I’m not a very private person. In fact, when I got pregnant, I never was able to wait three months before telling everyone around me that I was pregnant. It was such exciting news that by the end of the week, everyone around me probably knew that I was expecting a new little baby at the end of the year!
I’m also a very emotional person. I love spending time with my friends and family and sharing special moments with them. But for the birth of my daughter, I wanted it to be myself, and my partner. And that’s it. I didn’t want people waiting in the hospital waiting room while I was in labour, let alone in the room with me while my privates were exposed. I didn’t even want people to come visit me at the hospital the next day. I figured that I would be out of the hospital as fast as possible, and wanted to wait until I was home before having my friends and family come meet the little one.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want people to be excited for me. I didn’t mean to deprive my family of going through the experience with me. But for me, this once in a lifetime experience was something I wanted to live through with only my boyfriend. I have never been one to ask my parents for comfort when I was feeling stressed out. I wasn’t scared of giving birth or going through the pain. And honestly, I sensed that, if a family member were to be in the room with me, I’d probably just lose patience with them, which would be worst for our relationship than them not being present at all.
Why didn’t I want people in the waiting room? Well, I’m the kind of person who would have spent the hours waiting for my cervix to dilate worrying about how long my family members would be waiting, sitting in uncomfortable chairs. I didn’t want to have to worry about them, or feel bad that they weren’t in the room with me. I would feel obliged to send my boyfriend out to keep them company, taking him away from being with me in the process. He didn’t want that, and I didn’t want that. Finally, I didn’t want them to use the opportunity of already being in the hospital waiting room to come and peek into my room “only for a minute”. I wanted to focus only on what I was going through.
Alas, and predictably, this was difficult for my mom to accept. It turns out that she had always dreamed of being there for the labour. But nope. Uhuh. Not for me. I’m sorry. It’s not that I don’t love my mom, it’s not that I meant to crush her dreams. But at that time, it wasn’t really about her, it was about me.
It was a difficult thing for me to see her be disappointed. She tried to convince me to let her in time and time again. We had to have the discussion month after month. She consistently held out hope that I would have a change of heart and need her mommy and she could come and witness the birth. “When you’re giving birth, no matter how much you hate your mom, you always want your mommy,” she would say. I was sad to have to stand my ground and say no. Seeing her so profoundly hurt wasn’t an easy pill to swallow. But at the end of the day, we didn’t have that type of relationship. It saddened me that she couldn’t support the vision that I had for this day. The fact that my sister had chosen to have her in the labour and delivery room didn’t help matters. She would use it against me, as proof that I was being selfish and ridiculous. After all, if my sister wanted her there, and all of her friends had witnessed their grandchildren’s birth, and if on “A Baby Story”, the mom is always present, than she had every right to be there too. *sigh*
After an entire night of contracting, my mom “innocently” texted my boyfriend at noon asking if we wanted her to go over to the hospital, and that she could pop into a taxi in a second. Mid-contraction, this did nothing to calm my nerves. While trying to focus on making this miracle happen, I was brought back to that place of guilt, where my mom was reminding me that she still existed, that this was important to her, that she wanted to be part of the picture.
I had to, once again, stand my ground. It hurt for about a minute until the next contraction kicked in and made me forget what my name was…
And in the end, it’s a decision that I don’t regret. Sometimes in life you have to make tough decisions that might hurt others. But when it comes to your birth story, you have to do what is right for you and your partner. If that involves throwing a party in the recovery suite the night of the birth, that’s awesome! If you need to cherish the time you have one on one with your newly formed family, all the more power to you. Caving in to other people’s wishes on such a special day might only lead to unnecessary stress. And god only knows that you don’t need that extra stress when you’re trying to push a human being out of your lady bits.