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Who is planning on having their older child at their birth?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just curious, for those who have done it before, how you managed it, and what it was like for your older kid. Mine will be a few weeks shy of 5, and she says she wants to be there, and I'm excited to have her there.

 

We're already watching some birth movies, and talking about it a lot, and I'm planning to have one or two other adults who are there to be with her and entertain her if she gets too bored or worried or whatever. But what else should I be thinking about?

post #2 of 10

We are planning to have my son who will be 2yr 10mo at our birth.  We got the book Hello Baby by Jenni Overend and I would recommned it for your daughter.  My son is really grasping the idea of what is going to happen (as well as a 2yo can:)  The book is appropriate for 5yr olds and I cried the first time I read it.  My son will probably also attend a birthing class for siblings that my midwives offer as the time comes close.  We also have a pretty big team for our birth (midwife, back-up, assistant, and doula), so I feel my son will be taken care of- in addition to myself of course.  I also have a friend who lives a few blocks away who has agreed to come get my son and take him to her house if he wants to leave (he is friends with her kids).  I do not plan on having someone dedicated to the care of my son- we will probably rotate care, so I think you are ahead of me on that one.  The idea of another person in my house though just feels like too much.  I am excited for you- what an adventure to have her there:)

post #3 of 10

We will have DD, who will be almost 5 1/2, at the birth.  It'll be a hospital birth, with just her & DH, so I hope it works out okay, because otherwise it'll be me by myself (though I'm not emotional or needy during labor so that'd probably be okay too).  I expect her to do just fine, though.  She's pretty responsible, very interested, and almost always well-behaved (in public, at least).  I'm thrilled that the hospital/midwives/etc., will allow her to be there.  love.gif  The hardest thing will probably be feeding her, if the labor isn't super short.  Luckily DH works there so he can always break into the cafeteria in a pinch.  thumb.gif  They'll both spend the night too, if I end up being there overnight, which is somewhat likely, since it seems like births usually happen at night and I know they'll want to keep me for a few hours at least. 

post #4 of 10

I would not mind having my daughter there (will be seven) but she does not wat to and refuses to see birth videos. My 3 y.o. is way too needy and would be a huge pain in the butt for me. I do not have easy births and there is always lots of blood involved since I am on blood thinners, so maybe it is better that she does not want to take part.

post #5 of 10

I'm planning to have my two at the birth. DS will have just turned 5, and DD will be a little over 2 1/2. So far what I'm planning is to have someone on-call to come and hang out with the older kids if they are awake. I have no idea who that will be yet... a big part of me is hoping that I will labor/birth at night, because both kids are pretty good sleepers and I think they would probably just sleep through it, and we could just get them up in time for the actual birth, if they wanted to get up. So in that case, we probably wouldn't even call anyone to come for them, we'd just let them sleep. I also have the issue of not wanting *another* person at my house, I'll have my MW, another MW (since mine won't be licensing until August), and my doula, as well as hopefully a photographer...

post #6 of 10
My almost 13yo son was present when I had ds2. We were in a hospital and we had to have an adult there for ds to leave with if he needed to. I didn't want that person to be my dh so I had a friend come that my ds liked. DS was there for most of it. I think he got bored at one point and hung out with the anesthesiologist watching movies in his office. I thought that was kind of funny since I didn't want the anesthesiologist anywhere near me. lol.gif

DS2 was 3.5yo when ds3 was born at home. He went to all of my prenatal appointments and we watched some birth videos. I had my mom there to take care of him if needed. My dh was deployed. I labored most of the night while he slept. When he woke up in the morning he sat on Grandma's lap in the same room with me for a while. He did get scared while I was going through transition and asked to leave so my mom took him back into his room so they could play until after little brother was born.

DS1, who was 16 when I had ds3, ran as soon as I told him I was in labor. He went to stay at a friend's house because he didn't want to be there at all. He now says that watching ds2 being born was very disturbing even though he was very interested at the time. shrug.gif

All my boys will be here again for this one. My dh will again be deployed. My mom will come and stay with me so she can help take care of the boys during labor and help me afterward. So, that's what I do. I have my children stay home but make sure I have a way for them to leave if they want.
post #7 of 10

DD was 4 when her brother was born.  She was at the birth.  She doesn't seem to really remember it.  We prepared by watching birth videos and making birth sounds together.  It was a planned homebirth with a midwife.  We hired a doula team.  One doula for her, one for me.  It was wonderful.  We both really appreciated having "our" person.

 

DD will be 7 when baby is born.  DS will be 3 when baby is born.  This is a planned homebirth with the same midwife group, although there are now four midwives in the group instead of just two.  I had hoped to hire the same doula team but they're no longer working together and technically neither is doula'ing right now, although I think "my" doula will probably come out of retirement for the birth.  Unfortunately we need another doula for the kids.  I think the plan is to hire two doulas and hope that one doula can help me and one can help both kids.  In the unlikely event of an emergency the kids' doula would stay with them.  In the possible event of both kids not wanting to be in the same place at the same time or needing different support, either my doula or DH will take over the other child.  But I still have to actually hire the doulas.  In preparation for the birth we'll be watching birth videos ("baby movies") and when it gets closer we'll do some birth sounds because to me that seemed like one of the more alarming aspects of the birth.

 

So far we've watched one birth video.  DS was entranced.  DD felt that the women should have had clothing on :)  I think we'll need to talk about that a little more because I know I was naked for DS's birth and I doubt this one will be different.  :)

post #8 of 10

We took our 2 children to our 3rd child's birth, they were just turned 3 and 4.5 years old.  It was the middle of the night and the 3 yr old slept soundly through it all in the adjacent room (birth center like a house, door was open), just about 3-4 yards away from me in a recliner.  The 4.5 year old stayed up the whole time and did wonderful!  We had another adult there who was there solely for the purpose of entertaining them and meeting their needs throughout it all.

 

Baby #4, we had at home, we did not bring anyone extra on board to help with the kids.  But it couldn't have worked out better.  Kids were 6.5, 4, and 2 years old at the time.  My water broke at 7 a.m.  No contractions all morning, so we had time to get the house prepped and whatnot.  Fed the kids lunch around noon, put the 2 year old down for a nap, started a movie for the other two, midwife showed up around 12:30, and real labor began around 12:45 p.m.  He was born by 2:15 (yes, only 1.5 hours of labor!) before the 2 year woke up or the movie was over.  LOL!  The 4 and 6 year old came in to watch just as he was being born, then went back to their movie.  

 

We're pretty much planning the same thing this time, with a homebirth.  Although my mom may or may not be here to help out with the kids.  I don't feel the need to have anyone extra around since it went so smooth last time.  I will probably have someone on call for the younger two just in case things aren't going as planned or they're really in the way and I need them out.  I think we did that last time around, but we didn't end up calling anyone.  

post #9 of 10

Wow, these stories are encouraging!

I want to have my 2 1/2 year old there, and hopefully all will be well. My best friend, whom she adores, will be there to look after her and play, feed her, etc. But she is super super SUPER over protective of me, and doesn't like for anyone to touch me, so I hope she will be okay when my husband or the midwives are helping me through labor. And when she sees me in pain (one really disturbing time the fireplace door fell on my foot!), she clings to me like glue! I'm hoping nature will take it's course and she will instinctively know mama is okay. She loves watching birth videos, and is getting acquainted with the idea of mama having a baby, so I guess we will see:)

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by entiti View Post

Wow, these stories are encouraging!

I want to have my 2 1/2 year old there, and hopefully all will be well. My best friend, whom she adores, will be there to look after her and play, feed her, etc. But she is super super SUPER over protective of me, and doesn't like for anyone to touch me, so I hope she will be okay when my husband or the midwives are helping me through labor. And when she sees me in pain (one really disturbing time the fireplace door fell on my foot!), she clings to me like glue! I'm hoping nature will take it's course and she will instinctively know mama is okay. She loves watching birth videos, and is getting acquainted with the idea of mama having a baby, so I guess we will see:)


I haven't had a 2 yr old at a birth and probably wouldn't want one there.  Had a just turned 3 yr old at dd3's birth, but she slept through it all.  And my 2 yr old at ds's birth last year also slept though the whole thing.  I think in a relaxed home setting, mama's tend to relax enough to birth when they aren't needed, thus my body kicks in and gets to work once the toddler is asleep.  Just a theory of mine.  We'll see what happens with ds, he'll be 17-18 months old, and I'd be happy to have him sleep through it all and not need me.

 

I have heard many stories of toddlers being in the room though and doing just fine.  But I have also heard many midwives say that it can make it more difficult for the mom to focus on what she needs to be doing because we are naturally inclined to want to take care of our babies' needs.

 

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