I am one of those incredibly fortunate women who can honestly say they like their mother-in-law. She's a wonderful person and I truly do enjoy spending time with her.
Which is good, because the little guy and I just spent two days with her. She had a conference out of town and invited us along, which also gave my son and I the opportunity to visit my Grandma for a few hours. After spending the summer with my family, it has been hard to move out here and not have that anymore (my in-laws don't live here, they live several hours north of us), so being able to spend time with MIL and visit my Grandma was most welcome indeed. FIL flies down for work every week and often comes over for dinner one night, which we always look forward to as well - and not just because he often brings me flowers or chocolate!
I had to giggle inwardly during my last midwife appointment, when she confirmed that I had someone in mind to watch the little guy during the labour and delivery. I told her my MIL would be. (We don't have all of the details worked out, but MIL will fly down and stay with FIL around my due date, and hopefully everything will fall into place as far as timing goes. If not, I do have a local backup in place, but the ideal is definitely to have MIL there.) My husband was at the appt as well, and the midwife got a nervous look on her face and, glancing at him for a brief moment, asked me if I was, err, comfortable with those arrangements. Absolutely, I assured her.
I can't imagine having anyone else but her there. (I love my own mother dearly, of course, but haven't even told her we're having a homebirth, so opposed is she to the idea.) She'll do great with her grandson, who is free to participate in the birth as much or as little as he is comfortable with. She is a very unobtrusive lady, so I won't feel overwhelmed by her presence. She is very understanding and won't be hurt or offended at all if I ask to be left alone. She's extremely helpful, and for once I'll be in a position to accept that help gratefully rather than insist that I can take care of it like I usually try to do. Plus, I just like her, and she's excited over the idea of being involved in the birth of her second grandchild. She is also entirely understanding of the fact that her first grandchild is her main responsibility, and if he's not comfortable being there, he won't be forced to stay. Right now, though, he very much wants to be involved, and I would love for him to be there too, so hopefully both he and MIL will be able to witness the birth of this new child.
As testiment to her unobtrusiveness, she has made plans to be in the area for Christmas, along with FIL and my two SILs (all of whom are equally wonderful). She has told us that we are free to participate as much or as little as we choose, no pressure whatsoever given that we'll have such a new baby. I appreciate the thoughtfulness. I am hoping to convince her to have Christmas Day at our house - nothing fancy, just a homey place to exchange gifts and cook a nice dinner - and my darling husband has even said he'd get a real Christmas tree! My first since I was a child! But we'll see how everything works out.
Anyway, we had a very nice couple of days together. The boy had a great time with his Oma and I enjoyed the conversations and company as well. It's strange to think that I likely won't see her again until the baby is due - and even stranger to think that that's barely over a month away!