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Visitors after the birth - any advice?

(88 Posts)
margarethamilton Sat 11-Aug-12 16:38:25

Some background: I'm a first time mom to be. We were ttc for five years before our fifth round of infertility treatment was successful (a previous pregnancy ended in miscarriage after IVF). This baby is much anticipated by us all!

I am 41 + 1 and due to be induced on Wednesday. I can't see anything happening sooner. I've had two sweeps and have another booked on Monday. I know I'll be induced as I know my body and baby is just too high up and shows no sign of playing ball! I'm a bit down about this as plans for an active water birth are in jeopardy therefore.

I need advice about afterwards. My family are all on tenterhooks. I've tried to dial down the craziness and am dealing fairly well with the texts and calls. DH and I discussed visitors after the birth. I don't want anyone at the hospital apart from him. Hopefully, I'll be in for a night only. If I have to have a C section, I will obviously be in for longer and will have visits from all sets of parents (three sets as his are both divorced and remarried). Visiting is very restricted to one hour slots twice a day so not too daunting.

When we come home, we've said that we'd like a day or two to recover, bond and for me to feel like 'myself' before we have longer visits from anyone. My side are all fine with this. However MIL has now started to say she's coming down (lives two hours ish away) straight away - as soon as I've given birth. She and step FIL are staying with a relative after we said staying at ours wasn't an option.

Spoke to DH about this today and said there was no need for her to rush down as soon as the announcement was made. DH has now become quite defensive and gone against what we'd planned and said saying his mom would like to come to the hospital "even if only for five minutes" and that he'd take the baby outside to see her?! I want time to bond, recover, establish BF and so on. Plus, we'd agreed to visitors the day or two days after we came home. Coming to the hospital has never been an option if I don't have a C section. Obviously, her visit wouldn't be for five minutes as that would be unrealistic and she'd have step FIL with her who is a knob.

I've tried to talk to him but he cuts me off saying, "I know what you're going to say". We're at stalemate. How do I balance my needs, our needs and the needs of our families? Please let me know if you've handled this successfully!

Sorry about the essay but didn't want to dripfeed.

Loislane78 Sat 11-Aug-12 16:45:05

No advice as DC1 here but just to mention I'm also being induced and from what I've been told/read, it can take a few days + a night (or 2) afterwards. Obviously might be quicker but just wanted to manage your expectations.

Maybe a good excuse to delay visitors as you'll be tired from hospital smile

Good luck!

Loislane78 Sat 11-Aug-12 16:50:29

Also, sorry just reread your post. Tell em to rack off! You don't know how you'll feel and if you'd prefer no visitors then people should respect that. Your baby = your rules.

The number of posts by people getting stressed about this type of thing is alarming. Some families need to realize its not a race and be more sensitive rather than thinking of their own wants.

Hope u get it sorted smile

arfur Sat 11-Aug-12 17:03:20

If it were me I would let people visit briefly whilst you are in hospital but make it clear that when you get home you would like a few days by yourselves. That way you will be able to enjoy the time at home without being hounded or feeling pressurised. Also it's a lot easier for a stroppy nurse to march visitors out than to try and tactfully ask people to leave your home. Also you may feel differently when baby is here, hospitals are very dull, I was dying for people to come and see me and the beautiful creature I had produced! And to be fair when my dd has a baby I will be aching for a brief glimpse! Good luck!

Rockchick1984 Sat 11-Aug-12 17:10:26

In all honesty, I think if you are adamant about wanting a couple of days just you, DC an DH at home, the easiest way to resolve this is to agree to visitors at hospital. I understand you want time as a family, and obviously your in-laws don't have any right to demand anything, but it's your DH's baby as much as its yours and I think you really need to offer a compromise, if he wants his parents to meet his child!

margarethamilton Sat 11-Aug-12 17:15:17

I'm happy to have visitors if I'm in for a few days. I've never been in hospital before but I know I'd welcome it!

Three friends have given birth recently, two induced, and had straightforward, relatively quick births. They all came out the next day. They don't allow visitors in the delivery suite except birth partners. As I said, visiting on the ward is very strictly controlled. So I just don't see the need to rush down? And the idea of taking the baby to the reception area/car park for a five minute "viewing" (DHs phrase not mine!!) seems just too much.

I am disturbed by the fact that my plans for birth will now change due to induction. I suppose I don't want something else taken out of my hands at this point.

Anifrangapani Sat 11-Aug-12 17:17:13

"That would be lovely to have someone to do all the cooking and cleaning while I get to grips with being a mother" would be my response.

Whatevertheweather Sat 11-Aug-12 17:17:32

Im having a similar dilemma - have c-section booked for wednesday but have decided that I'd rather have visitors to the hospital than a flood of people once we get home. I'm going to get the midwife on side to say I'm too tired for more than 15mins with certain relatives.

If they're in your house it could be harder to get them to leave and dh may feel obliged to be up and down with tea and biscuits and playing host.

Good luck with the birth smile

LemonBreeland Sat 11-Aug-12 17:24:42

The viewing as your dh puts it is not going to happen. The baby will have a security tag on and can not just leave. Why can't his Mother wait if everyone else can.

She can wait until the next day when you are out and home.

JennerOSity Sat 11-Aug-12 17:26:38

I think the needs to the Mum should be respected first and foremost. I can see why she is sooo keen but two days in't long to wait. However, it's tricky to enforce taht without Dh on side.

Can you explain to him that it is a really big deal for you, that physically and emotionally you will feel like you have been in a car crash (not in a bad way, but in a major event significance way). Ask him to stick to the original plan.

Has he said why he has opted to go against what you have already agreed and can he see why this is so unsettling when some of your other plans (water birth) are already in jeopardy.

At the end of the day he needs to understand that it is a highly emotional event, the success of which depends entirely on the happiness of the mother. It doesn't matter if people don't understand why you want it, they need to see that you just do, removing control from you and riding rough shod over your wishes is no way to reduce any negative feelings around the arrival of your baby. sad

Not much practical help there, sorry, but wanted you to know your wishes are not unreasonable.

margarethamilton Sat 11-Aug-12 17:28:29

Thanks Lemon. I thought that would be the case but I was unsure.

FirstTimeMumma Sat 11-Aug-12 17:30:31

Completely understand what you're going through Margaret. In fact I seem to be having a similar problem. As hard as it is, I'm going to wait until DD is here and then make up my mind properly. After all i may want to show her off as much as possible! But then again i could feel the complete opposite? Maybe speak to DH and try to help him understand your feelings thoroughly. MAKE him listen. After all, you have did all the hard work the past few months! I'm sure everything will work out well, as us pregnant ladies do have the tendancy to overreact(I know i do anyway, damn hormones). Wishing you all the best and i sincerely hope everything works out for you.

JennerOSity Sat 11-Aug-12 17:31:46

Can't understand why people find it so easy to disregard a new parents wishes like this! It is such a big deal to have a new baby, and as keen as they are, there are so many reasons why you might want to take things slowly. <sigh>

Why force things knowing you are not doing what is wanted, than have a little patience and everyone be happy?

Pinkflipflop Sat 11-Aug-12 17:34:11

Poor you, I would be a little fed up with MIL in your situation too. You will just have had a baby and if you don't want MIL and knobhead FIL then tell your dh it just isn't happening! It's your house too and dh will just have to deal with it.

Could you phone MIL yourself and explain that you can't wait for her to see baby when you get home etc etc but you are asking everyone to leave it a day or so until you feel physically able for visitors. Be firm even if she says oh I'll only be popping in, say as I said dear MIL I look forward to seeing you x days after birth. DH's are often a bit rubbish at conveying message properly to MIL's, I find!! grin

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 11-Aug-12 17:37:04

Agree with whoever said that it's easier to have visitors at hospital (when you won't feel the need to tidy up, make a cup of tea for everyone etc. And the nurses will get rid of them so no danger of outstaying their welcome!) Then you can tell everyone that you will let them know when you are ready to have visitors at home, but you expect it to be a couple of weeks before then.

Pinkflipflop Sat 11-Aug-12 17:37:39

Ps, I'm only 15 weeks but I'm already dreading the visitors! I have already told dh that under no circumstances will his family and hoards of nieces be parading to the hospital or through my house to flash a camera in my face and put dodgy pictures on bloomin shitbook!! angry

clabsyqueen Sat 11-Aug-12 17:44:36

Hi and BIG congratulations to you. You've worked hard to get where you are. Well done to you and DH. I read your post and it struck me that you are focused (quite naturally) on keeping as much control as you can to stay calm. Having to be induced sucks esp when you've wanted a water birth. You say yourself that control is important now that your dreams are in jeopardy. My advice - don't sweat the small stuff. You are going to have that baby you dreamed of and it's going to be all yours and all up to you to take care of it for a very very long time. Bonding and establishing breastfeeding take much longer than a day or two and after my c-section I was out in 48 hours!!! They don't keep you hanging around these days! Having MIL/guests to the house might really be a big help as long as she/they know you are not hosting. They must be given strict instructions to bring supplies (M&S ready meals and drinks) and must load the dishwasher and maybe clean the bath before they go. Seriously. I never realised just how much hard work it is to host after a new baby. I was very blunt after a few days, telling people the above rules applied if they wanted to visit. They were very understanding and I had a very clean flat hot a few weeks! Another shock to the system is that most families view babies as 'public property'. The new arrival is as much a big deal for them as for you (almost!). The topic of sharing your little one is going to come up again and again. I found it hard but in the end I realised that this is the sign of a loving/interested family and my LO is lucky to have people desperate to see her/hold her etc. i promise you will be glad to share the load once the baby comes and do that might mean allowing a 5 min visit bedside too. Newborns are SERIOUSLY hard work. More than anyone will ever have told you. Good luck, enjoy and remember this is your baby to love and cherish for years and years. Sharing them for these few days is 'sweating the small stuff' in my opinion.

Mollydoggerson Sat 11-Aug-12 17:47:04

Hmmm, I think you need to be less controlling about this. The baby is both of yours and a simple viewing (for a healthy baby) shouldn't be a problem. Your dp and his family are entitled to engage in the excitement of the new baby on their terms (within reason).

I think it is healthy to remain open and relaxed about it. Bonding is a lifelong process, it wont be adversely effected by a short trip down to the hosp reception. If the nurses needed to take the baby to a room for some checks, it would be allowed and there would be no consideration of the possible negative repercussions.

NellyBluth Sat 11-Aug-12 17:51:58

Just to go ever so slightly against the grain here, but I do feel that sometimes the excitement and pride and new GPs can be a little ignored (I really don't mean that comment personally at all). Of course the parents' wishes should come first and a new baby shouldn't be passed from pillar to post, but I also think it is reasonable of GPs to want to see their newborn grandchild while they are still a tiny little bundle. They might find it very upsetting to not be allowed even a quick glimpse during the first few days - but then I am very much of the opinion that a baby is part of a wider family, not solely part of a new family with mum and dad.

If I were you, even if you don't stay in hospital for more than a few hours after birth, I would try and find a way to allow all sets of GPs a quick visit to welcome and meet their new grandchild. But certainly make it clear that this is a flying visit, and spend the whole time on the sofa in your PJs, making it very clear that you are not about to go and make them tea!

Good luck with your induction!

Claxonia Sat 11-Aug-12 17:53:34

I was also induced and my father insisted on flying over two days later to see us in hospital even though I asked him not to. Then my mother and father in law wanted to come (separately as they are divorced) so I ended up with 3 visits which I wasn't keen on at all. But then a friends father passed away a couple of months after she gave birth and that added some perspective and made me feel less angry. Even though it wasn't ideal for me it was very important to my father to see his grandchild ASAP and I accept that now.

margarethamilton Sat 11-Aug-12 17:53:51

Has he said why he has opted to go against what you have already agreed?

Not in so many words Jenner but there is a weird dynamic in his family. His parents divorced very acrimoniously 20 odd years ago. DH went with his mom and sister went with dad. Relationships are strained (MIL slags off SIL and isn't that bothered about her DCs; ours is like the second coming; DH sees his dad once a year despite him living in the same city). So there is an unwritten rule that DH can't say anything to hs mom because of this. He's a really assertive man, high powered job and all that but his mom makes him crumble! He says it's because they're Irish and that's how Irish mothers are with their sons! grin

DonnaDoon Sat 11-Aug-12 17:54:40

OP Ive no advice but have sympathy for you. DC4 on board here and I still havn't found a polite way of telling visitors to piss off yet. When will people realize that when a woman has her newborn...we revert to our animal instincts and do not want people fawning over our baby. For those of you that enjoy showing your new baby off and having the visitors I apoligize and hats off to you smile

hazeldog Sat 11-Aug-12 17:55:02

My mother was pushy wanting to be the first to see the baby when I'd made it clear I didn't want anybody coming to hospital. I politely but firmly told her I wasn't going to give anybody special privelages as I wanted that time for me and oh to bond with baby and recover. It didn't kill her to wait and when she did come it was still too soon and too much so I was very happy I put my foot down.

OooohShiny Sat 11-Aug-12 17:57:45

The midwife doing my antenatal classes mentioned this last week. She's an older generation (not sure why that's important but it made me feel like she really knew what she was talking about rather than giving you textbook advice) and was of the opinion that you should have a couple of days on your own without visitors...you need that time to get over the absolute exhaustion, establish feeding and find your own wee routine.

I'm planning on using the 'it's recommended that we don't have visitors' line after we come home and sticking to it

zzzzz Sat 11-Aug-12 17:59:02

Firstly congratulations! My first was after 5 yrs of TTC and IVF. They are all being VERY annoying.

Firstly the viewing business is idiotic. The baby is tagged as said above and certainly shouldn't be wafted around a hospital and car park for any reason. Hospitals outside the maternity unit are full of sick people. Your baby needs to be in the maternity unit, in it's car seat and then safely home.

Tell the midwives you only want Dh and they will repel invaders and tell him it is both of yours best interest.

Personally I would invite close family round day 2 if you are home. I would get them all to bring a buffet (get MIL to orchestrate she needs occupying) one dish each. If you leave it too late you will be weepy as hormones make you very emotional as feeding kicks in.

Visitors won't ruin bonding, and you are about to take on one of the most under reported aspects of Motherhood.....that being your children's relationship with extended family. Don't start off making it a battle, instead you need to show everyone how to behave and celebrate the wonderful person that has come into all your lives.

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