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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my mother has always been a very doom and gloom type woman. Growing up, she used to tell me "bad things don't come and go, they come and STAY." and on and on.

She is a hardworking no nonsense woman who "doesn't see any value in art--it's a waste of time." I am a writer and a performer, and she is very confused by me.

Anyway, we are very different women with very different perspectives. Most of my adolescence and young adulthood I censored what aspects of my life I shared with her, because her negativity is toxic to me. However, she has been so amazing and supportive about this pregnancy that I got lulled into a false sense of security and told her yesterday that I am planning a homebirth.

Well. She is very upset and confused and terrified. And she went off telling me all the terrible things that are going to happen because of my irresponsible decision. I thought that I was prepared to deal with her reaction. But, last night I had nightmare after nightmare, dreaming of all of the horrible things my mother had told me would happen. I have wanted a homebirth forever, and it has always been my plan...but I can't believe it - she got in! The worry and anxiety is contagious!!!

This is my first baby, and I am sure that my homebirth is the tip of the iceberg of worry for her. I need help from you wise women in building a defense against her toxic comments. I don't want to raise my child in a home where I am lying to my mother to keep her calm -- as in "oh nooo, of course we don't co-sleep!" as if I am somehow ashamed of my choices... or where I allow her fear mongering to effect me to the point of nightmares that I can't get out of my head.

Any btdt or advice?
 

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I was in this position with my first. I considered HB, my mom freaked out. And while I don't blame her, it did whittle away at my confidence, and I ultimately decided to go for an hospital attached birth center. I have had a lot of regrets about it, because that one birth contributed to a lot of other things going wrong with other births. All I can say is inform yourself, surround yourself with like minded mamas (the Finding Your Tribe area is great for that) and stick to your guns. Make fully informed decisions and you will have nothing to feel ashamed about. My mom can have the same affect on me, you really need to find like-minded moms IRL.
 

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Jumping in from the Nov. DDC to offer support...

This is me & my mom...I 100% relate to the need to hide your true self as a form of self-protection. We're making the official pregnancy announcement tomorrow. Our families will be totally thrilled, but I'm already dreading the doctor/hospital questions that are bound to start pouring in soon after.

Here's my approach: I'm going to try to educate compassionately without taking any negative crap from anyone. I understand that the idea of a homebirth will be completely foreign to all of them, so I'll do my best to bring them up to the level of knowledge DH & I are at now. I've bought a copy of The Business of Being Born and have some articles ready to hand out. I'll answer any honest questions, etc. But I will not entertain any negativity.

You're an adult now, you don't have to justify your decisions to anyone--not even your mother!


PS--check out the homebirth forum for similar threads!
 

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If you mom is at all open to even considering it, give her something to read. Different books and articles all have slightly different slants, so I guess I won't recommend anything specific in case it might just worsen things for you.

To keep yourself calm, I would also say read.
Reading is my reaction to almost everything.
I found Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth (I think that's it, the new one, not Spiritual Midwifery) to be very very reassuring. And your midwife should be able to calm specific fears as they come up for you. I know mine have put up with a whole bunch of ridiculous concerns from me.


I have also come to a point where I believe this homebirth question is a world view question, really. There's the world view that the hospital is there to keep us safe and it is always a good idea to be there. (I remember wondering at the time that I gave DS his first peanut butter if eventually there will be places in hospitals for parents to go when they introduce likely allergens into their children's diets...) Then there's the world view that says birth is part of normal life and the hospital is only for exceptional problems WHEN THEY ARISE that cannot be handled at home. Since you and your mom seem to have pretty different attitudes towards life, it's not surprising you are in different world views on this question.

Ultimately, try to remind yourself that there are risks to being at home BUT THERE ARE ALSO RISKS TO BEING IN THE HOSPITAL. Those risks (the hospital ones) tend to be invisible in most people's calculus. (If you want to argue with your mom *maniacal grin*, you could counter her risk for risk - she says "but the baby might get stuck" (there are plenty of ways to deal with this at home, btw), you say "what if it catches a deadly anti-biotic resistant infection in the hospital"; she says "but you could bleed to death!" (also not nearly the risk so many seem to think it is, btw) and you say "a cascade of interventions at the hospital could lead to an unnecessary c-section, which could cause my death, complicate future pregnancies, etc..."
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks ladies for the wisdom and advice!

Guess I was surprised by my powerful reaction to her reaction. Gotta get a thick skin since I have a sneaking suspicion that her negativity will only continue...

Thanks.
 

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Stick to what you want -- it's your baby after all!
I second threadbey's suggestion about giving her something to read that might open her eyes to natural childbirth at home. Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth was amazing -- I just finished reading it a few days ago and it was really inspiring.
 
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