Long before I ever went into labor, I was positive one thing in my birth plan would happen definitely, for sure, without question, no matter what: no one was going to be in that room unless I really wanted them there. And everyone's access was subject to being revoked — everyone. My partner knew this, and luckily, was onboard. He knew I was well versed in the signs you'll end up kicking your partner out of the labor and delivery room, and I wouldn't hesitate to say the word if he showed any of them. He understood that since I was the one who had to fit a Crockpot through a bagel bite made of nerves, I was basically allowed to play dictator about anything else happening in the room where I was pulling that feat off. If him being in the hall was going to make the process of giving birth to our kid even marginally easier, who the hell was he to say no?
Which is ultimately how I felt about the decision of who got to be in the delivery room and who didn't. If a laboring mother wants someone in or wants someone out, what kind of intolerable nightmare of a human would dare place their feelings or ego above the needs of a person literally in labor? (Probably the same kind of asshole who doesn't deserve to witness the miracle of life, for what it's worth.)
And while I didn't end up kicking my partner out of the delivery room (likely because he was the kind of passive and supportive person who would've willingly and easily left if I had asked him to), he did end up being the only one allowed in. And looking back there were definitely times during my pregnancy when the potential for his ouster was super obvious. If any of these things are true for you, there's a reasonably good chance you might toss out your partner when it's Game Day:
You Kick Your Partner Out Of The Planning Process
People have a lot of opinions about every part of child-rearing. This is also (if not especially) true when it comes to all the decisions about how to get the child out mom's body. In a perfect world, two parents-to-be will seamlessly agree on every little decision to be made about their kid's life. And while that basically never happens (good luck with all that, guys), decisions about labor and delivery should be given over to the pregnant partner for final say on literally everything. Non-laboring partners don't really get a vote on anything that happens within the delivery room.
If you agree with that perspective (read: correct perspective) on birth planning, and you find that your partner has a lot of conflicting opinions and isn't shy about making them heard and to the point that you routinely kick them out of the birth planning process, maybe consider the possibility that you'll be kicking them out of the actual birthing room, too.
You Prefer To Work On Projects Alone
Some people just focus better when they're alone. If having even quiet, retreated people in your space while you're trying to concentrate is a distraction to you, you might want to prepare your partner for the possibility that you might find that this job could end up being easier accomplished without them looking over your shoulder.
Your Partner Tends To Escalate Whatever Emotion You're Feeling
To be pleasantly reductive, there are generally two types of emotional dynamics in relationships: people either balance each other's emotions or feed off each other's emotions. If your partner is someone who gets calmer when you're anxious (and who feels comfortable getting upset sometimes because they know you'll be the steady one in those moments), then they might be the absolute best person to be around when you're in labor and will undoubtedly come up against moments where you feel hopeless and exhausted and sad and scared and like you maybe can't do this after all.
But if your partner is someone who historically takes their emotional cues from you, or even comes to embody an escalated version of them (if you're upset about losing your job, they are upset about you losing your job, except somehow more upset than you are, and also maybe upset that you're going to lose your house because of it), then they might not be the best influence when you're trying to get a baby out of you.
The last thing you need when you're up against an emotional wall in the middle of labor is someone whose face is going to tell you that, actually yeah, this is bad and hard and oh god, maybe you can't do it! Nope. There can only be one person in the room who is feeling the feelings of a laboring woman, and since you're the laboring woman, that person is you. If everyone else in the room can't pull it together for your benefit, they don't get to be in the room.
Your Partner Has A Hard Time Being On The Sidelines
Again, this all depends on what kind of engagement from your partner makes you feel supported. Some women in labor might feel like their partner assuming a very "this is us taking this on together, and I'm here actively helping you" position makes them feel supported in an empowering way. Others, on the other hand, might really just want to be left alone to do the work themselves for the most part.
If you're the latter kind of person, and you have a partner who is generally not good at being a passive participant when there's a job to do, there's a better-than-decent chance that their inability to not help might feel annoying, disruptive, and counterproductive. And since you know you're in control of your birthing space, you're obviously going to promptly get rid of any influences like that, even if they are someone you love.
When You're Stressed, You Like To Clean
This might seem like a weird sign, but stay with me. In the delivery room, there are very few things that are dispensable. For the most part the room is filled with things you legit need: doctors and/or midwives, nurses, pillows, bouncy balls, things to throw up in, painkillers, etc. Your labor isn't really going to be much easier if you get rid of any of those things, which is annoying if you're the kind of person for whom cleaning is a soothing activity when you're stressed, since just the act of moving something from inside the room to outside the room and observing that newly freed up space around you can be extremely cathartic when you're stressed (and giving birth is, at least at some points, stressful by nature).
But you know who might feel a little expendable? Your partner. They're great, and you love them and all that, but eh... You could do this without them. And if creating a them-sized chunk of blank space in your birthing environment feels calming for you in the midst of a million things you can't control, then there's a good (and totally understandable) chance that you'll go for it.
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