De-lurking for a moment...
How is everyone planning on handling visitors during the birth and in the hours/days/weeks following? Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who would rather just be left the heck alone (aside from a few, select people), especially during and in the few days after the birth (at least).
After DC1's birth, our friends and my side of the family were awesomely respectful and let us come to them when we were feeling up to it. On the other hand, my inlaws (in their typical style) were imposing, selfish, and demanding when it came to wanting to see DC and us. Part of this stems from DH's former inability to stand up to his mother and extended family (particularly one aunt and the grandmother). Thankfully he is now much more frank when communicating with them. Either way, my inlaws were in the waiting room, in the recovery room, and around there for the full extent of the visitor hours EVERY day. My MIL apparently even tried to barge into the OR (without permission) while DC1 was being delivered . DC1's birth was an emergency c-section and I was put under general anesthesia. My inlaws actually got to hold and cuddle with him BEFORE I even had a chance to see him. I had no privacy and was so drugged up that I didn't even know how to respond the the constant onslaught of visitors touching MY baby, critiquing MY baby, taking photos of me, eating meals in MY hospital room, wanting to be entertained, etc. Again DH was so excited that he failed in a lot of respects to advocate for me and take into account the fact that I'm generally a pretty private person. What bothered me most was how my inlaws, MIL in particular, felt entitled to be there whenever they want for as long as they want. In her book, grandmothers and mothers have equal stakes in the baby.
Now, five years later, DC1 has seen my inlaws only a handful of times since birth. DC1 vaguely knows who MIL is (he terrified of her), but wouldn't know the other ones from Adam if we happened to run into them on the street. They have not been interested in being a part of his life, and honestly I'd be okay never seeing them again (not just because of the post-birth behavior). The only time we ever hear from MIL is when she wants us to help her move something or wants money. And for what it's worth, I'm an extremely family-oriented person. Family is a huge thing to me. I grew up in a big, tight-knit family and DH, DC1, and I have a close relationship with my extended family (scattered all over the country) as well.
Well... now that DC2 is on the way (due early October), my inlaws have resurfaced. They've been inviting us over on a weekly basis and are all gung-ho about the new baby. Unfortunately they are all semi-local (we're all located in the same metro area). I really need DH to step up to the plate this time and take a stand with them. My MIL is trying her hardest to manipulate him to believe that she's suddenly going to be there for us. She calls the home phone continuously during the day leaving crying messages that she's never going to have the opportunity to be a part of the baby's life (what happened to DC1?!?! ). I would strongly prefer no visitors in the hospital (aside from DH, DC1, my parents, and my sister). DH is fully aware of this as we've had countless discussions on this subject over the last five years. I'd like an opportunity to rest, bond with my baby, and share those precious early moments with the people who will play an integral role in his/her life. There are plenty of holidays coming up where we'll get to the rest of the family and of course we'll see friends casually as it is mutually convenient.
So, in summary (and to answer my own question ): 1) No visitors during the birth (DC1 will either be at school or with my parents); 2) When I feel up to it (and depending on what time the baby arrives), DC1, my parents, and sister may come visit in the hospital; 3) Everyone else can wait until WE are ready to see them.