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to want to give a new mum space when she doesn't seem to want it?

(24 Posts)
WhatWouldMNDo Fri 14-Mar-14 15:46:24

Not a fred about a thread as such but the current one about new mum & IL's inspired me to ask.

SIL is pregnant with her first baby and her due date is in a couple of weeks. We live a fair distance from them and IL's, about a day's travel. MIL, with SIL's total agreement, expects DP to literally drop everything the minute SIL goes into labour (which to be fair is doable with his job) and travel so that he can see new DN at the earliest moment, and then I'd follow as soon as I could with dc's, as we'd have to fit around school.

Although I don't generally like things being demanded of us I'm fine about us having to rush there, I like SIL and am looking forward to meeting the baby. But I can't get over how intrusive this could be for SIL and, as patronising as this sounds, I really don't think SIL has any idea how much time/space she could need after the birth. MIL & SIL both LOVE being the centre of attention, which is fine if that's your thing, and I think they're both so excited by the image of having a gorgeous baby and everyone cooing over it that they can't see that SIL will have gone through a tiring, at best, and possibly traumatic birth and won't pop the baby out, have a shower and be instantly ready for a good time with family. It's feasible that she might feel like that afterwards but surely far more likely that she won't, especially as she's determined to BF, which is fab but gives her one more thing to deal with.

DP and I suggested we wait until SIL had the baby and then discuss arrangements but MIL looked like we'd suggested she shit in her hands and clap, while SIL was adamant it was fine for us to visit asap. Neither of them will take any suggestion that it'd be just as nice to visit a couple of days later (frankly the baby will be precisely the same a week after the birth and meeting it will be just as good).

DP's tempted to leave the issue and hope that SIL has the baby at a inconvenient time for us so we have to leave it a couple of days, but we both keep wondering if we're just being really insensitive by not putting our feet down and saying we'll arrange visits once SIL has been through the labour and see what she (and of course BIL) think then. I feel weird thinking about overriding SIL's wishes, seeing as she's the one who has to have the baby, but I hate the thought of causing her more stress just because she didn't anticipate it when we have.

Would you go along with what she's decided so far or override it? DP's only talking about waiting 2 days but both SIL & MIL want him to start travelling literally the second SIL goes into labour.

Trooperslane Fri 14-Mar-14 15:50:44

I think you are both lovely and very thoughtful.

And my new favourite phrase is shit in her hands and clap grin

WhatWouldMNDo Fri 14-Mar-14 15:51:59

Thankyou! And wish I could claim the phrase as mine, I love it to bits, but got it off MN grin

ballinacup Fri 14-Mar-14 15:53:16

What if it turns into a 48 hour labour?

petalunicorn Fri 14-Mar-14 15:55:37

You can always say you will go and then change plans when she's actually had it if needed? I actually think the first couple of days are easier than a week or so in, especially if you are being well looked after, and it sounds like MIL will take care of that.

Nubbin Fri 14-Mar-14 15:57:55

I'm sure form your OP that your intentions are the best for SIL - prior to having my DD I would have found it a bit patronising to be told - you will feel x. I'd be thinking - I know me and I want people around asap. - how can SIL thinks she knows what I want better than me.

I'd just nod/ smile and wait until it happens and see then.

I desp wanted people around. I was in a single room off the maternity ward/ stuck for 3 days because bf wasn't working and craved company. (And it wasn't an easy birth - induction/ forceps/ blood transfusion.)

NoodleOodle Fri 14-Mar-14 15:57:55

Just smile and nod, pleasantly but as non-committally as possible, and then make arrangements once the baby's born.

AngelaDaviesHair Fri 14-Mar-14 15:58:12

There is surely no point in setting off as soon as labour starts, when the baby could arrive 3 days later? Have they watched too much American TV, where family members pace the spacious well-appointed waiting room of the posh hospital and everyone gathers around the doctor when s/he arrives with news?

I fear the reality of the grubby corridor and tiny refreshment kiosk is going to come as a terrible shock to them both.

That said, it might be a bit mean to rain on their parade too much. I reckon your DP should tell them he'll set off once the baby has arrived, but not before.

bertiesgal Fri 14-Mar-14 16:13:31

I agree that setting off once she goes into labour is bonkers.

However, not everyone wants their own space when a new baby is born. My brother lives abroad and came home for the birth of both of my children which was so so touching. I wanted to see him a much as possible and I look back on the time just after both babies were born as really special, made even better by the fact that my brother was there and had made such an effort.

I was on a total high after my babies and wanted to share them with the world. I get that some people need time to adjust and I respect that. I also know how much my brother being here meant and how much the family dinners, walks and visits meant to me.

Although it's notable that 3 days after the birth, when I tried to leave the dinner table at midnight, I was called back as everyone was having so much fun. I think that they a had all forgotten that I'd just had a baby!

Horses for courses!

bobot Fri 14-Mar-14 16:48:22

Yes, setting off as soon as labour starts is totally bonkers. But have to say that all mine took over 48 hours to arrive, but every time I was desperate to show off my baby, and wanted friends and family round to see them asap. I got really sad when people stayed away to "give me time". Everyone's different.

sleepyhead Fri 14-Mar-14 17:14:11

Personally, the immediate post birth 48hrs for me was an adrenaline fuelled high both times, and therefore the perfect time for visitors.

Everyone's different (obv wink).

Martorana Fri 14-Mar-14 17:19:53

Well, it's a relief that there's at least one prospective mother in the world who doesn't think she's going to be completely incapacitated for six months at least, and who doesn't think that anybody else coming within five miles of the baby for the first month is a massive intrusion into the life of "the new family"!

Pigletin Fri 14-Mar-14 17:26:00

In my family visiting that soon will be the normal thing to do. In fact it will be considered rude not to visit as soon as the baby is born (distance/jobs permitting of course). I guess everyone is different. In this case, I would do as they ask, unless it puts you out massively. No need to make s decision on their behalf after they've already said tgey want you to visit as soon as posdible.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 14-Mar-14 17:34:41

I read a long way down before BIL got a mention, I wonder how he feels about his in-laws piling in so soon. Obviously it's SIL who is actually giving birth, etc etc. Maybe MIL felt she did the honourable thing by not rushing over to you and DP when your DCs arrived so now she's determined to do things differently this time.

Any chance your DP can give BIL a call and run it by him to see how he feels? Though having made your point once already and incurred MIL's displeasure (great expression btw) I think you are committed now.

Back2Basics Fri 14-Mar-14 17:41:21

You won't be allowed to bring your dc on the ward anyway so unless she has a great labour and birth with a same day discharge your worrying over nothing.

Booboostoo Fri 14-Mar-14 17:43:48

People's views on this are different - the important thing is to do what SIL wants. If at the moment she wants a visit asap, I'd go with that and be open to the idea that she may change her mind.

I think the whole thing can be quite culturally driven. I gave birth in Greece and had visitors at the hospital constantly. I was fine with it (apart from the day they started at 9am and had to be stopped at 9pm which was a bit tiring!), and it's expected of friends and relatives to show that they care by turning up before the baby gets to go home. I know a lot of people who would be insulted if their family/friends weren't there straight away.

Melonbreath Fri 14-Mar-14 17:53:49

Smile and say to SIL you'll be there as soon as she wants you. Keep the ball in her court.

WipsGlitter Fri 14-Mar-14 17:54:51

I agree if SIL wants this then as far as is practical go along with it. I don't really get the whole thing about being on your own and setting up an exclusion zone / banning visitors. I've only ever seen it talked about here, everyone I know has visitors in hospital / after the baby.

PurplePidjin Fri 14-Mar-14 18:01:11

I would plan to set off as soon as she's had the baby, although make arrangements to stay either with someone else or a nearby hotel.

FWIW, my MIL moved house the weekend I went into labour (at 38+1, I'm glad we pulled out of going to help with hindsight!) and didn't meet her newest grandson until he was 5 days old. I would have loved her to visit earlier, and she could have stayed with my (local to us) parents at their invitation. I would have been very please to see her while I was still in the hospital, thought the same both before and after labour i also managed to miss the HV visit because I'd gone for a walk, think that's a bit rare on this forum though

PurplePidjin Fri 14-Mar-14 18:02:26

Oh and my parents thought I was insane to want my very elderly grandmother to visit in hospital. IMO it was much easier than trying to get rid of her if she turned up at our house wink

msmoss Fri 14-Mar-14 18:10:15

I think whilst you have good intentions you've just been reading too much mumsnet wink

I had visitors in hospital, visitors the day I got home and on the way home with DS2 we called into see someone. All of which I was perfectly happy with.

I do agree that your DH setting off when labour starts is a bit much though purely as it could take ages.

YuccanLiederHorticulture Fri 14-Mar-14 18:20:59

you are being lovely and considerate but just right now it's best to go with what SIL wants: and if that was to give them space you'd do that but if she feels she wants to show off the lovely new baby she made then go along with that. So long as you make it clear that you completely respect her right to choose. Obviously when it's not the immediate aftermath of her having given birth everything is up for negotiation but not now. As someone said upthread, some people do actually WANT lots of visitors immediately after the birth. I'm sure that many of the threads and threads full of MNers complaining about over-intrusive relatives visiting when they aren't welcome are merely the unfortunate victims of a misunderstanding just because those relatives didn't consider that other people might feel differently to they. Don't make the opposite mistake.

littleducks Fri 14-Mar-14 18:54:51

I would have loved more visitors, I was on a high and ready to share baby with the world and then a bit bored and lonely.

WhatWouldMNDo Fri 14-Mar-14 19:42:29

Thanks for all the replies - have definitely read enough MN to be indoctrinated into the "leave them alone!" way of thinking and certainly felt that way myself, barely wanted to talk to anyone after dd, but glad to hear it's not that way for everyone.

Tbh, thinking about it, think even if SIL did feel horrific she'd still probably rather feel horrific with company than without - different strokes and all that. Will be sure not to make the opposite mistake but think the posters who say wait until it's actually delivered are right though. Luckily at the moment DP is on a contract he can arrange last minute holidays with so we can wait and see what SIL wants.

SIL is planning to give birth either in birthing unit or at home so, if all goes well, we'd all be visiting at home anyway so luckily dc/hospital issues shouldn't factor. Think they definitely have watched too much American tv, SIL was horrified when I said dd, my PFB, took 14 hours start to finish and, AFAIK, that's reasonably 'quick', so think they are expecting a bit of panting then pop and happy shiny faces all round. Not going to rain on their parade though, if it takes 2 days they'll get through it, may as well let them enjoy the blissful peace now!

BIL unfortunately has very little opinion about anything to do with the birth, think it's going completely over his head, that's why I barely mentioned him in the OP. Don't get me wrong, he's looking forward to the baby and going to help as much as possible when it's born but he's clueless about the birth/labour so he's doing whatever SIL wants (v. sensible!). MIL is being 2nd birth partner as SIL expects BIL "to be useless" (but fortunately hasn't said that to him!) so it's not going to be just the 2 of them even during the birth. He genuinely doesn't seem to mind who's doing what in terms of visiting though so I'm focusing on what SIL wants because that seems to cover both of them grin.

Think we should put the standard MN warnings to one side and go with whatever SIL wants then, now I know we're not being crassly insensitive or anything! Thanks for all the replies.

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