Just a little background- we have a 2-year-old daughter and are planning a home birth. I also birthed my DD at home.
I started this pregnancy with an "absolutely-no-way-will-my-daughter-be-present" attitude and now that we are getting closer to the due date, but my DH and I are starting to see things differently.
My initial concerns were: a) would it traumatize my child to see mama so "out of it" in labor, vocalizing during labor, throwing up, possibly swearing-crying-etc and b) would I feel comfortable enough to "let go" around my DD and labor how I need.
However, the more we think about it, the more we are leaning towards her being there if we can manage it. Ideally we'd like someone to be her doula, take care of her needs and take her out of the room/house if she needs a break or we need her to go, but we are working on that. If we can't find someone, it may be my DH watching out for her AND me, which isn't ideal, with the back-ups of someone taking her out of the home (we have friends and grandmas that are more than willing to take her, but there aren't many who we'd feel comfortable watching her in the home while we labor).
Anyway, it's been a very interesting process making this decision- despite my "labor is perfectly wonderful and natural" attitude that I THOUGHT I had, I am discovering a lot of deep-seeded "labor is scary" feelings and beliefs. It's been a very good thing for me to challenge these.
I was wondering- do any of you wonderful mamas have experience with your 2-year-old "ish" children attending your births? If so, how did it go? Would you do anything differently? What worked/didn't? What did you do to prepare your child?
Thank you for your help, I love mothering forums!!