Since July my husband and I have known the exact date our daughter is going to be born. It is a bit surreal, really. Knowing that on this certain date and time I will go in for a scheduled cesarean section with my husband by my side and we will officially be a family of four.
Having a set date is not only surreal but also reassuring. Reassuring that I will be able to wake up that morning and take a shower, get dressed, drink my Gatorade, and meander into the hospital two hours before my operation time. Reassuring that I won’t be in labor for 32+ hours again. Reassuring that I know I am in the capable hands of a doctor I trust more than any other doctor.
And while yes, it does take a bit of the wonder out of the whole pregnancy journey, it is great for planning. And anyone that knows me knows I love to plan. Literally everything. Grocery trips. Daily tasks. Vacations. Dinners. You name it, I likely have a plan for it. So for baby girls’ arrival, we have it all planned. When we need to have the absolute necessities purchased. We know when our bags need to be packed and the car seat needs to be in the car. We know when my husband will be starting paternity leave. But most importantly, we have all the plans in place for our son to go to my parents’ house and they know the plan for when and where he needs to be as far as preschool, swimming, and other activities are concerned during his mini-vacation.
Want to know what isn’t fun about having a planned c-section? The entitlement some of our friends have shown about wanting to know the date.
My husband and I decided from the beginning that we were not going to share my c-section date with anyone. At first, it was just a one-off decision that we made and closer to the time we were possibly going to share her birth date with a few close friends. But then I realized that I am scheduled to give birth during the onset of the flu season.
Why does that matter? It matters because there is a real possibility that our son will not be able to come to the hospital to meet his sister due to limited visitation rules.
If the flu gets too bad in our area, the hospital will restrict all visitors under the age of 12 (sibling or not) from labor and delivery as well as postpartum recovery.
What does this mean? It means our son, who is beyond excited to meet his sister and talks to her in my belly on a daily basis, constantly asks to give her goodnight kisses and cuddle with her, and has been counting down the weeks and days until his sister arrives, might not be able to meet her face-to-face until she is three or four days old. That is heartbreaking to me.
Despite this explanation to our friends and despite me explaining our wishes of wanting our son to meet and hold his sister before we announce her birth to anyone, they still continue to ask. They still attempt to catch me off guard by inquiring in a roundabout way hoping I will let my date slip because for some reason they believe they are entitled to that information.
Here are the cold hard facts.
“We live in an age of instant knowledge.
And there’s almost a sense of entitlement to that.”
In this day and age where we live in a world ruled by social media, people hate to be denied the right of knowing at once when something happens. They think that because they share every fleeting moment of their life on social media you have to do the same. They believe that because they announced the birth of their child to you within hours of their baby arriving, you have to reciprocate in the same timeframe.
People have their own wishes. Families have their own plans. Not everyone wants others knowing their business as soon as it happens and the sad reality is that some people cannot accept that. It eats away at them. The friends who should 100% back your decision, who should support what you’re doing because you’ve explained it is best for your family, seem to be the worst offenders. They shouldn’t roll their eyes at you when you tell them you’re not sharing that information. They shouldn’t continue to ask you every single time you see them. They shouldn’t tell you that it isn’t fair and complain that they need to know.
No. You don’t need to know anything.
If anything, you need to know how annoying, rude, and disrespectful it is to keep asking after you’ve already been told ‘no’ on four different occasions.
My best friend from high school sent me a text last week saying she was so excited for baby girls’ impending arrival but only my due date was written on her calendar, not my surgery date, and asked if I could remind her. I sent her a long reply explaining the reason why she didn’t have the latter of the two. Her response? 100% support. Reassurance that she was excited to hear of her birth whenever we decided to share. It instantly reminded me why she has been my best friend for so many years and why I love and care for her so much. This is the response I wish I had received from everyone. Unwavering support and understanding.
My advice to you if you are met with this sense of entitlement from friends and family, which is unfortunately normal from what I have heard from other pregnant women who I have discussed this with: stand your ground. Don’t back down from your decision because people keep hounding you for the information they want on their terms. Don’t waver. Do what you want and steadfastly stick to that decision. Because at the end of the day what you want, especially in situations such as this, is all that matters. Your family. Your milestones. Your decisions. You aren’t telling them you never want them to meet your new child. You are simply telling them that having your oldest child(ren) meet their sibling first is more important. Do you, mama (and dad) and do it with pride! Whether you are not sharing the sex, the name, the date, or anything else having to do with your pregnancy and future child, keep on doing it. Because no one is entitled to anything from you unless you want to give/share it.
Want to know what else gets people’s blood boiling? Tell them they can only come to visit you and your newborn if they have had the flu shot. Ooooohhhh boy! But that can be a blog for another day…