How to keep the # of people in the delivery room limited without hurting anyone's feelings??

Ashley - posted on 05/04/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My boyfriend and I are expecting our 2nd baby in about a month. Our first was born about 2 years ago and while I was was in labor there were four other people besides myself in the room. My boyfriend, my mom, my boyfriend's mom & his grandmother. (Note: My boyfriend's mother just brought the grandmother without even asking if it was okay, so even though I didn't really want her there or invite her I was kinda stuck.) When I delivered, the grandmother had to leave the room. I thought it would be special for both mine & my boyfriend's mothers to be there to see their grandson born. And it was! But this time around I wanted to keep it to just me & my boyfriend in the room during labor and delivery (except for maybe my mom if I feel I need a little more support) because last time there were too many people in the way I couldn't experience the bonding w/ my newborn and watch the process of what the doctor's did to him after he was delivered. But yesterday, my boyfriend's mom made the comment about when this baby is born about taking vacation time to be there for the labor & delivery because she was there for our first son's birth. She just assumed she is going to be there and making plans to be there. Now, I am the type of person where any kind of confrontation or situation where I could possibly hurt someone's feelings gives me severe anxiety. And I usually just keep my mouth shut, suck it up & deal with not getting what I want and not being happy because it's easier than having to hurt someone's feelings or confront them on an issue. I'm not sure how to keep my boyfriend's mother from inviting herself into the labor & delivery room. I've thought of a few options, but I am having problems with all of them. Options: 1) Don't tell her when we go into labor, but contact her after the baby is born. This would definitely hurt her feelings and cause friction. And because of the type of relationship my boyfriend has with his family, he would not be able to not tell his mother or brothers. And she would more than likely see it on FB anyway. lol. 2) Have my boyfriend explain to her why we prefer to limit the people in the room. This would also hurt her feelings. Especially if I do end up wanting my own mother to be there for extra support if I need it. And this puts my boyfriend in a sticky spot too, because then he will have an issue with his mother when he doesn't actually care if she's there or not. Well, because she's his mother he kind of does want her there. So when he goes to explain to her, the blame would get put on me as to why she can't come. 3) I could explain the situation to her, but this would give me super bad anxiety and I tend to either "give in" or explode when in a confrontational conversation because I just can't handle the pressure. So, please let me know if you have any suggestions on how I should handle this situation or rationalization on any of the options I've already considered. Thank You!

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Vicki - posted on 05/04/2012

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To be honest I'd just accept that feelings are going to be hurt and tell them upfront. Your comfort during the birth is more important than their feelings. Birth isn't a spectator support, personally I don't want more people than absolutely necessary gazing at my vagina.

Your boyfriend needs to grow some gonads and stand up to his family. It's part of his job to hold a safe space for you, this includes who is in and out. Yes feelings will be hurt, but if they are at all adults then they should get over it.

Best wishes, I hope you get the support you need and no silly childish comebacks.

Amy - posted on 05/04/2012

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Personally I would lie and say the hospitals policy has changed and will only allow one person in, or you could say your doctor has issues with a number of people being there. I know my doctor and hospital specifically said when we arrived that they are there for me so if I didn't want a visitor after a certain time they had no problem being the "bad guys".

Or you could say something along the lines of "oh we were really hoping you would watch the oldest one, they're so comfortable with you and it's going to be an adjustment for them". That way she may feel just as important/special without being in the room with you.

Katherine - posted on 05/04/2012

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I did the same thing first time around. Second time around we told everyone it would be just my husband and I. Simple. Seriously I had residents in there anyways abut 20 plus all of the doctors, so it was a good idea they weren't there. But yeah just tell them this time around you are only having you and your boyfriend.

Medic - posted on 05/07/2012

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I had NO ONE in the delivery room either time just me my hubs the dr and one nurse. I told my nurse when I went in and she delt with it saying that it was for my health to keep me low key. My mom was the only one trying to get in the first time so the second time we didn't tell anyone but my dad and stepmom because they had our son. After our daughter was born we told everyone and yeah my mom boohooed but I really couldn't give two shits. The nurses will gladly help you and take the blame for all of it. I am one of those very vocal people who told everyone to get bent and leave me the hell alone. The nurses were great and limited the amount of people and the time they could stay unless I told them it was ok.

Bethany - posted on 05/07/2012

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Just be honest, tell her that you felt overwhelmed that too many people were in the room and you want to be able to see whats going on with your newborn and have more bonding time without being overcrowded. Maybe tell her that your boyfriend will let her know when your about to deliver or just after babys born so she can be in the hospital to see him when you come out of the labour ward. Or you could suggest that she takes time off work right after babys born to come and help you, make her feel needed in a different way.

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Stifler's - posted on 05/07/2012

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Just tell them you only need your husband there and would appreciate everyone else keeping their distance. I have no idea why others would want to be there/invite themselves.

[deleted account]

Quite frankly, I just don't understand why other people want to be in the delivery room when you are having a baby. How undignified for other's to see you with your legs in the air pushing out a baby! Tell them honestly, you just don't want other people in the delivery room with you. Tell them they are welcome to be there in the waiting room and to come in once you are decent and ready BUT the birth itself is personal and private and you'd like to keep it that way. Your childs birth : your rules.
Gosh, there's no way on earth I'd have had anyone other than my hubby in with me while birthing.

Jill - posted on 05/07/2012

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Ashley, this is entirely up to you. You are the one birthing the baby after all. As a nurse, this is my advice for whatever it is worth. First, once you are truly ready to deliver, the doctor can tell anyone to leave. Let him know upfront that you only want who you want. Additionally, if you want visitors while laboring, let your nurse know that you would like for her or him to ask people to leave if they need to check you or get you repositioned. People tend to respond better when it comes from medical personnel. Your nurses are your advocates. They are there for you and no one else and will be the bad guy if needed. They will also let people know when they can come back in after the baby is born so you can get some much needed bonding time. In the end, this is your experience and no one else's. Congrats and good luck.

Elfrieda - posted on 05/04/2012

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I like Amy's idea. "Actually, we were hoping you'd watch our oldest." Write her an email if you don't feel like you can have a real-time conversation.

Have you told your boyfriend that you want it to be just the two of you and maybe your mom? Because that is definitely the first step. Tell him that it's a very private moment and you didn't like the crowd in the room last time and ask him to protect you from feeling like that again.

I cannot believe that you let people into the delivery room out of politeness! I didn't have a lot of tact right there at the end, and if somebody had brought someone else they would have been told, "Get out!" And I'm very considerate of other people's feelings. That's why there would be no swearing. :) It was just me, my husband, and two midwives. That already felt plenty crowded.

Try to remember that it's all down to what makes YOU feel more comfortable. If you need another person to think of, think of your baby. If you don't feel comfortable, the labour is slower to progress. When the labour is slower to progress, the baby becomes more stressed, with faltering heartbeats and just being trapped in the birth canal being squeezed by contractions for a longer time than necessary. Why would you do that to your baby only to avoid a few hurt feelings by people who should know better? (I'll bet your motherinlaw didn't have her entire extended family in the room when she birthed your boyfriend.) Does that help at all?

Ashley - posted on 05/04/2012

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Awesome! Thanks ladies! I really like your suggestion of having her watch my oldest, Amy.

Bonnie - posted on 05/04/2012

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I am pregnant with my third child and for the first two it was just me and my husband. It will be the same this time around. Really, it should only be up to you. It's your body, your baby, and you are the one going through the pain. Just be honest and tell them how it is. Besides, if you tell the nurses, they will help keep people out.

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