Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The mom dilemma (as in, my mom)

Early on this pregnancy, I was contemplating if I want to do anything different while I'm in labor. I've tossed around the idea of a doula, since I think the concept is wonderful and I'm sure it would help. The cost, however, is definitely an issue. Then I got to thinking - maybe my mom could fill that role.

My husband means well and to his credit, both times he's been more than willing to do/get anything I ask for. But the problem is, I have to ask. When I'm in the midst of high pain, I'd kind of like someone to suggest things - here, try sitting on the ball for a while. Do you want to sit in the tub? Does rubbing your lower back help? That kind of thing. My husband gets a little overwhelmed and doesn't really know what to try. He's great if I ask for ice, or cold water, or help with something. But I think it might be helpful to have someone there who has been there, done that and can take things a step further to help keep me relaxed and comfortable as much as possible during the worst of it.

I asked my husband early on if he'd mind if I asked my mom to be there to help. He said something along the lines of, "Of course not - whatever you need is fine with me." That was early on. More recently his attitude has taken the sound of, "I guess I'm not good enough to help you birth our baby and you need your mom here since I suck." He's half kidding - but only half.

While I realize I'm the one giving birth, therefore what I need is the most important thing and he can live with it - I'm also sensitive to his feelings on the subject. If at the getgo he had said he didn't like the idea of my mom being there, I probably would have said ok and not worried about it. But this gets trickier because months ago, I asked my mom if she'd be willing to come and help me through my labor. So it's already out there.

Last night he brought it up and asked if my mom would be coming. I haven't talked to her about it in a long time, but I'm sure she remembers that I asked. He still feels a little put out that I would have her there. And to be fair to him, it's more than just his ego. He wants it to be more intimate, the moment we meet our child for the first time. He doesn't like the idea of anyone else being there (except the doctor and nurses of course - he has no interest in doing things himself, LOL). And I do understand where he's coming from.

But now I have to decide if I want to ask my mom again if she can be there, or if I should just let it go and not call her right away when the time comes. I do know that I'm blessed with a mother who won't take it personally, make me feel guilty, or make a big deal out of it. Whatever I want will be fine with her, whether I have her come or not. Well, she might be a little disappointed if I don't have her there, but it won't be a big deal.

The other thing I have to consider is how willing my mom really is to come, day or night. She's very busy with her job and although she has the flexibility to leave at a moments notice, I don't know if she really wants to - or maybe it's whether she feels like she can. It's a part of my relationship with my mom that sometimes troubles me, but I feel like it's the selfish child left inside me that gets rubbed wrong. If you asked me if my mom would be willing to drop everything for me - the answer would be yes, and no. Yes, she would in a heartbeat if I told her I really needed her. But it isn't always her first instinct. She has a busy life of her own and she's grown quite accustomed to her children being self sufficient adults. It's not that she isn't willing to help or doesn't want to - but she doesn't always think of doing that above other things. I mean, she does - but at the same time, she doesn't. Don't get me wrong, my mom is wonderful and I have a fabulous relationship with her. But I wonder, if I talk to her about coming and ask if she wants me to have her come day or night, I have a feeling she'll hesitate.

So it makes me wonder if I should go ahead and ask her to be there or not. I guess the bottom line is how badly do I want her there, and I'm torn on that count as well. While I think she would be helpful, right now I'm not feeling sure that she'd be helpful enough to overcome my husband's reservations about having her there. And I know he'd feel put aside and probably end up sitting and watching, feeling useless, and I don't like that.

I have some more time to consider it, so for now I think I'll leave it up in the air. But it has my tendency to overthink things going into overdrive. And let's be honest - if I wasn't overthinking this, I'd be overthinking something else...

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