Thursday, February 18, 2016

Boundaries and Birth

Birth is hard. First there is the escalating 9 months of pregnancy. The anticipation. The advice (so much advice). And inevitably birth.

Birth changes things. It changes the dynamic of marriage from two to three if it's your first. It changes how you sleep (you don't) and how you eat (everything in sight) and your personal time (what's that) and your outlook for the future.

On top of all of this you have to create boundaries. Boundaries for friends, because the first weeks after birth you might not want visitors traipsing around your living room while you try to figure out breastfeeding. Or maybe you a super chill and don't mind a friend or two cleaning your kitchen while you rest on the couch. Either way, communicating on little sleep and with a frazzled mind can be very tough. Often times I didn't know what I wanted. Did I need a friend to bring dinner? Did I need someone to come hold my infant while I caught a shower?

I was mostly trying to figure out how to walk again without peeing on myself, so I let my husband dictate the boundaries for awhile. I am glad we discussed my wants in advance--he knew dinner being brought over was fine, but that I didn't want long term visitors. He knew that I wanted him to be there if his mom was over, and he knew that my mom had an open invitation to come any time she wanted, because if I needed anyone more than my husband it was her.

I made sure to discuss boundaries with my mother in law before birth. I asked her to not come to the hospital until we called, and I told her I didn't want her back in my room until after I had delivered and I was done being stitched up. I talked to her about this three times, and she still came to the hospital when I was pushing and walked in on me. Because of this I struggled with trust with her for a long time. I talked to her about it and she said she was just so excited she forgot. Next time we will not be informing her we have gone to the hospital, and I will be sure to tell the nurses that no visitors are allowed. Also, doing your own thing when someone has clearly stated their boundaries is not advisable. I now am mostly disappointed her, and that situation made me realize I need more boundaries when it comes to our relationship. I love her, but she needs to respect me.

I tell that story to help you understand that birth puts you in a very vulnerable position. Especially if it's your first go-around and you don't know what to expect! Having an advocate like your husband, doula, mom or sister there who can enforce your boundaries as you are expelling a human from your body is vitally important. Just as important as packing a bag, and choosing a name--because boundaries define the area of your comfort, and if there is one thing you need when in a medical situation it's comfort and support.

So, what were your birth boundaries?

Today I linked up with Brita and Mai for her #loveblog challenge! 

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