Lets see, where did we leave off? S decided to have her there for the pushing/birth part only. This didn’t feel like much of a compromise to me, but I let it go.
I did ask S if we could wait until we were at the hotel hospital to tell her we were there (as opposed to calling her on our way and having her show up an hour later). We didn’t call her for hours, thank god. She did eventually come to the hospital, but I tried not to leave the room to minimize the opportunity for vibing. The one time I did leave the room, MIL was standing with her nose an inch from the door. Stalker anyone?
I was a little taken aback, so I didn’t say hi immediately. MIL filled the silence with “I was just listening to see if I could hear S.” Duh. I mumbled something, got what I needed and returned to the room. MIL had returned to her seat in the lobby. WTF? I don’t have anything else to say about this.
So after a lot of pushing (2 + hours – details to come later) S said, between contractions, “get my mom and my brother”.
I wish I could say she didn’t ruin anything. I can say that mostly she didn’t.
When she came in the room, at S’s request, she came right up to S, who at that point had an oxygyn mask on and was clearly in an altered state. The other women who were there for the birth were quietly standing a good distance back, and only the doula and I were right next to S. I can’t really describe how inapprpriate her approach was. It was, as always, all about her – her need to “greet” S (like this is the time to come and say “Hi, how are you?”) instead of just standing back with everyone else.
S, bless her, grumbled through the oxygyn mask, “back up”. Of course MIL did not hear her, so I had to tell her. “S wants you to back up.” But a few minutes later, our stupid nurse (the only stupid one we had during the whole 5 day stay), who didn’t witness the previous exchange, motioned for her to go to S’s sbedside. Why was she so dumb? I mean obviously if there were 3 friends with us during the whole labor, while MIL waited outside, there was some reason behind this, and one should not assume that the mother should stand right next to the laboring woman. Right?
So S had to say, AGAIN, “I need you to back up” and MIL didn’t hear her, AGAIN. This time S’s brother whispered to MIL that S wanted them to stand further back, and ushered her away. And by “away” I mean standing 5 feet back from S’s bed, straight in front of my line of sight.
I did some breathing. Breath. Breath. I did some refocusing. Eventually she moved to the other side of the bed, which was closer to me, but thankfully not in my live of sight.
As S pushed, we encouraged her. “We” being me and the doula and occasionally our friend K. But then. Then. MIL started to chime in with encouragements. She had absolutely no ability to gauge the mood in the room, to pay attention to who was doing what, to where people were standing, to pause and see what was appropriate. She just barged into a space where all of us had been in a rhythm for many many hours. I was very close to glaring at her or telling her to shutthefuckup, but I didn’t want to give her one more iota of energy. Breath. Breath.
I will save the account of the moment she was born for another post, because I really don’t want it connected to this post about MIL. The silver lining? At least she wasn’t there for any ANY any of the labor…well, except for when I caught her listening at the door.