I don’t know how to tell them.
I’m one of the lucky ones. You know, the ones who actually like their mother-in-law. She’s a nice lady; very kind and compassionate. She cares a lot about other people and I know after hearing horror stories from other women, I am very lucky.
My only issue with her is that she is incredibly sensitive. Really, the smallest thing can be made into the biggest deal with her and I’m constantly worried that I’ll accidentally upset her in the things I do or say. It’s not that I’m outwardly offensive, she’s just one of those people that takes everything to heart.
The other day in casual conversation she alluded to the fact that she wanted to be at the birth of her grandchild, my baby, who is due shortly. But not just at the hospital waiting in the corridor. She wants to be in the birthing suite with us, witnessing the whole thing. It was almost as though she just assumed she would be there.
It's not all that strange; she used to be a midwife. So in a lot of ways, I know her reasons for wanting to be present. She probably wants to share her experience in birth, assist us and the nursing staff and advocate for our wishes but I have to admit, I was taken aback. I get it, she's assisted many babies make their way into the world. But this is her grandchild, so like any grandmother-to-be, she is excited to meet the new arrival.
It's now a bit of an awkward situation.
While we are on delivery suites, this is what Kate Middleton experienced in her delivery suite with Princess Charlotte from someone who's given birth in the Lindo wing. (Post continues after video...)
As much as I like her, I feel the birth of a baby is really a time only for the mother and father. I don't think I want other people around while I'm labouring and pushing a baby out. I gather it's an intense and possibly traumatic situation. I want to be focusing on what I need to do to get my baby here safely, and not how I feel about everyone in the delivery suite.
I'd like to have the time immediately after birth just with my husband and my new baby, without anyone else. It's a special time that you only get once and I believe if she were there, the dynamics would be completely different.
The trouble is I don't want to offend her in saying that I don't want her there. Due to her training and experience, she is probably immune to the gory details of birth and the embarrassing things that can happen to a mother. It's a non-issue for her, it's not so much the case with me. She may have seen a thousand babies come out of their mothers but I don't want family members staring at my bits while I bring a child into the world.
So how do I go about telling her that I don't want her assisting in the birth of my child without hurting her feelings and making it a big deal?
This writer is known to iVillage Australia, but has chosen to be anonymous.
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