homebirth overcrowding? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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We're planning a home/water birth for our first baby and I'm wondering if I made a huge mistake in having so many people there with me.  It will be me and DH plus our 2 midwives, my mom and sister and now his mom.  I'm starting to feel like that is a way too many people.  Plus I have this feeling that my dad would enjoy being there and while that doesn't bother me I'm afraid that mean his wife will want to come too and she is just too nervous and and frantic and I don't want that kind of energy around me.


Would it be terrible to tell people I've changed my mind that day (or have DH do it) or not tell anyone until it's too late?


I thought I would want to be surrounded by my family but now I feel like I might get self-conscious or irritated.


Anyone been here before and having this dilemma now?


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#2 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 01:19 PM
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If they know your expectations (quiet, laid back, etc) and you're okay with that, then have as many people as you want there!! You can either wait to see how you feel when you go into labor, and have DH call just the midwives, or everyone... whatever YOU want. If all else fails, you can ask your midwives to ask everyone to leave for awhile, and they should be more than happy to do so for you.

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#3 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 01:19 PM
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I don't think there's anything wrong with telling them you've changed your mind. It might hurt some feelings if you decide to still include some but not everyone but that's their problem. You need to do what's best for you. I'd discuss it with them now, though, rather than waiting until the last minute. Explain how you feel. Maybe a couple of them will offer to stay away.

Another option is having a private room, like your bedroom, where you can go and shut the door to be by yourself. Even if you only have one or two people there, you may want to be completely alone.

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#4 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 01:22 PM
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First of all, I don't think that if you are feeling uncomfortable that it would be weird to tell people you've changed your mind. You are the mama here and are going to be doing the difficult and powerful work of bringing a baby to life, and you deserve to have the setting created to your comfort.


On the other hand, when I was giving birth to my first, we had three midwives, my husband, and occassional drop in folks (the people whose space it was). My aunt arrived shortly after the delivery. I had planned on my aunt and also my dear friend being there, but they couldn't make it because I went into labor before my due date. Honestly, I didn't really notice very much during my labor. I can't be sure. I don't think it would have felt like too much had my aunt and friend arrived. As long as the guests are somewhat unobtrusive, I don't know that you will notice them very much once labor really gets rockin'!


If you feel too weird about disinviting people, you could preface a re-invitation saying that you reserve the right to ask people to go somewhere else for a while if it's feeling too disruptive to have all those folks there.

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#5 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 02:06 PM
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I have the same worry!  I want to invite several different people, but don't want to feel the pressure of all the eyes.   Plus, what if I decide to bail at the last minute (which I highly doubt) and I would feel like a big failure in front of everyone.   So, for now, it's just the midwife and my husband and I reserve the right to call people to come once the labor starts! lol  I think a peaceful environment is going to be one of the biggest factors in staying focused and having the delivery that I want.


In a related story ... when I went in for my c-section last time (which I really didn't want, and had a lot of anxiety about), and my mom showed up just before the surgery, I lost it. I was a big mess!  I think it's just something that happens when you see your mom.  So, I don't really want to be brave and strong and then loose my zen if she walks in!


So, I say un-invite everyone or just don't call them when you go in labor and tell them you were too focused on labor to call them!

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#6 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 02:33 PM
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If you're really concerned about hurting feelings, you could tell them you've been reading a lot about how labor can start and stop randomly, and sometimes start days ahead of time (I've been reading a lot of the birth stories in other DDC's) and then explain how you don't want them to have to drop everything and come running each time you cry wolf, so you/DH will call them when either the baby is HERE and they can come then, or when baby is almost here...I don't know, I'm a very passive-aggressive/non-confrontational person

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#7 of 12 Old 02-23-2011, 12:15 AM
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Hi Everyone!
I am a little shocked at the idea to have tons of people at the birth. Especially if this is the first vaginal birth. I had no idea what I was getting into and how it feels to be in a lot of pain. My sister gave birth 2 years ago and the first thing she said on the phone was "why didn't you tell me how it would be"?. Nobody knows how it will be until they have BTDT. After three vaginal births I can tell you: you might not want anyone there. Please don't put extra pressure on yourself in an already difficult situation. I want as many family members at my birth as I want in the room when I have sex! None!!! A completely streched vagina is the very LAST thing I want to show my dad, aunt, MIL. I would tell them no now and invite them for the second birth once you know what it is like for you!

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#8 of 12 Old 02-23-2011, 05:05 AM
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I think it depends a lot on you and your relationship with the people you've invited.  I do think that in this situation:  less is more.  I wish I could remember what I read, something about "For each additional person you have observing you, you increase your labor by XX amount time."  I think it was like 30-60 minutes.  Anyway, true or not, that's always stuck with me and really made me really think about what is going to be best for me and baby. 


That said:  My first labor, no one was there other than me, DH, and our two midwives.  It was fine, it was exactly what I wanted, but in hindsight I can see that there are ways I could have *really* benefited from another person being there with me.  While I was laboring, it was often just me alone, and the midwives were almost only involved during pushing a delivery.  After much careful thought, this time I think I'm going to have my bff present in addition to my DH (fortunately, she's one of his true bff's too), along with my sister intermittently coming in to take photos.  This means that most of the time it will be just 3 of us, and even that seems like a lot to me sometimes. 


Good luck with your decision, it's a hard one. 

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#9 of 12 Old 02-23-2011, 06:10 AM
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At my DS's birth I had my husband, 2 midwives, 1 midwife assistant and a doula. I had a wonderful experience and everything turned out perfectly-- but I did feel like there were just too many people there!

I decided from the beginning to tell all family and friends flat-out (even my own mom and my MIL who would have really liked to be there) that we would only have the birth team present and they could visit after the baby was born. I felt bad having to tell them they weren't invited, of course, but I explained reasons listed above (more people generally=harder, longer labor) and that I needed privacy, and they understood.

If you are having any doubts now, I think you should *definitely* change your plan! You can just tell them the truth--that you are unsure how you'll feel in the moment, but you have been thinking that it's such a private event, and to have birth progress the way you want it may be better for you to have complete privacy. And of course, you can always call them during labor if you decide you want them there (if they are local anyway.)

They might be disappointed at first but if you are just honest they'll understand. There are so many ways for them to be involved after the birth. That moment of intense vulnerability needs to be protected, for very practical reasons. It could actually make your birth literally progress better if you have privacy and focus! The more people there, the more distracted and self-conscious you will be (probably.)

It's whatever you are comfortable with. Don't do anything you don't want to out of obligation. It is totally 100% up to you who you allow to be there. As my DH says, it goes without saying that any event where your vagina is exposed is invite-only. LOL!
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#10 of 12 Old 02-23-2011, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!  I had a long talk with DH last night about all my worries and he's totally supportive of whatever I decide and will even tell people they can't come so I don't have to.  Which is one of the many reasons I love him!  I hate having to tell people bad news.  We're talking about maybe letting people know my concerns now so they are aware that we may not call anyone until the babe is here. 


One of my concerns is that I really would like to have my sister there.  She always makes me laugh and keeps things light which I need sometimes.  But although I love my mom very much and would love to have her expertise and support there (she had me at home unassisted) she can be kind of a handful and sometimes makes things about herself.  I never know which mom I'm going to get.  The mother daughter relationship is a complicated one as I'm sure some of you know!  There's a lot of guilt there.


I appreciate all the advice, it's given me a lot to think about.  It also makes me feel better about my hesitance in having everyone there and gives me the guts to have the dreaded talk if I need to!


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#11 of 12 Old 02-23-2011, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by radicaleel View Post

 As my DH says, it goes without saying that any event where your vagina is exposed is invite-only. LOL!

 I love that!


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#12 of 12 Old 02-27-2011, 11:42 AM
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I wanted more people than I got to have with me during my first child's birth, but I've found the easiest way for me to deal with the crowd at the birth is to wait until I'm in labor to decide who I want to invite. It is completely okay to change your mind at any time! 

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