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What did you do/ will you do with older kids while baby is being born?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

So, for those of us who have older children:  what are your plans for them during the upcoming labor/delivery?  And, if you've already been through this scenario, what did you do last time? 

 

We're planning a hospital birth, so will be away from home.  DS will be 3.  We have no family who live in the same city as we do.  We have very few friends here either, as we only moved here last summer.  The one close friend we have here is very busy, so even if she agreed to help, there's no certainty she wouldn't be busy.

 

My first choice to watch DS is my Mom.  She is 1.5 hrs away by car, so not completely out of the question, but of course, she would need time to leave, etc so it would take longer to actually get here.  She (I think) is willing to be "on call" for us, but my sister asked her if she would go on a weekend trip with them to watch her kids.  The trip is July 7/8; my due date is July 10.  Can she do both?  redface.gif

 

Also, I'm not loving the idea of coming home from the hospital to house guests, even my Mom & Dad, who I love & am close to.  I just want it to be me, DP, DS, & new baby.  Maybe, I just need to get over this!

 

And . . . I am DREADING the idea of leaving DS.  I know he'll be fine.  I know he would be much more comfortable in his own home than in a hospital waiting room.  He loves my Mom & Dad.  But, I've never spent the night away from him.  greensad.gif

 

Anyone have any grand advice for me? smile.gif

post #2 of 21

mil lives next door so she will take them except for dd who will be 10 and wants to be at the birth again.

 

eta... our hospital requires an additional support person for each child there (not dad/coach) so you might check into that if you have any thoughts about taking him.

post #3 of 21

No advice, as we're having another home birth. Honestly, this sibling question is one really huge factor for us being such fans of HB. When dd was born, ds was 27mo and had been away from me for 2 nights in his life (and from dh, never). It would have been an enormous source of stress to have to find a sitter for him during the birth of his sister. As it was, he was there for the end of my labor and waterbirth, and did just fine! dh and my mom alternated hanging out with him, but he was very cool with it all and it was really great for me to have him there.

 

This time, they'll be 6 and 4, and we're planning to have them here for our homebirth. I asked them the other day whether they wanted to be woken up if the baby came at night, and they both said no, they wanted to be "well rested" orngtongue.gif

 

OP, I think your birth gets precedence over your sister's trip, so you should call "dibs" on your mom's availability!

post #4 of 21

We are having a home birth so my kids will be asleep if its at night. My oldest wants to be woke up to see the baby being born.

They are 7 and 5 though so if we need them out of the way during the day when they are awake we can send them outside or turn on a movie or something.

 

A friend of mine having a hospital birth in May is having her mom to watch her DS 4 when the time comes.

 

Was thinking, after baby is born unless you need DH to spend the night with you at the hospital he can take over care of DS when things with you and the baby are settled. He can bring DS to the hospital to visit you and baby during the day. So maybe your DS will only spend 1 night with your mom and then be with daddy and your mom can go back to her house coming maybe a week later to visit so you can have your time?

post #5 of 21

We have my mom who is 1.25 hours away and I have no problem waking her at any hour, but she hates to drive and might have to have my dad drive if it's still dark. I am totally fine if my mom is there when we get home since she stays with us and dad goes to work. She is a huge help with the bigger kids and just has a 6th sense about what I need. (She is especially pleased that this baby is due after her school year ends so she doesn't have to take any days off.)

 

DH is a little nervous since hospital is not an easy drive away and my first birth (while not precipitous) was kind of fast for a first baby. We had no labor experience for DD since she was scheduled c-section. We have discussed asking some of our closer baby-sitters to be on call to come over and wait for my mom to relieve them. I'm just nervous that they wouldn't be responsive if it's the middle of the night. However, if it's day time. Kids will be in summer camp and we'd just have to have someone who could pick them up.

 

Maybe for OP, try to establish relationships with any local baby-sitters who could just bridge the gap for your parents to come? You should have enough time between now and the birth to get your 3-yr old used to a new person.

post #6 of 21

My neighbor will be watching them. She lives across the street... so it's very convenient. Then, her payment is coming over and seeing baby on birth day (not many people will get to, just hubby and i, midwife, kids, and neighbor) and then she will put the big blue or pink bow on our mailbox for us to announce to all our other neighbors the baby's gender (birthday surprise) and will be able to share baby's details with them.

 

If something comes up and she cannot, i have 2 local back up friends, one who could take the kids to her house and the other who could come here and keep the kids busy so they aren't worrying about me too much.

post #7 of 21

I am really nervous about my 3 yo during the hospital birth, too.  He has never slept away from us and hasn't spent more than an hour or two away from me during his whole life.  The plan was that he and his older brother would stay at my mom's, and I was thinking that his brother being there would make it okay for him.  But now I am really worried because last week I had to go to the doctor on a day when dh had to be at work and so I took him to my mom's.  We had discussed that I was going to the doctor and that he was going to play at his Ama's while I was gone and he was all fine with it.  But I was gone only an hour and a half and when I got back, he was passed out asleep (he no longer naps) because he had pitched such an exuberant screaming raging fit ("I want my MAMA!" and apparently, even KICKING my mom) immediately after I left.   So this is making me want to rethink the plans!  I asked the doctor about sending us home really quick, and he said it's the pediatricians who won't let babies go home sooner than 48 hours.  So I have asked my DH to plan on leaving me and baby at the hospital and taking the boys home overnight.  But DH feels like he shouldn't leave us and that it will be good for our 3 yo to learn to deal with the separation!  I am hoping to change his mind, however!  

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms.shell View Post

I am really nervous about my 3 yo during the hospital birth, too.  He has never slept away from us and hasn't spent more than an hour or two away from me during his whole life.  The plan was that he and his older brother would stay at my mom's, and I was thinking that his brother being there would make it okay for him.  But now I am really worried because last week I had to go to the doctor on a day when dh had to be at work and so I took him to my mom's.  We had discussed that I was going to the doctor and that he was going to play at his Ama's while I was gone and he was all fine with it.  But I was gone only an hour and a half and when I got back, he was passed out asleep (he no longer naps) because he had pitched such an exuberant screaming raging fit ("I want my MAMA!" and apparently, even KICKING my mom) immediately after I left.   So this is making me want to rethink the plans!  I asked the doctor about sending us home really quick, and he said it's the pediatricians who won't let babies go home sooner than 48 hours.  So I have asked my DH to plan on leaving me and baby at the hospital and taking the boys home overnight.  But DH feels like he shouldn't leave us and that it will be good for our 3 yo to learn to deal with the separation!  I am hoping to change his mind, however!  


I bet if you just do it more often, he'll get used to it. I agree with lbkw: it's good to have these few remaining months to help your older dc adjust (to things like being without mama, or with a sitter/grandma). So I guess I would encourage you to try it a few more times. Also, especially if it's a nighttime event, maybe it would be easier on everyone to have your mom come and stay at your place, rather than sending them off to hers? Just a thought.

 

 

 

post #9 of 21

My kids will be here, all six of em. :) My last birth they all were here, I gave birth in the middle of the night and my two daughters witnessed the birth.  If for some reason its too much and I deliver during the day my mother lives across the road and I'm sure they could go over there and go swimming.

post #10 of 21
With my youngest, my middle son was still comfort nursing and sleeping in our bed. I went into labor after he'd gone to sleep and my mom came over to stay with him. She tried laying down in the bed with him and he woke up not long after and didn't sleep much after that point. Because of some complications we ended up having to stay in the hospital (about 45 minutes from home) for a week. DH went home to be with the other two while I stayed in the hospital with the baby. In retrospect, I wish we'd spent more time getting my middle son more comfortable being without us. It would have been much easier if we hadn't had to worry about his anxieties on top of the concerns with the new babe. I also still feel that it started some resentment from my older son to his younger brother that lasted for a good part of their childhood. I know that seems silly but adding a new sibling was hard enough for a two year old, especially after mommy has disappeared for a week and comes back with someone who's taken your nursing time and some of the shared bed space.

OP- I agree that you should have divs on your mom! Surely your sister would understand? And maybe she could just come stay with you those days instead and see if the timing just happens to work out?
post #11 of 21

I think someone else mentioned this, but I'd have a babysitter or neighbor watch your son if you need to leave for the hospital before you mom gets to your house.  Only if your mom agrees to not go away for the weekend with your sister.  I wouldn't feel comfortable with that.  Or...you could take your son to the hospital and let your mom pick him up there.

 

I'm having a homebirth and the kids will be home with us.  My kids would go to my parents if I had a hospital birth, although it'd just be my dad, since my mom attends my births.

post #12 of 21

DS1 was at the hospital while DS2 was being born. Most likely, if hospital allows it, we will be DS1 & 2 at the hospital with us as well as DH, my mom & MIL. I have never birthed at this hospital so Im not sure if we have our own room like I did with DS1 & 2 but that would be ideal :D

post #13 of 21

I am really struggling with this. We are having a home birth and in theory I want the kids there--particularly DS who is very analytical and I think would be thrilled to witness the process. Unfortunately I strongly suspect having the kids there will be a major distraction and I will be hesitant to let go and get to the place i need to be to allow things to happen. We are lucky in that we have two fantastic options for our kids where they will be perfectly happy if I decide I can't have them around. I'm thinking sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to start having them watch birth videos and talking about the process so if they are there they will be prepped but never actually say they will be there for it in case I decide to send them away. 

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms.shell View Post

 I asked the doctor about sending us home really quick, and he said it's the pediatricians who won't let babies go home sooner than 48 hours.  



I would check with the pediatricians at your birth hospital.  I've never heard of this unless there is an expected problem and the baby would need to be observed.  I'm not sure where you live, which state, so maybe there's a law, but there are plenty of parents who have a different pediatrician planned than the one at the hospital, so once the hospital doc checks the baby out (physical exam, hearing test and blood work (if you choose)), the rest can all be done by an outpatient pediatrician (immunizations, again, if you choose, and weight check) in the coming days.

 

 

post #15 of 21

agree with checking on the 48 hour thing...i have been told a 1 night stay if everything is good, which is what it was with my other hosp births, even mybaby that had to be in nicu for some hours after birth.

post #16 of 21

Ugh, that is so stressful and tough.

 

I think your mom is a good choice.  This is what I did with my second, who I had in a hospital. It kind of sucked for several reasons, but it is what we had and it worked out fine. Also, remember you don't have to stay at the hospital the whole time.  If you feel good after the birth, you can go back home!  Does your partner know anyone coworkers, friends, who could fill in during your mom's transit time?

 

I think having a back up or two is good as well, so that you can be covered for the transit time your mom needs to get there.  Hopefully your labor will have convenient timing for it to all go down smoothly.

 

 

For my third, at home, my older child was awake and present.  She was pretty chilled out and did not inhibit me at all.  My little one at the time didn't wake up until right after the birth.  I had my MIL there as well so the kids had a person to be in charge of them.

 

This time around, all three of my kids are older, and I think will all want to be present.  I am having our sitter come and hang out at the birth, so they will have someone there.  Don't really want MIL again LOL.

 

Complicated, sometimes my brain feels like it is going to explode trying to organize getting everyone's needs taken care of.

 

ND

 

 

post #17 of 21

Our plan (hopefully a HBAC, but realistic about needing a plan in case of transfer) stresses me a bit.  My son (3) is VERY comfortable with my ILs and my mother, but my in-laws will be out of the country all month and my mother is disabled and can only watch him limited amounts of time.

 

So our plan as of now is if we have a HB he will stay with me as long as I want him there, then he and my mom will take a taxi to my ILs house in Brooklyn and she will stay with him at night and I will have friends come do play dates with him during the day (my last HB was 3 days).  Then they can come home after baby comes.

 

If we have to transfer, then my Mom and son can stay at my house, and same thing...  I'll have neighbors come do playdates with him during the day and my Mom will be sleeping with him.  Most likely with a transfer I will have had a c-section, so we'll be in the hospital for a few days. 

 

I'm not crazy about this plan because so much depends on how my mom is feeling.  The hospital is roughly an hour away (I'm not transferring in NYC unless it's an emergency even though I live there, not as VBAC friendly) so my husband will have a hard time getting my son back and forth to visit the baby.  I want him to sleep with us so I can co-sleep with the baby at the hospital and have him there to help me like last time. 

 

Hoping for a HBAC!

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for all the helpful input!

 

I talked to my Mom & she has officially agreed to be "on call" for us.  I think if an emergency comes up & we have to rush out before she arrives, we'll just take DS or call our 1 close friend here.  I asked DS about it & he was all for the idea of Gramma coming to stay with him!  I haven't said anything to my sister yet about her plans around the same time.  We'll see about that, I guess . . .

 

 

post #19 of 21

I think I may have figured out a baby-sitter on our street who can be on call during odd hours. Now, I'm just thinking about all possible scenarios. Kids will be in summer camp and need to be picked up at 2:45 each day. If we have to leave the house, the camp is 20 minutes in the opposite direction of the hospital. We're going to try to indentify a couple of counselors who can "baby-sit" the kids until someone can pick them up. It's nearly impossible to do that in advance and Camp starts 7/2 (EDD is the following week). We have one week between school and camp that we might be able to send the kids to my parents. If the baby came early...not that I'm wishing for it or anything...then maybe all the worrying would be for naught.

post #20 of 21

My son (6) and daughter (who will be 21 months in july) will be there for the homebirth. My mother will be coming over to help with the youngest. My son was awesome at my last homebirth, so I dont worry about him and I know he will be a huge help. He has been around pregnancy and birthing since he was...well...born (im a birth doula and also work at a local midwifery practice). Its all so normal for him . He wants to help and be a part of this. As for my daughter, Im not sure how she will react, but I want someone there to be with her in case she gets upset or even to just talk to her to tell her I am ok. My mom was a rockstar at my last homebirth...so i am very glad she is planning to be there for this one too. 

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