• Mon, Feb 3 - 11:00 am ET

I Had Zero Interest In Anyone Watching Me Pop Out A Baby

labor

Maybe I’m the big weirdo who’s in the minority here, but I wasn’t feeling any of those cheesy birthing scenes in primetime movies when I was pregnant. You know the ones I’m talking about—where multiple family members gather round in the birthing suite and watch in elated awe as a baby is brought into the world.

Subtext: All of these happy family members are looking directly at a vagina, if you’re unfamiliar with how the birthing process works. If I were the one in this scene, my vagina would be center stage. And that is where I say, “No, thank you” and make my swift exit stage right.

When I was pregnant with my first son two years ago and my due date was drawing closer, my husband and I began chatting about how family would play a role in the birth. Since pregnancy was so new to me, I felt pretty anxious about Game Day. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, and I didn’t need visitors grimacing or cheering me on. Nope, nope, nope.

I made my resistance clear to my husband, and he was cool with it. In order for my plan to work perfectly of banning all relatives from the birthing center where I was going to have my son, two things worked in my favor.

First, my in-laws are really reserved people that try their hardest never to impose on their sons. We knew that they would never be the type of in-laws to put up a fight and DEMAND that they be part of their first grandchild’s entry into the world. They were respectful of my wishes, and God bless them for it.

Second, my mom lives over four hours away, so she couldn’t just “pop in” when I was in labor. Also, when I was pregnant with my son, my mom and I were working through a lot of issues, so we weren’t as close as we are now. In spite of all this, my mom was still respectful of my space and didn’t demand to play a certain role during the birth of my son. She ended up visiting a few weeks later, which worked out well for all of us.

But there’s more to the story. Plenty of people say, “Who the eff cares who hangs out in the hospital waiting room while you’re pushing a watermelon out of your tiny lady hole? Get over yourself.”

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  • Véronique Houde

    AH HELL NO My mom made a gigantic deal about the fact that I didn’t want her to be there at the birth… But I’m like you. You have no business seeing my funny stuff. It didn’t help that my sister agreed for her to be there for her labour (she gave birth a month after me!) so my mom just doubly thought I was a bad person for not letting her be there. But at the end of the day, her presence in my sister’s room only led to them having a huge fight and my sister being resentful for a few months because of the way my mom acted. So I definitely don’t regret my decision.

    • Brittany Anne

      I had the SAME problem with my mom. I think she felt like it was her right as my mother to be there, but I was not having it. And I told her that several times over the course of my pregnancy, and my husband still spent like half my labor arguing with my mom over the phone, trying to keep her from coming to the hospital. I still get all ragey thinking about it.

    • Reba

      Do we have the same mom? My mom is all like ”when you’re in that much pain you’ll be calling for your momma” its like… no…. no i won’t.

    • Véronique Houde

      OMG yes. I think our mom has a secret double life. My mom insisted that I would need her – and texted my boyfriend while I was in labour asking if I wanted her now. And I was all like NOOOOOOOO! If she had shown up, I would totally have punched her in the face

  • guest

    I 100% did not want anyone visiting until after the baby was actually here. I just didn’t want all the extra energy of people waiting around while I gave birth. If you weren’t there when she was conceived, you don’t need to be there the moment she enters the world. We told our parents we’d let them know when we were admitted to the hospital and when the baby was born, and that we’d be ready for visitors after we got moved to our recovery room. It worked out great because we had a few hours together as a brand new family and if anybody was butthurt about it they had the good sense not to bring it up to a hormonal postpartum woman.

    • Bethany Ramos

      “If you weren’t there when she was conceived, you don’t need to be there the moment she enters the world. ”

      YES!

  • Maria Guido

    I’m with you. NO. Just, no.

  • Snarktopus

    I had planned for just my husband to be there when I gave birth, but ended up with a C-section, so that’s all that was allowed anyway. But yeah, still no. I don’t want anyone but my doctor and my husband to know what’s going on with that particular part of my body.

  • LadyClodia

    It wasn’t really an issue for us since all of our family was between a 3 1/2 hour drive and 8 hour flight away, but I wouldn’t have been comfortable having anyone but my husband there. I’m certain that none of my family would have even asked, and my husband’s mom might have if she had been closer, but thankfully it wasn’t something we had to deal with.

  • MerlePerle

    There was never any question who was going to be in the delivery room. It was going to be my and my husband, you know, the parents :) we let immediate family know when we were heading to the hospital, but nobodyneven considered visiting before the babies were there.

  • Natasha B

    First of all, let me go ahead and fall over dead with amazement and jealousy at 4 hrs of active labor with your first. I’m sure it was intense though! And bravo!
    My mom and dad were there for number one since I was single. And scared shitless. And they were awesome. My dad left the room for the whole actual pushing and anything nekkid related.
    But for 2&3, hubs only. Which I think hurt my mom’s feelings a little, but she was the first one we called and first one in after so it was ok :)
    I’ve had friends who’ve had straight up parties in their labor rooms…and I’m just like….no. I’ve been invited, and politely declined and offered to show up post birth with wine/coffee/chocolate/illegal pain meds.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Thanks! :) But who are these people…? I have friends that let family in right away to watch them breastfeed and all that jazz. NO. Besides being embarrassing, it’s supposed to be about “bonding,” right?

    • Natasha B

      Right?! Those first hours after with just baby, hubby and I are some of the sweetest memories. No one wants to see the clean up process….

    • Jean

      Not only about bonding, but what makes a female okay with men watching her breastfeed in the delivery room and seeing practically all her parts naked? Why are women that way, willing to allow any male they know come into that space and see them in a state of undress? I never could understand this practice. What is the purpose?
      Also, my question is what male friend or relative would cross his female friend or relatives’ boundaries like that? When discusssing this with my male friends and relatives, they mostly seem to think this is awkward and one said it is disrespectful to the female for men who are not the babies father, to do that and the consensus was that this kind of activity is somewhat perverted on the men’s part.
      And the female that allows this is providing a space for something not quite decent, dont you think? My male relatives said, the men who look at these naked fermales, more than likely will laugh and talk about this later on with other males.
      I do realize that any female can be as naked as she want in front of any men, but why are females willing to let men see them naked? . Men do not provide situations where they are laying up naked and in pain for women to see. Is it a lack of self esteem, dignity, or something else, on the woman’s part?

    • Natasha B

      Because not all men are perverts? I’m pretty sure my dad and brother have been around when I’ve breastfed any of my kids, and no one is fazed by it-it’s a natural human thing. Nothing sexual or gross.

    • Guest

      No, it is not gross or weird to breastfeed. It is inappropriate to do it with your breast out in front of dad and brother though.

    • OhHeyDelilah

      *head explodes*

    • TngldBlue

      Are you kidding me? So much fuckery here I don’t even know where to start. Have you given birth before? It’s the least sexual thing I can think of. Women aren’t naked as a blue jay dancing around a pole until the baby pops out of her vagina. Nor does the woman in labor gather everyone round her vagina and lead a discussion on it’s color and shape. It is quite possible (having done this before) for someone to be at a birth and have nary a glance at lady bits. I gathered two things from your comment: 1. You are the type of person that believes men only think about sex and are unable to control their sexual thoughts and impulses so women are responsible for behaving in a way that does not allow mens sexual impulses to get “out of control”. 2. You really need to find some more enlightened men to talk to.

    • Guest

      You do not know anything personal about me, but you may need to talk with someone to help you to know that women do have the right to privacy if they want it. and their boundaries. Walk down the street and ask a random female if she wants her dad in HER delivery room while she is giving birth and breastfeeding. Come back to Earth TrigidBlue.
      Every female in the world is not like you in your beleif that your father has rights to her body. Just because you allow your dad the right to see you nude, doesn’t mean that every woman wants that for herself.
      Please do not confuse vulnerable females with this notion. You are a little too enlightened. This can harm females. You are the type of woman that makes it hard for all men to get respect.

    • TngldBlue

      You are an idiot.

    • Jean

      Yes you are right, anyone who challenges your beliefs, are idiots.
      Yes, you are so intelligent and think that it is okay to call people ugly names. I’m sorry that you were raised like an uncivilized being that thinks you are to call other people names because they challenge your point of view.

  • Kay_Sue

    For my older son, I was getting ready to be a single mom. His biological father has never been involved in his life. So my mom agreed to be my birthing partner, and I loved it. For one, we were healing our relationship during my pregnancy, and so we were at a very close point. For another, my mother can comfort me like nobody’s business. Back labor? She was a fucking ace. And for a final blow, she’d been through it three times–she didn’t freak out when I thought I was dying, didn’t marginalize my emotional outbursts, and was all around awesome because she’d been there before.

    For my younger son, I asked her to be there again, but her role was much different. Really, she sat there and read most of the time, and hunted down the occasional nurse when we needed something and they weren’t responding quickly enough for her satisfaction. My husband was my birthing partner, and she let us have that moment.

    Other than that, everyone else could stay the hell out. I birthed at a hospital, so they were all in the waiting room each time (my dad, my two sisters, my best friend, and my grandmother–quite a crowd). Luckily, they were unable to hear me or I have no doubt it would have changed their perspective wildly.

    • guest

      Your mom sounds amazing!

    • Kay_Sue

      She is. I want to be just like her when I grow up. :-P

  • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

    I only know I want my husband and my husband alone front and center watching every horrific second so he never stops appreciating/worshipping me for my great sacrifice and suffering. And his promise to never leave me no matter what having a baby does to my awesome vagina :(

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hana’s Awesome Vagina: Act One

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      Obv tmi time: It is awesome though. I guess. Kind of. I’m like a virgin every time! Yay! For my husband. Not so yay for me. But I will miss it after it is destroyed, nonetheless :’(

    • Jen

      It won’t necessarily be destroyed. You’ll possibly get stitches though. I had a resident attending my birth and the doctor gave him a play-by-play of all the damage. I wish I could have unheard it! Did you know you can tear through your urethra during birth? Yeah. Neither did I until it happened.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I downvote that downvote on Hana. #howdareyou

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      ;_;

    • Bethany Ramos
    • Tinyfaeri

      Chances are very, very good that it will not be destroyed, and after a bit of time will be just as awesome as it ever was. Perhaps even awesomer.

    • guest

      I discovered you can get your husband to agree to anything in the moments after he sees you giving birth for the first time. That is exactly how I ended up never having to clean the cat litter boxes again.

  • TngldBlue

    I guess I’m in the minority! My husband and both my parents were in the room when I had the kidlet. There were strict above the shoulder rules enforced for my parents the entire time. My brother and I were born back when the father wasn’t allowed in the delivery room so my dad was so excited to see his first granddaughter born, that is only the second time in my life I’ve seen him cry. And my mom is my anchor, no way was I doing it without her. The only time I regretted it is when my dad & husband laughed at me because my epidural monitor was beeping to signal the end of the medication and I freaked the hell out. I wanted to punch them both. I’m still planning my revenge for that.

    • Jean

      Why did you need your dad in there? Why could he not wait until the baby was cleaned up and your vagina covered. I really do not get it when some of you women say that you owe it to your dad to see their vagina stretched and bloody while your own baby is popped out. Really?
      A woman does not owe that kind of action to her dad. She may just want him in there, but a woman never owes anything like that to her dad. Think your dad would allow you to watch his medical treatment done to his genitals?

    • DatNanny

      What in the heck is the big deal? She was happy, her dad was happy, it’s none of your business, frankly. Why the flip should it matter if he sees her vagina in its role of squeezing a baby out? Nowhere did she say she ‘owed’ it to her dad, but that he was excited to be there. It’s the birth of his grandchild.

      I really can’t follow your logic. He’s a man, so can’t experience his own children giving birth? Only the mother can do that? Why? Should doctors who deliver babies only be female because god forbid a man come across a vagina in a completely nonsexual context?

    • Guest

      To you DatNanny,
      You have a problem. What the heck is the big deal for a woman like me to say that a man should not see his daughter’s vagina. You ranted like a crazy man. Yes, and I will say it again, because it is true that a man has no business being in the room watching his daughter give birth. You are sick! You are the one in the minority. You CANNOT get mad because women do not want their dads to see their vaginas. What the heck was he in there for anyway? What is the purpose of a dad bursting up in that room?
      You sound like a man ho thinks that men have the right to go anywhere and see anything they want
      Again a man should not see his daughters give birth. And for your information, dads do not need to be doing that. You cannot get mad because men always try overstep their boundaries, especially with their female daughters, and someone calls you all out on this. You are the one who is wrong. Go lick your wounds.
      Lay on a table and let the doctors operate on your genitals, while they are bleeding out while you poop and are in pain and invite your mother and your daughters in the room and see how it would feel if you were the one naked and in pain. You must be an evil man, to get mad becasue a woman says a man cannot see his daughter give birth. Who does that anyway, unless he is weird or perverted or sick!! 4-17-14

    • TngldBlue

      Simmer down now. I don’t see the word owe anywhere in my comment. My dad has been married for 40 years & helped raise a girl-he knows where babies come from. Thankfully you don’t have to “get” it, it wasn’t your birth.

    • Alexandra

      HUGE difference between a surgery men would have on their genitals and the birth of a baby. I’m sure she’s not planning to have her dad in for a hemorrhoid removal or hysterectomy. This is a big HUGE difference.

    • Guest

      Alexandra, that does not make sense. You need to read your comments to you relatives and friends and see how foolish you sound, defending a man’s right to privacy and attacking a woman’s right to privacy.
      Just because a man does not give birth with his penis, still doesn’t mean my point cannot be made. I will say it again. Let the man lay on a table with his bloody penis and testicles, being poked and prodded while he is naked and the doctors are examining him, and his mother and sisters and daughters are in the room and making jokes everytime the machines make a noise. Let him be in pain, while his relatives are standing there.
      Alexandra, you can act dumb or may be you really are a little lacking, but anyway you know what I mean. I mean that the men who run into a woman’s delivery room would not allow the female relatives and friends to run up into his room. Doctors would not allow it either. Posters like you show, show an intolerance for women’s privacy and peace, and comfort and show an evil, cold, compassionate attitude. This is some of the reason men are so disrespectful to us women as it is, because we have females who have messed up notions about what we should allow men do to in our female spaces and with our bodies. By your comment, you show that do not have sense enough to support you own gender and seem to have a very low self esteem. Stop defending men, they sure as heck would not attack each other for YOU. Get some sense.
      If you don’t think that a woman should have modesty and privacy from her dad, something is wrong with you. It is inappropriate for men to see their daughters naked, no matter if she is giving birth, taking a bathing, walking in the snow, or whatever. 4-17-14

    • blh

      I’m with you. There’s no way in hell I would ever let my dad in the room for that and thankfully he would never even want to be. I’d never let any male relative or in laws in. My mom and hrandma were there and that was awkward enough.

  • thisshortenough

    I think if I’m ever giving birth I’d want only my partner to be in with me. If he’s not around I’d want my granny since she was there when I was born and she’s raised me since I was thirteen. If she’s not available my aunty that I’m closest too. Maybe a friend. I just could not see having bunch of people gathered around my vagina staring as it forms into a gaping maw from which a baby will come from

  • Unforgettable

    I still wish my sex ed teacher in 7th grade warned us at the surprise ending in that video

    http://static.slickdealscdn.com/images/smilies2/blink.gif

  • AP

    I don’t see any reason as to why people want to watch a birth. It’s a medical procedure! People don’t gather around to watch appendectomies or wisdom tooth extractions, why should they gather ’round to watch a birth?

    I do have to say, though, that I would bend said rule if I felt that someone other than my husband would serve as a better “patient advocate” than he would if there was a dicey situation. Because when you’re in medical duress, you really need someone who’s on the ball to advocate for you when the medical staff is being less than attentive to your issues. It happens- they’re busy, or they just don’t care, or they’re not good at their jobs- and your life is on the line.

    • DatNanny

      Baby is a heck of a lot cuter/more fun to take home than an inflamed appendix, in my experience. And a bit more of a joyful occasion. ;)

      It’s a good point you make about having somehow to advocate for you, that is probably part of why I’m much cooler with my family being around the delivery room – quite a few strong people with medical training amongst them.

  • Nat

    When my daughter was born it was just my husband and my best friend in the room. And my friend tried to leave but I wouldn’t let go of his hand. (Having two men in the room really confused the nurses, they kept forgetting which one was dad. Especially after my husband took off his wedding ring so I wouldn’t crush it into his fingers.) However, my best friend was nowhere near my girly bits. He stayed by my head the whole time. And my husband didn’t care that he was there.

    Once she was cleaned up and I was cleaned up, then everyone else was allowed in to ooh and aah over her. Then they all left when it was time to try feeding her. Which is the only time anyone has ever left at her mealtimes since then. I got over being shy very fast.

  • Ife

    Hell, my In laws and parents got together and waited at my in-laws’ house for both of my labors, and it still sort of bothered me. I couldn’t really say anything since they can sit around in whoever’s house they damn well pleased, but knowing they were there, waiting for our call like they could descend on the hospital like a bunch of picture taking locusts sort of irritated me. It was just more pressure I didn’t need.

    This time around I’m trying to find a way to not alert them until baby is here and I’m ready for visitors. So, like, 3 days after the birth? I wonder what my odds are there?

    • Jen

      We didn’t even call anyone when we went to the hospital. I waited until after the baby was born because I didn’t want people bugging me while I was trying to push the kid out. It may have been selfish but it was the best option for us – I didn’t feel stressed and family members weren’t sitting around bitting their nails, waiting to hear about the baby’s arrival. It did hurt some people’s feelings, but they got over it.

    • The Kez

      Us too, my husband made an early morning phone call to say “guess what, you’ve got a grand baby!” They all coped.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Can’t you at least say “it happened so fast” to buy yourself a day? :)

    • Ife

      I totally would go that route, but I have a feeling that the in-laws will be our best option to watch our girls while I’m in labor. So I’m guessing the cat will be out of the bag at that point. But I guess they don’t have to know how long my labor lasts, so…

  • arbasta

    Women are the head of the family .. Thank you for the wonderful topic

    دردشة عراقنا

    شات عراقنا

    منتديات عراقنا

    دردشة العراق

    شات العراق

  • Nica

    I wanted my husband, my doc/midwife and a nurse in the room when I delivered and that’s exactly what happened – both times. I did not want a circus. I didn’t want throngs of people in the waiting room anxiously awaiting the birth. I basically wanted NO PRESSURE and just the “key players” there. If things went perfectly, I could call/text to my hearts content. If things went south (unfortunately always a possibility), I wouldn’t have to deal with that right then and there.
    My family totally understood. My sis, having just had a child herself, wanted NO part of my birth. Too many fresh memories! LOL! My mom was also like “Ummm, BTDT. Tell me when the baby arrives and what help you need from me.” My MIL, however, was a bit hurt and disappointed with my decision. Never having had a daughter herself, she really wanted to be part of this experience. I felt for her a small bu=it, but not enough to change my mind. To that end, we called our IL’s AFTER our first son was born to avoid any surprise visits. It all ended up OK and everyone was happy. They moved out of the area by the time my 2nd son was born so it wasn’t an issue.
    I LOVED both my births – they were calm, intimate, wonderful events both times. If I had a third, I would do things exactly the same way.

  • EX

    My mom was there with my husband for #1. I had originally planned to kick her out for the actual delivery (which she knew but wasn’t too happy about) but I caved at the end and let her stay. Frankly there were like 4 other people in the room and I couldn’t even tell you their names (I knew my doctor’s name but not the nurses) so it seemed a little unfair to kick her out when these strangers got to stay. All in all I’m glad she was there. But I am also glad that when #2 comes she will be watching #1 so it will just be the husband and me.

  • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

    My parents both said they didn’t want to be there – my dad said he’d already seen it first-hand with my sister and I (and my mom’s stillborn), and didn’t need to go through it again. My mom said that when I was in labour should absolutely be the time where my husband and I lean on one another for support if needed; family friends of ours had a kid and both moms were present, and when things got scary, the ‘kids’ leaned on their moms, not one another.

    I had no interest in having my in-laws present; they didn’t create my lady bits, I didn’t want them seeing anything come out of them.

    I had actually told the husband we weren’t going to let anyone know we were at the hospital, but I did end up calling my mom once we were admitted. She called later that day to check progress, nothing more — and then we called after the kidlet was out (c-section at 4 a.m.; I didn’t hold her until nearly 7, so it wasn’t like I was making phone calls).

    I never understood peoples’ desires to wait in the waiting room. I was in labour for 26 hours before we made the call to cut. That’s a lifetime for someone to hang out, especially if they’re just there for the announcement, not the in-room support. Frig, wait at home weirdos.

    (My BIL showed up on our doorstep the day after we got home from the hospital; I’m still somewhat resentful. My in-laws came up the week after, which was still a bit sooner than I would’ve liked, but worked out fine. My family’s local, so they got to visit in hospital and then later at home, but never stayed very long.)

  • G.E. Phillips

    I was in labor for so long that I had all sorts of visitors. My baby daddy and my BFF were there the whole time, and my mother came on the second day. When we finally decided to go with the c-section, we had enough time to let people know what was about to go down. So when I got out of surgery and was wheeled back into the room holding my baby, there was like a small party going on. It was kinda cool. Of course, if I had been vag-out to the world trying to push out Face and his enormous head, I doubt I would have been quite as amenable to having 20 people hanging around.

  • pineapplegrasss

    ditto. I too said nobody until after the delivery.

  • Joy

    My MIL has mentioned multiple times that she would like to be in the delivery room and how much of a help she thinks she would be. After I told her nicely the first time it would be just me and hubby on game day and she persisted in bringing it up again (more than once) I just decided that she will not be getting a call that I’m in labor, only that-Surprise! She is a grandma. Play by my rules or don’t get invited until it’s over, lady. I told my mother and she was horrified that MIL would try to insert herself into such a private moment and ensured me she and my dad would be more than happy to wait in the hospital waiting room where they belong, thank you very much.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Agreed! I would say that you could also use your MIL story to put your parents off the idea if they wanted to be in the delivery room too ha ha. By explaining how overbearing your MIL was, your mom could take the hint, if she was considering the same thing. ;)

    • Joy

      My parents are pretty touchy about nudity, privacy, etc. During that conversation my mom said “if for some reason you wanted me to be there and hold your hand, I would do it, but I would secretly think it was strange if you wanted someone besides your husband present.” Maybe we are all a bunch of overly prudish WASPs but she legitimately had no desire to be there. Even my husband will be getting the PG-rated version of child birth staying up by my head. I don’t want any mirrors around that area either. Some things I think you can’t un-see and I’d rather neither if us have that mental image hanging around forever. :)

  • AnotherMel

    With my first son, we didn’t even call and tell family I was in labour. We told everyone after he was born. I was worried my IL’s would show up while I was still delivering. My MIL doesn’t seem to understand boundaries very well.

    This time, it’s looking like it will be a C on Friday (unless I go into labour before then) and because it’s going to be a C, I’ll have my husband and my step-mother there. My step-mother and I were going through a rough time during my first child’s birth but I really would like her in the room during the surgery – at my head though. (FYI – my mother died when I was young and my SM has been in my life for 20+ years). My husband is thankfully ok with that. If it was going to be vaginal though, I would just want my husband.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Good luck!!

    • AnotherMel

      Thanks! Hopefully I make it to Friday. :)

  • ted3553

    my dad had a doctor’s appointment at the same hospital I delivered in about 2 hrs after I went into labor. I had hard contractions without stopping when they started pitocin so until I had my epidural, I was just concentrating on trying to breathe before the next wave hit. Because my parents were already at the hospital they came upstairs to just see how I was doing. My sister (who was hungover but drove 1.5 hours to hang out because my husband was working in camp-props to my sister) went out and told them basically that they didn’t want to see what was going on so they left. I can only imagine if my Dad who won’t even tell an off-color joke if ladies are present, saw me sitting in the shower in my bra nodding my head back and forth trying to relieve the pain. He may actually have passed out right there-let alone seeing a baby come out of my hoo ha. there was never any discussion about this in my family thank goodness.

  • LiteBrite

    Besides whatever medical personnel were necessary, I only wanted my husband in the room with me. When my MIL found out about the process (I had a scheduled C-section), she exclaimed, “Oh, I could be there too then!” My response wasn’t even a half-hearted “Sure, but” or even a “I’ll think about it”; it was a flat out “NO.” I also gently passed around the knowledge that we would prefer people wait until the following day to come visit. I love my family and friends, but I wanted time to process the birth with my husband without a ton of people in our space.

    • OhHeyDelilah

      I hear you. We’re about to have our first (only a few weeks to go) and I can’t really imagine wanting to see anyone for a couple of days afterwards – I suspect the emotional impact of actually having our baby arrive, coupled with the shock being experienced by my ladyparts and the stress of trying to get the hang of breastfeeding will be enough to cope with without having to make polite chit chat with friends and family.

  • Larkin

    Seriously, there’s no way in hell that I want anyone other than my husband (and, y’know, the doctor/midwife/nurse) in the room when I push out a baby. No way no how. They can visit when it’s over and the baby’s out, thanks.

  • Jules

    Kind of OT but this is the only birth related article I see on here: are you guys going to cover the clusterfuck surrounding the release of Midwife Alliance of North America’s data? Apparently a lot of people are freaking out because they show that homebirth has something like 4x the death rate of comparable hospital births.

  • Kati

    My mom showed up to the hospital in the middle of transition. She took one look at my body contorting in pain and exclaimed, “Ohhhhh, my baby!” I had been focusing pretty well until then as my calm husband helped me breathe through the pain. I started crying and hyperventilating as soon as she said that. I just wanted to be done with this giving birth shit and go home. I completely fell apart. My husband shot her a dirty look while he and the nurse started to use their stern voices with me to stop me from continuing my freak-out. I calmed down long enough to tell her, “Get out. Seriously, I love you but you can’t be here.” Have the people there who make you strong. Screw everything else.

  • ewitatutie

    My mom said, “You… You don’t want me in there, do you?” and was SO RELIEVED when I said “Hell NO!”

  • Tara

    I couldn’t agree with you more! With my first my mil kept dropping hints about how low key she would be in the delivery room, and just sit there quietly. Um. No. I really don’t get why you would want to watch someone give birth, honestly. I asked my mom if she expected me to have her there and she was like “Hell no!”. My husband is in the military, and and my back up plan for if he missed a birth is always just hiring a doula.

  • Paul White

    Man. Who the hell WANTS to watch someone else give birth? I stayed with my wife during labor because I value my marriage (and my life) but it wasn’t exactly something I’d want to repeat with anyone else.

  • AnastasiaMcNally

    My MIL made a comment to my partner about being “so sad” she would miss the birth because she’d be in England. Sorry lady, you’d have missed the birth even if you weren’t on holidays! My mum, however, was there for the first 16 hours of labour until they took me down to the theatre, so she didn’t witness the birth but I definitely wanted her there! I am a mummy’s girl though…

  • Sam Inoue

    I didn’t have much choice with my first, I went into labor unexpectedly and ending up giving birth un an ambulance. The second my mil wanted to be there, but said no. She didn’t think I should have my husband there, and yeah that wasn’t gonna happen!

  • Jallun-Keatres

    I was the opposite. I WANTED my parents and sister there. In fact, I really want to post an article about how I let my handicapped sister view the birth of MK. My dad said watching her face go from confusion to awe was amazing!

    • Bethany Ramos

      That is SO sweet, and I would love to read! You really should submit to Eve. :)

    • Jallun-Keatres

      How do I do that? It’s kind of an anon mom story but it’s not shameful or anything lol

    • Bethany Ramos

      You can do anon if you want or submit as yourself to eveevevawter@gmail.com! :)

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    If my mom were alive, I’d have wanted her there, along with my husband. But I grew up seeing her naked all the time. She was so open about the natural state of the human body, and she was emotionally supportive.
    However, this desire is based on a memory of her and feelings associated with loss and have no bearing on any other woman’s needs regarding her own labour. Whatever you think would freak you out or inhibit you is best avoided during a birth.

  • Tinyfaeri

    My parents and in-laws waited while I gave birth, but the birth center I went to had a waiting room with kitchen right by a living room (that can double as a birth room if they’re over-crowded, but they weren’t that day) that was down the hall from the room we were in, and I was only there for 3 hours before my daughter was born so by the time they all got there they only waited a couple of hours. The only people in the room with me during transition and pushing were my husband, midwife and a nurse. I say whatever makes you comfortable.

  • Jenna Nieves

    I had my husband, mother, younger sister and mother-in-law in the room with me for the birth of number one. No regrets. I am due in 2 weeks and I will probably just have my mom and husband as it’s a different hospital. My mom is the perfect mix of supportive and comforting. She is also a RN so she knows proper hospital and birthing room etiquette. I guess is everything is going smoothly. ..I just don’t care who is watching as long as they keep their thoughts to themselves.

  • justhypatia

    At no point did I ever consider having any family besides my spouse in the delivery room and no one ever expressed to me that they found that odd.

    Now holding them all at bay after we announced that the new addition had arrived was something else completely, but a late night emergency c-section and restrictive visiting hours assured we got some time to recuperate before family descended.

  • Jane Doh

    I felt the same way about giving birth. It seems like the most personal thing in the world, with all the yelling, and vagina, and blood. Happily, my family wanted to be in there as little as I wanted them there. They came to my house when we got released from the hospital, which was perfect.

    It’s customary to receive visitors at the hospital and all, but thst whole time seems really personal with all the post-childbirth grossness, and trying to figure out breastfeeding, and bonding. I was happy to have that time as a new little family cocoon.

  • DatNanny

    I’m so strange. I’m a an extremely shy and modest person. I won’t even change clothes in front of female relatives or friends. Yet I know when I give birth, my big, loud family will be crowding in to be birth room spectators – my mom, my aunts, all the women who I’ve grown up with as aunts, cousins — my delivery room might as well have a revolving door. Meh. I don’t imagine in this situation I’ll care. I think I’ll be happy to have women who have supported me my whole life around me. Or won’t notice them past the human being waltzing out of my fanjo. I care more about partner – I’ve told him he’s to stay firmly behind me — he’s the only one that will in fact have any reason to consider my vagina beyond that delivery room. His mom might bother me, except she’s an RN. Don’t think I have to worry about her being haunted by anything she might see.

    Come one, come all, see the amazing DatNanny perform the extraordinary feat of making an entire new person appear out of no more than a mere set of everyday ladyparts!

    • Bethany Ramos

      Haha well FWIW, you do lose all modesty in labor, so maybe having a crowd won’t matter to you at all!

  • Gangle

    I feel you! The only family who will be in the room with me will be my husband. Everyone else can stay at home. Maybe my family is weird, because for us it is standard practise to wait until the husband/partner gives the call to say it is ok to come visit them at the hospital, to give the new little family some space to bond together, and to give the mother some time to rest and maybe get cleaned up and maybe brush her hair and have something to eat.

  • Jayamama

    Totally agree. I barely wanted the midwives there, but since I had two home births, they were pretty necessary. We called my mom and my in-laws over once I was in bed and everything was cleaned up, which took a few hours, but they were chomping at the bit by that point. I barely wanted visitors then, but I knew they wanted to meet the baby. Having them in the next room or even in the same room watching? Yikes. No thank you.

  • Melissa

    Agree 100%! The only “birth plan” I wrote up was instructions that my husband would be the only family member allowed in the delivery room. Turned out my labor was so fast we didn’t have to worry about it, and my parents couldn’t even make it to the hospital to sit in the waiting room before the whole shebang was over. They visited the next day and it was perfect.

  • Catherine

    I feel the same way. For me, I need to concentrate during birth and to focus on the task at hand. I’m the type of person that is always wondering if everyone else is okay — and there’s no room for that in labour! I’m happy with the midwives and my husband. I would actually love a little time for myself after the birth too. First time around I have visitors right away, before I even had a chance to try nursing. That really worked against me. Second time, I nursed and cuddled first and didn’t see people until quite a lot later. This time, third birth, I am hoping to be alone with baby to get going with nursing for a while before I see others. The midwives are a great resource for helping to protect private time/space.

  • Julie

    I only wanted my daughter’s dad there and everyone else in the waiting room who wanted to be there. I was in the hospital for a week before I had her and my mom was visiting me the night they induced me when she decided to go home and get some rest. Twenty minutes later my labor started and was super intense with very little pain management options, being on bed rest. ALL I wanted was my mommy and made my daughter’s dad call her about seven times in the ten minutes it took her to get there. I don’t think I want her there for my next delivery but if I do we live an hour apart now so it will be a VERY long wait if I need her at the last minute

  • Alexandra

    I’m having a C-section (twins breech) and my entire inlaw family wants to be at the hospital. Now this is major surgery! They’re not going to be able to touch or otherwise interact with the babies before I do, which won’t be until several hours, maybe, after the birth. We already know the sexes. So what exactly do they want to be there for? I am 100% not comfortable with this, but I’m just going to go with it, as long as no one goes anywhere near my babies before I do (instructions being left with husband and hospital staff) I’ll let them be the bad guys. If I had said “I don’t want you people in the hospital!” then I would have been the bitch. This way, it’s “oh sorry, the patient is resting with the babies, visiting hours are 3-5″, and I’m not the bad guy!

  • angelina ♥

    When I was a kid, family always gathered for a birth. While expecting my first, I was dreading telling my mom that I didn’t want her in the delivery room, let alone grandma, aunts, etc. I didn’t want Anybody in the room, although I debated on having baby daddy there (not for myself, it was intended for him–If he wanted to be there for the birth of his child). Basically I just wanted to go have my baby alone, in a closet, in a laundry basket full of clean old towels, like a cat or something. As it turned out, I ended up having an emergency C-section and although my mom and little brother drove me to the hospital and waited with me in the ER (daddy was out of town and frantically driving back while mom & bro updated him by phone), nobody was in the delivery room and I was under general anesthesia. I heard later how much of my family had gathered in the waiting room, but I only allowed my mom & brother into my post-op room. I figured I’d gone through enough that I was kind of exempt from social niceties or worrying about hurt feelings, for the time being.
    We’re now expecting a girl, due in April. My mom is no longer with us so I don’t have to worry about telling her I don’t want her in the delivery room, or, Worse, allow her to be for sake of keeping the peace. My MIL however, lives 9 hours away but asks for constant updates and as this one is expected to be a C-section as well, wants to know When so she can be here. She and I are not so close that I think she’ll want to witness the procedure…she’ll just be around to help with our 5 year old, lend support and help out at home.
    If given the choice, I’d sneak off to some closet to have this one, too.

  • val97

    For my first, everyone was there. I was a 23 year old who acted 16. I was scared shitless. My mom and boyfriend took turns by my side while I cried. My sister’s boyfriend came in at some point to say hi. I didn’t even have an epidural, so I doubt I answered anybody coherently. But the craziest thing is that when I was getting ready to push, my other sister, who was 14 years old at the time, came in with a basket of candy and passed it out to everyone, including the nurses. At that point, I yelled for everyone to leave except my boyfriend.

    • Bethany Ramos

      My sister had her daughter at 19, and I was 22. I had no clue what was happening, and I sprayed perfume on myself in the room while she was in early labor. She bitched me out, and I left. I TOTALLY understand her now. :)

  • Reba

    I’m pregnant and to be honest I’d rather not even have baby daddy in there, but I know he needs to see the miracle of life and all that, I’d never deprive him of that. but ohhh god how I do not want to see any family members until at least a full day after, though I’m sure I’ll be forced to see them when they’re all knocking down the door.

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