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Who are you inviting to your birth?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm planning a homebirth for my first and my midwife asked me at my last appointment to start thinking about who I might want there (besides her, of course).  My husband will also be there, along with a second midwife to assist, but I'm not sure exactly who else I want there. 


As a midwifery student/doula I've been to so many births and I've seen people have great experiences with huge crowds at their birth supporting them, and with nobody there besides mom, dad, and midwives.  I'm honestly having a hard time picturing what will make the most sense for me. 


A few factors I'm considering:

1) I really want photos of the birth.  We were going to pay someone (who I'm familiar with from a birth I attended) to come, but we're using the money to buy a new car instead.  My mom (who REALLY wants to come) has volunteered to take pictures instead.  We get along great, she had three natural, hospital births (two with CNMs), but she's only really said she's coming around to the safety of homebirth now that I've told her a few times that I'm nervous about her being nervous at the birth.  On the other hand, I'm a huge hypochondriac, and she's usually pretty good at convincing me that I'm not dying when I'm being overly dramatic about something.  One of my two sisters might also want to come, and has a similarly comforting vibe.

2) Our apartment is large, but sort of loft-style, with only an archway between our living room and bedroom (no actual door).  If we wanted complete privacy, people would have to hang out in our kitchen/dining room (which is also large enough to accommodate quite a few folks), but not as comfortable. 

3) I have a few fellow midwifery student friends who live nearby who would love to attend and would be great doulas in early labor before my midwives come by, but I wonder if they might be in the way once the midwives are there?

4) Several of my best friends live close enough that they could probably stop by for part of labor (or we could call them to show up afterward).  I have this idea that I want to bake a cake (or have someone else bake a cake) during early labor to have a small birthday party/meal after the baby is born.  I would love to have some of my super close friends come by and see the baby then, but I'm also open to waiting until the next day (or some other time)...


Thoughts?  Who is everyone else inviting? 

post #2 of 20

With DS I had 1) the midwife/ves 2) DH 3)My mom 4) My MIL 5) my SIL in-and-out and 6)FIL in-and-out.


This time around I'm planning a much more intimate affair with just MWs and DH.


My advice would be to invite no-one, then if you feel you'd like the company of someone specific ask your DH to call them. That way there are no expectations from anyone and no let-down about not being called and no wishing that everyone would just go away in the moment.


My mom did a great job mothering me after the birth though...I think I'd call her post-birth.

post #3 of 20
It'll just be my DH this time.
post #4 of 20

I will have my DH, two midwives, and maybe a student midwife.

post #5 of 20

Great thread!


I've already thought about this a lot, so I'm pretty sure I have my birth team assembled smile.gif So, here is my list:


DH (of course!)

My kids - DD, 7 & DS, 3

A good friend to take care of the kids (and take them somewhere else if they want to leave or I want them to leave)

My midwife and her assistant

A very good friend who will be playing the "doula" role (I attended the birth of her second DS last year)

Another friend who is a professional photographer and will be there to take photos


At first, it kind of seems like a lot of people, but I think everyone has a very good attitude and each person definitely has a role to play. Plus, our house is plenty big for people to spread out if I need some alone time too. Depending on what time I go into labor, it will probably be just me and DH for a lot of the time. 


I think figuring out who to have at your birth is a very personal decision, so I'm reluctant to give advice. But, I will say that you should make sure whoever you invite is completely supportive of your choice to birth at home AND is okay with the possibility that you might change your mind about who you want there during labor. 


I really like the idea of baking a cake during labor. If you don't have very fast labors, you could probably do it yourself! Hope that helps.



post #6 of 20

i will have one midwife, one doula, and my dh. the kids will prob sleep through most of it, but i asked my mom to come too and help with them if they wake up. i plan to have her read some stuff about how to talk to children about the birth etc.

post #7 of 20

I've thought about mine a bit too and here's what we've got so far:





Midwife #2 - only shows up at the very end

My mom

My dad

My kids (ages 2 and 4)

My friend who wants to see a baby be born

An acquaintance who wants practice taking birth photos


If it's nighttime (the last two were) then the kids will be sleeping.  If it's day time, the kids can hang around, but they'll probably be outside playing and doing stuff with my dad.  The photographer may not be able to show up, in which case I'd have my friend take photos.  I want lots of photos and maybe even video this time.  None of the photos turned out from my second and I'm still sad about that.  I have a play-by-play bunch of photos from my first birth and I loved seeing them.


I am open to lots of people being around.  The only time I get a little ornery and can't focus is during transition, but other than that, the more the merrier.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Nicole-How many people did you have at your first birth? 


I'm also open to people being there (I think having people around will keep me in a positive space instead of feeling sorry for myself), but I'm worried since it is my first birth and I have no real idea how I'm going to react.  I also feel pretty comfortable kicking people out if they are bugging me (or having my midwife do it), so I'm leaning towards calling people over if I feel like it and then kicking them out if I no longer want them there.  The only problem is that while most people (except my mom, who is about 3 hours away), are relatively close, nobody lives within 30 minutes or so of my house so there isn't anywhere super close for them to go if I want people in and out more frequently.  Maybe I'll rent them all a hotel room nearby?  :) 

post #9 of 20
My first was a hospital birth with a CNM. In the room for early labor was my mom, my husband, and my FIL. Once active labor started it was my mom, my husband, a nurse and the CNM. I had not met the nurse or the CNM before I went into labor and I did not notice or mind that they were there. They were both helping with counterpressure on my back. I was naked for most of it too. I am not really shy about nakedness or moaning or body fluids. I figure the people attending the birth should know what they are getting themselves into. I am also not shy about telling people they need to leave, although I only did it with FIL.

I think if you know your own personality and think you will be comfortable, you probably will be. I like chatting between contractions and joking around. I hope my birth is during the day this time so I can have my kids with me too. Also, I don't think anyone should be offended if you change your mind and do not call them when labor starts or if you kick them out. Don't get a hotel room, they can go to a coffee shop or something...not your responsibility!
post #10 of 20

Just myself, my husband and my kids. The kids slept through the last one and I think this will be my last baby so I really want them present this time. 

post #11 of 20

I've been thinking about this a ton too.  For sure it will be DH, our midwife, and her assistant.  If DS (2) does well with the whole thing, then he will be there, but if for whatever reason that doesn't work out I have friends and a MIL who have volunteered to watch him/take him somewhere else.  I also asked 2 friends if they would like to attend but not be offended if I decide I don't want them there...they're both totally cool with that.  My big dilemma is whether I should ask my sisters and mom to come.  I have a fabulous relationship with one sis, but get annoyed really easily with the other sis and my mom.  My awesome sister is unfortunately a high-risk Labor and Delivery nurse, and we're planning on an HBAC....soooooo, as awesome as she is, I'm not sure if her comfort level will affect my labor (or on the flip side if her mind will be blown by how amazing homebirth is!)  lol  So, long story short-- this is what I'm telling my midwife when she asks and I completely reserve the right to change my mind up until this baby arrives earthside orngbiggrin.gif

post #12 of 20

for sure i will have DP, my mom and DSD there. i want to have some one on call to htake DSD somewhere if she doesnt want to be there or i dont want her to be there. im thinking either our downstairs tenant/friend or a friend who lives up the street. if its at night she will almost definitely sleep through it though. she is an incredibly heavy sleeper.


there may be a midwife or two there, or not, or we may be in the hospital with who knows who... that parts sort of up in the air right now.


i love the idea of making a cake while in labour. i will try that :)

post #13 of 20
I'm going to have:
DD (4)
Midwife's Assistant

Last time I had a hospital birth, and I hated having my parents and my (now ex) inlaws popping in and out (on top of the random nurses, and the anesthesiologist who for some reason decided he'd like to leer creepily in the door for no reason... ugh). Even when they were in the waiting area, I still felt responsible for them. One of the main reasons I chose a homebirth this time was to be able to have more control over who was in my birth space. I'm just such a private person, and it's really important for me to be able to connect and have a "family moment" during times of change, that I can't even imagine having other people there.

The only thing that I'm at all concerned about is having DD "unaccompanied." I want to make her a part of the experience, and I think she'd be totally fine with the whole thing. We've watched tons of homebirth movies, and "practiced" a few times. Plus, if either of us was overwhelmed with the situation, then I think she'd be more than fine going to her room to play. But, I wonder if I'm being naive about her needing someone to "attend" to her.

Does anyone else have any exeriences with kiddos at her age being present at birth, how they handled it, and opinions about whether or not they needed a babysitter figure?
Edited by MamaInTheDesert - 2/28/12 at 8:56pm
post #14 of 20

MamaInTheDesert - If you don't think you or your husband will be able to help your daughter throughout the process, then I definitely think you should have someone else there.  Even with preparation it very well could be scary (as well as super exciting or boring) for her.  If you don't mind your husband holding her and tending to her, then that's fine.  But if you think you will need your husband, then I'd plan on another person. 

post #15 of 20

In the house will be: MW and two assistants, DH, 2 DC ages 9 and 12), my mother, and best friend. I will probably want to labor alone or just with DH, but the house is big enough for other people to just chill.

post #16 of 20


Originally Posted by MamaInTheDesert View Post

The only thing that I'm at all concerned about is having DD "unaccompanied." I want to make her a part of the experience, and I think she'd be totally fine with the whole thing. We've watched tons of homebirth movies, and "practiced" a few times. Plus, if either of us was overwhelmed with the situation, then I think she'd be more than fine going to her room to play. But, I wonder if I'm being naive about her needing someone to "attend" to her.
Does anyone else have any exeriences with kiddos at her age being present at birth, how they handled it, and opinions about whether or not they needed a babysitter figure?


Not sure how old your DD is but I have birthed with little ones around and it was no issue at all. They seemed to know that something was going on and they were find to leave me alone and just watch or play quietly. In the past two years I've had four labors/births with my children (2nd tri losses) as young as 13mo and their presence was never a problem and they never got scared. The one time that I was worried about having my kids around was with my UC; my 18mo was still nursing and I was terrified that she would want to nurse in labor. I decided that I had to have the baby at night and that is what I did; I labored throughout the day and it kicked into high gear as soon as I got the kids to sleep. I know lots of other mamas that have birthed with little ones around and it wasn't a problem for them either. Go with your gut, you know you daughter <3 

post #17 of 20

Well, with my first birth I had:




My DH stayed by my side...but I didn't want my MW around me really and she was TOTALLY worn out from attending back to back births so she was more than happy to sleep through it in the next room. My MIL, sister, SIL and BIL came over and saw us and DD within minutes of her being born.


With my second:



MW assistant


Again, didn't want anybody really "hands on" with me, so MWs were kind of knitting or whatever in the next room and I did my thing. They did come back out to see him shoot out of me...that was cool.


After my second birth, we thought we were done. So, I found myself wrestling with all the things I didn't do for my births that I really wanted to do. I don't know why I was so adamant that no one come around to be present for my births. I don't know why I didn't take my sister up on her offer to take photos, etc. I don't know why I didn't let any of my sisters or mothers stay with me for a few days, like everyone offered, to take care of me and run my household while I rested. I realized, far too late, that the reason my PP period with my son SO desperately sad and overwhelming, was because I didn't let any of the women in my circle come to my side, help me, cook for me, etc...like they all wanted to.


Then, we got the shocking news! YAY ONE MORE BABY!


I knew instantly that this time I wanted someone there for pictures (my sister) and someone to film (my SIL) and that I wanted all the food and company in the first few days PP that people were willing to bring. That I would absolutely take my SILs offer to stay for a few days PP to provide help, etc. More than that, I knew that I wanted to have the most important and close to me women in my circle THERE to see this baby being born.


So, this time:


My MW - hands off again, but present.



My SIL - to handle the camcorder and help with my other two kiddos

My sister - to photograph (she took the photos of my wedding and did a GREAT job!


will all be present for the birth. This feels like SO many freaking people, but they are all very close to me and respectful, so I think it's going to work and be wonderful.

post #18 of 20

my bff who was there last time.  she acted as doula and took pics.  and dh of course.  i think my other friend wants to come but dh and i will be nude in the birth tub so that might feel a little weird lol

post #19 of 20

I'm so happy to see this thread.


For DS's birth I had










Too many people.  The only people actually with me were Midwife, DH and my mom.  Everyone else were in other parts of the house.


I ended up transferring to the hospital and from what I can remember, the people actually in the room when DS was born were Doctor, Midwife, two nurses, DH and my Mom.  At that point though, there could have been a circus going on in the corner of the room and I wouldn't have known or cared.


While last time felt like too many people (but only in hindsight), I really wanted all of those people there to meet DS right at his birth.  I still want all of that this time so I'm struggling with asking everyone again.  I didn't (and don't) want everyone in the room with me while I'm actually birthing, but I want everyone there so that as soon as I'm ready (delivered the placenta and stitched up) they can meet the new one. 


I'm also thinking about a doula this time which would add another person and of course, DS (2.5) will be there too so I'm actually thinking of adding people to the list. 


OP, I think that if you have space in your house that people can hang out if you don't actually want them in the birthing space, having extra people won't really matter to you.  If people don't feel comfortable hanging out in your kitchen/DR, then maybe they can take a walk or sit outside.  Everyone feels so differently about it though that I think it's really good to acknowledge that you have no idea what you'll actually need until you're in the midst of it. 

post #20 of 20

For DD's birth we had:




MW assist.


For DS's birth we had:


DD (3yrs)



MW assist.

Close friend

Our priest came afterward to bless the baby


This time around I'm thinking of:


DD & DS (7 & 3yrs)



MW assist.

Friend to help with kids

Priest at some point to bless baby


All births were at a free-standing birth center, but a very relaxed, homey environment all the same.

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