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Visitors during and after childbirth --- thoughts?

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

My husband and I are starting Bradley method childbirth ed classes very soon. Since this is our first time around, I'm super excited to learn about what lies ahead! We haven't developed a complete birth plan yet besides knowing we're doing things at home, using a birthing pool, and we'll be assisted by our midwife and her assistant and doula. One thing that we'll need to determine is if we'll allow anyone else to visit during the birthing process. I'm hoping our families respect our privacy because I'm thinking that I want it to be a completely private event and not even allow visitors until hours after the birth so we have that bonding time with our daughter. Heck, I'd like to prolong visitation until a day later, lol. Although, I do have a good girl friend that I have considered inviting over to give me extra support, and she has expressed she'd be honored to be there with me. Hopefully this isn't a slap in the face to my mom. I have yet to voice my opinion to her.

 

On the other side of the spectrum, I have a friend who is giving birth in a few weeks and has invited anyone and everyone who wants to come watch the birth! It's interesting hearing other sides and what thoughts are going into people's decisions.

 

How soon did any of you invite friends/family to visit you (during labor or no?) and your newborns, whether you gave birth at home, at a birthing center or a hospital? Reasons, thoughts, etc? Share it all! smile.gif


Edited by birdhappy85 - 8/1/11 at 4:03am
post #2 of 67

I made plans with my best friend and the time when I knew I was pregnant. I didn't want my mother there she came anyways. I am a private person. I didnt want anyone to come to the hospital and visit me and seemed like everyone came and then by passed the note on the door to stop by the nurses station. I want to bond with baby, so I like alone time. I only want my hubby and kids there. My mother was very upset because I didnt tell her whenI was having my twins, because again I didnt want here there and she would come anyways. She became very rude to me for a while, it didnt hurt my feeling because I feel that if she cant respect my decisions then why should I be sad? This time she knows that Im not going to tell her again. I probably wont tell anyone that I had the baby until I come home. I think it's rude that when Im nursing and all open people just walking trying to take the baby out of my arms or when Im in the bathroom taking care of female business they walk in and comment on how much I'm bleeding. People I know are just rude and this time..... I am not have that any more. Hopefully the 3rd time is a charm!

post #3 of 67

I'm probably going to have the unpopular/ uncommon opinion here on having family at the birth, but I have a reason! Here it is:

 

With dd1, I let my family be in the room at the hospital the entire time. (I got there at 9.5 cm, so I was only in the L&D for 2.5 hours.  So my mom, dad, and brother were there for the birth and the time right afterwards. They were standing around dd1 when she was being weighed and examined, and I remember that she grabbed my dad's finger. I think it is one of the most special memories of his to this day. Btw, I wasn't super thrilled with them being there, but it was very important to them.

 

With dd2, I decided to have a home birth. I also decided that I didn't want anyone there other than my xh and my midwife. This really hurt my mom. At the time, I felt like my wishes/ needs for the birth were more important. Now, I think I was wrong. Here's the thing: almost seven years after the birth, I don't remember any super special magical benefits of me being alone for that birth. But I DO remember hurting my mother. And I think she still feels sad about missing the birth of one of her two grandchildren. 

 

For this birth, I will let them be there again. I sincerely feel that it means more to them in the long run than it does to me for that few hours. I know that to most people, that attitude sounds crazy! Almost everyone will say that you should only have who you really want there, that the birth is about you and the baby and bonding, etc. And they are right! I just happen to feel differently for me and my situation. And I figured you wanted all opinions. :)

 

 

post #4 of 67

DDCC from December (I'm due the 1st and have been reading both) I haven't fully read through the other responses, I'll have to come back later. 

 

We really wanted a homebirth, and have ended up being forced into a hospital birth, so that changed a bit of our plans. We will have just my husband and I, and our doula until we get to the hospital. The only reason I'm even having my doula come to the house rather than meeting us at the hospital is because I was photos. I plan to labor at home for as long as possible. In early labor I may have family over, but right now, I plan to be alone. 

 

At the hospital, we are requesting no one come join us the entire time. I don't do well under pressure, and I can't risk having my labor slow down because I feel awkward or on show. It's just not something I'm willing to worry about. It will be just DH and I, the doula, doctor at the end, and hopefully one nurse (we are requesting they keep personel to a min.).  We hope to leave approx 12 hours after the birth and go back home. 

 

Here's where it changes... with a homebirth, we were planning on sending everyone tons of phtoos, but requesting a few days alone before anyone came and met the baby. Since we will now be changing venues, and not have a midwife at home with us doing visits, I think we will invite family over the next day, in limited amounts, to help out and visit. 

 

I think it's all about individual comfort levels. Some people feel boosted by having a cheering crowd waiting for them-- to me it sounds claustraphobic. 

 

 

post #5 of 67
I personally believe that birth is not a spectator sport. Only me, the dh, the hospital required nurse and my beloved CNM were in the room when the babies were born.

Thank goodness we lived in different towns from our family and did have them sneaking around the hospital trying to get in. That would have PO'd me royally. Now, my births were Bradley glorious with no problems and no interventions of any kind but my beautiful vulva is shy. Adding any extra people would have messed with the great vibe I had going on with hubby.

Also, both babies were born at night and I was home by lunch the next day both times... so no visitors in the hospital.
Edited by philomom - 7/21/11 at 11:35am
post #6 of 67

 

 

I have had 2 hospital births.  The first was after 6 weeks in the hospital- I begged for my epidural as soon as we knew it was eminent (I was exhausted from weeks of laboring on and off).  I had ALL kinds of family there- parents, grandparents, aunts.  Honestly, I could not have cared less at that point.  I had been through so much all I wanted was my baby OUT of my body, and to be at home.  I don't regret it at all, and I don't feel like I would have done it any differently.

 

My 2nd was a natural hospital birth with only my husband and my mom in the room.  I told everyone else to stay home, that the rest of our parents/siblings could come visit the next day, and all other family could plan a day later in the week.  It worked out well, and because I set clear boundaries, even with my MIL who did not like it, nobody showed up until the next day when we invited them to do so.  Boundaries are important.  Dont be afraid to be fierce and bossy!

 

With this one me and my husband plan to do it alone. BUT, I have told the grandmothers that they can wait in the waiting room if they want. 

post #7 of 67

Katie just posted a sort of similar thread so I'll cut and paste pieces of my response...

 

I birthed my first at a birth center.   Other than the mw, nurse, and dh, we were alone and I loved it that way.  I am more private and would prefer to be pretty much alone during intense moments.  I had invited my sister to be there who was a doula and going to be a mw, but she didn't fly down in enough time since I went 8 days early.  Really I never felt like I missed having her there.  She helped out during the pp period and that was nice.  My MIL was travel/working in town at the time and we invited her over the next day to see the baby and then asked to be left alone for the next week.  I even asked my sister to leave a few days early b/c I felt like I really wanted to be alone with the baby and dh and figure things out without someone constantly trying to help and give advice.  But I have to say as soon as my sister left, I missed her help.  And after that week of being alone, I realized just how much I appreciated my MIL coming over to cook or hold the baby while I took a shower.  So for me, I want the birth to be private, but afterward- bring  on the help!!!

 

With my second I wanted no one there except my dh.   So much so that we planned a UC that was derailed by family drama.  At any rate in the actual birthing room dh and I were alone (mw in the next room) and that was perfect.  Afterward we really could have used help and many things got in the way- mostly b/c of even more family drama.  That part of the birth/pp period really sucked.

 

As for support during the birth, one of the things that has always concerned me about Bradley is that it puts quite a bit of responsibility on the dh/dp as the coach.  Now, some guys can totally fill that role and it's awesome.  But there are other guys that cannot and sometimes you don't know until that moment that they simply cannot.  Partners will go through their own cycles of emotion during the birth and there may be times where they are not capable of being the support you need.  Or that may not be true at all and they always manage to do what is needed in the moment.  I was concerned about my dh, but just trusted that it would work out.  He has had some issues with blood and pain in the past, nearly fainting and actually throwing up when I was getting my bandages replaced on my severed index finger.   So I wasn't sure what would happen with birth.  But he was amazing.  Both times.  Totally there for me.  It sounds like you really want just your dh,  too, and trust that it will work.  I say follow your gut.  Plus your mw already has a birth assistant so there will already be an extra person there that knows about birth to help out if needed.  Other visitors will likely just be in the way, wondering what to do, changing the energy of the space.  Some people like to be surrounded by loved ones while birthing and feed off that energy, but for me I'd rather hide in my bedroom- I do not need people staring at me, bustling around in my kitchen, competing for the bathroom, making noise, etc.

 

So here's the thing, a lot of people can't seem to figure out how to help the way you need it.  They automatically try to help the way they think you need it and/or the way they want to help. And sometimes they think what you say you need is unreasonable (that's my favorite... irked.gif).   I found it immensely important to set clear boundaries when it came to the birth/visiting pp and to state specific tasks that I could really use help with.  Otherwise, for example, I would find my mom scrubbing the hallway floor on her hands and knees (not using a mop) and it took her forever!  During that time I really could have used a hand making lunch instead.  My MIL often tried to get dh and I out of the house together for "a break" while she held the baby- practically throwing us out the door.  I didn't want to be out of the house yet.  But she sure could have done a load of diaper laundry!  So again, be clear on what you actually need.

 

The other thing to consider is what type of energy different people will bring to the situation.  Some people can't seem to keep their mouths shut and feel compelled to say things to you about how they would do things or what you should be doing instead.  You really don't need that type of person around when you're trying to muddle through things on your own for the first time.  So my advice is to limit interaction with that type of person and instead invite the people that actually can help you out if you need it.  Someone who knows how to use your baby carrier.  Someone who can help you with your cloth diapers if you need assistance.   Someone who can give you helpful and accurate tips on breastfeeding.  Not the person who will tell you that you're crazy for cloth diapering, need to supplement b/c the baby is clearly starving, or tells you to just put the  baby in the bouncy seat and let him/her "fuss a bit b/c it's okay" while you're cooking.

 

Did you get a chance to read the Holistic Stages of Labor article I posted a while back?  I found it really powerful and super helpful in focusing my desires for the birth.

post #8 of 67

I fear this is going to get realllly long, so I apologize.

 

First of all, I think it depends on your individual preferences as well as your situation.  If your family is helpful in ways that you see fit, and you have a great relationship then maybe it will look different than if you had family that stresses you out.  Here's my experience:

 

For my DS1 my husband and I wanted to have a private birth.  We did Bradley but ended up being induced because I was ten days post-date. This was devastating for me and DH and I don't think that any of my family members (except my sister who;d just been induced as well) understood.  So right off the bat we didn't feel supported.  Secondly, we don't have great relationships with either sides of our family.  It isn't drama- just tense, awkward, stressful, and not great yet we are civil.  So I wasn't afraid of anything dramatic happening but being around them doesn't put me in a good place, especially not for a birthing.  It's so important to not be impeded by people who have negative energy when you're birthing.  it totally has an affect on your ability to relax.

We also didn't want any family to be around a lot/come stay with us during the pp period because they are not helpful.  We are vegetarians and neither family ever knows what to cook for us and they make a big fuss about it.  They don't clean well (I'd want to go back and re-clean) and I would want to clean before my MIL came over anyway because she is such a neat freak it makes me nervous.  I don't generally like people cleaning my house because I am pretty particular. 

 

So our plan before we knew we'd be induced was to just have my mom come up after the baby was born- she lived 4 hours away so we figured there'd be a nice buffer by the time she got there if she dind't have to work.  My ILs were in town- 30 minutes away- so that was the tougher one to deal with but we let them know we'd just let them know when baby was born and figure out a time to visit shortly thereafter but we wanted at least 1 hour to ourselves to establish BFing. 

 

Then we were induced.... so everyone knew when we'd be in labor.  And they allllll came to the hospital.  This didn't really bother us at the time, and in fact since I got an epidural (after being in labor 17 hours and on pitocin for 4 of that) we decided to let my mom come in and chat with me for just a few minutes.  I didn't mind that aspect of it- we hadn't planned to let anyone in, but in the moment it didn't seem like a problem.  I was relaxed and pain-free though, which is much different than natural childbirth.  My mother still tried to sneak back into the birthing room though- that was obnoxious and we had to tell every nurse to keep her out. 


Here's where our situation got tricky- our son was born just 4 hours before visiting hours would end.  We were in recovery for 1.5 of that, then they transferred us to postpartum suite, which takes some time.  They didn't believe that we had arranged for him to room in and not go to the nursery for the initial two hours (what a barbaric system, to take newborns away from their mothers so early!) so we had to fight for that, which took time.  Then we bathed him in our room and fed him, and by the time we were ready for visitors it was only 1 hour until visiting hours ended.  So everyone (4 parents, 2 siblings) came in and passed around the baby.  I hated this.  I wanted to hold him.  I was also exhausted and starving.

 

Then we were in the hospital all day the next day and it was visitors visitors visitors.  OMG.  being in the hospital sucks!  By the time hospital staff leave you alone enough to get some rest (they bother all night and all morning) it's visiting hours!  And visitors never come on time, when they say they will.  It's a mess of changing diapers, feeding, holding a crying newborn, and then by the time they fall asleep BAM the visitors show up.  So annoying.

 

Here's the kicker- the day we brought our son home from the hospital was also my FILs birthday.  They wanted to go to dinner with us IN A RESTAURANT and we talked them out of that. DUH!  I was bleeding profusely with a baby that was hungry but my milk wasn't in yet.  Like hell if we were going to a restaurant like that.  So they came to our house instead and we had dinner.  It was annoying.  We had to fight for one hour alone so that we could acclimate the baby to the house have our own special moments of bringing him home.  To this day, my FIL complains about how his birthday that year wasn't all about him.  Oh please, shut it.  You know?  You get a birthday every year- I don't have a baby every year.  Sheesh.

 

Luckily my mom had to leave the night of the birth to go back to work, so we didn't see her again for another week.  We allowed way too many visitors those first few weeks though.  Not only are you wanting to have a semi-clean house and maybe have taken a shower (ha, that is way more difficult than it seems it will be in the first pp days), but then you have to wait around for them to get there, like I said, and it's usually right when baby is sleeping and thus you should be napping too.  Ugh.

 

We had friends that brought meals over, but they were all in and out unless we said they could stay.  That was a lifesaver.

 

THIS TIME we are 2700 miles from most family, but we have friends and we are very close with our neighbors.  It's different though because they are helpful and we love them to death.  It may seem that the distance would be great, and in some ways it is, but then we have to think about flights and travel plans. 

Our plan is to call them after hte baby is born (not when I'm in labor) and let them know.  Since the holidays are so close, we are telling my ILs that htey can come meet the baby in January (i'm due mid-nov).  THey own a business and my SIL who lives at home is in college so she'll have finals in December anyway.  It works best for everyone, even though I don't think they are very happy about it.  They will meet baby when he is 1.5-2 months old, which is perfect because he'll be more interactive, I won't worry as much about cold and flu germs, and we would have had ample time to bond and establish BF-ing.  

As for my parents, my mom is a travelling nurse.  She is trying to get a contract on the west coast (we are in portland) around the time of the birth.  This stresses me to no end, as I don't want her in town, but it looks as though she may be ten hours away in CA.  I plan to just let her know when baby is born, then make plans from there.  I don't know when she'll have to work, so it works best to play it by ear.  I'd recommend that for any situation, especially since it's your first and baby could come late (and probably will, sorry!)  So planning around a due date could have them there too early, you know?  As for how often or how long she'll stay- she'd have to stay in a hotel since we don't have space and we'd try to wing it- tell her when she could come based on what our day is looking like- instead of planning something concrete beforehand.  As for help and meals, I trust that our neighbors and friends will more than take care of that.  

In general, though, I plan to hold my baby a lot more than I did the first time around.  First, it's cold and flu season, and secondly I don't like the "pass the baby" game.  It usually ends with a cranky baby who misses his mama and a cranky mama who misses her baby.  Plus I want to bond with my baby.  I think the first couple of weeks are so important for that.  You'll inevitably come across the people who say "it's my turn, you get to hold her all the time" which is SO annoying to say to a brand-new mama.  However, by 6-8 weeks when my ILs come, I will probably gladly let them hold him since I'd have had my bonding time and may want a break here and there. 
 

At the end of the day- it's your experience that matters.  Don't be afraid to set some boundaries, even in the moment.  You are the one who will remember that time, and if it is important for you to be more private, so be it.  You can always be MORE inviting in the moment if it feels right, but you can't take back those moments when you feel like people were overstaying their welcome or overstepping boundaries, you know?  You could even tell your families that you want to wait and see how you feel, and you'll make plans for visiting as you see fit.  Who knows!  You could have a terrible recovery, you could have a great recovery, you could have a baby with a hard time latching or any other kinds of issues that you may not be thinking about.  You don't want to deal with all of that plus the stress of visitors.  

I'm impressed if you read all of that.  Sorry it was so long!

post #9 of 67

I should have mentioned that this time we'll be at a birth center, so we will have more opportunity to rest but we also want it to be very private.  I'd suspect we'll have no visitors while we are there, and we may even just come home right away.

post #10 of 67

Man, Jaimee is right on.  My husband didn't coach me in the way that was best for me with DS1 but I couldn't have known that beforehand.  We are talking a lot more about what style of coaching I might like this time.  But we also have a midwife and 2 attendants at this birth, so I know I'll be okay if DH is just able to be there physically for me.  I think a doula is a great person to have, maybe you can find a free one that is still working on getting certified and needs birth experiences.  I think doulas are great!  Especially if you do Bradley, because they know more about birth and how to get you to a relaxed state- while your DH may be battling his own emotions, like Jaimee said.  

 

ANd like Jaimee and other posters have said- boundaries boundaries boundaries!  If you don't think you can be firm, put your husband in charge.  Give him a signal for when you want ppl to leave or whatever so that he can see that you are overwhelmed and promptly kick people out (gently, of course).

 

My ILs also tried the old "we'll hold the baby while you go get dinner!" trick.  Heck. no.  No way in the world was I about to leave my 6 day old baby!  Craziness!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Katie just posted a sort of similar thread so I'll cut and paste pieces of my response...

 

I birthed my first at a birth center.   Other than the mw, nurse, and dh, we were alone and I loved it that way.  I am more private and would prefer to be pretty much alone during intense moments.  I had invited my sister to be there who was a doula and going to be a mw, but she didn't fly down in enough time since I went 8 days early.  Really I never felt like I missed having her there.  She helped out during the pp period and that was nice.  My MIL was travel/working in town at the time and we invited her over the next day to see the baby and then asked to be left alone for the next week.  I even asked my sister to leave a few days early b/c I felt like I really wanted to be alone with the baby and dh and figure things out without someone constantly trying to help and give advice.  But I have to say as soon as my sister left, I missed her help.  And after that week of being alone, I realized just how much I appreciated my MIL coming over to cook or hold the baby while I took a shower.  So for me, I want the birth to be private, but afterward- bring  on the help!!!

 

With my second I wanted no one there except my dh.   So much so that we planned a UC that was derailed by family drama.  At any rate in the actual birthing room dh and I were alone (mw in the next room) and that was perfect.  Afterward we really could have used help and many things got in the way- mostly b/c of even more family drama.  That part of the birth/pp period really sucked.

 

As for support during the birth, one of the things that has always concerned me about Bradley is that it puts quite a bit of responsibility on the dh/dp as the coach.  Now, some guys can totally fill that role and it's awesome.  But there are other guys that cannot and sometimes you don't know until that moment that they simply cannot.  Partners will go through their own cycles of emotion during the birth and there may be times where they are not capable of being the support you need.  Or that may not be true at all and they always manage to do what is needed in the moment.  I was concerned about my dh, but just trusted that it would work out.  He has had some issues with blood and pain in the past, nearly fainting and actually throwing up when I was getting my bandages replaced on my severed index finger.   So I wasn't sure what would happen with birth.  But he was amazing.  Both times.  Totally there for me.  It sounds like you really want just your dh,  too, and trust that it will work.  I say follow your gut.  Plus your mw already has a birth assistant so there will already be an extra person there that knows about birth to help out if needed.  Other visitors will likely just be in the way, wondering what to do, changing the energy of the space.  Some people like to be surrounded by loved ones while birthing and feed off that energy, but for me I'd rather hide in my bedroom- I do not need people staring at me, bustling around in my kitchen, competing for the bathroom, making noise, etc.

 

So here's the thing, a lot of people can't seem to figure out how to help the way you need it.  They automatically try to help the way they think you need it and/or the way they want to help. And sometimes they think what you say you need is unreasonable (that's my favorite... irked.gif).   I found it immensely important to set clear boundaries when it came to the birth/visiting pp and to state specific tasks that I could really use help with.  Otherwise, for example, I would find my mom scrubbing the hallway floor on her hands and knees (not using a mop) and it took her forever!  During that time I really could have used a hand making lunch instead.  My MIL often tried to get dh and I out of the house together for "a break" while she held the baby- practically throwing us out the door.  I didn't want to be out of the house yet.  But she sure could have done a load of diaper laundry!  So again, be clear on what you actually need.

 

The other thing to consider is what type of energy different people will bring to the situation.  Some people can't seem to keep their mouths shut and feel compelled to say things to you about how they would do things or what you should be doing instead.  You really don't need that type of person around when you're trying to muddle through things on your own for the first time.  So my advice is to limit interaction with that type of person and instead invite the people that actually can help you out if you need it.  Someone who knows how to use your baby carrier.  Someone who can help you with your cloth diapers if you need assistance.   Someone who can give you helpful and accurate tips on breastfeeding.  Not the person who will tell you that you're crazy for cloth diapering, need to supplement b/c the baby is clearly starving, or tells you to just put the  baby in the bouncy seat and let him/her "fuss a bit b/c it's okay" while you're cooking.

 

Did you get a chance to read the Holistic Stages of Labor article I posted a while back?  I found it really powerful and super helpful in focusing my desires for the birth.



 

post #11 of 67

I had a hospital birth with my daughter and a room full of people. I actually loved having the company, but I'm from a very large family and we do everything big so that's what I was used to. In the room with me was my husband, my mom, my 2 sisters, one sister-in-law and another sister-in-law was actually my L&D nurse during the labor and birth. 

 

The number of people there certainly didn't bother me, even my MIL showed up for the very end, right after I started pushing and made it just in time to watch the birth of her granddaughter. I'd say her presence was the one I was most uncomfortable with. I think it can be avoided this time though, she'll be keeping my daughter while I'm giving birth this time. Other than that, the only issue I encountered was that I had all these people there, but no one seemed to know what to do to physically support me through my labor. I had searched a little for a doula, but at that time there weren't many around here and I figured I'd have all these women with me that had given birth before, surely I'd have all the support I'd need right? Nope, everyone was just there to watch and observe. No one really took the initiative to step up and help me. And my DH was so wrapped up in what he was going through and processing the fact that we were having a baby, he wasn't much help either. I really think that had a lot to do with me asking for an epidural, honestly.

 

This time, I'm leaving the door open to my mom and my sisters and probably my only SIL that wasn't there last time. She's also a L&D nurse, but hasn't actually been present for any births outside of work, so I think she'd like to be there for me. I also think she's the person most likely to step up and support me when I need it. I've also enlisted the help of one of my closest friends. She is actually attending doula training a little over a month before my due date, so I'll be her first doula patient and we're both pretty excited about that. She has the type of personality to take charge when needed and I've already told her if I have a room full of people, feel free to put them to work. I have a feeling if my sisters are given the push to step in and help, they would gladly do it. They just need a little guidance.

 

I enjoyed sharing the experience with the women in my family last time. No one really overstepped their boundaries. Once my daughter was born, they stayed just long enough to get a good look at her, but once I started nursing her and the commotion had settled down, they all headed home and came back the next day to hold her for the first time. My MIL stayed longer than anyone else and I felt uncomfortable asking her to leave. She held the baby for a very long time, until finally I couldn't take it anymore and had to ask for her back. At that point, I'd only held her for 20 minutes or so and really wanted to get the blankets off of her and look her over head-to-toe. I wanted some privacy for that. DH finally walked her to the car, I really don't think she would have left on her own!

 

I am hoping with my MIL being busy with DD and having the extra help of my doula-in-training friend that I will have a good amount of support from the most important women in my life and I like that way!

post #12 of 67

First, I have to second what Jaimee said about not all guys being the Bradley guy. My DH is not a Bradley kinda guy. He's just not. It's not a bad thing, it's just not his personality. Honestly, my last labor I cussed him out and ordered him out of the room, and then asked the midwives to go get him about 20 minutes before the baby was born. But it's good that I know going into it that he's not gonna be the guy rubbing my back, whatever, because if I'd been expecting that it might've been tough.

 

With my first, we called when we got to the hospital and asked everyone to wait and make the 4 hour drive after she was born, so we'd get those first few hours to ourselves. Didn't happen. We got to the hospital around 9 pm, our entire families were there by 3 am. Great. On top of missing out on those first  few hours of alone time because we were playing pass the baby, she was transferred to the NICU at another hospital 50 miles away a few hours after she was born. She spent 2 days there, and we were only allowed 2 people in with her at a time, so we played tag in and out of the NICU with all the family members that were there. By the time we went home with her, when anyone could've been of help, they pretty much all went home. It was bad. I have very distinct memories of being stuck in the hospital bed because the epidural hadn't worn off, with the baby across the room and everyone crowded around her. I couldn't even see her. Then at the other hospital, I wasn't a patient so we spent a lot of time in the waiting room, where I felt like I had to entertain our family since they were out of town guests. And once we were finally home, my ILs were all there. Not helping, just drinking out on the deck. The whole experience was traumatic for both mom and baby. (It obviously wasn't our families' fault, but they didn't help.)

 

So #2 was born at home. And we lived (and still do live) 900 miles from family. My mom came in town to watch DD during my labor, but no one else was nearby. And she was given very explicit instructions not to call ANYONE until the baby was born, because I didn't want anyone calling to see how things were going. (I found out later that my dad actually called during my labor to see if there were any signs of baby yet, and she bold-faced lied to him! Thanks, mom!) The only people in the room when DS was born were DH and the two midwives. DH ran to get my mom and DD within a minute of him being born, and I actually have some really good pictures that my mom took of the first few minutes he was born, which I am thankful for. But once the midwives needed to help me get cleaned up, stitched up, deal with the placenta, etc, mom and DD went to frost birthday cupcakes, and DH took the baby to watch ESPN, lol. My mom stayed for 6 days, and she spent pretty much her whole time cleaning ,cooking, and playing with DD. I think DS was 2 or 3 days old before she held him, even, but she never complained. My ILs came in town for the weekend when he was 6 weeks old, and we'd had time to adjust, which was nice. The rest of the family didn't meet him until I took the kids home to visit when he was 2.5 months old. The whole experience was so much better. I'm hoping it will go similarly this time.

 

I think how you will feel about visitors depends on your personality. Are you the kind who had a huge, fancy, everyone-look-at-me-it's-my-special-day kind of wedding? My sister is and she had everyone she knew at the hospital with her first and she was ok with it. I'm the kind of person who had a small wedding and still wished we'd just gone to the courthouse alone, and I don't want people around when I'm laboring.

 

I also agree with everyone else RE: help after the baby is here. Make sure people understand that when they come to your house, they are there to scrub toilets and bring you food, not hold the baby. YOU are the one who holds the baby. A lot of MWs even have signs they post on clients' doors that say something along the lines of "At homebirths we mother the mother. Please keep your visit short, and do one of the following chores while here" with a list of helpful tasks below it. I've never needed that because we don't get a lot of visitors after the birth, but I can see where it would be really helpful if you had a lot of over-eager family nearby.

 

post #13 of 67

Officially due in Dec but I'm watching both :)

 

This is my 4th child.

 

Anyone who stresses you out or can't keep their mouth shut - KEEP AWAY. Their presence will prolong your labor. 2nd child I allowed my mother there and I was in prodrama labor for TWO WEEKS. Think about the frame of mind you will need to be in to have the birth that you want, then decide who will support and enhance that and who will distract you from your path.

 

 

There is NOTHING wrong with informing family and friends belatedly. You will most likely be tired and in need of rest. It makes perfect sense to make phone calls when the baby is a couple hours old or even the next day. YOUR and YOUR BABY'S well being is more important.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

post #14 of 67

Hi,

 

I just had my first child.  It was a beatiful birth with a midwife and a wonderful midwife's assistant at a birthing center.  Other than the MW and MW's ass't, just DH was present.  There was a little drama over that, because early on in my pregnancy I was planning a typical hospital birth (I'm an MD, and it's what I was familiar with from med school) with an epidural and any other drugs I might need.  I planned on being 'dignified' and together the whole time.  So, I invited my best friend, also a physician.  As my pregnancy progressed, I learned more and more about natural childbirth and eventually decided to go the natural route, changing from an OB/hospital practice to a CNM/birth center practice.  My husband learned about it as I did, and we were both very comfortable with our decision.  My friend, however, really didn't know much about natural childbirth, and was surprised that I wasn't able to plan the exact day I was going to deliver (talk about a culture of induction, huh?).  It wasn't that she was ever negative about anything, it was just clear that the inculturation to the techo-medical model of birth was so complete that it would take a lot of time/energy to change that, and I was busy making that change in myself.  Also, I just don't think I was comfortable with her seeing me pushing hands and knees with my hemerhoids hanging out while making the very primal sounds the women in the natural childbirth videos made.  When it came down to it, I went pretty fast and it turned into a non-issue... she wasn't able to get there anyway.  Thinking back on it, though, I think it would have been much harder to go with ithe process of childbirth had she or anyone else been there.  Do I wish I was comfortable enough in my own skin to have given her a chance to see what birth could be like?  [neither of us had seen natural birth in school]  Yes.  But I really needed to be around others who knew what the female body is capable of.

 

As far as pp, we broke down on our resolution to wait a week before receiving guests.  We were so proud of our little one, and wanted to share our joy with everyone.  A few days in, after a particularlly busy day with guests, I had a little meltdown (thank God in private).  Not my usual style, to say the least, but you're recovering, you have a new newborn, trying to get the BFing thing worked out, and hormonal... you just aren't your normal self.  Anyway, DH was great about diverting the visitors again for another week, claiming 'doctors orders' [i.e., mine, but nobody ever asked which doctor].

 

My advice, based on my N=1 experience, is not to tell anyone when you go into labor.  Just call them once the baby is born.  Then ask people not to visit you until you are home (if you have a hospital birth), or for a week (if you went home the same day you delivered or had a homebirth), unless they are helpful types or people you just want to see.  My week long ban on visitors didn't include my BFF -- it was nice seeing someone else and having a chance to talk about something other than baby.  And she was very courtieous and kept her visits short.

 

Best wishes for your birth!

 

AJ

 

 

post #15 of 67

I think if you just tell your mom that you're trying to censor who is there to purely "sisterly" type energies she might understand. I was severely annoyed by my mom when I was in labor with my son. She tried putting counter-pressure on my back, and I snapped at her not to touch me, then asked my boyfriend to push on my back. lol I only liked my boyfriend(now ex husband) to touch me. My mom made me tense up. With my first, I didn't mind people filtering through during the early stages of labor, but once things started picking up, everyone except my 2 sisters and my mom and my boyfriend were kicked out and I didn't allow anyone to come until the afternoon of the day I gave birth(had my son at 2:30AM) so I could get some rest. With my daughter, my perceptions had changed and I was relieved to not have an audience in the room. It was just me and my husband at the time and nurses now and again coming in and out. With my first, I fed off of the energy of my sisters, who hadn't been through labor yet and felt sorry for me, so it turned out negative. So, I know with this one, things will be quiet and very hands off. I'm still planning an unassisted homebirth, and since THIS baby's father isn't around anymore, my exhusband will be there to help since I'm living with him(I hope!). He was such an awesome coach with the other two, so in a way, I'm glad things are turning out how they are. I'll have my mom and sister watch the older two while I'm in labor, but they will not be watching or trying to assist unless something goes wrong.

post #16 of 67

Homebirth, 6th baby

 

I fear having visitors during the birth for a few reasons.

 

It feels like I'm having to entertain my guest. No matter how hard I try to focus on the birth I'm drawn out of laborland and turn into a hostess. I hate that. Maybe its my own insecurities that I have to work on. I had a best friend over for birth #4 and I simply could not focus on the birth.

 

 

The last time I had someone over to witness the birth, I never saw her again. She and her daughters left right at the moment of the birth and never heard from them again. strange how it happened that way but it hurt. This was two years ago. That scarred me.

 

This time I have two friends who offered to come over for the birth to help. I sincerely desire for them to help but I'm scared I'll never see them again if I let them witness the birth. My best friend declined my request to have her over to help with the other children while I give birth. That hurts too.

 

I've never been to a birth other than my own. I don't know what the other shoe feels like.

 

My mom has never been around for the births, or even after the arrival. I offered to pay for her travels so she could make it to this one and she's been ignoring me ever since. Due in September. I've been trying to get a hold of her since last Mother's Day. Then again, she has never called me since I left home in 1996. Not sure what her problem is..

 

post #17 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenbuoyant View Post

Homebirth, 6th baby

 

I fear having visitors during the birth for a few reasons.

 

It feels like I'm having to entertain my guest. No matter how hard I try to focus on the birth I'm drawn out of laborland and turn into a hostess. I hate that. Maybe its my own insecurities that I have to work on. I had a best friend over for birth #4 and I simply could not focus on the birth.

 

 

The last time I had someone over to witness the birth, I never saw her again. She and her daughters left right at the moment of the birth and never heard from them again. strange how it happened that way but it hurt. This was two years ago. That scarred me.

 

This time I have two friends who offered to come over for the birth to help. I sincerely desire for them to help but I'm scared I'll never see them again if I let them witness the birth. My best friend declined my request to have her over to help with the other children while I give birth. That hurts too.

 

I've never been to a birth other than my own. I don't know what the other shoe feels like.

 

My mom has never been around for the births, or even after the arrival. I offered to pay for her travels so she could make it to this one and she's been ignoring me ever since. Due in September. I've been trying to get a hold of her since last Mother's Day. Then again, she has never called me since I left home in 1996. Not sure what her problem is..

 



How terrible for you! I'm so sorry for your troubles as far as people coming to your births. Your friend that you never saw after your last birth, did you ever ask her WHY she hasn't contacted you or anything? And as far as your mom, she sounds bitter about something. It's not that she's too busy. Honestly, my son is visiting my mom for a month and I get busy but whenever I miss him, I call.hug2.gif I'm sorry.....

 

post #18 of 67

Thanks so much for this thread! I'm due date crashing (due in September with baby #1) but I'm totally trying to figure this out now. I plan on having my DH, midwife and midwife assistant in the delivery room. My mom was pretty upset that I didn't want her there, as my sister wanted her there for both of her births, but I know that she will stress me out and I won't be able to focus. I also want it to be a special time for DH and I - neither of us have been through this before and we just want to meet our LO together without any distractions. I told my mom that she could be at the hospital, but that I didn't want her in the room until after the baby is born. I plan on labouring mostly at home and they discharge us from the hospital 3 to 4 hours after birth (unless there were complications that they want to keep an eye on) since the midwife will be doing home visits after that so I hopefully won't be at the hospital long anyway.

 

I'm actually more concerned about our neighbours - they're more the type to just "drop in" unannounced and try to help out. Which would be ok but I just really want that time with DH and baby to get settled. DH is only taking a couple days off of work as he is self-employeed so I would much rather have the help once he is back at work and I'm alone.

 

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for more great ideas. Thanks!!

post #19 of 67

Originally with our daughter, my husband and I felt very strongly that we wanted it to be just the two of us and our midwives.  However, as the day grew nearer, I realized that I really wanted/needed my mom there.  It was something about feeling vulnerable and knowing that only my mom will take care of me in a certain way.  My husband was a bit resistent but in the end he totally support my decision to have her there and I am so glad that she was.   It was such a special time for her and I to share together.  Babies join their parents but they also join an extended family and the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is just so magical.   I'm probably a special case but we didn't know at the time that my mom's cancer had returned.  She stayed with us for the next month and then passed away two month's after our daughter was born.  So, I have a pretty intense memory of having my mom at the birth and with us for the month afterward - you just never know how long you have with people that you love.  All this being said, I also believe that energy is important and if my mom and I hadn't had a positive relationship, I probably would not have had her there. 

 

This time, we are not sure what we are going to do.  I'd like to have someone in the house to be support for my daughter but I'm not sure who that is going to be (perhaps a friend, my mother in law, or our nanny).

post #20 of 67

Well, that's certainly not something you hear everyday! blush.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

my beautiful vulva is shy.

 
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