Clueless family members trying to impose on your birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, here's a complain-y type of thread to help pass the time until D-day....

My issue with my family is quite minor, I'm sure, compared to a lot of you. I learned with my last birth that family members of the pregnant women often (completely erroneously) believe they have the right to be involved with a birth. With my last birth I wasn't close at all with my dad or step-mother, so I've no idea why she thought they'd be at the birth (at least in a waiting room area) and staying at a hotel nearby for a couple days afterward. Uh, no thanks, I put the kibosh on that. I would rather give birth by myself in a cave than have either one of them in the same building while I'm in labor. In fact, I don't even want them KNOWING when I am in labor, this time either. It just makes me feel very uncomfortable. They wanted to be notified last time when I went into labor, but we ignored that request. My step-mom again requested that we call them when I go into labor this time, and I cannot fathom why on earth they would need to have that info. She said they need to know so they can inform their workplaces that they will be out for a couple days. Well, since they don't need to show up at my door the second I get home from the birth center, I think they can wait to be notified until AFTER the birth, and after me, DH, and DS have had a good opportunity to cuddle and spend time together. I don't have any desire to keep them from meeting their new grandson, and they really are great grandparents and wonderfully giving people. I just don't see the need to for them to know when I'm in labor. DH and I learned last time that it's a very bad idea to have family come over immediately after the baby is born (duh.) Actually, my family wasn't the problem last time, but my MIL was. She came from out of state right after DS was born, and I ended up very upset because she was holding DS too much. I felt very primal about keeping my baby with me. No, I do not need someone else to hold the baby while I take a nap or do anything else. That's why I have a baby carrier. She's also a lovely woman, but I don't need another mother figure trying to hog my baby right after he's been born. MIL won't be coming out to see the baby until the summer, which she is fine with. I am also *extremely* uncomfortable breastfeeding in front of my family. With DS I always went in another room to do it. I'm not looking forward to that part of their visit, either.

 

Birth is such an intensely personal event. When people invite themselves to be a part of it in some way, I feel like that's akin to asking if they can watch you have sex. I don't think it's EVER appropriate to assume you will be a part of a birth. I guess that since birth has moved into the hospitals it has become a public and medicalized event where the feelings of the woman are ignored. Really, what my step-mom is asking for sounds very minor, but I still feel it's an infringement on my right to birth in private. I do get very, very angry when I read about how some ladies on Mothering are treated by their family as if their birth is a public peep show. That just burns me up and makes me want to yell at those obnoxious and pushy folks Cuss.gif


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#2 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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I agree with you.  I don't want anyone to know I'm in labor.  I don't think it'll be a problem with the inlaws (although they'll be mad probably) but I do have to call my mom since I want her to be at the birth.  She doesn't want to drive here alone so my dad will drop her off (and he's ok with leaving right after he drops her off) and now my sister says she might ride with him too so that he won't be driving home alone.  Ugh.  They are both fine with not coming inside (we are having a homebirth) but I am with you that even those few people knowing might make me feel "watched," even from afar.  I guess that's the fewest people who need to know but I have visions of my mom updating my dad during the birth and him calling everyone else.  I did tell my sister that I am going to pretend that no one knows anything and tell my mom no phone usage is allowed.  She's had 4 natural births so I think she will understand but I still wonder if I will catch her in the phone.

 

I am feeling intensely private while pregnant.  I am introverted to begin with but still surprised at just how private I feel during this time.  You are right, it's very similar to sex in a lot of ways.


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#3 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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ugh. I just had to tell my mom last  week that I didn't want her there when I was in labor. She was crushed. I feel terrible. Why do people have these expectations?


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#4 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by texmati View Post

. Why do people have these expectations?



DDCC to say.... Maybe Tv? I don't think birth should be a spectator sport. All you mamas, tell those folks to stay away until you are ready.

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#5 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gemasita View Post

I am with you that even those few people knowing might make me feel "watched," even from afar.



That's how I feel. I don't want to feel like people are waiting on me, or expecting updates and pictures, or calling and bugging us for info. Both my parents and in-laws live far away and aren't coming for the birth, but they want to be called when I go into labor. I said I would, but I actually won't. I'll say "everything started happening and I just forgot" or something like that.

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#6 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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Our family members live far away and have asked that we call when I go into labor.  I don't have a problem with it seeing as they won't be showing up at the hospital.  They know we will call them ASAP after the birth. 

 

Everyone asks why in the world I don't want my mom or MIL there when I give birth.  I guess I just feel it's a private thing between me and DH, I don't know.  Both my mom and MIL are great people too.  They are more than welcome to come whenever after the birth as they are awesome help and if they want to come while I'm in labor, they can stay at our house and watch DS.  They both know this and neither has acted offended by it at all.


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#7 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 01:59 PM
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I think it's important to know your comfort zone and protect your boundaries in labor.  If you're not comfortable having family present, then they have to wait until you're ready.

 

Mothering Magazine published a story a couple years ago about a woman whose entire extended family had a sing-along in her house while she was birthing.  I can't imagine laboring productively with that going on.  But to each their own.  Some women like to have everyone there, and if their families are willing and able to drop everything for a few days and rush to their sides, then they can have it.  Luckily, my family doesn't read Mothering, and none of them have suggested a labor reunion/songfest on their own.  Because my head would explode.   

 

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#8 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stik View Post

 Luckily, my family doesn't read Mothering, and none of them have suggested a labor reunion/songfest on their own.  Because my head would explode.   

 


LOL!! Too funny, that sounds just awful to me.  I have more of these problems after I arrive home. My mom is a total baby hog. They're coming to help with the older kids, which I totally appreciate. But last time no one gave a crap about me...everyone just kept trying to take the baby and telling me to sleep, ugh. Gee, don't worry if I have anything to eat or even have water, thanks! Even dh ...didn't even take one day off and gave me a phone to call him if I needed anything. (he works from home). This time around I'm just getting everything set up before hand so I have water and snacks without having to go down stairs after the c/s.


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#9 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stik View Post

 Luckily, my family doesn't read Mothering, and none of them have suggested a labor reunion/songfest on their own.  Because my head would explode.   

 


LOL!! Too funny, that sounds just awful to me.  I have more of these problems after I arrive home. My mom is a total baby hog. They're coming to help with the older kids, which I totally appreciate. But last time no one gave a crap about me...everyone just kept trying to take the baby and telling me to sleep, ugh. Gee, don't worry if I have anything to eat or even have water, thanks! Even dh ...didn't even take one day off and gave me a phone to call him if I needed anything. (he works from home). This time around I'm just getting everything set up before hand so I have water and snacks without having to go down stairs after the c/s.

Funny how fast it changes. As soon as the baby comes the focus shifts, and the mom is left in the dust.

 

I'm always amused when I read birth stories from mama's who were happy to invite everyone but the neighbor dog to their birth. I am so, SO not like that. Every sphincter in my body would slam shut if I were in that situation!
 





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Originally Posted by gemasita View Post

I am with you that even those few people knowing might make me feel "watched," even from afar.



That's how I feel. I don't want to feel like people are waiting on me, or expecting updates and pictures, or calling and bugging us for info. Both my parents and in-laws live far away and aren't coming for the birth, but they want to be called when I go into labor. I said I would, but I actually won't. I'll say "everything started happening and I just forgot" or something like that.


I plan on doing the same thing. "Oh, we had to rush to the birth center, DH was busy with DS....." whatever. I have the same fear of DH being bugged for updates while I'm in labor. I know they are excited, but please....I REALLY do not want them knowing how dilated I am at a particular moment or whether or not I've started pushing. The very thought gives me the creeps.

 

What's funny is that if DH had his way, he wouldn't be in the room at all while the baby is being born. He does want to be supportive, but he is very squeamish about birth and any kind of medical event. He actually fainted the last time he had to have his blood drawn. DH is going to be there whether he likes it or not (but in and out of the room) and those who really want to be there will be kept out. Funny how things work out sometimes.


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#10 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MommaMoo View Post

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Funny how fast it changes. As soon as the baby comes the focus shifts, and the mom is left in the dust.

Totally true... I thought about getting a postpartum doula this time around. I just think I would feel sooo uncomfortable with someone not part of the family.


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#11 of 20 Old 01-04-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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I don't want anyone but my sister to know because my mom is a complete worry wort, as is my BF's dad, and I just don't want any anxious, fearful energy in the world being directed towards me and the baby.  Last time I invited my sister and close friends, thinking they would be supports.  They weren't (not by their own fault, more because I wasn't clear about my needs).  This time I feel very introverted about the birth and just want to be me, my BF and the midwives.  The only way people will know I'm in labor is if I need them to care for my kids if it's my parenting time with them when I go into labor (I can't have them here either, I just can't step out of the caregiving role enough to focus on what I need to to birth this baby). 

 

As soon as the baby is born, folks will know.  My family is very respectful about my space (I've trained them well in the last 10 yrs) and his family all live far away so we don't have to worry about surprise, uninvited guests like I did with my ex (whose mother and sister announced they were coming up to see us on a Friday when I had just gotten home from having a c/s on Sunday - same ex MIL who put her dirty ass, grossly polished finger in my son's mouth when he was fussing at the hospital).  The only people who are likely to see the baby soon after birth are my sister and my kids.  That's it.  The rest of the time is quiet, peaceful babymoon time.


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#12 of 20 Old 01-05-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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I'm in the same camp. It feels perverse for everyone to want to know every detail about where I am and what the condition of my cervix is irked.gif. Thankfully for this situation my family lives hours away and I have the option of turning all of the phones off. They will be informed that the baby has arrived safely once we are all back home and have gotten comfy, and there will be no invited guests for at least a week. The closer I am getting to birthing this LO the more protective I am getting of our "safety bubble" (my family is toxic and my friends are negative/unsupportive) and I am not going to feel even a little bit guilty about keeping this time to ourselves.


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#13 of 20 Old 01-06-2011, 04:30 AM
 
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I TOTALLY agree. It wouldn't be so bad except that my mother is crazy...CRAZY. The world revolves around her, her feelings, and how she wants things to happen. I'm due within a week of my birthday and am suppose to be being induced, and my mom thinks that I should push the doctor to let me be induced on my birthday so that my mom can throw a birthday party IN THE DELIVERY ROOM. Hello?!?! What planet are you on?? After every appt she asks me if I "picked" a date yet to be induced. No, mom, its not like ordering off of a menu. irked.gif As mean as it may sound, I plan to tell her a date that is a few days after my actual scheduled date and then call her when I am good and ready for her to know that the baby is here and come to the hospital. She'll probably be secretly pissed but what is she going to do about it? Come to the hospital and yell at me? That would go over REAL well with DH. I'm not sure why certain people assume that they have a "right" to be there, especially since last time she literally tried to push my husband out of the room. My mom is also a baby hog...MAJOR BABY HOG! I am more looking forward to having my friends come visit me a day or so after I have the baby than I am my mother, ugh!

 

Sorry, that was an angry vent, but this thread totally hit home with me.


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#14 of 20 Old 01-06-2011, 04:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gemasita View Post

I guess that's the fewest people who need to know but I have visions of my mom updating my dad during the birth and him calling everyone else. 


 

That is totally what my mom would do if she knew I was in labor, except she probably would be updating her facebook status..."So excited, Bailey is in labor and dilated to 5 cm!"


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#15 of 20 Old 01-06-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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OMG, yesterday I had steam coming out of my ears! Thank God my family is thousands miles away, but since I got close to EDD my parents want to see me (Skype) every day and they freak out if I have anything else more important to do than sit in front of the computer and talk about nothing with them. It will be a VBAC for me, and I thought they know how important for me this birth is, but they keep asking me when is the c-section scheduled. I cannot believe it! I told my DH yesterday that I will not call them or talk them anymore until the baby arrives. It's not enogh that I'm dealing with all pushy OBGYNs.

 

On top of that I have so many people calling me all the time to "just check on me". Yesterday an old friend who I don't even see that often called me and after I didn't pick up, he showed up at my door an hour later. For God sake! What do these people think? Some privacy please!!!!

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#16 of 20 Old 01-06-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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My ILs are coming the 15th, They sort of invited themselves. MIL kept pushing me for a date that would be good for them to come because she had to schedule time off in advance, and I was like, "um... I don't KNOW when the baby is coming!" so they went ahead and planned for the 15th.

EDD is the 12th. I was hoping I'd go early like with #2 so I could have as much time as possible alone w/Baby before they get here. MIL is talking about DH and I having a date night. Riiiiiiight. Thankfully it's just for the weekend, and she likes to clean. I'll put her to work, while *I* snuggle with the baby.

 

What I wouldn't give to have MY mom here, for the birth or for anything. I don't know how long it's going to be before she even gets to meet him :(

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My ILs are coming the 15th, They sort of invited themselves. MIL kept pushing me for a date that would be good for them to come because she had to schedule time off in advance, and I was like, "um... I don't KNOW when the baby is coming!" so they went ahead and planned for the 15th.

EDD is the 12th. I was hoping I'd go early like with #2 so I could have as much time as possible alone w/Baby before they get here. MIL is talking about DH and I having a date night. Riiiiiiight. Thankfully it's just for the weekend, and she likes to clean. I'll put her to work, while *I* snuggle with the baby.

 

What I wouldn't give to have MY mom here, for the birth or for anything. I don't know how long it's going to be before she even gets to meet him :(


Uh, yeah. A date night when you have a few-days old newborn. It makes me mad that people like to try and separate mom and baby so soon after birth. I hope your MIL is not a huge pest!


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#18 of 20 Old 01-07-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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Oh, in-laws! My MIL just told my DH to call as soon as ANYTHING happens. She had already asked about my cervix - he informed her that we are working with midwives who don't even check that until I'm a week "overdue." Then he just laughed and said, "I don't think we'll be doing that mom. We'll either tell you when she's VERY close, or when it's over." What a great guy! The LAST thing we want is her calling every hour to see how things are progressing and worrying if something is wrong. That sort of defies our natural birth plan. We are hoping to do as much of the labor as possible with just us two at home before we go to the hospital - which is only 5 minutes away.

 

The other frustrating thing she's done is suddenly decide that they are coming out for a weekend as soon as the baby is born. For months they've been planning to come in March when they have spring break (they are teachers). My mother can only be here for 10 days because of her job and it is my first baby, so I really do want her help. We had a lot of trouble deciding when she should arrive and finally decided on nine days after my EDD. Now suddenly they want to come out WHILE my mother is here. Again, I love my DH, because he just flat out told her no. There is one weekend left (after this one) before my mom comes, so if the baby comes next week, I guess they'll be coming here. I'm a little stressed because they didn't give me any warning or I would have been spending more time on the house. Why didn't they just voice these plans months ago from the very beginning?!?

 

Oh well, I'm choosing not to stress about the house. If they want to be here, they can take it as it is. Besides, I'm telling myself, my FIL is a busy-body so he can clean and install the baby gate that they bought for us. I have no idea how much of a baby hog MIL will be. Luckily, DH sticks up for me, so I hope it all goes well.

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#20 of 20 Old 01-08-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JoyfulJessie View Post

Oh, in-laws! My MIL just told my DH to call as soon as ANYTHING happens. She had already asked about my cervix - he informed her that we are working with midwives who don't even check that until I'm a week "overdue." Then he just laughed and said, "I don't think we'll be doing that mom. We'll either tell you when she's VERY close, or when it's over." What a great guy! The LAST thing we want is her calling every hour to see how things are progressing and worrying if something is wrong. That sort of defies our natural birth plan. We are hoping to do as much of the labor as possible with just us two at home before we go to the hospital - which is only 5 minutes away.

 

The other frustrating thing she's done is suddenly decide that they are coming out for a weekend as soon as the baby is born. For months they've been planning to come in March when they have spring break (they are teachers). My mother can only be here for 10 days because of her job and it is my first baby, so I really do want her help. We had a lot of trouble deciding when she should arrive and finally decided on nine days after my EDD. Now suddenly they want to come out WHILE my mother is here. Again, I love my DH, because he just flat out told her no. There is one weekend left (after this one) before my mom comes, so if the baby comes next week, I guess they'll be coming here. I'm a little stressed because they didn't give me any warning or I would have been spending more time on the house. Why didn't they just voice these plans months ago from the very beginning?!?

 

Oh well, I'm choosing not to stress about the house. If they want to be here, they can take it as it is. Besides, I'm telling myself, my FIL is a busy-body so he can clean and install the baby gate that they bought for us. I have no idea how much of a baby hog MIL will be. Luckily, DH sticks up for me, so I hope it all goes well.



Hotel for the in-laws and keep that baby in a Moby and I'm sure you'll *need* to go nurse him privately in the other room, a lot, right?

 

My mom called me last night and left a message letting me know something and told me she would see me on Sunday (for a family party).  I was busy getting adjusted and decided her message didn't warrant an immediate call back.  Fast-forward two hours, she calls again... "everything okay?"  Yes mom, everything is fine.  "Well, you didn't call me back".  Mom, if I was in labor, I would not want you calling obsessively. "Oh, I know, I was going to call your sister next and have her call you."  

 

I later find out that she texted my sister not once, but twice, after I didn't call her back the first time.  I told my sister that even if I am in labor, she is to LIE and say I'm just napping, busy, whatever.  I love my mom, but she's a ball of anxiety.  My sister called this morning and I answered the phone "no, I'm not in labor". 


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