General Etiquette > Family and Children

Birth announcement - a week afterward?

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I don't see anything wrong with putting off the announcement per se... in this instance, I find it odd that they'll tell you over their own parents (cats aside), but it's their family, so good luck to them.

My husband almost died when he was born, and was in hospital for a while afterwards. There was no announcement because they honestly didn't know if he'd survive and they were spending all their time at the hospital anyway, and couldn't contact people easily (this was in the ancient and semi-mythical pre mobile phone era: PMP). So no-one else really knew for about a fortnight. It's just the way it was, and when you've just given birth and find out that your baby is probably about to die, I don't think you can blame the parents for prioritising things the way they did: choosing to spend time with their newborn son and the doctors over time with their siblings.

This is different, though. They're planning on not telling people purely for their own convenience. I can understand where they're coming from--who needs hundreds of visitors when mother is exhausted from having a baby explode out of her in slow motion? But I think it would be nicer to maybe say something more like, "baby was born, hooray! Name, date and time, weight, gender. Mother and baby are very worn-out, so thank you for waiting a few days before visiting to give them time to recover."

But I don't know this couple. Maybe they have a lot of pushy or even toxic relatives who would very happily gate-crash the hospital room and be overbearing and taxing. In that case, this might be warranted.

This is genius. I've never heard of such a thing before, but I can definitely see the upside to it!

When my sister was expecting, we had a family meeting as to who would be told what, when, and how. She had a list of who she wanted at the hospital (five people), who could be told same-day (five more people, by text message or phone call only), and everyone else could wait until she was home and settled before they knew the details.

It ended up being that she didn't wait long enough, as my niece wasn't very well at first and had to spent nearly all day every day on a bili-bed. Sis wasn't sleeping well, the kid wasn't sleeping well, and as soon as the announcement went out, sis got innundated with phone calls and text messages and people stopping by. They'd want to see the baby, who really did need to be left alone on the bili-bed, or the phone would wake the baby or my sister and she wasn't getting any real rest at all. My mom ended up sending out an email that mother and baby were doing as well as could be expected, but to PLEASE leave them alone until further notice. She got called rude. She took my sister's phone away and screened calls, lived in with her to help take care of the baby and be the mean one to turn people away, and my sister was miserable.

If this family wants to wait a week to announce the birth, that's their decision. I'm firmly supportive of them. And if they later decide that a week isn't enough time, then that's fine too. It's their child, it's their lives being disrupted, they have every right to spread the word when and how they feel comfortable.

As a family member, I would be hurt.  But my family is extremely close and we don't feel burdened by each other's presence.  We also know when to give each other space.  So, this, for me, would communicate that I am not trusted to honor the family time they desire to have.  And I would feel that I am a burden by being excited for the new baby.

However, those would be my feelings and my feelings don't make what this family is doing wrong. I can actually see the logic behind the desire to wait a week before letting anyone know that the baby has arrived.

I do wonder about the practicality and reality of pulling this off.  If the family isn't constantly in touch, I can see where it could work.  But in my family, it would be too difficult.  We like to visit each other at least every couple of weeks and we call regularly.  Especially close to my due date, as well as close to all of my sister's due dates, we were constatly in touch.  I can't imagine how I could have hidden some time in the hospital and later a baby in my home effectively.

I can actually see the upside of this.  We told the grandparents right away and other people a day after, and we were also inundated with calls, e-mails, etc.  My DS also ended up back in the hospital a couple of days after we brought him home, and it was very stressful.  It would have been nice to wait a week before dealing with everyone else.

MrTango, do you know whether they have a close relationship with their families?  Perhaps suggest to them that they should at least tell close family members (e.g., the grandparents) right away, but wait on everyone else, especially if the grandparents can be helpful and can respect boundaries. 


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