I know you’re not yet expecting, and I don’t wish to be harsh or try to scare you, but your “people pleaser” line jumped out at me… consider reading up on some post-partum stories on the “DWIL” board on Babycenter. They are awful, super-extreme cases of moms who have family/in laws who don’t respect privacy, boundaries or wants/needs of the new mother. Often, these moms have had the same “nice girl” or people-pleaser personality.
Maybe your family friends and inlaws are GREAT and will be super respectful of whatever you ask for. Maybe your D.H. will be awesome at shutting down inappropriate requests, comments etc. But you’d likely benefit from seeing how things can go sideways and have some conversations with your husband to get on the same page before any of this is an issue. Another good article to read is the “lemon clot essay” – google it.
Anyway, this is going to look outrageous, but as someone who had a few unfortunate incidents with my own post-partum time, I just want to share everything I can think of. Think about these scenarios before they’re an issue, not while you’re living in it.
Things to consider:
1) Having “waiting room warriors” may bring you stress. Stress may stall your labor. When you’re trying to focus on breathing and not losing your mind during contractions and your husband is going out to update your families, will you want to punch him in the face?
2) If you have no pets or children that need to be cared for while you’re laboring, nobody *has* to know you’re in labor! If they know, the more likely they are to come wait at the hospital, or text for updates etc (see point #1)
3) You don’t need to announce baby’s arrival 5, 30, or 60 mintues after it happens! So much happens in the hours after delivery, just soak it all in without worrying about calling, texting and posting on social media. Any number of complications to you or baby may arise that require extra care/monitoring. You may need or want help learning to get baby to latch and breastfeed, you may be just freaking exhausted and hungry and want to lay in that bed with your new babe for a bit.
4) You are allowed to decide who visits, when and for how long. You may want to discuss this ahead of time with expected visitors (we’ll let you know when you can visit, but it’ll be limited to X minutes). I’d also communicate with D.H. and your nurse on the post partum unit so that they can help you get rid of your visitors if necessary.
5) After you are home, you STILL get to decide who visits and when and for how long. You’ll likely still be sore/uncomfortable, your breasts will be full and leaking even if you’re not breastfeeding. You’ll be bleeding crazy amounts and wearing those super fashionable jumbo pads and mesh panties. It’s very possible you won’t want visitors at all, and if you do, it may be for a VERY short visit.
6) You can decide (and change your mind) about what is “helpful”. It may be having someone throw in a load of laundry, wash some dishes, cook a meal. It may be them holding baby so you can nap or shower. If someone comes to visit but only wants to chat and hold your newborn while you wait on them hand and foot, that’s not helping.
7) You may feel “irrationally” upset when others hold your kid. I felt like I was being crazy when this happened to me.. it’s not. You will be a new mama bear, hormones raging, and sometimes someone else holding your child makes you twitchy. It’s perfectly ok. Related: if you don’t want someone to hold your little one, it’s ok to say no! If someone is holding your little one and you want him/her back, take baby back! Lots of people like to assume new moms want a break from holding their baby, or “you have so much time to cuddle her when we’re gone” nope, fuck that, my kid, I’ll hold her when I want.
8) Most importantly, babies don’t spoil. Your baby will still be an adorable, snuggly sweet bundle of joy in a week, 2 weeks, 1 month – it’s ok to make people wait til you are ready to visit. Give yourself time and space to heal – you body will have just gone through some serious shit, you owe it to yourself to have a postpartum recovery as stress-free as possible 🙂