My Mom & Mother-in-Law Were in the Delivery Room With Me -- Big Mistake

Mom Moment 162

The birth of my first child was an absolute party. Basically, I invited everyone I knew to join us in the delivery room -- and bring a friend or "plus one," if they felt so inclined. Originally, I pictured all the women I loved to get together, bring their wit and experience and knowledge, and help me get through the scary process of actually delivering a baby from my body -- and then maybe they'd pour me a glass of bubbly afterward. So yeah, I thought birth should be a scene from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I don't even think I wanted my husband there because he doesn't have a vagina and, therefore, what could he offer? 

And then the day came. And my mother and mother-in-law and husband were all there to offer support and encouragement. And I will never, ever have that many people present in the delivery room ever again. 

More From The Stir: 4 Ways to Keep Your Mother-in-Law Out of the Delivery Room

Let me first say that my mom and mother-in-law are the best people on earth. They are women with strong personalities who always offer outstanding advice and would give their limbs to help us. So it makes sense that I would ask them to be there in the delivery room because, honestly, I was terrified and thought the more, the merrier

And it started off okay. Both moms jumped if I so much as suggested something on me hurt -- an IV needle or whatnot. I can be passive, but these female warriors had three nurses in my room in under five seconds if I felt any discomfort. It was even a bit embarrassing. 

But I was in labor for 18 hours. You'd be surprised at what you can learn about others after spending 18 straight hours in their company. My mother, who is normally a rock, began to unravel when I experienced the first of several horrifyingly painful contractions. I wanted her to tell me it was totally normal -- that it was all part of childbirth. But she was looking at me with her own mom eyes and she couldn't mask her concern in order to make me feel better. 

Lesson number one: moms and mother-in-laws aren't objective observers of the birth of your baby. They are deeply invested in it and can easily freak out. It is beyond unreasonable to expect more.

Lesson number two: if you ask others to join you in the birthing room, you are unwittingly asking them to help you. Part of helping you includes allowing them to do things that they think might help soothe you. In my case with my mom, she is Catholic and a true believer. I am agnostic and my husband is an atheist. When she taped a photo of Jesus on the wall in front of me and told me to breathe and focus on it in order to feel better, I nearly flipped out. But is labor the time and place to get into a deep discussion with mom about not pressing her beliefs on others? Uh, no way. So I let that one slide. But I didn't forget it. 

Lesson number three: you may want to spend a lot of private time just snuggling your new baby after his or her arrival. That isn't going to happen when several others are present in the room. 

All in all, having others in the labor room was an interesting experience for us and not all bad. How many grandmothers get to say they saw their grandchild the second she was born? Pretty cool. But with that said, when we have our second baby in March, we're planning on flying solo in the delivery room this time. 

Have you or would you invite others to help you in the delivery room?


Image via George Ruiz/Flickr

3rd trimester, baby prep, birth stories, delivery, emotions, fathers, labor, labor & delivery, pregnancy confessions


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nonmember avatar Rebecca H

I would not invite people to be in the delivery room with me (other than my husband). My thinking is that if you weren't in the room when we conceived, you won't be in the room when I deliver, other than nurses and the doctor. ;)

Rebec... Rebecca7708

I had lots of people in the room both times and I don't regret it at all.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

My delivery room consisted of the father, the ob, about 5 nurses, a student, an anesthesiologist, and her assistant. And it was an operating room as a precaution in case I needed a c section so I could be knocked out because ofa preexisting condition. I freaking hated it. HATED it. They were all talking about random things, I couldn't concentrate, they ended up wheeling in which there wasnt enough room for and bumping me with it... I couldn't imagine willingly inviting a bunch of people in. I hate being in crowds of people and, shockingly, being in labor didn't help that

nonmember avatar AShlie

I had my mom, mother in law and husband in the room with me for my sons birth and Loved that they all got to be there, now for my next child I think it will just be my husband and myself and the grandparents can be entertaining our son. My mother in law still to this day talks about how appreciative she is that I let her be in the room.

Emmie25 Emmie25

#1 my mom and sister in law, #2 husband, #3 husband mom and sister in law. #4 i would love to have my mom and mother in law in there but we moved out of state so we will see.

Senia... Seniahmom

I had my husband and my mom because only 2 were allowed. I would gladly have had my sister as well and my BFF if she could have come. As it was I was texting the others or speaking messages to be relayed to them (and aunts and my sisters in law). I found their encouragement even via text reassuring and helpful. It never occurred to me that birth should be private - the baby is being welcomed into the whole family. I had my alone moments with each - that was never threatened. That first moment holding each I could have been all alone or in a stadium and it would still have been just us. The world fell away and it was just us gazing at each other. But having people in the room with me was so much better because when I came out of that just the two if us moment people I loved were there to share that joy.

jalaz77 jalaz77

It's not a party. I wanted and had the necessary people there. When did it become such a show? It cracks me up when women need an entourage.

cooki... cookinmommyof1

My first was an emergency c section. With my second it was me, dh, and my mom. She just happened to stop by on her way to work and saw dd being born

mande... manderspanders

I had my husband and my doula. 2 nurses and my doctor joined as I was in the middle of transition. Because my labor began at bed time, and being my first pregnancy, I believed I would labor for a much longer time, we didn't bother to call my parents (his family is out of state) to let them know I was in labor....  I had said to let them sleep, because, really...what could they do? I didn't want my mom in on the delivery. But, my boy was delivered about 10hrs after my contractions first started, right at the beginning of the work day. My parents didn't even get to come up until after lunch.

Truthfully, I enjoyed it that way.  I had the labor and delivery that I wanted, with all the support that I needed.  We were able to get a little bit of quiet time as a new family a few hours after my son arrived... and then we were able to enjoy him with everyone else.


early... earlybird11

After 3 days in labor it felt like everyone was in the room for thise 3 days ...and they pretty much were. I had my entire large family, mil and fil, they brought meals in, breakfast lunch and dinner in for all etc .... I always joke the main reason they gave me a csection was to get my family out ;) I was devestated thay mil mom and hubby couldnt be in there for the csection. For the next we are LOOKING for a hospital specifically that will allow all three in csection with me !!!!

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