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I only want my husband in the delivery room with me. How do I tell my mom and sisters?
When I gave birth, I, too, insisted my husband be the only one in the delivery room. What I didn’t realize was that my “private” space would ultimately be packed with a doctor, an anesthesiologist, two nurses and one wide-eyed medical student who, from the stunned look on his face, was witnessing the miracle of birth for the first time. At least I didn’t have it as bad as poor Marie Antoinette, the 18th century queen who delivered her first child with practically the entire French court watching, as if her bedroom were a circus tent.
So keep in mind that if you’re having your baby in a hospital, you will, for better or worse, have to give up a modicum of control over what’s going on around you (one of the reasons some women choose instead to deliver in a birthing center or at home).
In fact, with all those strangers poking around, the warm and familiar presence of your family might be comforting to you. On the other hand, even though you cede control of some things, keeping family members from buzzing around you while you push is something you have every right to demand.
Whether it’s because you don’t want your mom crying at your feet or you fear family bickering, you can absolutely tell them you’re making this a private affair. Break it to them kindly. “John and I have discussed it, and we want to have as quiet and personal a moment as possible. It would mean so much to us if you could wait at home—I promise I’ll call the moment the baby is born, and you’ll be the first ones in to see her.”
Give your family important jobs to do while they’re pacing: getting the bassinet set up; calling a list of relatives or stocking the fridge with pans of your mom’s famous lasagna. They just want to be a part of your big day, and that big day involves so much more than the moment of birth.