I'd really like to have DD at her baby brother's birth (I'm due in two weeks), but not sure about the logistics of it.
Our current plan: if I go into labour in the middle of the night when DD's asleep, we'll call my mother to come over and sleep in our bed, and try to sneak away without waking DD up. Then in the morning, if I'm still labouring, Mum can bring her in (or not, depending on how I feel about it).
If I go into labour at a respectable time, I'd like to take DD along to the birthing centre with us. If all goes well, she can stay for the birth; if not, it's no harder for Mum to pick her up from the birthing centre than from our house (we live, like, a 3-minute drive away).
Here's the thing, though: I don't want someone present at the birth to "attend" DD. I'm private, and just want DH, the midwife and (possibly) DD. I don't want Mum there, or a doula, or a friend - even if the DD-wrangler kept to the other side of the room and was discreet, I'd feel very inhibited and embarrassed. So that's just not an option. I could *maybe* deal with Mum waiting in the whanau room, and DD going out to her as she got bored; but that's about it (and would be rather inconvenient for Mum, who's a busy woman!).
Is it totally unrealistic to expect a three-and-a-bit-year-old not to be a liability during labour, without a dedicated wrangler? I was planning on bringing lots of snacks and setting up DH's laptop with movies, so DD could watch them if she got bored. And of course, I'll labour at home for the first part anyway. I am planning to do Hypnobabies, so I'll need to concentrate; and with my last labour I was pretty clingy towards DH, but I'm hoping Hypnobabies will make me less so this time.
DD has watched a bunch of birth videos on YouTube, seen a lot of graphic photos etc, and is totally unfazed by the birth process - she mostly comments on how cute the babies are. She knows they come out with umbilical cords, and often covered with gunk; she knows ladies often make lots of noise during labour; and in theory, she knows that birth can take a long time. She's seen me in pain before (vomiting, heartburn, my current case of flu) and is sympathetic without getting freaked out (but obviously, labour pain isn't quite the same thing!). During DD's birth I was apparently very calm-seeming, to the point where my MW found it hard to pinpoint when I was having contractions; it in no way reflected my actual mental attitude, but it does seem likely that I won't be screaming and flailing all over the room this time, at least.
Anyone had a child about this age attend a birth, particularly a hypnobirth? Without a support person? How was it?
ETA: A tad more info: DD likes my midwife pretty well. She isn't attached to the idea of being at the birth (too young); in fact, if she were bored during labour and I suggested she go to Gran's house, I'm sure she'd leap at it. The birthing room has space for DD to lie down and nap if necessary. I plan to waterbirth (in a room attached to the birthing room), so DH will probably be in the tub with me for the last part of labour. I'd rather DD didn't get in the tub. :p