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Who is coming to your birth?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

We are planning our second homebirth.  Last time we had 2 midwives there, my dh, and a good friend of mine who took pictures and helped fetch things like water and hot rice packs.  We are moving next month, so my friend can't come this time.  I really love the pictures of the birth, and I definitely want them again, but I also feel like I need someone who can specifically be in charge of ds and his needs.  I definitely don't want clinging, babbling ds around during the labor, but I think it would be cool if he witnessed the birth.  So that means, 2 midwives, dh, photographer, ds and babysitter, which just starts to sound like a lot of people to me.  But, last time by the end of pushing I had the asst midwife providing support from behind me, and the main midwife in front with dh helping him catch, so if I didn't have anyone there specifically to take pictures/video, we wouldn't have any of the actual birth.  We don't have a digital video camera we can just set up on a tripod, just a regular digital camera that will take up to 10 minutes of video before you have to hit record again to start a new video. 

 

Then there is the question of who the photographer and babysitter will be.  My mom and 2 sisters live about 3 1/2 hours away from our new place (much closer than they are now) but I can't be certain that any of them will be available to come fill either of those roles when I go into labor.  One of my sisters is due with her first a few days before I am, so she's obviously out.  My other sister has 4 kids ranging from 2 years to 10 years, and would have to have someone available to take them for who knows how long if she were to come.  My mom wants to come I think, but I feel my sister should have priority over mom if we go into labor at the same time, since it's her first and all.  Plus, my mom is kind of high strung and not entirely comfortable with homebirth, so I'm not even sure I want her hanging around during labor.  I'd have her be in charge of ds, since I don't want him hanging around either, but I don't think she'd want to miss the birth if ds wanted to be taken out, you know?

 

I don't know anyone in the town we're moving to yet.  I doubt that I'm going to hit it off with anyone well enough to invite them take part in my birth in the time between moving there at 28 weeks and delivering.  I guess I should look into doulas, but we have lots of other bills we need to pay off.  It's a smallish town, surrounded by lots of farms and even tinier towns, so I don't know that there will be many options for doulas anyway. 

 

Any words of wisdom?  Who is coming to your birth?

post #2 of 21

Angelorum - maybe you could look into a doula in training? I know someone else said she was going to have a doula there specifically to look after her older child. For me personally that would be too many people around. We had an assistant midwife with our two midwives at one of our early appointments, and I nearly freaked out at all the people in the room. Part of that was because the assistant had a really nervous, anxious energy to her. I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to handle having three midwives hovering around me. So, we're down to the two midwives, my husband, and maybe a close friend who's an amazing photographer. She will have just given birth 5 weeks before, so she'll have her little one strapped to her if we decide to go that route. That still sounds like a lot of people, but I think because she's such a great photographer I'll know I'll be so happy to have those pictures after. My husband is a great photographer, too, but there's no way I'm going to let him have that camera in his hands while I'm in the middle of giving birth. I'm going to need him to focus all of his attention on ME! :)

 

Maybe if you can't find a doula in training you could hire a babysitter to take your son for the majority of the birth and then have her bring him back when you're about to deliver? I'm not sure if that would be too many logistics for someone to remember to call the babysitter in the middle of intense labor. I suppose the ideal thing would be for your sister with the four kids to find a way to free herself up to come help you out. Best of luck as you figure out the details - I'm sure you'll come up with a good solution!

post #3 of 21

It's so hard to figure out all of these logistics sometimes, especially in a new place where you don't know many people.   Hiring a babysitter sounds like a good idea to me, and you'll never know about doulas till you look into it. Could your midwives suggest any local doulas in the area?   Can you use the Finding Your Tribe forum to connect to some folks now where you are moving to?  I met quite a few people here that way.  Also will your older child be in any kind of  pre-school program or activity?  We have a local playgroup  we joined shortly after moving here and the moms there quickly became a tremendous support group, as did the parents and teachers at DS's school.  Just throwing out a few ideas...

 

We were having a hard time working some of the logistics out too...especially for DS till a friend offered to keep him for us.  For now it looks like we will probably have one of our midwives, a midwife's assistant, a doula (we might just have a midwife's assistant who also functions as a doula, I need to talk to her before we hire a separate doula) and DH.  

 

My parents will be making a 20+ hour drive to get to us once we know  I am in labor.  If the baby's not here by then, they will go to a hotel.  DS is going to a friends house who lives close-ish.  I'm hoping she'll be able to bring him back for the actual birth but it might not happen logistically depending on the time of day etc.  If my parents arrive before the baby does they'll take over with DS from my friend.  Our apartment isn't that big so I feel like it's going to be a lot of people around, especially if we have the birth assistant and the doula.

 

Our big thing is I do NOT want my mother to be there this time.  With DS we tried having her help instead of a doula and the results were a disaster and she largely contributed to many of the interventions we had been trying to avoid.  Luckily she's more concerned about DS this time than about me and the baby so she's fine with not being there.

post #4 of 21

We don't have another kid, but I can see that being a consideration for you. At this point, I've asked my mom and my MIL to be there, plus the midwife and her support, and DP of course.  I need to figure out a plan for the dog to get her out of the house, just because she's my sucky labX, and she'll probably whine and pace and drive everyone nuts.  We're also looking into a student doula... I'm going to a meet night next week.

 

Good luck with the plans for DS! I hope you find the perfect person to be there with him!

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

I poked around the DONA website last night and found 3 doulas, all about an hour away from my town.  The only one that had her fees posted charged $700 for a birth.  It just seems like a lot for taking pictures and/or watching ds.  I'm not expecting to need a lot of labor support from a doula type person.  Dh witnessed all of his siblings' homebirths and a cousin or two as well, he was a great birth helper.  I feel like I coped really well with just him providing counter pressure and the birth tub, and my friend occasionally fanning me and bringing me sips of water. 

 

I'm definitely planning on finding some kind of playgroup/mommy group to join when we move.  We're not planning on doing anything formal for preschool or anything.  I know my midwife runs an LLL meeting there, and I'll probably go to that, though I think it's usually pretty small.  I'm sure I'll be able to find someone willing to take ds when I go into labor, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find someone who would be comfortable walking him in at the end and witnessing my stark naked, primal self pushing a baby out.  I'll probably talk to my midwives about doulas and such when we get there.  And talk to my family more in depth too. 

 

Maybe I'll luck out and give birth in the middle of the night when ds is sleeping. I just hate all the unknowns!

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandylez View Post

We don't have another kid, but I can see that being a consideration for you. At this point, I've asked my mom and my MIL to be there, plus the midwife and her support, and DP of course.  I need to figure out a plan for the dog to get her out of the house, just because she's my sucky labX, and she'll probably whine and pace and drive everyone nuts.  We're also looking into a student doula... I'm going to a meet night next week.

 

Good luck with the plans for DS! I hope you find the perfect person to be there with him!


Yeah, my MIL is my midwife, so she's already got a pretty big job!  One of my SIL's would be great, but one will likely live too far away (they are trying find a better job and move where ever the job is) and the other will have a 5 month old that will need to be nursed etc. 

post #7 of 21

Bah, I know what you mean about finding a caretaker for your son who will feel comfortable bringing him in and out of the birth itself! Especially after having just moved somewhere. Which will be us as well. 

 

We are planning an unassisted, so there's pretty much zero chance I'm going to feel comfortable having anyone at the birth other than a doula. But, it doesn't look like I'm going to find one who's comfortable attending, so I think that's no longer an option unless I just get crazy lucky in the next few weeks. Which I guess means ds is either going to be stuck at home with us for however long the birth takes or I'll have to send him off to a friend's house and he'll miss the birth (assuming I make a close enough friend for that once we move!). I could invite family down, but I'm REALLY not into that...the only option would be my mother-in-law who would be freaking out about me doing this on my own although she's currently trying hard to be supportive and then, idk...I just like our privacy for a few weeks after the birth which wouldn't be an option if I have her drive down 10 hrs+ to watch ds!!

 

I'm leaning heavily towards making a friend who can take ds off our hands during the birth. I'm really hoping for a shorter labor, but it was just under 48 hours last time and that was with some augmentation, so I'm also wanting to be prepared for another one of those. Which would just be too much for dh to handle along with all the responsibility of ds. So...fingers crossed that I make friends really quick!!! lol

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelorum View Post

.  I'm sure I'll be able to find someone willing to take ds when I go into labor, but I'm not sure I'll be able to find someone who would be comfortable walking him in at the end and witnessing my stark naked, primal self pushing a baby out.  

 

Maybe I'll luck out and give birth in the middle of the night when ds is sleeping. I just hate all the unknowns!

I hadn't thought about having someone who is comfortable walking in on a birth possibly bringing DS home to visit the birth.  I think my friend will be okay with that though.....lol....she's had a few homebirths herself and knows what to expect...just a matter of her being able to transport DS here without bringing her kids in too (which would not be so good for me at least).

 

I keep wondering if DS would sleep through my labor and/or birth if it happens in the middle of the night.  I'm not sure he would though. 

post #9 of 21

I'm in a similar position.  I've lived here two years and plan on having my 3 year old son at the birth. I will have a midwife, her assistant, and a doula at the birth. The midwife really stresses that my son needs his own care provider.  So at this point I have a babysitter for my son to go to if needed. I also plan on having my mom come for the birth to help with my son. However, she lives 5 hours from here, so I'm not sure she'll make it on-time or with much time to spare.  We live in a rurual area, so finding a doula is hard enough.  The doulas I have been able to find don't want to take on the job of caring for a 3 year old....They'd rather be attending the mom.

 

Carolyn

post #10 of 21
I am so excited bc for the first time in all my births....I have a fairly good situation. My dad and his wife live 45 minutes away so they will be on call for our older 2. I asked my sister to be with me at my birth and she surprised me by taking a doula certification class!!! My mom is another story....I love her, but she is very loud, opinionated, and bossy. She was at awful at our 1st birth greensad.gif

Last time she lived closer to me so I asked her to take care of our son. I don't know what excuse to use....I'm sure I'll think of one.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillymom44 View Post

I am so excited bc for the first time in all my births....I have a fairly good situation. My dad and his wife live 45 minutes away so they will be on call for our older 2. I asked my sister to be with me at my birth and she surprised me by taking a doula certification class!!! My mom is another story....I love her, but she is very loud, opinionated, and bossy. She was at awful at our 1st birth greensad.gif
Last time she lived closer to me so I asked her to take care of our son. I don't know what excuse to use....I'm sure I'll think of one.

Wow, that's awesome!  I think one of my SIL's wants to start doula training, but she'll probably be hours away from us. 

post #12 of 21

Angelorum-where abouts do you live? I am a doula in training and taking free birth and dont mind doing child watch. I know that i also just found some doulas in training online and on facebook by searching the area since we arent listed on DONA's website yet since we havent finished our certifications. That is something you could always look into..I am due myself the end of Oct and plan on taking births until sept, hopefully that will work out.

 

Sillymom44-Thats awesome your sister is taking the class!!I took a doula class in March and then am talking my mom into taking the class before i give birth, even though she was there last time and did a great job, and im planning on her being there this time, i joke and tell her she can be my back up in case i go into labor early and have a client go into labor at the same time.

 

 

I plan on having my husband, mother, midwife her assistant maybe, and thats it...my father will watch my other child. I have thought about having someone there to take pictures, but not sure if i want someone else there as i really dont like very many people there and end up laboring for most of the time alone..

post #13 of 21

I am having a homebirth. So it will be my midwife, the 2nd midwife and the apprentice midwife. Plus DH. I have a 3yr old and want her to be at the birth. So I have found a great doula who has agreed to do playdates with us leading up to the birth to get to know DD, be at the birth and do a few follow up appointments for only $300. I told her she can skip the follow ups but she said she would rather not skimp on the quality of care she provides, just bc we are paying her less than her full fee. She has a 3 yr old as well and is good with my daughter. She is also a massage therapist and I am hoping to utilize a bit of her skills on me if DD isn't needing her all the time - or maybe DH can attend to DD for a bit in earlier labor and she can focus on me. I never would have hired a doula if not for my daughter.

 

I found what I thought was a low cost/student doula. It turned out she wasn't but she posted an ad for me on the doula email list. I got like 15 replies of women willing to do childcare at the birth for low cost! It was important to me to have someone who is comfortable being around a birth to be there. She can explain things to DD and also I don't think she will make me uncomfortable. I recall being at 2 of my SIL's births and sort of hiding in the closet (in the hospital room) so as not to be in the way..I felt a bit uncomfortable, even though I was so honored to be there. But I don't want that energy in the room. 

 

I was wondering about the pictures thing the other day. But I think the apprentice midwife should be able to handle it. My last birth was DH, the midwife and 2 apprentices and one of the apprentices took pictures. Albeit, not great pictures - but they are good enough.

 

Cindy

post #14 of 21

Only person who will be in the room, with the exception of the midwife/her assistant, is my husband.. Luckily we once again live far enough away where no one is going to pitch a fit about it.

post #15 of 21

lol Okimom. 

 

I was adamant last time that there'd be no one else besides my husband and the midwife...and I think there were some hurt feelings. This go around, everyone is too afraid of our birth choice to even consider coming! It sort of makes me chuckle ;-)

 

So is anyone else delaying visitations for a while after the birth? Last time, we had a 40+ hour intense back labor, after having stayed up (stupidly!!) the night before. So...by the time I delivered ds, I was working on nearly three nights and three days of no sleep. We got home from the hospital 8 hrs after his birth, I took a shower, and then have no memory...I think we all must have slept for the next 16 hours and I must have nursed more than half asleep. First thing the next morning, ALL of dh's family shows up at the door. And I do mean ALL including friends of the younger siblings! Bah! They brought food, which I was SOOO thankful for, but it was exhausting for me because I didn't feel like I could just leave with the baby and go take a nap...And once they left, friends of ours showed up and of course we invited them in to see the Babe. And that's roughly how it went for the next two weeks. It was awful!!! This time we'll be much farther from family, and I intend to keep us visitor-free until I'm no longer sore. So, I'm guessing somewhere around the two week mark. Anyone else? No one KNOWS about this plan yet, lol, and I'm sure it'll come as a shocker. 

post #16 of 21

Pregnova: I don't think we'll have many visitors for the first week at least.  I don't have a ton of friends that would be pounding down the door that early anyway. My good friends here all have a couple kids and know what it's like. My MIL might come out fairly soon after - I'm hoping she will come help w/DD. Maybe she will come at a week post partum? What I will be delaying is my own mother's visit! She came 2 days after the birth last time and she totally stressed me out and I sort of still have ill feelings towards her over that experience, 3 yrs later. Even she agrees she doesn't want to come until baby is a month old or so. It was very hard for her to be around me crying from all the hormone changes and not be able to help me. 

post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

So I talked to dh about all my thoughts on birth babysitters and photographers and I did have one idea I hadn't thought of before, that maybe my FIL could watch ds.  He was an anatomy major back in college, and has seen 5 of his kids born at home.  Their family is pretty frank and unashamed about bodies and their functions.  I am certain he wouldn't be the slightest bit embarrassed or freaked out by watching me birth, but I'm not sure I'd feel the same way.  I've never felt at all shy nursing in front of him, but birthing is a bit more intimate than just nursing!  I just don't know how I'd feel about any male presence besides dh and ds in that moment.  But then, if there were another female that I was as sure wouldn't be bothered by the birth, I don't think I'd hesitate.  It's something I'll have to consider, especially if I don't find many other options. 

 

As for visitors afterwards I haven't given much thought to it yet.  Last time, I was several hundred miles from most of my family and in-laws, so it was a non-issue.  MIL was staying with us as my midwife and postpartum support.  My aunt that lived close brought my grandma over for a short visit, sometime in the second week.  My other grandma was driving through for some reason, and also came for a short visit with my uncle during the second week.  Neither bothered me at all.  We didn't see everyone until ds was 5 weeks old and we had his baby blessing.  Even at 5 weeks, I was still kind of overwhelmed with so many people there.  The blessing was at church, but we had everyone over for a meal afterwards, and I really wanted to just go take a nap with my baby but felt obligated to socialize.  Plus, I felt like dh and some of my in-laws who were cooking the meal sort of expected me to help, and I really didn't feel up to that.  Even after a fairly easy birth, I had a pretty hard recovery, and was still in a lot of pain if I had stand around for the first couple of months.  This time I think I'll schedule the baby blessing a bit later, and be really clear about what responsibilities I'll be delegating (probably all of them besides taking care of me and baby).  I had it at 5 weeks last time because my parents had to come down that week to drop off my sister at college, and couldn't afford to make a second trip a few weeks later. 

 

As for right after this time, I think my mom would be a very helpful postpartum guest, and if she doesn't end up being there for the birth it would be really helpful to have someone not exhausted from the birth to help out soon afterwards.  I had heard that babies are usually exhausted from the birth too, and will sleep for hours and hours right afterwards.  This did not turn out to be the case with ds!  Labor started at 9 pm, he was born the following afternoon at 3, and he woke up several times the first night, wanting to nurse (my nipples were too flat for him to latch, so I spoon fed him colostrum that night, which helped but wasn't really what he wanted) and at least 3 times with huge meconium diapers.  DH has health issues that make going without sleep more difficult than normal, and MIL was pretty tired after the birth as well.  I had been pulling on various things with my arms the whole time I was pushing and they were so sore and tired afterwards, I could barely maneuver ds around in my arms that night. Having a well-rested helper would have been nice! 

 

MIL will probably be coming by pretty often for newborn/postpartum checks and to help if we have any trouble breastfeeding (she's also an IBCLC).  My FIL will probably want to come meet the new baby fairly soon, I'll probably be comfortable with that after the first couple days (I was pretty much naked for the first couple of days last time).  As for the rest of my family, I'm not sure.  They live far enough away that they won't want to make the drive just to come say hello for an hour and then go home, but I don't think I'll be up for that many overnight house guests for at least 6 weeks.  My in-laws have a huge house, with lots of room for guests, so maybe I could work it out that they could stay there for a weekend and just visit us during the day.  I'm not too worried about it, no one in my family has crazy boundary or respect issues, for which I am eternally grateful!

post #18 of 21

I had a friend tell me last week that she wanted to come visit the week after the baby was born to help me out, and I kind of freaked out inside. I was able to tell her calmly and clearly that I think I'm just going to want to bond with my husband and baby for the first couple of weeks at least. Still, she was puzzled by this, even though she has two kids, and told me that all of her friends always wanted their women friends around. But she would be traveling in from 600 miles away and would have to stay with us, which I can't even begin to image being able to handle, especially in our tiny apartment.

 

I got claustrophobic at the second appointment with the midwives when their assistant was there and knew immediately that there was no way I could handle having three women and my husband hovering around me while I was in the middle of labor! So, at least I have a sense of what I'm going to be able to handle. But it's always amazing to me that people assume you're going to want to have guests/visitors immediately after birth. Really, to me I can't imagine anything worse than having to entertain/be sociable after something that intense and while you're in the middle of processing crazy amounts of hormones, plus trying to teach the baby to nurse and figure out how to move without aggravating the soreness, etc. As long as I have my husband around to bring me food and keep the laundry going and cheer me on, I think that's all I'm going to want/need, except for visits from the midwife right after to help me with nursing if I need it.

 

I'm glad we're talking about this — it helps to hear what you all have experienced in the past as it validates what my sense is about how I'm going to feel after the birth.

post #19 of 21

My MIL and 2 of my SILs have already mentioned coming out.. No, thanks but no.. My MIL visited when DD1 was 2 weeks old and she wanted me to wait on her and take her out sightseeing. She complained about how "nasty" breastfeeding was and how I needed to go to the bedroom every feeding (in my OWN HOUSE!!). Didn't like the food we had or could order and wanted me to go get her special food, was mad DH had to work instead of stay home with her, tried to get in between DD1 and me when she was a newbie ("oh she isn't hungry she just needs to cry") etc etc etc.. No way I'm doing that again. No one is welcome to visit until at least 3 months PP and only then if they want to get a hotel room. No overnight guests at our house. Its small (its 1000 sq feet so not tiny but we have 5, soon to be 6, people living in it) and I don't have the patience for visitors. Oh and contrary to their popular belief we won't be doing any visiting either. My SIL wants us to drive to MONTANA in November so she can see the baby, my MIL wants us to drive to Florida in December..

 

Personally only people who can visit is....umm... no one? I guess my brother but I don't see him coming over here (he lives in CA and has panic attacks traveling). He would be the only one that would actually HELP and wouldn't place demands on me. Even friends won't be welcomed until at least a month after birth. I like to be able to adjust and get back into a routine before having people come over to my house. Even quick "hi how are you" visits are incredibly draining on me. Im a total introvert, it takes me days to recover after having someone come over for dinner.

post #20 of 21

okimom-Ugg That's awful about your MIL!

 

I had the opposite. When we first started on this parenthood journey, I started off with breastfeeding thinking I'd just "try" it. lol (It's funny because somewhere along the lines I became diehard about it and we nursed for 2.5 years! lol) My MIL was ADAMANT that I breastfeed her grandson. And wanted to watch...Which, now I'd be totally comfortable with, but (for me) when just figuring it out, I was totally stressed about it and shy, and did not want to share those first fumbling feedings with anyone other than my partner or the midwife. It made it really annoying while we had so many visitors though because I felt obligated to either kick everyone out of a room so I could nurse, or else to disappear into the bedroom to attempt it while everyone stayed in the other room WAITING for me to come back in!! Bah! Either way, the feeling that they were WAITING for the return of the baby was super annoying and did NOT help.

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