Post # 1
I have a problem that I am very worried about. I am pregnant and will be giving birth at home (assisted with a CNM) sometime over the winter holidays. My best and oldest friend is in law school, and her only vacation falls at the exact time frame when I will be birthing. She lives 1,500 miles away so her visit must be planned in advance. She thinks that she is invited to be here and keeps bringing up how excited she is to be here to witness the birth. I have not told her otherwise yet, but my husband and I both agree we do not want her there for the birth, or even in the first few days afterward.
She has a very loud, fun and strong personality which often overwhelms mine. My husband and I want the birth to be peaceful, private, and between the two of us. She is also very squeamish and has made several negative statements about how “gross” and “messy” my homebirth is going to be. She has even joked about how I am going to give birth on the toilet or on the kitchen floor. I don’t think she has much understanding or respect for my choice to birth at home. That attitude will make my birth more difficult. I can’t see any way that having her here will allow me to have the birth experience I want.
If I tell her she can visit at the holidays, then there is a strong chance that I will be in labor when she is here. If I tell her she can’t visit during the holidays, she won’t be able to visit until the baby is several month old. It is going to break her heart and probably make her very angry if I tell her she can’t come. It will probably do permanent damage to our relationship.
How do I choose between hurting my friend and having the birth I want? How do I tell her she isn’t invited? Help!
Post # 3
Can’t you just tell her your due date, and explain that as a new mother you and your husband just want some time to bond together as a family? I think if she knows how close to your date, she probably would be very understanding and visit another time. Just tell her, it’s not that big of a deal.
Post # 4
I think it is a big deal to her. She has been talking excitedly for months now about how she is going to be here for the birth, and she can’t wait to plan her trip out here for the birth. She brings it up every time we talk.
Post # 5
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
I would gently explain to her that you’re planning on keeping it between the two of you, but you would love for her to come visit sometime after the birth. I’m sure she is excited, but I’m sure part of that is just her trying to be supportive of you and be excited because she thinks it’s what you want. I’m sure that she will be understanding and respectful of your wishes!
Post # 6
A lot of people think that having tons of people in attendance is no biggie and she probably thinks the same. I think it is very important to have only people in attendance who GET what kind of birth experience you are going for and can be supportive of this.
My mom was present for the birth of my second son and let me tell you, she drove me nuts. I still had an awesome experience but I do wish she hadn’t been there for the ENTIRE thing. I had chosen a hospital birth because I’d had a c-section with the first but I also chose a drug free, intervention free and all natural birth and I was in labor for 32 hours. My mom is pro epidural, didn’t “get” the natural birth thing, and kept commenting on why I wouldn’t just “let them give you something” rather than “suffer so needlessly”. Plus she talks a lot and I wanted quiet.
My BFF was there (another natural birth proponent), and a hired doula, and my (useless) then husband… and thankfully he was quiet. LOL. BFF and doula understood and respected my wishes. Mom, not so much. She didn’t “ruin” anything but I would rather she’d just showed up for the actual moment of delivery! I understand for her, as a mom, it was hard watching her “baby” (me) in pain but ugh! Oh and the worst, she brought my grandma who kept telling the doctor to just “knock me out” like they’d done for her in the 40’s! LOL! All this is preserved on videotape. Lovely.
Just be honest and tell her it’s not just HER…but that it is an intimate event for you and hubby.
Post # 7
Can you just explain that you’d LOVE to have her come spend a day after the birth but you’d like to keep this just between you and your man?
Post # 8
I think you should simply explain the situation to your bf…
“I know you are going to be mad at me. Pause. I’m so sorry. But, “hubby” and I really think we want to be the only ones there for the birth. I’m nervous about the birth in general and don’t really want you to see my who-ha. (A little joke may break the tension a bit). Maybe after we’ve settled in a bit and kind of have an idea of what to do and I’m feeling better, you could come and visit for a few days?”
How could someone not respond to that positively? I think if you explain to her that you’re not trying to disclude her, she will understand.
Last resort… maybe you could blame it on the size of the bedroom and/or the midwife? You could tell her that they prefer no one else be there??
Post # 9
Hmmm…since you haven’t told her anything before I personally would be upset as your friend…MY take is to maybe tell her that while she is still welcome to come for the holidays the actual birth is going to have to private. I think that the “it’s just procedure” line would do quite well here. I advocate the white lie.
Post # 10
I think telling her that the closer you get to the birth, the more uncomfortable you are about having anyone but the doula present could save you for not telling her sooner that you don’t want her there. You could say:
“I know this doesn’t make sense but as I get closer to the due date, I’m starting to feel very anxious about having anyone in the room while I give birth. I know the doula has to be there, but I’m starting to doubt that I even want [DH] there in the room. Is it ok if I can be alone when I go into labor? I know you have been really excited about this, but I’m not going to be comfortable being naked like that…”
It would be pretty brutal of her to come back and say that you are being selfish in your wishes (it is YOUR birth afterall). Hopefully mentioning it that way gives the impression that you were ok before and now you’re not (as opposed to you were never ok with it and she just kinda invited herself to your birth). And if she puts up a fight, just tell her you’re already having to talk to [DH] about being there, and you can’t handle her being mad too. Any chance you could fake a good pregnancy induced crying spell?
Post # 11
I think you could just explain that you, your Darling Husband and your midwife/doula have decided on your birth plan, and you have now decided that they will be the only people present. Be apologetic, “I know how much you were looking forward to it,” etc etc. Her feelings might be hurt but if she is a real friend she will respect this as an important time for you. Depending on where you live, would it be possible for her to stay in a hotel instead, visit other friends, do some touristy stuff etc, and then come visit you the next day or whenever is convenient? That way she won’t have to wait so long to see the baby, but you can relax knowing she won’t actually be there.
Post # 12
Oh wow, that’s crazy! I agree with what MightySapphire said–that may be your best approach. If she’s squeamish, i can’t believe she’d want to be there. Oh gosh, and I can’t imagine being in THAT position in front of ANYBODY but trained medical personnel and Darling Husband. I’ll just hope you go into labor a smidgen early so the timing works out =]
Post # 13
I really think Mighty nailed it here…make it sound like you were originally okay with her being there, but changing your mind as it gets closer.
Post # 14
If you are that close as friends you should just be honest with her. tell her that you have really been thinking more about your birth as it gets closer and you really want it to be an experience that you and your husband share together. I know that when I was in labor my family and my husbands family showed up and I had to ask them all to leave the room. I just wanted my husband and my doula there. I cant even explain how overhwelming all the other people in the room were talking and laughing while I was trying to get through my drug free labor lol.
If you are such close friends she will understand. Maybe after a week if she is still down she can visit. it seems weird that you keep waiting to tell her – you are an adult and she is an adult – you need to just be honest.
Post # 15
Well, even if you think it is a big deal to her – it is one of the most important moments in your life. You need to be blunt and tell her that that moment is between you and your husband, and she won’t be in the room. And don’t let her personality overwhelm you – stand your ground. This is one of those times that it is ok to be firm and a little pushy.
Post # 16
It might be awkward, but your birth, your choice. I’m actually surprised she’d assume she could or even should be there. It’s such a private, intimate experience. I’d definitely talk to her. I agree that maybe saying that as the birth approaches you’ve realized you don’t want anyone else there, but that you’d like it if she could visit a few days after the birth once you and Darling Husband have settled in a bit and had time to bond together.