What is appropriate here?

13 Dec

Remember I had mentioned a couple of our friends are having babies soon and how excited I was to find out if it was a boy or a girl? Well, the first of these new babies is out and it’s a girl. Tons of hair and the loveliest longest eyelashes ever. This lucky girl is never going to need any mascara, I tell you.

Anyway, this is not really about her (though it probably should be). It is about visiting the new born baby and her parents at the hospital

So for some background, the husbadoo and I traverse many social circles. There is the work group of people that usually does not extend to  the weekends, there are the went-to-grad-school-together- but really- have- nothing- in- common- now group who thankfully for us do not all live around us, there are the best-friends-on- paper- who- we- meet- almost- every- weekend, the ones that have- a- cute- dog- who- we-dogsit-and-guiltily- love- better- than- their- – baby , there are the husby’s cricket buddies who we catch up with sometimes and then there is this particular group that I am going to talk about.I have not been able to successfully classify this group in my head. They are the- slightly- older-have- cute kids-busy-as –a- result- who-we-meet- occasionally- group.

So there are about 8 families in this group including us and majority of them are quite close. I have never been able to completely bond with this group for varying reasons. One of the primary ones being we don’t have kids and I really don’t socialize much during the week when they meet for play dates etc .So there is often a big disconnect when we do meet every few month.

Anyway, one of the other 7 families rang me up to say that A has delivered. “We are planning to go see the baby today evening. Let’s go as a group.”

I was a little hesitant at first. Do you even  go see a new born baby unless invited? What about risk of crowding and infection? Does the mom even want to see anyone? What do you take? We are not very close to begin with, should I even go? Now if the whole group goes and I don’t it might offend the parents. ..

Anyway, I agreed to join the big “group” and with the husbadoo in tow we set off in the evening.

Our agenda (Husbadoo and mine) atleast was to just say  our “Hellos” – do our“ohh, cute baby crooning “ and leave without making a nuisance of ourselves

To start with the various couples and their kids got their a few minutes apart from each other. We were the 2nd to arrive. Ohhed and ahhed over the baby and her adorableness, enquired about the delivery which had been a c –section , and stood on the side waiting for an appropriate moment to leave.

The mother looked exhausted but managed a watery smile throughout.

Another family arrived with 2 kids in tow, and another with 1 kid, and another couple.

Soon the little room was crowded. Some of the kids ran around, no one did anything to stop them; they  leaned on the cradle, rocking it quite wildly . I was almost scared it would topple over.

How the little baby slept thru the din and ruckus, I do not know.

The talk was no longer about this baby or this delivery. It was about everybody else’s delivery and babies with much exclaiming all around.The few with no experience in that area like yours truly were talking about vacation plans for next week and airline prices. All definitely not in hushed tones.

Husbadoo nudged me to leave. I however, did not want to be the first to leave. No one else seemed to be making any motion to depart and the smile on the new mother’s face grew weaker and weaker. Finally after almost 30 minutes there, we bid our good byes and turned to leave, stumbling over 3 kids on our way out.

Just as we reached the door, we had someone stop us and pull us back in for a picture around the crib. We stood there – all 12 of us, kids included, and had our picture taken for whatever reason and left.

The party continued after we left though. I don’t know for how long.

We met our closest- friends-who-we-hang-out-with –every-weekend-but –dislike travelling-with a day after this and we got into discussing what is baby visiting etiquette at the hospital. Do you go at all? Is it unadvisable for the baby and mom as it increases chances of infection? If you do have to go, how long do you stay without over staying your welcome?

As none of us discussing this had kidsyet,  we ended with desperate promises that we would make it to see each other’s babies wherever we were and that somehow we would fix them up with each other 20 years down the line.(I seriously don’t know how it got there, but that’s another story!).

So I am throwing it out there, what is the expected protocol in these situations? Go on, share your views!


10 Responses to “What is appropriate here?”

  1. vialoflifei December 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Is there even a protocol for baby visiting? Maybe the families should not have bought the kids along and waited till the baby came home. I have had tough time bonding with families with kids in the past..things will change for me in a couple of months and I am hoping that I don’t become one of those completely-obsessed-with-my-baby-and-have-no-life-of-my-own types.

    • popgoesthebiscuit December 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

      Congrats on the baby!
      I think we all really crowded the room…kids and all!

  2. Pepper December 15, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Oh I don’t know. I don’t think I would go if I wasn’t close to the parents. I think I would be more of a hassle to them than anything else. New parents have a lot going on.
    If I were close to the parents, then I would be there because then I know the parents are comfortable enough to pass on some of the chores to me or even ask me to leave if that is what they want.
    Will see the responses in your comment section.

    • popgoesthebiscuit December 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      In retrospect, as we are not super close to the couple probably should not have gone…Just that with group dynamics at play it’s often hard to decide what to do and then do something different from the rest of the group..

  3. Disha December 16, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    Hello, just discovered your blog through someone else’s…my two cents on the issue would be to go visit once the mommy and baby are back home.Only If you’re very close drop by at the hospital. As for the gift..just ask them what would be most useful. I’ve had friends complaining of the twenty similar sets of clothes they end up getting !!

    • popgoesthebiscuit December 17, 2011 at 9:20 am #

      Hey there…thanks for stopping by!
      Good to know what others think about the hospital visiting…As for gifts, I love the gift registry concept and wish everyone would have one.That way you are giving them what they want..
      On that note, I have to do a complete post on baby gifts alone with relation to other members of the same group I wrote about here…pretty funny.Post on that coming up soon!

  4. Sumana January 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    You have a nice blog here. I for one would not go to the hospital either. The reason would be infections and having delivered two kids myself, i feel i am in no state to talk or even smile with all the things new around. But you said it group dynamics, it is tough to refuse and remain the odd one out.

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by! I know right, group dynamics dictate our actions so much….

  5. uma January 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi, came over from Bhargavi’s blog. You have a nice blog here.

    Coming to the post, I can well understand the exhaustion and the watery smile of the mother. Was in a similar situation when people just stopped by at my mom’s place without much notice during the first three months after the delivery. I was having a tough time getting used to the baby and my schedule, so did not appreciate visitors esp. ones I didn’t know much lingering around for a long time. If people (apart from very close ones) must visit the mother and the child, it is best after they have settled down well or just keep the visit as short as possible without making too much fuss about the child or the mother.

    This is my personal opinion and hope you don’t think I am judging you or your actions.

    • popgoesthebiscuit January 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

      Hello…No, I don’t think you are being judgemental at all! I invited opinions on what needs is right here and welcome comments:)
      Good to know what moms actually experienced and felt during the time.

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