Why I'm Glad My Mother-in-Law Was in the Delivery Room

The day I gave birth to my first child was a whirlwind of IVs and contractions, of nervous chatter and trying to remember to just breathe.

Because my labor was induced, I had several days to prepare and imagine how I wanted the day to go. In none of those scenarios was my mother-in-law present in the delivery room as I pushed and pleaded for the doctor to JUST GET HIM OUT, but there we were. And I’m thankful.

Here’s the thing that no one tells you about joining someone else’s family: when you bring little people into the world, you’re also bringing THEIR little people into the world. Things shift. Your baby carries on their legacies too.

Sometime between the breaking of the water and the crowning of the head, I saw it. I saw my son as a member not only of my family, but of hers too. I wanted her to witness that day.

Families can be complicated. Relationships can be strained, resentments can form, and the in-law relationship can be difficult to navigate. I’m lucky to have a great relationship with my husband’s family, but it was made even better on that day. I’ll always have the memory of my mother-in-law taking my baby in her arms, then sharing him with my mother. I’ll never forget how they looked that day — two new grandmothers, staring down at the baby who’d bring so much love into our lives.

Who was in the delivery room when your baby was born?

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. She writes about all things toddler at Babble’s Toddler Times. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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