pregnancy

'I’m pregnant and my husband is forcing me to let his parents in the delivery room.'

It’s a question most mothers-to-be have to answer – who do I want in the delivery room? But for one mum-to-be, it seems the decision has already been made for her.

Sharing her dilemma on Quora, the pregnant woman wrote: “I’m pregnant and my husband is forcing me to let his parents in the delivery room, but I don’t want that. What should I do?”

Hundreds of men and women responded to the question with advice for the woman, with many agreeing that it’s not the husband’s choice who is present in the room.

Here are some of the best responses:

Margaret Challen

“I’m not too happy with this husband of yours, quite frankly. Under normal circumstances I would say communication is key, set good boundaries, stick up for yourself, all that good stuff. But you’re about to have a baby, in fact, from the looks of your comments on other answers, you’re about to have twins, which is double the trouble and double the potential medical complications.

“Your husband should have accepted your refusal the first time around. The fact that he keeps bringing it up suggests that you sticking up for yourself, whether it works or not, is going to cause you stress you really don’t need at this point in your pregnancy. So I say punt the decision to someone in authority. Then if your husband and in-laws want to be mad at someone, they can be mad at your doctor instead of you.

In-laws delivery room
'You should ask the doctor to forbid your parents-in-law from being there on medical grounds.' Image: Getty.

"I assume your husband is not with you at every single medical appointment. If he is, make an extra appointment just you and the doctor, and tell him or her confidentially that you are under enormous pressure from your husband and in-laws to have them in the delivery room, you don’t want them there, it’s causing you massive amounts of stress just thinking about them witnessing you in labour with twins, you’re scared your husband won’t respect your wishes, and so on. You are the doctor’s patient. Your husband is just a guest. Your doctor is bound by law to keep this discussion between the two of you.

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"Ask the doctor to ask, the next time you and your husband are at an appointment together, who is planning to be in the delivery room. Then ask the doctor to forbid your parents-in-law from being there on medical grounds. And make sure the Doctor tells the hospital staff in advance that he or she has decreed only your husband can be in the delivery room with you. If they try to muscle their way in anyway, or your husband tries to invite them in when you’re already in labour despite the doctor’s decree, then either the doctor him or herself or a nurse will politely show them to the waiting room. And it won’t be your fault, it’ll be the doctor’s fault.

"In the long term, I think you’re going to have more problems, both with your husband and your in-laws, all 3 of whom sound very pushy. But let’s deal with one problem at a time for now. You’re heavily pregnant with multiples, and this is not the time for you to set boundaries (which will inevitably lead to conflict and stress). This is the time for you to focus on nesting, getting through labour, and welcoming two healthy babies. So let your doctor be the bad guy this time. Good luck!"

Alys Richards

"I agree with your need to "grow a set of balls". Now's the time, dear heart. You said he’s "forcing" you. Has he put a gun to your head? If not, you’re being weak, because no one can "force" you to do anything without your cooperation or a weapon. This is YOUR body, and you, alone, have the right to decide who’s going to see it in all its embarrassing glory. I assume they weren’t there when you conceived, but what if they’d insisted on it? Would he have "forced" you then, too?

"This is obviously a pivotal point in your marriage. Either your wishes come first with your husband or his parents' do. If his parents' wishes override yours, then he needs to go home and live with them, and you need to get on with your life … alone. If you allow them to push their way in where they’re not wanted in a situation like this, you may as well sign away your rights to the child because they’re going to be taking over. You’ll never have your say in anything again. After they take over the raising of their grandchild, they’ll take over your marriage and everything else. You’re about to become nothing but an incubator for "their" grandchild, and a slave for "their" son.

Delivery room
'After they take over the raising of their grandchild, they’ll take over your marriage and everything else.' Image: Getty.
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"Tell your husband it’s time he, too, grew a pair and decides who matters most… you or them? Then, end the discussion."

Lizel Zeager

"I just had twins last November. Instead of going to the hospital (the medical setting in which I worked in for 3 years which I know by personal experience is full of germs, sick people, strangers, random overhead PA announcements, and fluorescent lights), I chose to have a homebirth.

"The only people in the room were my 4 midwives/doulas (1 professional for each baby, 1 for me, and 1 extra support person), my husband, and my dog. After 8 hours of labor, my last 4 in the deliciously hot birth tub with maybe 2 hours of allowing/pushing, I brought 2 more little humans into this world without medical intervention.

"This was all my choice. Every thing about it including what music I had Alexa playing in the background and having the option to stand up, move around, squat, lay down, and have coconut water and snacks whenever I wanted. There were reasons why I did or didn’t do or have certain things and I’m so glad I followed through.

"MY BIRTH, MY CHOICE.

"MY BODY, MY CHOICE!

Parents in delivery room
'Birth is a truly magical and spiritual experience - if you can set up your environment to your liking.' Image: Getty.

"I carefully chose exactly WHO I allowed into my birthing space. It’s a truly magical and spiritual experience if you can set up your environment to your liking. I was super comfortable and felt emotionally and energetically safe with each and every one of those people.

"I knew that each person in that room was 1,000% on my team, and supported each little thing I wanted or didn’t want throughout the whole event. BEING ABLE TO LET GO AND LEAVE MY THINKING MIND OUT OF IT COMPLETELY WAS KEY TO HAVING A WONDERFULLY SHORT, BEAUTIFUL, and POSITIVELY INCREDIBLE TWIN BIRTHING EXPERIENCE. I felt sooo in control while letting go… I don’t know how else to explain it!

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"Bottom line: Listen to your intuition because it is telling you what you TRULY want. Ask your baby/babies who THEY want in the room when they leave the great beyond and enter this physical world. They can really tell you and then you can blame it on the baby/babies and no one could say a damn thing. ;)

"Side note: Have you explored the option of having a doula? Try asking the baby/babies if they want one or 2 there. Doulas are your liaison between you and medical staff, you and family, you and hubby, and your true birthing intentions vs your emotional in-the-moment birthing personality. Doulas are LIFE SAVERS on so many levels and they help to make literally everything run smoothly from pregnancy through post-partum!

"And just so you know: Your body will know exactly what to do. All the sounds that will come out of your mouth, all the feelings of wanting to move around, stand up or squat or shake your hips in circles or be on all 4’s instead of lying on your back is natural and WILL HELP the baby/babies move down down down the birth canal so much faster. Even faster and happier/less stressed out if mommy is relaxed and feels safe! I promise.

Delivery room
'Being able to let go and leave my thinking mind out of it completely was key to having a wonderfully short, beautiful and positvely beautiful twin birthing experience.' Image: Getty.

"Looks like it’s time to create your birth plan, mama! Get it all in writing. List everything you WANT first, and then what you don’t want last. After you write it all out, do your best to re-word things from the “do not” list so you can have a “I want” list that’s longer. Make sure to include your baby/babies’ preferences because this is their birth too!

"Congratulations! It’s going to be incredible."

What do you think? Who needs to be in the delivery room? 

This post originally appeared on Quora and was republished here with full permission.

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