Julie answered the call. Her swollen belly exhausted from nerves was already in a fragile setting. She couldn’t handle more stress.
Still, she knew this phone call wasn’t good. It was her midwife. Julie’s heart pounded as her hands turned to fists as she listened to what her mother-in-law did. She was livid. This had gone way too far.
Julie Hampton was thirty-five weeks pregnant with her first child. She was deliriously excited to welcome her baby girl into the world but she also wished the world was a better place to be welcomed into right now.
Not many mothers can say they gave birth during a global pandemic, so perhaps not everyone would understand how hard it was. This was certainly the case for Julie’s mother-in-law.
It’s no surprise that Covid-19 has been hard on so many people. And it’s been an especially stressful time for first-time pregnant women like Julie.
When Julie and her husband, Ben, imagined their first pregnancy, they never imagined they would experience it isolated and afraid of spending time with their extended family and friends. Nor did they imagine the tension that caused.
She looked at her, eyes red in anger, her brows furrowed. Is this how she really felt about her all along? Julie felt hurt but mostly incredibly disrespected. There was no coming back from this.
With all the virus guidelines and health warnings, keeping her baby safe was Julie’s main priority. She didn’t want any unnecessary risk.
So when she heard of the hospital’s ban of more than one immediate family in the delivery room, she understood and commended the decision.
She then decided that to eliminate any further risk and to keep her mind at ease, she wanted to spend the first 2 weeks of her daughter’s life with just herself and Ben. But when she broke this news to their extended family, it caused uproar for one person in particular.
Julie’s parents were upset at first but they also understood their daughter’s concerns and were happy to arrange a later date to meet their first granddaughter.
However, Susan, who was Ben’s mother and Julie’s mother-in-law, had something entirely different to say about this unusual arrangement, and she was going to let Julie know exactly what she thought of her.
Susan immediately flipped out on the phone to Julie. “You’re horrible!”, she snipped. “You’re taking away the moment I should have with my granddaughter because of your selfishness and entitlement!”. Julie was gobsmacked.
She wasn’t doing this for herself or to snub her mother-in-law. She just wanted to protect her baby but that’s not how Susan saw it.
She continued to tell Julie that she always tried to push her away from her grandchild, mentioning that she never followed any of her advice to avoid being induced, on how to breastfeed, and which doctor she should have consulted.
It was a long list and one that Julie knew all too well. Still, Julie bit her tongue and began talking about how they could work out a schedule to see her. That’s when Susan went too far.
Susan screamed at Julie, telling her that she was just a selfish controlling woman, who had stolen her family. Now, Ben could hear his mom shouting through Julie’s phone.
He grabbed the phone off her and warned his mom that she was out of line. He told her they decided this as it’s best for the baby given the circumstances. Little did he know, he just made things worse.
It was no use, her son’s words just made her think that Julie made him say that to her. She had a vendetta against her and now, she was set on making things go her way.
She hung up the phone and decided to get the ultimate payback. Soon, Julie and her husband were about to discover exactly what she was planning.
It was only a couple of days later when Julie received a call from her midwife who told her what her mother-in-law did. Julie’s hands turned into fists as she listened to what the midwife told her.
This had gone way too far. She wasn’t only overstepping, but now becoming an embarrassment. Julie was livid.
Susan managed to find the contact details of Julie’s midwife online and rang her on ‘Julie’s behalf’ to be added as an essential visitor along with her husband in the delivery room.
The midwife called Julie to make sure her mother-in-law was given permission to do so. And thank goodness, because Julie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She was going to shut her down once and for all.
Julie told the midwife to call her mother-in-law back and let her know that she doesn’t qualify as an essential person. She also asked the midwife to extend a warning to her about the danger of visiting newborns at the moment due to the pandemic.
And that if she wanted to keep her grandchild safe, she should wait a couple of months before visiting her.
Julie hoped that if she heard this from a medical professional, she’d realize how selfish she was being. She added in the two months visiting ban because, frankly, she just did not want to deal with her after all of this. And who could blame her!
But how did she take to the midwife’s rejection and warning?
It seemed to have done the trick. Susan didn’t challenge the midwife as she did Julie. She realized that no matter how badly she wanted to see her grandchild be born, it wasn’t worth putting her health at risk.
Julie went on to give birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl and they are both doing well and quarantining as an excited new family together!