Has anyone had positive experiences with old siblings present for a hospital birth? I know it's common with homebirths, but what about the hospital? What are some things I can do to create a family-centered birth experience in the hospital?
I'm due with #2 this summer and I'm looking forward to a successful VBAC. Unfortunately, I can't afford the cost that comes with the one homebirth midwife (out of three) who will accept HBACs, so it's two hours out of town I go during labor. The midwives I'll be birthing with in the hospital are known for being natural birth oriented and allow younger children in the maternity area.
I'd like to recreate the family-centered birth experience in the hospital, as well as I can. What can I do now to prepare for this?
I have a friend who will be joining us to attend to 4YO DS and DH will be there as well. I have hired a VBAC experienced doula, who will accompany us too. So I've got the "someone for me, someone for DS" thing covered. We've been talking with DS and reading about birth, and watch natural birth videos on YouTube. If he needs to leave during the birth he'll be comfortable with my friend.
Can anyone share their hospital birth experiences where their older children are present? If they stayed with you during labor and delivery, what did you bring for them to do the whole time? I want toprepare my "bag of tricks" now... like DVDs, games, etc? Did your DC stay the night at the hospital as well?
Thanks for your thoughts!