Dilemma: MIL expects to be at birth. Doesn't know its a homebirth. Don't want her there. - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She was at our last birth, at the hospital (failed homebirth for not very good reasons, arg, another topic altogether) and completely expects to be at the one (due in december). She was at Orion's birth because my husband was so upset when they admitted me (he was at work) he couldn't drive, and I completely understand the situation.

Our intentions were to not tell her about the homebirth at all, and just call her after the birth (when I was good and ready) and have her come over. Not that the plan is ideal, because she's gonna flip when she finds out about the homebirth. And she's not a woman to be reasoned with. Very passive aggressive, and whenever she disagrees with me or my husband she acts like we're 5, and will not listen to our side or have a conversation about the matter. She's right, we're wrong, that's that. I'm not quite sure how we're going to be able to have her over after the birth because of the OMGWHATDIDYOUDO?! factor. I think I'm going to employ some brave close friends as bouncers. This is a place of joy and love after the birth and if you come here to take away from that bye bye. Trouble is she's damn bossy and doesn't listen to other people. Could be a bad scene.

And I knew she'd be twice as upset because she would be flipping out about the homebirth AND not being here, just yesterday she said "Just tell the nurses I'm your mom so they don't give me trouble getting in" (um no, MY mom died when I was 15, you're not her). No asking, just assuming she'd be there. The hospital birth was crazy enough with her arguing with the nurse who fed me, arguing with my doula (cuz she could give a better foot massage ), and arguing with me when I decided that omg I can't handle this anymore gimme an epidural NOW. She would not be a welcome addition at a homebirth that's for sure. It doesn't help that she doesn't get along with the friend who I would want to be my older child's caregiver.

So now I'm not quite sure if just not telling her is the best choice. She lives 5 minutes away, and will be checking up on me lots close to birth. I can imagine her stopping by in the midst of birth and that would be a bad scene. 'Course I could imagine her coming by even if she did know, and did know she wasn't invited too (and even with people barring her at the door it would be a huge distraction/negative situation with repercussions for sure). She thinks she is a perfectly behaved lady and honestly I couldn't tell her the real reasons I don't want her here, she'd just argue.

I think of telling her that we're only going have one or two people here for an intimate birth, but she'd still be hurt, argumentative, and there is still the OMGHOMEBIRTH?! thing. I hope for labor at night. Park my car in the garage so we don't look like we're home? I don't care if its sneaky, having the kind of birthing experience I want is worth it.

So tell her the whole deal now (or just that she's not invited to the birth) and deal with the fallout now? Or don't tell her and hope for the best? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:05 AM
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i don't know your MIL, of course, but is it fair to assume that she eventually "gets over herself" in regards to this sort of trantruming?

my MIL and my mother both have a tendency to get upset about something, have a little flare up of some sort, i hold my ground, they calm down, and even if they dont' come around' completely, they do eventually accept my decision (that is, they may not like it, but eventually they drop it).

my current process is to give them enough time for everything, if i feel it's important for them to know. my mother knows about my UC, for example, though she disagrees; there's no way that my MIL would get it, so we're having a regular HB as far as she is concerned (and she doesn't ask many questions).

in both cases, they were upset, flapped and fussed, and while i stood my ground they worked things out for themselves and eventually just dropped it (more or less).

if this will work with your MIL--you tell her that you're planning a homebirth, you tell her that it's going to be an intimate process and that you'd prefer that she not be there until after the birth, etc---then go ahead and tell her so that you can deal with the flap now, and then she'll eventually respect it.

in the process, though, you have to hold to the boundary. i found a whole lot of "i have to do what is best for myself; you have to deal with your feelings about it." worked quite well.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm that's something to consider... Over smaller things it seems so does get over herself, but bigger things I dunno I remember a few that she definitely did not get over and gave us so much grief over for so long too. One of my main reasons of thinking in the 'don't tell her' category. The drama and emotional blackmail would go on for months and months. Ugh.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:19 AM
 
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I dont know your MIL, but from what you say, I'd keep it quiet, its none of her business, and as far as she has to know, the baby came too fast to make it anywhere or call anyone.,


I certainly wouldn't deal with her childish outbursts unnecessarily
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:41 AM
 
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I can see how telling her now can give her time to deal with it but also make for several months or arguments. Perhaps you could have an innocent conversation about homebirth, without saying that you plan on doing that. It might give you an opportunity to educate her a little and plant the seed. You can also talk about having a more intimate birth, without directly referring to her presence. Then you can tell her your plans towards the end of your pregnancy. You let her know that it is non-negotiable and that she can visit soon after the birth if she agrees to be cool about it.

I would not have a problem with not telling her at all, but if it is going to lead to her talking about it for months after that or adding to her outrage the fact that you did not tell her, it might just be postponing the problem. People who disagree with whatever choice you make before the birth usually drop the issue once the baby is born. If she has time to bombard you with 'what if' scenarios beforehand, she won't have anything to say after.

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Old 05-12-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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Two choices, either take a hard line "NO", or just tell her "we'll call you when we get to the hospital". When you never go to the hospital, you never call her. If you were to go to the hospital, she would be there to watch your older LO so your dh could stay with *you* during what would certainly be a very stressful time if it happened.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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sounds a lot like first MIL! so sorry you have to deal with this...

First, it your right of course to birth how, where, and with whom you please--

Second it is ALSO your right to expect respect for your choices and with that, to refuse to engage with those who want to argue.

I think I would tell her ASAP that you don't plan to have her at the birth. I did this with my second baby after my MIL invited herself to my first and she wasn't such a great addition to the birth. Since it was a homebirth adn we were living in her home, there wasn't much way to stop it (a different long story, but I didn't invite her, didn't even consider that she would feel herself invited and didn't want to correct her while in labor) and in the end she didn't make any fuss or bother I couldn't pretty well ignore at the time (and at least she was not against homebirth). But I didn't like having her there, and was sure I wouldn't want her again at any of my births--like your MIL, she inserted herself not just into the room, but into the process. So me and dh discussed and made a plan and even practiced it a bit--not exactly role playing, but figuring how to tell her and what we would do if she argued. I highly recommend preparing yourselves!

I basically just told her, in a quiet level but firm way that for this 2nd birth, we had decided to invite only a few particular ppl to help us, and that she (and FIL) were not going to be part of things this time around. We said that this was not meant to offend, only to keep things simple for me as I labored since my first birth had been fairly chaotic and so many ppl showed up (part of that long story...). We assurred them that we would call them soon after birth to let them know that all was well, and to tell them when we would be ready for visitors. My MIL did not take this well--but she heard how firm I was and saw that my dh/her son was fully with me on the matter. I did NOT apologize for it, and I did say that we had thought about it a lot and had come to a firm decision about it and we hoped that they would understand and respect our decision.

In my case, my MIL did not argue tho she did get in plenty of passive aggressive jabs over the coming months (yuck!). But in my life I have dealt with plenty of parental/familial/social resistance to a lot of my parenting choices (AP, non vax, etc) and I learned this important lesson: DON'T ENGAGE with arguers. Offer links/evidence if they're interested, let them know you really love them and none of your decisions are about their different choices in life, and firmly, politely REFUSE TO ARGUE. With my own mother, there was more than once that I had to end a phone call or in- person conversation by hanging up or walking away. "I'm sorry, but as I said I really don't want to argue with you. I've made up my mind. I know this is hard for you, and that you disagree, but I really will not argue about it with you." And if she persisted, and I said the same thing again "Mom, I'm really not going to discuss this with you" and finally "I'm leaving/hanging up now. I'm sorry, we'll see you later, bye" And then DO IT. Hang up the phone, walk out of the room (or house, if need be). No need to get loud or angry, only to be firm. You can be shaking in your boots or ready to explode, but if you can hold your space and not erupt/cry/etc, this works really well.

My MIL got over herself 'enough' over it (I just ignored her p-a jabs, and she never tried to confront me or argue directly). My own mother was harder to deal with, but after a few hang ups/walk outs, she did finally begin to respect my boundaries.

Here's the thing--such people get to be so disrespectful and bullying because others let them get away with it. They learn that it works, to be louder, more persistent, more emotional than the other guy. But when you hold your space with (relative) calmness, and simply refuse to engage in arguing or to put up with bullying, they find they can get no satisfaction from you. And especially with parents/ILs, they really don't want to be cut off from their kids/grands--and they eventually realize that that is what they risk if they don't change their approach and get themselves OUT of YOUR business.

But you really have to be committed, and firm, and fairly calm. The minute you engage angrily, then things escalate and you have entered agreement with them to 'duke it out'. They really very clearly need to understand that you are NOT GOING TO DO THIS ON THEIR TERMS. You can be loving, you can remain level (even if you have to fake it! and cry/scream later over it), but you have to be very clear that THIS is your decision, and you are NOT going to argue, or be disrespected over it.

No, this is not likely to be comfortable at all. But it can be done! And in time, it gets easier to set boundaries with people...in time you stop feeling so scared/guilty/angry over it, I promise!

Of course, you could try subterfuge, and just letting her think whatever until after the birth. But she sounds like the kind of person who just might ferret it out anyway, and find a way to disrupt you. I think I would deal with it ASAP--so you have it out of the way before birth occurs.

good luck with this! And have a wonderful birth. It sounds like you've come a long way since your first birth--keep on trucking!
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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Our intentions were to not tell her about the homebirth at all, and just call her after the birth (when I was good and ready) and have her come over. Not that the plan is ideal, because she's gonna flip when she finds out about the homebirth.

I think of telling her that we're only going have one or two people here for an intimate birth, but she'd still be hurt, argumentative, and there is still the OMGHOMEBIRTH?! thing.

So tell her the whole deal now (or just that she's not invited to the birth) and deal with the fallout now? Or don't tell her and hope for the best? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Your MIL sounds a bit like mine! I've also been worried about telling her about our planned homebirth, which I'm going to have to own up to, since she's so nosy about everything, she'll want to know the exact doctor at the exact hospital and the doctor's cell phone, office phone and home phone and my full schedule of prenatal appointments! And of course, she'll want to be there, but she's not allowed within like 5 miles of me while I'm in labor, because just knowing she's nearby causes me all kinds of stress and tension, and that's on a normal day! : Not the kind of thing you can just say to someone, though, I know! So...

My mom has given me this advice for dealing with her - perhaps it could work with your MIL? Basically, just be a broken record. Literally. Every objection that comes out of her mouth, no matter what it is, just say "Thank you for your concern, but we've made our decision and it's final." or something to that effect. Say it with a smile, if you can! The idea is to let her know that you hear her, but reiterate over and over and over again in the exact same way that she's not going to change your mind about anything. It'll get to the point where, if you keep saying the same thing repeatedly, she'll give up once she realizes she's having no effect on you. Grow some thick skin for the times you see/talk to her and just be a broken record! It takes the wind out of people. Whatever you do, don't engage her in a debate or an argument, because then you're granting her a forum for her opinions.

I really think you should dissuade her from the idea that she's going to be there, and do it soon. You do NOT want to be ambushed while in labor! If you don't want to tell her about the homebirth, then don't, but be sure to tell her that you don't want any distractions this time, so there will be no unnecessary guests allowed under any circumstances, either in the "delivery room" or in the "waiting area". Tell her that you know it's important to her to be there, but it's important to you to have privacy and space and you're the one giving birth, so you win. Tell her that if she just shows up, you'll have someone remove her and it will cause a lot of problems between you two that you don't want to affect her relationship with her new grandchild. (Yes, passive-aggressive, but it may work!)

You could always lie/pretend that it was a hospital birth - just tell her you'll call her when you "get back from the birth" - she doesn't need to know what that means. Make sure all the "evidence" is cleaned up before she comes to your house!

Or, if you want to tell her about the homebirth, you could do it by mailing her a packet with some safety facts & info sheets on homebirth, a copy of Business of Being Born, a copy of Pushed or Gentle Birth Choices or whatever your favorite book is, and a note that says "We're planning a homebirth. This is an informed decision, it's our decision to make, and we will NOT entertain any uninformed objections to it. Please read and watch all of this material and respect our choices." Then screen your calls for a week! After that, use the broken record method if she starts in on you about the homebirth. She'll get bored trying to change your mind if you keep saying the same thing back to her.

Whatever you do, DON'T wait and hope for the best! Remember Murphy's law!

SAHM to DS Jan09, DD Mar11. lactivist.gifintactivist.giffamilybed2.gifhomebirth.jpguc.jpgwinner.jpggd.gifcaffix.gif

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Old 05-12-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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If you DO decide to not tell her anything, and she drops by during the labor, just have DH tell her that you're in early labor and will call as soon as you go to the hospital.

And if you have a handful of people helping out, unless your DH goes and picks them all up, you'll have several cars in plain sight which may clue her in... just something to think about

Sunny coolshine.gif: gun toting, retired breastfeeding, car seat loving, guitar playing, home birthing and schooling mama to Jakob (10.06), Mikah (07.08) and Korah (07.11). uc.jpg 

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Old 05-12-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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I really think you should dissuade her from the idea that she's going to be there, and do it soon. You do NOT want to be ambushed while in labor! If you don't want to tell her about the homebirth, then don't, but be sure to tell her that you don't want any distractions this time, so there will be no unnecessary guests allowed under any circumstances, either in the "delivery room" or in the "waiting area". Tell her that you know it's important to her to be there, but it's important to you to have privacy and space and you're the one giving birth, so you win.
:

it's definitely a difficult situation, but i don't think ignoring is going to help you. and it would be so beyond awful if she showed up while you were in labor on so many levels. Like pp's have said, you can judge whether or not you need to clue her in on the homebirth part, but you definitely need to give her time to deal with and get over the fact that she's not going to be at the birth so it doesn't blow up in your face.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Thank goodness you have a little time to figure this out! She doesn't sound like someone I'd want around during birthing.

PPs have said so much - I really have nothing to add. Threads like yours show up way too much imo (not saying that in a bad way). I don't know why those of us actually doing the birthing are trying to accomodate everyone, make sure there are no hurt feelings, or, at worst, having to deal with unreasonable family/friends determined to INVADE our space. It's OUR time! No one has any right to our birth space unless we want them there. We should not be afraid/worried/concerned to let friends and family know that they are not invited to the birth. It's so disrespectful of other people to assume or demand that they be a participant in our birth. It's such an intimate and private event - unless you're one of those people that likes having lots of people over (and some do). Stand your ground and let it go. Whatever you decide to do - if she's unhappy about it - it's her problem.

We're ucing and I know my family would disagree w/my choice. So I've chosen to lie. It's for the best - they don't really want or need to know. My niece will be here to help but my sister, who is expecting to get the "It's happening" call, will not. If I thought she'd be okay with my choices, I'd invite her. But it's too much for her and I know it. So she'll be accidentally missing my birth and I am sad because I know how much it would mean to her. However, I have to think of the kind of environment I NEED in order to birth calmly and safely. She would, unfortunately, be a stressor when she discovered the mw wasn't coming.

The birthing environment can directly effect your birthing process and outcome. You have to be able to relax and focus. No people that stress you, no distractions, knowing that you are supported and taken care of are all important factors in having an uncomplicated birth. I know that the invite/uninvite issue can get pretty complicated but I hope that at some point we pregnant women feel totally comfortable telling others our expectations of our birthing time and not worrying about their reaction. It's insane that other people feel entitled to participate in our decisions concerning our birth.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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Or. Does she know already you are pregnant? Can you push the due date forward by a few weeks, so she's not prepared for the baby at your due time? It's called avoidance.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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Or. Does she know already you are pregnant? Can you push the due date forward by a few weeks, so she's not prepared for the baby at your due time? It's called avoidance.
Even now, it wouldn't be too late to say that your MW/OB changed your dates based on measurements or whatever and that you must have had your LMP wrong or something.

Once the baby is here, woops! You knew you had the dates right all along!

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:58 PM
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Here's the thing--such people get to be so disrespectful and bullying because others let them get away with it. They learn that it works, to be louder, more persistent, more emotional than the other guy. But when you hold your space with (relative) calmness, and simply refuse to engage in arguing or to put up with bullying, they find they can get no satisfaction from you. And especially with parents/ILs, they really don't want to be cut off from their kids/grands--and they eventually realize that that is what they risk if they don't change their approach and get themselves OUT of YOUR business.

this is very true.

and it is hard to learn to be firm about these things, because we have often set up a long-term pattern with folks. i mean, i have a long term pattern with my parents and they tried all of their normal "tricks" to get me to change my mind.

and i was that "broken record" that kept saying that the decision was made and final.

and it did work. i think they're more respectful now.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Perhaps I should have added a few more details to my original post Being firm and standing my ground would completely be the best idea hands down. My problem is that is all very very hard for me. I lack a strong backbone, which of course doesn't help at all. And I'm having huge anxiety problems since I had to stop all my anti-anxiety medication when I found out I was pregnant. So that's why avoiding it all sounds so much easier to me, even though it may be a very bad idea. Because having panic attacks surrounding the issue and her pushy bossiness isn't really something I want to deal with during pregnancy and birth. But I don't want to be having panic attacks *during* birth because of the issue either, hence not just closing my eyes and ignoring the whole deal.

I also run a home daycare, and she's my backup. If I have a prenatal appointment she covers. I am going to be hunting for a good assistant to work a few hours until closer to birth and then full time after so I can not be closed so long as to loose all my clients within the next couple of months, but until that time I do depend on her. Sticky situation and one I'm very much so wanting to resolve, the situation unfortunately gives her more power in our relationship (she used to have a LOT more power when hubby was on SDI and we desperately needed their help and we've done a lot of work to get her out of situations where she believes she has so much say so.

So I do wonder if waiting until I can resolve my situation so I don't *need* her help before telling her might be best. I would still only be 3-4 months along at that point, it doesn't seem to incredibly far along to be telling her... and then I can just ignore her calls and such if she won't respect my decision.

Irishmommy I love the due date bumping idea! She does already know, and my due date has been bumped from the 8th to the 19th already, so it wouldn't be entirely unreasonable for it to move again.

She has another grandchild due in early november and I *know* she's not asking to attend that birth. We do have a fairly close mother-daughter sort of relationship but sheesh I do wish she wouldn't have assumed that she was invited.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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Make it your husband's deal. HE should have to deal with his mother. He should tell her. It shows that he feels the same way (is not being "manipulated" by you) and he can serve as a barrier (which DH's should be doing anyway to protect your "happy place" during pregnancy and delivery). MIL's tend to take things better coming from their own children, and their own kids often can respond more effectively and with more patience than IL kids (even if it is in their own way and not how you would handle it). Anyway, DH should be trying to reduce your stress, no matter what it is. If it is his mom that is causing it, that's a good place to start.

My MIL is really a wonderful person and I absolutely wouldn't mind her at our birth, but sometimes she can be a bit "much" (lots of questions, etc.). When I'm not feeling up to it, I make DH answer the phone (and the questions) have him be bouncer and negotiator, etc. I have a hand code with him that means "Your mom is wearing me down" and he takes her outside or handles the conversation and I go and hide .

With yours 5 minutes away and at your house often (from what it sounds like) you might not be able to shove DH in front of you every minute to take the heat. But I'd make him "break the news", explain your position, and then if you get cornered by MIL to just say (politely and calmly) "We think that's best..." and find an excuse to leave. She'll soon find out that bitching to you doesn't get anywhere.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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I had a fairly similar situation with my MIL for our homebirth...the worst part being was that we actually lived in a studio apartment behind her house! So there was definitely no avoidance possible with that one. I began agonizing about it almost as soon as I started contemplating a homebirth, I even considered hb'ing at my parents house to not have to deal with the whole emotional situation with her. There is just no way I would have been able to have my birth the way I wanted it with her present; and there was no way to avoid addressing it because of the proximity issue. DH and I decided that he would tell her, handle the fallout, and address any other issues with her so that I could focus on the matter at hand. I'm not sure if this is an option for you and your partner but it really helped me tremendously to have that mantle lifted from my shoulders (and ultimately, it was easier than I had ever anticipated). I guess I am voting for a discussion beforehand rather than living with the possibility of her showing up unexpectedly and having any sort of confrontation with any members of your birthing party.

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Old 05-12-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StarMama View Post
She was at our last birth, at the hospital (failed homebirth for not very good reasons, arg, another topic altogether) and completely expects to be at the one (due in december). She was at Orion's birth because my husband was so upset when they admitted me (he was at work) he couldn't drive, and I completely understand the situation.

Our intentions were to not tell her about the homebirth at all, and just call her after the birth (when I was good and ready) and have her come over. Not that the plan is ideal, because she's gonna flip when she finds out about the homebirth. And she's not a woman to be reasoned with. Very passive aggressive, and whenever she disagrees with me or my husband she acts like we're 5, and will not listen to our side or have a conversation about the matter. She's right, we're wrong, that's that. I'm not quite sure how we're going to be able to have her over after the birth because of the OMGWHATDIDYOUDO?! factor. I think I'm going to employ some brave close friends as bouncers. This is a place of joy and love after the birth and if you come here to take away from that bye bye. Trouble is she's damn bossy and doesn't listen to other people. Could be a bad scene.

And I knew she'd be twice as upset because she would be flipping out about the homebirth AND not being here, just yesterday she said "Just tell the nurses I'm your mom so they don't give me trouble getting in" (um no, MY mom died when I was 15, you're not her). No asking, just assuming she'd be there. The hospital birth was crazy enough with her arguing with the nurse who fed me, arguing with my doula (cuz she could give a better foot massage ), and arguing with me when I decided that omg I can't handle this anymore gimme an epidural NOW. She would not be a welcome addition at a homebirth that's for sure. It doesn't help that she doesn't get along with the friend who I would want to be my older child's caregiver.

So now I'm not quite sure if just not telling her is the best choice. She lives 5 minutes away, and will be checking up on me lots close to birth. I can imagine her stopping by in the midst of birth and that would be a bad scene. 'Course I could imagine her coming by even if she did know, and did know she wasn't invited too (and even with people barring her at the door it would be a huge distraction/negative situation with repercussions for sure). She thinks she is a perfectly behaved lady and honestly I couldn't tell her the real reasons I don't want her here, she'd just argue.

I think of telling her that we're only going have one or two people here for an intimate birth, but she'd still be hurt, argumentative, and there is still the OMGHOMEBIRTH?! thing. I hope for labor at night. Park my car in the garage so we don't look like we're home? I don't care if its sneaky, having the kind of birthing experience I want is worth it.

So tell her the whole deal now (or just that she's not invited to the birth) and deal with the fallout now? Or don't tell her and hope for the best? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Wow. How did you meet my mil? are you my new sister in law? Did one of my brothers in law get married and not tell us? ....
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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This is your MIL, so your dh should be standing up to her, not you. He should tell her that she will not be welcome anymore unless she calls beforehand - you just won't answer the door. She should also know that she will not be invited to this birth. Your dh will call her afterwards and let her know when she can come visit. Once he's told her all that, she may try and break you - refuse to talk about it and refer her to your dh.

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Old 05-12-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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"Mil, I really appreciate your willingness to help. We feel that this time having less people around would make our experience more peaceful. We will call you right after the baby is born so you can come meet him/her though!"

Easier typed than done though

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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I don't have any help. I just had to say even though I dont have this specific problem at the moment (MIL was getting so involved in everything that DH basically told her to stay away - and now she is refusing to speak to me at all) I do feel your pain, and i'm sending you good vibes.

I know its wrong to say... because I dont like that she is mad at me... but the last week has been very peaceful.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:50 PM
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yup, to be honest, my husband is the one who typically deals with his own mother, just as i deal with my own mother.

if my mil is in conversation with me, then i will stand my ground, but otherwise, my husband does all of it.

for example, when i got my septum pierced, we knew that it would be a problem for FIL. for whatever reason, he's really upset by this piercing.

so, we go to their house for the usual meal, and obviously my septum is pierced. my FIL flips. he says take it out or leave the house. so, my husband stands up, grabs his coat and mine, and we leave the house without a word.

we get about 1/2 way down the street to our car, and who is running after us but MIL and FIL apologizing and everything.

they expected their son to 'back them up' and they also asked him why he didn't (his father asked him in the kitchen, while i was sitting alone in the living room). and my husband told him "she's my wife; i support her completely. if she's not welcome, then i'm not welcome."

with anything controversial--including the fact that i am not taking prenatal vitamins which really upsets my MIL--he deals with it altogether. when she brings it up to him, he says 'i fully support her decision. she knows what she is doing.'

it works very well.
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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Usually, I'd be all for the "tell her after it's over" scenario. But with her 5 minutes away and the possibility of her barging in mid-contraction? That calls for a different approach. Honesty.

Uncomfortable as it undoubtedly will be, you're going to have to woman up and say, "MIL, we've decided that only dh and the midwife will be present at the birth. I know this may disappoint you, but it's best for us. We'll call when we're ready for visitors." End of discussion. Don't be drawn into more.

Better yet, have dh impart this information, as a pp suggested. It's his mother, after all.
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Having hubby handle it would be lovely! And I could perhaps help run backup (repeat a phrase or something) because she just never lets up on him about things she disagrees with, and has some magic mommy power of making him instantly feel like he's 5 in any given situation.

We did sit down once and decide that how we'd handle her in the future about thing she flips out about (she totally went off the handle when I was 16 weeks pregnant with Orion because she hated the name) is to just LEAVE. I think we will most likely get some practical application of this idea with this situation.

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Oh I feel for you mama, I really do. I'm in a similar situation with my mom, and it almost felt like reading your post was a sign to me. Of course I'm a horrible daughter to begin with as I hadn't called my mom at all yesterday, we don't really get into Mother's Day, but she doesn't care - nevermind the fact that it's too hard for her to pick up the phone either... but I digress

I called my mom and got the cold shoulder and thought well it's going to be very easy to not invite her I had brought up HB before and all she would say is that she was so glad I was okay with another c-section. Obviously she's against HB. We've had many arguments and as I was having trouble planning my HB, I could tell she was happy. So today I said that I met with an OB to have an informed consent meeting and an okay for a trial of labor, and how I was so happy to be having the baby at home. And the ONLY thing she says to me is "I'm not comfortable with any of this." I told her I wasn't comfortable with hospital birth, especially a 3rd c-section, and we would welcome Elias at home. And that was the end of it surprisingly. She's been a medical professional her entire life, so the opinion doesn't surprise me, but it's disappointing b/c I find myself going out of my way to not be like her

But I'm glad it's out and I held my ground. At least I don't have to worry about any invitations now. I hope that you figure out the best solution; sometimes people with that type of personality just need it straight from the hip - it's your birth and you need to not be distracted by someone being selfish or disrespectful

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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Sit down and think it through. Is this the way that you want to be treated when your children are having babies?

I fully expect to be invited to births of my grandbabies, whether from my daughters or my sons. I'd hate to think that the woman whom my son marries, wouldn't want me present for the birth of THEIR child.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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If she's your back up, won't she have to be with the kids? Then she doesn't need to be with you, right? She'll be with the kids?
I'd have your husband handle this one.

I told our families my due date was almost a month after I was really due. I went 2 weeks late with DS and they were driving me INSANE so I told them the wrong date to ward off any of that. You might be able to tell her they moved your date back if it would help on her checking on you and everything.

I probably would tell her about the homebirth, let her throw her tantrum, and just get over it. Who cares what she thinks. Maybe it will freak her out so much she won't WANT to be there!

But anyway in your situation I would just be firm and tell her you don't want her there. This is an intimate time and it is perfectly reasonable to not want onlookers. She'll get over it eventually!

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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So sorry you have to deal with such a stressful situation, especially during pregnancy. It sounds like MIL has a control issue. At some point, your dh needs to stand up to her and let her know that it is HIS family, not hers. She shouldn't be calling the shots and expecting to be at your birth without consulting you about it first. I would go ahead and be upfront with her and let her know that you are planning a homebirth and only want your mws, ds, and dh there. OR depending on how old Orion is (lovely name, btw) you could assign her a job to keep him while you are in labor. Just let her know that it is an extremely intimate time and you will invite her over when everything is over. If she pouts and flips out, who cares, really? She's an adult and is obviously used to getting her way all the time. That is just not realistic. But on a totally different level, she does deserve your respect, and lying to her isn't the way to do that. In fact, if you do decide to play that game, you're being just as passive aggressive as she is. You know? It is a crap situation any way you look at it. But remember that it is HER problem, not yours. If she tries to come over during your labor, dh is responsible to get her out. She may be upset, but she'll come around when she's ready to see her new grandbaby.

In my own experience, my next baby is due in November and MIL has already taken off time from work to come down the first week in December. My original due date was 11/27. I explained to her that the baby might not even be here yet and to plan to come down sometime after the new year, WITHOUT her dog or her other grandkids. She is mad, but she'll get over it. She's going to be even madder when we tell her that the new due date is 11/14, and we still don't want her and FIL to come down until after the new year! With dd, she and FIL had planned to come down when dd was 2 weeks old. I asked dh to call and have them postpone their trip by 2 months, which they did. It was much better that way.

Good luck! Either way you choose it's going to be tough. I'm just all about being as honest as possible. That way, it's easier to pick up the pieces afterwards.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ustasmom View Post
Sit down and think it through. Is this the way that you want to be treated when your children are having babies?

I fully expect to be invited to births of my grandbabies, whether from my daughters or my sons. I'd hate to think that the woman whom my son marries, wouldn't want me present for the birth of THEIR child.
Holy moly. I am still picking my jaw up off the floor.

What makes you think you should have any expectation whatsoever that your dil would want you at her birth? And with that attitude, I'm betting she won't.

I would consider it a supreme privilege if my dil invited me to be there. I would be thrilled. But I would never, in a million years, expect her to. I'd think it's possible she'd want her *own* mother there, if the two of them are close. But her MIL?
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:58 PM
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I fully expect to be invited to births of my grandbabies, whether from my daughters or my sons.

i don't have this expectation at all!

i would have no problem if my daughter chose not to have me at her births; and i have no expectation what so ever that a daughter-in-law would want me there. i can't imagine that she would.

this is partly because, in my family, birth is considered a private event with husband/wife. if you want family there, then that's because it is what you have decided, not because what is expected or what the family wants.

for my own part, i am very private about my body and my space. i consider birth to be a sensual, sexual experience, and i have no interest in having this experience with my mother or my MIL.

along with this, my ILs are the most angry, anxious people on the planet. they are deeply controlling, shaming people as well. i can hardly tolerate them when i have no concerns other than just sitting through dinner with them. i can't imagine having either one at my birth when i need to be focused on myself and my baby, rather than protecting myself from their anger, judgement, shame, control, and anxiety.

my mother is also anxious--she'd be ok but she doesn't do well with blood, vomit, or any sense of pain that i may be experiencing. this would make her nervous and upset, and instead of focusing on the birth process, i would likely end up focusing on her needs instead, and shutting down my own process.

this is no way to birth.

honestly, being excluded is sometimems the best thing.
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