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What did/will you do with family members during and after birth?

(29 Posts)
SeriousStuff Thu 02-May-13 17:38:43

Hi all, seems a bit silly me thinking about this now as I'm only 16+6, but it's been on my mind the last few days.

I wanted to hear you experiences or plans around what to do with family during and immediately after birth. I don't like the idea of family hanging around at the hospital (which wouldn't cross their mind anyway) but if I need to stay in, I wouldn't mind visits from parents and siblings.

My family live relatively close so no big issue there but my in laws will have to travel quite a way and don't know what to do with them as I don't want anyone staying at our house. My DH will get barely any time off work as it is and I'd like to spend it just the three of us.

What would you advise? - I want to see family on both sides and they will be bursting to see the baby but how do I get my DH to tell his family they can't stay?

Am I being selfish?!

BabyHMummy Thu 02-May-13 17:40:46

All our immediate family live relatively close but those that don't will be asked to book hotels.

Just be honest with people. I am sure they will understand

twooter Thu 02-May-13 17:49:23

My parents rented a cottage nearby with my first.

Pyrrah Thu 02-May-13 17:50:00

We let parents know when I was in labour but they all lived far enough away to not descend.

In the event I was in labour for 56 hours, then had a forceps delivery, massive haemorrhage and passed out. Then spent 48 hours in HDU where only DH was allowed in, so had they come down to London they wouldn't have seen me for best part of 5 days.

My mother came down to see me in hospital on day 6 (was there for over a week) as did MIL.

We decided to go and visit family with the baby the next couple of weekends. That way, we got our time at home and by going to stay with them, didn't have to tidy the house or cook and could decide when we left. Grandparents all felt they got a good long cuddle with the baby too.

One of my friends had a nightmare - her MIL wanted her, her husband, MIL's best friend and MIL's sister in the delivery room WHILE the baby was being born (we'll stand behind your head, don't worry we won't look). There were tears and scenes and she was told how selfish she was when my friend said if you weren't present at the conception you weren't going to be present at the birth! In the event, they camped out in the waiting-room for 18 hours hmm

Beatrixpotty Thu 02-May-13 17:50:57

I had planned sections and said no visitors except DH & DSs the first day.In laws were allowed to visit the second day and don't live near enough for a day trip so stayed at our house when I was in hospital but left the day I was discharged.I definitely didn't want anyone else at home except DH & DSs,it is exhausting and the last thing you need are house guests.I would say,hotel,or come up when the baby is a couple of weeks

HeffalumpTheFlump Thu 02-May-13 17:55:00

How funny, I'm 16+4 and iv been talking about this today as its been on my mind lately. I feel the same, I need that special time with my DH after baby is born, but want mine and DHs family to meet baby too. Iv come to a bit of a compromise, I don't mind a short visit pretty straight much after the first hours bonding time has passed while at the hospital, but am then going to ask (and insist upon if necessary) for time for the next few days for me, baby and DH to settle in at home. I think that you could speak with your inlaws and explain to them how you would love for them to come and meet baby but that you also need time to settle in at home. Explain that you would love to see them/have them visit but would appreciate if they could stay in a hotel so you could have the best of both worlds? I have already said to my family that we will need some space afterwards and my DH feels the same and will be explaining it to his family, I suppose it does help that he feels strongly about that time too. I think it's just about being diplomatic and explaining why that time and space is important, that it's not just you don't want to see them.

cupcake78 Thu 02-May-13 18:23:07

Not telling them when I'm in labour is the ideal situation for me but not possible due to ds needing looking after but that's a whole different story.

Last time we told nobody until after baby was born and I dictated when people came to visit. It was me that gave birth after all. Good thing about hospitals is the time restrictions wink

Relatives stayed in a B and B/ hotel and were invited round depending on whether it was a good or bad time. Mil was a little full on and for the first 3 weeks we had visitors every day. This was far to much and will not be happening this time round.

Remember its your baby that you've grown given birth to and are maybe feeding. You will be tired, don't be pushed round by others. Do what you think is best for you and baby. Family will need to just understand. IMO they should be working on your terms only. Be selfish.

wispa31 Thu 02-May-13 19:03:36

see this is also something that is worrying me and causing me stress too!!
i dont really want visitors for first few days after getting home as i want that time to settle in at home with my baby and dp, who will only be able to take a week off due the nature of his job and i am planning on breastfeeding and while its the 'most natural thing in the world' it aint something im prepared to do in front of anyone other than dp.
i had spoke to my best friend for her opinion but i was surprised and disappointed with her reaction, she didnt really seem to get why i wouldnt want visitors around. its not that i dont want anyone to visit at all i just dont want them descending on the house the minute i get home!
my dp is also very close to his family, who are also only 5-10 mins away while my parents are going to be over an hour away and already feeling that they are not as involved. (well, mum is, as everything always ends up about her and how she is being hard done by)
im expecting my mum to have a massive strop over this as she will just see it as me being mean and pushing her out and preferring dp family which really isnt the case.
i hate the way everyone has this feeling of entitlement over the baby! you have waited 9 mths, so surely they can hold off another few days?? if i have to stay in hospital for couple of nights then gladly they can visit as pp says visiting is restricted.

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Thu 02-May-13 19:39:38

Pyrrah shock that is dreadful! Your poor friend. I would still be fuming.

We didn't tell anyone about labour (which was an induction). One set of parents lives overseas and came at six weeks which wasn't a problem, but the other set lived about 400 miles away and we were a bit worried they would 'descend'. We just told them when the baby was born (Monday) and asked them to come and visit for the weekend (staying with DP's brother). We made it very clear that Friday would be the earliest they could come and they were fine with that.

beachesandbuckets Thu 02-May-13 20:19:40

My in laws came to stay 2 days after my first dc was born, for a couple of nights, I recall not being able to get into my bathroom as my fil was taking a long bath. Hideous.

StuckOnARollercoaster Thu 02-May-13 20:38:02

My mum lives overseas and will come over 4 days before due date and will stay with us. Its a single ticket - so we can be flexible about when she goes home (straight after birth if she is being a pain in the bum or 2/3 weeks later if she's being helpful!)
In laws are very local, so general plan is that if I stay in for a day, they can come and bring my mum with them to hospital after we've announced the birth (not planning on telling them about labour - will let them know once we're ready afterwards)
I suspect they will be around to pop by in the days afterwards, but its a straight talking family I've joined, so if they are outstaying their welcome then me or DP are not going to by shy about telling them its time to go home!

We'll see how it works in practice but I think I am lucky in that we don't have the parent/in law issues that I see a lot of on mumsnet - good luck for those of you with a trickier balancing act to deal with...

tequilacream Thu 02-May-13 20:38:17

No family until we get settled in, which we think might be a month or two - has already been communicated to both sets of parents. Just DH and me in the delivery suite and won't be telling anyone labour has started. However, MIL is being sneaky - they are visiting friends on the coast before my due date and will be going back home (overseas) couple of days after the due date, flying out of Heathrow (near us) - and they said they'd come just for the night before flying back... Without even asking if that was ok... Haven't decided how I am going to handle it. Certainly don't want DH going of to parents-sit when I am mid giving birth...

Dogsmom Thu 02-May-13 20:47:37

A lot of hospitals wont let visitors in anyway during labour so just tell people you'll text/call once the baby is here, many have a 6 hour discharge too so no time for visitors.

I had my DD 8 weeks ago and also liked the idea of having a week or so just the 3 of us but am so glad I didn't as my Dad died suddenly when she was 7 days old, he met her 3 times and in hindsight I wish with all my heart he'd seen her every single day.
It really changed my perspective on the whole visitor dilemma.

HazleNutt Thu 02-May-13 20:58:19

Won't let anybody know before the baby is here. Certainly don't want anybody hanging around the hospital.
My family lives abroad, so probably we'll just go over with the baby in a couple of months. DHs family has been told that we need some time to get used to the addition and we will let them know when it's ok to visit.

goodasgold Thu 02-May-13 21:06:43

Dogsmom what a hormonal emotional ride for you. I hope that you are OK. Puts things into perspective for you.

MortifiedAdams Thu 02-May-13 21:10:40

OP would your parents put up the ILs?

I needed a lift to hospital from my dad so my parents knew, and we called ILs once it got to a reasonable hour. We told both sets of parents that we would be in touch once dc arrived and we were settled.

I knew ahead that id have to stay in (strep b) so knew id want visitors as 48hrs sat on a ward is looioonnnnngggg.

Tinyflutterby Thu 02-May-13 21:32:57

I had a hard time after my ds was born and didn't want anyone other than my dh and mum around, however mum and dad went on holiday when ds was 3 weeks old and it was agreed mil would come and stay for 5 days to help. It was the worst time ever and just made me more stressed as her 'help' just caused me more work and after a c section I wasn't capable of much at all. I ended up in the out of hours as I was in such a state.

All in the past of course, but I am due my second dc in December and am terrified mil will want to come and stay again. I never told dh how much I felt she contributed to my breakdown as I didn't want to hurt him, but I'm afraid this time I'm going to have to be firm. How do I do that without hurting someone's feelings?

This time the 'spare' room will be baby's room, so hoping guests won't expect to stay as we will really need the space for during the night feeds etc. and I want to be able to be myself in my own home and not feel like I have to entertain people constantly.

wispa31 Thu 02-May-13 23:57:09

tinyflutter - thats what im worried about, im going to be bleeding heavy, sore, leaky boobs and generally feeling like ive been run over by a truck so last thing i want is to have to paint a smile on and feel obliged to be on display the whole time with the baby!
who knew bringing home baby would be so fucking complicated!

Essexgirlupnorth Fri 03-May-13 00:18:21

Luckily we live near hubbies family and mine will have to stay. Think my mum is planning to stay for a few weeks to help me out after baby arrives which is fine with me but will wind hubby up.
MIL did say she has given birth 3 times but never seen anyone give birth. There is absolutely no way she is being in the delivery room when I give birth. I don't want my mum there either just me and hubby plus medical staff. Will made this very clear to her and probably not tell her I'm in labour. If she does turn up at the hospital the midwifed can get rid of her. Sound like a right cow now grin

Pinkflipflop Fri 03-May-13 08:25:21

I had such an intense need for peace and quiet after my baby was born! I just couldn't bear the thought of people hanging around and talking and interrupting the precious time with our baby! He's now 13 weeks and I'm normal again!grin

I just told people not to come until I invited them, v simple.

I was ready for visitors after about 2 weeks and its only just tailed off now, so people really won't be annoyed if you are honest.

Pinkflipflop Fri 03-May-13 08:27:52

Oh and I would really advice anyone against having their dm or mil to stay to 'help' after the baby comes! Even if you have a good relationship with them, you have no idea how much they will irritate you. They will have very different ideas to you WRT the baby.

HazleNutt Fri 03-May-13 08:43:17

Agree, Pinkflip, and I a) haven't even had the baby yet and b) my mum is generally very reasonable, let's me live my life as I deem fit and rarely interferes. But even she has so many strong opinions about how babies should be raised and what's best for them. Would probably drive me nuts once DS is here and I'm just trying to find my feet.

wispa31 Fri 03-May-13 09:28:11

i know for a fact my mum will just be expecting to visit whenever and for me not to have a prob with it. when i tell her there will be no visitors she will huff and make a whole drama out of it 'you,re pushing me out' 'you dont want me involved' 'you prefer his people over me'.
i dont think dp really understands either, he will want his family around. i can see me taking baby and hiding upstairs if people dont listen to what i want.

elliejjtiny Fri 03-May-13 10:25:47

I'm not telling anyone apart from PIL's (who will be looking after DS's) when I go into labour. Will announce birth when home from hospital and visitors can come when I'm ready and not before. Expecting DC4 who has a cleft lip so anticipating feeding difficulties and afterpains from hell.

wispa31 Fri 03-May-13 12:49:42

im actually quite surprised at how many of you mummys/mummys to be feel its not the done thing for even for family not be making unwanted visits. makes me feel sooo much better! and far less guilty for feeling this way!

Pyrrah Fri 03-May-13 14:04:13

I really, really recommend opting to go and visit rather than have people come to see you. So much less hassle and you can go as soon as you want rather than sitting there fuming that FIL making suggestions that you should cook dinner for them all...

MummyBurrows Fri 03-May-13 17:03:12

I must be one of the lucky ones reading some peoples posts...my mum and dh were with me when I gave birth and had mil,bil,my dad,sister,best friend and her teenage son in the waiting room,I made it clear that ils were not allowed in at any poiint until I had given birth and that was never an issue anyway seeing as mil had 2 young kids of her own to entertain all day (I had an august baby so summer holidays) and my dad and sister only came up once I was 9cms and best friend popped in and out when my mum or dh needed a break to stretch their legs (16hr labour!). My mum popped over every evening for a couple of hours after I had baby so that she could have cuddles and it gave me time to have a bath and relax a bit and dh time to do a bit of dinner for us smile mil happily stayed away unless invited but even then we told her we would go to her (she's local),but then again after having 6kids I think she knew full well how much you wana b left to do your own thing at first and adjust! My grandparents waited almost a weeks to visit which was fine.

I think as long as you make your wishes clear you will find that people can be very compliant,trust me despite what I've said,my mil was very overbearing and pushy at times and was a complete nightmare throughout my pregnancy,she only stopped a week before I went into labour and started again a couple of weeks after birth...until I snapped when my dd was 6wks old and I bit her head off in such a way that she has never again dared to say anything to me that could be seen as interferring,overbearing or telling me what to do lol! She's kept her distance so far with my current pregnancy too (16+4) and I think she'll stay pretty quiet too-shes even said she likes every one our current choices of baby names (even though I know she actually doesn't like them!).

If you don't want relatives staying with you then just make that clear,or say that you will come to them once baby has arrived and your settled smile being firm but fair will work,some of their intentions may change the closer you get to your due date but some relatives may actually need to be told straight in a very blunt manner if they are of the pushy variety smile Just remember that what you want,goes and everyone else has to respect your wishes,even if they don't really want to!xx

C0smos Fri 03-May-13 19:51:18

My parents are an 11 hour flight away. They asked when they could come and I said about 6 weeks after would be great. I'm having an ELCS so hopefully I'll be up and about by then and we can go and do things.
My older DS's nanny will be around the month before so I don't think I'll need any other help.
I have to be honest I'm not sure I'd want my ILs staying for 3 weeks, it's different with your own family I think, I don't mind if they see me slobbering on the sofa and I can be honest if they wind me up.

DuelingFanjo Fri 03-May-13 19:57:05

I would advise telling DH that you don't want anyone staying at the house before, during or after the birth. If that's what you want then it must apply to all family, not just DH's.

There's no need for anyone to know you are in labour and no reaon or anyone to be at the hospital until afte the baby is born, and then they should come only during visiting hours by arrangement with you and DH.

When you get home it's fine to give people times to visit and get DH to agree to usher them out after a certain time.

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