'm quietly dreading, but at the same time, it'll mean that DH will have to put in a bit more effort - he's trying very hard, I must give him that. I guess I'm also a little ****ed off that he's able to duck out to the movies tomorrow with BIL and my sister is coming to visit me. I know I'm limited to what I can do, where I can go but I guess I feel neglected and a little forgotten in the whole telling of the birth story side of things.

    Can anyone offer any thoughts or advice? I think I'll be calling my midwife and or the hospital social workers to have a chat to them as well.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    on the move.....


    I really know what you mean and it is probably just the blues.
    I think it is so important to be able to talk about the birth. I was quite traumatised by the birth and talked about it a lot with everyone. I couldnt really stop myself. Also I felt so overwhelmed by new parenthood that I just wanted to walk away from everything and just be by myself. I think make it very clear to your DH that you need to talk about how you are feeling, and also check how he is feeling. He may be feeling strange feelings too. I would definitely talk to the midwife or hospital as they will know who to direct you to so you can deal with these feelings.
    Sending you lots of big hugs.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara


    Oh hun, the first few days are so up and down no matter how many kids we've had before. It's a combination of hormones, adjustment and lack of sleep and its normal to vary so much in how we feel, even in short spaces of time.

    Who is cutting you off when you start to talk about your birth? Is it your DH or other members of your family? Sometimes people don't understand that it is important to us to share our story and maybe they don't think that it is something they should hear about kwim?

  4. #4


    FFS - trust me, let him out to the pictures now and it will be four day fishing trips before you know it. I have this with my DH - he's a DAD now, that means he's a PARENT, that means he should do some bloody PARENTING. Not tell you off for leaving him with a crying baby - I bet he leaves you with a crying baby! (11 months on and my DH is still not so great, I wish I'd been more forceful earlier!)

    There's no such thing as "just" the blues - it's serious.

    I know that when my mum came to stay with us it stopped DH from doing things because she just took over, it's quite detrimental to have a third party there in the early days. And he's just now stepping up because he's scared I'm going to set my friends on him!

    Talking over you is just rude.

    Have you posted your birth story here? That can help, you can get it out and have feedback on it, knowing that once you start you can keep going with no interuptions! I have posted mine four times now because of the trauma and violation - and finally DH admits it was a violation when I told him I was going to stick my hand up his @rse with half a second's warning and wiggle it around and see how he felt.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Brisbane, Australia


    I'm being spoken over by him unfortunately. I'll talk to him a little more about it all...he goes on about how the romanticism and whatnot of childbirth has completely gone out the window for him. That's understandable, but don't poopoo what I've got to say, because it's equally important that I get to tell my side of the story.

  6. #6


    My DH says my birth was too traumatic for him to discuss with me - excuse me, I was the one doing it! Chuffing "romanticism of childbirth". Men should be left outside the room IMO! DH still doesn't know how I feel/felt about everything, save that I'm disappointed he sided with the hospital and things happened that shouldn't have and... well, that's my de-brief.

    Get it out here, darling. There are loads of ladies here who would love to listen.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Rosehip_Fairy View Post
    and finally DH admits it was a violation when I told him I was going to stick my hand up his @rse with half a second's warning and wiggle it around and see how he felt.
    well done RHF, PMSL good on you for telling it like it is!!!! I agree with you too don't let them get out of too much at this point you'll never get them back in to it otherwise. My DH was really uncomfortable at first but he relaxed alot I kept involving him in as much as I could.
    There was no way he was going to a movie without me, no way, not happening!!! If you need to wait he needs to wait.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by mrsr View Post
    he goes on about how the romanticism and whatnot of childbirth has completely gone out the window for him. That's understandable, but don't poopoo what I've got to say, because it's equally important that I get to tell my side of the story.
    Oh, for goodness' sake - since when has birth been about romance?!? Honestly, that sort of Victorianism is why so many of us are scared out of our wits about giving birth! Sorry, I apologise for dissing your DH on a public forum (I'm sure he's got lots of good points ) but pulease! Mr r, let the woman speak!!!
    Yes, mrsr, it is so important for you to be able to share - it is such an important experience in your life, regardless of how many times you've done it. I agree with Ryn, definitely post your birth story on here - there are loads of us who are hanging to read it.
    In the mean time, take care of yourself. I understand the mood swings, the crying for no reason, etc. Post on here all you like. You certainly have a very sympathetic audience here.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Berwick, Melbourne


    Mrsr, firstly, congratulations on the birth of your son Jack.It certainly is an experience isn't it. Well done to you.

    Yes, you are correct. Debrief is important. You have the right and the need to talk about what you just experienced and achieved, the good and the bad points. It is necessary, i feel, for mental health. As frustrating as it is, you do need to do this with your husband, and although he seems like he isn't interested, could it possibly be that he is afraid? He can't possibly understand what you have just been through, he doesn't have the hormones raging through him, the pressure from family and friends to just know how to feed and bath and burp him. I realise that you are feeling extremely emotional and up and down. Like you said, want to be alone but also enjoying the company. This, unfortunately, is very common during the first 2 weeks post birth due to hormones (they have a lot to answer for don't they!). Yes it is commonly known as the blues..not only the blues as it is very real and difficult, but a common emotional occurance post birth..some get it bad, some don't really get it. I know it is hard....but continue to persist with discussing your birth experience with your husband. Definitely write it on also feels good to just write it all down without interruption. I hope you get some joy and that these feelings you have will pass. Best of luck with is an amazing experience.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Hi Mrsr
    I cant add much more that the advice that has already been posted but a couple of ideas are.
    Write a letter to everyone you want explain ho you feel and what your needs are. Another choice is, I would be happy or you th phone me for a chat if you think this would be of any help. I know its nothing like face to face but the distance between us prevents that.
    PM me if you want my number.
    Even if you only want it as a 'just in case'

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    In my own little world.


    Hi there mrsr,
    sorry, I only found this thread just now.... I am quite scared of my DH leaving me to it with a new baby. I am scared of his mates taking him out drinking etc as they all have done to excess with their own babies births. I want dh by my side, helping me and I can definately understand that you would want it too. It is completely reasonable that you want him to participate and not just duck out of the house like he is a single guy without a new baby! Have you had a chance since writing on here to talk more to him about it? Although you have done this before, it was a few years ago and it was a different baby! Every relationship is different and your time with Jack will be different than it was with James. You are a first time parent to Jack just as your DH is!
    As for being talked over.... hmm is it that he feels a little embarrassed about the candour of discussing such a personal private experience with others? He might feel it is something not to discuss, kind of like talking about intimate sex life details? Maybe that is why? Not that it should be something to stop you. If you need to talk about it you should! We have had friends tell us some quite personal details about their births and we were in no way embarrassed or intimidated by them sharing those things. It is a wonderful thing that they want to share that info with us. It shows their trust in us and appart from that it is highly educational for us soon to be parents!!! So talk away hun... I am going hunting on BB now to see if you have managed to do a birth story yet. I cant wait to hear about it!!!
    I am hoping that all this has come out the right way, I dont want to bag your DH too much as I'm sure he is struggling along the best he knows how but I am worried you arent getting the support you deserve right now. Hoping you feel on top of things soon hun. I look forward to telling you my birth story soon too!
    Hugs from Saz

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Hi Mrsr,

    I too was utterly miserable for the first couple of weeks following Euan's birth - I cried more in that time than I have ever cried in my life. I was terrified when DP went back to work 4 days after I got out of hospital and had no idea how I'd cope by myself. Luckily for me, these feelings eased - once I had written down my birth story. It was only by getting it down on 'paper' that I realised that I was quite traumatised by the circumstances of Euan's birth. I also spoke to anybody who'd listen - midwife, MCH psychologist, GP, etc. etc. Sometimes a third party can be of great help because they are not emotionally invested in the birth in some way.

    So yes, it is important that you debrief!! Your hubby may not realise exactly how important that this is to you, and is also dealing with his own response to the birth - although maybe his way of dealing with it is at odds with yours. Perhaps he is being dismissive of your need to debrief because talking about it would mean he has to admit (to you and to himself) how scared he was, and how scared he is of being a parent.

    A few days before Christmas my DP had gone out to the pub (100mtrs away) for a beer with a few friends, knowing that Euan was finally down for a sleep and so was I. He'd left a note saying where he'd gone, that he'd be back in an hour, and to call if I needed anything. His mum was still staying with us too, so it wasn't like he'd left me alone. What he didn't know (because he hadn't wanted to wake me by coming into the bedroom!) is that I'd been lying in bed unable to sleep and getting more and more stressed by the minute - and that five minutes after he left I had got up, wanting a hug in the hope it might send me to sleep. I then got upset and in tears because he wasn't there, mostly because I felt like crap, but didn't want to begrudge him the only time he'd had to himself since Euan was born because it happened to coincide with a time that I felt crap. When he got back (1 hour later, as promised!), he asked if I felt better after my sleep - I burst into tears again and told him what had happened. He asked me why I hadn't rung him - that he would have come straight home if he had known. And he would have too. I know that if I ask him to come and help me, he will drop everything (and has done), and go without sleep settling Euan even though he's got to go to work because I am exhausted.

    The point I am making with this very long and seemingly pointless ramble is that often guys find it harder to grasp the concept that newborns are 24/7 - with no understanding of parental desires to watch that TV show, or have that beer, or even just sleep. It's not that they are necessarily being deliberately neglectful, or selfish, it's just that it takes a little while for the concept to really hit home. Perhaps you could let hubby know that you are really apprehensive about your mum going home and that maybe he could postpone going to the movies until you are a bit more settled. Let him know that you recognise his need for some 'him' time (just as you need some 'you' time), but that right at the moment you really need his help. Two or three hours is nothing to us, but it's a very long time in the life of a week old baby. Perhaps there is something else he can do to get a bit of a break right now that doesn't involve being away from the house for so long, or that means that he can't come back to the house if he's needed.

    And please, I'd love to hear your birth story!

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