Family ties

Family: you can’t live with them, you can’t shoot them either. I’m not sure if its pregnancy hormones but recently my family has been getting on my nerves. I’ve got two older sisters, both married with kids and then there’s my parents. We’re all pretty close and I really do love them dearly. I can always turn to them for help, they’re supportive and I sometimes wonder what I’d do without them.


There are other times however, when I wonder why I love them so much. I suppose you can’t expect four women to get along all the time but surely we can see eye to eye on most things? My eldest sister in particular clashes a lot with the rest of us. She’s a good 12 years older than me and is convinced that she’s always right. Granted, she does have more experience than me and I do take her advice but surely I’m allowed to make my own choices?

The current bone of contention is the way I choose to ‘conduct’ my pregnancy and labour. I’ve opted to go the midwife route instead of the more traditional method of going to a gynae. I’ve also chosen to give birth at a maternity hospital in Rosebank instead of one of the other standard hospitals. So I go to a midwife every month and only see the gynae once a trimester. I get my scans done whenever I want or need one. For the labour itself, my midwife will be there throughout while the gynae is on call for an emergency.

The idea is that with a midwife and maternity hospital the mother has more of a choice on how she’d like her labour to go. A birth plan is put into place and the midwife and staff are made aware of these plans (drugs vs no drugs, epidural, skin to skin contact with the baby, etc). The chances of having a natural birth (instead of c-section) are much higher than in a hospital. The mother also has more options in terms of how she wants her labour to go. At the maternity hospital you can use the shower, the tub, walk around, play some music, eat and have as many people around you as you want. You can also give birth in any position that you want which is less restrictive than a normal hospital (on your back in theatre).

Now, the practice of a midwife isn’t new, it’s ancient but it’s just not commonly practiced in SA. And my sister is afraid of anything that is not ‘norma’. She went to her gynae, chose the day and date that her son was to be born and went home the next day. She felt safe and secure because spontaneity isn’t her thing. I have different views, I’ve done my research and I’d like things to go a little differently but my choices are now making her uncomfortable. She’s convinced that there’s something wrong with Beetlejuice that isn’t being picked up because I’m seeing a mid wife and not my gynae.

She suffered from blood pressure issues as well as gestational diabetes and she’s convinced that I should be going through the same thing. It’s almost as if because everything has progressed so easily for me there Must be something wrong. She thinks that my midwife doesn’t know what she’s doing and it’s irritating the hell out of me because it’s undermining my choices. And I don’t know how to stop her from getting to me. She has admitted that it’s my choice but in the same breathe she tells me it’s a wrong choice. I can’t help it, I get upset when we speak about it.

And then there’s my mother. We have a bit of a difficult relationship. We always argue and she also disagrees with a lot of my choices. But she doesn’t tell me this, I hear about it via my sisters. I’ve offered her and my sisters a chance to come with me to my next visit so that they can see the hospital, meet the staff and check out the facilities for their own peace of mind but they keep giving me excuses. My mum says that she’s ‘uncomfortable’ with the thought of the hospital, she’s worried that something will happen to me. My other sister says it’s too far for her drive. At least my other sister hasn’t had anything negative to say but neither has she been very supportive.

In every other way they’ve been supportive. They pitch up every weekend with stuff me or Hubby or Beetlejuice. They’re buying us all the big things that we need for him, like the cot, cars seats, pram, strollers, baby monitors, etc. I can call them at any time if I need advice or reassurance and they calm down (most of the time) and have constantly told me that they’ll help us out while I’m on unpaid leave.

With all of this, am I being too sensitive with how they feel about the midwife/hospital thing? Of course I can’t expect them to agree with me but at least do your research and see why I think the way I do? Or at least what’s motivating my decision. Or should I just accept the way they feel and move on. It’s getting so frustrating that I’m contemplating lying to them. Instead of telling them I’m seeing my midwife I’ll just say I’m going to see they gynae instead. I certainly won’t want to tell them if anything goes wrong!

I guess it’s important to me that I don’t feel alone in this situation. Hubby and I need support and I feel like I’m not getting it. On the other hand I am extremely emotional and I usually go ahead and do what I want anyway so there should be no reason why this affects me so much.


Arrrggghhhh!!!! I hate this emotional rollercoaster!


4 thoughts on “Family ties

  1. It’s a little hard to renovate the structure of your family without losing the whole thing, as it were. You face a similar difficulty with the person in the mirror, so I can’t address your feelings, but in final analysis, you have follow your own orienting star. They have an interest, but leverage works both ways. Most folks in Western countries don’t understand how to keep a loose grip on those they love. They want too much reciprocity. I have some idea what it feels like, though.

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