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older siblings who saw birth - ?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I see that a couple of you have had older siblings see the birth, how do you think that was for them?
I am from the April DDC and I am considering letting my dd, who will be one month short of 5yo, to see the birth.
Any suggestions or comments?

Thanks and Congratulations to you all - your stories are inspirational!
post #2 of 16
well my DD was present for the birth of her brother. She is only 27 months though. She was awsome, it didn't phase her a bit and she loves to tell people that mommy pushed baby out her vulva. I'm so proud of her! That said, we talked alot about me giving birth, she watched her birth video and several on you-tube. We talked about mommy having some owies and that I might make some noise. I had my parents here for her. They played upstais some and kept her busy. She was awsome and so unphased by the whole experience. She really saw birth as a normal part of life. I hope she can retain some of the knowledge even if she doesn't remember the actual experience.

I think at 5 you can talk with her about it and let her make the decision on her own, Just make sure she's well prepared and she'll do fine.
post #3 of 16
My 5yo will be there for the birth of #4. He watched #3 being born and helped cut the cord when he was 3 3/4 and he did just fine. The youngest had no interested though and went to do his own thing.
Five years old is a great age. I bet your daughter will enjoy it.
post #4 of 16
I was 13 and my sister was 11 when we saw our brother come into the world. Nothing could compare to seeing a little baby be born.
post #5 of 16
dd was there for the births of both of her brothers. She was 2 year 9 months old the first time and a better labour support person than the adults who were present! She was not traumatized in the least and grew up to think of pregnancy and birth as natural bodily functions and to have a great deal of respect for the human body.

She greatly supported my decision to UP/UC her youngest brother when she was 18 years and ten months old. In both cases, I feel that being at the birth helped her feel closer to her brothers. she loves ds2 very much but respects his needs as a new but fully formed human being and does not treat him as a toy, a doll, or a lesser form of life than an adult or older child.

It does depend on your daughter's personality, of course. I sadly came to the conclusion that I did not want ds1 to be at the birth, although he was present during a part of my labour with ds2.
post #6 of 16
I had my three daughters (ages 7, 5, and 4) at the birth of our youngest last week. We had a friend along with them as their support person, and they did great! I am still talking with them to see what they liked/didn't like about the experience, and I am hoping that at some point we can all write the birth story from our own perspective, so that I can have some record of their thoughts and feelings. But I think that they were glad to be there, and I am happy for them to have been a part of the experience.

I am also very glad that I had a special activity planned for them during labor. They would have been stressed and bored, I think if they had been with me for a lot of the labor itself. Instead, they were in and out of the room but had something fun to do nearby and then came in for the actual birth.

The birth center where I delivered had a class for siblings who were going to be a part of the birth. We also talked with them about the physiology of birth and what kinds of sounds/sights to expect. Still, the amount of noise I made was a surprise to them. I was very glad that someone was along specifically to reassure them.
post #7 of 16
Totally depends on the kid...
Our daughter, Orange is 5 and a half and she witnessed the birth (in the car nonetheless!) of her sister Ocean. Not only was she totally nonchalant (as I knew she would be), but I found it reassuring to have her with us.
I was screaming during the pushing & I apologized in between and she said, "I know Mom, but it does sound like your acting" LOL and then when Ocean was out, she said "Awww, she's so cute...even if she isn't blind-haired" (what she calls blonde).
There was a lot of blood & she wasn't phased by it at all. But she's always been into "gross science" type of stuff. So really it depends on the individual child & you know him better than us
I can say that Orange is old enough that she'll always remember witnessing her sister being born in the car (and Daddy catching), she'll be able to tell Ocean the whole amazing story when she gets older

Stacy
post #8 of 16
My 3 year old attended his brothers birth in 2004. Even though he may have been a bit young, he sat by my side as I delivered. my husband was prepared to remove him if it became too much but, I think it really helped with the transition of introducing him to his baby brother. This time around, my In-laws will be with our boys. I don't think they will be able to sit still or be quite enough for me. Also, I have prepared them with pregnancy books and videos about pregnancy and birth.

gerlassie
post #9 of 16
My kids were in there for my dd2's birth dd1 was 6yrs and ds1 was almost 3yrs and they were in awe of the whole thing LOL and w/ this one they were both in there and my dd2 was in there also 19 months old and she didn't really realize anything going on LOL she was sleepy and just wanted to be held.
post #10 of 16
I saw 2 of my brothers born at home. It has definitely helped me to view birth as completely natural and not scary. For my youngest brother, I was 11, one brother was 8 and one was 5. We all loved every minute of it!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the great replies! I didn't expect so many, nor so fast with so many of you birthing babies, as well as taking care of newborns!

All the responses have really helped. I have decided to let my dd be as much a part of the birth as she wants.

I never thought about preparing with books/videos/talking, so I am going to look into that in the next couple days.

Stacy, your dd saying it sounded like you were acting, is halarious, what an awesome story.

Day-by-day, Let me know if your kids do give you some feedback - I would find it very interesting...the way children process experiences is always insightful.

Thanks again, all!
post #12 of 16
I hope I can add to this thread with-in the week! My two youngest want so much to be at the birth. DS wants to cut the cord and DD just wants to be there so she can be the first to say hello! But my oldest wants nothing to do with it at all. Before my last HB some neighbors let her watch "a baby story" on TV" I didn't think anything of it, but now I realize that it tainted her image of birth. I am hoping we will go into labor while they are sleeping and then when it is time we will wake them up to be there for the birth. I'll keep you posted!
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuraiMom View Post
I hope I can add to this thread with-in the week! My two youngest want so much to be at the birth. DS wants to cut the cord and DD just wants to be there so she can be the first to say hello! But my oldest wants nothing to do with it at all. Before my last HB some neighbors let her watch "a baby story" on TV" I didn't think anything of it, but now I realize that it tainted her image of birth. I am hoping we will go into labor while they are sleeping and then when it is time we will wake them up to be there for the birth. I'll keep you posted!
ITA~ The Birth shows on TV infuriate me. They tend to focus on the medical end of things & what "could go wrong." I don't find them at all inspiring. In fact, quite the opposite!
During my pregnancy, we searched online & watched real women having natural home births. You can find a ton of them (youtube has a bunch).
post #14 of 16
My mom had 2 kids at home that I was there for. Once when I was about 10, and another when I was 12. When I was 10, I cut my brother's cord.

For both births, we were allowed to go in and out as we wanted, pretty much. My grandmother was there to help take care of us, especially the younger ones.

I didn't think it was an amazing experience to watch at the time, but I am very grateful for it, all the same. I think it totally contributed to the way I feel about natural childbirth. My sisters and I who were there can compare our views on childbirth compared to our younger siblings who haven't had the same experience, and we can see a difference in attitudes towards birth.

From what I recall, the only birth preparation I had was watching videos with my mom, which were provided by the midwife.
post #15 of 16
i am so stoked to have ezra at the birth of her lil sibling. she went to a lot of labors with me at the birth center in bali and saw two complete births (pushing through placenta and nursing). we've watched videos, she listens for FHT all the time at home, loves going to the pre-natal visits with me, etc..

oh, and i practiced screaming in front of her. you know, just to prep her. we both end up laughing too much though!
post #16 of 16
My 9 year old daughter was there for our white knuckle car ride, crowning on 295, and my wheelchair racing down the hallway birth. I do believe she is finally convinced that births do not always happen like they do on A Baby Story. She kept right up with us even during all the chaos. I was really concerned she'd start acting silly during labor or something and annoy me. (its the age..) I was lucky that birth happened so quickly and spontaneously that there wasn't time for her to do much of anything except be there, witness it, experience it.. and enjoy the afterglow. I know she wrote an email to her teacher and told her all about it, and has been very proud of her baby brother.

It was a memory that I'm glad we shared with her. I'm sure she'll be telling the story for a long time!
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