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When to tell everyone I'm in labour?

(27 Posts)
everythinghippie29 Mon 09-Dec-13 09:16:02

So I'm now 40 + 3 and feeling increasingly grumpy and probably overthinking everything but I just feel so anxious about this.

Its my first baby so I'm not sure what to expect with regards to labour at all etc.

My DP and I live less than 2 miles from the hospital and I want to get a taxi in as I just want DP there during the delivery. His DPs keep (very kindly) saying about how we will have to call them night or day for a lift into hospital when it starts and I think they might be offended if we don't contact them before we actually get to the hospital etc, although I appreciate their offer, DPs mum works at the hospital too so I'm worried that if they run us in she will want to cone through with us and I tend to feel quite closed down, stoic and private when I am in pain so would prefer not to deal with people I know.

Add in to the mix that my parents live about 5 hours away and my mum keeps insisting she will be coming to stay as soon as the baby arrives. Granted she has agreed to stay at a B&B but again, I don't want everyone hanging around and 'waiting' for me to give birth. Given the travel time I don't know when to let her know things are happening. My mum can be very difficult and gets quite upset/jealous at the best of times so I'm already worried about the great grandparent power struggle that will ensue and ideally I need to let them both know at the same time as otherwise I can see trouble!

At the moment I just feel like I want to curl up in a little ball, birth my baby in private and then let everyone know when he gets here but it seems now like a minefield of potential bad feelings!

Sorry for the lengthy rant. I know at the end of the day I can just do what I want but I also know from past experiences that it is easy to cause rifts and arguments when it comes to certain family members and I just feel totally stressed about it!

Anyone else dealt with similar situations successfully? TIA

Fuck their bad feelings. Don't tell anyone until a couple of hours after baby is born. The last thing you need us to be worrying about people turning up, waiting for you to give birth. And warn the midwives not to let anyone in to the delivery room. Everyone will stop sulking soon enough, just do whatever you want to do. I'm pg with DC2 at the moment, if it wern't for the fact that I need someone to have DS while in in hospital I wouldn't tell anyone this time either.

TheMarshwiggle Mon 09-Dec-13 09:26:07

Poor you, sounds stressful. I wouldn't tell anyone until a couple of hours after the baby is born.
They'll all be so excited that hopefully they wont be upset, and you'd have to be a spectacular arse to whine about anything to a brand new mum.
You can just say that it was so quick/dramatic/whatever that you didn't have time to think of calling people

17leftfeet Mon 09-Dec-13 09:27:58

Don't tell them until after you've delivered

It's not a show for everyone to watch and you need to concentrate on what you are doing, not what the grandparents think

Flisspaps Mon 09-Dec-13 09:30:08

What Horace said.

Besides, stress can inhibit labour and if you're worrying about getting on with it for everyone else's sake, like a performing seal, it's likely to inhibit labour.

You're the one giving birth, you're the one who decides when to let people know. I HATED people knowing I was in labour with DD. It unavoidable with DS as my mum looked after DD. It was a nice surprise for the ILs to wake up to though, rather than them being up all night waiting/calling for 'news'

princesscupcakemummyb Mon 09-Dec-13 09:33:37

dont worry about everyone else no one knew i was in labour untill baby was born

EdithWeston Mon 09-Dec-13 09:34:35

The correct time to announce a labour is at its conclusion (usually with the words "it's a girl!" or "it's a boy!")

The only exception to this is anyone you have on standby for practical help.

Timpani Mon 09-Dec-13 09:39:52

Agree with the others.

I was on my own during early labour so called my dad round to sit with me. I told my sister too but I didn't want anyone else to know for exactly the same reasons. My MIL said she wanted to wait in the hospital cafe a few weeks before I was due so I deliberately refused to tell her.

In the end the whole bloody workplace knew as DH and I work in the same place and he had to come home early, as well as the fact I was meant to be going out with work colleagues that night!

Still, it wasn't as stressful as I'd imagined. I was left alone with DH at the hospital and rang everyone a couple of hours after DS was born to let them know. I did text my sister a few times but that stopped when contractions became too intense!

seafoodudon Mon 09-Dec-13 09:40:54

I 7th what everyone else has said - unless you actually needed the lift (which it sounds like you don't) then don't mention it to anyone until afterwards. Also agree that noone is likely to bear a grudge once baby arrives - either go with the 'it just popped out' line or the opposite 'we just weren't really sure if anything was actually happening so didn't want to sound a false alarm'. With DD1 both sets of parents were told probably about an hour after the birth, both live about a half days' drive, and both got into cars soon after hearing the news and got to visit us in hospital on the day. Perfect time lag for me to have had a wee bit of a rest and a wash and to be feeling slightly more human, whilst GPs still got to see a brand new GC. With DD2 there was not quite such a rush on GP's parts!!

I would do it on your terms, curl up and birth your baby with dp there. Call both sets of gp's once you've had a couple of hours after the birth and just say things happened quickly and there was no time.

As this is your first, it's going to be the only time you can shut the door behind you - if you need childcare for any future births, you won't be able to do it the same way.

Good luck! Oh, and don't let anyone try to convince you you're being selfish

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Mon 09-Dec-13 10:02:47

Honestly, don't tell them until after you have delivered.

DD1 started on a Saturday night and wasn't with us until Tuesday morning. Added to the fact that I was overdue, I felt like a watched pot.

Second time round, we told no one, though local friends knew they might be called for emergencies with childcare (in the event had an overnight home birth, so all fine).

This time, we might call my mum depending on time of day as we now live an hour away and she'll be our main childcare if I need to transfer or labour during the day. I'm hoping for another overnighter though.

People get very entitled about knowing when you go into labour, but it really is a time to make a decision based on you, your partner and no one else!! Your mother may live 5 hours away, but there is really no reason she can't meet a 10 hour old baby (or, heaven forbid, a one day old one). Also, if you plan on being in hospital bear in mind that, depending on the time of day you deliver, you may not be allowed visitors immediately anyway.

SolitudeSometimesIs Mon 09-Dec-13 16:40:39

I agree with everyone else. Tell no one!

If people push you on why you didn't ring earlier just say you were in for a check up or you thought it was a false alarm. I'm the same way as you when in pain - I go in to my own zone - but this can mean that you're not aware of everything going on. I'd hate to know there was people waiting around outside for me to give birth. You never know how a labour is going to go and this is one time that you need to think about your needs, you may need time afterwards to get your head around it all.

Good luck.

ZingSweetPea Mon 09-Dec-13 16:41:50

about 4 hours after baby's born - unless you need immediate help.

Quoteunquote Mon 09-Dec-13 16:43:10

About three to five days after you have had the baby.

Fozziebearmum2be Mon 09-Dec-13 16:49:39

Agree with everyone else. I have a 9 week old and my parents were desperate to know along with ils. Dh and I decided not to tell anyone, for the reason I didn't want more stress!

As someone has said stress inhibits labour, I felt that I wanted to be alone in the dark like a cat!

We told everyone about 8 hours after dd was born, some people said, 'oh I thought you'd tell me when you went into labour' We just said, there wasn't time or we didn't want to.

It's your birth, do it your way.

CallMeNancy Mon 09-Dec-13 16:55:01

Tell birth partner, midwife delivering the baby & anyone who needs to look after an older child.

Everyone else, I'd say tell them atleast 1 week after baby was born, to give you some peace smile

BakeOff Mon 09-Dec-13 16:55:35

You need to be really selfish on this - labour and birth has got to be one of the most intense things your body will ever go through so if you can't be selfish now then when can you be?

I'd also just echo what a pp said that stress inhibits labour and can increase the risk of intervention. You need to be as relaxed and feel as safe as possible so that your "happy hormones" (oxytocin) flow. This is not about you upsetting your DM/DMIL but about you doing what's best for your baby, so start thinking of it that way and it should be a much easier decision.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Mon 09-Dec-13 16:57:50

Tell them after you have the baby. If you feel you need excuses then "Oh, we'd meant to call and tell you but everything seemed to move so quickly / there didn't seem to be a moment for DH to leave the ward to phone / the mobile reception at the hospital is terrible" are all tried and tested.

Bunbaker Mon 09-Dec-13 16:59:58

I agree with everyone here. Unless you need childcare (which you obviously don't) there is absolutely no need to tell anyone you are in labour. You wait until after your baby is born and you are both happy and settled. End of.

I don't get why some people have to announce their labour to all and sundry.

DD was born at 8pm. OH didn't tell anyone until after he got home after 11pm.

TheRobberBride Mon 09-Dec-13 16:59:59

Don't tell them. Your body, your birth, your baby, your choice!

I've had 2 DCs and neither time did I announce the fact that I was in labour. Grandparents were informed a few hours after the baby was birn.

TheRobberBride Mon 09-Dec-13 17:00:37

*born obviously

CoconutRing Mon 09-Dec-13 17:05:38

When the baby is a week old grin

TalkativeJim Mon 09-Dec-13 17:07:03

Oh no.

No no no no.

'I just feel like I want to curl up in a little ball, birth my baby in private and then let everyone know when he gets here'

-yes, that's exactly what you do.

Do NOT tell anyone.

Stress inhibits labour. Having pushy grandparents hassling you for first cuddles is the last thing you will want when you are having those first precious hours with your baby. If you plan to breastfeed, quiet personal time with just your baby, with YOU holding and cuddling and letting them learn to feed is ESSENTIAL at first.

It's actually for the benefit of the whole family, you know. I can't count the posts on here where mothers hold HORRIBLE resentments at parents and inlaws who spoiled those first few days with their new babies. If you let them muscle in, you will be astonished at the rawness of your hatred for them if they overstep the mark. Take charge at the helm of your new family, and keep them at bay for the sake of everyone's relationship.

A good friend didn't. Her MIL spent most of her DD's first week either cuddling her or standing over my friend staring at her like a hungry puppy when she wrestled the baby back to feed. Breastfeeding failed- not surprisingly. My friend now hates her MIL with a passion which could melt steel. Their relationship will never recover, she's pregnant with her second, her MIL won't be seeing the baby for at least the first couple of weeks as she's been frank with her husband that she doesn't feel she can bear seeing her when she's immediately post-partum. Her husband agrees entirely...

An extreme one, but not an unusual situation. If you have pushy parents and inlaws, tell them NOTHING til the baby is born, and when it is - let nobody stay in the house and keep visits under YOUR control.

- 'Why didn't you tell us?!'

- 'What? I don't understand - giving birth? Of course we wouldn't have told anyone!'

That's all you say, and if they want to sulk, they can go home and sulk and not see the baby smile

AmIGoingMad Mon 09-Dec-13 17:11:57

I agree with everyone else!

Dc1 was induction so everyone knew and I was very aware of people waiting. Dc was elcs so family all knew the date and we needed childcare then too. I was all concerned in recovery that everyone would worry if we didn't let them know but DH was very sensible and said that no, this was our time and people would have to wait. He was definitely right and I wish I hadn't made myself feel guilty. If anyone should have been feeling guilty its those who are putting unnecessary extra pressure on you at this time!

everythinghippie29 Mon 09-Dec-13 17:35:36

Thank you everyone, great advice all round. I think that has set my mind at ease that I'm not just being PFB and that we can be selfish in this instance!

I am really determined to breastfeed and hadn't even thought of the effect my worrying could have on both the labour and our time together immediately after the birth.

Hopefully you are all right and a squidgy, brand new baby will eliminate all bad feelings!

Now I just need to convince the little guy to make an appearance! Any time now would be great! grin

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