Author Topic: I fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)*updated  (Read 14406 times)

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alis

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Thanks everyone for the input.

In the end, my husband decided he did not wish for FIL to know and I respected that. We did not tell him until after the baby was born (which was actually at the hospital due to a last minute transfer but almost pushed out in the ambulance, haha!). He was actually quite shocked but non-judgmental (at least to my face) about it. They (him and his girlfriend) were shocked when I walked home with the new baby only 3 hours later and got multiple home visits from midwives in the following days, so they were kind of impressed by that.

I can't help but wonder they talk about how crazy we were when we're not around (they do this about others so I can only assume the same for us) but...... hey, good enough right???  ;D

Thanks!!!




told my FIL that I am having this baby (due in 27 days) in a birthing centre. This is not my first child and obviously he brought up the issue of childcare for when I will be "in the hospital" (he is our primary caregiver).

As you can imagine, I have been getting a lot of snarky comments, ranging from "oh" (fine) to "why are you risking that baby's life" (ouch?). Both from the same two family members - FIL and his girlfriend (not MIL).

The truth is, I have a home birth planned with a professional midwife. I did not tell him this because I knew the birthing centre was crazy enough, let alone a home birth.

Believe me, I do NOT like that I have lied but I also did not wish to face his judgment (he is a good kind man, but very, very traditional and uneducated on this particular topic). We are very close and I consider him my own father (my dad is not around).

So.... what do we do? Do we wait? Tell him tomorrow? My husband wants to just tell him after but I don't know if that is the right thing to do. I really don't need the judgment or stress beforehand though.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 02:56:21 PM by alis »

NyaChan

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 08:28:30 PM »
Ok take a deep breath.  Aaand another.  Calmer?  :)

Don't worry about this now.  I think that having already fibbed, for your own peace of mind, just don't bring up the fact that you are having a home birth at all.  Was FIL planning on being there while you were in labor?  Just tell everyone that you only want your husband (and whoever else) with you.  Once the baby is born and you are ready for visitors, let them know that they can visit you at your home to see the new baby.  No need necessarily to even tell them where the baby was born.  If it comes up and you can't avoid it, let your husband take care of it.  Regardless, no need to tell them now - they've already proven that they can't be trusted to value your well-being/peace of mind over their desire to have things their way and you have no obligation to let them stress you out.

alis

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Thanks NyaChan :)

Yes, he expected to be here during the labour (to take care of our 2.5 year old). He only lives a few streets away and is here daily anyways. If we don't tell him, he will show up anyways, just as a matter of routine - and I am worried that if I am in labour, my husband will be very stressed out and tell him something mean or to go away.

Can you believe, my own father doesn't even know I'm having another baby. But my FIL, he means so much to me as a father, that I feel horrible for lying about this.

still in va

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i guess i don't understand his objection to a birthing center.  my own grandson was born in a birthing center.  granted, around here, a birthing center is usually attached to a hospital.  sounds to me like it's just a different term than what FIL is thinking of as a maternity ward. 

if he objected to a birthing center, he's gonna flip about a midwife and a home birth.

i don't understand why you would lie to someone who you love so much.  if you have the kind of relationship with him that you have expressed here, i'd talk to him.  he's concerned, and he'll be very hurt knowing that you lied.   it will be even worse if he comes to the house expecting to care for your son and finds the whole production of birth going on in your house.

note that i am NOT saying that you need to change your plans for the birth of your child.  not at all.

MorgnsGrl

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To me, it sounds like you feel terrible about this, and I think you will feel better once you come clean. Being stressed about this is the last thing you need at the end of your pregnancy! What I would do if I was very close to my FIL - I would invite him over for coffee (or lunch or whatever) and cry. Tell him how much he means to you, that you love him, respect him, are so grateful that he's such a big part of your lives, and then once he's buttered up and feeling good, admit that you've chosen with the support of a very experienced midwife to have a home birth. (If it will help you/him, add that you will of course transfer to the birth center at the first sign of trouble, and reassure him how amazing and professional the midwife is and that she won't take any chances with you/the baby's life.) I think if you first focus on all the wonderful things about your relationship with FIL and how much you love him, he'll take the truth a lot better. I also think it's best for you that you tell him sooner rather than later -- you don't need to be worrying about this now.

alis

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We live in a very 'traditional' society here (where the nuns can STILL be seen roaming in hospitals - rural French Canada) and he is elderly - in his 70's - had his children back when men weren't even welcome in the maternity ward. So, his fears over a birth centre are simply the product of his generation/culture. French birthing practices are very medicalized, even more than in the US with the private health care system.

I lied because... I didn't want to hear him go on about me killing this baby. Because he truly believes that my birthing choice is a deadly one (he has made this comment about other women who have chosen that alternative). I really do care about him, but I am quite sensitive on this particular topic after having a horrible experience at the hospital last time.

Amava

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Normally I would say: don't inform him of when and where you will be giving birth if he is likely to judge or worry. But if there is a risk that he will show up at your house while you are in labour at that same house, then yeah... it's best not to risk it!

I would say: tell him as soon as possible. You don't have to say you lied, you can say you have just changed your mind from birth center to homebirth.

If you fear his judgement, and I know I would, try to see it more as worry and love than as judgement. He is not trying to be judgemental, but he is scared out of his wits. You say he is uneducated on the topic of homebirth, can you possibly educate him to ease his mind?


Knitterly

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I would say, don't say anything.  If he happens to show up while in labour, then that's what happens.  Lots of women have babies at home, not because they planned it, but because the baby came too quickly for them to get to the hospital (happened to someone I perosnally know).

But if you care as much for him as you say, perhaps you and your husband can sit down with him and discuss how his judgemental coments made you feel?

still in va

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We live in a very 'traditional' society here (where the nuns can STILL be seen roaming in hospitals - rural French Canada) and he is elderly - in his 70's - had his children back when men weren't even welcome in the maternity ward. So, his fears over a birth centre are simply the product of his generation/culture. French birthing practices are very medicalized, even more than in the US with the private health care system.

I lied because... I didn't want to hear him go on about me killing this baby. Because he truly believes that my birthing choice is a deadly one (he has made this comment about other women who have chosen that alternative). I really do care about him, but I am quite sensitive on this particular topic after having a horrible experience at the hospital last time.

ah, thank you for your reply, alis.  i see now that we're dealing with different medical cultures.  i hope i didn't sound judgemental.  i didn't mean to.

still in va

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I would say, don't say anything.  If he happens to show up while in labour, then that's what happens.  Lots of women have babies at home, not because they planned it, but because the baby came too quickly for them to get to the hospital (happened to someone I perosnally know).

But if you care as much for him as you say, perhaps you and your husband can sit down with him and discuss how his judgemental coments made you feel?

i'm not sure how our OP would pass off "i just went into labor and didn't have time to get to the hospital" when there is a professional mid-wife in attendance.  her FIL is old, not stupid.  and i'd prefer to not have a 70-year-old man just possibly show up during a home birth, especially knowing that he's nervous about such things. 

Knitterly

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2012, 09:10:33 PM »
I would say, don't say anything.  If he happens to show up while in labour, then that's what happens.  Lots of women have babies at home, not because they planned it, but because the baby came too quickly for them to get to the hospital (happened to someone I perosnally know).

But if you care as much for him as you say, perhaps you and your husband can sit down with him and discuss how his judgemental coments made you feel?

i'm not sure how our OP would pass off "i just went into labor and didn't have time to get to the hospital" when there is a professional mid-wife in attendance.  her FIL is old, not stupid.  and i'd prefer to not have a 70-year-old man just possibly show up during a home birth, especially knowing that he's nervous about such things.

The person that I know had her midwife with her.  They judged that she didn't have time to safely get to the hospital (she got as far as the car when her contractions ramped up).  It wasn't a planned homebirth.  She was thrilled that she had a homebirth, though.  Midwives usually come to your house and tell you how far along you are and if you should go to the hospital (mine did).

But if she's really concerned, then I do think it's more a matter of having a conversation about the harsh "you're going to kill your baby" judginess, because that is where the lie spawned from. 

still in va

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2012, 09:16:18 PM »
I would say, don't say anything.  If he happens to show up while in labour, then that's what happens.  Lots of women have babies at home, not because they planned it, but because the baby came too quickly for them to get to the hospital (happened to someone I perosnally know).

But if you care as much for him as you say, perhaps you and your husband can sit down with him and discuss how his judgemental coments made you feel?

i'm not sure how our OP would pass off "i just went into labor and didn't have time to get to the hospital" when there is a professional mid-wife in attendance.  her FIL is old, not stupid.  and i'd prefer to not have a 70-year-old man just possibly show up during a home birth, especially knowing that he's nervous about such things.

The person that I know had her midwife with her.  They judged that she didn't have time to safely get to the hospital (she got as far as the car when her contractions ramped up).  It wasn't a planned homebirth.  She was thrilled that she had a homebirth, though.  Midwives usually come to your house and tell you how far along you are and if you should go to the hospital (mine did).

But if she's really concerned, then I do think it's more a matter of having a conversation about the harsh "you're going to kill your baby" judginess, because that is where the lie spawned from.

perhaps we're talking past each other here, but i am saying that from my viewpoint, coming from my age which is closer to FIL's age than the OP's, he will probably be suspicious that there supposedly wasn't time to get to the hospital, but there was time for the mid-wife to come to the house. 

i get that she's concerned by his judgmental opinion of birthing centers and home births.  perhaps he has good reason to be concerned which the OP doesn't know about.  but lying to someone you love is never a good option.  they do tend to find out, and they do tend to not trust what you say for a while.

Ceallach

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2012, 09:46:58 PM »
Yikes, it's a bit tricky.   I think you're going to have to go with a firm statement and a rinse repeat.  He doesn't need to know when you made the decision or why, just the information that impacts upon him.

"FIL, we've decided to have a homebirth with the midwife in attendance.   This means you'll need to watch <child> at your house on that day instead of here."        (or whatever the relevant implications are for him).
 
Do not engage in any debate on your childbirth choices and the safety of them  - you already know his opinion and in my experience people cannot be convinced on such topics.   They're either vehemently for it or vehemently opposed, so regardless of what reasons you present either way it's just going to lead to more debate and argument, there's nothing to be gained.  If he asks why you're no longer going to the birth centre, just say "It's not the right option for us, we've decided to have a homebirth with a midwife in attendance.".... rinse, repeat.    Do not try to justify your choices because it won't achieve anything except you getting frustrated as you get more snarky comments.   Good luck, I hope it all goes well! 
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


thedudeabides

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2012, 09:53:29 PM »
It's your husband's father?  Then let your husband deal with him.  You don't need the added stress of dealing with someone who is going to accuse you of trying to kill your own child when you've made an informed medical decision.  If that means that your husband needs to have strong words with him, he needs to have strong words.

LeveeWoman

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2012, 10:01:20 PM »
It's your husband's father?  Then let your husband deal with him.  You don't need the added stress of dealing with someone who is going to accuse you of trying to kill your own child when you've made an informed medical decision.  If that means that your husband needs to have strong words with him, he needs to have strong words.

AMEN!