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Monday, August 22, 2011

Who would you want in the room when you're giving birth?

Who would you want in the room when you're giving birth? Alex and I wanted to be alone because I like complete quiet when concentrating. In college, I was one of those people who couldn't study with music playing; and I felt the same way about keeping our hospital room mellow during labor.

Who would you want in the room with you? Your mom? Your dad? Your best friend? Everyone? Just your spouse? Is there anyone you really wouldn't want there? I'd love to hear...

P.S. How to make a baby.

(Photo by Thierry Bouët of brand new babies)

167 comments:

emily lang said...

i think just my significant other. as i've aged, despite having excellent, tightly bonded relationships with the "circle of women" in my family (mom, sister, aunt, grandmother), i think the only person i'd want in the room for that intimate moment is my husband. perhaps partially because i'd have a hard to time excluding any of them individually and i wouldn't want a crowded room either. all or none.

shu84 said...

nice first portret:)

http://shu84.blogspot.com/

Pretty Mommy said...

I just posted my birth stories this week and it was pretty emotional to relive it again and remember all the details of both girls...Because I wanted a natural childbirth I only had my husband and doula in the room...Looking back I still feel bad about not letting my mom in but it was important for me to keep my head in the right space and focus on getting those babies out ;)

Michelle said...

Just me and hubby. That was a hard pill to swallow for my mother who really really wanted to be there. We didn't even ask anyone to the hospital until the baby arrived both times.

Pamela said...

Just my hubs! I just can't imagine sharing that intimate moment with anyone else (I mean, hello? We made him/her!).

Veronica said...

Not all pregnant women have "spouses!" Can we agree that you/we meant "partner?" My boyfriend was in the room with me when we had ours...

Fabiana ~ Ciao Newport Beach said...

Only by husband. It worked out wonderfully that way with all 4 of my boys' births...perfect!

Anonymous said...

I did not want anyone, except my husband. For our second child, we also had a doula. We didn't tell anyone the babies had arrived until several hours after they were born. It was the only time that we could have each of our babies all to ourselves. I even wanted to wait a day or two, but my husband said we couldn't do that. We were 'selfish'.

sami said...

oh i love his serious of portraits!

i just posted on childbirth today, actually. i had a really long labor, 30 hours, and while i had planned to have my whole family there to witness something they had never seen before - natural childbirth - by the end of the 30 hours i was no longer into that idea and opted to just have my husband and the midwife. i think it's impossible to know what you will actually do in the moment, there are so many hormones and feelings and it's such a cloudy experience!

Stephanie said...

Just my husband and medical professionals! Sorry, but I would NOT want my parents or in-laws in the room when I push a human being out of a bodily orifice. :-P

Tam Hess said...

I would want to have my sisters in the room...but Mom comes with sisters so no sisters. Boo Hoo!

Another Diamond Day said...

I think only my boyfriend!

Bethany said...

My husband and my mom, and that's it. And if we choose to have a doula, then of course they will need to be there. The only reason I would want my mom there is because she "gets" the experience. She gets the pain and the exhaustion and the fear, and as much as I love my husband, I need that reassurance from someone I trust.

Gray Skies said...

Babies aren't anywhere in my near future, but I know for sure that I don't want anyone in the room with me except my husband (well, and doctors and nurses, duh!). And while I'm positive that no one on my side of the family would want to be there for that experience, I'm pretty sure a lot of the women in my husband's family would. When they give birth, they invite everyone. Literally. Anyone's who's curious is welcome to come to the birth!

Jamie Jobe said...

I was in the room when my best friend gave birth both times. it was amazing!she gave birth in a tub. buck naked. doggie style position. thank god we're best friends. I kept thinking to myself, when i have kids she'll want to be in the room too while I'm buck naked, face down, in a tub. yikes. But i guess its only fair. It was such an amazing moment to experience, but I want it to be as intimate as possible.

kaelee said...

I wasn't sure who i would want with me while giving birth, I invited my sister for photographing the event, but other than that i was at a loss. I ended up with my sister, my mom, my husband, and my 2 midwives in our home, and it was an amazing bonding experience for all of us. I think it really repaired replaced some of the things that were missing in mine, my mothers, and my sister's relationship. I love them so much, and am so glad i had their support. I am so happy that I followed my heart and invited them.

Glenda said...

When I had my two kiddo's only my hubby was in the room. No one else. It was our experience and it was beautiful.

ziazia said...

I had my partner and my mom in the room as well as the dr. and one amazing nurse that helped me all the way (i decided no meds). I'm very happy i had them with me and it was a fast and easy labor and birth.
I didn't want everyone in there because it would've been hard to concentrate to ease the pain but i think everyone else got the point and didnt ask to stick around.

French Lover said...

Just my husband. And he'll stay by my side. As in, near my head :)

Helen said...

My mom was there, but I felt almost like she was my doula (she's the mother of 6, and a surgeon, and not someone who's afraid to push back against medical professionals.) I was unsure before I went into labor how it would go, if I would want her to leave, but it was great having her there.

On the other hand, my sister came to the hospital, and asked the nurse if she could come in, and I wouldn't have she heard me shout "NO!" from the waiting room.

All things considered, there was a bit of a crowd in the room (me, husband, mom midwife, nurse, and a med student -- yes I OK'ed her) but it was a natural delivery, and for so much of it, I wasn't really possible to focus on anyone besides my husband. I'm actually kind of glad they were there, though, because I wanted things like a drink, or a blanket, but the last thing I would have wanted was my husband leaving me alone to go fetch a ginger ale!

wonderchris said...

Haven't been pregnant - but hopefully soon...I would love to have my husband next to me...and a doula and midwife assisting, with my mother-in-law close by. :)

WhitMc said...

Just the huzz. That's how it was with my daughter's birth (well, along with the awesome doctor and equally awesome nurse) and it was perfect. The person I would not want in the room = my dad. Love him to bits, but man that would be awkward.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

I want my husband and a midwife, and when it is all done, I want a rush of family :)

hopefully thus happens in march of 2012!! :)

xoxo
a

Michelle said...

I'm torn - I know my mom would love to be in there but I think she would annoy me to the point where I'd just want to keep it in for another week.

Kersey Campbell said...

Hi Joanna!

I mentioned this to you the other day, but I had family (husband,mom, dad, sister) and a few very close friends in the room until near the end. But my husband, mom, sister and one friend stayed until my little man was born.

For the next child, I will probably only have my husband in the room. Perhaps my mom or sister. But so many people was a little overwhelming and somewhat distracting.

Robyn said...

aside from medical personnel, it will be just my husband and i there next week when we have our little boy. we didn't even ask if anyone else wanted to be there - too much of our family 9on both sides) likes to make everything about them, and this is not the time for that!

i'd love to wait to tell people until after he's been here a few hours, but i will be having a c-section (he's breech), so they'll know the date ahead of time. my hope is that we can hold them off for a few extra hours (under the guise of my needing to recover still a bit if necessary) so we can have a few precious moments as just our litle family of three before the crazy begins.

caitlin szabo said...

Nothing against my mother and father, I love them dearly, I just think when that time comes (in just four weeks now!) I will just want my husband in the room with me. I'm totally cool with visitors during the labor process popping in to say a word of encouragement, but I think the actual delivery is a very private time for parents to experience undisturbed.

Lisa Llarena said...

Just the husband. And by my head only, please. If he moves past my waist area, I may just bite him.

Register said...

I just needed my hubby, I am very lucky to have a very supportive man. He was so calming and intune to my needs...I had two wonderful and fast births each less than four hours :) I was induced with the first because of pre-ecplampsia and everything went beautifully even though my BP was 220/120. With the second I had a natural birth and I am so grateful that I got that opportunity! I think no matter your story or situation everybody needs somebody supportive and calm with them! Also no matter what happens giving birth is an amazing and wonderful thing!

macaca grava por cima said...

I just wanted my hysband with me. and he was there for the 9 hours in labour, listening to his music (he took an iPod to the delivery room, to relax, the poor guy)and helping me a lot. I couldn't remember the breathing techniques and he kept helping me with that. Unfortenetly, after all those hours I couldn't dilate enough and I had to go to surgery room and he could not go with me... :-(
Still... I couldn't imagine those moments without him!!! Altthough I guess it must be very hard to the person whose watching... I don't know if I could be that person... :-) honestly, it must be nerve racking!!!

Snow White said...

Just my (future) husband and medical people, thanks. I wouldn't want anyone else seeing me in that state. My mom didn't want my father there, but I'd hate to be there without the support of the guy who helped make the kid lol.

Malia said...

I don't know for sure since I'm no where near close to having a baby, but I would want my husband and my mom. I was adopted so my mom never gave birth herself, her sister never had children and I have a brother. I've never asked her but I don't think she's ever been present for the birth of a child so I would want her to have that experience.

Ana Louisa said...

Precious photo! Joanna--I was looking for a post you did yesterday on how one's style changes after having a baby. In the photos, you had this cute tote from Banana Republic that I've been thinking about getting---I couldn't find the post! Are you still enjoying that bag? Thanks in advance :)

tragicsandwich said...

Aside from the trained medical professionals, Mr. Sandwich was the only person in the room with me when Baguette was born. His support was phenomenal--his instincts about what kind of encouragement I needed were just right.

I had thought I'd hire a doula, but I never had the energy to find one.

DeeDee said...

With my first, we were in the hospital and I had my man and my Mom.
It was OK, but hubby was scared to death and Mom was very preoccupied (my Dad had had a stroke recently and was still hospitalized.)

When our second baby was born, we chose a home birth. Hubby and I were much more relaxed. My best friend acted as my doula. My Mom was invited but didn't get there in time. The midwife barely made it - that labor went so fast!

All things being as smooth and easy as my two births, I believe that I'd be perfectly happy to give birth alone or with just my husband as attendant.

A Cup of Sparkle said...

I think if I ever have a baby, I want noone in the room :)
I went to my sisters labor and it was quite an experience.

-Melike
acupofsparkle.blogspot.com

Kiana said...

I know this sounds bad but I definitely don't want my mom there. My mom is a nurse who tends to give you the worst case scenario every time you complain of something. I would want my husband there and probably my best friend. My best friend is in med school so I think it would be better to have her around than to have either of my sisters who apart from having no medical knowledge, don't have any kids so thus wouldn't be that helpful.

Jiyoonie said...

oh, definitely just me and my hubba. definitely wanted my immediate family and best friends there right after the twins were born, but my husband has seen me at my best and my worst and ugliest and most vulnerable... knew he wouldn't be scared away :)

- Jessi - said...

hahaha that video is awesome. I only wanted my husband. Congrats :)

wildchild said...

i'm a far ways away from having to decide any of that, but i think just my husband. we made the baby, we can bring it into the world. it'll be nice to have our moments with him or her before everyone comes rushing in. but who knows? i'll probably change my mind once there's a babe actually in me.

http://theambershow.net said...

Ideally: my husband over here, a midwife over THERE just in case, and a photographer WAY over there, all in my living room. :)

I think that if it was baby 2+ I would like to have siblings, too.

Heidi / I'm with Leia said...

just my husband - we made him so we should be there when he comes out. feel thta a birth is a very private thing - can't wait though - lesss than 2 months now :)

MEL said...

This will be a tough decision for me because I know my whole damn family will want to be there! Right now (being not pregnant, but planning for the near future) I'm thinking my husband, my mom, and my best friend. But knowing my family, I know feelings will get hurt if some people can be there and others can't so I feel like I'll probably just go with my husband. Not that that's a bad thing--I think it might be the best decision anyway. After all, no one else will be in the room when we make the baby! Except for our dogs who sleep in our room but that's just completely out of the question. :)

Joanna Goddard said...

wow, deedee, that's so brave!

Joanna Goddard said...

whildchild, i agree, it's so lovely to be with just your husband and have him there to support you fully.

Kiley said...

Only my husband. My cousins have practically invited their whole families to be a part of the the birth and as the video footage shows they get annoyed very quickly. My mom has told me not to call her until the baby is born so she doesn't sit there and stress about it!

Jesse said...

already a topic for debate for us and i'm only 17 weeks. ug, so hard to decide!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Just my husband (and my doctor) - My husband and I were the only people present when we made the baby, we should be the only ones present when he/she is born (unfortunatley, I had two emergency c-sections, so that serenity went right out the window).

Amy said...

Just my husband and doctor/nurses. My mother-in-law wants to be there when our baby is born in November - I can see this is going to cause a whole lot of drama when she's told "no". Thankfully, hubby is in charge of handling that little situation!

Anonymous said...

Only my husband was in the room. At one point, as I was transitioning, even our midwife left for a bit to get a nurse to assist her. I was most comfortable at that moment. We also kicked all medical professionals out of the room immediately after the birth so we could spend the first hour or so of our babies life with only our family - it was wonderful!

Audrey said...

Well I wouldn't want anybody in the room besides the midwife :-)
I find it very freaky to imagine my husband / boyfriend watching me while I'm pushing a baby out of my vagina. In France (I'm French :-) ), it is not uncommon for women to ask for their husband to wait outside, even though many others find it comforting to have their man by their side.
However, it is VERY uncommon in France to have your mom by your side while giving birth... French women would find it juste totally awkward. But after all, I think in the end it doesn't matter who is in the room or not. As my mom says : "the day of your birth was not the best day of my life. The best days were all the days afterwards..."

nicole said...

My husband and my sister. xo.

Holly said...

I'll probably want just my hubby, and maybe my mom who is a labor and delivery nurse. I realized during wedding time for me that I am a "small numbers" sort of person. When we were being married, I wished it was just me and hubby up there with the officiant. I hated having hundreds of people stare at me while making the biggest decision of my life! So, I'm sure that will translate over to having a baby too!

roe said...

Very good question. If you didn't pose it, I might not have ever thought about it, until it was happening. Definitely, my future husband, definitely not my mom, and maybe my closest of girl friends.. they'll have to be there as support to calm me and the future husband, as I can imagine a lot of screaming and anxiety going on. Love my mom to death, too, but I can already see the control with my brother's new born baby. :D

gabrielle said...

just my spouse. i have thought a lot about this (dont ask me why) but my mother would stress me out. it's a special, intimate moment to be shared with your spouse.

Lindsey said...

I like how Emily Lang described it as a "moment" ;) For my upcoming labor in five weeks, we've hired a doula. So it will be me, my husband and our doula the whole time. She's coming to our house first, and we'll head to the hospital all together when contractions are less than five minutes apart.
At the hospital there will be midwives in and out and, of course, the doctor! Can't forget her!! From what I understand it's the 8-12 hours plus of laboring when you really need privacy. By the time you're pushing, it's a completely different animal (roar!) from laboring.
I live abroad and I am fine with the fact that my family won't be coming for the birth (mom, sisters, etc). I am easily overwhelmed and I don't want any visitors for the first couple of weeks, maybe longer. :)

Alex said...

When I had my son my husband, my mother & two of my sisters were in the room & I really liked it that way. When we get pregnant with our second I want to have a home birth or birth center birth & would love to be able to have the same people in the room with me. We're a really close family & it was special to share those moments with everyone.

Maryli said...

I was planning on my partner, my doula and my mother. Part of me is secretly relived that I went into labor early and my mom couldn't make it. I loved having it just be me, my partner and my baby for the first few minutes of his life. Of course I was happy to see my doula shortly after to help me figure out nursing, and to see family shortly after that, but the intimacy of the actual labor was perfect.

teamcowan said...

My husband and I both decided that we wanted it to be just us. Then when I went in to labor with our second son a week early my husband was out of town two hours away! His mother was staying with me in case that very thing happened, so she took me to the hospital while he hurried there as fast as he could. I knew he would be there soon, and I knew I wouldn't want to be self concious at all with her there, so I told her to go ahead and leave (knowing my midwife would stay with me the whole time). What we didn't plan on was my husband's tire exploding on his truck about an hour out of town! It was like a movie! When he finally got there the whole nurses staff was waiting for him to tell him where to go (it's a small hospital) and he ran as fast as he could through the hospital to my room. He burst through the door on my first push and our son was born 30 minutes later. And even though I was alone most of the time, I wouldn't change it at all. It would have been a totally different experience if my mother-in-law had stayed. There was something about being there by myself, knowing my husband was doing whatever he could to get to me.

Heba said...

I think I'd want my sister to be with me, but idk maybe when I'm married i'd change my mind.

http://girlynote.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

My husband, mom, and MIL.

Jo @ In Corners of My Mind said...

Joanna...I love your motherhood mondays and your post about breast feeding inspired me to share my birth stories over the last week or so (I have three children).
For me I felt it was very intimate and private, and like you I wanted it calm and quiet. I had my husband and my eldest daughter who was 18 when I had my second child and almost 20 when I had my third. In fact she cut the cord both times and it was a wonderful experience to share with her.
To this day she will tickle her little sisters' tummies and pointing to their belly buttons says 'I made that' It melts my heart every time.
Of course having my husband there was equally important and such a moment of connection for us as we welcomed our children into the world together.
Thanks for inspiring! Happy Monday!

Katie said...

Only husband. Definitely not: mother in law. We're expecting our first in a month, and fortunately my husband knows me so well that the very idea of anyone else being there was never even discussed. And we're agreed, absolutely no phone calls or visitors until we are in the recovery room, cleaned, and feel "situated."

Amy said...

I think I just want my husband in the room, but I want my mom to be on "stand-by", haha. I want her to be available in case I need her or if my husband wants a break, but I don't want her there from the start. I definitely don't want my mother in law there because I just don't feel comfortable with her seeing my hoo-ha.

Samantha Holcomb said...

Oh for sure just me and my husband! I could not handle any more than that. I too had a LONG labor like another commenter mentioned (mine was 32 hours!)I was exhausted, uncomfortable and in no mood to feel as though I had to "entertain" anyone. Does that make sense? Can't wait to read your story.

Maria said...

Any family that wanted to be there. It's an amazing time, a joyful event and I think having everyone there rooting us on would be wonderful. The more the merrier!!!

Notes from Holly St. said...

All throughout my pregnancy I was adamant that no one be in the room except for my husband. When I went into labor and it was time to start pushing my mom happened to be in the room along with my husband and I. At the time I was so nervous and preoccupied that I really didn't care who was there but I'm actually really happy that I was able to share that experience with my mom.

Merrilyn said...

I only wanted my husband in the room with me. I felt it was a very intimate moment for just the two of us (and the doctor and nurses, I suppose) to share. We were the only ones present when she was conceived, and I was very firm with both of my deliveries that I did not need or want anyone else there. Childbirth is a rather undignified process, anyway, and my labors were both 20+ hours, so it's not something for the faint of heart!

Chase, Paige, baby Link said...

my husband and I just wrote out our birth plan for our delivery in just 2 short months! We decided that we want to be alone, we love our parents and have amazing relationships with all of them but it's a new start to our lives and we want that to be intimate.

ATTrio said...

I have no kids yet but I already know. NO ONE expect my husband!!! I have some family (in-laws) that will invite anyone into the room I feel like. Whoa! Whoa!! not for me I tell you.

Sarah

MamaLiza said...

I remember for when I had my first child, I really wanted my mom there. My husband flew my mom out from TN to CO for the occasion. When I finally went into labor, I remember crying for my mom to be by my side and didn't so much think about my husband at all. It was scary and I really just wanted my mom. :( The second time around, my husband didn't even ask I wanted my mom. He arranged for it to happen. I didn't really need my mom this time, since I knew what was to come. Although it was very nice to have her there with me. If I had to do it all over again. I would still have just my mom and husband...and well the midwife. :)

MarianneEee said...

Only my husband. He sent messages to our parents during the birth to keep them informed.

If for some reason my husband couldn't be there, I would have asked my best friend. He is endlessly supportive and calm, and he's a nurse.

chanel said...

I do not have kids yet and before I was married I though that I would want my mom and, obviously, husband there. Now that I am married I think I would only want it to be us two and have that moment together. However, I also do know that everything changes once if all becomes real to you, so...I'm not making any strong claims until that time comes. :)

http://bywayofney.blogspot.com/

Elissa said...

My mom and my pastor (a woman pastor) was in the room with me. I had wanted my sister but she was a bridesmaid in a wedding and Tim, Tessa's Dad, just missed it by five minutes because he was driving all the way from San Fransisco, a 3-4 hour drive.

Jessica Wray said...

My baby's daddy and my baby's daddy only, well and the doctor of course. I just think there is something so intimate about being the only ones welcoming your little babe into the world.

My best friend didn't allow anyone but her and the daddy around for the first hour of her son's life. very special.

Today's Gift said...

Only my husband and maybe my mom (and a doula or midwife).

Kat said...

It was just my hubby and me. The nurse and the doctor weren't even around much until I got to the transition stage. Neither of us have family that live close (5 hours drive is the closest), so we weren't worried about them being in the labor room. I wouldn't have wanted them there anyway.

Like Joanna I prefer quiet. If my sister was in the room she would have never shut up. That fact that we didn't pick a name until we hung out with our son for a little bit would have driven my mother nuts.

Melissa Blake said...

I can't wait to read Alex's birth story!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I'm a 29 year old Danish girl, who have already given birth to two boys (age 3 and 8). Both times I had my boyfriend, my mum and my dad at my side, while I was in labour. My dad is a doctor and my mum's a nurse - and they made me feel much more safe.

Both times were fantastic experiences - it was great with all the love and support.

Kind Regards
Mette

JBergum said...

Ha! Just had this convo yesterday with the MIL. We're not even sure we want kids ever, but for some reason the topic was brought up. When I told her that she wouldn't be allowed in during labor, she said she'd come in anyway. "Too F*cking bad" she said. Then I told her that if she did that she better believe she'd never know her grandchild. That shut her up. :)
What is with everyone wanting to see the labor? Just my hubby and I...and maybe my mom on standby because well, she's MY MOM. (not my MIL).

Dana said...

I gave birth at home and the only ones there where my husband, two midwives and a doula. If I have another one I´d love to do the same, except I´d probably have my son there too! I´d defenitly not want any strangers or nervous family members!!

Shannon said...

Only my husband...and my midwifes!

I would NOT want my mom there...that's for sure...I don't even want to see her for a few days, so my 2 year old, my husband and I can gel as a family before we let any part of the rest of the world in

tobiebrown said...

when i was 19 and pregnant, planning on giving my baby up for adoption, i chose to invite all the people who loved and supported me to witness the birth. in total there were 19 people, not including my midwives, there to support me. their strength gave me strength.

when my daughter was born, 11 years later, my husband, mom and two girlfriends were there. although my husband was the only one i saw.
then when my son was born, it was just the husband, daughter and mom.

each birth was beautiful, hard, intimate and perfect. and i know i sound like a hippy, but i can't think of anything more amazing than a woman giving birth!

Veralynn said...

I keep tossing around different ideas on the subject and thankfully I have about three months to decide! I will probably have my husband and a close friend, at the very least. But it will all come down to how I feel at the moment! :)

Jamie @ charmingly ordinary said...

CANNOT WAIT to read Alex's version! Oh, and I definitely wouldn't want my stepmother in the room. Definitely.

abigail said...

love this question... before I was pregnant I always thought I would want my mom there (in addition to my husband) but then once I was actually pregnant and began to visualize how I wanted our home birth- I realized I just wanted our midwives and my husband around supporting me, less distractions. (my mom actually loved this idea!)

I also thought I would want music but when the time came I found it too distracting. So I gave birth at 4am in the quiet of our apartment's living room, with just my husband, our three midwives and our little boston terrier- who was hiding in our bedroom. ; )

We had a water birth and the whole experience was rather surreal and very very special- very chill and calm and that was because I had a great chill and calm birth team around me.

(our daughter is going to be 1 in October!!! I think I'll post a little birth story-esque post on my blog http://tiptoethrough.blogspot.com/ when the time comes!)

Louisa said...

I had only my husband. I didn't want anyone else in there with me - it is so special and I really think the mom should be the one to decide who, if anyone, gets to be in the room. My plan was for my husband to stay near my head....until the nurse asked him to grab one of my legs during pushing. You should have seen his face!! He almost passed out!
Re: the comment about not telling anyone that her baby had been born for a few hours - I highly recommend this if you have issues with your parents & in-laws! Some people think they are entitled to swoop right in once you've delivered the baby. Be selfish all you want because it's amazing and those first few hours/days are so precious.

Victoria said...

My Huzz and the medical staff. Thats just perfect.

Anna Culp said...

while my husband is my rock in many ways, i knew he'd be too freaked out to give me what i needed during labor and delivery. my mama held one leg and he held the other, for 3 hours of pushing. i'm glad i had both of them--and that everyone else was in the waiting room.

Sarah said...

With my first, I had my husband and mother (plus the nurses and doc). I had actually told my mother that I wanted her on "stand-by" and would call if/when I wanted her to come, but she got too eager and showed up on her own. I was very annoyed at first, in the end I was glad she was there. Labor was LOOOONG, including over 4 hours of pushing and I needed the support of everyone who was there. With my second, it was only my husband and me (plus nurse and doc) and that was perfect in that situation. My second was quick and intense and I think having anyone else there would have been distracting. My mom was thrilled to be there with the first and was again thrilled to be on grandma/babysitting duty during the second. She got to be the first visitor with our older child, which was special in its own way.

DebZorn said...

When my daughters were born (over 30 years ago, yikes!),it was a
relatively new thing to have dads in the delivery room. I liked having him with me. Any body else would have may me uncomfortable. I am very thankful that I could be with each of my daughters when they had their first child. I was banned from the delivery room for the rest of the births. But, that's OK. I am so, so blessed with healthy children and 7 healthy grandchildren.

Isabel said...

Nobody! Aside from the medical personnell of course. I said definately NO to my partner while i was giving birth and he was over the moon with it. I'm happy that i stuck with my decision - I don't even want to imagine that he'd had to be there with me, watching me all exposed like that. I think that could've taken a huge part of mystery and attraction out of our relationship. As my mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother said 'Some parts of women's life should stay as far as possible from your man'.

And don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to strip my husband of some kind of sacred-bonding experience with the new-born, because he told me, that the first time he was really hit with the overwhelming feeling of being a father, was when he walked into our hospital room and saw us - our little son sleeping in my arms.

the lil bee said...

Husband only. My mom was upset that I wouldn't let her in the room, but she tends to get very emotional and I didn't want to be worrying about anything other than the baby and my pain.

Did you have trouble writing your birth story, btw? I wrote Devon's so quickly but it's taking me, YES, a thousand years to write Blake's. I picked it up again yesterday afternoon but I really just can't finish it.

Emily said...

My husband & I don't have children (yet!) as we've only been married for 2 years, but I one day when I am in labor I want ONLY him. My parents and his are all very controlling (although we love them very much!) and need to be reminded that this is our family.

Ariana said...

My hubby and I have only been married for 3 months, so we're not baby-planning yet, but as far as I can tell... I want NO ONE in there with me, ha!

M.R. said...

If i had to decide I would say only my husband...unless he was bugging me. then, just me and my MP3.

mindofmr.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

I didn't think I would want anyone other than my spouse. I, too, like the quiet. But we hired a doula for our birth and it was the best decision ever! She has turned into a friend and it was completely natural that she was there. It was so nice for my husband to have someone guiding him in ways to help me through my natural labor. Our midwife was in the room a lot, too! Despite it being the four of us, it was nearly silent the entire time and just perfect.

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elisabeth said...

With my daughter, I had my husband and a doula in the room, but I totally regretted it. Even though I liked our doula before that moment, it felt strange to have someone who wasn't family supporting me in that moment. I was so sad my mom was in the waiting room. My husband jokes that the doula was more for him than for me since he found her presence really comforting during those long periods of time when we were just kind of waiting.

When my son was born five months ago, my husband and my mom were with me and it felt perfect. It was much easier to anticipate what would feel right to me after experiencing it once before.

A Sunday Kind Of Love said...

I'm not pregnant yet, or even married, but I am about 99.9% certain I just want my husband there. And of course my doctor and/or midwife :)

Caitlin said...

Joanna, I am really enjoying your motherhood posts! My daughter Alex was born 6 weeks ago and I wanted just my husband there. I never visualized that he'd be too involved with the actual birth but the nurse was like 'ok let's do it!' and he was a total champ. Amazing how any modesty I had just went right out the window!

Lisa said...

First birth, attentive midwife and husbad were the most important people, second birth I was alone for most of labor which was really good for me to let go and relax, my midwife made it and was pivotal, my husband arrived just after (90 minute labor and birth) I guess solitude worked best the second time (not the first time though ~ too many unknowns, I really needed an attentive midwife with the first baby.

mie1971 said...

just my husband. thinking i have hurt my mothers feelings by not wanting her there but labor and delivery is one time in life where one can be selfish.

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Sylvia said...

I don't know what to do, help me ladies! In two months I'll give birth to my first and the fiance ... well, I think it's all over between us. I wouldn't want him there.

But then what to do? I'm doing a natural water birth (fingers crossed lol) and so will have a midwife there. Then there are my TWO mothers (a mom and a step-mom) who both want to be there. And I have three sisters I'm close to, plus one or two dear friends ...

I guess I don't have to decide today, thankfully. I just don't want a roomful of people and don't know who/how many I should include. How do you tell people 'No'?

Naurnie said...

the husband would surely faint.

let's go with my mama.

Anonymous said...

That newborn picture is so beautiful! Looking forward to reading Alex's side of the birth story.

Jo Luehmann said...

My sister and my husband. My mother in law and my mom will want to be there but they might not help me calm down, they will be so excited they might just upset me. My sister is almost done with med school so she will be calm and she will know what to say, and everyone will understand me wanting her there.

Heather said...

My husband and I had Brenna in December, and we had the whole crew in there! My best friend and husband, other friend and husband and my two sisters. My mom was suppose to be there, but she was in Scotland (visiting my other sister). I ended up having a c-section, so it was just my husband andI for the big moment!

Darina Daniella said...

When my cousin was delivering her son, she asked me and my mom to join her and her husband, and we were excited to be there that day. It was such an incredible miracle to witness. I thought it was going to be uncomfortable, but it was so intimate and special and an incredible honor to be able to see this little man being brought into the world.

I think that besides my husband, I'd definitely want my mom to be there. She's been through every important experience with me and I couldn't imagine her not being there.

Can't wait to read Alex's birth story! :)

xo,darina
afoggycitylife.blogspot.com

Bri (like the cheese) said...

I always expected I would just want my husband (aside from the nursing staff & my OB) and maybe my sister. I'd even told my Doula that once it came push-time, she was likely to be excused from her duties. Then push-time came. I needed her to stay. So it was my husband, my doula, a nurse, and my OB. My mom, mom-in-law, and sis-in-law had been in the room while I was laboring & had a hard time leaving when they got the boot, but I needed to focus & they were distracting me. (My sister wasn't able to make it to the birth due to distance) I even asked for my dad at one point, but he didn't stay long.
With my second, I had my hub & doula again, plus my sister (yay! she made it!), and of course, my daughter!

Lynn said...

For my fist daughter, it was just my husband and I. He did a wonderful job, but I felt like he could have used a little support through the long labor. With my second, which was just 2 weeks ago, it was my husband and my very close friend. My husband is also comfortable with my friend, so I think it helped him also. But that would be the most I would ever have in the room. Birth is beautiful, but it is very personal and tiring and takes lots of concentration.

I love the idea of reading the significant others birth story. Maybe I'll have my husband tell his.

Thanks for the wonderful blog.

Jenna said...

I have never really thought about it, but I think just my (future) husband. If my mom would want to be in there, I think I'd have to say no - she's very neurotic and stresses me out easily! My boyfriend has that California demeanor (laid back/calming) like you said Alex has and I think that would help me a lot!

Mariana said...

I would like to have my father, since with him around I feel, that everything ends up allright

Marty J. Christopher said...

I've thought a lot about this and I think I would want my mother there. I'm not certain it would be emotionally satisfying, but she's done it five times, so I feel like she would be comforting. But in the actual situation, maybe it'd be a big nobody other than A.P. I don't know.

emilyjsimpson said...

Yea, I think I would only want my husband. Maybe my mom, but I get frustrated when she tells me what to do :) I think having too many people would feel like having a cheerleading squad rooting me on, and that would stress me out!

Sarah said...

When my daughter was born, my husband and my OBGYN/delivery nurses were the only ones present. We didn't alert family and friends when we headed to the hospital in labor, and since she was born in the early morning hours, it was about six hours after she was born before we called anyone to let them know she'd arrived. Everyone was overjoyed at the good news, of course, and no one had to stress out between the "Sarah's in labor" call and the "the baby is here!" call. (And my husband didn't have to call anyone with updates during my 20+ hour delivery, meaning he was focused entirely on our experience.)

For us, there was never any discussion of inviting any family or friends to the delivery; we both wanted to experience the birth of our daughter alone, just the two of us. (Plus med staff) Our families respected our decision completely—no pushing. And while there won't be a baby number two, we would definitely do it the same way again. It was just right for us.

PS I am so impressed by how many of the commenters had only doulas/midwives! I had a hospital birth with OB/epidural, and I'm fascinated by how many women here chose natural childbirth. (I was too chicken.)

Jennifer said...

It was just my husband and I, along with medical staff, when I gave birth to our little one. I honestly wouldn't have had it any other way. I don't like people making a fuss over me. I even labored at home, completely alone (the husband was on his way home from a business trip) for over eight hours. So I don't think I could have beared having anyone else in the room with us. Plus, it made it a much more intimate experience and we got to enjoy and soak in our little one after the fact. Just us three. It was perfect.

Elizabeth and Kyle @ Love Is the Adventure said...

This is an interesting question. Of course I want Kyle there. And my mom. And probably my best friend, Beth. Honestly, I've been in the room through a couple of births with my sister-in-law and it's such a long drawn-out thing, only really dramatic and intense at the end...I think it would be nice to have my best friend there to distract me for the inevitable and endless WAITING for dilation. She's also going to be the godmother and hopefully, she'll think the experience is a meaningful one.

People I don't want there? My dad, my brother...not that they would have ANY interest in that. Maybe I'd want to clear the room for the final pushing/super gross part so I can thoroughly scream at Kyle for what's he's done.

isabelle said...

I always thought I would want to be alone with my boyfriend for that magical moment. But I wanted a natural birth and felt I needed support so we decided to have a doula with us for the birth of our daughter. I would definately recommand it for everyone. She cared for all the practical things (getting me some water, dealing with the nurses, rubbing my back, filling the bath tub, taking photos of us with the baby, etc), which meant my boyfriend was available to do what really mattered: holding my hand, staying at my side, and enjoying the first moments with our daughter.

Catherine Masi said...

So lovely to read the various perspectives on birth stories. I don't believe I will have an actual birth story myself as I have always felt I'd adopt a child instead, but these are vital parts of a child's story, as well, and they are wonderful to read about.

I also love the brand new baby photos! And ... AND the video is adorable; most especially because of the hiccups at the end. Sweet!

acp said...

I had just my husband BUT I delivered at a teaching hospital so i had my nurse, attending, 2 residents and a med student all in the room!

Simone said...

Definitely only my husband!!! I cannot imagine wanting family members or friends to be present, it's such an intimate time.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

I had my doula, my husband and my best friend at the birth of my son, with my daughter it was just my husband. Now, expecting our 3rd child, it will be just my hubby there.

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

the graduate-mum said...

my mum is my best friend but she can sometimes make me panic so she was there when my contractions started but as soon as it all got a little hairy she left me in the capable hands of my very calming husband and then came back for the actual birth before swiftly leaving again upon little ones arrival so we could enjoy the moment alone. She is very good like that! :)

Mighty Burns said...

I havent decided on the spouse part yet? Definatly one of my sisters, and possibly my momma dear. i need someone who is going to tell me two things 1. yeah I know thats gross, and totally normal 2. dont wuss out!

Barchbo said...

While my husband was in the room when our son was born and that would be my choice for further children...

The most important person to have in the room: the anesthesiologist.

Carocka said...

This is so so interesting! We're just starting to get pregant but I think I would only want my partner with me to be able to let go. I am surprised how many of you chose to have someone else with them: This is so uncommon in Germany and I have never even heard of anyone bringing friends or family! Now you got me thinking if this is kind of prude or why it is almost unthinkable for most women here? Love those motherhood posts because they open up those different ideas to me!

lydia. said...

Since I'll be giving birth in just a couple months (yay!) this is something I've been thinking A LOT about. It's hard, because I want to do what I (husband doesn't care at all) am most comfortable with, but at the same time...I don't want to step on any toes.
I know that I for sure want it to be JUST my husband with me when the time comes to actually push. (Which has really upset my mother. But that is one thing I'm not budging on!)
It was also originally my plan that we be alone during the labor process, but my husband's mom has been so excited about being there for the laboring and spending that time with us...I just don't know if I have the heart to tell her no. Plus, I think that my mom would also enjoy getting to be there for at least that...and all my siblings too!
I think for now, I'll be letting people in the room while I labor, but if it becomes too much, I'll ask that they leave. (Politely, of course!)
: )

Evelyn-everywhere said...

I thought about this so much before my baby was born but then when it was go time I was in such a good happy place during my labor that I didn't care who was there as long as they were comfortable. So boyfriend, mom, mother in law and sister in law were all present when little Finn was born and I wouldn't of had it any other way. THey were so supportive and excited and happy and it really made for such a special day that they could share in that. I also had lots of people to remember different details that I might have missed and to take lots of pictures.

Sarah Reaves said...

I only wanted my hubby and I, it just seemed to me to be such a personal time. My family wasn't crazy over the fact that I wouldn't let them come back until after the baby was born, but I just decided that wasn't for them to choose.

Sarah

Suzabell Muses said...

I am not the birth mother of my daughter but both my husband and I were there for her birth. I ended up cutting the umbilical cord as the birth father was caught in a snowstorm and could not make it in time. It was amazing. My husband though in the room was on the other side of a curtain and he was able to wash Sophia in the little tub right after birth.

Anonymous said...

For both births, I only wanted my husband in the room. I didn't mind if family was there at the hospital- just stay in the waiting room!!! :)

For our son's birth I labored all night and all day and he was born around 4pm. We called family to come up around noon, thinking we were close, but then they waited and waited. It was really special to have my parents and his parents walk into the room to meet their first grandson! I remember how my husband was holding baby and his parents went right for my husband and my parents came right to me. We both felt so loved at that moment!!! I was severely anemic and so looked shockingly WHITE in the face after the birth. I remember my father in law coming over to me and taking my hand and saying "Thank you, thank you" over and over with tears in his eyes. He was so worried about me.
For my daughter's birth, my sister wanted to be in the room- like REALLY BAD wanted to be there. But I held me ground. (I don't do well with putting myself first and I knew if anyone else was in the room, I wouldn't be able to focus and would instead be asking them if they wanted some of my ice chips, etc. I know that's so silly, but it is true.) So while the labor was MUCH shorter- around 7 hours and the baby came with 3 good pushes, instead of three hours of pushing like the first (!), we still had my parents and sister there for the after party. His parents were keeping our toddler and came up the next day with big brother. One thing I remember about the second birth was my husband going with her to the nursery to give her a bath and my sister hanging out with me in the room and her face of shock when I just walked myself to the bathroom all sassy- around 30 minutes after giving birth. The nurse said "Ok, let's go get you cleaned up" and took my arm to steady me. My sister just sat there in shock that I could do that! Both of her births were c-sections and she didn't walk for hours.
I'm very thankful to my husband for his support and allowing both births to be about me and my choices. Love him so much!!!
K

Court said...

I would like just my husband in the room, if for some reason he is not there I would only select my father who is an RN and who I trust would keep an eye on things and who is very calm in "stressful" situations. I would prefer my in-laws to wait outside ;)

little love said...

My rule(for me!) is whoever was there when the baby was made can be there when the baby is born! xx

Olivia said...

Wow, what a provocative question! Such an interesting thing to think about!

I am not pregnant and probably won't be for a few years. I asked my husband what he thought about this and he wants just us, and my mom if I wanted her there. I am torn between wanting it to be just us, or having my parents there, should they be able to make it from MA to NYC in time!

I am very close with both of my parents, and find them extremely comforting and helpful in times of stress. My mom is a nurse and I always find her advice calming when I am worried about something health related, and my dad can ALWAYS ease my worries. I don't think my dad would want to be there for the actual pushing, but I wouldn't mind having him there, in all honesty. Court, glad to hear someone else would want their dad there!

I love the idea of close friends saying hello and giving encouragement if I'm up for it while laboring, and then getting out so it is just my husband and me.

I have zero qualms about virtually anyone seeing me in a messy, crazed state...except for my in-laws. I do not feel comfortable enough around a dinner table with them, let alone squeezing a human from my loins while they look on! I would honestly be more comfortable with my best male friend than my lovely-in-so-many-ways-but-not-this-one mother-in-law!

Mama Violet said...

I had my husband, a Doula, the midwife, and 2 nurses at the birth. If I do it again I would prefer a nice quiet room by myself and maybe a midwife at the end.

Anonymous said...

My partner and our DOULA!!! I think dads are expected to do so much in labor, and when it's long, or complicated, there's no replacing a doula. We could never have had our baby the way we wanted to without our doula.

Kelsey said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure! No babies here yet...sometimes I think I would want just my husband and midwife/doctor and others I can imagine having my mother and even my mother-in-law because she is so calming and I'm not too shy. But who knows!

Carrie said...

I've been thinking about this a lot (I'm not pregnant, but I'm quite a planner, haha) and the one I KNOW I want there is my husband. However, I also really want a good friend to be there. She is my acupuncturist, my boss (actually), and also someone I trust a LOT. She's a huge source of confidence and strength, and I know that I will need someone like that there for me. She isn't a professional doula, but I believe she's thought about doing that kind of work as well. Anyway... :)

Gayle said...

Like Audrey & Isabel, I'm not sure I want my partner to be in the room when I will deliver... I'm 8 months pregnant & French too, maybe that's why! :).
& he's not sure he wants to be there too!
We both agree that we don't want him to see me exposed like that.
So many male friends told me they couldn't see their partner as a lover after giving birth...
Even if here (in France) the significant other is usually behind the mummy's head, not near the "war zone".
My sister told me she would be here if I need someone but I will never ask any other member of my family or friend.

Diana Teodoro said...

Me, a doctor and a nurse! If there's anyone else in the room I'm pretty sure I'll punch them! My mom would piss me off, my sister would make fun of me which would piss me off, my friends would faint which would also piss me off and the father of the kids...well he doesn't need to see me that way!
I know it's gonna hurt as hell, I'm gonna scream as hell, I'm gonna say I don't wanna have the baby anymore, so the fewer the people, the better. I just need the pros there to do their job!

Diana Teodoro said...

Me, a doctor and a nurse! If there's anyone else in the room I'm pretty sure I'll punch them! My mom would piss me off, my sister would make fun of me which would piss me off, my friends would faint which would also piss me off and the father of the kids...well he doesn't need to see me that way!
I know it's gonna hurt as hell, I'm gonna scream as hell, I'm gonna say I don't wanna have the baby anymore, so the fewer the people, the better. I just need the pros there to do their job!

Alice said...

Just my husband... I couldn't imagine sharing the moment with anyone else.

Cameron said...

I'd have to have my Mom with me as well as my significant other. Sometimes my Mom is the only person that can reason with me and it'd be nice to have someone that has actually given birth to support you, not just a man who has no idea the misery you are in the midst of.

ana {bluebirdkisses} said...

I only wanted my husband with me during the labour and the delivery. Anyone else would have been too hectic. And it just being the two of us was a very bonding experience.

Sea Shellis said...

o my gosh, i am a focus-er! i so did not want people there. i even told my mother the hospital, but a different location and we did not call her when i went into labor. turns out my husband had a hospital-issue and didn't make it through. thank god my best friend worked at the hospital because she came up and stayed with me. in the end it was me, the nurse and the doctor.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I would hate to have any of those guys from TMZ in the room. For obvious reasons.

ubetcha said...

just my mom and my man! That it!! and i would only let my man be over the shoulder. No front view for him

Meredith said...

I only had my husband in the room. It was wonderful having that special time together. He was a Fantastic coach too!

veli said...

I am probably the only woman in the world whose father-in-law was present. He is an OBGYN and sat *off to the side.*

For me, it was a really positive experience. Not only did he make it easy for us and the medical staff to communicate, I think his presence really calmed my husband.

I like to think that my son was born with two important men in his life to welcome him to the world. I hope as he grows up hearing the story, he will think of childbirth as a male experience as much as a female one.

How I Roll said...

Anyone who will forgive me if I'm accidentally mean to them. Just kidding. Kind of.
I would love to have my dr, my husband, my mom, and my friend Starr, who is sweet, wonderful, and was a labor & delivery tech.

Chelsea said...

There's an episode of Roseanne about this exact issue, where Jackie has to pick between having Roseanne or the baby's father in the room when the baby is born. The episode is called "Labor Day," and the entire episode can be watched on Youtube. Cute and funny.

maticki said...

I had my bf and I would have loved to have him and my sister. I was actually quite upset about the fact she could not have been there.

If I ever end up doing this thing again I would want my bf and my sister to be there

In Croatia where I come from you dont have a choise as you cant take anyone with you. Only at certain hospitals you cna bring your partner.

Chessa! said...

I didn't want anyone but my husband once I was actually ready to give birth. I wanted to quiet but also I wanted it to be just us when we met our baby for the first time. It was so amazing and personal and intense. I just remember looking up and seeing her and then my husband cut the cord. wow. It's not something that I will ever, ever forget. the whole thing was very quiet and surreal. it was a perfect moment for us and we're the only ones we know who shared it. with my doctor and labor nurse of course:)

Becky Bowman said...

Only my hubby will be in the room when the twins are born! No one else needs to be there to experience our little family meeting. I'll be missing our teeny tiny 22.5 month old, but I think that might freak her out a little if she cries when I get an ultrasound!

Mrs. Stilletto said...

For as far as I know, you are only allowed with your spouse (or 1 other person) at my country. I actually don't know exactly since I've never given birth...
But I know that all my friends, family, colleagues only have given birth alone with their spouse in the room.

Love,
Nancy

kelsey williams said...

I'm pregnant with my first, and it will be me and my husband, and possibly my older sister. Mostly because I need attention :) and need a backup in case my husband faints.

Dicas da Lelê said...

I'm brazilian. My labor was very fast (I arrived at the hospital at 4:00 am with 4 fingers ). My parents live in other city and had fly tickets for the next day. Then There were only my husband and I. It was really calm and fast. I took the anesthesia after 1 hour that I was in the hospital... My doctor was in the beach and only arrived on time to the birth. I only did two pushes and baby was born.

Brooke said...

Going in, I thought we would call all four grandparents. Then it was just me, my husband and the midwife (in a birth center). After we arrived and settled in, I knew I wanted it to stay just like that. We never invited anyone else. Our midwife called a nurse to join in after I started pushing. It was the perfect scene for us.

Anonymous said...

As we live far away from any family, it would just be my husband who is also a doctor (and has assisted deliveries before), so it's doubly comforting.
I think even if family was nearby I would still only want my husband to be with me, as well as a midwife, so that my husband can stay with me the whole time.

Fatally Cute said...

Man, if I could have just robots in the room that would ideal for me. Sorry not into the whole sentimental stuff.

Jacquelyn said...

I only want my husband there! I feel that if it happens for us I would want delivering our baby to be a personal private memory.

Not to mention I don't think I would be comfortable with my mom or anyone else staring at my vag. I know everyone says at that point you just don't care but I just don't know about that.

Anonymous said...

Its kind of strange how everyone wants their significant other to be there...I would want to be alone because I would want to share that with only my child :) maybe I am still naive.....

The Curious Nomad™ said...

I'm almost 5 months pregnant with my first child, and I've been thinking about this a lot. I just want my husband with me in the room (besides the dr and nurses). I can't handle too many people when I'm stressed or in pain. And I think I'd like to inform everyone else after I deliver the baby! But coming from a big family, I don't think that would be possible :p

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