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I've decided to keep my birth attendants to a minimum. We're having a HB and I know I'll be walking around naked most of the time, and I'm pretty modest so I'd rather only have people here that I'm really comfortable with. The only person I've invited is my sister, and that is mainly to help DP. In addition we have the HB MW, her apprentice (who I really like and asked to attend) and my MW's assistant (doesn't come til the very end).<br><br>
My mom is ok with not being here, she's uncomfortable with birth and REALLY uncomfortable with HB so she'll just take DS and entertain him for a few hours while I labor. DP's mom really wants to be here. I feel bad saying no, she's a great person, but I'd feel really awkward laboring with her here. I'm a private person and would want to be alone. I think her being here could stall my labor. But I feel like such a jerk and I know she's sad that she can't be here. She's been to a few other births but they were hospital/epidural births so that is a little different.<br><br>
What can I do to spare her feelings without compromising my comfort? How is everyone else dealing with the birth attendant issue?
 

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This is such a tough place psychologically and I'm dealing with it myself.<br><br>
I've been very clear from the very beginning (six weeks) that we will not be having anyone here besides the midwife and her assistant and still my MIL insists on inserting herself into the picture in little ways, ways that I'm sure she thinks are unobtrusive, such as sitting in her car in our driveway waiting for my husband to wave a pink or blue flag out of the window... Before she started *joking* about doing this I had been considering allowing her to be here while I labor but after she made this comment for the third time in front of a group of people as if it was a planned event I made the final desicion to exclude her from the birth because I don't trust that she'll be able to contain herself. It's not that she's a bad person or that I don't like her and part of me feels like a total jerk for not inviting her to what I'm sure would be one of the most amazing experiences of her life, but if she doesn't put me at ease now then I can't expect her to put me at ease while I'm in labor.<br><br>
Listen to me going on about my story when all you asked for is "how can I say this nicely?"...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"><br><br>
Sorry<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Ok... So even though I've already made it clear that no one will be attending but my husband, my midwife and her assistant, I feel compelled to deliver the message again in a way that makes is absolutely crystal clear that the reason we're planning it this way is NOT because we aim to be exclusionary and hurtful, but because we BOTH feel that childbirth is a very private experience and we feel a deep need to do this as close to "on our own" as possible. As much as I wish I was the kind of person who could feel comfortable birthing surrounded by loved ones that is just not the reality for me. I am not that kind of person and I hope our needs are considered lovingly and respectfully.<br><br>
That's the message I'll be delivering in the next week or so.
 

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It is very difficult, and something I've been working through with my doula & husband this time around.<br><br>
I am realizing, in looking back on my first birth, that a big part of what made me feel less safe & comfortable in my birthing place was the number of people there.<br><br>
Honestly, while I was laboring, present were:<br><br>
Me, DH, My mom, DH's mom, DH's brother, my 2 sisters, my midwife, my doctor, at least one nurse, and periodically, before I asked for a little privacy (which to me, was very difficult to do in labor), resident doctor. So at least 10 people. As my birth culminated in a C-section, the number of people present for delivery went up, of course.<br><br>
That is NOT to say that more people in your room or home mean you'll have a bad time. For me though, I found I was feeling a sense of RESPONSIBILITY for these people - that they were comfortable, having a "good time", etc. I was worried about them worrying about me, if you understand what I mean.<br><br>
This time, I have made it very clear to myself, as well as to my DH & doula, that I want as much privacy as possible while laboring - which is why I plan to do nearly all of my laboring at home, with no on in attendance except DH & doula.<br><br>
I haven't shared this with my mother yet, but I have shared with my MIL, who is happy to be in charge of DD, and give me privacy. My mother may be more difficult to tell without hurting her feelings, but I have realized that the most important feelings on that day are my own - because negative ones can stall my labor. I believe I will approach it by saying that I'm really looking forward to her coming over to cook (which is her favorite thing to do), and help me after baby arrives... and that I'd love her to visit in the hospital after DS is born, BUT, that Adam & I are planning on laboring "quietly" this time - and that the hospital only allows 2 birth support persons at a time (which is true, but I won't be sharing with her that we plan to spend most of our time at home).<br><br>
Not sure if this helps you... just wanted to share that I think your feelings are completely normal & that you should honor those feelings - if you feel you'd rather be alone, then you NEED to ask for that.<br><br>
My doula recommends asking for things from an "I" standpoint... like, "I am feeling really uncomfortable with the level of noise in here." instead of "would you guys please leave, you're being too loud". This is something i need to practice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think the problem is that DP wants her there, and that makes me feel bad. He even told her yesterday that although he wants her there he understands my need for privacy. So now I feel like the bad guy. She's really such a nice person, but I know I could not completely relax around her - and that has more to do with me as a person than it has to do with her. I'm reserved and shy and I feel vulnerable during labor. I don't like people to see me like that. I also have a problem with allowing others to take care of me, I've been independent all my life and there are only a selected few that I will let see me at a time like that and care for me.<br><br>
Maybe I should explain it to her? I just don't want her to feel hurt, but I need to feel "safe" in my environment. I think it's hard for her to understand because she had family members at her births, and most other people in the family are open to spectators too. I'm the different one.
 

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This is a big issue for lots of women, and I have seen people (especially the birthing mom's mother!) really impact the natural progress of the birth naturally.<br><br>
Imagine a laboring mom curled up in her mother's arms, exhausted, and her mother looking at the midwives and saying "isn't there anything you can do to help her? she can't do this anymore!" and the poor husband displaced somewhere else in the house. the joke of it is that this woman was laboring beautifully and when it got hard, she fell into old patterns with her mom and became helpless! so we ended up taking her to the hospital where she pushed out her baby squatting on the bed with no problem within 15 minutes of being there.<br><br>
Oh, and here's a funny story- a friend's father and stepmother wanted to come from across the country for her first birth. But as her own mother was going to attend the birth, and she had three midwives, she told them no, that they could come a couple of weeks after the baby was born. so they bought their plane tickets for then. so it happened that she went overdue by a couple weeks, and the night her daughter was born, while we were stitching her up, someone noticed that there were people looking in her living room window!! now, the house was way off the road and private, so we didn't worry about her being spread eagle to the windows in the living room, but oh my god there were her dad and stepmother just standing there looking in, as if it was a viewing window or something!!!! i had to go out and let them know the baby had been born, she was fine, and my friend would call them the next morning at their hotel. they said "can't you just hold the baby up to the window?" so we did, and it was just so funny...like they do in movies where they hold the baby up to the window in the hospital! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
As for me, I had less people with each birth. I found birth attendants fairly unhelpful and unneccessary last time, even though they are great midwives and i was close with them. I think I'm less whiny and stronger on my own. So this time we aren't planning on anyone but my three kids and maybe a friend (from the story above!) to help out with them and things like taking pictures or putting on my pp herbs, etc. But we're even leaving her coming or not flexible to the moment. I know the baby will come quickly, so it might not happen that she gets here.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mataji4</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968934"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is a big issue for lots of women, and I have seen people (especially the birthing mom's mother!) really impact the natural progress of the birth naturally.<br><br>
Imagine a laboring mom curled up in her mother's arms, exhausted, and her mother looking at the midwives and saying "isn't there anything you can do to help her? she can't do this anymore!" and the poor husband displaced somewhere else in the house. the joke of it is that this woman was laboring beautifully and when it got hard, she fell into old patterns with her mom and became helpless! so we ended up taking her to the hospital where she pushed out her baby squatting on the bed with no problem within 15 minutes of being there.</div>
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Oh goodness, this is so familiar to me, and encouraging to read that it's not uncommon! When my mother got there, it just got so DIFFICULT for me - she was fawning all over me - putting cloths on my head, checking the monitor, offering me ice, stroking my hand, etc. etc.... it was SO uncomfortable because it suddenly felt like all of my energy was gone. I was a child again. I know she was just doing what moms do best - care for their babies - but it was SO difficult for me to see my MOM see ME in pain.
 

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I'm just not going to call anyone til after the baby is born. I know that might be difficult considering I could labor a long time, and if someone calls and I don't pick up repeatedly, they are bound to know what's up. However, if that is the case, I'll have DH pick up and just say we are fine, I'm in the bathroom or something, and we will tell everyone later. I'm only planning on having him, my MW, and her assistant at our birth. We are very modest people, too, but when I'm in pain, I can't stand clothing. I don't want everyone in on that, but I don't think its a selfish thing to ask, either.<br><br>
Birth is very personal. If your MIL can't respect that, remind her of what it felt like when she had a baby and there were people there lurking over her. Maybe her experience was different because of anesthesia or something... but try to relate to her and help her understand.
 

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at my first birth my mom and dh were there. 2 other friends and my sister were there for parts of the labor but at the end it was only my mom and dh. i wanted my mom there and was totally comfortable with that and reassured by her being there.<br><br>
this time my mom will not be up here unless i am so late that she'll fly up knowing babe will be induced or something. (that is what happened last time. i was supposed to get induced the next day so she came up and then i luckily went into labor on my own).<br><br>
this time my MIL is flying up may 30. i know i would not feel comfortable with my MIL in attendance. if i go into labor after she is here we are lucky she will be given the role of taking care of ds1 so the issue won't be a problem (hopefully). we know we don't want the 3yo there for the birth but will have her bring him after birthing is done and then they can both share in the newness of new babe <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
so i hope this time that it is just dh and our doula. and my ob and the nurse. it is still a lot of people.<br><br>
like last time my plan is to call my mom when i go into labor and she will hop on the next plane. probably the biggest strife will be if my mom and my mil are here at the same time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> *ideally* i go into labor before my mil gets here, my mom flies up and then leaves when mil arrives.
 

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I specifically told my mother I didn't want her at the birth...she could be in the waiting room if she wanted, and I wanted to see her after dd was born and we'd had a chance to bond, but I knew there was NO WAY I could do what I needed to do with my mother there. And she's not going to be there again this time! Though she's already caused a problem with this birth since she told me a week ago that I was "so loud last time she could hear me from the waiting room and if she'd been another laboring mother she would have slapped me for making all that noise"...and that comment is just burning in my head right now....but back to topic!<br><br>
Anyway, this birth will be DH, our doula, our OB, and probably a few nurses (our hospital has a student nurse program and they assign one student and one "pro" to each mama...and the students are always so amazingly gung ho and excited and just so pro-birth...they honestly add a sense of joy and attention that you may not find with someone who loves birth but sees it every day). Any family or friends who would like to come are more than welcome to stay in the waiting room until an hour or so after the birth.<br><br>
I would certainly sit down with your MIL and explain how you feel...that you need the privacy to relax and really let go, that you can't do that with other people arround, that you will probably be nude and noisy and not really "sociable" and that an hour or two after the birth would be a much better time for a visit.<br><br>
If she is familiar with hospital or medicated birth she may not have a good idea of just what a home birth or natural birth might involve. Perhaps ask her to watch one or two birth videos so she'll have a better understanding of how intense the experience can be and how much room the mama needs in order to find her way through the birth. After all, if the births she has seen are mostly with mama in a bed, cheerfully chatting thanks to an epi...well...even though she "knows" this is a different sort of birth she may not have a visual/emotional understandnig, you know?<br><br>
Of course you don't want her to feel bad and you don't want your DP to feel bad and you don't want to BE the "bad guy"...but it's more important that everyone know up front how you feel and how important it is to you emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually to be in charge of your birth.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jilian</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the problem is that DP wants her there, and that makes me feel bad. He even told her yesterday that although he wants her there he understands my need for privacy...</div>
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This is something I would gently address with your DP. One of the best things my husband and I did for each other was agree to be a single unit when addressing sensitive subjects with family members. It's really easy to sell your partner out as the bad guy either on purpose or by accident. He probably didn't mean to, but by not wanting to "be the bad guy" himself he made you into one.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jilian</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe I should explain it to her?</div>
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Yes<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wombatclay</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7969630"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...I would certainly sit down with your MIL and explain how you feel...that you need the privacy to relax and really let go, that you can't do that with other people arround, that you will probably be nude and noisy and not really "sociable" and that an hour or two after the birth would be a much better time for a visit... Of course you don't want her to feel bad and you don't want your DP to feel bad and you don't want to BE the "bad guy"...but it's more important that everyone know up front how you feel and how important it is to you emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually to be in charge of your birth.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
This goes for your DP, too. Ask him if he'd feel more comfortable if his mom was there and you were laboring harder because of it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Marvelleaux</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7970195"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is something I would gently address with your DP. One of the best things my husband and I did for each other was agree to be a single unit when addressing sensitive subjects with family members. It's really easy to sell your partner out as the bad guy either on purpose or by accident. He probably didn't mean to, but by not wanting to "be the bad guy" himself he made you into one.<br></div>
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ITA. ITA. ITA.<br><br>
As for explaining, I often feel I have to justify why I feel the way I feel and have just stopped doing that. By providing reasons, no matter how rational, if the person you're explaining to has a differing viewpoint, you are essentially opening up the topic for debate/discussion. Birth is a very vulnerable and private experience, despite the typical hospital experience, and at the end of the day, it is not a WEDDING or BABY SHOWER.<br><br>
How would your DP feel if you invited your dad over so the two of you could watch DP have a bowel movement? Birth is very similar- our bodies are designed to birth when we feel completely safe and protected, not when we're being chased by a saber-toothed tiger or watched by a MIL. No one would ever think of inviting themselves to a bowel movement, nor questioning you as to WHY you don't want anyone there, birth shouldn't be any different. NCB is one of the hardest, and most rewarding things, you'll ever do- it's not simply letting MIL help pick out the colors of the napkins at your wedding or what flatware to use, reclaim YOUR birth!
 

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ITA with others... this was an absolute non-negotiable for me.<br><br>
My mom really didn't like that I didn't want her there for my son's birth. In fact I remember her saying things like she would want to be there waiting at the birth center, etc. I never argued with her. I point blank said "No, we're going to call you when he's here" Period. She was a little hurt by it, but I honestly didn't care. It's not about her. It's MY labor and birth.<br><br>
She and my dad came up very shortly after my son was born. I had a very long labor and they were worried. Even though I didn't want them there, I didn't stand my ground because she guilt tripped me about it. This time, I don't want her around AT ALL. We have her as backup in case we are really desperate for help with DS, but honestly, I don't even want that. I don't want to burn bridges so I've told her we'll call her if we need her. I have yet to have the conversation about when visitors will be appropriate after the birth, but I'm holding onto hope that we won't need her help with DS and we'll be able to call after everything is said and done and we've had a chance to be alone as a family, after my midwife and doula have left, etc. I don't think she understands what a homebirth entails. Thanks for reminding me I need to set boundaries about postpartum. I've already told DH no visitors whatsoever, so I think I had better talk to my mom about it.
 

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What about getting your midwife to back you up a bit?<br>
Example:<br>
dp to his mother: "Our midwife says that it's often not good to have more than _____ people because most women have problems in ________ area when having a homebirth?"<br>
or<br>
"Our midwife said it would be better for (your name) to only have (your specified people) because otherwise (something just bad enough to make the mom back off)."<br><br>
Just a thought.<br><br>
In any case, I do think it is particulary important that HE back you up and face the shooting lines for you, especially because it is his mom. Even if it weren't, if my husband hadn't stood up for me at our last birth, I would have had a very hard time with a friend who couldn't understand why she shouldn't be there.<br><br>
Hope it works out well.<br>
M.
 

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You and DH have to be a team and stick together, definitely. This is your birth, one of the most vulnerable and intimate moments of your life - you have the total right to say who's there and who isn't, even if the choices don't make sense to anyone else. (and yours completely do)<br><br>
My mom's being like that, and not listening to me. "You'll really need someone there" - uh, DH will be there, and my doctor, and our doula whom we hired because she's awesome and calming. "But you'll really want someone THERE." (meaning <i>she's</i> the only one who counts, you see)<br><br>
So I snapped and told her that if she didn't back off, she was getting the phone call about the baby's birth a week <i>after</i> it happened and I'd had time to recover, and not a moment before. She backed off, though I know I'm going to face another onslaught once we're into June. She's a giant pain in my ass, a drama queen, and an energy-suck, and there is no way I'm having her anywhere near me when I'm in labour.
 

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People I work with (generally a really fantastic group of women) all think I'm nuts because I only want DH there. They just don't get it. I can't seem to get them to explain that, in general, I just don't like having people around. And that's when I'm not pregnant. I can only imagine how much stronger that will be when I'm in labor. I have a hard time with sensory issues at time, especially voices and people's eye contact. Really, just leave me be and come back when I'm holding this baby later. An audience? No thanks.
 

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Total agreement that your DP needs to take responsibility for your SHARED decision. I doubt he meant to be selfish saying that to his mom--he probably wanted to be loving to his mom!--but he needs to be a father first and a son second in this discussion.<br><br>
Your DP should explain what you guys want to his mother. If you get on super well with her, you should feel free to talk to her, too, but you shouldn't have to have any "hard" conversation with her.<br><br>
I'm another one who hated to be looked at in labor. Ugh. Going from the car to the hospital, there was some guy in the drop-off area picking someone up, and I just HATED that he was looking at me. It was such a relief to get into a private room...<br><br>
I love my mom, but her job will be to watch my son. I don't think she would want to see the actual birth... We're not that a crunchy a family... But I could be wrong. I'll never ask.<br><br>
My MIL was asking me for the address/directions to the birth center recently. Oh no! I said, "Oh, we will either come right home or transfer to the hospital for a little post-partum rest, so you don't need the birth center info, only the address of the hospital!"<br><br>
I think if I were at all worried about anyone intruding, I would try to avoid mentioning labor had started until it was all done. My mom will probably already be here (she gets here the 9th; we're due the 21st/23rd), so I don't think we'll call anyone except the doula and the birth center until everything is done. I guess I should consider asking mom not to call anyone else either!<br><br>
The only reason to call my MIL is that she made me the chicken soup I wanted during my first labor! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
--willo
 

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Thanks for all the advice, I think I'll have a talk with DP about it tonight. I was kind of upset that he said that to his mom. I knew he was just trying to spare her feelings, but he inadverdantly threw me under the bus. Sometimes he means well but just doesn't "get it".
 

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I'm a bit late to this thread - but I am having the same issues - but not wrt to my mom (both my MIL and FIL have both passed) - she will be in Europe on a boat cruise and regardless lives on the other side of the country.<br><br>
But ... the whole homebirth thing and three other little kiddos. I have no idea who I would want in the house with me to manage the three kiddos during labour but also in the event of a problem. I don't need much support in labour - I was making lunch and ordering appliance maintenance programs from Sears a few hours before the last one was born - I like to be left completely alone - in the house, but not near me!<br><br>
Anyone not have anyone over ... and then in the event of a transfer, what the heck do you do?<br><br>
I know I could have aunts on call (they live about 30-45+ minutes away) as well my neighbours would more than willingly cover that time if it happened that we need coverage. My other hope is that I go into active labour in mid-morning while the kiddos are at school, have the baby, bond with dh and I (and the two midwives) and then let him go pick up the little ones at school in the afternoon. [It almost worked the last time - left the kiddos with my aunt just past 3pm and were home just past 7pm with baby in arms!]<br><br>
In a weird way, that is how a hospital birth is easier - I call the aunt, I have my 'privacy' at the hospital and then come home a few hours later.<br><br>
That is pretty much my only concern with the labour part - the logistics for the other three babes!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jilian</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968920"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She's really such a nice person, but I know I could not completely relax around her - and that has more to do with me as a person than it has to do with her. I'm reserved and shy and I feel vulnerable during labor. I don't like people to see me like that. I also have a problem with allowing others to take care of me, I've been independent all my life and there are only a selected few that I will let see me at a time like that and care for me.</div>
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I think this would be a good thing to tell her. It's honest and puts the focus on you instead of on her.
 

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Please do not feel like the bad guy for one more second. You have every right to have the birth that you want & should not judge yourself by how others have handled their births. Your needs & wants are yours & that's 100% OK. I can understand why you feel conflicted esp. since DH wants her there & you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but you are the one who will be naked, dealing with the contractions, etc. You should never feel obligated to have anyone at your birth that will cause the slightest bit of uneasiness or discomfort. You need everything to be as comfortable as possible so you can have the smoothest birth possible.<br><br>
It's ok to say "no" and everyone should understand despite the fact that someone may be disappointed. You are not responsible for other's disappointment, especially in this situation. MIL can come after baby arrives and help you when the others are gone and you will need her help most. This is about you giving birth, not about meeting other people's expectations. Somehow we are pregnant & dealing with everything that goes along with that & other people try to lay their expectations on us.<br><br>
Please feel 100% OK with your decision and have a positive birth experience.<br><br>
I personally can't even imagine having my MIL at my birth. I won't even let her come to see us until weeks after the baby is born & I feel somewhat recovered. She is nice but not the warmest creature on the planet.
 
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