I'm sure it's been asked before . . . defending my choice — The Bump
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I'm sure it's been asked before . . . defending my choice

I am a FTM planning a home birth with a midwife.  Long before I was married I knew this was the route I was going to take.  H is fully supportive of this (of course), as is my  family.  However, H's mum is somewhat opinionated. We get along well, but do have our differences.  Whenever she says something I don't agree with, I tend to let it slide for the sake of keeping the peace (soooo unlike me). 

We have not mentioned the home birth to her yet b/c I KNOW she will not be nearly as supportive as my family.  I don't want to offend her (she had a c/s with BIL) but at the same time I feel very strongly about this issue and know I won't be able to let it go this time.  SOOO, that being said, how did you tactfully defend your decision w/o offending?


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Re: I'm sure it's been asked before . . . defending my choice

  • I have no idea. But if worse comes to worse or you need to end it before it really blows up, remind her that she chose how she wanted to birth her children and you get to choose how you want to birth your children.

    If she has tons of 'advice' for you about delivery, ask her to email you her advice so you can research each thing and decide what's best for you. (At least this way she wont be in your face and if it's something you already know about or have for sure decided, she won't know you didn't sit and research it for hours. You can just tell her later that you decided X option is best for you. And who knows, there may be something in there you haven't thought of) 

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  • I haven't been very tactful. My mother, grandmother and sister are all anti homebirth. It sucks not to have their support. For a long time I just avoided the issue with them however it has recently come to a head. In the end I just had to say that I appreciate that they all care so much, but it is an educated decision I am making and I would rather not discuss it anymore.

    Atleast you have your family's support, particularly your DHs. That is all that really matters.

    GL and I hope you can have the birth you want, minus the family drama :)

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  • "It's a decision that has already been made, and I will not discuss it."  Repeat.  Over, and over.  Do not engage.  :)
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  • I would give her the benefit of the doubt at first and be prepared to help her through it (with exceptions of course for unreasonable behavior).  I KNEW my Mom would be a worried wreck at first and the whole "I won't discuss it route" would have been cruel.  She is my Mom and the grandmother of my child and deserves a little more information and time than others IMO.  

    First, make sure you are EXCITED when you tell her- not nervous.  Tell her you have done lots of research and you and your DH have decided this is the best option for you family.  Answer any questions she has and offer to provide her with more information (Business of Being Born was a great option for my Mom as well as information from my actual MW).  If she starts acting unreasonable, tell her that you will not discuss it further until she reads/watches the stuff you provide to her.  If she still won't let up, then you can tell her that you will not be discussing it with her further. 

    Another thing I did was have my Mom attend one of my prenatal apts. with me so she could ask my MW questions.  This REALLY helped her get over most of her nervousness.

    In the end she was still nervous because I am her baby. :)  I was ok with that as long as she kept it to herself.  She actually ended up being at the birth (not planned) and although she says she does not wish to be there again (LOL) she is going to come and hang with Lily this time around.  

    She also sends me articles she comes across every once in a while and the last time she and my step father where in town they were telling me about something that they read about our maternity system not being very respectful of the mother...she has come a LONG way.   She still has her opinions (told one of my friends to get the epidural the other day- LOL), but I am ok with that because she is ultimately supportive of ME following my own path.  I can't ask for anything more.  


    Lilypie - (ZESJ)Lilypie - (QAi1)

  • Unless she specifically asks where you're giving birth, I don't think there's a reason to tell her before it happens. One of my sisters had a home birth, but just didn't tell our other sister, bc she knew she would have to defend her choice. Sometimes it's just easier to not say anything, I think...
    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • This article is written about breastfeeding, but the message works for any parenting/birth choice:

    https://www.llli.org/faq/criticism.html

  • imageAnnie984:
    "It's a decision that has already been made, and I will not discuss it."  Repeat.  Over, and over.  Do not engage.  :)

    I would not engage either. Especially if your MIL is confrontational. I would bring with as much literature about home births as you can put together, and I would say, that until she reads and is educated about it, you will not be having a discussion about it. You can let her know verbally that it will be attended by your MW and that she is trained and certified to do this sort of thing.

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  • We are planning a homebirth as well, and because we know that neither of our parents will be supportive of that choice, we've decided to keep it to ourselves. I'm only planning to tell my little sister, who will be watching our 2yo when I am in labor. Everyone else will get a call after the new baby is here. 

    We haven't discussed our plans with anyone at this point, because last time I had some complications at 36 weeks, and had to be induced at 37 weeks. So we're waiting to make sure things are still going smoothly, and if they are, then I'll talk to my sister at the 37 week mark.  

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  • imageKatelynEA90:

     remind her that she chose how she wanted to birth her children and you get to choose how you want to birth your children.

    I like this. 

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  • Just avoid the topic until you have the baby. It's not worth another 6 months of arguing. Just say you haven't decided yet and you'll let them know when the time comes. There was a girl in my Bradley class who was planning a home birth at her MIL's house. I taunt my husband about it sometimes. The very idea of doing that in her home makes him nearly faint. 
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  • With people older than my mother or around her age, I have mentioned that MRSA is a problem in hospitals now and that they are lucky they didn't have to worry about it when they had their kids. I also say right away that I am practically down the street from two hospitals in case of emergency. I think that framing this as something that is a beneficial decision now more than ever (even though I would want to do it even with no risk of MRSA) and making the point that I would go to a hospital if necessary makes me sound less like I think hospital birth moms are the devil (which some people assume you think if you mention a home birth).
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