To want no guests during home birth?!

(48 Posts)
cantreachmytoes Sat 06-Jul-13 05:06:10

There is a complex situation about to arise (complex because of the back story, I just want to know if IABU on this part independently) where my MIL is going to come tomorrow, from far away, and I am 38 weeks pregnant with second child. I'm going to have a home birth unless there's a medical problem. Our house is big, but the internal sound insulation is TERRIBLE. I don't want to have her in the house while I'm in labour and giving birth. DC1 will be taken to his godmother's not far away, but there's no room for her there and she doesn't really know them. Staying in a hotel would be the obvious option, but we have two spare rooms, so it's not easy to put her in a hotel and sorting a room out in the middle of the night would take DH away from me for longer (she can't speak enough English to do it). She's nice too so i don't want to upset her OR come across as totally neurotic (she's not a home birth supporter) and the general idea behind her coming up is to help out.

The situation has all come up in the past few days, and is essentially my fault. Was going to give birth in another town, go there for a month and MIL come here to help with DS during the week (weekends he and DH would be with me). Reasons for that are complex. DH is exhausted now though and I'm worried that him doing a 10+ he round car trip every week will be too much, so thinking I need to stay put

AIBU to not want her in the house when I'm in labour/giving birth?
AIBU to expect to be able to have what I want when I'm messing someone around like this?
And WIBU to insist DH (crap at clearly putting his foot down with his parents normally) sorts this out - I can't be tactful in his mother tongue as I'm not good enough at it.

cantreachmytoes Sat 06-Jul-13 05:08:51

Oh and if anyone has any ideas about a solution, I'd be more than grateful to hear them!

cantreachmytoes Sat 06-Jul-13 05:08:58

Oh and if anyone has any ideas about a solution, I'd be more than grateful to hear them!

cantreachmytoes Sat 06-Jul-13 05:08:58

Oh and if anyone has any ideas about a solution, I'd be more than grateful to hear them!

cantreachmytoes Sat 06-Jul-13 05:15:00

Aah. Gremlins in my phone!

AmandaCooper Sat 06-Jul-13 05:29:37

Well what has been said to her already about the change of plan? Presumably she has been told that your DH is exhausted, so you are not going to the other town? Hasn't anyone discussed the new plans with her at all? If I were her, due to arrive tomorrow, I'd be anxious to know what you needed from me and what was happening re the birth. Not every MIL is one of those crazed lunatics who expects to be there - and you haven't said this is the case.

So can't you just let a good local hotel know to expect her at some point in the next couple of weeks and then call on the day to remind them and let them know to look out for her? It's not that difficult for someone with no English to book into a hotel, in fact they ought to be set up for it. If things don't kick off at some ungodly hour could she take DC1 with her or is he too small to enjoy a hotel stay with his grandma?

AmandaCooper Sat 06-Jul-13 05:37:10

Sorry to answer your AIBUs:
- no I think that's perfectly reasonable
- no if anyone's messing her around surely it's your exhausted DH? It's with good reason and a reasonable person would expect a bit of messing around if you were visiting in these circumstances. It's a shame you haven't addressed this a bit sooner is all.
- only if he's not too exhausted obviously. If he's not up to doing a couple of 5 mile car trips he may not be up to it.

Minifingers Sat 06-Jul-13 05:45:51

Are you not close at all.? Do you actively dislike her? I had my MIL in the house when I had my homebirth, and TBH, I was so busy labouring I forgot she was there. If I was her (your MIL) I'd think you were being unreasonable and neurotic. She's a woman too, she's given birth. She loves your children and probably you too. Unclench and let the poor old woman stay!

Optimist1 Sat 06-Jul-13 05:55:44

I agree with Minifingers. Your DH must explain to his mother that she must keep a low profile whilst you're in labour, though. There will be benefits, surely? DH will be less stressed and therefore more able to support you without worrying how she's faring in a hotel, she will be able to assist with your older child when he/she returns home and she should feel very honoured to have been close at this important time. All these aspects will indirectly benefit you, too.

AmandaCooper Sat 06-Jul-13 06:01:23

Unreasonable and neurotic? Well maybe you would - but if it was me I hope I'd do any eye rolling in private and then go along with whatever my DIL needed (within reason!) to help her feel comfortable delivering my grandchild. Being calm and relaxed made a huge difference to me when I had DS. It's not that our there to want a bit of privacy.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Sat 06-Jul-13 08:00:32

Having someone in the house unsupportive of home birth could make things really difficult depending on her personality. If she can be understanding and make herself scarce good, if not then it could be hard. On other hand if you did need transfer to hospital good to have someone to stay with your other child. Tough call. Sorry I'm not helping!

Idocrazythings Sat 06-Jul-13 08:04:40

I think sometimes these things happen for a reason, go with the flow and it might just work out better than you expected. Most important thing with a birth is to let go of control and let it happen, if you're too structured, organised and inflexible that's when problems happen it's very pregzillary grin. She may end up being more of a help than you realise (whilst not involved of course) what if you have a 2 hour labour. You wouldn't want to be busy organising for her to go elsewhere when you're all done in two hours. Just talk (or DH ) to her and set some boundaries for the birth so everyone knows where they stand.

Who knows she could be doing her own AIBU "dil having a home birth and whilst I want to help out with new baby I don't want to be near them during the birth" !!

sashh Sat 06-Jul-13 08:05:30

Do you have any neighbors? In a situation like that I'd be happy (obviously with forewarning) to have an older lady in my house for a few hours.

The language barrier is not much of a problem if you both know why you are there and cups of tea are a fairly universal way to bond.

littleducks Sat 06-Jul-13 08:23:41

It's tricky. I think I. The day time it's acceptable to ask her to leave for a bit but I don't think you can wake her up at 2am and kick get out. Totally fine to expect her to stay out the way in her room with brief bathroom or kitchen trips.

Could you cancel the plan for other Dc to go to godmothers and give her the job of taking him/her away? Then she is out of your way but under the pretence she is doing you a favour and helping not that you don't want her there.

NewAtThisMalarky Sat 06-Jul-13 08:33:53


It reads as though you want her there to help you out, but only when it suits you.

In this situation, I think I'd just suck it up. Its not good to invite someone to come and help, and still want them to do that, but send them away because the reason you need help is underway.

You don't know if it'll be 2 hours or 22 hours. My first was 5, my second 12.

FannyFifer Sat 06-Jul-13 08:35:32

Your poor exhausted DH needs to sort it out. Why is he so exhausted?

Geeklover Sat 06-Jul-13 08:43:48

I agree with the go with the flow comment.
I had a homebirth and my ex mil thought I was bonkers. She is loud over bearing and in all honesty a total pain in the bum can quite happily have little to do with her.
She was on call to help with older dc when I went into labour.
As it was a close friend was there sorting the dc for school for me when she arrived. She came in said hello asked if I needed anything and offered to leave. As it turned out (at me offering) she stayed with us and was in the room when ds arrived. She never got in the way and helped with all the tea making and clearing up and wasn't in the way once.
When it was all over she went back to her good old self though grin

I appreciate your anxiety but you might have to bear in mind that if things start at 2am, for example, not alone would it be pretty awful to get her out of bed & bundle her into a taxi, but the whole thing might be over by the time the taxi arrives!

My second labour was 4 hours from 1st contraction (at 4am) to giving birth (after 3 pushes) 4 hours later.

I def wouldn't have wanted my MIL around the house for the 33 hours of my 1st labour but a second baby can pop out so fast that you should consider just ignoring the fact that she's there - don't let her arrangements freak you out when labour starts.

MummytoMog Sat 06-Jul-13 09:02:14

I'm reading that as a ten hour round trip, which would be a bit much.

My MIL was in the house during my second labour, and although it as always going to go into hospital to actually pop DS out, she was a complete PITA during the first part of my labour, flapping around, insisting that I couldn't go for a walk in case the baby dropped out, telling me I didn't sound like I was in labour. So if your MiL is an essentially well meaning but quite interfering person like mine, I can see how she would muck up your home birth.

Have you got a nearby midwife led birthing centre? I had my first delivery in a hospital, ended up in theatre with forceps and a baby in SCBU. My second delivery was in a midwife led birthing centre, very chilled, very relaxed, had a lovely delivery and got to stay in my delivery room until I was discharged after six hours. Was a completely different experience to giving birth in a delivery ward. If the calm, relaxed aspect is what you're after, you don't necessarily need to be at home for that.

MothershipG Sat 06-Jul-13 09:18:17

Why don't you want her in the house?

If it's because you think she'll be an interfering busybody or needy and attention seeking then YANBU.

But if she'll be unobtrusive and stay out of your way then YABU.

Bogeyface Sat 06-Jul-13 09:37:36

I dont quite understand why there is a 5 hour trip between your home and the hospital. Why did you pick a town so far away? Are there no hospitals closer to home?

Sorry, I just dont get why there only options are home or 5 hours away!

Fakebook Sat 06-Jul-13 09:53:05

Are you feeling really territorial? That always happens to me when I'm pregnant. I hate having people in the house, especially towards the end and want my own space.

I think I wouldn't mind because she is just another woman who has also given birth as long as she kept away like downstairs or went out. I wouldn't appreciate her coming into the room. Depends on what kind of person she is.

mamas12 Sat 06-Jul-13 10:08:32

I can completely understand this.
You need to be able to focus on giving birth and your mil being in the house is a distraction for whatever reason ( it doesn't matter what) s sorry for your Dh but he has to man up so to speak and explain to g
His mum that things have changed slightly
They have changed because you have very kindly decided to save him from the car journeys and change where you give birth so he could be kind to you and make sure you're happy in the new birth location
Good luck!

CecilyP Sat 06-Jul-13 10:09:47

I was going to say that YANBU as I thought from your OP that you meant guests in the room when you are giving birth but, actually you simply meant a guest in your home that has been invited anyway. So, yes, I think you are being unreasonable. If your house is big, and she knows not to go in the room where you are giving birth, I don't really see the problem. For all you know, she could sleep through the whole thing.

NotYoMomma Sat 06-Jul-13 10:28:32

yabu shock

you invited her
she was there to help you put with your complicated arrangements
so it's a bit shit to say she had to do one now!

just tell her to stay outof the rooms!

LiegeAndLief Sat 06-Jul-13 10:43:39

I can understand how you feel and maybe in the daytime you might b able to come up with a solution but I really don't think it's reasonable to kick her out if you go into labour in the middle of the night. Where is the poor woman meant to go?!

LiegeAndLief Sat 06-Jul-13 10:45:23

Having said that, surely in the day she would be looking after your ds, in which case it's probably pretty mean not to allow her in the house at all for the duration of your labour.

cantreachmytoes Sat 06-Jul-13 11:04:57

Thanks everyone. I fell asleep after posting then had to do some errands before being back here.

I'm on phone so can't name check (wish that'd be sorted out).

It is a 10 hour round trip that DH would have to do. This was discussed back in Jan and he was fine with it and has been fine with it. It's just that recently because of health complications with the pregnancy - all resolved now - he's exhausted from looking after DC1.

The reasons behind the place I wanted to give birth in, so far away (and that was/is fully supported by DH) are long and complex.

And YES Fakebook (I think it was you), I am feeling very territorial.

I'm also a private person (more so than I realised after reading the responses here) and I don't want anyone in the house who doesn't need to be here. For me birth is a private thing. I'm realising that it's maybe not the same for everyone!

If I give birth where I am, I could have excellent help and care set up for afterwards, so we wouldn't need a hand. After DC1 was born we had my mother here and although she's significantly less helpful than my MIL, DH and I hated having someone staying.

MIL is lovely and has helped out a lot recently (she volunteered for that, we asked for this) and I really don't want her to feel that we just use her when it suits us - as someone above said. I also don't feel the need to bond with her over my labour/birth and she would DEFINITELY be uncomfortable with it happening at home (she has said as much in the past and as for a water birth, well, that is totally out with her understanding and she'd be incredibly nervous about it all, which is something I don't need right now).

Was not and am not wanting to drip feed, but there were certain points and questions I thought I should clarify.

I'm going to speak to DH during nap time.

ARealDame Sat 06-Jul-13 14:45:22

Do what you want.

Don't bother listen to the experts either.

I had an NCT birthing teacher "insist" on the phone that it would be helpful to me have certain people in attendance, blah blah, and gasped angrily when I had my own ideas. P.S. she was wrong.

At the end of the day you must do what feels right for you.

Bogeyface Sat 06-Jul-13 14:53:35

I still dont see why you can't change to another hospital closer to home, surely that would solve the problem?

Squitten Sat 06-Jul-13 14:55:48


It's all very well for you to want your birth to be a private thing, but you should perhaps have thought of that before you invited your MIL over!! It's YOU who have changed the arrangements and your MIL is just doing what she was asked to do - as a massive favour to you I might add.

I mean honestly, where do you want her to go at 3am when you go into labour? If you want to upend the arrangements, then it's up to you to sort out a solution. Personally, I would just get your DH to explain that during the birth she needs to stay in her room. I don't see where else you can expect to go unless she would go wherever your DS is going.

nobeer Sat 06-Jul-13 15:01:39

could you see if there's a small Studio apartment to rent for the whole duration of her visit? or at least until after baby's born.

5madthings Sat 06-Jul-13 15:14:29

If you labour in the night hopefully she will sleep through it.

During the day do you havw a friend she can visit or is there somewhere locally she would like to go/can go out for the day/couple of hours?

I think your dh needs to talk to her and if as you say SHE will feel uncomfortable she will in all likelyhood makw herself scarce during the labour.

As she doesnt like the idea of homwbirth then she needs to keep schtum about that as it is your decision.

Buy her some ear plugs...

I would hate the idea of having peoole there i didnt need. I wouldnt even have my own mum their! Let alone my mil.

formicadinosaur Sat 06-Jul-13 15:34:54

Phone a friend? Day time she can pop out and enjoy the fun, cafes, a film etc. but maybe a friend could have her overnight?

rockybalboa Sat 06-Jul-13 15:55:38

Just make sure that DH gets her booked into a hotel sufficiently early in labour. That would be my best advice. I wouldn't want her there either but tbh, I'm planning a HB too and there is only one brick thickness in the walls between our neighbours on our either side (Victorian terraced) and we can hear them talking so I'm just trying not to think about what they might have to listen to...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 06-Jul-13 16:06:48


You have invited her to come and stay because you want her help.

What exactly is it that you expect her to do while you are labouring?

The only option I can see that would be remotely fair, is that you book her a hotel room for the entire length of her stay so that there is no last minute flapping. But how uncomfortable is she going to feel to have travelled all this way to realise that you don't actually want her there now.


greenfolder Sat 06-Jul-13 16:17:09

Revisit your other options. Tbh, if mil is not in favour of home birth its hardly going to be great for her and it doesn't sound like she signed up for it. Yabu in insisting that dh sort it out. Really can't follow the plot re town 5 hours away? You do sound a bit birthzilla. Don't think mil is that unusual at being concerned about home birth at all.

OP how about you go with the flow as when the time comes you may not give a toss. You can still throw a wobbly later and insist that it's just you and DH and that DC and MIL have to go at any time. Maybe pack them both off in the middle of the night with MIL in charge of DC. Your birth, your way.

willitbe Sat 06-Jul-13 17:11:00

With my last birth I had a home birth. My MIL is very anti home birth, but had agreed to come over to take the other children to her house.
However it happened I went into labour early morning and she came into the room I was labouring in to ask about whether to wake the sleeping children to take then or wait til they woke. She came into the room at the exact time I was about to remove my pyjama pants, I screamed at her to get out!!!!! This is very not like me under normal circumstances, but fortunately she took it ok, realising I was in transition already!

Well after she left the room I was so focused on giving birth I barely noticed the arrival of midwife, doctor, two paramedics (neither of whom had ever witnessed a birth before!), as well as my own mother and my husband. For me my MIL was just a person I could not have in the room.

I am sure my MIL heard it all. half an hour later I had given birth, and my mum took the baby to my MIL to show to my other children while I delivered the placenta.

There was not really time for my MIL and the children to leave the house. I have no idea what they might have heard, but very kindly my MIL insists she heard nothing and the children slept through it all.

What I am saying is try not to worry about it if you can. Perhaps have back up plan for taxi to take MIL to hotel with letter to hand to reception if necessary? Or neighbour for her to go for cup of tea to? But also remember things may pan out ok anyway. Hope it all goes well for you.

Bogeyface Sun 07-Jul-13 02:10:50

I do wonder if the "birthzilla" comment may be true. Is the 10 hour round trip because you have booked into a private hospital in London?

There are other hospitals that are just as good and nowhere near as far away!

cantreachmytoes Sun 07-Jul-13 07:17:15

Birthzilla is certainly a catchy term!

I spoke to DH about it yesterday and he spoke to his DM. Turns out she's more than happy not to come until after the birth. DFIL is happy too because he misses her when she's gone (and he likes to stay closer to home). So problem solved.

Back to birthzilla. May I suggest that if a woman needs/wants to go to a hospital 5 hours away from home and states there are complex reasons, there may actually be complex reasons. I wasn't going private and am not, but if I wanted to, what would be the problem?

In my case I have a phobia of hospitals, which I have worked on with some success, but not enough yet to feel comfortable in one I don't know and trust 110%.

This phobia is because I was sexually assaulted by two doctors treating me (separate occasions) and raped by a male nurse - a third occasion. I wish it weren't true, but it is (none of it happened in the UK). Not everybody is lucky enough to just "not like hospitals". Many women have problems about giving birth after being raped, sexually assaulted, sexually abused, on top of the normal feelings.

Bridezilla is someone who just wants things her way to the cost of everyone around her. A birth, is something far more intimate than a wedding and I'm not sure "birthzilla" is a fair label unless you really know everything about the person you're attaching it to.

thegreylady Sun 07-Jul-13 07:19:41

I think as you have invited her you have to honour that commitment. Ask your dh to explain about the home birth. I am sure your mil will keep out of the way and may even be a support to your husband. She is coming as an invited loved mother not as a pushy guest.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 07-Jul-13 07:22:52

Other than logistics I don't think YABU. If you can't have your own space when in labour when can you? If mil was staying here I would feel quite happy sending her to a hotel for a day while I laboured and had the baby.

Only thing is you can only kick her out between the hours of 8am and 9pm, if you have a long labour that's fine but if its quick will there be time for your dh to drop of your child at godparents and take his mum to a hotel?

If it was me I would just go to my local hospital but then I don't mind a hospital setting.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 07-Jul-13 07:26:38

Sorry op posted before I saw your update. Best of luck for the birth.

SanityClause Sun 07-Jul-13 07:27:13

It sounds as though it's all sorted out, and your MIL sounds lovely.

Good luck for the birth. I tried to have DC2 at home, but had to be taken into hospital part of the way through. I did manage a home birth with DC3, and it was fab!

natwebb79 Sun 07-Jul-13 07:38:39

Oh wow OP! How horrible, so sorry you have been through all of that! Very happy to hear you've sorted the problem though.

Where do you live? I'm assuming that it's not in the UK as I would just have a hospital birth tbh and leave my DC at home with her if so. I can understand why you wouldn't want her in the house, if you knew she could hear every sound you make, when you are in labour but I don't see how you can ask her to leave if it starts in the middle of the night. (Have you got a tent grin)

Damn, I posted before I saw your update as well, and I thought my idea of a tent was great!
Seriously, glad you've got it all sorted out now.

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