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a nice way to say "I don't want you there?"??

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
When ds was born, I told dh and my mom that they were the only people I wanted to go to the hospital with me. Then, my dad comes with my mom and sits on the couch in the labor room. I tolerated it briefly, but ended up kicking them both out. Then, when I hit transition, dh started getting this "It's almost time" anxiety and tells me that he kind of promised to call his mom and sister so they could be there for the birth (not IN the delivery room, he assured me, just at the hospital so they can see the baby soon after the birth). I was in no mood to argue. They tried to walk into the room just as I was about to start pushing--thankfully a nurse was going out just when they came to the door and told them to hit the bricks. It was another long 6 hours before the baby was finally born and all the family had congregated by then.

I ended up with a c-section, and only got to see ds very briefly before they took him to the nursery, where the whole family stood around gawking and videotaping him being poked and prodded for 20 minutes before I even got to hold him. Then, when I was in the recovery room, numb from the armpits down, bare-chested, trying to nurse him for the first time, people kept coming in to see the baby. By the time I was taken back to my room, visiting hours were over, but everyone showed back up the next day and camped out. I don't think there were ever less than 6 people in the room the whole day, and they all wanted a chance to hold the baby. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, traumatized by the surgery, and trying to figure out how to nurse. I just wanted to scream at them all to GET OUT.

I know they were excited about the baby, but did it ever occur to any of them that I needed to rest and have a chance to bond with my baby?! It's still another 4 mos till the birth, but when I brought this up to dh the other day, telling him I didn't want anyone to come to the hospital this time until AT LEAST 24 hrs after the baby is born (depending on what time it happens), he got all weird on me, saying we "couldn't do that to them". (I'm sure you can imagine my response to that one). I finally agreed that I would try to come up with some sort of "nice" way to make this happen without hurting people's feelings. Any ideas?
post #2 of 29
Well maybe you could just talk about how crucial that 24 hours is for bonding.. and how important that early bonding is.. etc.. just make it about trying to do the best thing to get those maternal hormones going.. and not about them?

And then put it in the birthplan and make sure your birth attendant enforces it!
post #3 of 29
My advice is to just say it. When all of my guys were born I just stated very matter-of-factly that I only wanted dh at the hospital with me. When stated as fact, not as if you feel you need their permission to do things your way, I'll bet they will back off. They will probably sniff out any less-assertive vibes your dh may give off and try to get him to give in but just be strong. This is your birth to experience how you want. If they give you any grief (including dh) just give them a look that says "I'm not discussing this". If they show up, have the nurses all ready to enforce your wishes. Or better yet, have your dh kick 'em out with a promise that he'll call them after you are home and ready for visitors.

My first ds was the first grandbaby/nephew on both sides of the family and everyone was very excited about his arrival, but everyone followed our wishes and waited until we were home and settled to visit. It was great!

It is your right to birth and bond how you see fit. Remember that.
post #4 of 29
Are you birthing at a different hospital or with a different ob/midwife? I was thinking if you had a different hospital or doctor you could always say, "This hospital (or doctor) insists on no visitors for 24 hours after the birth for the health of the baby and mother" or something like that. I know it's not the most trueful way to handle it, but it would save their feelings getting hurt and you wouldn't have to defend your position - you'd just be following the doctor's orders

I can imagine how stressful it must have been for you to have so many people around you when you were trying to recover from a c/s and get to know your new baby. Make sure your dh understands that it's not that you don't want his or your family to visit with the baby, but that you need time alone to get to know your newest additional in a quiet setting and to get the hang of bfing before your ready to put on a show

Good Luck!
post #5 of 29
(((Hugs))) and I'm so sorry that was the way your last birth went! I would have been livid too.
I would say that, first and foremost, you have to figure out a way to get DH on your side. If he'll read something, maybe you could give/email him some articles on how important early bonding is. Or you could just throw a fit (probably the route I would go, and the pg hormones could be blamed on it) and tell him how much your last birth stressed you out. If you can get him on your side, then it will be a lot easier to keep intrusive relatives away.
We ended up not telling people when we went into labor; they didn't know anything til DS was about three hours old. Then, we left the hospital very early (13 hrs after birth), so that we could be in an environment that we were in charge of. People are a lot more respectful when you're on your own turf.
If they ask for an explanation afterwards, you could just tell them that everything happened very quickly and you were too tired for visitors afterwards.
If you can't get DH on your side, as a last-ditch effort, you could ask you delivery nurse to keep visitors out. At most hospitals I know of, the L&D ward is not just open to anyone. You could ask them to turn away visitors, with the explanation that you two need your rest.
Hopefully, you can figure out a way to do this without treading on toes. But keep in mind--this is *your* birth! If you have to offend people in order to get private, bonding time with your new baby, you should do it IMO.
I wish you a peaceful and wonderful labor
post #6 of 29
I totally agree with other posts - you have to get dh on your side. The new mom's feelings have to come before other family members. Kind of like a wedding - lady in the big white dress gets to make the rules. Not the maid of honor, not the MIL, the bride!
24 hours may be a little much (though I can imagine how you feel after what you went through the first time around). How about just not calling anyone until after the baby is born? After you are cleaned up and dressed and have nursed and are ready for company? Who knows (now) how long that will be. Could all go peachy and you would be ready to make calls an hour after the birth. Then by the time they got themselves ready and drove in, you would be ready to see others.
I would try to keep your anger (which I also would have if I went through what you did) out of it when discussing with your dh. Just explain to him how tired, disappointed, vulnerable, whatever you felt during the pushing stage, the c-section, the hours right after. How you needed the privacy and support of just him and you and the baby. How you love the family members (yours and his) but need a little time to nurse, get dressed (for god's sake...) and bond before everyone comes to hold the baby.
Also, during labor, having extraneous people around is a problem for the laboring mother. There is a reason that animals go off by themselves to birth. Quiet and calm is important. Being worried about what others will see or hear you do is not helpful when you need to birth a baby! My rule was "if you were there when the baby was made, you are welcome to be there when he/she is born!"
When dd1 was born, I just wanted dh with me. That is what happened. I think people can "read" how assertive you are - how much you expect others to believe and respect what you say. I told dh he could NOT even call his mom until the baby was almost out (she lives 3 hours away) as I did not want her there while I was in labor or right after. Dh and I did not tell her this in advance. No hurt feelings, just excitement when he called to tell her I was pushing and she could come up when she could get her stuff together. Turns out it was late and she doesn't drive after dark so she came the next a.m. We had been in labor for 20 hours so could have called her earlier that day but why? Birth is for you and dh, not the extended family. It is an honor to be at someone's birth (I have been at two of my friends though did not invite them to mine - I like privacy) but it has to be at the request of the mother, not the father or anyone else.
I hope your dh decides to respect your wishes during this most important time. If it was me, I would tell my dh (though he understands already) that I know he and his family don't really understand or agree but it is very important to me and can he please support me in this?
Good luck!
post #7 of 29
I would wait and see what kind of comments are made around that time and then say it.
IMO there is no point in bringing it up now when it is only going to cause alot of hurt.
I would plan a "welcome home baby" party a few days later when everyone can come and see the baby.
A simple explanation of "we want a very quiet birth as our last birth had unexpected results (c-sec.) but hope that everyone will come and spend some quality time when we have our welcome home baby day"

We had a home birth and only my parents were invited. We then told everyone to come and visit the next day..people just came and went and we were so happy to show off our baby and they were happy to have some individual time with the baby.
This is just an idea...it might not work for you...

post #8 of 29
I agree with Envision and the other ladies. I would definitely use your past c-section to your advantage, saying that you never know what could happen, and you want their first visit to be relaxed and without worry about *your* health.

Do what's right for you, Mama. I am sure they will be very understanding!

post #9 of 29
I would disagree with some of the posts here and say that you should bring this issue up with everyone NOW. Tell everyone who showed up the first time that you do not want the circus atmosphere that you had before, and they can visit when you are home. They may be hurt, but you should tell them how disoriented, exhausted, and traumatized you felt. If they still claim that their feelings trump yours - well, these are just horrible people!!!

It's up to you to be really assertive about this. Your dh may agree with you and then cave-in at the hospital because he has been getting pressure from his family - so you may not be able to count on him.

This may sound harsh, but the same thing happened to me with my first. The only difference was that daughter was born at 2:30 a.m. and everyone had finally gone home, but they were right back at 8:00 a.m. I have never been more livid, but I was too exhausted to do anything about it. When I was pregnant the second time I told everyone that they would not be called until after the baby was born and they could visit us at home. Some were hurt, but if that was what it took to have a peaceful birth, then I don't care.

You should still talk to the L&D nurses, your doctor, put a "no visitors" sign on the door, and chop off dh's phone dialing fingers - but most hospitals are not Fort Knox, and sympathetic grandma's can talk their way in anywhere. So you really need them to come around to your way of thinking.
post #10 of 29
kezia - don't be nice, be honest

all those relatives who invaded your last birth - were they thinking about you and your well-being at all??? if you had had abdominal surgery for any other reason, would they have totally destroyed you ability to rest and recuperate like that?

I have taught prenatal classes for years and this topic regularly comes up as one of the most stressful aspects of birth! dealing with squads of relatives! new babies are very very special and of course loving family members want to come and "worship" but they must consider your well-being, the baby's well-being and your need for time together in privacy

all the posters who say "get dh on board "are quite right - if he wavers, the door is open - he needs to get it, and support YOU

the hospital can easily be made the "heavy" and rule out visitors over a certain number or outside of official hours and not put thru phone calls (maternity units usually have a policy but may not enforce it unless you insist) - but the relatives need to be warned (calmly and clearly) - you will not be available till you say so

are there any individuals within the family who might get it and back you up? seek them out now and start working on the idea
post #11 of 29
I think your request is completely reasonable. Sounds like you had a very stressful first birth, in that your family and friends (though you love them very much I'm sure) were really invading your space and not giving you change to breathe, let alone bond with the baby. I would just be firm this time and tell them you are not ready for visitors. The most crucial thing: you MUST get dh on your side or they will all be there once again, whether or not you want them there.

I realized that the first couple weeks post-partum, and esp the first 24-48 hours, is NOT the time to be Miss Agreeable-to-everything-Hostess-with-the-Mostest. Take it easy on yourself and explain to dh that you hardly had any chance to recover in peace or enjoy your first moments as a mother because they were somewhat invaded upon.

I personally don't plan to call anyone to let them know we are on our way to the birth center, except the people who will watch my dd#1 (don't know who yet, but we'll see). They can't very well show up at the birth center because they don't know exactly where it is. We will go home around 5-6 hours post-partum, and I will see guests in my home as I feel ready.

Good luck!

post #12 of 29

Adding something...

I forgot to say that it seems people pay little or no attention to the new mom when there is a tiny newborn perfect little baby to "worship," as another poster put it.

I have been on both ends of this. I was guilty of showing up hours after my brother was born and my step-mother was still being stitched up (i didn't go in the room but I bet it horrified her that my sister and I were there so soon after my dad called...we showed up 3 hours before he told us to). Now I feel really bad about that and know better.

After I had my own baby, I found out how people hardly even talk to mom at all and go straight for the baby. I wasn't in the greatest shape (bloodshot eyes, broken blood vessels all over my forehead, eyes swollen half-shut, very swollen "girl parts", etc, although I was very happy and upbeat) but they all hung around in my bedroom talking and chatting until I finally got dh to kick them out. We had 3 rounds of visitors between 6pm and 9pm on my baby's first day in the world. Too much for me!!

Take care of baby and yourself!

post #13 of 29
Wow, birth is so private that I can't imagine what people are thinking when they assume they are invited. You didn't invite them to the conception, did you? Tell that to your dh if he has trouble understanding why he shouldn't call his mom when you are in labor!

You might think about getting him a support person (a doula or a friend) because it sounds like he decided to call his mother and sister when things got heavy the last time in part because of his own needs. It's okay that he has them, it just doesn't make sense to try to meet them at your expense.

Your dh can promise the relatives that you plan to KEEP the baby and not give him or her away! Let them know they will have a lot of opportunities to see and hold baby, that they don't HAVE to mob the hospital as soon as she or he comes out! Then make good on it by inviting them to your house a few at a time for a special visit after you get home. I would feel better about letting my folks hold the baby for the first time in a mellow, happy atmosphere, one in which I am fully present and modestly covered, thank you! They might also like to help you out by giving some attention to your older child, whom I presume is still interesting even now that he's older!

Easy for me to say, I haven't had my baby yet. But these were the precise rules I laid down to keep my mom from getting on a plane to hang out at my house during these last weeks of my pregnancy. (I'm just imagining her saying, "Are you in labor yet? How about now? Now?")
post #14 of 29
Fortunately for our third child by the time i knew for sure I was in labor she was out. Here was my planthough

Hand written sign on the fdoor thatr says no visitors. Noone understands why but my MW said people tend to pay more attention to those than the pre printed on. She also said there wasn't much the nurses could do so be prepared to defend yourself.

We also had a sign with babys stats and a poloroid picture or two with a note that said "I am busy eaten' and stuff, mom will call you when she is ready for visitors"

We also had alist of who was allowed in in case someone thought the above sign didn't really mean them (I was due Christmas day so we had the potential for a lot of family)

If Dh doesn't get on board, enlist a friend. Have her sit outside your door and turn people away. Heck, what does it matter if your families hate her. They don't even know her

Get your MW/DR on board with you too. Have them disconnect the phones when dh isn't looking. Have them send people away (they do after all have a job to do and tons of people makle it difficult)

If all else fails take baby down to the nursery and hang out with him there. Your family won't be allowed to follow you in.

As for convincing your Dh, maybe you could comprimise. Noone gets called untill an hour or two after baby is born and you have been able to nurse and shower and dress (really this could take hours ) longer if you have a c-section. Remind him you have more than had a baby, that was magor abdominal surgery. when you do recieve visitors limit how many can come in at once and how long they can be in there (again post this on your door and on the wall in your room) Bring a timer if you need to. Remind him that the baby won't look any different in 24 hours than it did at birth.

Good luck. i feel for ya.
post #15 of 29
a friend of mine didn't even call anyone until the baby was born and she was ready for visitors. Her water broke in the middle of the night so that made calls less convenient, but she just wanted her dh with her and didn't want people waiting around so she just shared the news once there was news! Worked fine for all of us. It was kinda nice to know the birth was over and everyone was doing great.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you ladies! It's so wonderful to have people who actually understand. Dh and my mom are both acting like I'm being totally unreasonable and trying to "exclude" everyone else. I talked to my mom, hoping she would be more sympathetic, but she has this attitude that it's just one of those things that new mothers have to endure and I'd better prepare to just "suck it up". Ugh.

I still have a lot of anger over the whole thing, and I know it's going to be hard to discuss it with family members without letting it show--especially since my raging hormones have me irritable, cranky, and mad at the world in general. What irritates me most of all is that I have to be worrying about this at all. Thank you all again for the great advice--I still need to think about how exactly I want to handle it, but at least I don't feel so outnumbered anymore!
post #17 of 29
I don't have time right now to read all the post but I just wanted to give you my support. I had the SAME exact exp. last time and I think that's part of the reason we never got the hang of nursing. Even the pastor showed up uninvited and came in while my boob was out!

Next time we are going to have a babymoon. I am going to let 1 person/couple come each day for 15 minutes. THAT'S IT!!!!

I don't give a crap if they get mad. I have had difficulty and failed at nursing 3 times!~ NOT THIS TIME! I'm going to give this lil' precious everything he or she needs! I ***WILL*** get it right this time!
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by TreeLove

This time (yup, baby #4-just found out this morning!) we are going to have a babymoon.
Congratulations TreeLove!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How exciting
post #19 of 29
I already posted my opinion but wanted to add something. I strongly second the idea of the handwritten note on the door! Make two - one for the front door and one for the back! This does work! My neighbor had her first baby (unscheduled c-section). When they came home (no idea really if it was the first, second, third day....) I walked over to say hi and see if I could go to the store for them or anything. I didn't call first as I live across the street and didn't want the ringing phone to wake the baby. I figured I'd just knock quietly and see if they heard me.
Well, I walk up to the door and see a sign that basically said something to the effect of "baby boy (first name, middle name) was born on (date)/(time). He was (x) pounds and (x) inches long. We are all fine but very tired. We'll take visitors between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday. Thanks for understanding. Fondly, (mom and dad)" The sign worked on me - I was a little disappointed as I was so excited to see the baby and talk to mom about how it all went. But it makes perfect sense not to have to entertain visitors all day long while you are recuperating and trying to establish breastfeeding.
I am so sorry your mom thinks you should "suck it up". She is wrong. I hate to be so blantantly one sided but please! Just because she put up with it (if she did) does not mean you have to! My MIL thought I should have my wedding HER way because she let her MIL make decisions for hers. Sorry that you gave your wedding away but that doesn't mean I will do it too. Same with birth!
I would continue to work on both your dh and your mom (one on one so they can't gang up on you) explaining that you know they feel differently but you are asking for their support in this very personal time, where you need to feel safe and cared for in the way YOU need. Maybe don't mention a specific time period of no visitors - just a little time to get cleaned up and dressed, nurse a time or two, maybe rest a little, just have a short period of time to bond with baby and prepare for visitors. How can anyone argue with that, especially given last time? Looking at it from their view, I know I would be hurt and sad if my sister had a baby and I couldn't come for 24 hours. I would hope I would respect that and not give her grief. I think I would take "we'll call you just as soon as we're cleaned, dressed, etc." better than I'll let you know when we're home and see you in a few days kind of thing. I am only talking compromise since you seem to be having trouble getting the main players (dh especially, then your mom) to agree to support you in this. Support for a shorter time period of privacy seems to be better than complete discord (is that the right word there?) on the 24 hour idea.
Good luck!
post #20 of 29
This last time I explained to anyone who I thought might want to visit immediately that I know from past experience that I am extremely vulnerable and sensitive in the days after birth and therefore it is important to me that that time remain as private, quiet, and intimate as possible.

My in-laws came by the next day for a few minutes, they brought food and were very quiet and respectful. My mother came a week later, even though she lives only two hours away, and stayed only a few hours. None of them hate me for it, or think less of me for it, because they love me. If your in-laws don't love you enough to give this to you, then all you can do is remember that this is YOUR baby, not theirs. They have no rights to the baby whatsoever. They might be unhappy about it, but better them than you, right?

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