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Am I being unreasonable? Dad to be...please help

(1000 Posts)
simba86 Tue 11-Mar-14 20:25:44

My wife and I, married for 3 years, together for 10, in our late 20s are expecting our first child at the end of May.

My wife has never really got on with my parents, particularly my mum, and whilst they live 2 hours away we see them ever couple of months.

I am obviously very excited about becoming a dad. I love my wife more than anyone in the world and so much looking forward to having our own family. I am also looking forward to being a proud dad and introducing our baby to my parents shortly after the birth, when everything has calmed down and my wife is well enough to see not visitors, but our immediate family.

However because of the break down in the relationship between my wife and my parents, my wife does not want me to let them know if she goes into labour, so that they are not hanging around the hospital or nearby, nor does she want them to visit after the birth until she is ready, which she has indicated could be many hours after the birth, or when we go home, or even a week or so after the birth. She is so stressed out about this she has driven off tonight after writing me a letter saying she doesnt want me at the birth, nor does she want me to be her husband.

I can assure you I have been as supportive of her and her family over the past 10 years more than most people could ever imagine, and as someone who has a rare medical condition with no known cure and an uncertain future, an only child, I don't want to miss out on a special moment for me.

I dont want my parents hanging around or interfering and have made that clear to my wife, I just want to share a moment with my parents, my wife and our baby shortly after they are born when my wife ia well enough.

Surely this isn't me being unreasonable....or is it?

Please share your opinion on this

Egusta Tue 11-Mar-14 20:29:21

I get on great with my ILs and it wouldHave**Been Hell having them know when i went into labour and present soon after. Seriously.

Your wife is going to be anxious and scared and needs to know that for you, her needs and wants trump your mother's.

You also have no idea how the birth will go. How long it will be for. If there will be any complications. Just relax. Let it happen. Let your wife set the pace.


Egusta Tue 11-Mar-14 20:30:02

Oh and your 'immediate family' ARE visitors.

NitramAtTheKrap Tue 11-Mar-14 20:32:22

YABU sorry. No way would I have told anyone I was in labour having them hanging around. Ugh.

Egusta Tue 11-Mar-14 20:33:10

Oh, and FWIW we had a family member call every morning at 9 am to ask if we had had the baby yet. So when DH finally got home after a 36 hour labour, my hemorraghing and the associated crisis,he was woken up to a phone call with this person crowing 'I knew Egusta had gone into labour because you did not answer the phone for 2 days!!!'.

It is 4 years later and that still pisses me off as it feels like such an intrusion.

EyelinerQueen Tue 11-Mar-14 20:33:23

You need to put your wife first. She matters more.

She is giving birth. She is going to be going through a huge physical and emotional trauma and I don't blame her for a second for not wanting her in laws around immediately afterwards.

They're your family, not hers.

picnicbasketcase Tue 11-Mar-14 20:33:49

I'm sorry but if she feels that strongly about it, you should reassure her that you won't be telling anyone when she's in labour, you'll let your parents know after the baby is born and that nobody will visit until you're both ready to accept visitors.

AShadowStirsWithin Tue 11-Mar-14 20:35:58

When you are pregnant for the first time you are scared. Your hormones are in overdrive and you instinctively fight for what you believe will help you most. I actually growled at ex P when in labour because I needed space. This is the one time she HAS to call all the shots. Calm aids labour, stress can slow it down and make her less able to prepare for birth and cope with the pain. If she says she wants a troop of dancing monkeys at the birth you get then for her, if she says she wants to give birth hanging from the ceiling wearing only her slippers you promise you will make that happen. No matter whether you think she is being unreasonable, you agree to support her with whatever she wants because that baby is in her, and it needs to come out. The most important thing to aid that baby in coming out is that she is calm and happy and supported. It is literally that simple.

Wishfulmakeupping Tue 11-Mar-14 20:36:46

Yes yabu- please put your partner's first. She needs you to be there for her.
I told my partner quite clearly not to let anyone know when I was in labour and also made it clear that I might not be ready for visitors right away- he was totally supportive. As it was I felt able and ready for visitors the same day but this again was my decision.

missmargot Tue 11-Mar-14 20:39:00

Sorry but YABVU. You have no idea how straightforward or otherwise the labour is going to be or how your wife will be feeling physically or emotionally. She needs to know that she has all the time and space she needs to recover and bond with your baby without the pressure of any visitors.

NakedMum33and3rd Tue 11-Mar-14 20:40:42

I did not want anyone including my own parents knowing I had gone into labour. It just adds way too much pressure. I completely understand where you wife is coming from. Labour is very stressful especially if you do not know what to expect (being first baby). Even during my second pregnancy I am now worried that my parents will know I am in labour coz they will be looking after DS!
I think given what your wife is about to go through she is allowed to be unreasonable even though I don think her request is unreasonable!

shakinstevenslovechild Tue 11-Mar-14 20:40:44

I made the mistake of telling people when I went into labour with my first child.

I had a horrendus time of it and could have done with a couple of days for everything to sink in and for me to get used to my baby before the rest of the world got involved, it still upsets me now many years later that I didn't have that time.

She can't predict how she will feel afterwards so I think she is being very sensible, and it is very important you listen because this could cause huge resentment if you don't follow her wishes.

VioletGoesVintage Tue 11-Mar-14 20:41:08

Agree with the PP. I get on well with my inlaws but was still adamant I didn't want them knowing when I went into labour with my first. I knew I'd have felt "watched" in what was an intensely private experience.

I had no choice with my subsequent labours - my ILs were my child care - but I still didn't want visitors at the hospital apart from DH and older DC. And I was within my rights to do so IMO. No-one minded. ILs met DC1 after a week (I wasn't ready to see anyone before then); with the others it was the following day.

Childbirth is about two people: your baby and your DW. They are the ones going through the physical ordeal and the (often disorientating) hormonal after-effects. Your DW may want - or need - to share it with you but you have to be guided by her. Honestly. Your baby will be no less your parents' grandchild if they have to wait a few days to meet him.

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKahleesi Tue 11-Mar-14 20:41:44

I can totally see why you feel as you do, but yes YABU

Even if you weren't, the birth and surrounding time is about your wife legally as well as practically. She can indeed insist you are not there if she wishes, her being calm and stress free is so important

Parenting is (or should be) equal, birth is about the woman first and foremost

ByTheWishingWell Tue 11-Mar-14 20:42:47

What every one else has said really.

Giving birth can be terrifying and emotionally draining, as well as hugely painful (and that's assuming that everything is straight-forward). Your wife needs your support, and her wishes come before you or your parents. She's probably looking forward to sharing the moment with you and your child, in peace.

Introducing your parents to your child for the first time will be amazing whether it happens immediately after the birth or hours/days later.

Congratulations smile

LJBanana Tue 11-Mar-14 20:43:06

My mil asked I she could hold one of my legs during my first labour. I wasn't sure if she wanted the left or the right one or indeed if she was serious. The thought of it however put the fear of god into me. She became slightly mental in my opinion. It was her first grandchild and made her irrational and made me feel like she may have been waiting outside the door( with a secret listening device and perhaps a camera).
You feel vulnerable and have a pre conceived idea of how you would like the birth and labour to go. You also feel like someone may take your child from you.
With the second she rang DP's phone inseccently during the labour, I was furious that his head was crowning and that fecking phone was ringing again. I'm due no3 in a few days and DP commented last night that he 'wasn't sure why she's gone mental' again.
It is very overwhelming and in my opinion private, to be shared between you and your partner. It's precious and you will never get that time back.
Speak to your wife, listen to her. She won't want to exclude your parents from this special time. However you have clearly thought how much these moments mean to you, she will have as well.
Good luck!

sillymillyb Tue 11-Mar-14 20:43:08

I am sorry but it's another yabu from me. The last thing she needs is pressure from you to have your parents there!

When I had ds I just wanted to hibernate: everything hurt and I couldn't get my head around the fact I'd had an actual, real life baby. Then there are the demands on you physically and emotionally as you try to keep this whole other person alive and well. She needs time to get her head around these things before people descend on her. Your wishes, and those of your parents, come spectacularly low down in pecking order on this one in my opinion.

redcaryellowcar Tue 11-Mar-14 20:43:35

You are being totally unreasonable, if you can manage not to tell anyone other than the hospital that you've gone into labour i think that's best. As for visitors, if all goes well often you are discharged before you get a chance ti have visitors.
Most importantly if your wife chooses to breastfeed she will need plenty of time with just baby and you getting feeding established, its virtually impossible to know when a new baby will want to feed, so visitors should really be discouraged and certainly limited to short spells e.g ,30-60 minutes.
If i were you i would call your wife, make a humble and sincere apology and promise to listen to her concerns and fears. Of course you want to introduce your baby to your parents, but it will still be a gorgeous baby a couple of weeks in, and if it takes that long for yourn wife to feel comfortable then better that than a divorce pre birth. +

Smartiepants79 Tue 11-Mar-14 20:45:22

Welli think a bit of compromise is in order on both sides.
We had no one visit after the birth of both our daughters immediately after birth and I think it is unrealistic to promise your parents that this will happen. It was 24hrs with the first and 12/14 hours for the second and that was only my mum and daughter.
Although your wife appears to be reacting in a very dramatic fashion this is perhaps an indicator of how strong her feelings are about this at the moment.
I think it's fair that they know when the birth is imminent but after that you may need to just see how things pan out.
There is absolutely no point them hanging around the hospital. First births can take days.
I do think that you need to try to make your wife feel more supported and listened to.

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 11-Mar-14 20:45:53

With my first dc I had a straightforward birth and went home the same day. We hardly slept that night. I had been awake for most of 48 hours when FIL visited. I was trying to get to grips with breastfeeding which was difficult.

Having someone who made me feel tense and who expected to be waited on when I felt vulnerable and we were both exhausted was absolutely bloody awful. Really awful.

Listen to your wife here.

BonaDea Tue 11-Mar-14 20:46:18

I love my mother in law but didn't feel ready to see her for a good week after DS was born. It is such an overwhelmingly personal thing that Yabu not to go with what your wife wants. She will feel sensitive and vulnerable now and after the birth and having someone there she doesn't feel comfortable with - whoever is at 'fault' - would not be right.

Sorry but you can't insist on this.

simba86 Tue 11-Mar-14 20:46:29

I want to do everything I possibly can to support her before, during and after the birth.

She is quite happy to have her mum in particular see her immediately after or maybe during the birth which I completely understand and fully support if thats what she wants....but still wants to dictate when my parents see our...not just hers as she keeps

Again is this unreasonable or am I being unreasonable?

caramelwaffle Tue 11-Mar-14 20:46:35

You are being very unreasonable.

If she has had to write you a letter, I am afraid you have been taking it a little too far in insisting other people are there.

There are times in a woman's life when she - and only she - comes first.

All the extended family will have time to visit with your new baby.

puddock Tue 11-Mar-14 20:47:01

I predict a unanimous YABU. You will get to share that moment with your parents, baby, and partner - but it's your just-given-birth partner who gets to say when that moment has come. It is perfectly sensible - and more conducive to peace and calm - not to tell anyone when labour starts, just contact them once the baby has been born. If that's the way your partner wants to play it, she needs to hear from you that you 100% agree and support her in this.

EyelinerQueen Tue 11-Mar-14 20:49:29

You are still being unreasonable.

As I already said your family are not her family.

She will want her own Mum there because her mum will be able to support her and she will feel completely comfortable with her.

Why on earth would she be expected to feel that way about the parents of the man she married???

As someone said upthread, parenting is an equal job. Giving birth is all about the woman and what makes her most able to give birth comfortable and safely.

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