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#1 of 11 Old 01-01-2006, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, here is a question for those of you doing hospital birth. Especially if you have done it before and can speak from experience. What was your "policy" on informing family and friends that you are in labor, or on having people at the hospital during your birth?
I want my DH and my mother at the hospital with me, so my father will *have* to know I'm in labor, given that he lives with my mom. My in-laws have asked us to let them know when we go to the hospital because they live four hours away and would like to drive in ASAP. My brother and SIL also mentioned something about the birth, and how nothing will stand in the way of them "being there." Recently it occurred to me that both my brother and my in-laws intend to rush directly to the hospital and sit outside my hospital room until Baby is born. While I am completely comfortable with the idea of them coming to the hospital AFTER she's born, I'm *NOT* okay with the idea of a crowd of relatives sitting outside my door, waiting for the emergence of Amazing First Grandchild/Niece. So I told them all so. In a nice way. I told my in-laws that I thought it was great they want to come in to town right away, and that we'd call them during labor and they can head straight to DH's grandmother's house to wait until we call and say she's born. (Grandma lives 20 minutes from the hospital.) Then I told brother that it was really nice of him to prioritize her birth in that way, and that it would be really terrific if he and SIL went to our parents' home while I was in labor to sit with Dad, who would surely be beside himself with Mom being gone and him having to wait alone. And I told Dad the same thing.
So all of this is fine up to this point, right...
But they all flatly refused. Brother and Dad laughed and said they were going to come to the hospital anyway, and said I'd be in no shape to keep them away on the Big Day. MIL and FIL laughed and said I would be in the hospital room, they'd be in the waiting room--I wouldn't even have to know they are there. It's now been brought up three times with the in-laws and they are just REFUSING. Keep saying they won't be hurting anything; I needn't even know, etc, etc. (Of course MIL had epidurals, so it hasn't even occurred to her that *I* might want to leave *my* room; that it's not just an issue of them not barging in!)
Anyway, I actually have a great relationship with my brother, father and in-laws, or I probably wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. (I get the feeling that they are all so comfortable with me and their place in my life that I won't *really* be mad when they show up against my orders...) I don't want to start some family hoo-ha over this, since they all actually mean well and are just so excited about this kid, but at the same time I really feel like I DON'T want them all at the hospital. What are your all's thoughts, and how are you all handling this?

Homeschooling mama to DD 3/28/06 reading.gif,  DS 2/27/10 coolshine.gif, Belle the Orange Dog 03/11, and DD babygirl.gif 10/03/2013.
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#2 of 11 Old 01-01-2006, 10:32 PM
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If they are refusing, just don't call them. Call them after the baby is born - that's what I'd do.

My mom & dad (& Dp) were there for the birth of Dd1 & my sis (& Dp) were there for Dd2. My labors were super quick, so I don't know how it'd be if it took hours. There's a lot that you think you're going to care about *before* you have the baby, but when it comes down to it & you're in labor, you really don't care what is going on (IME.) I thought I'd be inhibited about people seeing me naked, but I really didn't care - I think my mw was there with a handful of nurses - must've been a slow night .

Good luck!

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
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#3 of 11 Old 01-02-2006, 01:40 AM
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I totally understand! I'm not worried about DH's family they didn't show up for the wedding, so they won't even know when the baby is being born. We will tell them whenever we talk to them.

Mom and DH will be in the room with me. Dad and Sis will be in the waiting room. My brother plans to wait until Thanksgiving to meet his first niece! LOL He lives 2.5 hours away, but has a hard time getting away from his business.

My concern is the folks from church! I would like my pastor's wife there, but I don't want the whole church to show up! We are a pretty close knit group and I am afraid that some might come.

I don't want folks to show up too early, but sis lives 3 hours away and will want to ride in with mom and dad who live 1 hour away!

My other thing is ....I would like to labor at home as long as I can. I don't want to show up only to be told to go home, or to lay in a hospital for a couple of days and having them start talking about pitocin or c-sections just because I'm not giving birth on their time table.

SO anyway...I hope some of these BTDT moms have some solutions! :
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#4 of 11 Old 01-02-2006, 02:36 AM
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When I was in labor with my first, we called everyone (family and friends) and they all came. It was quite a party in my room for a while there! I will say that this is how it had been for my other friend's births as well. At one point we asked everyone to leave our room and many of them stayed in the waiting area until she was born. After she was with us and we were settled a bit, some of them came in to take a quick peek and then head home to bed. All that was fine with me because at that point I was basically oblivious to anyone but my new baby and my husband.

This time around will be different. I plan on using Hypnobirthing for my labor and delivery. Hence I'll want more peace and quiet, more time alone with dh, more time to focus on me and the baby. I think we'll probably call family and friends to say, "Hey, we're in labor, going to the hospital. Hang tight until we call you with more news." I'm sure my parents will come to the hospital but I plan on asking them to not be in the room (mom, dh, and my best friend were with me for dd #1's delivery) until after the baby's born.

Having said all that, if I thought that someone wasn't going to respect my wishes, I'd probably just not call them until the baby was born. Hopefully their joy at seeing your new babe when he/she is here will override any hurt feelings they may have. This is your day and you have a right to your preferences regarding who you want there.

Good luck!
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#5 of 11 Old 01-02-2006, 03:11 AM
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When DS was born, I didn't want anyone except DH to be there, either. We had friends who insisted they were coming to the hospital (and said they'd be drinking margaritas while they waited ). We just didn't call them until babe was there and we were ready for visitors. My husband and I are very private and we wanted the moment to be ours.

Maybe you can just not call the people on your list and have your mom run interference with your dad (unless you can bend the rules and have just him in the waiting room).

We're having a similar problem trying to convince my MIL that we don't want her to come racing down the second this baby's born. We want to have a couple weeks after the birth to establish our routine, etc., and don't really want to have to entertain a houseguest. She just keeps disregarding our request and saying she'll be down immediately. We might not be able to tell her the baby's born until he's a couple weeks old :.
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#6 of 11 Old 01-02-2006, 03:28 AM
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If the distruptions will interfere will your labor, don't call them. I made the mistake of calling my mom to let her know that they decided to induce. While she didn't come to the hospital, she called my room every hour on the hour until I finally told my nurse (very politely-she was awesome!) that if they let one more call come into my room, I'd throw it out the window! My phone didn't ring again after that.
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#7 of 11 Old 01-02-2006, 03:45 AM
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This may have just been the hospital that I was at but there was NO waiting room except outside of the "birth center" that I was not allowed to leave so no chance of running into the people there. They also gave me a form when I came in that I had to sign and I could chose not to have my name put in the directory so if anyone called they were not allowed to give out info, if I was there, if I had delivered, etc.
They could show up but you could just leave them sitting out there until you are ready.
Also have you checked with your dr/mw and the hospital they may only allow a certain number of people in the room. My CNM's official policy was that your partner and one other person could be there but they would allow me to have others there as long as they did not cause problems/get in the way.
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#8 of 11 Old 01-02-2006, 02:57 PM
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Wow...I mean, their hearts are in the right place, but it's not cool that they're being insensitive to your wishes for that day.

I totally understand where you're coming from...my parents were 3 hours away, but dh's family (parents, three brothers, two SILs) were here in town. I told them repeatedly that we didn't plan to call anyone until after the baby was born....they kept requesting to hang out in the waiting room. For some reason, I *really* disliked the idea of having a troop of people waiting for the delivery of the twins....it felt like pressure, and I didn't want people bugging me (in person or over the phone) while I was laboring. The birth I just attended in July....man-oh-man....the MIL called about every 2 minutes, and my friend was so distracted by the annoyance and anger it started to cause. Wouldn't want that!!

In the end, with that first birth, we stuck to our decision not to call anyone...._ANYONE_...until the babies were born and we were settled in our hosp. room. The babies were born at 10am or so, and we didn't call people until 5 or so that night. I was so tired (24 hours of labor), that even then we said we didn't want visitors until the next morning. It was perfect that way. Dh and I had hours and hours of beautiful, wide-eyed, "wow-what-just-happened" bonding time , I had time to get a hang of nursing without the constant flow of visitors, and I didn't feel rushed to shower, get neat, etc.

If your in-laws are four hours away, don't worry about not calling them until the baby is born. No kidding...it'll take at least four hours for you to go through all of the "settling in" that happens at a hospital...they'll watch you closely to make sure your bleeding tapers off, you'll have that blessed couple of hours where you learn to nurse, the staff will get the room cleaned up, you'll start eating a little food, etc. etc. etc. It takes longer than you'd imagine. If you call your in-laws after the "birth" process is over (I define that process as "over" when you have no medical staff or doctors between your legs), your inlaws will have MORE than enough time to get the hospital....AND you'll have a little buffer to be with your *new* family, bond, and be quiet for a while.

If you want your mom at the hospital with you, you must have a close relationship with her. Tell her, as clearly and firmly as possible, that part of her assisting you in labor means keeping your labor private. If she and your father can't promise you to keep their fingers off the phone (or telling others who call), then that's a problem. Your mother should also be on your side when it comes to your hospital wishes--try to get her help in defending your wishes (to your brother, etc.). If you have a heart-to-heart with her and tell her how you feel, and how much you need to count on her following your wishes, I would hope she'd become more of an ally.

This might be your only birth where you get to keep things private, between you and dh and the small circle that helps you in the labor room. Once you have a child, you're sort of forced into telling people you're in labor....in our situation, we need someone to come over and care for our sons when I go into labor this time...that kind of shoots the "we tell nobody" idea in the foot. That being said, my in-laws _know_ I don't want any company or calls at the hospital....I was so firm about it last time, I don't think anyone would dare interfere with our private moments.

I know I'm writing too much....I just can't emphasize enough how special those first few hours are, how sacred it feels to be next to your husband, holding your new child.... the wants and desires of other family members can wait. CERTAINLY they can wait a few hours, if not a day or overnight.

Good luck, and be firm!

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#9 of 11 Old 01-02-2006, 03:01 PM
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oh, and get a little list ready of excuses for not calling right away...in my experience, most people are _highly_ forgiving when they realize you've just delivered a baby , but an excuse can help patch up any grumpy feelings they might have.

My favorite was "it all happened so fast, and I really needed dh's full help and concentration getting through the contractions. I didn't want him to be away from me on the phone."

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#10 of 11 Old 01-03-2006, 07:54 PM
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These are all great suggestions! I'm dealing with a slightly similar situation with my MIL and her husband... originally, my naive DH thought his mom and stepfather would drive the two hours to be in the same room when the baby was born. In my DH's thinking, since *my* mother will be in the delivery room, why shouldn't his mother and stepfather? Of course, he didn't stop to think that all these people would be staring at my naked body. I don't have a great relationship with my MIL and her husband (they drive me crazy, to be honest) and there's NO WAY in h-e-double-hockey-sticks I'd let them even wait in the hospital, much less the delivery room!

The plan I've worked out with my DH at this time is to call the inlaws when I go into labor (and after the baby is born), but they aren't allowed to visit us until we've gone home with the baby for at least 24 hours and I give the OK for them to visit. After reading the responses here, I think I may try to convince my DH *not* to call the inlaws until I'm close to delivering or after the baby arrives... that way they won't feel a compelling need to drive out and see us while I'm trying to labor. (My MIL and her husband have a VERY hard time respecting other people's wishes.)


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Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
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#11 of 11 Old 01-04-2006, 11:29 PM
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I am having some of the same problems. I want just my Dh and sis in the room. My best friend said she is going to rent a car and come right away (she lives in NYC and is about 1.5 hrs away). I don't think I could handle her there though either. I am using Hypnobabies. So I will need calm, and quiet.
I haven't discussed this w/my MIL yet. She lives like 5 min from the hospital. I just have this feeling that she thinks that she will be there for the birth. I don't care about the naked thing, it's just that I only want to worry about me and the baby not who is there and how to talk nice to them. I do know she will respect my decision but I don't want to hurt her feelings either. We have a great relationship. She can be alittle old fashioned sometimes though.
I guess my advice would be to not call them. I figured that we would do that w/my friend. Just call her in the middle of the night and/or once I am at the hospital. I plan to labor at home as long as possible. You never know too, the hospital may have policies out of your control or "policies out of your control" Or so you could tell them that.
Good luck!
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