Older siblings-what to do during birth? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 10-16-2011, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Both sets of grandparents live about an hour away from us, and our LO has never spent the night alone with either, but loves them very much! My husband and I are more comfortable having his parents take care of LO while I'm at the hospital (they're house is way more babyproof, not workaholics, among other things...)  but my idea was maybe to have them come to our apartment to stay instead...for those 2nd time and + mamas, what do you do? DH is my support, and our 2 year old is absolutely crazy and I wouldn't be able to stand having him in the room the whole time. LOL 

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#2 of 28 Old 10-16-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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I can't help, because even in our hospital births all our little ones were there. I'd say do what you feel most comfortable with. Is there maybe another option, like a friend or neighbor you trust and feel very comfortable with coming to the hospital and taking the little one for walks/snacks/etc as needed and then they can still be near mommy when they want and be there for the birth if you want?


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#3 of 28 Old 10-16-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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mine will be with my mom, but they will stay at our house, unless I get the homebirth i keep lobbying for, in which case she'll go to my moms house, but thats only next street over.  she has spent the night at their house before so i know she'll be fine.  good luck with figuring out happy arrangements for all!


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#4 of 28 Old 10-16-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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It's a scary and nerve wracking decision isn't it?  I've been a mom for over 6 years and the only time that I've ever been gone over night from my kiddos is when I've gone to the hospital to have another baby!

 

When we had our 2nd my sister was called and while she was on her 45 minute drive to our house, DH's brother watched DS. My sister was on call to help us out. IF we would have waited for my sister to get to our house I would have had the baby in the car.

 

When our 3rd was born we left the house at around 10 PM so both kiddos were already sleeping. My MIL, who lives next door came and spent the night. DD woke up early and MIL told her where we were and she fell back asleep. Then DH got back home by 7:30 AM to be with both kids. I let him spend some time with the baby but sent him on his way because I felt most comfortable with that.

 

You must do what you feel is best for your little one. I am much less comfortable with DH's family than I am with mine. My kids feel more at home with my family anyway. In a pinch we can call DH's family though.

 

I am sure that with this one I can have at least one sibling "on call" and if my mom happens to be off that day She'll for sure come to our house.

 

 


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#5 of 28 Old 10-17-2011, 05:37 AM
 
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You have to do what feels best for you and my experience can't really help as  we are having a homebirth and I need to find someone to be in charge of the girls, I promised that I would wake them up if they were asleep (they slept through the last birth) and I am going to let them cut the cord.  Even when we were at the birth center my daughter was there with my sister, although she didn't see the birth she was in the next room, then she came in and cut the cord with her Daddy.

 

 


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#6 of 28 Old 10-19-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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This is one of the things about this birth that I'm seriously stressed out about.  I know it's sort of minor, but our closest family is 3+ hours away, and I've never left DD with anyone else, other than her daycare.  My hope is that I go to the hospital early in the day and my parents can come down and pick her up and wait at our house.  If not, she'll go to the hospital with us and our doula may have to help get her to my parents when they arrive.

 

DD was really stressed when I went to the ER a few weeks ago, so I'm not sure that it would be good for her to see me in active labor.  I cry and vomit.  And I think her presence would be stressful for me.  I'm still hoping this baby will fall out on the kitchen floor while I'm making dinner and I won't have to worry about any of this.


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#7 of 28 Old 10-19-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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justKate it is stressful! Your 2 options sound good. I would just discuss them with your parents and doula now so that you don't have to spend anymore time worrying. If it is a case where things progress quickly and you have to get to the Hospital quickly, do you "hang out" with any mamas and their kiddos now that would be willing and able to watch your DD until your parents arrive? There are a couple of families here that would watch our kiddos in a pinch if they are available.

 

It was so easy when we were all still able to stay at home and birth our babies!  I might consider it but I am 30 minutes away from the nearest hospital if there were an emergency and I just don't feel comfortable with that.


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#8 of 28 Old 10-19-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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My mother will be coming to stay at our house with our three kids.  With my second, a homebirth, she stayed in the living room with dd because dd refused to leave (she was 2.)  With our third, a hospital birth, we did one night of practice at our house and then she came and stayed for 2 nights.  It went very well!  This time, my biggest worry is that my mom will not drive my mini-van and I don't know if we'll be able to fit 2 boosters and a carseat in her Corolla, so I'm not sure how my two older kids will get to school.  My hope is that I go in to labor on Wednesday night (the 5th) or Thursday morning (the 6th) because my kids attend a Catholic school and the 6th is Holy Thursday which is a half day and then they don't have school on Good Friday.  Then we should be home by Saturday or Sunday and dh can take them the next day.


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#9 of 28 Old 11-24-2011, 10:45 PM
 
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You all are WAY ahead of me in the planning department!  I've been thinking about it of course, but am just so 'at-a-loss' for support I truly don't know what we'll do. Or only family 'nearby' is our my workaholic mother so she's not dependable and can't/won't plan in advance for something as inconveniently unpredictable as labor/delivery. No close-enough mom friends to ask since we just relocated, and no other family closeby. I'm hoping a miracle friendship finds it's way into the picture before then :-D


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#10 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 12:10 AM
 
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DS1 was present for DD's birth, and both of them were present for DS2's birth.  My sister came to be with kiddos both times.  First time was mid-morning, and my sister played quietly nearby with DS while I laboured, brought him to me when he wanted to be close, went for a walk, etc. It was lovely, like the day was rolling on around me while I was focused on bringing new life, and then next thing we knew, the baby was coming and DS was just a few short steps away to witness. 

 

Second time was through the night.  DS1 slept through most of it, but DD seemed to know instinctively that something was up, and she stayed quietly by me all night long, alert and awake, watching closely but not making a peep.  Both of my sisters and my mother were there as well, hanging out on the couch, dozing on and off.  After a while DS1 woke up and quietly joined us.  DS2 was born in the early hours of the new morning, surrounded by his siblings, Daddy, aunties and gramma.  It was beautiful.

 

This time around, we're planning to have the kids with us again.  I can't imagine NOT having them around - for us, labour and birth are just part of life, a special time to share at home as a family with no great fuss or to-do.  My kiddos are already talking about what kind of sounds they think I'll make this time, who will come into the birth pool with me, who will help to wipe the birth gunk off the baby.  They just expect to be there, it seems normal to them and it has never crossed their minds that it could be any other way.  Poor kids still have 19 or so weeks to wait!


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#11 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 02:47 AM
 
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I'm having a home birth, so I will have my sister, who lives just down the street, either come get my boys or come stay with them in the house. I'd like for them to be there when the baby is born, but certainly not going to force the issue if they are uncomfortable.  They will definitely come as soon as baby is born though.

 

As far as a hospital birth goes, with my second's birth I had my mom stay with DS1. I was surprised how well he did, as we had never left him over night before, and we lived across the country, so he didn't know my mom really well at that point - she had flown in just hours before.  We called her as soon as baby was born and she brought him straight to the hospital.

 

I second the choice to use your doula. As a doula I am always happy to take care of the other kids, if that is what needs done.  Right now I'm on call for a birth where I may become just a babysitter, because the mom isn't sure how comfortable she will be with leaving her daughter with someone else (a good friend with no family in town.)  She will decide at birth, but she has me if she needs me to do that.

 

I have this grand idea that having my boys there to see the calm home birth I am planning will somehow heal all of us from my previous two traumatic birth experiences.  I'm hoping to not pressure them into something that will be uncomfortable, just because I have this perfect picture in my mind.  We will see how it goes.

 


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#12 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 05:06 AM
 
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This is something we need to figure out still, but I'm not stressing about it now.  Last time around we called my parents as soon as we knew DD was on her way, and they drove the 2 hours (they are the closest relatives) to get to us so my mom could be there for the birth.  My plan is to do the same this time around and maybe my dad can watch DD if she isn't comfortable being present for the birth.  I have to talk to them about it still, but I'd assume they'd be ok with it.  Now if this labour managed to go ridiculously quickly and my parents hadn't arrived yet, I guess DH would have to be the DD watcher.


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#13 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Our kids have been present for our homebirths.  Well, they slept through the last one until someone finally woke them up!  lol  They will be there for this one.  We have friends come over to tend and care for them.

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#14 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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My kids were present for the births of their siblings. With # 2 and 3 I had a friend come over and help out. With #4 my eldest was 13 so he watched over the younger ones. I assume something similar will happen this time, just not sure if the 18y.o. will want/be willing to be there.

 

[True confession: the previous two times, they watched the moment of birth, which was very important to me. Last time, they played video games most of the time and then came in to see the baby the moment after birth. That's what happens when a 13y.o. is in charge]


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#15 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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 Being at home with all the late evening chaos involved really slowed my last time. We've found an OB we like and I'll deliver at the hospital this time. I've gotta be honest, I'm kind of looking forward to just calling my two grown kids home and driving away to the hospital with just my dh. The little boys would be fine, but my special needs cousin was way out of control during my last labor. He got overly excited and even interfered with the midwives when they left my room.

 

We'll call and have the big kids bring up the littles ASAP, but they will not be there when the baby is born. 

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#16 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobster View Post

DS1 was present for DD's birth, and both of them were present for DS2's birth.  My sister came to be with kiddos both times.  First time was mid-morning, and my sister played quietly nearby with DS while I laboured, brought him to me when he wanted to be close, went for a walk, etc. It was lovely, like the day was rolling on around me while I was focused on bringing new life, and then next thing we knew, the baby was coming and DS was just a few short steps away to witness. 

 

Second time was through the night.  DS1 slept through most of it, but DD seemed to know instinctively that something was up, and she stayed quietly by me all night long, alert and awake, watching closely but not making a peep.  Both of my sisters and my mother were there as well, hanging out on the couch, dozing on and off.  After a while DS1 woke up and quietly joined us.  DS2 was born in the early hours of the new morning, surrounded by his siblings, Daddy, aunties and gramma.  It was beautiful.

 

This time around, we're planning to have the kids with us again.  I can't imagine NOT having them around - for us, labour and birth are just part of life, a special time to share at home as a family with no great fuss or to-do.  My kiddos are already talking about what kind of sounds they think I'll make this time, who will come into the birth pool with me, who will help to wipe the birth gunk off the baby.  They just expect to be there, it seems normal to them and it has never crossed their minds that it could be any other way.  Poor kids still have 19 or so weeks to wait!


This is how we've always felt, but my last labor was the first with my cousin involved and it did not go well. We've sacrificed a lot to care for him and have him in our home (which is the best for him). I hadn't really thought about how we've essentially sacrificed our family birth philosophy, as well. greensad.gif

 

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#17 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Can you have someone come and take your little cousin out of the home for a fun date, when you go into labor? 

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#18 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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Our "plan" is that DSS will stay at our house with my brother and SIL, who he sees at least twice a week. Since we have time between now and April, SIL and I have outings and such planned with them and DSS to make sure that things will be fine when I go into labor. The hospital is about 45 minutes from our house so we will call them when things get going and they will bring DSS to the hospital. With this being my first, I don't know how long labor will be. I wouldn't want DSS to have to stay at the hospital for hours. That is the plan, but we will see.

 

I am rather apprehensive about this as well. We will just have to see how things go. I do want DSS there before I give birth, just not back there in the room at that moment. But as soon as baby and I are good and cleaned off, I want him to come straight back. I have a sneaking suspicion that if DSS saw some the the blood and what not that he would think the baby is a zombie baby, and that's no bueno.


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#19 of 28 Old 11-25-2011, 11:05 PM
 
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DD will likely be with her grandma (we live with her), or grandpa. She'd like to be at the birth, but that will depend on the time of day and how things are going. I don't know about my mom being in the room, though, because she takes every chance she gets to make comments about how I should just have an RCS. So, we'll see.

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#20 of 28 Old 11-26-2011, 08:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwisdomskr View Post

Can you have someone come and take your little cousin out of the home for a fun date, when you go into labor? 



He's not so little, hehe. He's 37yo (mentally anywhere from 5yo to 10yo depending on circumstance).

 

The problem with doing that is that it's too much of a differentiation between our children and him. He considers us his parents since his mom died and is very sensitive to that dynamic.

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#21 of 28 Old 11-27-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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Oh, I'm sorry!  That's really tough.

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#22 of 28 Old 11-29-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwisdomskr View Post

Oh, I'm sorry!  That's really tough.



Thanks. It is what it is.

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#23 of 28 Old 11-29-2011, 06:50 AM
 
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Itsasecret - It sounds like you are going to the hospital for the same reason many choose to birth at home. You are seeking an undisturbed, calmer environment. Makes sense to me!


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#24 of 28 Old 11-29-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieL View Post

Itsasecret - It sounds like you are going to the hospital for the same reason many choose to birth at home. You are seeking an undisturbed, calmer environment. Makes sense to me!



Hah, bet you never thought you'd hear the hospital was a calmer environment?! My MW actually has a birthing center we could go to, but due to third stage complications with my last birth my dh wanted to check out OBs this time. My MW recommended this doc to me and I think he's a really good fit for us. I'm content with our decision.

 

I really don't want to 'go' anywhere, yk? I LOVE birthing at home; it's just not for us at this stage in our lives. And to be honest, calling the sitter (my oldest dd) and driving away sounds pretty darn good to me right now!

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#25 of 28 Old 11-29-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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I've been thinking about this too.  Our closest family is over 3 hours away and DS doesn't know them too well since they only moved into that area a couple months ago, before that they were in Brussels.  My parents are going to come out, but it will likely be after the birth, if it's before then things are set.  At the moment though, I'm going to ask someone at our church that watched DS once before and he seems pretty comfortable with her.  I just hope she will say yes, I'll ask this weekend.  The thing is, DH might be in training so she'd have to watch him until I come home from the hospital and I'm not sure if that will work.  I hope so.  I'm going to try and get out of the hospital as soon as possible.  Thinking about that is a little overwhelming though since DH might not be around to help.  Maybe my aunt can come out though after I get released to help out until my parents get out here.


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#26 of 28 Old 01-30-2012, 07:01 AM
 
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i have been showing my son youtube videos of natural home births to see his reaction. he loves them! wants to watch over and over. he'll be just turning 3 when this baby is born. i think i'll have a doula to be there until my mom/and or / husband can come. then just see what he's comfy with, if he wants to stay great if not thats fine.

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#27 of 28 Old 02-24-2012, 08:01 AM
 
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Originally I was going to send my 4 years old son to stay with friends for the birth but then I was watching home birth videos with him and it amazed me that every time he heard newborn's first cry he would start laughing happily:)

I've discussed him being present at birth with my midwife. She says that usually siblings stay by mama's head, kiss mama well and once the baby is born they start bonding immediately. Now I think it would be plain wrong to rob him of experience and miss on opportunity for him to start bonding with his younger brother/sister. My son is the part of the family and I strongly believe he should not be excluded from such an important and joyful event.

 

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#28 of 28 Old 03-12-2012, 06:54 AM
 
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I had the same predicament.  I am almost 37 weeks with baby #3 and i did not want to leave my other two (4&2) alone while i give birth.  We decided to have a home birth, that way my mom and brother can be in a different part of the house with my two year old while i give birth (my 4 year old wants to see the birth).  Not sure if that will help but that is what we decided.  Maybe you can find someone who lives closer to come to your house?  Good luck though... i'm sure it will all work out! 


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