Because of these experiences, I have expressed to DH that I really hope we go into labour at home on our own, so that we can call our midwives & doula, but then just get on with the business of birth and not have to notify our families until all is said and done. I don't want the pressure to perform in a timely manner, and I don't want to be interrupted by the phone or the doorbell. DH will be turning off the ringers on the phone, unplugging the doorbell, and locking the door. He will not permit anyone (including his own mother) to enter our house without my express invitation. I know that sounds kinda harsh.... but everyone has such strong expectations about how I"ll birth (because I'm a doula) that I feel really strongly about being left the he** alone to just do what I need to do and it's none of their business how "good" a birther I am.
(Also - we have been very open since day one that we would be birthing at home - this is NOT new news).
Yesterday I was talking to my Mom on the phone about a soup recipe I'm preparing for the birth and she says
"Oh... so you're staying home for the *whole* thing??".
"You're not going to the hospital at all?"
No Mom. The midwives bring everything they need to us, and we will be birthing at home. If we do need to go to the hospital, we will be going to Hospital B (1 hour East of where my parents live, 30 minutes East of our home), NOT to Hospital C (in the town they live in, 30 minutes West of our home), because our midwives only have priviledges at B, not at C. But the plan is to give birth at home.
"Oh...Well I certainly hope you call us the second everything starts and keep us up to date" (with distinct disappointment in her voice)
*Sigh* the right thing to say at that point would have been "We'll keep everyone as up-to-date as possible Mom". That would have satisfied her, and still left us the wiggle room to not call because we were too busy. But I didn't say that. She caught me off-guard and I told the truth. I told her "this (see above) is my experience with clients over the last 6 years. This is what I don't want to happen. For these reasons, we plan to tell people when the baby is born, but we do not plan to give updates about labour". Yeah... that didn't go over so well. "But I'm not some client. I'm a woman. And I'm your mother. We're supposed to share these moments." (This is a very old refrain in our relationship. She's always wanted to be my best friend and has unrealistic expectations which I don't meet). When I tried to explain about not wanting the distraction of updates etc she tried to tell me that I would never even hear the phone or doorbell ring and that a whole parade of people could come through my living room, I would never notice because I'm in labour. (Does she even know me???) She then told me that what I really needed was another person at the birth whose only job was to call family and give regular updates on my progress and how I was doing. And if I didn't want an extra person, then my doula's job should be to call family with regular updates. (Did you not hear anything I just said? I don't want to feel like a watched pot. And my doula is here for ME, not for YOU.) Of course I didn't say that though!! I explained in my kindest and gentlest and most conciliatory voice that our phone ringers would be turned off and the door locked, and that while we *would* update family when the baby was born, we had no intention of providing regular updates throughout. If I change my mind in the moment then so be it, and if labour begins while we're out somewhere, and even one person knows about it, we will make sure it's fair and that both families know, but the plan now is to keep things quiet.
Yeah. She's not happy. So now I feel horribly guilty that I'm being a bad daughter and that I *should* want to update everyone, every step of the way, and that I *should* be okay with having the 11 members of our nearby familes crammed into our 700 sq foot home, alongside the midwives, doula, and birth pool, within moments of the birth. But I just don't want it. I don't want to know in the back of my mind during labour that someone in the room is reporting on me to people who aren't there. And the thought of managing family visitors immediately post-birth is still one of my biggest stressors.
So - am I being unreasonable? Does everyone update everyone these days?? Or is it okay to want my privacy?? Who do you plan to notify when labour begins?