thread: Who to have in there and how to say no...

  1. #1
    kerry Guest

    Who to have in there and how to say no...

    I know its early days yet but as there a are a few other pregnant women in my family all things pregnant are the only topic of conversation.
    Anyway the latest one around th table is "who will you have in the birthing room".... I'd rather have noone, really, but SO would like to be there so as long as things are OK with us at the time (everythings rocky at the moment) I would be ok for him to be there.

    My mother wants to be there. I'd rather have every tooth in my head pulled, without aneasthic. I have already told her no but she is campaigning and telling other people she will be there.

    SO's mother wants to be there. NO WAY, this concept is even worse they my mum being there. The woman is an evil, nasty, caniving b***h (sorry for the language) who spends every spare moment undermining our relationship. I have told SO no.

    SO would also like his whole family at the hospital waiting during the labour.... not my style.

    I have tried explaining that I think the whole labour/birthing process is a really personal and private time that should be for me and SO only. And I want at least an hour with our baby and just us before we have to share with everyone else.

    How do I put my foot down with these people?

  2. #2
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    Oh Kerry, I really feel for you.....IMO, this should totally be non-negotiable, and totally YOUR choice only and no-one else should even begin to invite themselves or question whether they are "invited"!

    All I can suggest is that you are really firm, right now, firm to what you want from the outset with all of them: just make it really clear that you want it to be you (and SO if that's what you want) and NO ONE ELSE!

    I would even risk upsetting them over this, as it sounds like you don't care for them much anyway?

    Best of luck, you have my every sympathy!

  3. #3
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    This is an all too common problem and I have seen it pop up very frequently on BellyBelly. My mum and I had an outright world war with my first born, I said no to mum being with me in labour and we didn't talk until long after the birth - even then things were very rough for many months. I can understand her feeling hurt and disappointed, but at a time when I really needed her and wanted her support in other ways, it was disappointing for me also.

    However, it is extremely important that you make it clear to anyone that while you appreciate their offer for support, you have made your decision on who will be present and if you change your mind, you will let them know. End of story. Lucy is right in saying that is should be completely NON-negotiable!

    Having people present while you are in labour who you do not want there or who make you feel uncomfortable can adversely effect the direction in which the labour takes - not only on a physical level but psychological one too. Your labour may slow or stall and we all know what that means - interventions to get it going again or to hurry it all up. This could mean pain relief you didn't intend on using, augmentation, forceps, vacuum or even a caeser. It's a fact that stress and tension can do this!

    I would highly recommend that you stand your ground - remember what is important to you and important to your baby.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    In 2015 I went Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team

  4. #4
    kerry Guest

    Thanks Kelly and Lucy.

    I am going to dinner with SO's dad and step mum tonight. I know the issue will come up because they all think my being pregnant gives them the right to run my life. I am going to state my intentions and will be informing them if they can not accept this or respect my wishes I will make sure none of them, including DSO (the bucket mouth) know I am in labour until after the birth. It may be nasty but I know that their pressence will lead to this.

    I have told my mother that I do not want her there and that I will not have her there. I have already told her I wont be informing her of labour until the bub has been born, bathed and fed.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Fletch I think thats great, don't tell people when you go into labour...just afterwards. Otherwise at our hospital the midwives put an unofficial limit to support people in the labour room, maybe have that limited to one for you??

    My mother came in because I "felt bad" and I won't be doing that again, she can sit in the waiting room the entire time if she likes....but she's not coming in the room again.

  6. #6
    Custardtart Guest

    Hi Kerry, let us know how it goes with the rest of your family.
    Something you said triggered a memory with me that I'd like to share, if you don't mind - you said "they all think my being pregnant gives them the right to run my life".

    I remember feeling very similarly about my in-laws at one stage, when I felt they were treating me like I was a child. It was only after many years that I realised what they were doing was trying to include me in the family by 'taking care' of me as if I WAS one of their children, and it was done out of love, not out of a desire to belittle me. Unfortunately, this realisation came too late for me to make peace with my MIL, who died some years ago.

    Please be a little careful of their feelings when you make your stand - I do agree VERY STRONGLY that you and you alone have the right to decide who you do and do not want in the labour room, but be aware that their hearts are probably in the right place towards you, even if expressed badly.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2005
    Mid North Coast NSW

    kerry like the others have said - dont be pushed into anything you are not comfortable with. it will be a hard enough time anyway without having extra people there you are not comfortable with.

    again, just dont tell them you are in labour, and let the hospital know not to let anyone in, im sure they will oblige,


  8. #8
    Registered User

    Mar 2005


    Honey it's your body you have to carry bubba, and IMO its totally your decision, yes he can have a say, but it's ultimatley up to you and if others cant except that then they can get stuffed- sorry but it really annoys me that just because YOU are preggers they forget totally about you and think of the baby.

    Stand your ground angel, your doing the right thing.xx

    You have everyones support here, and do what the others said and dont tell anyone when it happens.

    Good luck 2nite.xx

  9. #9
    kerry Guest

    Dinner last night with SO, his dad and step mum involvd the usual family pollitics and of course 'baby talk'. FIL gave me the opening I need to mention my plans for the birth when he said "Of course you have to ring me as soon as you go into labour so I can come down".

    I thanked him for wanting to be there but explained that I feel the birth is a very personal and private time. SO and I would not be calling anyone until after bubs had been born and we were settled. FIL then proceeded to tell me how selfish this was and how it wasn't how things were done in there family. Before I had a chance to reply SMIL told him to grow up and respect our wishes. She said she agreed with me and that during labour the last thing I would need would be the stress of them all there waiting. She was fantastic.

    On the way home SO however was not quite so understanding. We ended up having yet another arguement. He said he would call whoever he wanted whenever he wanted. So I said that would be fine but if anyone turned up at the hospital before I was ready for people to be there he wouldn't be in the birthing room either. I need his support, not to be put in a possition where I feel like a sideshow for his controlling, obsessive family and friends.

  10. #10
    katanya Guest

    Wow what a difficult position, I can relate to the situation with your mother, thankful my MIL was keen to give us distance and happily came down the next morning (Felix was born at midnight)

    My reasoning with my mother is that she makes a sterssfull siution wose, she had a lot of trauma with my birth and she would have made me feel worse, I decided that I would give a special job after the birth, that she would give Felix his first bath, she was hurt at the rejection, but thrilled at the offer of the first bath..DP was little put out that she was doing the first bath, but I explained how important it was to her and he could do everything else first with him..

    DP called her down just before I started pushing and she arrived about an hour after he was born..DP's best friend & GF also came down, which I wouldn't have chosen, but in the end it was okay.. Mum immeadiately started freaking out about the blood and plecenta (she hemorraged after my birth)

    I am glad you are being upfront now to your family, a first birth is a overwelming situtation because you are totally unsure how things will go for you..I say stick with YOUR wishes, your DP will realise how Labour is very much your domain and your wishes will be obayed by the midwives..you can tell them in advance you do not want his family there if you wish, he needs to realise that this is about your body and baby..not a sideshow for the family!

  11. #11

    Mar 2004

    kerry, I soooo know what you're going through at the moment. I had the exact same issues with my DH and his family. My MIL persisted in telling people she was coming despite being told otherwise and my DH didn't understand why I was so adamant that she wasn't and that I didn't even want his family to know I was in labour. Funnily the only person in DH's family who understood was SIL who had also banned MIL from the delivery (but not from the hospital so she and SILs MIL pushed thier way into the room before SIL delivered the placenta!!!)
    We argued about it heaps but I stood my ground and DH eventually accepted that although I wanted him involved in the delivery it was on my terms. I think that its important that you stick to your guns becasue stress in labour can actually slow it down or even halt it altogether. I also think that having some privacy straight after the birth is really important. Firstly because you need it to bond but also because by the time you've given birth you might feel like half the staff at the hospital has had a look at your privates so a bit of time alone can be a massive relief (it was for me anyway). If all your ILs are waiting you may feel that you have to rush that time or even find it denied to you.
    Your ILs will just have to get over it. After all labour and birth is just a beginning and they have many years to get to know your baby.
    As for your mother telling people she will be there - my MIL did that too and although it annoyed hell out of me once I was sure that I had repeated and clarified my position I just let it slide. It made her feel better even if it was a total fantasy.

  12. #12

    Nov 2004

    Be strong!

    I think (with some hospitals) you can actually choose to say "I dont want that person here" if they rock up. you can only ask. I made all my family call me before they came to visit, even hubbie! Sometimes i just didnt feel up to entertaining. Make it your choice, put your foot down. Good luck sweetie!

  13. #13
    Lee-Ann Guest

    I was going to say the same thing, you can tell the midwives etc, who you want in and they won't allow anyone else in. So it will all come down to you anyway. I personally think the family is being extremely selfish so stick to your guns.

  14. #14
    Sal Guest

    Gosh Kerry, your in-laws are pushing you on various fronts. I cannot imagine having anyone in the birth room with me except DP. Thank god no-one else is mentioning anything (my mum jokes with me about how she plans on setting up a garden chair with a nice view of you-know-what but really she wouldn't want to be there).

    If your SO insists that he's going to bring others in as he pleases then it sounds like he needs to be banned, too. Do you have a really close girl-friend that could be with you if necessary (i.e. if you decide not to have SO there)?

  15. #15
    kerry Guest

    If I didn't have SO there I'd just do it on my own. Its probably what I'd prefer. I'm one of those people who stresses about how others are coping more than myself. I've never been one for the support thing and am used to do things on my own. I tend to cope better that way. This is with physical type things.

    But when I need advice or a sook or a shoulder to cry on I sometimes even find it hard to talk to my friends and family about that stuff. I'm used to being the one who they do that to and don't wont to worry them with my problems. Stupid isn't it.

    I've told SO if he wants to be there (and we are still together) he can be.

  16. #16
    Resident Samsquanch

    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean

    Wow Kerry what a lot of stress for you. These people sound very selfish and inconsiderate. Good on you for making you feelings known and not keeping them bottled up. Not that it seems to have done you any good so far.

    I think it may be a good idea to not let them know you are going into hossie. Just have the baby then call them. I don't think it could make your relationship any worse as they already seem to devalue your wants and needs as it it.

  17. #17
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2005

    Ouch, what a horrible position to be in! Really you are the one that this is all about so what you say should go.

  18. #18
    Sophie12 Guest

    Hi Kerry,
    poor you - I too have a horrible Mother in law, but luckily for me, she does not seem interested at all in the pregnancy.

    It is totally up to you who you have in the labour room with you. It is YOUR experience. If they keep insisting, just let them know that you want privacy and time alone to bond with bubs - PLUS, the nurses, midwife, Drs won't allow anybody into the room if you don't want them there.

    Good luck - I hope you have a wonderfull pregnancy, birth and special time with your baby.