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*snicker* - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
I've been reading some Miss Manners archives the past few days. I love her. I especially love when she gets indignant. Tee hee. This isn't so much indignance that's amusing me, but this letter and response made me chuckle out loud. As I found the column on MSN which provided no copyright or publication information, I have no idea how to properly provide a citation. So instead, I will simply tell you that I'm certain this is copyrighted by Miss Manners (Judith Martin), but I don't know when, and it's possible I'm breaking a law by posting this. Sigh.

Dear Miss Manners,
My husband and I are due to have our first baby very soon. Over the months of my pregnancy, I have had to field some very sensitive questions from very well meaning friends and family members on whether or not they could be present for the birth.

First I was unsure if they meant actually in the labor and delivery room or just waiting patiently at the hospital in the waiting area. Once it was clarified that no one intended to be in the actual delivery room, I realized I still didn't know exactly how I felt on the matter.

I guess I feel the birth of your first child is something very special to be shared between the parents OR whomever you choose and ask to be present. I also feel it's a bit presumptuous for someone, even a relative, to assume they may attend.

Luckily, my dilemmas resolved themselves to everyone's satisfaction, but I have a friend whose mother-in-law recently flat out asked if she could be in the delivery room for the birth of their first child. She has yet to give her an answer. I think that was out of line. What are your feelings on this matter?

Gentle Reader,
As Miss Manners recalls, there is historical precedent for the demand to witness childbirth. In cases where it was thought that a queen consort had failed to become pregnant and was faking childbirth so as to hold onto the succession with a baby not of the blood — a common if nasty rumor in times of yore — courtiers have insisted on being present.

If this is not the situation in your case or your friend's, you are entitled to privacy. And while you should not have to fend off volunteers, new mothers can always use practice in saying "no" to their relatives pleasantly but firmly.

Current Mood: amused amused

8 comments or Leave a comment
ichur72 From: ichur72 Date: September 9th, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tee hee. B"H my mother-in-law did not pose this question, so I did not have to hold my tongue and say no politely.
hopeness From: hopeness Date: September 9th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
B has friends who absolutely did not want one set of parents to be there at the birth of their first child. They avoided telling them what hospital they had picked to deliver at and didn't call them until after the baby was born.

Apropos of nothing, I once had a dream where B's entire family (cousins et al) was there while I was giving birth and arguing over what we should name the baby. I gave birth to a boy, told them all off for discussing his name before the bris, and yelled out "His name is Avi!". We've filled that name away in case we might need it some day.
either_or From: either_or Date: September 9th, 2005 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
if i have babies, there's NO WAY i'd want john's parents to be there (in the room, anyway). but then...i doubt they'd want to be.

i do want my parents and my sisters there. and my aunt. and my grandparents. and the father of my child(ren).
either_or From: either_or Date: September 9th, 2005 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
it'd be especially odd if john wasn't the father. the i REALLY wouldn't want his parents there. but then...if we were still friends, he could hang out and stuff. or whatever.
either_or From: either_or Date: September 9th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
i took some decongestant this morning and it's messing with my mind. sorry.
kressel From: kressel Date: September 9th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Gotta love it! Getting "NO" practice. Yay, Miss Manners!
cellio From: cellio Date: September 9th, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

"If this is not the situation in your case" -- snort!
pocketnaomi From: pocketnaomi Date: September 10th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I adore Miss Manners. I have every book of hers I could find. Her outrage is fun, but her matter-of-factness can be devastating. I think my favorite of hers was the answer to "What do I say when I am introduced to a homosexual 'couple'?"

Gentle Reader:

"How do you do?" "How do you do?"

8 comments or Leave a comment