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Thread: Support people and waiting outside the birth suite... is this normal?

  1. #1

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    Question Support people and waiting outside the birth suite... is this normal?

    Ok, having a bit of a dilema.

    Shel and I are having trouble trying to work out who we want to be our support people.
    Basically, we don't want anyone else. But everyone seems to be thinking they can invite themselves, well by everyone I mean my mum, my sister, my godmother, my SIL, MIL and someone Shel works with.
    BTW, I have only met this particular wokrmate 2 or 4 times, and only for 5-10 minutes at a time, and she is already decided that she is going to be called grandma and when she sees me asks about 'our' baby like she has some sort of claim (which isnt the issue just letting you know the background).



    I personally wouldn't mind having someone else there for Shel, but when I talk about my birth preferences they all laugh at me trying to have a natural birth. I don't have any reason really, not trying to prove anything I would just prefer to do it naturally, without drugs or intervention, if I can to avoid possible complications and bub being born with drugs in her system. It's just what I would prefer, but if theres a medical reason or I find my pain threshold isn't as high as it could be then I won't be putting myself or bub in danger os distress etc. But basically I don't want people there saying I need an epidural - I know its there and I'll ask for it if I think I need it. We have talked about a doula but decided against it for personal reasons.
    All of them (bar my sister) has had children, and everyone (including my sister) except my mum thinks an epidural is the way to go. Mum is not going to be there for other reasons, like her opinion that Shel doesn't need to be there, and not understanding that it's the birth of her baby too, but I won't go there right now.

    Anyway, so I have said no I don't want any of them there as I don't want people around me who don't trust that I know how much I am capable of.

    That's offended a few people, and most think I am naive for even thinking about not using pain medication.

    Anyway, SIL, MIL, and Shel's workmate decided amongst themselves that they'll be waiting outside the birth suite when I go into labour. SIL and MIL I can kind of understand, yes they'll be excited, but I'm so annoyed at Shel's workmate who seems to think she's an extremely important part of the birth of our (NOT HERS) baby.
    Well I've now offended people who seemed to think I was going to be playing pass the baby with a not even 24 hour old newborn. I have told them no visitors for 24 hours. Shel and I agree - we just want that time for us. I am apparently denying them of their RIGHT to see their newborn grandchild/niece. We aren't going to have a logistical issue, the midwives will keep out pesky visitors for that first 24 hours, just everyone who is offended and thinks I am being too controlling.

    Am I being too controlling? I know the birth people is my choice, I am the birthing woman and I need to be comfortable and trust my birth partners, which at the moment is only Shel. But am I being too controlling by not allowing visitors for the first 24 hours?
    GEEZ, I could be following Buddhist tradition and have no visitors for 7 days and then in the one month where no one but the parents can hold the baby.
    And is it normal for every man, woman and dog to be wanting to wait outside the birth suite for me to birth our baby????

  2. #2

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    I think you are being very reasonable. I think it's great that you want the first 24 hours for yourself and your partner - we did something quite similar with both of our births.

    I also think that you are in exactly the right frame of mind to want to birth thids baby naturally, and most importantly, not to have people around you who do not believe in you or who will ot support you in this endeavour. Lots of women who give birth naturally talk about going into a special headspace to birth; I think that this process would absolutely be impeded by having someone in the room who was distracting you. This process is about you and Shel - no one else.

    I would talk to the midwives when you arrive, and enlist their help. They could politely let the peanut gallery know that it isn't appropriate for them to be loitering outside for ages - they they should go home and wait for a phone call.

    If the workmate and the extended family are still causing a problem, turn it around and enlist their help. Would you trust them in your house? If so, ask them to come and mind the house while you are in labour. Give them a job to do - tell them to bring nibblies and drinks and settle in, and that way they are all there in the same place to await the phone call. It can be like a little baby-to-be party, and has the added benefit of keeping them out of your hair.

    And specify in your birth plan that you don't want to hear them, see them, have them in the room, or be talked to about them, if you think it'll distract you.

    We flat out barred my parents from visiting when we had Molly in Sydney and they lived in Port Macquarie - they were planning on packing up and staying for a couple of weeks. They got their noses out of joint, but they recovered. They had their chance to do things their way, with their own children - it's our turn now.
    Last edited by Schmickers; April 28th, 2008 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Added anecdote about my parents...

  3. #3

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    Jeez Alisia!!!!!!!! I feel very sorry for you. All these selfish people around only thinking of themselves.
    If I was in your situation I just wouldn't tell anyone when I was in labour and call them when I was ready for visitors as it seems they will be there asap after you ring them.

  4. #4

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    Yes it's normal, and no you aren't wierd for wanting that. My iLs were going to camp outside too - like HELL!
    I told my DH if he didn't want a divorce, he only rang them when i said he could....and that was well after it had all started. Who wants the pressure of a waiting audience. He was also told to tell them explicitly to STAY AT HOME.
    They did - but then they showed up at 10am the next day, right when I stood up to have a shower and nealry bled to death....they thought they'd just take my new baby downstairs. Yep when I died maybe. So I got the midwives to put a sign up on her cot for no-one except us to pick her up.

    You and SHell make an agreement. You aren't obliged to tell anyone when you are in labour/go to hossy. It's not controlling, it's being in control of your situation. They aren't in control, they are guests in the situation and like good guests should know they need to be invited.

  5. #5

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    Great idea Michael. I agree that I would not be letting them in the hospital at all - how are you going to be relaxed and focussed with that going on? If it came to that I wouldn't tell anyone that you are in labour until it's all over.

    To answer your question, you are not being unreasonable, and no it's not normal for people to want to do that. My MIL asked to be at the birth but wasn't offended when I said no, and didn't suggest waiting at the door either. You and Shel need your time hun, and bonding with bub is something best done without all and sundry there. Stick to your guns and know that you doing the right thing.

    And as for the pain free birth - I bet you can do that too! Have you read New Active Birth? If not, I highly recommend it. I found it so helpful. I also know from experience that the fear of not being able to cope is the biggest reason for agreeing to an epidural - not the pain itself. Have faith in yourself, you were made to do this and I am quite sure you can. You show 'em hun!!

  6. #6

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    OK so the workmate has some issues - that's just plain NOT normal. I'd be telling her to back off quick smart.

    As for everyone else, if they are going be so pushy about it and mortally offended if you don't have them there, I wouldn't tell them you're in labour. I'd just ring them after it's over and say the way things happened you didn't have time/feel the need to be calling people. End of story.

    Knowing that there are people outside waiting for you to have your baby is akin to knowing that there is someone standing outside the toilet cubicle waiting for you to finish...ie not very conducive to you getting the business done. It's added pressure and stress that you don't need, and you will be aware of it whether you're conscious of it or not. If it does end up that they're there, get the midwives to move them on - they will be happy to be the bad guys and no one will even know that you asked them to do it.

    As for support people actually in the birthing room - again, this is not about anyone else's feelings and anyone who makes you feel that it is, is not interested in what you need or want. And the LAST thing you want is anyone in there who does not support your goals. Women are so open to suggestion in labour, and the effect that someone unsupportive can have when you get in the thick of it can be crushing. So put your foot down and tell them it will be you and Shell only. Trust me they will get over it

  7. #7

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    Hey Leasha

    Maybe you could not tell anyone - except Shel of course, when you are in labour (ETA - just saw that Manta Ray wrote this as well!), although this might be easier said than done (depending on where it happens! At least that will give you both time to have the birth that you want without the worry. Then you get to make the decision when to tell everyone, you may not even announce it until after you have had your special time together. I am sure that the MW and other staff at the HH will be willing to help you out, should anyone get wind of what's going on!!

    I second reading "New Active Birth" as well, it is a brilliant resource that a friend loaned me quite some time back, it is also my plan to take the "drug free" approach, but like you I will be aware of pain relief options and hope that I can avoid them!! I have made this clear to all of our family and friends, it is my decision, not theirs! They do tend to go on about what they did or their daughters chose, but for me that doesn't matter, my plan is my plan, and we only will have intervetion or C/S if something goes wrong, nothing anyone tells me is going to change my decision on what type of birth I am aiming for.

    But I also need to feel my plan is flexible, as if it doesn't go exactly to "plan" I don't want to feel upset or guilty about not achieving what I set out to do. S was very upset as her birth did not go to plan, and it took a long time for her to get over it.

    I have faith that you will achieve the natural birth that you want to, and if you chose to make different decisions during labour they should be your decisions, not your families/friends.

    Goodluck Hun, empower yourselves and take control, this is your birth

  8. #8

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    You poor sweety I think they are all being so selfish... you are so not being unreasonable!
    All you need to worry about is you, Shel & your precious baby. Make sure you stand up for yourself and set the boundaries now. And I agree with the others - you don't need to tell them when you go into labour unless you want to!
    This is SO not about them... they will get over it.
    As for the natural birth - it is SO doable! Just because its not what they're used to does not mean that youre being naive! I think you are doing the right thing
    All the best darl

  9. #9

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    Put your foot down now, let people know how you feel, they might be upset but they'll get over it. Be clear and firm about it.

    I ended up with the whole family from both sides in and it was a nightmare!!!

  10. #10

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    I can just imagine (and im thinking park bench little old ladies chit-chattering away) them all waiting outside the birthing suites and whenever you know, they can hear any loud painful noises or screaming to jump and assume it's you and then sit around and giggle about how you were so silly and you should have listened to them blah blah, blah.
    And sipping tea....

    Sorry back to reality here. Leasha, i wouldn't be having them there, because seriously i can just imagine them teetering about how "silly" you are. And then of course there'd be a domestic about who got to have the first hold.

    You are so not being unreasonable. As the birthing woman is yours, the birth experience is YOURS.
    Just don't tell anyone when you go into labour. Or when you tell them, make them aware that if they turn up the hospital will be asking them to leave.
    ALthough if you can, i do recommend maybe a support person for SHel. She may be fine, but it makes it a lot easier on her if someone is there to get her a drink etc if need be or if she needs to take a breather you still have someone there.

    I really hope you figure something out soon, i csnnot believe that all of those people are being so unreasonable.

  11. #11

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    Schmickers has made some great points.

    No way, you're not being controlling or unreasonable at all! This is YOUR birth and and your's and Shel's experience to become parents in your own space and comfort without all and sundry hanging around especially if they don't agree on the birth methods. You don't want any negativity hanging around.

    I've started to experience the same comments with my mum and MIL starting to comment that they'll be there for the birth and have even had a friend say she will be at the hospital waiting. DP & I have agreed that we will not be telling anyone when I go into labour and it will be a few hours at least before we start calling people including our parents.

    I'm facing the possibility of a c-section and we've decided that we are not even going to tell anyone that I'm having a c-section let alone the date it's booked in for. I just couldn't stand people loitering around just waiting and I would be devastated if anyone got to hold my baby before I did, except for DP of course.

    So, whether I go into labour naturally or book in for a c-section, none of our family or friends will know until at least a few hours after the birth and depending on how I am feeling will indicate when they can all start visiting me. I just want time for me, DP and new baby to be alone together before everyone starts to visit.

    Stick to your guns and if people get offended when you tell them not to be there until xxx time, too bad, they will get over it.

  12. #12

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    I am totally in the NOT TELLING CAMP!!!
    I will not be telling anyone till after bubs is born...

    You will have to make that clear to Shel if you want to go down that path, and make sure she is OK with keeping it secret too. Surely she want it to be a special private moment for the two of you.

    If they do show up I am sure the midwives will keep them out of the room, and you will just have to do your best to block it out. Make sure you tell the front desk of the birthing suite too who you permit in your birthing room... (Maybe put it in writing).

    You have some great advice here, and I am suer you will get the birth you want somehow.

  13. #13

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    Who cares what they want?

    Thsi is your baby's birth, your special time with your partner, your magical experience.

    Stuff their noses, let em get way out of joint if they persist. I would just be honest.

    "Look, we are really grateful for your support, but Shell and i just want this to happen of its own accord, we want it to be OUR time. We dont really want anyone hanging around in the hallway/waiting room, and we will let everyone know once the baby is born. When we are ready for visitors we will let you know"

    People can be so bombarding after the birth of a baby, and if you dont stand up for yourselves you will find the whirlwind of the first few weeks of the baby's life will be filled with memories of others - instead of memories of you, shell, and bubble.

    Stay in the hospital as long as you can if they will be like this - then people can only visit in certain hours. And when you get home let all calls go to voicemail.

  14. #14

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    Oh hun it is so hard isn't it. Everyone above has given some great advice and I think the most important thing to remember is, it is YOUR birth, nobody else's so if you want to go drug-free then that is your decision, others can give their advice - you can nod and say "Ok" but you know what you want hun. I was the same, had a bit of gas and had an epidural in the end, but it was MY choice at the time not because other people told me to do it IYKWIM.

    One other thing, DH told our families that I was going in for the c/s because after 36 hours of waiting they were a little anxious. Anyway I had no idea until afterwards but they were all there as I was being wheeled into my room in the ward, and then they were holding Iz right away which, drugged up at the time, I didn't really click onto but there is NO way anyone but me and DH are going to be holding this bubby until I am well and truly settled in my room.

    I'm waffling on but stick to your guns, and I'm sure you will be fine.

  15. #15

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    Of course you can acheive a natural birth but not if you're surrounded by 'support' people who don't believe in you.
    Being a support person is a privledge not a right.

  16. #16

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    What is it with people - can't they have some patience for [email protected]'s sakes?!!!! Would they want this type of birth themselves where they have people waiting outside, probably not! It is a private and precious time for you, one that you will never get back not a public event! As others have said - don't tell them when you go into labour - when you have your gorgeous baby in your arms - then tell people when you are ready to tell them. Stick to your guns with this one otherwise you will really feel overwhelmed, overpowered and vulnerable.... if they really want to help you - tell them to go clean your house, make some meals for the freezer, etc, etc and when bubs is here they can come round and help out to give you a break.

    Good Luck!!!! Wishin you a wonderful birth.

    Laurin

  17. #17

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    I totally agree with the NOT TELLING ANYONE camp. Who cares what they want - this is your birth!!

    When the time comes just do your thing and tell everyone after the event. They don't need to know when you go into labour or when you go into hospital.

    The hospital can also be helpful in turning away unwanted visitors, not putting calls through and not telling people which room you are in. I would be enlisting their help on that front.

  18. #18

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    Hi Leash - Its great that you have so many people who care about you and your bub! But the last thing you will want or need is people putting pressure on you when you are vulnerable. There are ways that they can really help you (like helping to freeze in meals before the birth), but being near during birth or afterwards when you want some private time isn't one of them. Stick to your guns. Just let everyone know how much you appreciate their concern and care but that you and Shell want to have this time together to bond with your little one. You can control how you communicate what you want to them but can't ultimately control their reaction. Once you become a new parent you realise how much other people project their opinions on you. You may as well start putting your foot down now. If they get offended, rest assured there is no way they will be able to resist coming around (once they are allowed) to peek at the new arrival. I am sure they will get over it quickly.
    Good luck!!

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