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Sibling at homebirth?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

It's early in the game but I figure the more prep the better...DS will be a little over 3.5 when #2 arrives.  I would like to contemplate the possibility of his being present for the birth or shortly thereafter but just not sure.  My biggest concern is that I know from the first time around that I need DH to be a solid presence for the entire time.  I also know that DS is high-needs and does not like being excluded.  I am worried that he may be a distraction for DH and I.  The only option is to have my parents present as well to help with DS but though I love them deeply, there's a long history of anxiety/tension in our family and I honestly do not want their energy around.  That will be a challenging issued in itself since they now live with us...phew!  My gut is telling me that I really need them for this birth, but what I need is for them to help with DS and that will mean that they need to keep him occupied outside the house.  Any similar experiences/advice out there?  Thank you!!

post #2 of 9

Honestly, my kids never can wait to get out of there...even at 3.  The only it would work for me to have my three year old there (providing there are no much older siblings and it sounds like there isn't) would be to have a close enough friend/sister/parent that I would be ok with seeing me naked and screaming so she could switch places with DH as necessary between the child and me. If your parents produce anxiety, they might not be the right people.  Do you have a really close friend or sister that you'd be more comfortable with?


oops. Didn't read the whole post enough to realize they live with you. I don't think it is unreasonable at all to expect them to take ds some place at all, especially if you own the house/pay the bills.

post #3 of 9

my son was very interested at being present at my first homebirth.  he watched videos, talked to my tummy every day, and was so excited about 'his baby.'  he was 3 1/2 when my daughter was born.  my mother-in-law was supposed to be there to help w/ him (and my DD1), but she came and went and the baby was still hanging out (this was a very very tardy little one).  so my mother, strongly anti-homebirth, was present at my labor.  She took the kids to the playground in the morning when things were moving slowly, and when i needed to just be left alone (w hubby present- he's the hand i want to hold when it's hard but not yet urgent).  my mom called and said that she wanted us to let her know when the baby was coming b/c my son WANTED to be present, and as much as she disapproved, he was pretty certain (and he's very very reasonable and convincing).  so they came back around naptime, and i was just starting to push.  my son came in, and was with his daddy while my mom hid in the kitchen terrified, and the midwives oversaw the baby and me (2 midwives present).  he watched his little sister come into this world and it was a great experience for us all.


That said, we have always had a back-up plan for someone to take our kids out and play with them or otherwise have them cared for during labor so that everyone is truly being taken care of in the way they need.  with my 2nd hombirth, i didn't start labor until i had put the kids to bed, and then the baby was born at midnight, and no kids woke up.  That was so nice.  Everyone on our 'call list' was kinda bummed that they didn't get to be 'in'- but it worked out great for us.  We also had a housemate at the time, and she was so cute the next day when she woke up and we'd had a baby while she was sleeping.  


In our next one, I plan on having about 3 different people on call, and if it's night, then letting the kids sleep through it, but if i have to labor during the day, having a plan for them to either go out and spend the night elsewhere, or just play w/ friends during the day.  I don't think i could give my husband up to do bedtime, but i'd play it by ear depending on where we were in the process of birth.  I don't have to have the kids there, but wouldn't mind either.  It's really about what works at that time.  So I have many plans, and very little hope that any one of them is actually the ONE best one.


oh- and my mother and mother-in-law both live far away.  very far away, so having family on hand would be nice, and i would totally call on them, but it involves many plane rides, and that's not worth it for any of us!

post #4 of 9

My daughter was present at my son's homebirth and it was awesome :) She was almost 3 and I don't think she really remembers it 2.5 years later, but she will still talk about how she was the one to cut his umbilical cord (!!!) and she has seen the pictures.  There is one picture of her lying on the bed next to me while I have my eyes closed going through a contraction with one hand rubbing her back, I love it! 


My parents and sisters were there to take care of her.  I definitely did not want dp to be her primary caregiver during that time because I needed him there with me.  However, she had never spent a night or really more than a few hours away from me at that time and it was really important to me that she be allowed to be there.  He was born at almost 3 in the morning after going into labor at noon the day before.  She fell asleep close to her normal bedtime (I think!) but woke up around 2 a.m., almost like she knew it was  time!  I do remember my sister having to bribe her downstairs at one point because she wanted to hold my hand and I was afraid I would squeeze too hard during a contraction and hurt her.  She came into the room with my mom and sister, who had asked to watch the birth anyway, and watched the whole thing and then cut the cord.  She did ask at one point why mommy was yelling (hah!) but didn't seem overly upset by it and was SO excited to hold him.  


It was a little hard having to divide my attention right away-she really needed some cuddles from me almost right away when I was more focused on meeting this new little guy, but again, it was really important to me that she feel part of the process and not left out. I don't regret it at all and am very happy it worked out that she woke up in time to see the birth-not sure if I would have tried to wake her up otherwise. 


I hope that helps! It is making me tear up just thinking about it :)

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

thank you all for sharing your experiences and insight!

post #6 of 9

My DS was 3.5 when I gave birth to my DD. I had  friend come to care for him during the birth. I knew that I would be concerned about how he was dealing with the situation and that would be too big of a distraction in labor. But I also wanted him to be fairly close by so he could come in right after his sister was born.


I put together a bag of activities for my friend to do with him and had offered suggestions of where they could go if they felt the need to get away from the house. My labor was quick (4 hours) and in the morning and they didn't end up going any where.   Planning trips out of the house would have been a bigger challenge if I went into labor at night or if it lasted a long time.


A friend of mine had both her second and third child in the middle of the night. Siblings and grandparents all slept through both events. Maybe you'll get lucky like that, too!

post #7 of 9

I had my kids there. But, they listen to hubby and I pretty well and were really good. We put the TV on with some education/fun cartoons when things got closer and they just hung out. No big deal. But, it sounds like your kid isn't like that, so I would do what makes the most sense for you guys. I think it was a nice experience for my kids, but I don't think it's that big of a deal either way, especially that young. Who knows what he'd even remember?

post #8 of 9

we thought about having DD at the birth but honestly i want to be relaxed and stress free. i know having her there would not work for me so she and the other kids are going to a friends house for the night. 

post #9 of 9

I love hearing everyone's experiences. :)


I'm planning on having my DS present for the birth of his brother/sister. He'll be 4 (or very close to it. I'm due the same week as his birthday.) My plan is to have my sister there for him, which is pretty ideal because she knows him better than just about anyone other than me and my partner, I'm comfortable having her at my birth, and she lives near by so if he decides he wants to leave, she can take him to her house. I hope he decides to stay, though. :)

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