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First Visit

(77 Posts)
Kittytella Thu 05-Jul-18 19:55:18

Hello all,

I was hoping to bend your ears for a few moments, in order to avoid causing unnecessary ruffled feathers and unhappiness. I do so want to ensure that this coming experience is a fond memory for everyone involved...but would also very much like to make it out in one piece!

I'm due to give birth to my husband's and I's first child in a few months, and I'm a bit apprehensive about grandparent expectations for delivery and the first few weeks. For background, both of our parents live about 4 hours away from us, and this is the very first (long awaited) grandchild on both sides. Both sets are over the moon and already chomping at the bit to be as present as possible during the beginning of new baby’s life. I'm absolutely thrilled at the level of support and love we and the new babe can count on, but I am a bit worried about a few things and was hoping I could get some advice from grandparents - as I'm a bit sick of hearing "your body your decision" since even though this is (with all fairness) a pretty large event for myself, it really isn’t all about me!
-Both parents want to be informed the moment I go into labor, and plan on making the trip up immediately – which will mean they will be staying with us. Our house is large enough, but I am a bit worried that there will be expectations surrounding my husband and I ‘hosting’, when I think it’s a bit fair to expect that our attention will be rightfully focused elsewhere. I very much don’t want to be rude or a bad hostess (I can already see my Nana grasping her pearls in horror!) but how can I communicate that though they are welcome, we will need some help around the house and they will be expected to ‘fend for themselves’ (without coming off spoiled or ungrateful – it’s very kind of them to even make the effort to come!!)?

-I would like to breast feed my child in private, and I’m a bit worried about how to accomplish this with four additional people in my home without stepping on any toes. I don’t want to come off as a baby snatcher, but from what I’ve been advised I need to respond to the baby and do “what feels right” – though I can’t imagine I’d be comfortable telling my MIL or Mother that they need to hand the child over for feeding every 30 minutes, as they will of course wish to spend as much time as possible with the new addition! How could I best find a balance of listening to ‘cues’, without making either set of parents feel slighted or shoved to the side?

-Finally, the age old question – how can I make sure that neither set of grandparents feel like they’ve gotten the shorter end of the stick during the visit? My own Mother is lovely, but has a tendency to martyr herself and let off subtle ques when she is feeling neglected or slighted, and I am worried I won’t pick up on them with so much happening! In turn, my husband is a lovely and amazing man – but he is not strong at picking up on the emotions of others, and I want to make sure his parents are not accidentally slighted in any way as well.

Thanks very much to all who read, and a very deep thanks to all those who offer advice!
Have a wonderful day!

MawBroon Thu 05-Jul-18 20:07:22

First of all they should NOT be staying with you.
However big the house, this is not the time.
Four hours is not that far (unless you mean flight time)
If they set off when you go into labour they will be known caking their heels, so forget that idea too.
So a visit perhaps the later in the day or the Day after your baby is born depending how the delivery has gone
If you have had 36 hours in labour then a quick visit either in hospital or home (hospital is better then neither granny can “take over” the domestic responsibilities)
Perhaps the following weekend they might come to lunch or for the day, providing they bring the meals.
Whether the visits are staggered is up to you and how well the parents get on.
I love my daughters dearly but apart from a quick visit to see each and the new baby in each case while still in hospital, I fully understood they needed their own space to adjust to the wonderful but terrifying change of status from couple to Mummy and Daddy.
Don’t make a rod for your own back or open up the possibility of competitive grandparenting!
Good luck!

MawBroon Thu 05-Jul-18 20:08:13

“Kicking their hees” not “caking” - ignore silly iPad.

BlueBelle Thu 05-Jul-18 20:10:15

Well I m beginning to think I was a lucky lady I gave birth to all my kids away from both sets of family and all I had to do was notify them and go and visit or have them visit when I was ready There didn’t seem all this expectation when I gave birth or perhaps it was just our family ! I have a loving family but they weren’t ‘in your face loving’ I was overseas for my first I did it on my own ( ex husband useless) got on with everything without any help, and learned everything bit by bit as I went along Second baby Mum came for the first week while I sat on a ring in pain 😂and third baby much the same

Now if you’re going to be like royalty having all the world and his wife watching your first few days/weeks with this new person 😂😂all I can say is do what is comfortable for you , and when it comes to feeding just say ‘need to feed the little one now’ and take her/him off to the bedroom with the door shut
I would dislike all this fuss and expectations I m afraid

Marydoll Thu 05-Jul-18 20:10:32

It's lovely to hear about the joy both sets of grandparent's feel at the news of your pregnancy and their offers of support.
However, I think it would be so stressful having both sets of parents in your home immediately after the birth. You already seem to be very anxious about how to keep everyone happy. No matter how well they all get on, you and your husband will need time alone to bond with your baby. It is a very special time.
Would it be possible for them to stay with relatives or in a nearby hotel and visit during the day to support you and then leave you to spend time as a family?
Sorry if I seem a bit harsh, but that would have been my worst nightmare, both sets of parents in my home 24 hrs a day and everyone wanting to be involved. I see tension ahead.

Cherrytree59 Thu 05-Jul-18 20:25:14

Premier inn or
Travelodge for both sets of grandparents.

Short visits unless help required.

And under no circumstances should you be making the cups of tea smile

LiltingLyrics Thu 05-Jul-18 20:33:11

This happened to my late husband’s niece, a quiet and quite timid young woman expecting her first baby and completely overwhelmed by the attentions of her own parents and those of her partner.

They all wanted to be there at the birth, crowd into her (small) apartment before and after, falling over themselves to be "helpful" when all she wanted was a calm low-key home birth with her partner, time to bond with their baby, time for them to learn how to care for her at their own pace.

She is also my goddaughter and confided to me that she felt touched but suffocated by the attention. I didn’t know the in-laws beyond meeting them at the wedding a few years earlier but was prepared to talk to my sister in law and ask her to give her daughter some space. Before I could do so I got a call from my niece to say she had spoken to all four herself asking them as kindly as she could to back off.

As things worked out, when she went into labour, she called the midwife, ran herself a warm bath and gave birth at home remarkably calmly with just her partner and the midwife in attendance.

This is your time and you have to take control. Your parents and in laws are going to have many years of getting to know their grandchild. For now they need to take a step back.

As a postscript to my niece’s story, the two sets of grandparents became incredibly competitive over this first grandchild. I really do suspect that their desire to be there at the birth and in the time immediately afterwards was more about them than about the welfare of my niece and her new baby.

winterwhite Thu 05-Jul-18 20:34:15

Maybe one or other set, or even both, would be secretly relieved to be asked to wait a bit and then not both come together. They may feel that there are expectations on them, and that you would be hurt if they weren’t there on the dot. Photos, and a constant stream of them, may be what would please them most, and talking on the phone of course, esp to your own mother.

GG65 Thu 05-Jul-18 20:37:53

These are really not the kind of things that you should be worrying about following the birth of your baby. It is very difficult as a first time mum to truly comprehend how life changing bringing a newborn home is - especially those first couple of weeks. You should be concentrating on adjusting to your new family of 3, not worrying that one grandma may feel that she is getting less time with the baby than the other.

Please consider asking both sets of grandparents to stay at a hotel for the duration of their visit and to give you adequate space. It will take some time to recover from the birth - whether you have a natural birth or caesarean - and believe me, having so many people living in your home will be the last thing you want (and need).

I don't mean to sound cruel, you seem like a lovely person and I think it is very thoughtful of you to take everyone into consideration however, from one mother to another, you and your baby adjusting and getting to know one another is so much more important than anything you mentioned in your post. It is such an emotional time and worrying about how everyone else is going to feel sounds like a recipe for disaster.

PECS Thu 05-Jul-18 20:39:29

I totally agree! 4 house guests, no matter how loving and loved, are not what you need immediately after having your first baby.
A card, to both sets of grandparents to be, saying how much you are looking forward to their help and support once you have got settled back at home might get the message across. Of course come and see you and have a first cuddle but only for an hour or two max. for the first few days. Once your partner is back at work you might welcome some extra hands so you can sleep/ rest. Blame the midwives..say they advise no more than 2 visitors at a time and only for short visits for the first few weeks as you won't have time to do much but feed and rest. Good luck on thistricky tightrope. My mum and MiL organised alternate days to visit for 10 days after husband back at work. They were both practical women and cooked, ironed and washed the nappies... The first day on my own with my daughter was both wonderful and a bit scary!

jenpax Thu 05-Jul-18 20:55:45

Agree completely that;

1) DO NOT have either set of GPS staying with you when the baby arrives! You will have enough to do getting yourself back together and getting settled without worrying about hosting anyone PLEASE don’t try!

2) your priority must be establishing your own little family, recovering from the birth and getting to know your little one

When my DD were born my parents waited a few days before seeing them and Inlaws about the same. I was exhausted with the births and with caring for a new born ( the change to your life is overwhelming nothing will ever be the same again!) it’s lovely being a new parent but it is emotionally and physically exhausting. You don’t know how the birth will be or how tired you may feel. You don’t yet know how you will both feel after baby arrives as it’s a hell of an upheaval. Baby themselves may need settling time.

You as New parents will need time to establish a bond with the new born. The first few hours and days are critical!

New GP will have a role to play but I don’t think you will want them to be passing baby back and forth for cuddles even if well meaning. Breast fed babies are often attached to the breast (mine were) and you will need to have time to establish that special bond

My suggestion is the GP come after a few days, stay in a hotel and not your house, don’t stay long even when they do come, help with bits of shopping and if asked a quick hoover round but not such as they make themselves obtrusive.

muffinthemoo Thu 05-Jul-18 21:02:44

Please please for your own sake amd your husband’s make sure they stay in a hotel.

Doodle Thu 05-Jul-18 21:30:12

They must stay in a hotel and don't have them all over at once. Allow each pair of grandparents some time alone with you and the baby.

SueDonim Thu 05-Jul-18 21:41:19

You sounds absolutely lovely, Kittyteller but you really need to put yourself first in this instance. Don't have people to stay with you at this time, it's too much pressure as you start a new phase of your life.

As others have suggested, get the GP's to stay in Travelodges or whatever and fend for themselves for food etc. They're grown-up people, I'm sure they can manage!

I wouldn't tell them when you're in labour until at the very least you're admitted to hospital - there can be lots of false alarms in childbirth! It's not compulsory for them to be told at all, if that's what you'd prefer, too.

Very best wishes for the safe arrival of your baby! smile

Luckylegs9 Thu 05-Jul-18 21:45:53

Kittytella, I couldn't quite believe what I was reading. They shouldn't be staying with you, it is you and your husbands time to bond with your baby and for you to get to grips with breast feeding, I never wanted an audience!v If you fancy them stopping over for a few days,in you home when you are ready, one lot of parent at a time! but do not feel pressurised. They will have loads of time to bond.

M0nica Thu 05-Jul-18 22:06:20

Your baby, your delivery, your rules. Tell everyone firmly in advance what would most suit you, your baby and your DH and expect them to stick to it

We live a 4 hour drive from DS and family and their first child was the first grandchild on both sides. We were told when she went into labour but asked not to come up until after the birth so we didn't. We booked ourselves into a B&B and after 3 or 4 days we went home.

Kittytella Thu 05-Jul-18 22:06:54

Thanks all very much for your replies! Perhaps I've been looking at this situation from the wrong angle - losing the hose and looking for the horseshoes as my Nana used to say. I just very much didn't want to be one of those "don't come for a month-fourth trimester-my way or the highway" DIL's/Daughter's who make things so hard for new grandparents.

It will be a hard pill for my husband to swallow, he's VERY keen to have everyone up immediately. There already was a bit of a tizzy about me being unreasonable as I didn't feel comfortable with everyone in the delivery room while I pushed, but I at least was able to convince him I had a bit more say in that respect.

Perhaps I could sway him if we offer to put the grandparents up in a nice hotel. It is a four hour drive so I would hate for them to have to pay for their own accommodations after making such an effort. I do have to remeber that everyone coming is coming up out of love, and (hopefully) will not bat an eye when I need to feed the babe or we need a bit of time to get our footing - if you can't be honest with your loved ones who can you be honest with!

I'm optimistic if I can make it through this with everyone in smiles than first Christmas should be manageable as well (hopefully)!

MawBroon Thu 05-Jul-18 22:11:03

FHS everybody in the delivery Room? Bang that one on the head right away.
Childbirth is not a spectator sport. 😱😱😱
You, partner, midwife and that’s it.
I fear your OH really has no idea of what he and you are in for.
I am sincerely concerned that he actually does have little idea of what life is going to be like - mostly for you, but for him too.

Oopsadaisy53 Thu 05-Jul-18 22:19:59

Oh dear kitty unless they are coming to you laden with food and cleaning equipment I would tell them in a nice way to stay at home until you ( not your OH) are ready to see them, even then they should wait until you ring them and invite them down.
You have no idea how you will be after the baby is born, you might welcome them into your house for the odd visit, on the other hand you might be so busy with the baby that you won’t want to see anyone other than your OH.
I’m sure that they are excited, but you need some space and if you don’t and are ready for them just call them and they will be there in less time than it take to boil the kettle I’m sure.
Good luck whatever you decide to do

BlueBelle Thu 05-Jul-18 22:24:51

Bloody hell everyone in the delivery room it gets worse and worse and more unbelievable what’s your husband want a viewing platform ?
I had no one and that was fine I would have like my husband but not anyone else and as for spectators blimey that would be my nightmare you re not a circus act
Your just doing too much bending over backwards even planning to make it nice for their first Christmas forget all that tripe and be a family in your own right first, you might want or need Christmas on your own
Stop being too nice it’s your show not theirs or your husband (although I guess you ll let him be part of it all)

muffinthemoo Thu 05-Jul-18 22:34:45

What the everloving h*ll is your husband thinking?? The delivery room?? Most NHS facilities allow one birth partner only, two max if by prior arrangement.

Does he think this is like the bloody Lion King? He’s going to whisk Simba straight out of your birth canal and hold him up for the approval of all the GPs?

He wanted them in the bloody delivery room? Is he at the wind up?

He wants four other adults sharing your bathroom as soon as you get out of hospital? Has he googled the words “lochia” and “secondary postpartum haemorrhage”?

Eglantine21 Thu 05-Jul-18 22:42:13

I’m glad my mum wasn’t in the delivery room to hear me going F***, F***, F***.

What everyone else says OP. You and the baby come first 🤱

crazyH Thu 05-Jul-18 23:09:16

Had to laugh out loud reading comments from Bluebelle and Muffin

MawBroon Thu 05-Jul-18 23:16:01

I wonder if OP you and your DH have been to many antenatal/NCT classes yet ?
Do you perhaps have a rose tinted view of “pushing the baby out” then reclining smiling like a Madonna with a bundle swathed in frothy lace in your arms?
It ain’t much like That!
First of all you may be in labour for days, you may be induced, you may start, slow down and be sent home again because you are insufficiently dilated. So don’t even think of the in laws setting off when you “go into labour”
.DD2 “started” on Thursday night, went in on Friday, home again after a few hours sleep, and finally delivered DGS on Sunday night.
Nobody is trying to scare you, just telling like it (usually) is.
I suspect you would get a similar reply on Mumsnet only more pithily expressed!

cornergran Thu 05-Jul-18 23:55:59

I’m thinking kittytela that you’re trying too hard to ensure everyone is looked after except yourself. Childbirth and immediately after is one time you should most definitely put yourself and your needs first. So, no spectators in the delivery room unless you want them there, minimal exposure to parents in the early days, a clear understanding that you want and need some lrivate time. Nothing unreasonable there. I think new babies have got a bit like Christmas, there is an idealised myth that is almost impossible to achieve.

I’m delighted you are thinking about grandparents and want them included but would ask that you re-think the early days. Coming home with a small one can be overwhelming, protected space for the three of you could be so much better than noise and people with differing ideas. Hold out for what you want. If you communicate lovingly, clearly and calmy to both sets of grandparents to be now it will save a lot of tension.

Wishing you all well, exciting times ahead. If you can bear to do tell us when your baby is born.