S.S. asks from Jefferson City, MO on April 26, 2007
Seeking Advice on How to Handle Pushy Mother-in-law
My husband and I are expecting our first child in a few weeks. I have REPEATEDLY expressed to my mother-in-law (as well as all other members of the family) that we will not be calling anyone while I'm in labor or immediately after the birth of the baby. I've explained that we want the first few hours to bond with the baby by ourselves, and we will call everyone as soon as we are all settled into our room and ready for guests. Well, my mother-in-law is having a fit and insisting she be at the hospital while I'm in labor so she can see the baby immediately. It's putting my husband in a real bind because he is passively trying to stand up to her and she just won't listen. I am an emotional rollercoaster over it all because I don't want her imposing on one of the most important moments of our lives. My husband keeps telling me to just accept it and stop being hormonal. Has anyone else dealt with this type of situation??? I don't feel like I'm being hormonal by wanting this, but if I am then will one of you politely put me in my place?
I am so grateful for all of the responses! Just wanted to add a little clarification though. My husband is INSISTING he call his parents when I am in labor, but promises to tell them not to come until he calls back with the okay. When I question him why he can't just wait until the baby is here to call, he says he doesn't want to make his mother mad. My parents on the other hand said they respect our wishes and have no problems with waiting. I've told him if he calls his mother when I'm in labor then he is opening the door wide open for her to disregard our wishes and come rushing to the hospital. She has proven on NUMEROUS occassions over the past several years that she has no regard for my feelings or for my other two sisters-in-law. I could go on and on about stunts that she pulled at our wedding and at the birth of our two nephews! Also, thanks for the advice about asking the nurses to help with the visitors. I had no idea they would do that for us.
So What Happened?™
I ended up having to have a scheduled c-section on 5/15/07 because we found out the baby was breeched. My husband called his mother once our little girl was born, but told her the baby and I would be in recovery for several hours and not to come until at least 6:00. Amazingly, she honored his request! She made it perfectly clear that she wasn't happy about not being there sooner, but I was on enough pain killers that I was able to just let it go. Thank you all for your advice and support!!!
C.D. answers from Springfield on April 27, 2007
No S., you are not the only one and you have every right to enjoy the first moments even days of your child's life without family imposing. I belong to an online message group of pregnant women and this is the number 1 in-law problem. The only solution we've come up with is not to call family until after you've delivered. Also remember, the nurses at the hospital are there for you and will send away visitors for you so you don't have the added stress.
I'm due in June and like you, won't be having any visitors until I've already been discharged from the hospital.
Edited to add: I have to say I'm pretty shocked by some of the responses. I really get tired of hearing when a pregnant woman's feelings are dismissed as being "hormonal", like it's impossible for us to be rational. Sheesh. Yes, I understand you have to take family's feelings into account, but this is you and your husband's child, not theirs!
E.R. answers from St. Louis on April 28, 2007
I wanted this same thing for the birth of my daughter, I only wanted my mom and finace there. I made it clear right away to my sister in laws, friends, mother in law, etc., that they would not be allowed to see me while I was in labor or having the baby. (At the birth of my best friends first son, there was about 10 family members running in and out of the room all day, stressing her out and after the birth she needed a blood transfusion, everyone was panicking and it was awful for her but she was afraid to hurt anyone's feelings.) Afterward it is so much harder, I know. All you can do is ask that your husband once again does not make that call, out of respect for you and your new baby. I felt like I was able to spend time with my daughter and relax after the birth, even though everyone was hovering round outside, I did not care! I just remember telling them that the baby would not come any faster if they came during labor! You know she will come running if he makes that call, so stand your ground and head him off at the pass. As others have said, ask nurses to help control visitors but ask that they pass along info to anyone waiting that you and baby are just fine. His mother will get over the fact that she was not allowed soon after she sees the baby. She needs to learn respect for others concerning thier children and if this is the only way so be it!
M.L. answers from Rockford on April 28, 2007
If she won't listen to u guys when you go into labor let the hospital staff know that u want it to only be u and your husband while u are in labor and delivering and if your mom in law shows up they can tell her she can't go in until you say she can.
M.S. answers from St. Louis on April 27, 2007
I don't know if your MIL is wanting to be in the room with you during labor and immediately after birth or just at the hospital. This is your baby and I definately agree that your family should respect your wishes. However, I'd agree with the compromise that you'll tell her you're in labor and at the hospital and that she can come if she wants, but that she has to stay in the waiting room until you guys are ready for her, even if that happens to be 16 hours later :). That way she's close by, but out of sight. When we had our twins, our families did come to my hospital room while I was in easy labor, but all but my mom (my choice) and husband went to the waiting room when labor progressed and I wasn't up for visitors. My mom also left closer to delivery time so it was just my husband and I. After delivery, the nurses required my husband and I to spend an hour or so recovering and bonding with the girls and attempting a first feeding. When we were ready, they got our families for us. Hope everything goes well and your family doesn't add to your worries at the hospital, but rather adds to your joyful experience. Good luck!
D.M. answers from St. Louis on April 28, 2007
I think that you and your husband are correct. Giving birth is a very private moment and no one has the right to infringe on your right to privacy. If your mother-in-law doesn't like it, tough! And if she tries to storm in on you at the hospital or something, security will be called on her. She will be upset for a while, but my advice is not to let her have her way. If she walks on you today, she will just continue to do it. Stop her in her tracks now.
Hope this helps.
T.R. answers from Rockford on April 28, 2007
I definitely know what its like to have a stubborn MIL. With our first child there was EVERYONE at the hospital including my mom, my MIL, my uncle, my grandma, brother, and others. It was a total pain in my butt. There was too many people there and I was having a difficult enough labor as it was (i was in labor for 49 hours). For my 2nd baby, the only ones that were there was my husband and I. It was WAY WAY less stressful and a much more relaxing labor. We called everyone after our daughter was born and then we of course had visitors. This time around I am having my step-mother there for support since my husband (who is a paramedic) wants to deliver the baby. Other than that we have expressed our wishes and nobody will be at the hospital unless we call them. Good luck with what you are going through. Just stick with your guns and use the nurses. Let them know that you do NOT want her in there and they will not allow anyone to bother you unless you specifically state they can come in.
S.M. answers from Decatur on April 28, 2007
hun i see where u r coming from but i also see where the mother in law is coming from i think it helps to have peeps there wanting for u to have the baby cuz u dont fell s alone and it made me more excited to know that my loved ones was there for me but u can bond with ur baby even if they are there also remember u have 18 years of the childs life to be there everyday for that child "18 i say becuase they move then well supposed to anyway lol"but ya i would let them be at the hospital but they dont have to be in ur room until u r ready for them ... i hope all goes well good luck
L.K. answers from St. Louis on April 27, 2007
I think you need to do what you think is best. Call her after you are settled. After she sees the baby for the first time, all anger will be gone. Hopefully your husband can be supportive in this decision.