Author Topic: I fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)*updated  (Read 13028 times)

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still in va

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2012, 11:46:00 PM »
If I were you, I would not tell him. You told him a fib to save your sanity, might as well keep saving it. You are statistically very likely to have this baby in the middle of the night since you are letting labor begin naturally. So he's really not very likely to wander in while you are in labor. After the birth, I would probably tell him. Say "I have something to tell you. Baby was born here at home. I felt bad misleading you, but didn't want to stress you out. And as you can see, Baby is fine and everything worked out. Would you like to hold Baby?"

i must be a statistical anomaly.  both of my children were born in the morning, one at 8:15 and one at 10:10.  both were natural labors with no medical intervention to bring on labor.  i don't think one can say that a baby will be born in the middle of the night when no medical intervention has been brought to bear.  we can definitely HOPE that our OP will begin labor and deliver her child as she wishes, at home, in the middle of the night.  but since Grandpa is supposed to take care of the toddler during labor, won't Grandpa have to be called when it's apparent that this is REAL labor and not Braxton-Hicks contractions?  her husband is going to be busy helping her to deliver.  someone has to keep track of the 2 year old, and that sounds like it's Grandpa.

Take2 didn't say the baby WILL be born in the middle of the night, simply that it's statistically more likely.  That doesn't make you a statistical anomaly; it just means you were part of the set of women who didn't give birth in the middle of the night.  That's how statistics work.

great, so i was a part of the graphed curve that was on the skinny part.  the fact remains, however, that Grandpa is the designated child minder for the toddler during labor and delivery.  he HAS to be there to either watch the child or take the child to his house. 

so it's not possible to pull the whole "Oops, went into labor unexpectedly" thing.

Absolutely.  Doesn't make Take2's point that the OP is more likely to go into labor in the middle of the night any less valid, however, which seemed to be what you were taking very personal exception to, although I'm not sure why.  Every statistic has its flip side; that's just how the world works.

I wish the OP the best.

i'm not taking this personally at all.  there's a certain satisfaction of being a statistical anomaly.  though when i think of it, most of the women i know might have gone into labor during the night, but they didn't deliver during the night.  or at least not during the same night they went into labor. 

but the practical question remains here.  the OP and her husband are apparently counting on Grandpa to take care of the toddler while the OP delivers.  i'm not sure how they're going to pull that off while keeping to the fib they've told Grandpa.  what if she actually does go into labor in the middle of the night, and Grandpa decides it's best for the toddler for Grandpa to sleep there so the toddler can sleep in his own bed, instead of getting him up to take him to Grandpa's house?  now, suddenly, Grandpa is expecting the OP and her husband to leave, to go to the hospital, and he's smack dab in the middle of a home birth.  which has obviously been planned all along.  i think the OP's husband needs to talk to his father.  now.

i too wish the OP the best.


For sure - there has to be a lot more planning when it's a second or subsequent birth simply due to the fact that someone has to care for the other child(ren) - unless they have an arrangement such as a live-in nanny who is available 24/7.  And while parents might be able to delay announcement until the birth itself for the first child - it probably won't work for subsequent kids.

For DS #2, I thought it was way too early for Dh to call his mother - I was sure that we'd have at least half a day left.  But he was adamant (we had friends who'd had an unplanned home birth for their own second child about six months earlier) and after Grandma arrived said "okay, I'm going to the hospital now, if you want to go you had better come with me".  It was hard to argue.  And I was already 6 cm dilated by the time we got there, and DS arrived about two hours later.

Overall, it's ludicrous for anyone to plan on the statistics that any percentage of babies arrive at any particular hours.  They arrive when they arrive.

the bolded is one of the truest statements that i have ever read here!  we can plan and plot and scheme and decide how it's going to be.  then the baby decides when he/she is going to make their appearance.

cheyne

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2012, 12:47:55 AM »
I 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.

Bolding mine

Alis, your FIL and his girlfriend have NO say in where you birth your baby.  This is a decision entirely up to you.  You do not have to justify your actions to FIL or anyone else on this planet.  You are the one giving birth.  For your FIL to make such a comment that I bolded tells me that he thinks he has a right to tell you what to do, not just asking for clarification or reassurance. 

If you are the one who told him about the birthing center, I feel you lied to him.  Why you would do that is beyond me, unless you think he will love you less for your choice.  You need to tell him the truth.  Look him dead in the eye and tell him what you are planning to do when having your baby.  He will find out, and waiting to justify your actions then is going to be 10X harder.  If you feel you need your DH there certainly have him present for the conversation. 

Do not explain or justify your choice.  If FIL says anything as nasty as you wrote above, I would tell him how much it hurts you to hear that, and why would he think you would risk your child's life.  Turn the conversation back on him.  I believe he feels that his way is the only way and if he's mean enough* about it you will do as he says.  This may be coming from concern for your/babies health, but it is NOT his call to make. 

I do understand that you love this man and his opinion matters greatly to you. It can be very difficult to disappoint those we love and who's opinion and good graces we cherish.  But please think how hurt/upset/angry he will be when he finds out that you not only had your baby at home, but lied to him about it.

*to actually say that you are risking your child's life is one of the meanest, harshest things I think anyone can say to a pregnant woman.

Auntie Mame

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2012, 03:28:38 AM »
People tend to get way to wrapped up in women's reproductive organs.  Many people believe they have the right to dictate where, when, how and why she uses them.  Your FIL, bless his heart I know he means well, subscribes to this belief.

Lie.  Lie to his face with a smile and don't feel bad about it for one single second.

Your body.  Your baby.  Your decision.  Full stop.  End of discussion. 

You cannot change his mind.  Telling him the truth will freak him out, which will lead to him heaping stress on you.  You don't need that.  After the bebe is born, healthy, happy and kicking, you and your husband can consider telling him the truth.

But for now, lie.  And do not beat yourself up over it.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 03:30:18 AM by Auntie Mame »
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

girlysprite

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2012, 05:28:57 AM »
I am planning for a homebirth too (December). However, it is pretty normal where I live, about 30% of the deliveries happen at home, and that isn't because people live too far from a hospital (Netherlands is actually very densely populated).

However, I wonder this - do you have regular appointments with your midwife? I know I have, for regular checkups and just to see how everything is going with me. If that is the case, I'd suggest that your husband tells his father what your real plans are, and why you fibbed before. It should be ok share that his comments are causing stress- not because you think he is right, but because it negatively affects the relationship. The next step could be to invite him to visit the midwife with you. In that way, he can ask questions to the real professional. He might have actual real fears about homebirthing, based on bad experiences or very outdated conceptions and data. Tell him that the doctor/midwife can answer his questions and might be able to dispell his fears.

LeveeWoman

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2012, 05:38:54 AM »
I am planning for a homebirth too (December). However, it is pretty normal where I live, about 30% of the deliveries happen at home, and that isn't because people live too far from a hospital (Netherlands is actually very densely populated).

However, I wonder this - do you have regular appointments with your midwife? I know I have, for regular checkups and just to see how everything is going with me. If that is the case, I'd suggest that your husband tells his father what your real plans are, and why you fibbed before. It should be ok share that his comments are causing stress- not because you think he is right, but because it negatively affects the relationship. The next step could be to invite him to visit the midwife with you. In that way, he can ask questions to the real professional. He might have actual real fears about homebirthing, based on bad experiences or very outdated conceptions and data. Tell him that the doctor/midwife can answer his questions and might be able to dispell his fears.

I absolutely would not do this. It is none of his business and giving him this option would only further his delusion that he has any say in the matter.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2012, 06:22:02 AM »
Complicated issue.  I feel for you Alis.  It can't be easy.

Personally I agree with Auntie Mame, I would not tell him the truth and on the day of the birth, if it seems to happen at a time when FIL is likely to come, have your husband take your child to his place to mind during the delivery.  I am not a fan of lies but in this case I wouldn't feel any guilt at all.  Actually, I am quite mad at him on your behalf for the judge-y, mean comments.

If you feel he must know, then please get your DH to take care of it and also to inform him to keep his opinions to himself.  Your husband really needs to back you up on this one.

girlysprite

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2012, 06:33:58 AM »
I am planning for a homebirth too (December). However, it is pretty normal where I live, about 30% of the deliveries happen at home, and that isn't because people live too far from a hospital (Netherlands is actually very densely populated).

However, I wonder this - do you have regular appointments with your midwife? I know I have, for regular checkups and just to see how everything is going with me. If that is the case, I'd suggest that your husband tells his father what your real plans are, and why you fibbed before. It should be ok share that his comments are causing stress- not because you think he is right, but because it negatively affects the relationship. The next step could be to invite him to visit the midwife with you. In that way, he can ask questions to the real professional. He might have actual real fears about homebirthing, based on bad experiences or very outdated conceptions and data. Tell him that the doctor/midwife can answer his questions and might be able to dispell his fears.

I absolutely would not do this. It is none of his business and giving him this option would only further his delusion that he has any say in the matter.

It's not to give that illusion, but he might actual have *real* fears about homebirth. Helping to adress them might also solve the issue. I guess that the OP and her DH are the ones who can make the best guess about it. It's the question if he suffers from bad misconceptions or whether he is just stubborn and not willing to move an inch from his opinion. In the first case, my plan might be a good one. In the latter case, whatever you do is useless and he should be kept out of the loop as much as possible.

Still raises the question; what happens if he hops by while the delivery is still ongoing and he is still stubborn about it?
In that case, discuss the matter with your midwife. I am certain that you aren't the first person who has to deal with intrusive family members (who, even while they are loved, are not welcome during delivery hours). She may have good tips on how to deal with it, or can help you and your DH with dealing with the matter if the issue arises.

Just Lori

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2012, 06:54:30 AM »
OP, it sounds as though you're less worried about telling him than you are about the ensuing arguments you expect.  My advice is to tell him, but don't let your emotions get the best of you.

FIL:  Blah blah blah dangerous blah blah.
You:  Dad, you know we have our baby's best interests at heart.  We've researched our options and we're comfortable with this choice.
FIL: Blah blah blah kill the baby blah blah.
You:  What makes you think we would be willing to risk our baby's life?
FIL:  Blah blah blah anecdotal story blah blah.
You:  Dad, here's the midwife's number.  You are more than welcome to talk to her about any safety concerns and how she handles emergencies.

You're going to spend the next two decades hearing people you love questioning your parenting decisions.  Calm, raitonal responses work much better than frustrated, emotional ones.

LeveeWoman

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2012, 06:57:24 AM »
I am planning for a homebirth too (December). However, it is pretty normal where I live, about 30% of the deliveries happen at home, and that isn't because people live too far from a hospital (Netherlands is actually very densely populated).

However, I wonder this - do you have regular appointments with your midwife? I know I have, for regular checkups and just to see how everything is going with me. If that is the case, I'd suggest that your husband tells his father what your real plans are, and why you fibbed before. It should be ok share that his comments are causing stress- not because you think he is right, but because it negatively affects the relationship. The next step could be to invite him to visit the midwife with you. In that way, he can ask questions to the real professional. He might have actual real fears about homebirthing, based on bad experiences or very outdated conceptions and data. Tell him that the doctor/midwife can answer his questions and might be able to dispell his fears.

I absolutely would not do this. It is none of his business and giving him this option would only further his delusion that he has any say in the matter.

It's not to give that illusion, but he might actual have *real* fears about homebirth. Helping to adress them might also solve the issue. I guess that the OP and her DH are the ones who can make the best guess about it. It's the question if he suffers from bad misconceptions or whether he is just stubborn and not willing to move an inch from his opinion. In the first case, my plan might be a good one. In the latter case, whatever you do is useless and he should be kept out of the loop as much as possible.

Still raises the question; what happens if he hops by while the delivery is still ongoing and he is still stubborn about it?
In that case, discuss the matter with your midwife. I am certain that you aren't the first person who has to deal with intrusive family members (who, even while they are loved, are not welcome during delivery hours). She may have good tips on how to deal with it, or can help you and your DH with dealing with the matter if the issue arises.

I understand your motive but from what Alis has shared about him, he sounds not only intrusive but insulting. What if he presses the midwife for details not about just home-births in general but about her body in particular? From what he's said so far, he lacks boundaries.

girlysprite

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2012, 07:07:21 AM »

*snip quote tree*
I understand your motive but from what Alis has shared about him, he sounds not only intrusive but insulting. What if he presses the midwife for details not about just home-births in general but about her body in particular? From what he's said so far, he lacks boundaries.

From what I know, midwives are professional enough not to give specifics about their clients to others, but in case of concern it can be discussed with her beforehand. Now I think of it, before picking either option on informing and/or including FIL, a talk with the midwife is the best option anyways. I'm very certain that you aren't the first to run into this problem, and the midwife is a valuable information source an ally to fix this issue.

LeveeWoman

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2012, 07:10:45 AM »

*snip quote tree*
I understand your motive but from what Alis has shared about him, he sounds not only intrusive but insulting. What if he presses the midwife for details not about just home-births in general but about her body in particular? From what he's said so far, he lacks boundaries.

From what I know, midwives are professional enough not to give specifics about their clients to others, but in case of concern it can be discussed with her beforehand. Now I think of it, before picking either option on informing and/or including FIL, a talk with the midwife is the best option anyways. I'm very certain that you aren't the first to run into this problem, and the midwife is a valuable information source an ally to fix this issue.

I'm sure midwives have encountered all kinds of intrusive relatives.

I wonder if Alis and her husband can invoke the mid-wife's authority to dictate that he not come to their home during delivery.

alis

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2012, 07:28:23 AM »
Thank you everyone.

After reading all the responses, I have asked my husband to speak with him directly about the issue ASAP (yes, it is his father).

I won't be able to "oops" it - the midwive(s) are 30-45 minutes away (there are 2 plus a student), and I have a doula coming in from 45 minutes away. 4 women total. And I live down the road from the hospital, so that is simply not going to make sense!

To clarify- we do not need him to take care of our toddler, we have a doula/my husband to alternate for that. It is FIL who assumes that we will be gone in hospital for 2-3 days and naturally assumes he is babysitting - which he normally does.

And we did originally plan on the birthing centre when we told him- but we changed our minds a few months ago. We just never told him that this plan had changed.

He is a good man with a kind heart, but older and stubborn in his ways. He believes it is wrong to hold babies or breastfeed him, bless him, he is just... a unique guy but with a heart of gold. We simply differ on our childbirth/rearing practices :) I do not come from his old-fashioned French Canadian Catholic culture, I come from a culture where we sleep with our babies in our bed and breastfeed until 3. I am already a mother and already confident in those choices, but I do have anxiety over the birth because the first one involved medical malpractice at the hospital (my toddler) and naturally that makes me more sensitive in this issue then most women.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2012, 07:47:40 AM »
Did I read that you want him to watch your other kid(s) while you're in labor? I would continue to lie and I'd find someone else to watch your kids. It isn't his business, and I think it's fine to lie to keep people out of YOUR business that they have no right to harrass you over.

alis

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2012, 07:51:53 AM »
No, we don't need him to watch our son. He *wants* to watch our son (as he always does, our only babysitter, and they are very close), it is simply his assumption that he is our babysitter if we will not be home. We originally planned to be at the birth centre so yes, he would have come here to watch our son, but that was an implied assumption and no arrangement made.

SleepyKitty

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Re: I have fibbed to my FIL. How do I tell him the truth? (childbirth choices)
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2012, 08:17:35 AM »
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.

This, x10000. I think you should, as PPs suggested, invite him over for tea with your husband there, sit him down and break the news. You might also want to print out some information about homebirthing for him to read, or even give him your doctor/midwife's e-mail address - maybe talking to a medical professional about this will help educate him. But before you break the news, make sure he knows exactly why things are happening this way:

"FIL, I have to tell you something. The fact is, that I lied to you. The reason I did so was because I feel *whatever* when you talk about my baby being threatened. I have done the research, I am educated, I am smart, and I will never do anything to hurt my baby. You need to believe that, because if you don't believe that, it's incredibly hurtful and insulting to me. And when you make comments that show you believe that, I feel *fill in the blank*.

Because of all of that, I lied about where I am having my baby. This will be a homebirth, with an experienced midwife. This is not up for debate, and I will not listen to your judgements about it. I love you, I'm thrilled your a part of our lives, but my birthing choice is my choice and I need you to accept it."

Make sure he knows that his behaviour is unacceptable in pushing hospitalization when you've made a different choice.