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giving birth without husband

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  • giving birth without husband

    just found out my husband will not be able to make it to the birth of our second child. He's in the military and leaving 5 weeks before my due date, scheduled to be back sometime betweeen 10-12 weeks after our child is born. Does anyone have any advice on how to make sure they still can bond? He is such a good father and has an amazing connection with our daughter and was my number one support through that birth. This is breaking his heart and I want our second child to have that connection with him too. thanks

  • #2
    Here are some responses from the Facebook fans:

    Comment 1:
    My hubby took over all sleep time care. Which helped him bond to baby. And he was the only one who could get babe to sleep! Wonderful bonding!

    Comment 2:
    Skype to be there virtually?
    Lots of skin to skin, bathing together, baby massage, anything that promotes regular nurturing touch.
    Can mum wear a t-shirt that smells of dad or can he sleep with a wool stuffed toy or bed sheet beforehand to give it his scent. co-sleeping and baby wearing of course

    Comment 3:
    we've had my son sleeping in our bed since he was 2 weeks old and he is SUPER close to my hubby. In fact, when it comes down to choosing between the two of us for snuggling (without nursing), he chooses his daddy.

    Comment 4:
    I think a father's love for his child is immediate and just by following his heart and doing all he can to help out, cuddle, nurse, and care for the child will strengthen that bond. I never felt so close to my girls than when I was up at night caring for them. I was away on trips for business, and it was ALWAYS hard, but the bond was permanent.


    • #3
      Howdy Daisymama-
      First - Congratulations on baby number 2! At the API group that I'm a co-leader of we're in the process of going through API's Eight Principles of Parenting with an emphasis on our expanding families. We're having a baby boom! My heart goes out to you, we're a military family also but have been lucky enough to have papa home at our two births.
      I really liked a few fb suggestions, like is there any way to skype with your dh during early labor, and then again right after birth? That would of course depend on where the birth is happening. But the beauty of skype is the transportable laptop, goes where you and the baby are.
      Also I think the "papa's shirt" option is right on target for the smell recognition. Maybe your husband could wear a t-shirt to sleep a couple of nights in a row every night until he leaves and leave you with a stash of those to wear when your not doing skin-to-skin, that would definitely bring his scent into the baby's world.
      And a way to have him connect with his older child and baby - record/video him reading beloved stories so his older child will have him close and his new baby will become accustomed to his voice.
      A few receiving blankets that the baby has been wrapped in and held in would be a wonderful connection for your husband to receive while away from his family, that could also help him bond with the baby he has yet to meet.
      Of course photos photos photos for the papa, skyping, and any voice communication will help the baby with voice recognition when he returns.
      Then of course, after the return of your husband, I imagine a bed with all family members in it, lounging and loving and sleeping and telling stories and getting back to the feel of a family will go a long way towards the papa feeling a part of it all.
      Best of luck to you daisymama, with the birth and the older child and hubby.


      • #4
        My husband was so involved in our first son's care as a newborn. When I had our second child, he was there for the birth, but the first couple of months he did a lot less babywearing, etc because he was busy looking after our toddler. Also, our second son tended to scream whenever he wasn't being held by Mommy for the first couple of months. I remember my husband trying to hold our crying baby (he would have been around 6 weeks old at the time), and saying to me, "He doesn't like me!" It wasn't true, but it was how he felt.

        By the time our baby was 3-4 months old, he was a lot more interested in Daddy. As a toddler he was a total Daddy's boy and would often prefer my husband if we both were home. So your husband is not going to miss out on bonding opportunities, even if he misses the first few months.

        I agree with Connor's advice about the smell recognition, going in both directions. When your husband returns, I would recommend a good sling or baby carrier, or just skin to skin contact (Daddy taking off shirt and snuggling with the baby).

        I hope you will have other support present at your birth, even though I know that can't take the place of your husband.


        • #5
          My sister had 1 baby while my Brother in Law was serving in the middle east. And 3 that he was home for their births. She created a mobile for over the changing table and crib with his pictures all over it, so that my niece would see lots of pictures of him. They used Skype as much as possible. But in the end when he came home, they bonded beautifully. He has an amazing relationship with both of his girls and missing the one's birth didn't seem to effect that bond. There was def. an adjustment period for everyone but they have more than made up for it. For the older one when he was gone the second time she made a pillow with Daddy's picture so she could take Daddy to bed with her every night. That pillow was very worn out by the time he got home.

          Good luck! You'll do great, and just remember that when he gets home he can make up for the bonding time he's going to miss. The connection will be just as strong from what I've seen.


          • #6
            that is so hard! we are also a military family and it's really hard to have daddy away. your baby and husband will bond. i love the suggestion of creating a mobile for the baby. if you can skype or have phone calls make sure the baby can hear his voice. consider hiring a doula for your birth since your number one support is unable to attend. your baby WILL bond with daddy. once he's home, encourage lots of skin-to-skin contact between the two and have him hold your baby on his chest while the baby sleeps. this will encourage the bonding process. take care of yourself!


            • #7
              thanks for all the great tips. Unfortunately he'll be at OCS, so no Skype during the birth. He'll be able to call me but it's when HE can, not when I need him. I love the mobile idea as well and the pillow for my DS. Turns out he's leaving a few weeks earlier than expected which I'm happy about because it'll give DS more time to adjust to DH being gone before baby shows up. And, he won't miss as much of babys life this way which is nice. Thanks again!