Need serious advice about how to not invite people to the hospital while in labor. Doula's and experienced birthers and anyone please chime in! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having serious serious guilt issues right now, to the point almost of a panic attack. I really really need some advice and encouragement right now. I am due in 2 days...Here we go, I want to labor as much at home as possible. With ds I was scared and didn't know anything about labor, and was talking to female relatives all day, and my grandma scared me into going to the hospital too soon, where my obgyn decided to keep me despite i wasn't contracting regularly and i was almost 2 cm dilated. I tried in vain to have a natural labor and delivery, all while my sister slept on the couch of my labor room because her house had caught on fire that night. The hospital was near the bar district in town and i had relatives trying to come visit me at 2:00am drunk and I refused them access, but it was just more added stress. Dh was scared as well and 12 hours later I gave in to the nurse on call and got pit and epidural pretty much when i was 8 cm and in transition. I really regret that. People were waiting on me in the waiting room, which stressed me out, and I was thinking about that a lot. 

 

So fast forward to now, and my grandma really wants to be there, but I just don't want her to be and I don't know how to tell her. I have told my sister I don't want gma there and sister is getting mad that i don't tell grandma. My grandma also has a drinking problem, and was drunk as recent as yesterday, so if she was to find out, she may have been drinking just prior to coming up to the hospital.  I just figure we can just have the baby and then call people, but I am feeling very guilty about this and there is a possibility i could be in labor on easter and people would find out since i would not be at the family function. So how should i tell my grandma or should i even tell her? I love her, but she just seems to focus on herself and talks about her births and at my sisters delivery invited herself to stay and even brought up my dead mother to the nurses. Dh says he would kick her out etc, but when push comes to shove i don't know, he knew i wasn't happy with my sister sleeping on the couch when in labor with ds and he didn't kick her out, kwim? For me the easiest way to handle it is to not tell anyone, but ultimately if they do find out, should i warn them that they will not be allowed in the  room until after dd is born? It was the same way with ds, but I think because of my negative experiences with last time I am really having a problem this time and not sure how to handle it. Because I know i don't want people there and that makes me feel guilty, and I know that I will be more comfortable with dh only so why can't I deal with this and move on?


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#2 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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Drop the guilt, do your own thing, call them afterwards and just tell them it all happened too fast to call any sooner.  This is your birth and no family member needs to be there if you don't want them.

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#3 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

Drop the guilt, do your own thing, call them afterwards and just tell them it all happened too fast to call any sooner.  This is your birth and no family member needs to be there if you don't want them.



Totally agree.  This is your birth, not their's.  They are not entitled to be a part of your labor.  The goal is healthy mom, healthy baby.  The best way to achieve that is to have the space and peace that you need to encourage labor.  I'd also quit telling your sister that you don't want grandma there.  In fact if people ask who's going to be there I'd just evade the whole issue.  No need to stir things up.  Like they say, "better to apologise than ask permission."


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#4 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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Step One: "I'll be labouring alone this time/I'm not inviting anyone other than DH [or whoever] to the birth this time".

Step Two: "Personal reasons".

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

You have absolutely NO reason to feel guilty about not inviting relatives to the birth. It isn't a show. It isn't some grandparental right. It isn't a party. It isn't a chance for other people to relive their past experiences. It certainly isn't a place for someone who might show up drunk! And yes, you can use hospital staff as bouncers.

 

 


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#5 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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 Even though there were several people who wanted to "know as soon as anything started happening," we didn't call to tell people when I went into labour. MIL phoned when I was in labour and we didn't tell her. I just spoke for a minute and passed the phone over to dh. He chatted with his mom for a few minutes and kept it short. We phoned her back a few hours later to tell her the baby had arrived!

 

What people want isn't the issue when it comes to labour and birth, especially if you have questions about whether they will be sober or not!

 

The way I looked at it when my children were born was that I was the one admitted to the hospital (just with ds as both dd's were born at home). I was there to be cared for and supported while I gave birth. Anyone who was going to help me do that was welcome but everyone else could just wait to get a phone call. Same thing with my home births. The only people beyond dh and my care providers who knew when I went into labour were the friends (one with each birth) who we had planned to be labour support or to care for children. Celebrating the birth could be a social event after the baby arrived but I needed privacy and quiet and no pressure in order to get to that point.

 

I also had several bouts of 'false labour' with two of my pregnancies. If anyone gave me grief about not calling to let them know when the baby was coming I just told them that after having a few false alarms I wanted to wait to be sure and by the time I was sure things were too intense to be making phone calls.

 

If it isn't helpful to you to have people waiting around for you to give birth then there is nothing to feel guilty about if you don't call them until after the birth. I really see no reason for people to expect that, especially if all it means is that they cause you stress. Your job is to bring that new family member into the world safely, not entertain them.

 

It was easiest for me with the baby that came in the middle of the night. I went into labour after midnight and she was born about an hour later. She was six hours old before we called any family. I am pretty sure they wouldn't have cared for a 1 a.m. phone call!

 

Just remember that labour is about you and the baby and no one else. It isn't a time when people want to socialize. My attitude is that just as it is no one's business to be present for the baby going in, it is no one's business when it comes out. The part about anouncing the preganancy and the birth - sure, that is everyone's business but pushing a human out of my body and into the world is a pretty intense, private event as far as I am concerned. They can find out when there is a baby to announce, not a few hours of hard, sweaty, noisy work.

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#6 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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A birth professional would know for sure but I assume that if you are birthing in the hospital you (or your dh) can ask the nurses to turn away anyone who shows up on the floor asking to see you saying that you are not available for visiting at the moment and that dh will call when they can  return to the hospital. I am sure the hospital staff don't want a family reunion in their waiting area for the duration of your labour any more than you do - especially if some are drunk!

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#7 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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I agree, don't call them. no one needs to know you are in labor. if you happen to go into labor on Easter you "aren't feeling well". they can find out why later. if the news does slip, let the nurses know that anyone looking for you is to be turned away (as well as any calls)


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#8 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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I'm sorry this is stressful for you. I really believe that a mama who is at peace is going to have a better, shorter labor than one who is stressed and anxious.

I would put it right on top of your birth plan and point it out to the nurse(s) assigned to you and whoever is working the desk when you arrive. Say something like "please do not admit any visitors or notify laboring mom of their arrival." Then turn off cell phones. It would make me anxious to know they are there in the waiting room, you know? It's your labor, one of the very few times in life it's ALL about you. No guilt allowed! Let the nurses be the fall guy for you. "I guess the nurse was just way too busy to come get you guys. Must have been short-staffed or something?"

As for questions after the birth, you can say it happened too fast, which it might with a second baby. Or you can say that you didn't want to bother anyone because you weren't sure if it was the real deal or not until it was go time. People love a dramatic birth story.

Wishing you a peaceful birth.
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#9 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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I aagree with previous posters. Are you having family watch DS? Are they going to call your grandmother and tell her? This happened to me...not a relative but we had a member of our church watch dd and within hours of my homebirth, I had several old ladies visiting my house :(

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#10 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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actually no, we were going to have my grandma watch him but she has been 'sick' all winter so we found a friend to watch him, and not surprisingly once she found out now she is better  and I am due, seriously she would have been the first to know had she not pulled all this crap and would stop drinking, as I want ds up there as soon as he is able. My dh's friends have been so much better to us than my own family, it is very upsetting personally.

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I aagree with previous posters. Are you having family watch DS? Are they going to call your grandmother and tell her? This happened to me...not a relative but we had a member of our church watch dd and within hours of my homebirth, I had several old ladies visiting my house :(


 

 

Thanks everyone, I really needed to hear all your thoughts. I think I am done with this issue and will come to peace with my decision. I don't want to have to revisit this again, I know that in this case everyone will not get what they want so I am just doing what I want and if people are upset I just hope they keep it to themselves rather than get mad and confront me after dd is born. I will definitely make it clear to the nurses that I don't want any visitors other than my ds and the friend bringing him (if it is a decent hour) until after I moved out of the labor and delivery room and to the mother baby room, this will really only be an issue if i happen to be in labor on easter during the day as otherwise no-one will pretty much know any other day of the week. I felt a lot of weight come off my shoulders just by writing this thread and reading everyone's responses. Thanks everyone!

 


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#11 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 And yes, you can use hospital staff as bouncers.

 

 


Definitely. I am a hospital midwife and we're pretty good at inventing policies to deal with unwanted visitors. That way it's the hospital's fault not yours. "Gee Grandma, I really wanted you to be there but those mean nurses said only DH was allowed."


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#12 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shantimama View Post

My attitude is that just as it is no one's business to be present for the baby going in, it is no one's business when it comes out. The part about anouncing the preganancy and the birth - sure, that is everyone's business but pushing a human out of my body and into the world is a pretty intense, private event as far as I am concerned. They can find out when there is a baby to announce, not a few hours of hard, sweaty, noisy work.


I completely agree with this! The entire family was not invited to the conception; they have no entitlement to be present at the birth. You shouldn't have any guilt about wanting a peaceful, secure birth experience. Being calm and feeling good will make your delivery that much easier.

 

If your family really wants to be present to be helpful to you - tell them how they can be helpful in other ways - run an errand for you, bring by some pre-cooked meals, clean your bathroom. Those kinds of things are much more helpful than hanging around a waiting room or god forbid, sleeping on the couch in your delivery room!
 

 


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#13 of 16 Old 04-17-2011, 07:39 PM
 
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I could have written your post .  I was in the EXACT situation with my first DS.  I had lots of people there that I didn't want there and they wouldn't leave.  It was bad.  I even got the epidural at 9 cm when I was in transition...when I was trying for an unmedicated birth.  Anyways, this time around I just didn't call anyone when I went into labor that I didn't want to go up there.  All I had was my doula and my hubby at home and then we made it to the hospital just in time to push her out.  My mom kind of got upset for 2.4 seconds but she got over it very fast. HTH

 


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#14 of 16 Old 04-18-2011, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Shantimama View Post

A birth professional would know for sure but I assume that if you are birthing in the hospital you (or your dh) can ask the nurses to turn away anyone who shows up on the floor asking to see you saying that you are not available for visiting at the moment and that dh will call when they can  return to the hospital. I am sure the hospital staff don't want a family reunion in their waiting area for the duration of your labour any more than you do - especially if some are drunk!


All these mamas are RIGHT.  You've gotta drop the guilt!!  There is NO reason that at YOUR birth you should be thinking about the feelings of anyone but you.  Period.

 

Enlist the help of doctors and nurses...  Let them know that you have family members that may be drunk or hostile, and that their presence is not welcome at the birth.  People cannot just magically know which room you're in, and no nurse wants to deal with a drunk on an otherwise orderly medical floor.  They've got enough to worry about as is!  And speaking of doctors and nurses, they make a wonderful excuse.  "My doctor said that they're suggesting to all patients now to avoid extra people beyond the partner..."  I wouldn't offer this up without prompting, but if your family harasses you about it, it's okay to lie and use the "doctor said" line.  It could also be a good excuse in early labor if you happen to go into labor on Easter and have to miss the family function...  "The doctor said he/she would like to keep an eye on my blood pressure and I'm supposed to stay home and rest."  Or better yet, let your DH use that excuse while you DO rest!

 

As for being stressed about folks in the waiting room, make clear to your DH that you don't want to know.  DON'T call people when you go into labor, or go to the hospital.  Just don't.  If they magically find out or figure out that you're in labor, hopefully the hospital staff can keep them from finding your room.  And if they do find your room, make sure your DH knows that you want no one but him.  If he conveys that to the nurses, they WILL kick people out.  They're good at!  But if you don't know anyone is waiting in the waiting room, then it won't be there in the back of your mind.  Institute a don't want to know policy and make sure your DH knows how important that is to you.  HE can be the one to tell them that they won't be allowed in the room IF they do find out you're in labor.  And that's a big if!

 

Be secretive, and don't feel guilty for being that way.  Birth is an intensely private, special time...  And it's a time when it's best to really, truly be selfish!!

 

 

 

 

 


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#15 of 16 Old 04-18-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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Just don't call her when you're in labor, or just tell her "I would really like to be at the hospital with only ___. I'm sorry, but that is what I'M comfortable with".


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#16 of 16 Old 04-20-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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Excellent advice all round.  Hospital staff are used to playing the "bouncer" role, and there is absolutely NOTHING to feel guilty about.  Just call when the babe is in your arms and you're feeling up to dealing with the extended family (and that might be the day after the birth, it's your call).  I know several hospitals have a default policy that no patient information is given out by the nursing staff or the maternity desk, but I'd still warn the staff and make your wishes clear.

 

I just want to add... in the event that your birth ends with a cesarean delivery (though knock on wood that doesn't happen), make sure the staff knows that you want your babe to stay with your partner and/or the nurse until you have had a chance to snuggle, bond, nurse, and so on and that you DO NOT want the fact that the babe has arrived to be announced to waiting family/friends who might ask.  So many times when there is a c/s the babe goes out with the partner and the extended family/friends who have been waiting get to see the babe (either through the nursery window or in the pp suite with the partner) while mom is still in recovery.  It totally stinks to feel like you're the "last person in line" to meet your own babe, and it sounds like your extended family may not be the sort of people to think "huh, I bet mom would like us to wait till after she has a chance to bond before we go all cootchie-coo"... so it's something to tell your partner, and tell the staff just in case.

 

I hope you're holding your babe soon, and that you have a wonderful (drama free) baby moon!


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