The doctor clamped the cord, handed me a pair of scissors, and asked me to cut the cord. I shook my head and looked at the baby’s father. He smiled. “No, you do it,” he said. This obviously had been discussed beforehand. A real set-up! I took the scissors and cut my grandson’s umbilical cord. It didn’t give easily—more like cutting into a rubber hose. I smiled at my daughter who now was a mother, too. And, of course, I wept.
Should You Invite Her to the Birth?
There are many answers to this question depending on myriad circumstances. As an expecting woman, you must consider your comfort level, your relationship with your mother and/or mother-in-law, and how your husband feels about sharing the labor and delivery experience with other family members. I’ve been fortunate in that two of my daughters-in-law and both daughters have asked me to be with them.
Of course, I’m a medical writer and have witnessed numerous types of operations because of my work. Seeing blood doesn’t bother me. But if your mother is queasy and you really don’t want your mother-in-law to be with you if your mom isn’t, just tell them gently that you’d prefer your privacy or that this is a special time for you and your husband that you want to share between yourselves. As women who have children of their own, they should respect your wishes and understand your feelings.
Don’t forget to discuss potential visitors with your obstetrician or midwife. He or she may not want anyone other than one coach (usually the father of the baby) to be in the room. Other physicians may leave it up to you. So if you feel comfortable with your sisters, cousins, and aunts, invite them if there’s room and the hospital doesn’t have regulations against it.
Keep in mind that if you’re having a C-section, things may change. Although I was able to witness my other daughter’s first two C-sections (both breech births), I was not able to see the third baby’s birth as it was an emergency C-section (also breech), and her husband was lucky to be there.
If, despite your plans, something arises and you are not able to have those with you at the delivery as planned, remember that the baby’s birth is no less a miracle and that there will be many, many opportunities for loved ones to see and interact with your precious baby in the days (and nights) to come.