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MIL has invited herself to my home birth.

(121 Posts)
loolah83 Mon 20-Jul-15 06:30:55

I love my mother in law, she is really sweet, caring and has one of those beautiful, old hippy souls. Which is great....most of the time. DH affectionately jokes that she puts the 'mother' in 'smother', he's her only child and she's always been a bit Norma Bates about him.

Anyway, matter at hand...I'm due in 4 weeks and planning a relaxed home water birth (assuming no complications arise) and don't really think a crowd of (however well-meaning) observers being around is conducive with that. She has made little remarks like "Oh, I'll be downstairs making tea" etc...I thought she was joking until a few weeks ago when I mentioned that, as I'm having a birth pool, I'll be downstairs in the dining room labouring and she said "Oh, where will I be then?" and all I could say was "We'll work that out closer to the time."

I am torn between (a) us not telling her I'm in labour til the pushing stage/baby is born (b) growing a pair and telling her we just want it to be us and midwives (c) just letting her be there even though its not what we want.

My own sister thinks I am BU for not wanting MIL (or indeed her) there!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 20-Jul-15 06:34:53

Well, my first thought is YABU for not clarifying that she isnt invited when she asked "where will I be then?". I mean she literally asked you to tell her where she should be.

She no doubt is of the opinion you are OK with this as youve not indicated otherwise. Call her and just say something like "Hi Mil, ive had a bit of a think and Id like it to just be me, DH and the MW at home for the birth. We will call you once the baby is here and we are all settled for you to pop round to meet them"

She probably thinks shes being helpful.

loolah83 Mon 20-Jul-15 06:37:40

You're 100% right, ThinkIveBeenHacked I know I should have clarified straight away but I was just a bit shocked!

LadyintheRadiator Mon 20-Jul-15 06:38:07

Go with a, definitely. You are not being unreasonable! Good luck smile

DoreenLethal Mon 20-Jul-15 06:40:59

"Oh, where will I be then?"

At your house or a friend's, or at the shops, or out going for a walk. As it is just me, husband and the midwife during the birth.

loolah83 Mon 20-Jul-15 06:41:23

She will do major sadface if I actually tell her we don't want her there...she does take things like this as deliberate emotional rejections.

BlackBettyBamALam Mon 20-Jul-15 06:45:34

YANBU for not wanting anyone else there. I had a home birth and wouldn't have wanted anyone other than DH and the midwives seeing me in a state wink

Good luck with the birth, hope everything goes wellflowers

hesterton Mon 20-Jul-15 06:45:39

Well that's her problem. As a MIL and grandparent I am aghast at the sheer front of these women who think they have a right to butt in on their daughter's or daughter-in-law's labours. It's a deeply personal and private thing to which no one should assume an invitation. You're not a exhibition piece of installation art!

BlackBettyBamALam Mon 20-Jul-15 06:47:08

You don't have to tell her when labour starts wink

petalsandstars Mon 20-Jul-15 06:47:30

Ugh. I hate the petulant behaviour from adults. Tell her straight asap that she won't be there.

cailindana Mon 20-Jul-15 06:49:04

Let her take it as a rejection. She knows it's not. The sad face is manipulation.

Springcleanish Mon 20-Jul-15 06:49:06

you need to just tell her! She'll get over it the second she gets her first cuddle with her grandchild.

loolah83 Mon 20-Jul-15 06:50:34

Thanks folks smile Some very good advice and support here!

merrymouse Mon 20-Jul-15 06:57:55

Just be honest. Labour is very personal and is very definitely an occasion when you shouldn't feel obligated to anyone.

As a mother she should understand this, but even if she is disappointed, that is just the way things are.

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Mon 20-Jul-15 07:01:07

Yep mother and mil here and this is simply unacceptable manipulation to the point of bullying.

Yes birth is amazing and wonderful blah blah BT to also involves you exposing very intimate parts of your body. Why the actual fuck would another adult assume that they should be allowed to see this unless specifically asked?

Do it today. She's had her birth story hasn't she and now it's your turn. Tell her you are only having dh and a midwife for the birth and you will call her afterwards.

If she chooses to make someone else's labour all about her then she can sulk away. Just tell her and make sure your dh understands too.

Mehitabel6 Mon 20-Jul-15 07:03:24

There is no problem. Smile, nod, ignore. Don't tell her when you go into labour but get DH to phone her afterwards.
If you do feel the need to make it clear beforehand then just tell her pleasantly that it is a private occasion for just you and your DH.

(I never understand why people want mothers or MIL there- or why they should even suggest it)

Fluffyears Mon 20-Jul-15 07:06:00

Birth is not a spectator sport, no one has the right to see your vagina unless they are the man you are shagging, a waxing beauty therapist grin or a trained medical professional unless you specifically want them to. Don't tell her when you are in labour, call her afterwards once you are ready. Good luck.

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Mon 20-Jul-15 07:07:42

I can totally understand a labouring woman asking a mother or mil or anyone they trust to be at a labour and birth for support etc but the whole point is it's the woman's choice. No one should be assuming or inviting themselves to anything anyway let alone an extremely intimate and private process like giving birth.

redshoeblueshoe Mon 20-Jul-15 07:07:52

Get your DH to inform his mother that there seems to be a misunderstanding, and that this is not a family party.

ollieplimsoles Mon 20-Jul-15 07:12:40

Ugh, we have planned a home birth in an attempt to keep mil away! I shudder to think of her hanging around,

This is your birth op, you need to start laying it on the line now or she may have expectations about how much time she spends with the baby too. Remember- she is the one being unreasonable, if she acts childishly over this, she only has herself to blame.

You need to tell her its just you, dh and midwife.

We are not telling anyone I'm in labour.

ftmsoon Mon 20-Jul-15 07:13:15

I think you need to be very clear beforehand that she is not invited to lay down boundaries now. Just not telling her will mean she probably won't be at the birth, but it won't mean she understands that this is your baby and you & DH are making the decisions for and about him/her.

SweetAndFullOfGrace Mon 20-Jul-15 07:13:20

This is such a personal choice, proximity of family around your birth.

The main thing is it is YOUR choice. Being uncomfortable will affect your labour so it's not a minor thing.

If she takes a refusal personally that's her problem (and she's being disingenuous, obviously labour is all about you!)

ftmsoon Mon 20-Jul-15 07:15:12

Xpost with ollie , but definitely this goes deeper than just the birth.

midnightvelvetPart2 Mon 20-Jul-15 07:16:03

Perhaps she doesn't want to see the birth, maybe she is meaning to be there for your DH if he needs her (which is odd but going from your OP I wouldn't dismiss out of hand). She's made it clear that she doesn't want to be in the birthing room but is thinking of a backstage job, such as making the tea & doing any practical stuff which may take your DH away from you whilst you labour. She's not expecting to be at the business end at all.

However its your birth & if she is a gentle hippy soul then she should understand that. Explain gently that you believe a birth is for the parents only & that DH will phone her with the news.

Moomintroll85 Mon 20-Jul-15 07:25:19

Who the hell invites themselves to their DIL's birth? confused

C is not an option. I think you should go with B and it's not a matter of saying you want it to just be midwives/DH but that it will be just midwives/DH, end of story.

All the best for the birth of your baby Op.

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