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Texting birth announcements

(103 Posts)
Imperfect27 Mon 01-Feb-16 06:56:44

When my daughter was expecting her baby, we had agreed that her husband would phone us when the baby had arrived. This arrangement superseded others. We had started with me being asked to be the second birthing partner (much to my surprise as I had never expected to be involved), with the expectation that I would be sitting outside the labour ward and invited in as soon as was practical once baby had arrived. This changed as they decided to opt for a home birth and decided they wanted the privacy - totally understood (and quite relieved). In the event, baby was 17 days late and when yet another text arrived on my mobile my first thought was 'Who else is pestering to see if baby has arrived yet?'

I was therefore surprised and shocked to find a text FROM MY DAUGHTER announcing the arrival of her newborn. It was quite formally written ' Proud to announce' - with the full name and weight of the baby and the paragraph ended with 'congratulations grandparent' - so a text that was sent to all grandparents (I am divorced from her father). A second paragraph informed me that there had been some complications (didn't say what) and she was not yet on a visitor ward and SIL would phone later to update about visiting.

I responded by texting back amazed congratulations and ended with saying 'Now rest!' - hated the sterility of this - and then the wait began for more information. Hours ticked by, during which my mind was racing ... the fact that she had the baby in hospital meant things had gone wrong as she was planning a home birth ... the fact that there were 'complications' and she wasn't yet on a visitor ward and needed monitoring - I began to wonder if she had had to have a caesarean ...

It was a long time before I got more information. She had had a bad time and lost a lot of blood, but a 'normal' birth. I had waited 6 hours before texting her husband to say could I visit briefly as I was so anxious about her and then another hour before she rang to say 'Yes, come up.' (I live an hour/15 mins away).

I have balanced this with husband not wanting to leave her side, but can't help feeling that stepping outside for a few minutes and having an actual conversation earlier would have allayed a great deal of angst. I also know I was probably extra anxious because I have lost a daughter and I had a very difficult first delivery and was at risk myself and I had been very fearful for my DD as she is same build / height etc. and baby was not in a good position ...

I know that as a couple they had gone through the mill - however, perhaps this is a suggestion, rather than a complaint - I just don't think a text was the right way to be informed ... a phonecall would have been so much more helpful.

It has taken me four weeks to articulate this - I just think I was so shocked and stressed by how it all unfolded. If there is another baby one day, I think I need to ask SIL to phone next time!

kittylester Mon 01-Feb-16 07:22:18

I can understand your worries Imperfect but you could easily have had to wait longer for a phone call.

I hope your daughter and the baby are well and thriving. flowers

janeainsworth Mon 01-Feb-16 07:30:57

I imagine from what you've said Imperfect that both your DD and your SiL were quite traumatised by the difficult birth and the transfer to hospital.
It's hard for those who are on the sidelines, but perhaps your DD and SiL just didn't have the physical or emotional energy to do more than text you.
Speaking from personal experience of both having a difficult delivery myself and my DD having a difficult delivery.

Imperfect27 Mon 01-Feb-16 07:46:18

Yes, they definitely went through the mill and as I have said, on balance, I am glad SIL stayed by her side. And they are both very, very thoughtful people. However, if I had waited longer for a phone call, I would have been none-the wiser whilst waiting. I think by texting they were also being very even-handed. I see all of that - I would still, on balance have preferred the wait and then heard in a personal way. I think my particular back-history made the sense of half information much worse, but given that we are a close family, I was just so surprised to find out the way I did. It did pass my mind that the announcement would not need much doctoring to then be put out to all close family and friends too. It just felt so impersonal.

I don't mean to be 'precious' about this. Perhaps others feel it would not matter how they heard.

On the plus side - we are making use of WhatsApp for sharing pictures and videos and I received a really lovely video of the baby yesterday. So the mobile is a balance of evils and pleasures! smile

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Feb-16 08:15:12

I think younger folk use texting so much in preference to phone calls. They were probably drained emotionally and physically. I would try and put it behind you and enjoy your new grandchild.

thatbags Mon 01-Feb-16 09:11:58

Oh get over yourself! Your daughter is the person who's had the angst, not you.

annsixty Mon 01-Feb-16 09:20:55


hildajenniJ Mon 01-Feb-16 09:28:53

My DD planned a home birth for her last baby so I was surprised and a little worried to receive a phone call from her, from the hospital, especially when she said that the baby was in special care! She waited until everything was over and had proper news about DGS 3. Fortunately all was well and he was only in special care for one day. I am glad that I didn't get a text message from the hospital, and that they waited to tell everyone the news in person.
I can understand your mixed emotions about all this. As everyone is now fine, try to put it behind you and enjoy the baby.

GrannyGalactica Mon 01-Feb-16 10:33:17

I have every sympathy with you, Imperfect. I gather you live alone so you had plenty of time to run over the situation in your mind, including all the possible outcomes, and no distraction. The information you were given was bound to leave you anxious, particularly in view of your past experience, and you must have been imagining the worst. I quite agree that it would have been kinder to you if your SIL had taken a moment for a quick call to reassure you. I also know from my own experience that people who have never been in your situation cannot understand how difficult it can be. It sounds as though everyone is well now and your relationship with your DD and SIL is good so do try not to relive this episode in your head. That's easier said than done, I know, but you must let it go for the sake of your own health. Good luck. x

Imperfect27 Mon 01-Feb-16 10:42:46

I expected a mixed response in opening this thread. There is a pertinent question here, quite aside from any emotional baggage I brought to the scenario, although that was significant given my history. Rightly or wrongly, I did feel surprised to find out by text and evidently the lack of personal contact - so much could have been shared that would have saved a lot of anxiety within a minute of conversation - did heighten concern.

thatbags you don't 'get over' the loss of a child and if you read my posts carefully you would see that it was from this source that my anxiety came.

There really is no need to be so rude and blunt.

Teacher11 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:19:46

Your SIL could have made contact. I agree with you. It was a bit distanced and formal. You must have been frantic with worry.

tigger Mon 01-Feb-16 11:21:05

Agreed Imperfect27, there really was no need for such an inappropriate and uncalled for response.

SunnySusie Mon 01-Feb-16 11:22:00

I feel for you in this situation which to me does seem odd. If your DD had time to send quite a long text, then she had time to phone and you would think she would have wanted the personal contact with you no matter how brief.

The only thing I can think is that she didnt want to worry you in view of the 'complications'. Maybe she herself didnt have full information at the time, or was too traumatised by what had happened.

I remember when I gave birth my emotions were all over the place afterwards and I was not really myself - and they were normal births which went according to plan.

The fact that you had originally been asked to be second birthing partner says it all to me.

grannyjack Mon 01-Feb-16 11:23:28

I think you need to put this issue behind you ASAP & get on with supporting your daughter & SIL & getting to know your gc. It may very well be that they were unable to use their phones to speak to you & a text was the only option in the circumstances in which they found themselves. As a mother I do understand that you were worried (I would have catastrophised!) & yes maybe they didn't think it through but please let it go.

Theoddbird Mon 01-Feb-16 11:27:05

I received news of my last grandchild by text...weight and full name etc. Wasn't even to grandparent. Think it was sent to everyone. I was upset that I didn't get a phone call. I haven't said anything to them as yet... I so understand how you feel x

witchygran Mon 01-Feb-16 11:29:07

Imperfect27, I completely agree with you about the comment from Thatbags! What GrannyGalactica is so true. Of course you were hurt - so would I have been. Your worries, under your circumstances, were entirely understandable and if you live alone, you didn't have anyone to share them with. Let it go, I'm sure your daughter didn't mean to upset you, enjoy your new grandchild!

LesleyC Mon 01-Feb-16 11:42:28

I totally understand Imperfect. However much you rationalise the text - letting all grandparents know at the same time, the difficult circumstances surrounding it etc - as her mother you will have wanted to speak to your daughter. When my DiL had a baby 2 months ago, I waited ages for the phone call as it was a difficult birth and the parents just wanted to spend the early moments together before my son left to phone everyone. I would have quite liked a text just to let me know my GS had been born!

My daughter had her babies in America and I got a text first of all, which was fine from that distance, before having the phone call within an hour or two.

I get the impression you are close to your daughter Imperfect as she originally asked you to be a birthing partner and given the circumstances of the birth I feel it was reasonable for her to text, so please try and put it behind you and enjoy your new grandchild!

Cinders123 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:46:21

It is difficult and really no-one is to blame here - you received contact which was great whilst improper in you're eyes (and mine) but this generation won't see it this way and was not meant to hurt - think you need to rise above you're own hurt right now and enjoy new GC

Lindajane Mon 01-Feb-16 11:50:09

It is hard playing the waiting grandparent game, especially as the text said there was complications. When my DD had her baby (had to be induced early as expected complications) we had a quick text saying all OK and SIL would ring within an hour. Two hours later I hadn't heard and sent him a text asking what was going on! I can see both sides here, as an anxious and worried mother you are thinking all sorts of things but your DD and SIL were probably so exhausted and caught up with all the drama that time just seems to have no meaning. Enjoy your new grandchild!

RockNanny Mon 01-Feb-16 11:52:45

Imperfect27, first of all congratulations on becoming a grandmother! I completely understand why you feel upset and felt the need to share this. I imagine you are a sensitive person, like myself, and I don't mean that in any kind of derogatory way, I promise wink! What I would have said to you has already been said by janeainsworth (apart from her personal experience). I think that it is actually a blessing for you that you were spared the fear that you would have experienced had you been there. I was a second birthing partner for my DD (along with SIL) when my first GD was born (in 2013) and I am hoping I will be asked to be there for the arrival of my new GD this June (my birthday month smile). My DD ended up having an emergency C-section and having sat with her and SIL through her labour, it was horrible to be ushered into a side room on my own while baby was brought into the world. I suddenly realised that I might lose my DD and I just sat and cried. Thankfully, it all turned out well. I think you have been very respectful towards your DD and SIL and I bet they would be mortified to think you were upset. I know it is hard (believe me!) but try not to think about it anymore and focus on the wonderful addition to your family sunshine. You're on a new learning curve now wink. Forgive me if that sounds patronising as that is not my intention flowers.

The comments by Thatbags (perhaps should be THATBAG!) and annsixty should be ignored as all they show is ignorance angry.

Imperfect27 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:57:41

Thank you for understanding posts - and also for the gentle nag to now put it behind me. I do know that I need to and that is actually why I posted in the first place - to find some closure.

I would hate my daughter to feel that at a most vulnerable moment I was being critical - it wasn't that - I just found it genuinely traumatic as I only had scant information and instead of being joyful at the news of the baby's arrival, I was in a state of great anxiety about her for several hours.

Yes, it is past. And if there is another birth in the future, I will ask if I could hear directly from SIL next time.

By the by don't live alone - I remarried a year ago, but my DH was rather bemused to be confronted with my weeping and fretting!

Now I really am going to try to let it go ... both mum and baby are doing really well and I know /I have a great deal to be thankful for.

Nvella Mon 01-Feb-16 12:01:56

Why have some people got to be so unpleasant when someone is sharing something which has upset them - she has not said anything to her daughter - she is just wanting a bit of support. I would also have been upset in that situation

annsixty Mon 01-Feb-16 12:07:52

If only the problems I am currently facing and will continue to face for the rest of my life were as simple as getting a text I would be a very happy woman and Rockgranny I am far from being ignorant as many on here will agree.

GrannyGalactica Mon 01-Feb-16 12:35:13

I learned of my grandson's birth by text, 12 hours later! He was born at 9.00pm and the text was sent at 9.00am the following day. That was hard, particularly as all my DIL's family had been on the scene enjoying cuddles and I was 250 miles away, all alone and not enjoying anything! There were no birth complications or any reason I know of for the delay. Still, time passes and things have improved since then. I was invited to visit for the weekend and join in with his third birthday party a couple of weeks ago so the birth announcement by text really doesn't matter any more. By the way, the birthday party was brilliant!

janeainsworth Mon 01-Feb-16 12:35:56

Ann flowers