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Other people's expectations

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
This entire pregnancy has been such a blessing. I've been very healthy, haven't gained *too* much weight, all tests and such are negative. I've really been able to focus on having a natural birth and haven't seen any reason crop up that may stop me (well, other than my OB suddenly suggesting inducing because my last babe was "big" at 8 pounds 12 oz, but I quickly told him we'd discuss it at 40 weeks, no sooner).

I've spent so much time mentally preparing for the natural birth I want, which I didn't get to have with my son, and I feel confident I can do it. I have been doing hypnobabies since week 20 or so and hired a doula this time around.

Isn't this all what it should be about? What *I* am expecting, what I want for this birth? Afterall, it's my body, my last child, my dream to have a fantastic birth. So what's with other people expecting me to call them "on the way to the hospital" and such?

I just don't get their imposition that the day I am in labor can, should, and will be about anything other than me and my baby. I about lost my cool the other day when my mom, who lives in another state and therefore won't be in the room with me, told me quite directly that she wants a call as I'm going to the hospital. Umm....I think I might be busy trying to concentrate through the contractions, ya think?? One of my girlfriends said the same thing, but seeing as she's in town and will come to the hospital and be with my during delivery (if it's her day off work) then yeah, I want to have her there. I'll call her if it's her day off.

But I'm not going to be making a string of phone calls to placate family and friends on the way to the hospital! They can find out after the baby is here - or am I just being selfish? Not having gone into spontaneous labor before, I don't know what my state of mind will be, but I certainly don't want to make any promises that I'm going to be calling people duirng labor. Is that crazy of me, or crazy of people to be expecting this of me?
post #2 of 21
I totally hear you. I feel the same way. My sister wants an update on where I am at every second of the day.

While I dearly love my sister, it just isn't something I need to be doing while I am in labor.

My water broke this morning, and I've been sitting around all day waiting for contractions. I've seen lots of friends and family pretending everything is normal. I just hope they don't see the occasional stream of water trickling down my legs

We are not telling anyone until the baby is born when WE are ready to tell them. I don't need people showing up at the birth center or calling constantly because THEY need an update.
post #3 of 21
No, it's not you, your family members are being jerks. I've dealt with the same issue before, esp with baby #1. My mil gets very competitive about wanting to be the first one there, the first to know, the first to hold the baby, etc.. It's annoying. Just call who you NEED to call (ie: person who will be taking care of your other child, your DH, etc.) and don't worry about anyone else. If they are trying to cause drama now, you won't want them anywhere near you the day you give birth anyway.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by christibale View Post
I totally hear you. I feel the same way. My sister wants an update on where I am at every second of the day.

While I dearly love my sister, it just isn't something I need to be doing while I am in labor.

My water broke this morning, and I've been sitting around all day waiting for contractions. I've seen lots of friends and family pretending everything is normal. I just hope they don't see the occasional stream of water trickling down my legs

We are not telling anyone until the baby is born when WE are ready to tell them. I don't need people showing up at the birth center or calling constantly because THEY need an update.
OP - you are NOT being unreasonable. My mom was upset that I didn't tell her when my water broke (about 40 hrs before ds2 was actually born) - we just called after he was here.

Christibale - hang in there! I didn't have contrax until 36 hrs after my water broke and then it was FAST (4.5 hrs start to finish).
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlovs View Post
But I'm not going to be making a string of phone calls to placate family and friends on the way to the hospital! They can find out after the baby is here - or am I just being selfish? Not having gone into spontaneous labor before, I don't know what my state of mind will be, but I certainly don't want to make any promises that I'm going to be calling people duirng labor. Is that crazy of me, or crazy of people to be expecting this of me?
Everyone wants to be called, and so many moms I've known have even said they'd call when they go into labor (even just to call other people from the mother blessing to all light candles) and I think no one ever calls.

Focus on labor. Honestly once I really got into labor, making telephone calls was the last thing on my mind.
Tell everyone you'll do what you can, let your DP deal with it.
post #6 of 21
We were so excited before our first baby that we did call the ILs when I went into labor (my own family was already with us). They then proceeded to call us EVERY few minutes to get updates. I had been in hard natural labor for 24+ hours and they kept calling - we turned our phones off and they called the hospital desk - ugh. I could hear MIL in the background, "why aren't they doing a C-section, it has been to long, blah, blah".

So if you don't want to call don't call. Trust me.

edited to add - this time around I am homebirthing and have instituted a no phone policy at all. No family is to be called or phones to be answered during the birth at all.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by melamama View Post
Focus on labor. Honestly once I really got into labor, making telephone calls was the last thing on my mind.
That was my thinking! My mother had 5 kids - why doesn't she know this?
post #8 of 21
not in your ddc... buttt i had this problem to. i made sure that my best friend (who lived with me and dp at the time) and my mom had the phone numbers of all 438 zillion people who felt the needed to know when i went into labor and they called them.
post #9 of 21
I will only make calls if I want to. Otherwise, everyone will know when the baby has arrived and not when I am in labor. I will be at home and the phones will be off and the only people here will be DH, midwife and SIL.

Labor is hard work - keep in mind that other people's expectations are not important in this situation! It's all about you, Mama!!
post #10 of 21
I dunno, but maybe i'm the odd one out here.

I wouldn't take it so personally if family or friends had any of these expectations of me. If someone asked me to call them while I was in labor, I'd probably start laughing. I would just say 'not gonna happen'. You should never feel badly about stating how you feel. Pregnancy and birth are such a personal experience. I dont' even like talking about my pregnancy with anyone, i'm very private. Just stick to your convictions and don't feel any guilt (or whatever label you want to affix) about your choices - you own after all.
post #11 of 21
I believe many people have seen "A Baby Story" too many times. I truly think that most people envision mom getting those first few contractions, laughing and smiling, getting to the hospital right away to get that epidural and then lay in the bed, laughing and smiling, and making phone calls.
post #12 of 21
It's so funny what people think you will be doing in labor. Maybe you will feel like calling, maybe not! Probably not!!!
I have made it clear to everyone they will know when I am good and ready. I guess I'm lucky that so far my kids have been born in the middle of the night when no one is really going to bug me. i just wait until a normal time and have someone (DH or my sister or someone) give certain people a buzz to let them know that baby has arrived. By that I mean, labor starts around 9 or 10 and I deliver before sunrise, this time I need someone to watch my kids though! So I will have to alert someone. Either my mother or MIL, I haven't really decided. And while I get the daily, "oh, no baby yet" calls, it's better than the demand for calls in labor I guess.
post #13 of 21
If we speed and the cars don't fall apart, Mom lives an hour and a half away. Of course she wants to know the minute anything starts happening so she can have plenty of time to get here. Nevermind the fact that this is my first and I might not know what's "true" labor and what isn't... I'd hate for her to take time off work and waste the gas only to have to turn around and go home.

(That, and our relationship is rocky at the moment.)

My couple live and work about an hour away. I think I want to call one or two of my friends who live nearby, just so I don't have to start off alone.
post #14 of 21
I generally don't get offended if people ask me to give them a call while in labor - I try to look at it as a sign that they care about our family. But no one has been pushy about it - it has more been like, "If you want to call us and let us know when you are in labor, we'd be delighted to be thinking of you at that time and sending you good vibes."

Our family members are good about respecting our wishes/privacy, so maybe that contributes to my not feeling annoyed. They aren't the type to call constantly for updates, etc.

Plus, we have to call half a bunch of people anyway, because my stepdaughter's mom is taking her and DS, but if she has to work my dad/stepmom have to take DS from her. And DH's mom is taking the dog. So almost everyone in the inner circle needs a call when I am in labor anyway.
post #15 of 21
We didn't call anyone until both births were over. I didn't really care what anyone asked me to do. I can understand them being excited and wanting to know but it just never registered on my radar. I think I was just focusing on myself, my baby and my husband.

I don't think you have to meet the expectations of anyone when you are in labor. Just take from their request that the love you and are excited but if you don't feel like calling, just don't.
post #16 of 21
My mom keeps telling me, "I want you to call me when you're on the way to the hospital, and then call again when they admit you, so I know you're staying" (going for a hospital water birth). She does live 9-10 hours away, and is spending the night with my sister at the half-way point, but still! I have had a number of other people say, "Just call us when you're going into labor", but I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I have been talking to a couple of ladies from my church, and they way it seems to work at this church (we're the youth directors) is that when one of the pastor's wives is in labor, it's a big party at the hospital and everyone hangs out in the room until the DR says, "Ok, it's time to push"... not happening!
I have taken to just smiling and kindly letting them know that they're on the call list for after the baby comes or that we will definitely let them know when she gets here.

I think I might not even call people until we are back at home and feeling comfortable, I don't think I really want visitors the first couple of days...
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
No, it's not you, your family members are being jerks.
Or they're just super excited and happy for you and want to share it.

Can you have your partner be in charge of all calls? Or have a call tree that only requires you to call ONE person, who then makes all other calls? That person could then ask everyone not to call you directly, that they will be in contact, etc.
post #18 of 21
My sweet grandma who has no ill intentions, ever, asked me to call her when I was in labor. I just had to giggle and tell her no way will I be calling her! I would never ever want to hurt her feelings, but I had to kinda brush it off so I didn't make her feel rejected. I just told her that I didn't want her to worry, and that she'll be the first one to know when the baby gets here. While she has no ill intentions, she's a huge huge worrier, and I don't want any of those vibes being sent my way during labor. Therefore she cannot know! Cause there's no stopping her from worrying. It was hard to say no, but I think I did it pretty gently and she'll be just fine!
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzzmom View Post
Or they're just super excited and happy for you and want to share it.

Can you have your partner be in charge of all calls? Or have a call tree that only requires you to call ONE person, who then makes all other calls? That person could then ask everyone not to call you directly, that they will be in contact, etc.
Yeah, but super excited doesn't mean that they won't be super annoying. It's like how my mil ruined our engagement, by telling me the ring was in before my DH got to officially pop the question, b/c, "she just had to be a part of it all." Yeah, she was super excited, but you can sure as hell bet that my DH and I were super pissed off that she did that and ruined a very special moment for us. I know that both sides of our families are at their all time dramatic annoying BEST when we are trying to deal with a big event or family crisis... such as being labor. IMO, calling ppl who aren't crucial in HAVING to know when you go into labor RIGHT NOW is just bringing more work/hassle onto yourself, b/c they expect updates, some ppl insist on visiting, ppl might show up and it's a PITA, even if your spouse is willing to field those call, why put him/her through it? They should get to focus on you and the baby.
post #20 of 21
I never wanted to be on the phone, but I didn't mind if DH called around a bit to let people know what was going on...
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