staying focused with people in the room? — The Bump
Natural Birth

staying focused with people in the room?

My past two births have been successfully med free. The first birth my husband missed (long story) and I actually was able to focus better laboring alone. The second time my husband was there and I had a difficult time focusing and relaxing between contractions because I was worried about him seeing me in so much pain.

Now I will be embarking on a third pregnancy but this one will be a gestational surrogacy so I'll be delivering with the baby's mother and father in the room. They have every right to be there for the birth but I'm a little concerned about how I'm going to be able to focus with two people there who I'm not close with. 

I've thought about cranking up my ipod with my hypnobirthing meditations but that might be kind of rude. 

Has anyone had a med free delivery with lots of family in the room or in a situation where you weren't 100% relaxed? Can you give me some tips for keeping centered and focused? 

Nobody said life would be easy. Just that it would be worth it.

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Re: staying focused with people in the room?

  • I always have a lot of people there and for my last birth I would escape to the bathroom when I wanted to be alone.  But for the most part, I like having a crowd there, because I feel like they entertain each other and talk to one another and leave me alone unless I ask them for something.  If it is just one or two people in there with you, I feel like they spend all of their time staring at you.  At least that's how it was in my experience.
  • You have to get over worrying about whether or not you're being rude.  If you want them silent during a contraction, make them (or have your labor coach make them) be silent during a contraction.  Get in your zone and forget about them.  I had a ton of people in the room with my DS, and I didn't notice them at all.
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  • image schoolsoutbride:
    You have to get over worrying about whether or not you're being rude.  If you want them silent during a contraction, make them (or have your labor coach make them) be silent during a contraction.  Get in your zone and forget about them.  I had a ton of people in the room with my DS, and I didn't notice them at all.

    This!   I'm sure that they will want to do whatever is best to make you feel comfortable, so don't worry about being rude!    

    btw:  What a wonderful thing you are doing!

  • My DH and MIL were in the room and I warned them ahead of time that I did not want talking and they were respectful of that.  Don't feel bad about it, people will understand, it's one of the few times in your life you that it has to be all about you.
  • wow!  i've always thought that being a gestational surrogate is such a selfless and generous thing to do.  what a precious gift! 

    that said, when i was in labor with dd, i needed to be alone.  no compromise.  i just had to go to a primitive place deep inside.  i locked myself in the bathroom and only came out when it was time to push.  i think that i could have handled a few extra people for the pushing, but definitely not for the labor.  

    i would hope that the part of the birth that the bio parents really want to see is the pushing and delivery anyway, so why not just tell them in advance that you may need to labor in privacy but that they will be encouraged to participate and cheer you on as you are delivering their child.

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  • image mesr:

    i would hope that the part of the birth that the bio parents really want to see is the pushing and delivery anyway, so why not just tell them in advance that you may need to labor in privacy but that they will be encouraged to participate and cheer you on as you are delivering their child.

    I hadn't thought of it that way. True, they probably just want to see the actual birth. Why traumatize them (and me) with laboring?  lol!  And the rest of you are right too. I just need to do what's best for me in that moment. I thing by then I'll  have earned the right to be a little selfish.  ;)  Thanks! Thank you for your supportive comments as well. It can be a little controversial in some circles.

    Nobody said life would be easy. Just that it would be worth it.

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  • I think pp have made really good points about having them come in only for the actual birth, and that you should not have to worry about the things that come out of your mouth :).

    One thing that I would like to add is that I think educating the bio parents about birth ahead of time would be great. Is there a natural chilbirth class that they could sign up for? You could recommend some books, or if you are taking a refresher class, have them come along. I think knowing what to expect would help them understand your behavior and expectations during labor, and also bring them closer to the experience.

     PS. How exciting to be a surrogate!

  • A lot of people have recommended that I send them to child birth class. The thing is, that would be like torture for them. They cannot carry a child of their own after years of trying, miscarrying, drs telling them to stop. It would be rough for them to see a bunch of pregnant women all in the same room. (Something so natural that they can't have - it kind of rubs it in their face.) They're also a little fragile on the idea that she won't get to experience birth herself so I really need to tread lightly. Maybe I can find a book to offer so that they could check it out then they're feeling strong and at their own pace so that it's not too rough. You're right though. In some way I need to educate them.
    Nobody said life would be easy. Just that it would be worth it.

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  • How wonderful that you're doing this! Surrogacy is a secret dream of mine because I can't imagine a more wonderful gift for both the parents and you.

    Do you know any doulas or midwives? Maybe you could talk to someone about giving them a quick 'what to expect in natural labor' private meeting? Something tailored to this situation and sensitive to them?

  • I question whether they have a "right" to be present at the birth.

     I understand that you want them to be a part of the birth but I don't think that should be at the expense of you being able to deliver as easily as possible.

    Could you ask them to wait outside while you go through the early stages and transition of labour, and then invite them in for the pushing part. That way they get to see the birth of their child and you get to have some private space for the most part of it.

    If you find people in the birth room to be distracting then them being there won't help you.

    They should be able to understand that you know how you respond during labour to people being around you, and that you'd like to have your own space for most of the labour, but you want to include them in the actual birth part.

    And I agree with pp, being a surrogate is so kind of you. 

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