Squeamish birth attendee? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I are planning a homebirth for our first child this summer and are very excited. My mother in law is also very excited about the birth and when she asked if she could come to watch, we said yes thinking that we would love to have her there for her grandchild's birth.

 

We've been watching a lot of live births and birthing videos recently, and since we currently live with my mother in law she's been watching too. But every time we watch a birth, she gets really squeamish and says things like "ugh!" and "yuck" and has to look away from the TV screen. This makes me really, really nervous because I do NOT want her doing that during my birth. She was so excited about coming to our birth, and always says that she thinks it's such a good idea that we're having our baby at home naturally, and tells me a lot how wonderful my husband's birth was for her. I thought with all this talk that she would be absolutely fine watching my birth, but after watching her reactions to the births we've been watching I'm really nervous about having her attend.

 

I'm not really sure what to do now, if we should uninvite her or let her come. The problem is that my mom is also coming to the birth, so uninviting my mother in law and not my mother may cause quite a few hurt feelings. She's already feeling very hurt and left out because my husband and I are moving out of her house in a few weeks, and I'm afraid that uninviting her to the birth will really, really crush her. But at the same time I don't want to feel uncomfortable or nervous when I'm giving birth. This is our first child so I don't really know what to expect during labour, having someone in the background getting grossed out really isn't going to help me!

 

What would you do?

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#2 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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"MIL, it looks like you are really squeamish watching the birth videos. It's going to be even more "real" when I'm really giving birth. are you sure you want to watch?" if she says yes, tell her she isn't allowed to say yuck or gross when you're giving birth, and make her watch 100 more videos without appearing grossed out.

 

Maybe she just wants to be there to see her brand new newborn grandson, and she wants to be one of the first to see him. maybe she would be happy being with you while you labor, leaving the room for the birth, then coming back after he's born. 

 

A question for you though, is, do you want them at your birth? It is 100% up to you as to who you invite. don't stress worrying about hurt feelings, if you'd rather them not be there. 

 

also, maybe you want to make sure your mom and DH don't have the same kind of reactions?


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#3 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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I wouldn't have her at the birth at all, if it is going to make you nervous or uncomfortable. When you're in labor, the last thing you need to do is worry about how other people are handling it!

 

I didn't want my mother at the birth of my son, but I started feeling guilty about not wanting her there. I was afraid she would be upset. So, I let her come, and she spent the whole time in a big drama with her boyfriend. It was a nightmare. She was there with my sister when she had my niece, and the whole time our mother sat on the couch in the labor room, repeating, "I shouldn't be here. This is terrible. I can't handle seeing you in pain. This is so hard for me, etc." Her negativity did not do my sister any favors.

 

I would be honest with her, and let her know that you are uncomfortable with having so many people at the birth. One of the great things about home birth is that you control who is there! No nurses and random people running in and out of the room. Tell her that she will be the first person that you call when the baby is born, and she can come right over, but at least while you're in labor, you just want your husband and midwife present.


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#4 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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FWIW my DP was intensely squeamish pre-birth but when it came down to it he was the one wiping blood off my legs and cleaning the pool by himself. Honestly, if he hadn't been the father of the baby, I wouldn't have risked what could have been a negative outcome. 


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#5 of 14 Old 05-10-2011, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone, I'll have a little talk with her and see what she says. My mom's a doctor so no amount of blood or fluids will phase her, and my husband has really enjoyed all the birthing videos we've watched together, so I'm not too worried about them. smile.gif 

 

I feel a little bad about uninviting her, especially because I DO want my own mom there, but her...eh. We had a pretty good relationship a few months ago when we invited her to be there for the birth. But after 4 months of living in the same small house with her, god she really gets on my nerves sometimes. Maybe a few months of living on our own will put our relationship back to the way it was, but now every little thing she does annoys me!

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#6 of 14 Old 05-10-2011, 04:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbitMomma View Post
But after 4 months of living in the same small house with her, god she really gets on my nerves sometimes. Maybe a few months of living on our own will put our relationship back to the way it was, but now every little thing she does annoys me!


I can totally relate to you on this one!


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#7 of 14 Old 05-19-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post

"MIL, it looks like you are really squeamish watching the birth videos. It's going to be even more "real" when I'm really giving birth. are you sure you want to watch?" if she says yes, tell her she isn't allowed to say yuck or gross when you're giving birth, and make her watch 100 more videos without appearing grossed out.



This! I'd just be straightforward and ask her about it. You can let her know that seeing her so squeamish makes you nervous since you are hoping for a peaceful experience.

 

I did not want my mother to be present for the birth of my daughter because she is kind of a worrywart and I didn't want the energy of her fear that something could go wrong to invade my space during labor. I just made sure my midwife knew how we felt about that issue. My mom was going to be coming into town about a week and a half after my EDD so that she would hopefully arrive a few days after the birth, but as we all know, babies are born "late" all the time. My midwife was happy to play interference while I was laboring if necessary, and do it with tact. If you have a midwife and/or doula, they might be willing to help you out if you decide to let your MIL be present but change your mind at some point during the labor.

 

I also think that maybe being present at home but not actually watching might be a good option. Or, she could show up after the baby is already born.


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#8 of 14 Old 05-19-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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Quote:
"MIL, it looks like you are really squeamish watching the birth videos. It's going to be even more "real" when I'm really giving birth. are you sure you want to watch?" if she says yes, tell her she isn't allowed to say yuck or gross when you're giving birth, and make her watch 100 more videos without appearing grossed out.

Yep, only I'd be even firmer than that. I'd say "I don't want to hear you saying "Ew" or "Yuck", or see you making faces, or have to worry or be distracted in any way by your reaction to any fluids or gore. If you can't get over your squeamishness 100% by the time I go into labour, I'll find it off-putting at a time when I really need to concentrate. So I think you should think about whether or not you really want to be there for the birth". Remind her that you are likely to poop, throw up, bleed, have your waters break, etc, and that the baby will come out covered with vernix and with a cord (it's amazing how many people "forget" about the cord or placenta and find them icky!).

 

Maybe you could compromise? She could attend you in early labour, when things are (somewhat!) less likely to be gory; and at some point you could announce "OK, I'm going to strip and get in the birth pool now; see you after the birth, MIL!". (Obviously, she should know that this is the plan ahead of time, to avoid offending her unnecessarily.) Could you find a special out-of-the-room job for her to do when you're in the pushing phase?

 

Or, yes, totally uninviting her is an option. I know it might hurt her feelings, but I believe a woman's mental peace during birth is worth offending someone. She doesn't have a right to be there; it's a privilege, and as such can be rescinded at any time, including when the baby is crowning!


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#9 of 14 Old 05-25-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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I tend to think that having either mothers or mothers-in-law (or other family and friends) is a bad idea (especially for a first baby) unless you are very very close and completely comfortable with them and it is normal for you to share intimate details/events with them.  This birth is not about them, it's all about you and your new family.  Birth will be a new experience for you and you need to feel 100% comfortable with making whatever noises are natural for you, get into whatever positions are natural, and not feel as if *anything* that happens at the birth is being judged or is grossing somebody out.  Even though birth is an instinctual and very physical process, it is very much affected by our emotional and mental state.  I think that 90% of birth success is morale, confidence, and feeling safe and relaxed.  If there is any chance that their presence would disrupt that for you it is simply not worth it!  My recommendation is to uninvite both of them, and plan to have them able to come right away to meet the new baby after the birth.  


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#10 of 14 Old 05-25-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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Well said, Sijae.


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#11 of 14 Old 05-25-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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I wouldn't make a big deal. DH is not squeamish at all and still cringed a bit during the really up close birth shots on BOBB.  It's not like everyone at the birth stares right up mom's crotch.  I think it will be fine if she's said she wants to be there.  She's given birth before and has seen it.

 

I never really like birth videos anyway.  I wouldn't call them "gross" but they are.....intense.


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#12 of 14 Old 05-26-2011, 09:45 PM
 
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You will be in intense pain. YOu will need to concentrate. You will need encouraginging people around you. Make this birth the way you want!!

I would say that only allowing people in the room after the baby is born.

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#13 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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I wouldn't uninvite her based on the squeamishness thing...  I would definitely bring it up beforehand with her and make sure she's aware of your expectations of decorum at your birth, and that acting grossed out in any way will be an instant ticket out of the room:)  It may well be that she'd never dream of saying anything or making faces at your birth.  It's you and her grandchild after all, not some random baby and close-ups of a stranger's nether regions during a biologically intense moment.  I'm sure she'll think it's a beautiful thing and be ecstatic and everything, based on the supportive attitude you're getting about your home birth plans and everything else.  Also, being present in the room when the baby's born doesn't mean she needs to be bent over getting a close-up when the baby's crowning or anything.  

 

Now, if you don't want her there because your relationship is so-so and she's annoying you, that's completely a different thing.  I guess the bottom line is, if you think she'll be a positive presence during your birth and you would like her there, have her there.  If not, then no. Just don't automatically rule her out because she doesn't love strangers' birth videos:)

 

FWIW, during the intense parts of my labor where fluids and other lovely things were in active play, I have almost no memory of anything anyone else said or did, and I'm not so sure I was aware of it at the time either.   I only allowed my mom and dh to be in the room, but of course there were maybe 3 nurses I didn't know and a nurse-midwife who I'd never laid eyes on before the birth (part of a large CNM practice). I was too busy birthing a baby to care about what else was going on in the room. You'll probably find the same to be true:)

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#14 of 14 Old 05-27-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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More than any other event in life, during childbirth I definitely don't think any women should feel at all obligated to have anyone present out of a sense of social obligation. Also, if you do wind up having her there, you could talk to your midwife ahead of time and ask her to run interference and shoo her out of the room if she starts saying unhelpful things.

I reeeaaaaalllly didn't want anyone at my birth besides my partner and midwives. I'm glad I did it that way.


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