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#1 of 14 Old 01-19-2005, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did anyone tell their family of their plans to UC before the event?

How did that go?

Also, did anyone have family present at their UC?

Here is my dilemma. I am very close to my family, and I wanted and asked them to be there for my dd's birth 2 years ago (which was a midwife assisted homebirth/waterbirth/lotusbirth). I especially wanted my two brothers 2 and 6 years younger than me, to see birth as it should be - I wanted to show them birth minus all the mystery and fear surrounding it. They were there for some of my labour but missed the birth. They went out with dad and the midwife did not tell my mother that i was close so she could call - and I think the midwife did not want my brothers or dad there!

Anyway, I know my mother dearly wants to be there for the second time since she was amazed at the first one - how peaceful and tranquil it was. She did not get to enjoy it fully because she ended up having to assist the midwife as well as try and operate the video camera (which was one of my brother's jobs).
I want my brothers there again, for the whole thing!

I would LOVE to have my family there again. But I'm going to have to demand that they keep it a secret - that the midwife is not going to be there. It is nobody elses business, and I don't know if my mother is capable of "hiding the truth / not being honest". Also since she was there at my first birth, what happened at that first birth is going to direct HER fears, and I am not sure she will understand fully that those fears are a result of the midwife's fears and concerns over certain things that happened.

She has read Unassisted Birth by Laura Shanley - she saw it in my bookcase and I told her it was about the power of belief and how it can influence birth. She loved the book, but I am not sure if she can committ fully to me UC'ing. She saw my midwife "DOING" things so I am sure she will not have my confidence in my UC.

Does that matter? I think it does. I can't have her fears projecting onto me during my UC. Definitely not.
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#2 of 14 Old 01-19-2005, 05:47 PM
 
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I've told my parents (though we weren't PG at the time, and they don't know we are now) and while it was sticky at first, they read what I send them and understand it now. They were far more concerned about the switch from hospital to home than this switch.
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#3 of 14 Old 01-19-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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We told my mom, as she's coming up for the birth.

I think we probably eased into it a bit (though not purposefully) just b/c of how OUR decision came about. I was upfront with Mom very early on about my desire for UC, but DH wasn't on-board. So we saw a midwife and DH and I kept talking about it. Meanwhile, I kept talking to Mom about just wanting a HB (and, since there are no HB midwives in our area, that basically meant UC).

At first, Mom was worried and glad that we were going with a midwife. But as time went on and I spoke with her more, she started to be less "pro-professional", so to speak. At the same time, DH was becoming disillusioned with the midwife.

So eventually, DH came around and then we told my mom. She had seen the whole progression through our conversations, and she also saw that DH (who had been against UC) was now very much on-board. So she was able to put her personal beliefs/preconceptions behind her and listen to what *I* needed her to hear.


I think she'd still prefer we birth at a hospital or bc, but she knows that those are not options for me. She won't say anything about it, especially since I've told her that I do NOT want to hear her fears (well, actually I told her that after a certain point in my pregnancy, I did not want to hear about anyone's fears, and she never brought any up).

I also addressed my concern about her "vibe" messing with me during labor. I was very clear and told her that while *she* may not necessarily believe it, *I* do. I told her that if she was going to be here for the birth, I needed her to leave her worries/fears/concerns/"helpful suggestions"/etc in Kansas and NOT bring them into my house. I also told her that if at any point, she felt she had a legitimate concern about how the labor was progressing, she was to take it outside my house and really examine her concern to see if it was a TRUE concern or a false concern (ie, "taking too long", "too much pain", whatever).


I think my mom sort of thinks I'm goofy about this, but I'm taking it seriously. I gave away my power during DS' birth, and I will NOT do that again.


But I think my mom was "convinced" in part by seeing how DH and I made our decision. She knows that we have considered the "what ifs", so she doesn't feel that she has to bring them up. I've also gone over and over DS' birth with her, so that she realizes how traumatic it was for me, and how a hospital birth (barring emergency) is NOT an option. Basically, my mom's got my back - even if *she* wouldn't make this particular choice for herself, she respects and supports my right to make it for myself.


Kinsey
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#4 of 14 Old 01-20-2005, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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even if *she* wouldn't make this particular choice for herself, she respects and supports my right to make it for myself.
That is what I am *hoping* that my mum will do without projecting her fears. I'll probably write her a letter and discuss it with her after she reads the letter.
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#5 of 14 Old 01-20-2005, 01:56 PM
 
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I didn't have family here (aside from my husband and children, and my husband only in the last hour, and my children were asleep.) I would have liked for my mom to see normal birth (heck there's a lot of people I would like to see normal birth) but it would have been distracting and inhibiting for me to have her there.

We told several family members who told others. Generally the reaction was mild concern, but in the end they all kept a respectful distance. A few were even supportive. It was a lot easier the second time around, no one hardly said a word! I guess we were pretty lucky that way, so many people get more grief over just having a homebirth with a midwife.
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#6 of 14 Old 01-20-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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I haven't mentioned it to family yet, as it's taken me a little while to convince dh. I actually left it up to him. I told him, I'm having this baby at home regardless, you need to decide what you're comfortable with.

Anyway, I'm debating how to go about it. I have thought about just telling them (mom and sis) that we're planning a HB but leaving out the part about no midwife. But then I'm afraid if they're not prepared for that, they might freak out once they get here, and I don't need that.

I would like at least for my sis to be here. I want her to see how normal birth is, although she saw my last water birth as well. She's convinced she'll need an epidural as soon as she gets pg. I'm sure my mom would like to be here, and I wouldn't mind her here, I'm just afraid she will bring some of her negative vibes with her.

I think I'm going to have to tell them ahead of time and give them the option of coming to the birth, knowing that they are not allowed to make any negative comments or get antsy around me.
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#7 of 14 Old 01-22-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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i've not outright told my mom. but she bought laura shanley's book on ebay for me. she's pretty cool that way--never even asked about it. she has an amazing level of trust and faith in me and my ability to make decisions for my life.

my il's are way over on the other end of the spectrum. we're basically telling everyone that we've decided that our pregnancy feels private and personal and we've decided to not discuss our prenatal or birth plans.

we have told a few supportive friends. all of our friends have had mw-assisted births and tend to do their own medical care, so it's not a far stretch for them to see us want to freebirth. a couple even said they expected it!

i agree about others bringing their fears to the birth. i'd suggest dosing all the drinks with rescue remedy and having a dose bottle on the table and explaining what it was for to anyone there. maybe giving them something to be in charge of like, hot water and wash clothes, or frozen mama pads/herb tea ice cubes, so they see that you've got it together and know things about your birth process. i've had the advice given to me to make sure anyone attending a uc know that they're not expected to be a mw substitute and that it's a different process of being there.

Waldorf homeschooling homesteading homebirthing mama to my 2 boys '05 & '10 joy.gif & most amazing wife to my most amazing dh
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#8 of 14 Old 01-23-2005, 03:34 AM
 
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I want to tell my family, but I probably won't. We have decided to lie to my husband's family and say we are going to the birth center with a midwife. That was our original plan, so it was true when we first started saying it. I will probably just lie to my family too.

I have told my little sister though (because she is apathetic about everything and doesn't care either way), but she isn't supposed to tell anyone. My mom is pretty alternative, but she also flips out easily and is very impulsive. She cried all day when I told her I was getting married because it meant she would have to see her in-laws. So she called and had my health insurance canceled the day after I got married, since I had been on my father's plan. (It would have been active for a few more weeks normally, and I had a dentist appointment she knew she could ruin to "punish" me) I don't want her to take anything into her own hands to mess up for me like that again. Who knows what she might do.

I read about some women getting people together to go to a paint on pottery type place where they decorated a bowl for the placenta. I would really like to do this, but I can't tell anyone what the bowl is for without letting the cat out of the bag. I am thinking about doing this anyway and just telling them that it is just a keepsake bowl. Is there any made up reason I could use for wanting a big decorated bowl?
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#9 of 14 Old 01-23-2005, 09:09 PM
 
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why couldn't a placenta bowl be used at a birth center with a mw?...at least for all they know.

Waldorf homeschooling homesteading homebirthing mama to my 2 boys '05 & '10 joy.gif & most amazing wife to my most amazing dh
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#10 of 14 Old 01-24-2005, 12:19 AM
 
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We didn't tell anyone in my family before the birth. We feel it's none of their business. At one point I would have wanted my mom there, but then I realized her "mom" instincts would have kicked in and she would want to "protect" me because she would have viewed my labor as "painful". Then I would have to spend my labor trying to convince her I was fine, and not letting myself completely focus on the task as hand.
Also- after the birth, we told everyone that our dd was born in the tub. They asked if we called 911, we said "No, why?" and that ended the conversation. Apparently ,my 4 older siblings really didn't feel like prying into that. For fear of what they would hear, even though they knew the answer to their questions. I guess they didn't want to hear me say it outloud, "We planned it."
Plus they're all done with babymaking. (self-proclaimed I might add!) So honestly, they have nothing to gain from my experience.

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#11 of 14 Old 01-24-2005, 01:08 AM
 
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When I was a safe 800 miles away, I didn't hesitate to tell anyone who would listen that we planned on a homebirth with a midwife. But now I'm about 5 minutes away, my poor mother is not only over-the-top with protectiveness, both of me and the 2 babies I already have, now she's an RN.

These two evolutions (my having given birth and her having received a degree) seem to have rendered my judgment very questionable in her estimation, so now, as much as I would like to share it with her, I can't imagine her handling things well if she were here. She used to be so ... alternative, I guess! It upsets me that her schooling seems only to have served to make her more fearful than ever. So I don't plan on telling anyone but my sister, and a couple of dear friends, all of whom could serve in the capacity of keeping an eye on the kids if they don't want to be directly involved. And I know they would respect my wishes regarding keeping their mouths shut if they were to become concerned.

As far as possible backlash.. no one in the family will be surprised to hear that we intended to have whatever little darling we're given right here at home. I've got a long history with being 'out there'. But I'm happy out here!!

lizzie

It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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#12 of 14 Old 01-24-2005, 03:35 AM
 
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my mantra was 'you are not allowed to be afraid for me'.
now, that baby throws it in my face every day. she hurtles her brave 2 year old self into some gutsy physical feats that makes the other playgroup moms nervous!
i had 'family' members that i hadn't seen in a year calling me up to tell me how scared they were for me. one called to try to scare me by sharing her iatrogenic (i believe) c-section story...yeah, THAT made me want to go turn myself over to the birth authorities!
i was cool with her cuz i had always liked her. i just listened, and did not allow her to sway my peace by acting as annoyed as i really was by the call.
she was 3 hours away though!
people that were nearby, i just talked about it as though it were the most normative thing in the world. in hindsight, that was a little foolhardy. the second time around, anyone who 'needed' to know already knew, as my 2 were born within a year's time.
anyway, 'you are not allowed to be afraid for me' said in a peaceful, non-threatening tone was an amazingly useful tool for me. i believe it minimized the harrassment GREATLY.
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#13 of 14 Old 01-25-2005, 01:15 AM
 
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with baby #2 it was an accidental UC so we didn't have to think about "what to tell people"

with baby #3 I didn't even tell my husband that I was planning to mislead the midwive about how far advanced my labor was. My girlfriend guessed what my plan was and helped me to dial her number about 30 minutes before delivery (actually pretended I wasn't in transition) When she asked how things were going I said "I seem to be having a few contractions, nothing major. Of course, she didn't make it and we (oops) had our UC that even my husband didn't know we were going to have (with my 3 best girlfriends and my in-laws at the house)

with baby #4 I saw a hospital-delivery midwife for prenatal care, there were no local home deliverers. I think that even the midwive knew she wouldn't be delivering me. My husband and I didn't discuss it much, I knew he was concerned so I printed up a list of things that would constitute an emergency (severe bleeding before the baby comes, loss of consciousness, prolonged fever and chills acompanied by lethargy) and I hung that list on the fridge along with the number of a midwive 45 minutes away who was willing to be "on call" we didn't discuss it with anyone else in our family- even my mother, who ended up being THERE for the birth. (birth was a week later than we predicted) She was awesome, but I wish she'd buy ME the Shanley book! Actually, she pays for my Mothering subscription since she lives so far away, she gets to mother me regularly! Aren't moms the best!
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#14 of 14 Old 01-25-2005, 03:03 AM
 
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While there's no question in my mind about handling my family, how or if or when to tell whomever I get whatever level of prenatal care I receive from is one thing I'm not sure of...

We have a fantastic, so far very open minded (in relation to vax, intactness, homeopathic remedies - she's always willing to either recommend, sell, or even give us homeopathics in place of or in conjunction with medical treatment, and is forever recommending massage, acupuncture, visceral imaging for different things..) BUT she is a medical doctor. She's great with the kids, and if I did end up having to go to the hospital, I can't imagine wanting any one else there with me, but how far do you go with giving information?

Since I'm not pg now, but just rabidly gathering info while I keep trying I thought maybe now would be a good time to oh so casually sound her out about it, but... I don't know. I do now that even if we did just not quite make it to the hospital... (or car, or living room, or out of the tub at all) she would still be willing to care for us, even if she suspected it was all quite purposeful. Maybe I could run it by her nurse?

lizzie
Sorry! I just realized this has nothing to do with telling family!! :

It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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