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I do NOT want Inlaws to know... how do you make that work? - Page 3

post #41 of 112
hi again LL~ boy you've really stirred the hornet's nest here haven't you? :mischeif I'm being playful of course, but my word, I haven't seen the HB board get this excited in a while!!

I guess your story shows all of us how sensitive we are to this battle being waged about the acceptability of HB specifically & our rights/ responsibilities as parents in general. It sounds like all of the posters have been thru similar situations & really identify with you, even if they are seeing your situation from the other side now.

You asked about ways other than (expensive) therapy to learn more about boundaries & "standing up for yourself," which seems to be a recurring theme of advice given here. In my experience, the useful things I learned about dealing with myself & relationships has come out of my involvement with 12 Step Recovery programs. Meetings like ACOA ( Adult Children of Alcoholics), CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) & AlAnon/NarAnon (support for family members of Alcoholics/Addicts) are free & offer tons of tools for dealing with life. Every program & every meeting is different, but you might just find what you are looking for there. Only an idea, I have way of knowing if any of it would feel appropriate to you.

One more thing about "telling the truth." IMO, you don't have to tell everybody everything in order to stand in integrity. In my beliefs, secrets can be very empowering things! I do completely agree with those who have said that you have to protect your space, but the only vital person for you to "speak your truth" to is YOU. I believe you must be absolutely clear & unconflicted about what you want to create! Obviously, being able to speak that truth/vision openly & with confidence is a good thing, but being safe & having boundaries often dictates chosing carefully, that is what I hear you trying to do.

That said, I would be very concerned about the energy drain that may happen during your birth @ home, both for you & even more DH, worrying about the PILs behavior. Yucky feelings cause trouble during birth. Think of the mama wolf who will get up & move her den when she feels threatened. If you are having to "tweak" your birth plans to accomodate the lies that have to be told to your PILs, that is very intrusive in your process. IMO, you should feel completely free to do what you have to do to birth! The "not telling" could actively hinder that process.

SO LL, you are very wise to be exploring these issues now when you are strong in your decision to HB. I do not know how this will be resolved for you. I completely agree with the person who said that this issue comes to your life now with good reason & for growth. Embrace that. Remember that life is fluid & we have to leave room for people to change, even when they have shown no past inclination to

blessings for you, DH, PILs, & baby who is the pivot point of all this,
post #42 of 112
Okay, so I know that last night I said LIE LIE LIE, but if the baby hadn't woken up, I would have gone on to say....

Seriously, it will be too hard to hide in the long run. So wait until you have a great midwife and doula (if you can afford her) to support you, get your dh to read all these posts and be ready to hold his ground too, and do what YOU want for YOUR birth and YOUR baby. Honestly, I think other parenting decisions that are much more difficult to hide (ie slinging vs. constant baby buckets) will get you more arguments, so practice up now

also, what are the postive points about your ILs that make it so important to you and dh to not want to piss them off and risk them cutting you off? I guess I think you should give this some real thought -- If everything is going to be a battle where they push into your business all the time, is it really worth maintaining the relationship (in the form it is in? Maybe dh could go alone to their house more often than you and the baby see them)


I am sending strength vibes too you.
post #43 of 112
i just wanted to also reccommend a great book that was so helpful to me in my own process with learning to speak my truth and stand up for myself. it's called "the dance of anger" by harriett goldhor lerner. it's very practical, and a quick read (and it has a specific chapter on learning how to act like an adult with your parents/ILs)

edited to add: you can get it in paperback at most used bookstores for just a couple of bucks. i reccommend reading it twice.
post #44 of 112
I have a thought that I haven't seen mentioned yet. What if you do manage to hide the whole birth experience from them? A couple years down the road and baby is a big kid all chatty as can be. Is your child not allowed to talk about its own birth? How will the child feel if told its own birth is a secret?

From my own experience with my kids and grandparents -nothing that happens in my house in their early years is to much of a secret- I'm pretty sure my kids talked about whatever came into their sweet little heads. I'm just lucky that my parents are considerate enough to ignore what they should!
post #45 of 112
Thread Starter 
I'd take the time to more individually reply to everyone, but I have to run out the door in a few so I've only got a couple of minutes...

Thanks for the book and meeting recommendations! I will go hunting for the book today/tommorow and looking into the meeting see if they'd work for me.

As far as why these are important people to us, well they are Dh's parents. I knew what it was like to grow up with screwy parents, and just because they're messed up doesn't mean you don't love them.... honestly, when they're not being pissy about what we're doing, they *can* be very nice people, and I think will be great grandparents. Its worth having them around even if I have to stand up for myself. Just gotta find a way to do that where it doesn't drain me... like everyone suggests saying 'this is how it is, and if you don't like it, tough!' I think would work (maybe worded a little nicer though...)

Just because I really like the idea of having back up of *why* we're doing this in the form of something I don't have to keep glued in my head if we decide to tell them (cuz if we do it WILL be stressful, and I WILL forget all my wonderful facts and figures :LOL) I sat down yesterday and gathered 10 pages of information about why homebirths aren't horrible dangerous things. I focused on medical studies, "proof' they aren't more dangerous than hospital births, rather than all the emotional goodies of why its great (cuz that I can remember and tell them ) and a nice article on proof via medical studies thats easy to read. Soooo I'll have that... and I spoke to Dh yesterday and asked him to relate some times in the past where they've disagreed with him in big desicions, and what they've done. Looks like being pissy monsters for a few days is the general theme... and he promised if I wanted to tell them, then he WOULD stand up to them with me. So ah, well there is that.

We're still thinking, but since everyone is so interested (thanks!) I'll letcha know what we choose when we get there... Still not going to tell them until later in the pregnancy if we tell them (from all the reasons why everyone is telling me I think later is going to solve those issues just as well as earlier). PRE BIRTH, not after... otherwise I will have to worry about it during birth and thats no good...

Now I just have to invest in a large, oh, quadruple bolted front door so they don't come knocking it down pre birth! :LOL Really I wouldn't care if they came in EARLY labor and left (oh say when I'm STILL DRESSED! ) or came shortly after birth (once I can get a chance to get dressed again!) so we will just have to explain that to them as well... I wonder if having Dh tell his mom "Do you REALLY want to see Lisa naked?" would do it? : Possibly, but who knows with the baby fever she's having currently! :LOL

Anyways thanks again for all the advice! I see that keeping this from them is going to add a whole lot of headaches to things now and down the road, things I hadn't considered before (like birth certificates and the kiddo talking about their birth).

I'll keep you all updated ok?
post #46 of 112
Most of the people I know in this situation are vague: yes, we are birthing with a midwife, we'll call you to come visit after the birth... let them assume what they will. Call after the birth, tell them you're at home, and to come on over and visit! Chances are, they'll be so overjoyed they won't lecture. If they do, tell them it is not appropriate, point blank.
post #47 of 112
Originally posted by candiland
Chances are, they'll be so overjoyed they won't lecture. If they do, tell them it is not appropriate, point blank.
That is probably true - seems like most stories I've read here about abominal behaviour in our parents regarding our choices for our birth (be it at home or just not letting the whole clan into your hospital room while you are pushing) totally changes after they see/hold the new little one. All their crap falls by the wayside. Of course, once they return to their senses I bet it all comes back... :

I'm about halfway through Ina May Gaskin's new book and it is soooo good, great birth storys and lots of good information on our mind being the primary blocker to successful birth. Might be a good read...

Before I read your reply above I was going to tell you to (a) just move to a new state, quick! or (b) tell them (if this is something more acceptable to them) that you are having the baby at a birth center, but when you call afterwards with the news that you changed your mind and had it at home. I know, kinda lame, but hey.

to you and your dh and little one inside!!
post #48 of 112
Originally posted by Lisa_Lynn
Anyways thanks again for all the advice! I see that keeping this from them is going to add a whole lot of headaches to things now and down the road, things I hadn't considered before (like birth certificates and the kiddo talking about their birth).

I'm another person who just thinks it will be too hard to hide in the long run. Just to add another example, what if someone asks you about the birth in front of the ILs?? Would you lie to that person too? Who would you tell the truth to and who would you lie to? What's to keep them from finding out eventually? I think it makes more sense in the long run to not bother with the lie.
That said, I really hope that it doesn't cause a major blowout and I don't know if you feel this way, but I do - everything that happens will always be for the best in the long run. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, we're having a homebirth too but fortunately I haven't run into any opposition. I just said, 'this is what we're doing' and no one has argued with me but I'm not sure why. :LOL
post #49 of 112
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by bloodrayne
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, we're having a homebirth too but fortunately I haven't run into any opposition. I just said, 'this is what we're doing' and no one has argued with me but I'm not sure why. :LOL
Lucky you! Aside from on this board and my Dh I've told 3 people and out of those 3, 2 had geniune questions on my safety (and I so don't mind a nice polite conversation, because hey they really don't know it *IS* safe, and I can share that with them) and one TOTALLY chew me out up and down and then tell me to 'not share meaningless statistics' : and to 'stop attacking me' which ah, I'm sorry, I'm supposed to be NICE when he's saying things like "these days more things can go wrong that right" (huh what when did we evolve in the last oh 50 years, and WHY would we evolve to something WORSE?) and telling me I'm selfish? Ah no. Sorry, that gets me annoyed when I take 20 minutes to try to EXPLAIN and I'm still getting Mr. Pissy-and-won't-listen-to-common-sense I'm not being nice anymore... I shoulda practiced the "like it or GO AWAY' idea on him huh? :LOL
post #50 of 112
My favourite response to people who want to argue or harangue but not discuss, "When you are ready to discuss this reasonably, let me know, in the meantime, this discussion is over." THEN LEAVE.

"Reasonably" includes no raised voices, no talking over the top of each other, no arguing, no repeated assertions of "no" or "you're wrong"....in other words, a REAL discussion. When it becomes a diatribe, you end it, "I'm sorry, I don't feel like this is a discussion, I feel like I am being attacked and I am uncomfortable, when you are ready to discuss this reasonably, let me know." THEN LEAVE.

Eventually, people get it. It really works.

I spent a long time and a lot of energy hiding stuff from my parents. It's amazing how freeing it is not to have to make myself crazy worrying about their negative reaction anymore, not worrying about whose going to say what or let something slip at the next family get together, etc..

For your childs sake, do it now. It won't become easier afterwards, and you're going to need it.
post #51 of 112
LL, I have been following this thread for a little while. I am imploring you, have the homebirth that you want. Don't tell the inlaws until afterward. I know it will be a bit tough, but it HAS to be done just for future security (all the reasons others have previously mentioned). Once it is over there is NOTHING they can do about it. They *will* also be so thrilled with the baby that they'll keep the bippin' to a minimum. And if they don't you (or someone else) can tell them to leave. This is the best situation to the problem. You cant live a lie forever, you obviously dont want a hospital birth, and telling them before hand might upset your balance. So please, Lisa, take our advice, the most your inlaws can do is complain and rant to which you can always say, "Well, everything turned out fine, didnt it."
post #52 of 112
I totally agree with Moon.

I know it's really hard, I mean I *really* know, I am the classic "good little girl". I hate confrontation, criticism, heated disagreements, bad feelings, etc. If somebody is behaving toward me like your dh's parents are to you, my tendency is to take it rather than stand up for myself. BUT, even though it is painful in the short run, I make a huge effort to ignore that tendency and basically say, "I will not be talked to that way, it is inappropriate, and you do not have that right. This conversation is over." It is amazing what bullies will do when you demand decency -- they either mellow out or they leave. I bet in your situation it's the former because you have something they want a part of -- their grandchildren. Look at it this way -- can they really afford to piss you off?

Your husband, of course, complicates things. Surely he would recognize your right not to be harassed -- and if a relationship with his parents is more important than that, well, he's got some work to do on himself. For the time being, though, if he wants to put up with it, let him. *YOU* don't have to. You are worth more than that, and so are your children. Do you really want them to grow up seeing you tacitly accepting such horrible behavior and family dynamics? What will they learn from that?
post #53 of 112
Moon & blueviolet:

Great advice.
post #54 of 112
Sorry I am jumping in on this kinda late but I vote for honesty starting now. If they have problems with it then let them know uncerimoniusly that if they can't keep thier mouth shut and thier opinions to them selves they will not be seeing the baby right away and will not even be called. It is thier choice. They can act like they want to be around or act like they want to be left out.

You need to have a talk with dh. It sounds like his mom has given him a choice. You can choose me or choose your wife and her is choosing his mom even if he doesn't know it. So be sure he knows where you stand and what you will allow from his parents and what you expectations of him are. If he can't live up to it (and it is a hard thing to stand up to your parents) then find someone who can. When we had dd at home I had planned on someone being there to chase away (with or without tact if needed) anyone who showed up univited. Lock the doors and let your dh know that he is not to open them to his parents until you say.

The time has come to draw the line and take charge of you life. Today is the birth and tomarrow it is breastfeeding, vaccines, schooling options, whats for supper, how thier hair is cut, what they are wearing, the toys they play with . . .Parents always find something to judge. Stand firm today and tomarrow you won't have to deal with it (ok sometimes you won't have to deal with it, bt you will definitly be dealing with less) Tell your husband to take care if it or you will and that you don't intend to sugar coat it with his parents (this scared mine into doing something about it himself ). There is nothing to be scared of. Why are you concerned about pleasing these people? I don't mean to sound mean, but they don't like you! (thier loss) You have nothing to lose. So what if they get mad and stop calling., (a girl can only hope)

if you can't do it because it is good for you then ask your self what is good for your baby. You gotta do what is good for your baby. you have to be the kind of mama you want your baby to have. You have to be the kind of person you want your baby to be.

Lastly, back to your original question, you will not be able to hide a homebirth. It would have ot be such an elaborate lie that someone is bound to let it slip at some point they would relize that it all had been a lie and then they would be justifiably upset and untrusting of you (eventhough they led you to the lie). Your child would have to keep it a secret when he got older. Also lying about it isn't going to make it any easier for you. You will be so tense from the lie. It could impede the birthing process and you could likely end up in the hospital having a full on intervention birth. Better to tell them truth, let them know it is not open for comment of discussion. Tell them over the phone so you can hang up. it is much harder to get people off your couch. Or tell them in public(maybe go out to dinner) that way they can't get to irrational and you can still leave.Judge thier reaction and if they can't accept it then you simply can't tell them about the baby or have them over until you feel up to dealing with them. If you can't stand up to you dh parents you are just going to have to stand up to him. Mine took it very well. I was surprised.
post #55 of 112
Originally posted by lilyka
I vote for honesty starting now. If they have problems with it then let them know uncerimoniusly that if they can't keep thier mouth shut and thier opinions to them selves they will not be seeing the baby right away and will not even be called. It is thier choice. They can act like they want to be around or act like they want to be left out.

Also lying about it isn't going to make it any easier for you. You will be so tense from the lie. It could impede the birthing process and you could likely end up in the hospital having a full on intervention birth.
Oh, I TOTALLY agree with Lilyka!!!!!! Hiding it will eat you up - be too much to deal with - always wondering if someone will slip, if they will find out somehow. I know women who were totally committed to natural birth, who were educated in what to do and what to avoid, who had a good support person with them, who labored at home (even if they planned on going in to a hospital or birth center for the delivery), but who had unresolved issues about the birth - things that weighed heavy on their minds. They ended up at the hospital with plenty of interventions as baby just wouldn't come - the stress messes with the birth process.

Tell them now. Be a united front with dh. They can like it or lump it. You have the trump card - their grandbaby. Lilyka mentioned that and it is true! My MIL doesn't mess with me as she tried once (calling my firstborn by a name she liked as opposed to the one we chose for her - even telling other people that we named her the name MIL liked). I told her nicely, didn't work. I told her not so nicely, still didn't work. I quit taking dd down to her house for visits (3 hours away). Surprise, surprise - she started using dd's correct name... You have to remember who is the parent of this baby, who is making the decisions here. If you put your foot down now and stand up for yourself, it will get progressively easier with all future parenting decisions you make that they don't like.

post #56 of 112
Lilyka! Awesome post!!

So many amazing posts in this thread (not counting mine in there, mind you!)

Wise wise women.

post #57 of 112

I am jumping in late here, but I just found this thread.
PLEASE just stand up for yourself! Talk to your DH and you two hold your heads up high and be proud of yor decisions!
A LLL Leader told me this once and it makes a good mantra~ "This is the decision we have made for our family and we do not need to justify it to anyone."
Also, you could always turn it around. You do not need to be backed into a corner, defending yourself. Ask them to prove to you that hosipitial birth is safer. Put the burden on them!
Or, just firmly make your family decisions not open for discussion.

Just because someone happens to be family does not mean you should let them treat you badly. You should get respect from everyone in your life, or they should not be in your life! (It is YOUR life, after all!!)

I'm sure when you look back on your baby's birth, you will not want the memory to be marred by all the hoops you went thru to pacify the relatives, you know?

Now, on a personal note... My parents sound like your in-laws!! So I know where you are coming from. They have strongly dissaproved of every decision we've made. I remember holding my hours old baby and getting the riot act because we picked the 'wrong' name, I remember my mom forcibly keeping my screaming three week old from me because he was "too dependant on nursing" and by nursing I was being "cute and selfish" on and on but you get the picture. The thing is, I never did stand up and say NO, you know? I always was too scared, too nice, etc. So, finally one day when ds is two years old, I put my foot down and say they CANNOT take him anymore after they got caught in their 100th lie about not having him in the carseat (allthough there were other reasons as well). And guess what? They were so used to being the big boss, they called me and said they were going to sue us for goverment forced third-party visitation (aka grandparents "rights"). I was literally scared to death. I held my ground though. I said he HAD to be in a careat, and they needed to stop bad-mouthing us, etc. They refused. I just couldn't live with myself if ds died!!! So since then, they have really backed off. The Supreme Court (thank God!!) said GP visitation was unconstuitionial, not once but twice. I didn't tell them that, but I know they had to have found out.

My point (and I do have one!) is that~ why did I wait 2.5 years and go thru all the trauma (and put ds in danger) when I should have stood firm at day one? It had to hapen sooner or later or they would have ruined our lives!! So why wait? Why not deal with these issues and get them resolved NOW, why you still have the time and energy, rather than wait until little ds/dd is here and you should be concentrating on them, and being happy, and not worrying about this junk?

Also, make sure dh realizes what the big picture is. He needs to be with you 110%. He is not bound to them anymore! (Have you ever considered moving just a little farther away for some healthy personal space?)

This has got to be the longest post ever.

I just don't want you to go thru anymore than you have to!! Live own life and don't be pushed around, even by "family."
post #58 of 112
It sounds like these are pretty stressful people to be around, even under the best of circumstances. And you're right, right before, during, or right after birth is not the time to be defending your position. It's a time to be rejoicing in the new life that has come into your family.

If it were me, I probably wouldn't have them over for a couple of days. But it sounds like that isn't a good solution for you either. What about having a close friend or other relative you trust be around to help you out with that? Someone to intervene if things start to get tense. Something along the lines of, "Oh, Lisa, you and the baby look like you're ready for a nap. Why don't the rest of us clear out of here, so you can rest." That sort of thing. Then, if the in-laws get irritated, it can safely be deflected off of you and your husband and to that "pushy" friend.
post #59 of 112
Please don't waste any energy lieing to your in laws. They will find out where the baby was born eventually, through photos, or you accidently saying something later and then a bad situation will be made very much worse. I would either say nothing and deny nothing or let my dh be the only one speaking with them. IME have two mils. One is a wonderful step mom to my dh and One that my children refer to dh's mom as ---- the Grandma who doesn't like you---- I strongly suggest using this birth as a chance to set some firm boundaries with your MIL. I urge you asap to read Toxic In Laws by Susan Forward and I endorse the advice applejuice gave you. It sounds harsh but you are the mom and as others pointed out and I know from having four kids now that after the childbirth thing comes breastfeeding, diapering, vax, where and when baby sleeps, when to start solids, toliet training, the first time grandma slaps your child's hands , belittling you in front of your children verbally, the phone calls full of advice to your dh on how to handle your parenting and discipline, also then comes preschool and school issues, gifts to kids of violent video games & plastic junk, taking your kids to R movies etc.. and so on and so on, my oldest 14 yrs now has heard so much junk from my MIL and watched me cry over her passive aggressive behaviors that he has no respect at all left for one of his grams and at times has lost respect for his father also. My one mil has not been alone with our kids for three or four years, not even when we visit can we relax to enjoy a holiday with them. We had our sons birthdays at Chuck E Cheese this week so we did not have to have her in our home, because she would have found fault with something she saw KWIM and spoilta spaecial day for a six year old child. It totally completely sucks and I could have written your post 15 years ago, instead of being honest with her, I hid things - made excuses too and tried to advoid confrontations with her, dh has had no backbone towards her and we allowed her to interfer and hurt our marriage. My thought has always been that I did not cause any disfunction by our marriage, but my spouse and his mother had an abnormal unhealthy relationship when dh and I married. The kids and I will never have a normal relationship with her till dh resolves his issues with his mom and I can see a bit of that in your story about your wedding plans.
I am really sorry for my childrens sake that we did not either cut her out of our lives totally or my husband did not act like a man and set limits for his mother. I should have always come first to him, the parenting choices were his as well as mine and I bore the brunt of his moms wrath and anger. Not only has this hurt me and the kids, but my own mom has had to listen to me cry repeatedly about the mean things mil says and for a while my mom lost total respect for my husband. So my heart goes out to you, I hope that your husband/ SO can get some professional help to learn how to deal with his mom before your child is born. Good luck to you!
post #60 of 112
to you, Mary.

I'm sure you would rather not be the voice of experience and wisdom on this topic. But I'm so glad you did post here.

Did I already say Applejuice is right? I think I did. She said the truth the shortest version.
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