She wants to know when I'm in labour...

(92 Posts)
iamusuallybeingunreasonable Sun 16-Mar-14 22:50:45

The MIL that is... She didn't realise we were on speaker phone when she asked DH if he would "let her know when she's in labour" ... "She" FFS!! She couldn't give a rats arse for me any other time...

Is this normal to want to know?! Bear in mind she lives 300 miles away so of no use to anyone, apparently if she knows it will "add to the excitement" - oh bully for her?!

DH of course told her outright no, as I was letting the steam out of my ears...

This is after our last birth, when told DS had arrived over the phone, within the hour I might add, her first comment was not congratulations or how nice but "why didn't you let me know she was in labour?" Errr why do you think love, was about busy giving birth at the time

Does anyone really want the whole thing documented by text/phone/Facebook birth? Or am I odd?

Anyway, it's not happening as my DH values his eardrums, but really who would want such a thing?

mrscog Mon 17-Mar-14 08:25:10

I don't know, some people have a real thing about this! I hated it, the only people I wanted to know I was in labour were DH and me. I didn't want people speculating about 'progress' etc. whilst I was going through what is statistically a risky biological process. I'm already disappointed that next time the circle will be widened as I'll have to find someone to have DS!

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 17-Mar-14 08:39:30

God, this seems weirdly common. The 'Am I being unreasonable... dad to be' thread is full of stories people have shared about overbearing mothers and mothers in law who have been desperate to get involved in the labour. Texting every hour. Turning up at the hospital. Etc, etc.

To me there is one, and only one, reason to know about the labour being in process. And that is if you have a role in it. Either as a birth partner, or more likely as a carer for older siblings. Of course, there is also the fact that some people might want to share the information voluntarily, but in that case there would be no need to ask.

I think my MIL mentioned this first time round, but was firmly told no and it didn't come up again.

First time was so long that my parents knew as the latent phase was days and they happened to ring for a chat over the weekend. Second time we told not one single soul. This time my mother is doing potential childcare, so will need to be told. But I wish I didn't have to.

SmallBee Mon 17-Mar-14 09:08:48

My immediate family & his both knew when I was in labour but that's because I was induced & actually for me it helped knowing those people were supporting me from afar. (It also went on for three days so with the daily messages we were getting from everyone they'd have figured it out eventually!) But I have a great relationship with both sides & I very much appreciate how lucky I am to have that.
However if I'd gone into labour naturally I'm not sure I'd would have been inclined to tell everyone.

MaryWestmacott Mon 17-Mar-14 09:19:40

oh you have my smypathies, with DC1, I had to tell family because I went into labour on Christmas eve (early) and everyone was due to ours on Christmas day. I got phone calls constantly for the first couple of hours, then texts all the next day (it was 27 hours).

With DC2, it was an ELCS, I only told my parents a couple of days before the actual date, and then just switched off phones from 7am on the day. Didn't need the hassle.

peggyundercrackers Mon 17-Mar-14 09:51:35

we told both our mothers because we wanted them to know, we thought it was good to let them know whats going on because we all feel we are family.

MIL was like this with DC1. I went into labour on a Sunday evening, DH was wibbling about whether he should ring her. I said no way (she also lives 200 miles away). I couldn't see the benefit of DH worrying about giving progress updates while I was in labour. Also first labours can go on for days, so no point getting hopes up unnecessarily.

I laboured overnight and did relent mid-morning on Monday as it was becoming apparent that DS was just about to arrive. He ended up being born at about 2pm.

My mum knew because she was there with us (home birth) but that was a bit different as she was there to support both of us.

DC2 was much quicker anyway and middle of the night, so we were able to do 'we've had a baby' calls at breakfast the next day. Much more civilised...

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Mon 17-Mar-14 10:21:40

Oh I just hate that feeling of being the family gossip and having her pester via text, and knowing she's addicted to Facebook there's no way I could trust her not to put something on there, I'm in no way close to her, neither is DH (i have to remind him to stay in contact) ... She also wanted to "help" in labour, now given in had a v fast first labour and she's 5-6 hours drive up the road what help would that be to anyone?!

I have a feeling her friends, who have daughters may have been feeding her "this is how it is" lines, but I'm not her daughter and her son is quite the adult and can look after himself!

It's not happening of course, but infuriates me that she thinks she has a right!

theborrower Mon 17-Mar-14 15:24:54

My MIL wanted to know too, which I was uncomfortable with because it felt like I'd be under pressure to perform, if you see what I mean? Knowing what she's like, I imagined she'd start dishing out the advice, want constant updates etc, which is something I think you can do without when you're in labour. I also didn't see why she - or anyone else - had to know. My own mum did know, but that's because I phoned her to ask if she thought they were contractions (yes) and to let Dad know as he had offered to give us a lift to the hospital as we didn't have a car back then. But obviously my relationship with my parents is different to that with my MIL. She did say something like 'why didn't you call when theborrower was in labour?', but he said 'it was the middle of the night and we didn't know if we'd be going home again or not' which is absolutely true. Why would we call her in the night anyway, what would be the point?

This time around my parents will have to know as they are going to look after my daughter. The difference is my parents live 10 mins walk away, whereas MIL is a 1.5 hour drive away.

CrispyFB Mon 17-Mar-14 17:43:35

I probably should have let the in-laws know as they WERE our emergency childcare, but I was in so much denial I was in labour I let them go off to the theatre two hours away. blush They ended up coming back in the intermission when FIL was able to check his phone by which point we'd roped in school parents.

Otherwise, no, no right to know unless it's something you want to share! Which is also fine. Whatever the labouring mother wants, goes.

Well, we told both sets of parents. Mine because they gave me a lift to the hospital and dhs parents because, well, mine knew so why shouldnt his?

Our hospital has strict visiting times so I knew theyd be kept away until I was ready for visitors.

bopoityboo3 Tue 18-Mar-14 08:51:05

Not going to be telling mine until after the event. We get on fine but we're not close and I hated last time that feeling as if I had to perform. We haven't even told her the EDD just that it's early April. We have now told my mum the EDD as we need her as childcare for DD but that was only a few weeks away. What I never understand with these situations is why MIL don't seem to understand that the relationship you have with your own mum is going to be different to the one you have with them.

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Tue 18-Mar-14 09:03:33

Exactly Bop, you see she doesn't have daughters do I see in a way what's going on, but she's hardly taken me into the fold so why would I feel I can involve her, plus to me it's a privacy thing, until baby is here safe and well I really don't think it's appropriate for anyone but the parents to know - for me that is

I'm not even telling my parents because I know all they will do is worry and not sleep until they hear I'm safe and well, why would I want to be dressing about them stressing

bopoityboo3 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:13:57

It is completely a private thing iamusually. With my DD I was induced and though it was a straight forward birth I was a mess afterwards and had to have a catheter for a few days and was in hospital longer then I had planned to be.
Obviously MIL knew after DD was born but there was no way I was letting her or anyone other than DH, and my mum and dad visit me at the hospital as no-one other than those needed to seem me carrying a bag of my own pee around (after all my parents changed my nappies as a baby and my mum was the one to teach me about periods etc. it's a totally different relationship)
My MIL has daughters but from what my SILs have said she wasn't much help to them so I can only imagine how useless she would be too me.

Clobbered Tue 18-Mar-14 09:16:59

My MIL, BIL and SIL were on holiday miles away from us when PFB was due. Rang daily to see if there was any news (grrrrrrrrrr). On the day we failed to answer the phone, they got in the car and arrived on the labour ward 20 mins after I'd given birth. I will never ever forget or forgive.

BornFreeButinChains Tue 18-Mar-14 09:23:25

I think its very natural to want to know, there is nothing wrong with that, only you know how she wil behave if she will be a hindrance, then yes, if you want to stop her...

Of course it adds to the excitement I will certainly want to know when a new life is literally on the verge of coming into the world.

Its up to you, however whether you want her to know or not, based on past behaviour and what she is like.

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Tue 18-Mar-14 09:28:17

Yes, that's true, it's down to the individual but wondered if it was prevalent

Her kind of excitement would involve regular need if updates, pulling of cats bum faces, turning up in places not needed and updating of social networking sites... Exciting for he rand people I don't even know, less so for me - it's been a difficult high risk pregnancy so I'm telling no one until baby is safe

We told my parents and my PIL when I went into labour each time - but we knew we could trust them not to be bothering either us or the hospital all the time I was in labour - and I did have long labours.

In fact, my PIL came to visit whilst I was in labour with ds1 - they even brought the dog, and I walked down to the carpark for a cuddle with her (the midwives thought a walk was a good idea - to speed things up).

But I never felt anything other than supported, cared-for, and respected by either my PIL or my parents, so we knew we could tell them I'd gone into labour (and that they would want to know), but that we could trust them to do nothing that would make things harder.

When I had ds3, basically everyone knew, because I hosted an NCT coffee morning whilst I was in labour (I had home births with ds2 and ds3), and everyone was greeted at the door with the news that I was in early labour. They got their own coffee, and washed up for me - but the woman who always bagged the comfiest chair, still bagged it that day, and I didn't get to sit in it!!

For me, the bottom line has to be what works for you, and makes you feel most relaxed, when you are in labour - and if not telling your MIL makes you feel most relaxed, then that is what is right for you - and good on your dh for backing you up 100%!

catkind Tue 18-Mar-14 09:32:16

I told all sorts of people when I was in labour including both sets of parents. But then I know they would just be excited for us and not pester or publicise or interfere!
Entirely up to you and your DH I think.

wispaxmas Tue 18-Mar-14 17:06:50

Umm, I know my mom and sister will want to know when I start going into labour, and they're thousands of miles away! My SIL texted me when her waters broke. Maybe we are just closer, though? I expect my husband will likely tell his parents when we are going in to hospital so they know what's going on. Isn't this normal??

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Mar-14 17:18:32

Wispa - It's not really about how close you are. Both reactions are equally normal and equally valid. I'd compare it to having your mum as a birth partner - some people think that is a great support, some people think it's the last thing in the world they would possibly want. It's not about closeness though, it's about personalities, and how we respond to situations, etc. For me, having my mum waiting outside the hospital would be akin to having her sitting outside my finals - it would just have made me feel pressurised and stressed.

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Tue 18-Mar-14 17:23:35

God, I told everyone! It bloody hurt and I wanted sympathy!

It's entirely up to you whether you do or don't tell her, though imho it needs to be an all or nothing approach i.e. if your parents know then it's really on fair that his parents know too.

I also thought it was quite normal to tell family and/or close friends something important like this confused I knew they were excited and wanted to know what was happening, just as I have been equally excited when my friends and family have gone into labour.

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Mar-14 17:25:51

I think it is normal Scarlett. It's just normal not to too. grin

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Tue 18-Mar-14 17:29:35

True, very true grin

usualsuspectt Tue 18-Mar-14 17:32:57

MILs are always last in the queue on MN.

I also think it's normal to tell family and close friends when you go into labour.

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