Family Politics

Im battling to figure out the emotions Im going through at the moment. Its a bit crazy in my head right now.

As the birth of our babies draws near I can see the craziness is about to be stepped up a whole lot. It mainly stems from our families. Our families all stay far away so trying to coordinate my mom, dad, MIL, sister and BIL to all travel together and find them accommodation etc is proving a bit too much for my brain. They ALL want to come up and they ALL HAVE to be there on the day I give birth. Ive tried explaining that they will probably not even see the babies as they will be in the NICU, hell I wont even see my own babies probably.

Then its a case of who stays where and when do they leave and who is where on Christmas Day and where are we and and and and and. Its driving me up the wall. I told my DH that he would have to take over the organisation as I just cant deal with it right now. Then my mom phones me this morning and as many times as I told her that Im not getting involved she just spoke over me and told me what they doing and when and where etc etc. Drove me up the friggen wall. Then my sister is bringing her puppy with, my MIL is apparently staying for 2 weeks and then DH’s aunt is also coming when “all the babies are home”. I just about freaked.

So Ive made a rule – we will be staying near the hospital whilst the babies are there (we live an hour away) so anyone is welcome to come and stay for as long as they want WHILST we are away. As soon as we hear the first baby is ready to come home, EVERYONE has to leave. I will not be able to cope if we have visitors, I really dont care what anyone thinks.

I realize everyone is hyped up and excited, I am too but obviously the whole hospital stay is freaking me out and taking a bit of the excitement away. I sometimes wish I could keep the babies inside me for a while longer just so I can enjoy them a little while longer. Soon they will become everyone else’s property and I hate that thought.

Well Ive reached the 32 week milestone, each week now is a milestone. Physically, I feel OK. Ive started eating like a trooper again and put on 2kgs in 2 weeks. The heat is very bad but luckily we have an aircon in our room that helps alot. At our appointment last week each baby was around 1.6kgs, so they are putting on around 100g a week, just hope we can get to the 2kg mark in the next 3 weeks. Emotionally Im a little worse for wear. My anxiety is high (obviously), but my gynae keeps on reassuring me we will get to the 20th Dec, he said that I havent had any complications (TOUCH WOOD) so there is no reason not to make it to 35 weeks (he wont let me go longer than this as he says there is no need). I really, really hope so.


21 comments so far

  1. Cstelle on

    I am so glad the babies are doing so fine!! 32 weeks is wonderful. Why do family always drives you nuts!! They al so excited they forget about what you want… good luck!!!

  2. Sharon on

    Oh Dee, brace yourself… when your babies arrive… my family, well mostly my in-laws, have driven me absolutely crazy since Ava’s birth, suddenly I’m a thick as pig sh*t and everyone knows better than me… put your foot down girl, now, because it will get worse when the babies arrive. This is your time and you are right to see to your best interests right now!

  3. M on

    It sounds like you are doing so well. Families are complicated at ‘normal’ times so I can imagine how this is heightened at triplet time! Decide what is ok for you – and then they must sort themselves out around your boundaries. Is it your responisbility to plan their lives and make their arrangements?
    Good luck!

  4. Sweets on

    Great to hear that you and the babies are doing great. Sorry about the family frustrations. You are going to have to be firm, from the start. While they all probably mean well, they just cannot imagine the stress that you are going through yourself, or the stresses that come with having to deliver and take care of three babies, let alone the NICU stay (which I hope is really short!). I hope you are able to get to some sort of arrangement that suits YOU.

    Just some happy news for you – while my son was in the NICU there was a mom in hospital about to have trips. She gave birth after we left, but I saw the nurses (and the paed and the OBGYN) after – her babies all did great. None of them needed CPAP. They were home sooner than anyone expected.

    While any NICU stay will feel like a lifetime, I have to tell you that it was a blessing in disguise for me. My son stayed for just under 3 weeks, and during that time I learnt so much from the nurses. I was able to heal at home and prepare for his arrival. And with you, if their release is “staggered” you will be able to adjust at home with first one, then 2, and 3, babies!

  5. Abs on

    Shoo Dee, I can relate to family drama and everyone wanting in on the action! If I look back at all the events in my life they’ve been all about the family and not about me – even my wedding and bridal shower. I fully support your right to tell people to back off! This is your time to be with your husband and children. Don’t look back with regret on the first few days/weeks with your babies just because you didn’t want to hurt other peoples feelings. You have every right to ask for space and understanding from everyone xx

  6. coachmarcia on

    I love, love, LOVE the boundaries! Seriously 🙂 I think you have the right idea about them all having to leave. It is HELLISHLY stressful already with a baby/ies, let alone family drama.

    Congrats on 32 weeks!!!

  7. celia on

    I would not call it a regret, since I was too high off drugs from the c-section to care much but I really wish we had had NO ONE at the hospital the first day. I was so exhausted and held my baby for possibly a MINUTE before MIL took him out of my arms. It’s not my favorite memory. Also, they should not be expecting you to coordinate shit.

  8. celia on

    On the flip side, my MIL has never been so easy for me to tolerate as when I was drugged 🙂

  9. waiting4amiracle on

    I think you are 100% correct. You and DH also need time alone to bond.

  10. Cedge on

    my friend, now I understand completely.

    Your decision to have them leave when u get back home is fair enough.

    NICU will probably only allow grandparents to visit the babies anyways (if that).

    Tell them all that you appreciate their concern and willingness to want to help but that you really need your space when u get home with your babies. You and J are supposed to bond with your babies and that cannot happen if there are tons of people around.

    I am sure that you want to savour every special moment with your new family, the first month will pass so quickly and why should you have to miss that because people want to just intrude. You don’t need the stress of having to worry about entertaining the families at this time.

    A suggesion … if people want to visit, tell them u need a month or 2 till the babies are less vulnerable and susceptible to sickness. You will let them know when it is ok to visit. This worked for my manager.

    Gotta put your foot down! I am not far along, and already my sis-in-law wants to come for the first month! Plus her kid wants to kick off her gap year at my home at the same time! I am simply not having it, I want to figure things out for myself and I want to savour every minute alone with my child. End of story.

    Good luck.

    PS. happy that the babies are growing nicely. 🙂

  11. darylfaure on

    I can only imagine the stress of trying to manage your families while worrying about the babies. I think you are wise to let your DH sort it out. You don’t need any additional stress now, so take a deep breath and let it go…..
    Glad the babies and you are doing so well – wow, 35 weeks with triplets! I am in awe. You must feel like bursting by now, so just take it very easy.

  12. zamom on

    It must be unbelievably hard on all fronts – to have 3 babies trying to burst out and then almost worst, dealing with family. One obviously needs to be firm and maybe even suggest that once you’ve all been home for a bit and settled into some sort-of routine that they stagger their visits so that perhaps they can even come and do a few night duties for you(?), grocery shopping, cooking meals, just look after the girls so that you guys can get out on your own for an hour or two, practical ways of helping perhaps. People want to help I think but often aren’t sure what you need and you probably don’t even know at this stage but get your husband to do the organising, one tends to be quite emotional and it doesn’t take much to open those floodgates. In the beginning one tends to run on adrenaline but once that runs out, it’s hard with 1 baby, so 3 babies is obviously a whole new level. My mom arrived the day after my eldest daughter was born with a whole cooler bag full of food as her hand luggage, it was a life saver once she’d left 2 days later.

  13. Jodi on

    It was a huge adjustment for me -learning that extended family would no longer be at arms length. It was so much for me after my twins were born (never had any time even in the hospital room away from anyone) that I just sat in the hospital bathroom and cried. It is just too much to deal with when you are in pain and hormonally overloaded. Whatever happens know that no reaction is wrong. I am sure my MIL thought I was a mental case.

  14. mozzie01 on

    You are doing so well…32 weeks…WOW!!!
    You need to set boundaries…not so much for the weeks while babies are in NICU but much more so for when they are home!!!
    Our girls were in NICU for 2 weeks and it truly was a blessing in disguise. It gave me time to heal from the c-section and Justin and I learnt SO much from the NICU nurses (ours were also at Sandton and the nurses are just FANTASTIC). Grandparents can only visit on Sundays so warn them now!!!
    When they came home, only visitors allowed were my immediate family…I was super paranoid about germs (you’ll get like that after being in NICU…hygiene is of paramount importance!) so I put my foot down and didn’t allow any one to visit for about 6-8 weeks!!!
    Good luck…thinking of you!

  15. Invivo on

    Shoe, ja. I was very lucky in the sense that everybody respected our boundaries without much of a fuss, but the DS diagnosis perhaps had that effect. People don’t quite get the whole NICU situation until it happens, but yes, someone will have to be the bad cop to keep everyone in check once they come home.

    If you have a close relationship with your mom I suggest you put the load on her to manage everyone (express your needs to her), it makes her feel super important, which by the way she is, and you and DH can get on with being first time parents.

    My mom was my pillar in those first four weeks. Can’t imagine what it would’ve been like without her. She made healthy food to help with my recovery and to keep lactation going strong, trained the domestic to make frozen meals and how to take care of sterilising bottles and the nursery etc.

    I had these paranoid feelings that people would take my babies from me and that I would have to fight them off! Weird. I know.

    Best of luck with this last stretch. So close to the home run!

  16. samcy on

    Way to go for reaching 32 weeks – FANTASTIC! If your doc thinks you can make it to 35 then make it to 35 you will 🙂

    I can’t imagine how stressed you must be right now trying to juggle it all with the family dynamics etc – but I think you are doing the right thing by putting your foot down and setting those boudaries. It’s gotta work for you and DH and more importantly its gotta work for your babies.


  17. RJ on

    The family visiting stuff is stressing me out too. I laid awake one night stressed over it. I decided no one can come to the hospital the day of the c-section b/c we’ll have enough on our plates with recovery and trying to BF twins for the first time. Then, my parents, inlaws and step-inlaws all have stagger their visits on the days I approve. There’s plenty of time to see the babies and no need to be bumrushed at the hospital immediately after surgury when you’re just getting to know your babes! Good for you for putting your foot down! Our first priority should be the babies and our own health – everything else comes in a distant second.

  18. RJ on

    Oh and bringing the dog?? Seriously? I’d freak.

  19. ttcnot2easy on

    You know, Dee, it was the same for us before Bella was born. Everyone wanted to stream into our house and I wouldn’t have it. Once we got home, we sent out an sms to both friends and family telling people she was home with us and asked that they respect our private space until WE were ready to have visitors. People expect that you will just let them in, but you have to draw a line. You HAVE to. It is I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.Y. overwhelming bringing a baby home – and I am sure that it will be especially so for you!
    I still freak out at the thought of having visitors – we’ve not had many since Bella came home. We have practically stopped entertaining altogether. I think that I just worry about her ‘losing the plot’ a bit and me not being able to cope with it – in front of visitors. Or the fact that I’m exhausted and still have to chat …
    It’s bloody hard work – you don’t still need to entertain on top of it all.
    Only 19 more sleeps! I am holding thumbs!! xxxx

  20. robged on

    Hi Ray,

    Well just as i was about to blog here i got your sms!! You have done VERY well and even thought you are being admitted i hope these little girls keep in for another week or so! You and J are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep strong!


  21. Bratty on

    Just wait for it…Work collegues, family, friends all went into a frenzy when Jada was born. I thought I had it all under control. With the hospital they stated that only 10 visitors are allowed.I used that as my “boundary excuse”….
    WELL, nobody listened and everyone pitched at the hospital…regardless of visiting hours and the hospital allowed them in. I could not waiting to get home. I put my cellphone on silent and ignored the doorbell.
    People get so excited that they forget that you are tired, sore and just needing some “me” time with babetjies.
    Good luck….I never succeeded in getting it right

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