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My parents are fine with the homebirth we are planning. However, my DH's family is not. Especially his dad. I am sure that this is not unusual and it is not affecting out plans, but I am trying to figure something out.<br><br>
My in-laws have been looking forward to grandkids practically since the beginning of time. Their feelings about it are so strong it borders on disturbing. Ours will be their 1st (my parents' 5th) and my DH and I are feeling the pressure of their expectations of what family life will be like after the baby is born.<br><br>
My mom went to lunch with my MIL and tried to calm her down about the homebirth. She stated to me later that it seemed as though my FIL (who has the most issue with it) seems to have a personal stake in having this grandchild. He (of course) believes we are putting the baby's life at risk.<br><br>
In understand that it is NORMAL for grandparents to love their grandchildren, but I don't understand having such a personal interest in grandchildren. I don't think even I have as much personal stake in my kids as my in-laws. I grew up in a family of 6 kids...I know gut level that life isn't always roses and sunshine. We do the best we can and enjoy what comes.<br><br>
Does anyone have any insight?
 

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It's interesting the way you've described it, and yeah, I don't get it. I feel like my MIL and her sisters are the same way. I don't understand the personal stake in having grandkids. Or, I do understand it if people keep their heads about it, but when they start to behave like their opinion matters on what you do with your body, it's unhealthy.<br><br>
With my MIL, it's like, her mother was the fun and special lady in her son's life, but she operated under the theory that "babies need to learn to be independent," so she wasn't always holding him and playing with him and stuff. So now she wants to be the fun and special lady in my son's life, but tough luck, I'm already that lady. I think she also has some regrets about the way she mothered and sees my son as a second chance (again, no, it's my chance, not yours). But I don't know if that's what's going on with your IL's. The way you describe it, it sounds almost like they have some deep anxiety about the perpetuity of their genes or something.<br><br>
Also, along these lines, when she found out I was pregnant, MIL's sister (who has no children) called up and gushed to our answering machine, "We're having a baby!" I was baffled. Then later, when I took a stand with them and said it was completely unacceptable for them to be making a stink about homebirth, she called me (I answered the phone this time) and lectured me about having a baby isn't just about me, it's about the whole family. They're very tribal. They don't get independent women who don't care about conformity.<br><br>
Anyway, good luck! Stick to your guns. And I suggest you don't try to defend your decisions. Tell them there will be no discussion, and if they want to enjoy your company during your pregnancy, they need to control their anxieties. You don't need that energy as you prepare yourself for birth. It's just not healthy.
 

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I thought of something else -- it's a fine line between defending yourself and educating people, but if you think your IL's can be educated about homebirth, that might help. Most people just have no idea, and there might be some reason they're freaking out. My GMIL, for example, watched her own mother bleed to death in a homebirth on a farm in Iowa in, like, the 1930's. I'm fairly certain that her midwife, if she even had one, didn't have pitocin, oxygen, other medical supplies, and an ambulance a phone call away, you know? So after I told them I would have no more of their feather puffing about homebirth, I sent an email with a bunch of links to stuff I thought would show them how safe it is. I included:<br>
-- my midwife's website<br>
-- state statutes on homebirth (in AK there's a long list of complications for which you are required to transfer to the hospital)<br>
-- the BMJ article on homebirth safety<br>
-- an article on the physiology of birth (the idea that you physically need privacy and your own space)<br>
-- an article about the dangers of hospital intervention<br><br>
I never talked to them about it, but they shut up.
 

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phoebemommy,<br><br>
You have brought some insight that I had not considered yet. Yes, I think that my MIL sees this as the opportunity to be, in a twisted way, "mommy" again. She always wanted more than two kids...even kept ALL of her kids' stuff and has started to bring it all out again. (btw...how do i approach not wanting her to use a 30-year old baby backpack? It just seems a little iffy to me)<br>
There is also the same "tribal" feel. They found out in a round-about way that we were having a homebirth. MIL felt hurt that we hadn't told them because they are "family." I told her it was our private business...and that we had not <i>YET</i> told them, we would have told them at some point. They feel entitled to have a say in all of our affairs...not that we give them the chance to have a say. My MIL even said that they didn't understand how we could love our child more than they loved our child.....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: <b>WHAT????!!!!</b> The bottom line is, they want to be the matriarch and the patriarch of our our family. They do not want to acknowledge their children as adults. They somehow don't trust our abilities to make good decisions and face the consequences, good or bad. Oh well.
 

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Ack, it all makes my head spin. We're still children in my IL's eyes, too. The baby backpack thing almost makes it comic, doesn't it? My MIL's pulled out a lot of old stuff too but it's all toys and books, nothing as strange as that!<br><br>
I do think all most grandparents have to go through an adjustment period when their kids have kids. Even my parents, who are very live-and-let-live, seemed to struggle a bit with me suddenly being once and for all not a kid anymore.<br><br>
Anyway, I see that you're new to posting here. You'll get a lot of support and advice here on standing firm for your alternative birth and parenting choices!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>prancie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7910436"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">phoebemommy,<br><br>
You have brought some insight that I had not considered yet. Yes, I think that my MIL sees this as the opportunity to be, in a twisted way, "mommy" again. She always wanted more than two kids...even kept ALL of her kids' stuff and has started to bring it all out again. (btw...how do i approach not wanting her to use a 30-year old baby backpack? It just seems a little iffy to me)<br>
There is also the same "tribal" feel. They found out in a round-about way that we were having a homebirth. MIL felt hurt that we hadn't told them because they are "family." I told her it was our private business...and that we had not <i>YET</i> told them, we would have told them at some point. They feel entitled to have a say in all of our affairs...not that we give them the chance to have a say. My MIL even said that they didn't understand how we could love our child more than they loved our child.....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: <b>WHAT????!!!!</b> The bottom line is, they want to be the matriarch and the patriarch of our our family. They do not want to acknowledge their children as adults. They somehow don't trust our abilities to make good decisions and face the consequences, good or bad. Oh well.</div>
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the baby back pack comment has me nearly falling off the chair in laughter<br><br>
I'm sorry your inlaws are like this, you are not alone though. My mil has some bizarre thoughts about how to raise babies and what role a grandma is to play. We have dealt with the panic over choosing homebirth (although I have yet to actually have one, my babies like to come a little early) as well as grandma bringing out a 37 year old crib and mattress and acting surprised when I refused to take it, then told me she would paint it for the baby to use when he stayed at her house <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: of course she was totally taken aback when told the baby would not be staying with her, and it was very unlikely he would sleep in a crib at all. The list goes on and on, but my best advice is to nod and not argue and ignore them. Hopefully your spouse is in agreeance with you that this is about the baby not about making his parents happy that will save you a lot of anguish
 

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Wow...you ladies have articulated the internal feelings I have been having since I found out I was pg. This babe is my parents 5th gkid, but my MIL's first, and we're doing a HB, but we decided not to tell MIL b/c she's a retired nurse and I am getting enough negativity from my own family.<br><br>
I don't *think* my MIL is as extreme as yours Prancie, getting out old baby stuff?? Yikes...<br><br>
I don't really have much insight to offer, but I did want to let you know that I can very much relate. And I wanted to thank you, and pps, for putting what I've been feeling into words.
 

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Great advice here already. Start polishing those boundaries for the ILs! I also highly recommend the book "Toxic In-Laws." Yes, the title is very provocative and I don't know if you'd characterize your ILs as 'toxic' but there is great advice in there along the spectrum of inappropriate IL behavior. I'd lend you my copy but I need it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Good luck.
 

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Wow! My IL's are not like that at all. I mentioned to my MIL on Saturday I was trying to HB and she didn't say anything. Although my FIL likes to hound the news for radical stories so he might pull something out of the wazzu. I don't talk to him about life if I can avoid it. Can you share the BMJ <a href="http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/330/7505/1416?ehom_" target="_blank">article</a> with them? It has a section that compares death rates and they are basically the same overall, home vs hospital.<br><br>
You are going to have a long crazy road ahead of you if you can't nip this in the bud. Are they going to be this way about everything?
 

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My in-laws are ilke that with their DD but seem to have a little more of a boundary with me, thank goodness. They do try to push but I dont give in. Just an example - last year SIL sent her son who was 5 at the time to stay with them for like 3-4 weeks (which I would never do). When he got home he was like 5 pounds heavier and totally spoiled. SIL told them this year that she would come visit with him for a week or so and they would be going home together, so her son wasnt staying alone with the g'parents. Their response: "Thats not fair - you get him all year"<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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I feel for you! I caved into prying questions and told MIL about our homebirth plans and at the moment she was surprised but fine... three weeks later, whammo - she freaked out on dh and freaked him out all over again after months of work to help him understand why we were choosing homebirth.. ugh, it was awful...<br><br>
It's weird though, with this being dh's and my second baby together, MIL seems to feel more comfortable pressing her opinions about parenting onto dh... we didn't get any flack about our parenting last time but now, I'm hearing some comments to dh that get my hackles up... fortunately she doesn't say them to me, maybe she knows I'd swamp her with research, lol.
 
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