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Mothering › Groups › September 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Children at birth

Children at birth

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey, Ladies, help me sort this out?

 

I've just been sitting here, reading birth stories, and started quietly contemplating who, of my options, feels right to be here when I'm giving birth. No matter how I imagine it, if I think of my kids not being here, it feels like the house is empty.

 

So, there are some factors to consider. Because the boys have a different father who they stay with at night every other week, they may not even be here, or be scheduled to be here (although they're here during the day every week) if it's at night. They have all said they want to be here when the baby is born, but that doesn't mean they know what that means, or that someone might change his mind. Once, while in labor with the third, the second woke up and was being really clingy (mind you, he was barely 2 at the time) and my labor started to stop until he settled back down. They do sleep really hard, though. We can hang pictures without waking them, usually! The feeling of emptiness only comes at the idea of them not being here at all. Them being here and asleep does not give me the sense of emptiness.

 

They are 10, 7, and 5 year old boys. It's not something I've been thorough about preparing them to be present at, but I need to do that regardless.

 

So, what are everyone else's thoughts?

 

For a full picture... My SO, David, will be there. I have a friend who is a doula who is planning to be there, a friend -who is a photographer who has photographed a birth I was doula for and was great- who I've invited, and my mother is coming to town a few days before I'm due (I've thus far always gone more than 10 days past my EDD) who I've agreed can be there. I'm still working out, deciding about the midwife situation. That's a little complicated.

 

When I picture different arrangements to see how they "feel" (just gut reaction), I'm suddenly wanting very few people there, which is different from how I've felt the whole pregnancy. It may change again. And again. If you're still reading, thanks. And help?

post #2 of 10

I'd would prep the kids just in case.  

 

Here is my plan for my 5.5 yr old DS. 

My mom is going to be here for his support.  If he wants to stay he can stay, if he wants to go do something else, Gramma can take him.  We have a list of things Gramma and he can do.  I'm going to make sure she's got the GPS, addresses and phone numbers.  I've also got some back-up plans in case Gramma can't make it.  

 

We've talked about what is going to happen.  He knows how babies are made, how babies are born, We've watched birth videos (yes, we watch home waterbirths cause i'm brainwashing my kids  lol)  talk about how different moms make noise or not etc...

 

I would prepare your kids for the birth, just in case, can't hurt? right?

I would have at least 1 person there JUST for your kids.  That is their responsibility.  If you birth at night and they can attend the birth etc... GREAT, but if your kids need an adult, that is their job.

post #3 of 10

I am probably not much help because I have a 3 year old and I think that is different. I have watched home birth video's with her recently, even though I will have a hospital birth in the OR bc of twins and she won't actually get to be there. If it was a homebirth I owuld have her there but the hospital just wouldn't work for my 3 year old. I would like to labor at home just so she can see some of the process.  I think any and all exposure they get would be good, just my thoughts. And of course if they aren't interested that's okay to but it seems like giving them the option would be nice. And ultimately your right, that day you may say everybody out and prewarn the boys that this could happen bc if you need solitude then you should take it. I think your going to have a great birth! :) Good luck

post #4 of 10
My 4 yo DS1 wants to be at the birth, but I think my 2 yo is too young. If DS1 is awake and home, he can be there for the last bit- pushing, but not the rest of the labor. To prepare him, I'm starting (this week) with black/white pics of babies crowning so he understands the reality of what we've told him about how the baby comes out. If he's still comfortable, we'll then talk about the sounds of birth, and how we grunt and make noise when we are doing hard work- that the baby is not hurting mama. Then, we'll move to some mellow water birth videos.

My mom will hopefully be in town for the birth, and she'll be in charge of helping the boys. I'm not sure how to juggle her support between helping both boys, wanting to be there herself, and not being sure DS2 is ready for the experience.

The only ppl around for most of labor will be my husband, and then the midwives when they're needed. When it comes to pushing, I could likely have an entire audience and not really notice.

For your situation, if you are willing to let the kids be around for all or part of the birth, they will need someone who is there just for them- answer questions, take them away if things get too intense, make sure you don't feel *you* are responsible for their comfort.
post #5 of 10

My younger brothers (then 9 and 14) were at the hb of my (now 6 yo) brother and they loved it! I think it would help them to have a healthy attitude towards birth when they get older,  this is not from my own experience as a parent but from what I have observed in my unique family :) My brothers now 20 and 15 have a decent view of birth and bfing and see it as normal, I think that's pretty cool!

post #6 of 10

This topic has been on my mind and I've been meaning to post something just like this for a while too!

 

I'm clueless.  I have no clue if my girls will want to be here (they're a bit wishy-washy.. at least the older two are)... plus, I'm actually not sure if I *want* them to be here.  I can actually be quite a private person in certain situations and I don't always think of birth as a spectator sport... I prefer to labor very much on my own and in my own way without people around (sometimes not even dh)... so I am worried that having the girls around might stress me out more?  Or take me too much outside of myself where I can't internalize and progress as much as I should?

Luckily, I think we can play it by ear pretty easily.  My parents live in town and have said the girls can go over there.  My MIL lives in town and said my girls could go there as well.  Or, I have two BILs (with SOs) that are here too along with tons of aunts/uncles of dh's.  We have oodles of family that could help in a pinch.  But I have no real plan.  I should probably come up with a bit better one ;)

post #7 of 10

I'm planning a homebirth, and I definitely do not want my kids here, unless it is night and they are asleep.   I just don't...I want peace and quiet.   Anyway, we don't have any family around, but we do have a couple of friends and neighbors that I can take them over to.  I'm not sure what we'll do about night-time though...I don't mind them here so much if it it night and they are asleep...they are all good/sound sleepers.
 

post #8 of 10
My older son slept through the birth of my younger son. I am hopeful the timing will work out that well, again!
post #9 of 10

I'm struggling with this too. I really feel the need to limit the number of people around for the birth. (Although, I now know from experience, that once things get serious, the whole neighbourhood could walk through the room and I wouldn't care.) But, whenever I visualize this birth, I imagine DD being there. Just like you said Yeeska, it just feels wrong when I think about her not being there. However, I really don't want to have an extra person there to look after her. Our house is very small and quite open so the only place for the birth pool is basically in the middle of the living/dining room area which pretty much means there'll be no privacy if I want to use the pool. Plus, when DD gets at all worried, she very much becomes a mama's girl and I don't know that she'd except anyone else, even DH or my mom, who she adores.

 

I think she'd actually handle seeing labour just fine. If this one is anything like her birth, I'll be pretty quiet. I was not overly loud or vocal, so I don't think I'd scare her. On the other hand, I can totally see her wanting to get in the pool, or want my attention for something and I'm not sure I can handle that.

 

At the moment, I'm thinking we'll play it by ear. If needed, I'll get my parents to come and pick her up, or even just take her to the playground our something. The only thing I can't quite decide is if I should try to come up with some way for someone other than my husband to be around as her support. I'm just not sure how to balance that with my need for privacy.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlin View Post

I'm struggling with this too. I really feel the need to limit the number of people around for the birth. (Although, I now know from experience, that once things get serious, the whole neighbourhood could walk through the room and I wouldn't care.) But, whenever I visualize this birth, I imagine DD being there. Just like you said Yeeska, it just feels wrong when I think about her not being there. However, I really don't want to have an extra person there to look after her. Our house is very small and quite open so the only place for the birth pool is basically in the middle of the living/dining room area which pretty much means there'll be no privacy if I want to use the pool. Plus, when DD gets at all worried, she very much becomes a mama's girl and I don't know that she'd except anyone else, even DH or my mom, who she adores.

I think she'd actually handle seeing labour just fine. If this one is anything like her birth, I'll be pretty quiet. I was not overly loud or vocal, so I don't think I'd scare her. On the other hand, I can totally see her wanting to get in the pool, or want my attention for something and I'm not sure I can handle that.

At the moment, I'm thinking we'll play it by ear. If needed, I'll get my parents to come and pick her up, or even just take her to the playground our something. The only thing I can't quite decide is if I should try to come up with some way for someone other than my husband to be around as her support. I'm just not sure how to balance that with my need for privacy.

That end bit really resonates with me. A balance of family/comfort with a need for privacy.
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