I know a lot of us are making plans regarding guests and family members coming to visit around our due dates and after baby is born. I was lucky enough to have been linked to this post during my first pregnancy and wanted to share it. While a bit graphic, it does bring up some good points to consider.
Note: This was written as a response to a forum post regarding a DH insisting that his parents be allowed to come stay with the expecting couple for an extended period of time starting on the due date. Obviously, this "essay" was based on one woman's post partum experiences.
The Lemon Clot Essay (by Sharon1964)
You will be leaking out of places you don't want to leak out of. Do you really want to stand up from the couch and have your father's parents see that not only have you bled through your pad, but the blood is now running down your leg. Do you really want to say, "honey, can you come with me to the bathroom, I am bleeding all over and I feel a huge bloodclot coming out"... in front of them? Contrast that to "mom, I need your help please, now, I'm bleeding all over!" Does your husband really understand the volume of stuff that will be coming out of you, the possibility of lemon-sized clots of blood? Not 2-dimensional lemon-sized, but huge, round, 3-dimensional lemon-sized?
How many bathrooms do you have? If only one, do you REALLY want to have to make it "guest-level clean" every time you leave it? Do you really want this gang of people ogling your diaper-sized pads, peribottle, tucks pads, and all the other supplies that will be in the bathroom? Even if you have two bathrooms, that means you can't use the main bathroom, because you still have to leave it "guest-level clean" every time you use it.
Do they really plan to do something other than hold the baby, pass the baby around, and sit around expecting you guys to wait on them? Are they going to sit and stare at you? Thirty minutes after they arrive, and baby wants to breastfeed, are they going to quickly and willingly LEAVE your home so that you can breastfeed in the privacy and comfort of your space? Or are they going to hang around outside, waiting for you to be done, and knocking every so often wanting to know if they can come back in? Yeah, that's great for breastfeeding.
Or better yet, are they going to blow you off, saying "it's no big deal", and expect you to breastfeed in front of them? Even experienced moms need several weeks of practice to get good at it, so to speak, so that they can breastfeed wherever they want. Learning to breastfeed is not a time for people to ogle and stare at you.
When your breasts are engorged and painful and you want NOTHING to touch them, what then? Does your dh think it will be okay for his dad to stare at your huge naked breasts as you walk around topless?
What if your birth is smack in the middle of their trip? So what are they going to do the first few days, before baby? Are they going to sit and stare at you, waiting for the big moment? Then what? Are they going to camp out in your hospital room every day, all day? Yeah, that's great for resting. What happens when you leave the hospital and they beat you to your own home, and all you want to do is lay down in your own bed? Are they going to leave graciously, or are they going to sit in your living room, eating your food, messing up your house, and making noise, so you can't nap?
Does your DH understand ANY of these things?? Does he not understand that it is NOT about entertaining guests, but about recovery from a major medical procedure (either vaginal or c-section)? Does he not understand that you just grew another human being in your body, and will have just gone through the process of getting it out?? This is going to be an exhausting, messy, wildly hormonal time. Does he not get that??