I saw my first grandchild being born

My oldest daughter recently gave birth to her first child and I accompanied her in the delivery room. When I had

My oldest daughter recently gave birth to her first child and I accompanied her in the delivery room.

When I had my children it was just me, my husband, and the midwife in the delivery room. I didn’t think about inviting my family or my in-laws into the room — to me, in my excitement about the whole process, it wasn’t even something I’d considered.

You can imagine my surprise and joy when my daughter Rachel asked me to be in the delivery room with her when she gave birth to her first child.

Before you say, “you shouldn’t have done that!”, I have to note her husband was overseas.

He regularly travels for work and as much as he would have liked to have been there for the delivery he was required elsewhere.

We arrived at the reception and Rachel and I were quickly ushered off to the ward. Her contractions were very close together — I think we were both surprised, but then I remembered when she was born I was only in labour for a few hours.

The nurse gave her the okay and said that it was time. My nervous daughter looked up at me, thankful I was there to hold her hand, but she had no idea how thankful I was to be there for her. I was so in awe of how strong Rachel was despite the fact she was obviously in pain. She was going to be fine, but it was hardly easy to tell her that in between her deep groans!

As my daughter pushed I stayed close to her head so I could hold her hand. The doctor told us she was crowning. Just a few more pushes and the baby was slowly coming out. It was a beautiful baby boy and we could not have been more delighted.

I felt such an immense sense of pride and love in that moment for my daughter, and remembered the moment 36 years ago that I too had my baby girl.

My daughter told me only a few weeks before the baby was born that she wanted just me in the delivery room, it was about the same time they had found out her husband would be away.

At first I was a little shocked, but she insisted it was her decision and it was final. My friends have said that their daughters or daughters-in-law were much more reluctant to have their mothers nearby, but why?

I know some women (particularly in-laws!) aren’t exactly a calming force, but we really do want to help. I disagree with forcing yourself into the room though, as it should be the mum’s choice. A birth is a birth and is still a beautiful miracle no matter whether you’re right there or over the other side of the world, though it would be nice if you could offer some advice and support during the most painful moment of their life!

What do you think? Were you in the delivery room when your grandchild was born? Or should grandparents stay out?

  1. Shirley  

    My daughter doesn’t have a choice I’ve told her I will be there no discussion necessary!!! Seriously though….. My daughter and I are extremely close and she wouldn’t have it any other way. I couldn’t cope not being there either. I think it is quite a normal reaction for a Mum to want to be with her daughter as she goes through childbirth. I know there are going to be exceptions to the rule, but there always is exceptions to every rule.

  2. No 1, my husband & obstets nurse sister-in-law and about 10 medical students (my parents were overseas), No 2, again my sister-in-law (baby came too quickly and my husband was too far away to get there), No 3 – my husband. In reality, I was so caught up in the emotions of having the babies, I couldn’t have cared less who was there, but was grateful I had my husband and my SIL. By the time I got to my beautiful slight miscalculation No 4, my marriage had ended and I had moved to the same town as my parents so my Mum was with me when I had her. I was so grateful she was there and she always said that baby came out smiling at her! She always had a special spot for No 4 because she was with me. Come to the next generation, and all three of my extremely independent girls didn’t want me anywhere near the hospital when they gave birth and that was there prerogative and I respected their wishes. My son on the other hand wanted me in the hospital waiting room to keep his MIL away from the birthing room because they didn’t want her In there. My girls all had their partners with them during birth and to my mind, that is the most important combination, but if the baby’s dad can’t be there, then a mum would be the next best option!

  3. My daughter wanted me there, I made sure it was okay with her partner as well. I would not have been there had he not agreed. It was a wonderful experience and I think it has made my daughter and I even closer.

  4. Anne Wolski  

    Surely it’s the choice within the family. It’s nobody else’s business and we shouldn’t even be discussing it. It’s a personal family issue and not a public one

  5. Anne  

    My daughter wanted me with her. I asked the dad if that was ok with him, he was happy with that.
    It was a very emotional experience, i’m so glad I was there. By the way do was the father. He said he couldn’t have done it without me!!!
    It’s up to the parents who supports them!

  6. Jane mcmellon  

    My SIL was there for the birth of his first 2 children even though he didn’t really want to be as he was squeamish. When number 3 was coming he just dropped my daughter off to me and said I’ll take care of the first 2 but this ones yours. Was a wonderful experience being there for his birth. Funny thing was though that no.4 we all missed but he was there again for no.5.

  7. Angela Shepherd  

    My daughter and her husband asked me in for their first child, I was so proud of how she handled the birth, 2 years later she gave birth to twin boys and I was asked in again, in my mind she is a super woman, it shows the close bond women have in child birth and the trust Daughters have in their Mothers own birthing experiences

  8. Karen Gross  

    Where is the fathers mother in all of this why cant they be there too I am sure it is just as important to them. The birth of a child is a bonding time between mother father and baby.

    • Karen i totally agree – when my daughter asked me I was so proud to have been asked as she knew my 4 had been cesarean sections..I felt i had missed out a lot of the birthing stuff – My daughter would never have not asked her husbands mum as well…to which she was also excited and very proud to have been asked – My son in law was fine with it all – So the four of us went to all the scans and classes together..I was so proud quietly watching my daughter bring her beautiful children into the world.. so strong and in control with only a few puffs of gas.. Amazing…experience.

  9. Michele  

    I was blessed to be a part of all my daughters births. It was a moving time for us all. I was able to offer support when the fathers got to take a breather in the early stages. They appreciated it and I was able to give them the extra encouragement they needed.

  10. Helen  

    I must admit to being a little surprised when my daughter recently asked me to be with her and her partner at the birth of their daughter. She arrived two days ago and it was an experience I will never forget. I felt truely honoured to share such a beautiful moment with them both and as the only grandparent I was blessed.

  11. morna kenworthy  

    I was with my Daughter for the delivery of her first baby. I’m an ‘old Midwife’ and was not made exactly welcome. But just as well I WAS there, as we came close to losing our baby and putting my daughter’s life at risk too. The staff would not listen to my concerns…preferred to look to their machines….though not reading them properly. It took my ‘cracking up’ [not in front of my girl] and a new Dr. being assigned. Ten minutes later, a precious Grandson was born by Caesarean Section.

  12. anne  

    I had my Mum with me as my husband was not very supportive but I also invited my Father because I found it sad that he (like man men) had come from the era where men waited in the corridor while women bore their babies alone, I felt sad that as a wonderful husband, father and humanitarian he had be denied the natural real life experience of child birth and knew he would be in awe of it, something fathers need to experience in order to understand and appreciate what women go through, he was my biggest supporter that day, massaging my painful lower back, placing hot towels on it, soothing words, all while my Mum held my hand so tightly. I think my husband was there at some stage, probably for the happy snaps afterwards

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