Its a birth NOT a public spectacle!

This thread was inspired by brendon_small :slight_smile:

I’m about seven months pregnant. Recently, friends and family have been asking Mouse_Spouse and I if they can be present for the Mouselings birth. We give a polite, “Thank you for wanting to be with us, but we want this to be private. After the baby is born, we’ll have a gathering so you can met her.”

This seemed reasonable to us, but a lot of people are getting bent out of shape. We’re sticking to our guns. Having a baby will be a huge change, having a lot of people around would complicate things. (Especially the bunch of nuts I’m related to.)

I am greatful for people who care enough to offer support, but why would anyone want to be present for a birth? Do you really want to see someone you care for uncomfortable and in a immodest position. I love my friends, I love my family, but I want to keep the number of people who see me in stirrups to a minimum.

How rude for them to even ask.

Good God no! Invite them all over for the baby’s first screaming bout of colic.

Gah. This is one of the reasons I’m terrified to have children. In my husband’s family it is apparently normal to have your mother and all your siblings present when you give birth. I simply cannot fathom having my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law in the room. I don’t even want my mother to be there. I have told my husband that when/if we have a child, we will wait until after the baby has arrived to notify the family and they can visit afterward. I really hope you stick to your guns on this, Mouse_Maven.

That astounds me. And I agree, it’s rude to ask! If it were something you were interested in (although I’m still having trouble fathoming that aspect) then surely you’d hope to be asked, but not be so rude as to try to invite yourself?

I guess in a way, it’s nice that they are so excited about your baby that they want to present at ‘the event’.

I agree, how horribly rude of them to ask. I mean, it would be intrusive enough if they wanted to be hanging out in the waiting room to descend upon you as soon as the Mouseling was out, but actually in the room? That’s just ridiculous.

I can’t speak for all women but the only people I’d want with me would be my husband and maybe one female friend who can calm me down and help me focus (as opposed to my friends who can hyper me out, ha). Maybe my youngest sister… maybe. I don’t understand these huge group things, and I can’t help but feel there are more than a few people there who are just gawkers.

Edit to add - it’s more than what you said about seeing someone you love in an immodest position. I know it’s difficult to believe, but modesty becomes a distant memory after about five minutes in a birthing room. There are other, more pressing – or should I say, pushing – issues. It’s more of the mental anguish of seeing someone you love struggling to do this monumental task and you can’t do a goddam thing to help.

I had a friend who didn’t even really want her husband there – actually, she didn’t even want anybody there, even medical people, but obviously she didn’t have a choice there. What we friends did was show up, say hello, and stay until she said to leave. We ended up outside the room when it was time for the kiddo to actually appear and I swear we all were empathetically pushing with her. Then, when invited in, we went in, said hi to the baby and congrats to the parents, and again left when asked to.

It’s your baby’s birth, and you have every right to not let a crowd in. Don’t let them wear you down!

I am not a mother, but I have been given to understand that if you tell the medical staff who’s allowed in the delivery room, they will keep everyone else OUT. Apparently you don’t mess with an OB nurse. :smiley:

I would also advise you to keep it to yourself when you start going into labor. Don’t notify anyone until AFTER the Mouseling arrives. How can they all show up at the hospital if they don’t know you’re there?

I appreciate them asking, it a way to show love and interest. I just don’t like the responses to our answer: “Why don’t you want the family to be there?” “We’ve been friends for years. Why are you excluding me?” “I’ll be there whether you like it or not.”

We’re not trying to shut anyone out. This is our first kid and we don’t know what to expect. (I’m scared that a c-section may be needed.) Spouse and I decided to have the birth be just the two of us, so there is less confusion and potential for argument. (Keep in mind, my mother is crazy. I don’t want her to go off in the hospital. One of the reasons for our decision is to keep her out. Sorry Mother, we’ve decided that this will be just Mouse_Spouse and I. After the baby is born, you can come see her)

I agree - that’s pretty rude to ask. Also, kind of strange. I love my sister, but when she has her first child, no way do I want to see her in stirrups unless she really needs me there.

Also, my family really would have gotten in the way. My mom’s the type that if something bad happens, the person it happened to has to calm her down. Given the complications we experienced, I would have been royally pissed off.

Nope - just have who you want in there and tell the family to get over themselves. Easier said than done, but it’s a really special event and you should get to do it the way you want to.

Gah, I hate this. I just had my husband and my doula at the birth and that was plenty.

Then I got put in a double room with a woman who was constantly surrounded by a gaggle of relatives of both sexes. Thanks so much, not only are you loud, but I really don’t want to be stared at by strangers as I’m hobbling off the to bathroom in my hospital gown.

And the poor girl had just had a c-section and the the nurses were trying to teach her to breast feed. Go home, people! Clean her house, make her some casseroles. Let her have some privacy and sleep.

Please tell me that you just made this one up, and that no one that actually loves you had the audacity to say that to you. Please?

To offer is always nice, to ask, however seems a little too direct for my tastes.

And then to question why you don’t want them? Terribly pushy and only confirms that these are not people to have near at such a delicate moment as your sweet babes first breath.

Stick to your guns. When asked just shrug and say, “We’re weird I guess, oh well!”, and merrily onward.

(Of course, should you want us dopers there, Hell, a few hundred of us could come on by…hey, it’s only an offer!)

My insane mother said that. I reminded her that I have no problems with getting a restraining order against her. (We had a huge - stupid - fight at the end of May. I ended up telling Mother that our relationship is based on how much I trust her and how safe I feel around her. The moment I feel threatened, I’ll get an order of protection so fast the ink will be wet when she’s served.)

While I absolutely agree that it is incredibly rude to ask, and even ruder to push the issue, I will admit to crossing my fingers and hoping to be asked whenever I have a pregnant friend.

I love birth. I love doing it and seeing it and helping with it. I’m a childbirth junkie. There’s just something so incredibly amazing about the whole thing, I love to just ride that wave. Might as well ask why someone loves art, or skydiving, or watching movies. I just do, that’s all. I feel fulfilled when I’m part of a birthing process, in any capacity at all.

On a practical level, I’m really good at being a patient advocate, at understanding what doctors are saying and putting it into Nervous Distracted Mama-ese and at helping people make sound decisions while under stress. I’m also a massage therapist and general calming force, and I’m good at talking people over that, “I just can’t do this anymore!” hump. So, yeah, I’d like it if my friends and family had me or someone else with my skills working with them.

But I’ve never asked. The most I will say to very good friends is, “I love assisting at births! If you need anything, just let me know, but I will not be at all offended if what you need is for me to stay away and visit in a week!” I also tell the people that do ask me to be there, “This is totally your decision, and you’re free to change it at a moment’s notice. If we get into things and you decide you want a more intimate experience without me there, just let me know - no hard feelings, I promise.” And I gently check in with them a few times throughout to make sure my presence is a help, not a hindrance.

Just let them know that you’ll sic your genetically engineered minions on them.

Consider this the first of many such times you will have to assert your right as the one and only set of parents Little Mouse will have.
They can be bent out of shape all they want. And later they can be bent out of shape that you’ve dressed the baby too warmly/too coldly, fed the baby too soon/not soon enough, that you are(n’t) letting the baby cry it out, that the baby is(n’t) on a schedule, that you should(n’t) start solids at age X, etc.
You are the parents. What you say goes. Thank them kindly for their advice/concern and go about what you were planning to do anyway.

My theory on birthing is that, other than necessary medical personnel, only those who were present for the conception should be present for the birth. (unless there’s someone else you really want there for emotional support) When my husband’s sister had her first the whole family was there hanging out in the room with her until she went back for an unsecheduled c-section. My husband didn’t know why the nurses threw everyone out of the room to “check” her progress. When I was pregnant two years later, my husband claimed his mother would be upset if we didn’t have her hanging around the hospital while I labored. I told him that of course I would be sorry if she was upset, but that wasn’t my problem. We didn’t have the baby in a hospital. (I think the birth center made my mother-in-law uncomfortable) The grandparents came an hour or two after the baby was born and all was fine.

I want to know what was so great about visiting with someone who is in labor, and what they thought they’d miss if they weren’t present the very moment the babe made his/her entrance. Really they’re cuter an hour later when they’ve had a chance to pink up and unsmoosh a bit. Visit with me when I’m not having contractions every three minutes. It’ll be more pleasant for everyone involved.

“I’ll be there whether you like it or not.”

Holy shit. Someone actually said that? That’s fucking nuts.

You’re going to be naked, with lots of weird bodily fluids, going through an intense and personal experience that involves some pain and a lot of time, and people are hurt that you’re not inviting them? Tell them that they can’t come, but you’d be delighted if they’d like to help you through a bout of pregnancy constipation or something.

What do they think it is, a garden party?

Ask if you can be there for their next colonoscopy.

Seriously, Mouse, just have your husband call everyone with the happy news once the baby is born. If they don’t like it, they can lump it.

When my wife was giving birth, the hospital told us we were allowed a maximum of two caregivers in attendance at any one time. One of them, obviously, was me.

Check to see what your hospital’s policy on the matter is. It may be that this will give you the perfect way to deflect such inquiries without getting grief from deranged relatives - “sorry, hospital policy is no visitors other than spouses in the birthing room”.