Pregnant after a Loss

Family in town after baby is born?

Does anyone else have a messy family dynamic? How are you planning to deal with this sort of thing? If you've got children already, what was most helpful for you immediately after they were born?

I feel like I cannot even think about this right now, but my mom is already saying she wants to come up (she lives about 12 hours away) the week before the baby is born and stay two weeks after. And made some comment about how she can't afford a hotel, which felt like angling to stay with DH and I.

I kept telling her on the phone that all I can think about right now is just getting through this pregnancy and do not plan on thinking about birth, etc. until the third trimester but she's being unusually pushy about it. I love my mom, but we're not terribly close and I feel like it would stress me out to have her around... especially if she wants to stay with us.It's already stressing me out just thinking about it. She doesn't get along with DH, not to mention my mom being here would probably signal to his mother that it would be okay if SHE was here, too, since she lives in another state, as well. Let's not even talk about my parents' ugly divorce.

I guess I just don't know how I'm supposed to field these kinds of questions this early, or even what my answer should be. I have NO IDEA what to expect or what I'll need emotionally/mentally/physically at that time, for all my instinct tells me that I am going to want to be able to bond with my new family and not need extended family drama, at least not 24/7.

I appreciate the advice. I wouldn't be asking if I didn't think this wasn't going to come up again, and soon. I feel ridiculous but my family is kind of ridiculous.


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Re: Family in town after baby is born?

  • Let me preface with if this one sticks, it'll be my first. but after witnessing other family members with drama filled families, here's my best advice. 

    my own parents haven't even acknowledged that i'm pregnant again.  but we haven't been speaking much the last few years.  i'm not really close with my mom anymore, but i don't see any reason why you can't ask nicely for her to stay somewhere else. or depending on the situation, seeing if maybe someone in your friends/family could let you guys borrow a small trailer/motohome or something? that way she has somewhere to go and doesn't need to be on hand at all times.

     i'm all for family being around, but you're going to be tired and emotional and hormonal those weeks.  we fully plan on asking my FIL to borrow the 5th wheel for a few weeks as people come in and out of town.  we only have one extra bed in our house, and i can't immagine having a lot of people trying to cram into my little house when i'm exausted.  (last hosted family gathering saw 5 adults and 3 dogs inside and 2 adults and another dog in the 5th wheel for a long holiday weekend....)

    we're more asking for the 5th wheel so people who come over have a place to escape the crazy noisyness that is a newborn the first few weeks.  i know members of my family who will not be ok with waking up every couple of hours during their visit.

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  • I have had so much anxiety over this same thing.  I have a great relationship with my mother but she wants to be here and bring her boyfriend which just doesn't excite me.  If it were my dad it would be different...but it's not.  Anyway, I'm basically just telling her that I want DH to be able to bond with our new baby and if she is here than it will just be too easy for him to let us do the work and he can hang out with her boyfriend and not actually bond with his new family.  She understood that and is planning just to come a little later instead.  I think I would like to have her in the room with me when I'm actually in labor, but since we live across country from each other, she would have to stay in my house with us for the weeks surrounding the birth, plus who knows when the baby will actually come, she could plan her trip and then the baby not come during that time, or come early.  You just never know...anyway, my point is that I told her no and that we need that time as a family and as much as it pained her, she relented finally and said she understood.  It's not ideal, but I think we have to do what's best for our families now and not our parents!  GL, I hope you get a good resolution!
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  • It is nice to have someone help you out when you get home. I read all these fears about "I won't be able to bond with the baby"....sounds great, but it's going to be the least of your worries. 

    It really comes down to this: can she help you out without stressing you or dh out? If the answer is yes, send her an invite. If the answer is no (and it sounds like that's the case), you need to shut the broad down now. The linger you hem and haw over not telling her, the harder it's going to be. So, be upfront with her now "we don't want houseguests after the baby is born. Instead, why don't you come visit for x days between xxxx and xxxx"

    Those first few weeks you're going to be sleep deprived, unshowered, walking around without a shirt, completely in survival mode. It is nice to have someone there to cook/clean/drive you places (you can't drive for 3w after a c section). Also, that person shouldn't expect that you'll play host and have an appetizer platter and fresh sheets available for them. People who stay with you after delivery should be viewed s domestic help, not visitors. Only invite people who fit that description.

    About a month later is when most people feel up to having actual guests come stay for a couple of days. 

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  • I made it very clear to all family and friends that we would not want anyone staying with us for the first few weeks. I am Type A and even if my sister is coming over who I'm very close with, I want the house clean and feel the need to entertain. It was all me though--my family wouldn't have cared what condition the house was in or if I kept them busy or not. But I know me and know I would have and that is just too much when getting used to a new baby. 
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  • I had a messy family dynamic when DD was born. We all decided that each set of grandparents would come visit us for 1 week total. We wanted a week alone with the baby at home to get settled in. Then my parents came. Then we had a few days to recover before DH's parents came for a week. 

    I kind of liked our ground rules

    - They can come visit us for 1 week 

            - They can stay with us, but under the condition of no unwanted advice and that they helped us (e.g., laundry, cooking, etc.)


    I know it sounds kind of drill sgt., but it worked for us.  

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  • My mom is planning on coming a week to ten days after the baby is born.  I told her I'd want her to help, but I also wanted DH and I to have some time alone with the baby first.  She and I don't get along really well, but she understood that.  MIL is planning on coming, but after a 15-day Christmas visit wherein I nearly killed her, she is only allowed to come for one week and only with SIL.

    I would do some research now for some inexpensive hotel/motel/extended stay/rentals for your mom if she really wants to come for that long.  I have to tell you, two weeks is a REALLY long time with someone you don't get along with.  I'd be very clear that you and DH need some time alone with the baby, but she's welcome to come for one week (or however long) and give her several hotel options that are inexpensive so she can't balk at the cost.  If she does, tell her she can shorten her stay but that she just can't stay with you.

    Stand your ground.  Make choices that are best for you.  At the end of the day, you need to do what feels right for your family, even if that means someone's feelings are going to get hurt.

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  • Im thinking it's prob best if she doesn't stay with you. I just think it would be too much stress esp with her and dh. I would just try to tell her in a nice way that you and dh need this time for your new family and that she can help but you also need your space. Hopefully she understands :). Our fam lives real close but my mom isnt and prob won't come over unless u ask her too which I'm thinking will be the same way for the rest of the fam but I could be wrong lol good luck! 

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  • Even though I haven't experienced it yet, I have to agree with the PAL ladies. 

    I would personally feel scrutinized and compared to my sister (Who has 3 boys that are 3 and under).  My mom went down to help her out for 2 weeks after each boy was born.  I know it wouldn't be intentional for my mom to do it, and she would make this house spotless, but it may lead to some unneeded stress for me.  I think I would just prefer to have her come after a few weeks when we have gotten used to having a baby in the house.


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  • I cannot even express how grateful I am for all of these insightful replies. Thank you so, so much. I'll just have to have a hard conversation with my mother.

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  • There will be absolutely NO overnight guest in my house for at least the first week!

    Both my mom and my in-laws live about 3 hours away. I have a great relationship with my in-laws, they will know when the baby is coming and be asked to come visit that day. My mother and I do not get along, she is a nurse and likes to give lots of unwanted advice and even trys to tell other nurses how to do there job. She will not be invited to come visit until after the baby is born ( I'll call her that same day to come but maybe an hour after, and then it will still take her 3)

    DH aunt will probably be the first one to stay with us, after that first week. She is really close with the both of us.Then if my mom wants to she can come for a few days, I'm talking like 3 max! And then DH parents. They will be down a bunch until then but not actually stay with us. My mom is super sloppy so that's why MIL is coming after her, MIL is a clean freak and will help me get my house back in order.

    I know that sounds mean and super controlled but if people dont like my decision as to how things are going to go, they can not come at all!

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  • My family is a little messy because I was adopted at birth and am in contact with my biological mother, my parents divorced after 27 years of marriage when I was 18, my dad remarried and moved 8 hours away and my mom lives about 40 minutes from us and has been in a relationship with the same guy for about 14 years and he is more of a grandfather to DD than anyone (in large part because of the distance to my dad and DH's father passing away while we were dating).  My mom and MIL were at the hospital when DD was born and both visited regularly while I was on maternity leave, but since they both work full time, no one ever stayed at our house with us.  My dad waited until DD was a couple of weeks old before coming to town to meet her and spend time with us.  Since I was a new mother trying to breastfeed, I made it clear that they should stay elsewhere, so they stayed with my aunt and uncle who lived about 10 minutes from us. My biological mother also came to town to visit and stayed at a hotel for a few days, though I can't recall exactly when or how long she stayed.  Having a newborn in the house is DEFINITELY not a good time for company unless it is someone you have a GREAT relationship with.  I'm not comfortable enough with anyone in my family that I would want them in my house for 3 weeks.

    This time around we won't have an extra bedroom in the house (3BR house), so that makes it easier for people to quickly gather they can't stay at the house if they plan to visit.

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  • When DD was born, I insisted ahead of time that I wanted privacy during labor - so NO guests anytime around when I might go into labor. I was really into the whole natural child birth, labor at home thing, so people understood. ILs came down the day DD was born, and stayed at our house, but they understood ahead of time that they had to leave as soon as we got home from the hospital - and I meant it, they didn't even get a cup of tea before we were like "ok, bye!" I was a mess from labor and wanted privacy, plus I wanted privacy to nurse, and we had explained ahead of time that we needed time alone when we got home to bond. They accepted it. Then my mother came 10 days later, for a week and 2 days. It was perfect. That 10 days home alone gave us the *best* opportunity to bond. I was off my feet, so DH had to all the dressing and changing of DD. It could not have worked better to set them off on the right foot. He knew nothing about babies before that, but after a few days was  master diaper-er, and more importantly, it put their relationship in the right direction - they are super close now and he's truly a primary care-giver. And, that time alone gave me the chance to constantly hold, cuddle, nurse, etc with my LO. Both DH and I look back at those 10 days as one of the most wonderful times of our life -- even with the pain and exhaustion! And when my mom arrived, we were ready -- hungry, dirty, tired, and ready for household help. She knew ahead of time, though, that I would remain the baby holder, and DH would remain the diaper-er. It was really good. 

    This time around is more complicated, bc of DD. I need to figure out who will care for her, how she'll get enough attention, what happens if I go into labor in the middle of the night, etc. Much more stressful! This time I think I'll need to give a little -- have my mom here ahead of time, or ILs, or something. But we're still going to try to figure out how to have a chunk of time for the four of us (!) to bond and be alone.

    GL! Btw, I found 5 weeks to be the best time for people to visit, after the birth. Things were more comfortable and easier by then.  

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  • I'd agree with others that if your mom sparks any stress at all for you, then her staying with you - or for that matter even being in town - right around or after the birth would be creating unnecessary anxiety.

    The protocol we were going to go with was to tell the grandparents they can't make flight arrangements to get out here until after LO has arrived. We thought that would give us a few days alone (and the idea of my ILs in town just waiting for me to go into labor is hellish). I'd love my mom to be here right afterward, but we can't make separate rules for my family and his family. My ILs are already hinting that they might just take a summer road trip out west (we live in CO, they're in KY), so I'm nervous they're thinking they'll just hang around here for a while around the due date time. If so, I won't hesitate to put my foot down and nix those plans (MH, however, has a hard time standing up to his folks). Blah. 

    Siggy Note: Drunk Ron Swanson is on a break while Amy Poehler takes over for a while, summing up my thoughts on all this birth control, prenatal testing, women's issues stuff in the news.
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