I get that. Do they visit often? If your area is unfamiliar/exciting to them, maybe you (or better yet, DH) could suggest a few day or half-day trips they could take while they're over. "Moppet and I will just be resting today and won't be much fun, so would you guys like to go visit our cool cinema/zoo/parks/art gallery/market?". That would give you some holing-up time.
I'm a bit compulsive about hostessing as well; I always feel supremely guilty if someone comes over and I don't have homebaked goodies to offer them. I guess I should make some loaves or biscuits and freeze 'em for postpartum visitors. That's actually one reason I want to do the birth centre thing instead of HBing this time around - I won't feel bad about not getting people cups of tea and cake at the birth centre, because they won't expect it. :p (Plus, a lot of people are more comfortable visiting a BC than a HB right after a baby's born, I notice, so I can get a bunch of newborn visits out of the way while I'm in a pretty, clean environment that wasn't cleaned by me!)
In other news: we have two birth centres in my city, plus the hospital, all of which are about a 10 minute drive from our house. I had DD at the hospital, but transferred to birthing centre A afterwards for two days. I've heard heaps of people say they preferred it to birthing centre B, but we were going to go with centre B this time because they have double beds. At centre A, DH had to sleep on this uncomfy narrow window seat thing, which wasn't ideal. Fortunately, my MW mentioned yesterday that centre A has phased that out and now has proper double beds too! Yay. :) It has much nicer birthing tubs - a big proper spa-like one, not just narrow baths - and apparently the food and staff are nicer, so I'm happy to go there.
It's also slightly closer. Am I totally crazy to be thinking it would be cool to walk to the birth centre in labour? It'd have to be at a quiet time of day (or night), because you have to cross a main street to get there and I don't want rush-hour traffic to be gawking at the pregnant woman clutching the traffic light pole and swaying. :p But if it were, like, 8PM and I was coping OK with labour, I think it might be kinda nice. Ehh, probably won't happen; it's probably the same delusion as when I planned to bake bread during DD's birth. (I couldn't have anyway, being in hospital and all, but yeah - the way I was feeling, there's no way I would have been up to making bread!)
I am still giggling about you serving tea after the birth. That's exactly what I mean though, I just worry that I'm going to spend the whole visit feeling bad that I'm not being Martha Stewart.
Interesting that they let you stay so long at the birth center. All the ones I know of around here send you home after a few hours.
How long would it take you to walk? It could be good, but if it's really long you don't want to get stuck halfway and give birth while swaying against that traffic pole. LOL.
Sarah, I love the dress! Count me in with the halter strap crew, mostly because I like having something that helps me keep "the girls" up. Otherwise I yank at it all the time.
Had my first round of heartburn last night. I guess that Indian curry wasn't a good idea an hour before bed. But it was soooooooo tasty. Anyone else having lower back pain/pressure? It's been about two days now for me and I'm getting kind of miserable. I need to make a chiro appointment I think.