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Advice needed please

Started by tryingmybest, February 26, 2012, 04:06:31 pm

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well my DIL's due date is approaching, and the question is coming up on what we plan to do and were we will be when she is in labor and delivery.DIL asked DS who asked his father who of course went "huh". Well anyway I told him recently we planned to come to the hospital after the baby was born and they were ready for visitors. He was surprised, saying he needed someone there for him, because her whole family would be there. His wife's emeshment with her family is beginning to really get to him, and I think he if feeling shut out. I've seen him  around her family and he's right, he is.
I told him I thought the time was vital for the three of them to bond as a family and I didn't want to intrude. Her mom and two sisters will be there and in the delivery room with them! I know where he's coming from but I know how this group made me feel during the wedding prep, they don't want me there and sitting with DH for hours in a waiting room, just so DS doesn't feel completely alone sounds awful, and I have no desire to be in the labor/delivery room with all of them, what a circus that would be. ???


what does your DIL want?  I doubt she will want anyone but her mom and husband in the L & D room.  I know when my DD had her baby last year, only 3 were allowed in at the most....but it was me and my SIL most of  the time.  Her MIL did show up for a time but DD really just wanted me and my SIL in there.  People could take turns but when the labor hits hard I doubt she will want many in there except the very closest to her.  And even if you came, your DS will probably be with her most of the time with the exception of a short break here and there. 

Hopefully when the moment of arrival comes, the doc will offer your DS to cut the cord and he will get to hold the baby first.  I can't imagine it going any other way even if her fam is in there. 

Do you live far away?  You can also talk on the phone with him while he is in the L & D room.  Cell phones were allowed in ours.  If you don't live far, you could go up as you originally planned.  The cell phone might be a good comfort for him though even if to hear your voice. 

Congrats on your new GC on the way! 


"When you allow life to flow... without struggle... your Soul is restored."   ~z2z~

lancaster lady

I find it very strange that expectant Moms would want an audience when in labour .
In this country only the father is usually permitted and wanted .
Sometimes the Moms Mom too .
I think you are right Trying , in waiting to be there after the baby's born .
Here the mom and baby are home within 24 hours anyway , so I waited until my GD was at home
before I went to visit , then for just an hour .
I think the mobile is a great idea for your DS to keep in touch , mine couldn't get a signal inside
the hospital .
I hope your DS realises it's his baby too , mine didn't and took a back seat throughout .
Just remember YOU are also the grandma  , don't be pushed out .
Hope all goes well for you and the family .


I have a GF who was invited to go into the Delivery room with her daughter in law, and then proceeded to give me a blow by blow description of the event until I said "whoa too much information" It just seems like such a private vulnerable time, I never would have wanted anyone except DH there and certainly NEVER my MIL. everything is so public now with Facebook it's like
Young people need to have an audience for everything.
My son seemed Hurt that I didn't plan on being there, he thought it was expected that the wait room should be jammed with people waiting to serve as an audience to the big event. I think a lot of it is since her family is going to be there he thinks we should be too. I don't WANT to be there.. :o
Now he's making me feel like I'm letting him down. I told him it was important for the three of them to have the chance to bond as a family. the reality is it will be so jammed with her female family members he will be lucky if they let him in the room. But I guarantee if I show up because he pressures me into it I will be the intrusive MIL, life was so much simpler before he got married!


What a tricky situation, TMB. If you disappoint DS he may be open to suggestions later that you don't care about him as much as DIL's FOO cares about her. If you hang out in the waiting room, DIL may be mad & might take it out on DS.

If your DS really wants you there, IMO it's important to honor that. Our DSs need the love and support of their FsOO too. I think I went so overboard trying to get my DIL to accept us that my DS started to feel that he didn't matter to us anymore.

Is it possible to do what your DS asks, but have an escape plan if things start to get tense? Also, have something to do while waiting so you don't have to interact w/ DIL's FOO unless they're being pleasant. Oh if only we could just talk with our DILs like regular people w/o the awkwardness and twisted stories so many of us experience. If we could we might say, "Don't want to ogle the goods but would like to be in the waiting room because DS wants me there. Hope you understand."

Best wishes, and congratulations on the upcoming birth. LL is right; you are a GM too, don't get pushed aside.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Tough position, TMB.  I think I remember your DS voicing concerns to you about his wife's FOO at some time previously?  If so, I imagine he is nervous about their presence at the hospital and want someone he can lean on.

Although, I know that in my situation my parents stayed out of it so much that I eventually had to take matters in my own hands. 

Tough choice, but we're here for you whatever you decide.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


exactly! I'm in trouble what ever I do. And yes Pm you are right, DS is getting really tired of her parents being so overinvolved and always there...I'll keep you posted!


Oh my TMB! How kind you are! Your reasoning sounds quite excellent, and I hope that your DS and DIL will appreciate it. My MIL informed me that she will be in the delivery room with me (no, I am not pregnant right now, and no, we were not even talking about it when she brought it up over lunch).

If it is really important to DS though and he does not want DIL to make her family the primary focus though, perhaps you could have an activity with you as Pen said.

Also I don't know what state you are in, but perhaps another out is that some states will not permit more than two people in the delivery room at a time for health and safety reasons. I can't advise you but if there was a legal or health loophole, you might be able to use that to excuse yourself.

Also will your family be having a welcome home party for the little one? Perhaps you could make that your escape plan, making sure that everything is in order when the little one arrives.

I hope that it works out. It's so hard to be in a trouble if you do and trouble if you don't situation!


I definitely advise to not go to the hospital til after the baby is born.  I am a firm believer that a woman has the right to decide who is in the delivery room with her.  If she wants her DH, whether he wants to be there or not, he better be there.  If she doesn't want him there, for whatever reason, he'll have to deal with it.  If she wants her mom/sis/mail carrier, regardless how DH feels, that is who gets to be there.  A woman doesn't have to "be fair" and ask her DH's female relatives to join the crowd.  She's the patient and everything should be focused on doing what makes the mother comfortable and unstressed (as unstressed as you can be giving birth). 

Now, if DS wants you there as a buffer with her family, that's nice, but I think he has bigger problems that he needs to solve WITH HIS WIFE.  He should explain his feelings and if DIL is willing to not have her family around, fine, but if she still wants them there, he needs to deal with it.  He should really focus on how things will be after the baby is home from the hospital.  Then he does have an equal say (at least when he is home - if DIL doesn't want to play hostess to her ILs while DH is at work, that's her perogative). 

I think if you go to the hospital and sit in the waiting room you will probably feel resentful, you'll probably feel slighted by his ILs, you could very well annoy DIL (in her mind, not as a comment on your actual actions) that could lead to bigger hurts down the line.  I see only bad consequences if you go.  Your son may feel slighted in the short term, but I think you are risking a lot by going. 

I like the suggestion of planning a baby party to take the focus off the actual birth.  Good luck.


Having been through this with SD, I know what I will do in the future. SD went in early in the evening and had GD early in the morning. She didn't need us all there all night. Knowing what I know now, I would have made a few appearances, brought food and coffee for those brave (stupid) souls who were there all night, checked in by phone every couple of hours, and made my presence known while getting a half-way decent nights sleep.

So, do stop by and spend a few hours there, and depending on when labor starts and when she is likely to have the child, time it so that you are there as close to the birth as possible. Your DS does need your support in this, so give it to him, but don't do the marathon birth watch thing. That is too much to ask of anyone. Ask him to call when he can, show up with coffee and treats for the marathoners every couple of hours, and be in the waiting room as close to the birth or as soon after as possible so you are there for him to show off his child. He wants and needs you there, so be there, but be reasonable about it.

It is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. It was for me and my kids, too. So, do what your conscious dictates. Your DS needs you there, so be there, but be there only as much as you are comfortable. It seems like he needs her family to understand that there are two families here, not just their family.

lancaster lady

Good idea Justus , wish I had thought of that , popping in and out to see my DS . Might have given me brownie points to see my.GD in the coming months .


Justus's idea ROCKS!  Seriously Trying, your DS is there as a coach and as a support person.  He's really not going to need "emotional support", if he does, he can suck it up, because it's the lady in labour who needs ALL of the support at that time. 

So, what can you do to make your DS's job easier.  Bring food that he can eat in the room.  (One of my friend's DH's left her alone in labour for almost an hour, so he could go to the next town over to have fast food.  She's still resentful over it.)  Nothing too smelly or really appetizing that will make DIL jealous because she can't eat.  It would be kind of you to bring something for 'the others' in the room too.  It would make your presence felt and everyone will appreciate it (even if they don't thank you personally for it).

What else can you bring?
- muffins
- hard candies (to offer to the nurses too)
- magazines for DIL (to show that you're thinking of her)
- drinks
- snacks
- sandwiches (DS's favourite - but nothing stinky)


I totally get not wanting a group of observers in the labor or delivery room, but why does it matter if someone is tenacious enough to hang out all day/night in the hospital waiting room? I wouldn't want to do that, but if I did, what difference would it make to the woman in labor? How would she even know I was there?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


From what I've experienced with those who just want to sit in the waiting room despite the mothers wishes it's usually because they just don't sit there.  If Dad steps out to get a drink, fresh air, a smoke whatever, they don't let him just do his thing.  They play 20 questions. 

Or in my in laws case they camp out and when they don't get at Dad, they'll start calling the cell phones of both Mom and Dad while they are in labor.  Last baby in our family to be born the in laws called their cell phones non stop during the pushing phase because they overheard someone say baby would be born soon.  If they didn't have that knowledge (which they wouldn't if they sat at home) they wouldn't have known to call during pushing.  And Mom and Dad would have a much pleasant birth experience that didn't include the memory of the in laws calling non stop during the birth of the first child. 

And this is only the last baby born, every previous baby born they have overstepped and created a ruckus and fuss in some way.  And expect to see the baby right away kicking up a storm about that too is their MO.  Knowing all this about DHs FOO we have already decided if we ever have a child by birth that they will not even be told when we go into labor.  They don't camp out in the waiting room quietly.

So yeah, I think couples have a right to request no waiting room visitors.  Why make it harder on the couple or mother, even if you don't understand it, why not just respect their wishes?  (I'm not saying you to anyone in particular)  And by going against their wishes even when you don't agree, you're sending a message to the couple that you don't respect their decisions and not many parents are going to take well to that.  Which starts a cycle where the parents who feel less support with certain people, will spend less time with those people.  Yadda yadda lol

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Just wanted to add a couple things as both a new mom and a nurse who works in the delivery room. We had a no visitors rule when I was in labor - DH would call and give updates as possible when we felt he could. No calling our cells and no calling the nurses station. I needed my DH's full attention and support, and him having to take time away to answer calls would not be helpful. Our hospital has a no info given over the phone by staff policy, so if family called the desk DH would have to leave me to answer it. Some moms love the waiting crowd and some like myself hated it. It's a lot of pressure and again, he'd have to take time away to go out to the waiting room to give updates. Personally I found the thought of a crowd of people rushing in after my son was born incredibly overwhelming.

I do think that in such a situation, the choices of the laboring mom have to be respected whether you agree with them or not. As a nurse, if  my patient says they don't want certain people in the delivery room, I turf them, end of story. We can't force anyone to leave the waiting room since it's a public facility, but I have to agree with Pam that it's just asking for trouble if the mom's wishes aren't respected. I think if your son wants you there, but his wife doesn't that is seriously something they need to talk about together BEFORE labor.