It didn't take me long to figure out who I wanted in the labor and delivery room with me when it came time to meet my son. In fact, I think just a few days after I found out I was pregnant. I wanted my partner there, I knew my two best friends would be there, and I knew I wanted my mother there. Anyone else was not welcome, including hospital staff members who made me uncomfortable. So, I figured out ways to kick someone out of the labor and delivery room when I was contracting and pooping and trying to focus on something as empowering and taxing as labor and delivery. I wanted to be kind to those who felt so attached to my pregnancy that they hoped to witness it end, but I also wanted to make sure I had the birth experience I wanted.
My mom couldn't fly in, so a grand total of three people (plus my doctors and nurses) watched my son come into the world. For the most part, people were respectful of who I wanted in the labor and delivery room, and I didn't feel like I upset anyone by "laying down the law." However, one nurse was assigned to me that I really and truly didn't get along with. I found her to be combative, judgmental, and just not someone who made me feel powerful or comfortable. In other words, she had to go. I didn't want to be "rude," and I didn't want to be that patient the entire labor and delivery floor talked about (worries that, now, seem so ridiculous) so I wanted to be kind but firm.
Which is why the following ways to kick someone out of a labor and delivery room proved to be so beneficial, for me, throughout the entire process that was me bringing my son into the world. Whether it was a nurse that made me uncomfortable or just well-meaning friends who wanted to be supportive, I found the following tactics to be some of the best ways to kick someone out of a delivery room. After all, when you're the one in labor, what you need matters above all else.
Have Your Partner Do It
When I realized that a specific nurse could no longer be in the room if I was going to feel comfortable and capable of concentrating on the task at hand, I gave my partner what can only be described to as "the look." Oh, you know "the look." It's the glance shared between two people that says, "If you don't take care of this problem right this second I am going to scream and/or lose my freakin' mind."
I put him to task and he went through the proper channels to have this particular nurse re-assigned. I didn't have to worry about it and could, instead, focus on bringing our son into the world.
Have Your Doula Do It
I didn't have a Doula (I couldn't afford one and, honestly, I had such a wonderful team of doctors and nurses, I didn't think I needed one) however, I have many friends who have either used Doula's and their services, or are Doulas themselves.
This type of a situations is definitely something you can, and should, ask your Doula to handle. After all, they're there to help ease you through the stages of labor and support you any way you need.
Make Them In Charge Of The People In The Waiting Room
I had two of my best friends in the labor and delivery room with me. I consider those two women family, so there wasn't really a question as to whether or not they would be present for the birth of my son.
I did have other friends who wanted to be present, too, but I didn't feel as comfortable having them in the room. I also didn't want to hurt their feelings because, well, some friends were "invited," and some weren't. So, I made those friends in charge of the waiting room. I found that giving certain friends tasks that didn't involve being present as I was pushing another human being out of my body, gave them a sense of purpose and didn't make them feel left out. Problem. Solved.
Ask Them To Keep Your Parents And/Or Friends Informed
My mother couldn't be present for the birth of her grandson, because Alaska is pretty far away. So, I put a friend in charge of giving her minute-by-minute updates. I didn't want to be on the phone with my mother while I was contracting or pushing, but I wanted her to feel like she was involved in the process, even when she was thousands of miles away.
My friend was able to feel like she was part of the process, too, without actually being in the room, and my mother felt like she was there. It was perfect.
Sends Them Out For Food
Not only is this essential, it will help get that certain someone out of the room (and even out of the hospital). Whatever you're craving is probably something people will be more than happy to run out and get you because, again, it gives someone a purpose and makes them feel like they're part of the labor and delivery process (and, to me, the person with the food was the most important person in my life after I gave birth — besides my kid, of course).
Basically, Give Them A Task They Have To Leave The Room To Complete
Honestly, whatever you can think of that gets someone out of your room or out of the hospital — but is still related to your labor and delivery and/or them doing something to assist you — is a good way to go. Need that one blanket you unfortunately forgot? Ask them to grab it. Forgot your birthing playlist back at home on your aging iPod? Send someone to fetch it. I guarantee you, the people who care about you to the point they would want to be present when you bring another human into the world, are going to jump at the chance to help anyway they can.
Have Your Doctor Do It...
I know that everyone's OB-GYN is different, as is their relationship with them, so perhaps you wouldn't be comfortable asking your doctor to take care of an unwanted visitor. Understandable.
I, personally, had a great relationship with my doctor, and felt completely comfortable with her (and the team she had assembled to help me birth my baby). I just told my doctor that I didn't want anyone else in the room and, well, that was that. When friends showed up last-minute (as I was pushing), the doctor told one of the nurses to handle it. I barely even noticed when two friends were kept from coming into the room.
...Or Ask For The Charge Nurse
I didn't ask the charge nurse to reassign the nurse I didn't get along with and/or feel comfortable with, but my partner did. He went straight to the charge nurse, who handled the situation in a respectable and professional manner. That way, my partner didn't have to engage in a potentially awkward conversation with the nurse we didn't really like, and the charge nurse could simply say she needed that particular nurse elsewhere. No one's feelings were hurt and, in the end, that's part of the charge nurse's job anyway.
Of Course, You Can Always Just Tell Them To Leave
It never came to this, for me, but I know that if it was necessary I wouldn't have hesitate to tell someone to simply leave.
In the end, I was the one who needed to be comfortable; who needed to have my space; who needed to feel supported by the very specific people I was willing to have support me. I didn't need to spend too much time focused on other people's wants or their feelings. After all, I was the one in extreme pain, doing something as unbelievable as birthing a human being. If telling someone what I needed was really going to upset them, they probably were probably less concerned with my needs, and more concerned with their own.
(Remember: Don't Ask. Tell. You Get To Demand Things.)
Pro Tip: Don't ask. Tell. You don't need to worry about being "nice" or "polite." You get to be demanding, dear reader. You're birthing another human being.
Is it kind of you to care about the thoughts and feelings of your friends and family members? Of course. However, in the end, their thoughts and feelings are at the very bottom of your priority list. Do what you need to do so that you can finally meet your baby.