I'm all getting nervous here. I *love* my MIL. She rocks. She was never very AP with my DH, but she's open-minded and wonderful. She's helped assemble our diaper stash, she is cool with homebirth, she's super-supportive of nursing (but is kinda' clueless--as in: "go ahead and take the formula samples, you might need them like I did" um, no.), and she's probably hosting our homebirth at her house and in her hot tub (although DH did have to agree to power-wash it after...).
She wants to be involved in the birth and I want her to be involved. She came to a prenatal with me a couple months back to meet the midwives. She was a bit blown away just by the nature of my midwife prenantals and didn't really process the birth part until this week. I suggested books for her to read (Ina May's books, Birthing from Within), even gave her one (Thinking Woman's Guide). Some stuff so she would understand our mental process and why we're doing this, some stuff about the safety and superiority of non-interventive birth.
We had our home visit a couple of days ago. Both midwives, an apprentice, DH, Me, and MIL. Hammered down a few things, talked about labor preferences, all sorts of late-term details.
MIL got a bit freaked out. She's been processing her own birth experiences quite a lot and is having a hard time reconciling with that (she had a mostly natural labor with her first--a stillbirth at 20 weeks, and induction/emergency c-section at term with DH bc her water had broken 12 hours or so previously). She is worried that she won't know what is "normal" in a homebirth, and she's worried that, in her words: "I'll do the wrong thing and you'll hate me because I don't know what I'm doing."
I tried reassuring her, but now I'm wondering if she might be right. Well, no, I won't hate her, but I might get annoyed at her.
She went out looking for books, didn't find the ones I'd recommended and instead picked up a couple of "method" books--the kind we're deliberately eschewing (didn't get the precise titles--from her description it seems like one is almost hypnobirthy, one is kinda yoga-y/breathing exercise type thing, etc.). Now we're leaving tomorrow morning to spend the weekend at the family cottage with her and hse wants to spend some time "practicing" with us.
I know she's most comfortable when she's in control--a tad OCD there, something she realizes but is not fabulous at controlling--but I do not want to be coached in how to breathe/sit/stand/think! I really want her there for the mutual emotional support of me, her and DH, but can't seem to convince her that that is a valid capacity and she really needs to just show up ready to listen to what I or the midwives tell her is needed.
It doesn't help that when I'm tired or upset I can get pretty snarky and downright b*tchy. Heck, we're all strong, somewhat weird people who all have our own issues and manage to get along pretty well in spite of it, but I'm worried her trying to coach me, or me getting too snarky with her in the middle of labor and really upsetting her.
It's *very* important to me that she be there, but I just don't know how to convince her to just *relax* and learn about the process without trying to run it or take it over or coach me in it (keep in mind she is an HR exec who runs a life-coaching business on the side). Letting go and just relaxing and not trying to run things is very foreign to her.
So I dunno. Don't even know what I'm looking for in this incredibly long post. If anyone has the perfect book that is easily obtainable, or a suggestion for how to give her a more specific structured role that might increase her comfort level, or anything really, I'm open to ideas. (This might be a good solution--to give her a specific job. It's hard though bc we don't even know where the birth will be. Weather allowign, it'll be at her house, possibly outdoors. In case of cold or rain, it will be at our house. All the logistical stuff is so last minute that we can't really assign jobs in advance. I don't want her to do food prep; I'm always picky and DH knows exactly how I like things; he has also decided that will be his job, since he's not 100% comfortable with being labor support.
Awright, end of novel. If anyone has any ideas...