Talk to me about having my 2.5 YO DS at birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-11-2011, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked my sister to come be DS' support person & she readily agreed - actually, said she was going to volunteer before I asked! :) She's my best friend after my DH & I'm more than happy for her to be in the house during labor, and in the room during birth. So we're good there.


I plan to set up the birth pool in my bedroom (plenty of space) & the house is big enough that if my sister is playing with him down in the family room, he'll be 'removed' enough. (I prefer solitude in 1st stage, so I'm expecting DS to be present only for 2nd stage.)

 

However - I'm still torn.

 

CONS of having DS present:

1. He LOVES to swim, so if we have time to get the pool set up, he WILL want to get in. I'm pretty sure his presence in the pool would distract & annoy me (DH made waves in the pool when I was laboring with DS & it annoyed me!), so we'll have to have him leave the room - which will prompt quite a protest, I'm sure.

 

2. Said temper tantrum will annoy me. Not sure how much his presence overall might annoy or distract me, even if he's on the 1st floor while I'm upstairs.

 

3. I was noisy with his birth, so I expect to be noisy again. Not sure if this will scare him. Even if we watch videos together, I still think it could be a risk that it'll upset him to witness "live" vs. watching videos. So I might worry about this.

 

PROS of having DS present:

1. As my MW said, it is less of a "disconnect." There isn't suddenly this extra member to our family - he will SEE the family member emerge & thus understand how his baby sister came from Mommy. I'm hoping this will make the transition to big brother easier.

 

2. I like the idea of him seeing a HB & seeing that birth is normal & something to celebrate (& healthy, normal birth BELONGS in an undisturbed state, & at home is great place for it.) Granted, this is low on my list. At 2 years 8 mos, he may not even remember! Plus he'll grow up hearing birth stories, so he's not going to be raised by me & escape hearing it - ha! ;)

 

It feels like a toss-up! I'm having trouble deciding. At this point, I'm leaning towards leaving him at daycare if labor starts on a work day (My DCP is a friend, & happy to keep him late or overnight if need be), but having my sister come if it's weekend or evening, so he's already home. But I'd love other input on things I may not be considering.

 

TIA!

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#2 of 11 Old 01-11-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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I have had all numbers of ages at my births or in the house. Sometimes they were all asleep. One 2y/o I nursed in the birth pool in labor, another 2y/o ate many, many oranges at the foot of my birth pool, one would not go down for a nap and my polder kids comforted hi until after baby arrived. This through all were UC's and every time it worked out just fine, perfect in fact for that birth.


Annabelle Catholic wife to Jeff '92 and mom to Makaley 19 Arden 19 Anniston 17 Taegan 14 Balen 12 Kellen 10 Ellery 8 Innish 6 Eiley 4 Finnian 3 Esca 2 our 8th uc.jpghomeschool.gifwaterbirth.jpgIHhbac.gifbftoddler.gifvbac.gifand expecting sweet pea January 2014.

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#3 of 11 Old 01-12-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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My DD was removed from my birth under protest because she wanted to touch and comfort me, and i didn't want to be touched. I had such an intense labor i didn't really mind the ensuing tantrum since i didn't have to deal with it and it was quickly ended by some surprise preasents my MIL had brought for just that purpose. She returned to see baby crown and be born, and was so cute and excited that i am glad I chose to have her there. She is on film just moments after the birth saying "baby sister, baby sister! It's your birthday party!". It is my absolute favorite thing from the birth. So i vote have him there with lots of prep, and trust your sister to handle any issues.

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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#4 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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I did *not* have my daughter present at the birth and I'm glad.  My transition (after 9 days of labor) was awful and I went into shock and really thought I was dying.  I would have had nothing to give my daughter.  (And my midwife brought two of her kids, including a 1-ish year old and it was already way crowded in my tiny house.)  I then proceeded to hemorrhage and almost die and I'm really glad she wasn't here to see that.  I know it is an usual situation, but it's hard to predict what will happen.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#5 of 11 Old 01-15-2011, 06:04 AM
 
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I did not have my almost 3 yo ds at dd's birth (which was now over 3 years ago as ds is about to turn 6!). Being attached parents, he was - well - very attached and would not have wanted to leave me be if I needed him to and also would have been scared/concerned when I was birthing the baby (I screamed). Also, as soon as he left with my parents and it was just dh and I left in the house, my labor picked up considerably. I was able to focus on my labor, my body, and the baby rather than on ds and his needs.

 

I'm not pg with #3 and we will not have ds and dd present at the birth. I'm actually looking forward to that time with dh!

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#6 of 11 Old 01-19-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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Its a hard call, but if you're not hung up on it happening one way or another, it will be fine. At my last birth (last week!) I thought I wanted my 2.5 yo there and planned to have someone there for him. But since he was sleeping when labor started, my friend was useful to me in labor and I didn't want her to go anywhere with ds. He woke up a little before 7 and baby was born at 830 so things were pretty intense. While I had been really bent on having him there, as soon as he woke up I said to dh - "Call your parents" and they came and took ds. I didn't hesitate and ds hadn't even "done anything" annoying yet. I just couldn't even fathom the possibilities at that point. He came and stood by the pool for a few minutes and rubbed my back (between cx) and gave me kisses and was generally sweet, but my body kinda stalled a bit until my ils took ds away.  When they arrived he announced that the baby was coming out of mommy's belly today. We called to have them come back right after the birth. Ds walked in and knew immediately it was "our baby" and said "I yuv my baby brudder!" and climbed on the bed to hold him and inspect him (from head to toe! We had to un-swaddle him and everything) I don't think he was any more or less connected about what happened because he wasn't there. Heck - my ils got him Dunkin Donuts when they took him, so he probably had a better time with them!! haha!

 

Anyhow - just don't be hung up on it happening one way or another. Make sure you sister can/is willing to take your ds to a park or something if you decide you need him out of the house. You can always have dh call her to come back towards the end if you decide you want him there at that point.


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#7 of 11 Old 01-19-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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Well, as you know, I plan to have both of mine here when I go into labor. I do plan to have one or two ppl here to entertain them or whatever. I want my kids to be involved and not shut out so that they will hopefully see that birth is beautiful and natural. Also that they can be a part of it. I'm not sure exactly how I'll be during labor or what will be going on(as this is our first HB) but I do want them here. And I'd like them to be in the room when baby is born. I can't wait to see the look on DS's face now that he's a little older than when DD was born! I think he'll be so excited and in awe.  =)


~Christy, wife to M and mother to M and A, expecting baby #3 in May 2011 Planning our first HBAC!
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#8 of 11 Old 01-20-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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My ds1 was close to 3 when ds2 was born and I had a friend come over to be with him.  That was wonderful.  Ds1 did get into the tub a couple times but was happy to leave with my friend when I needed him out.  I wouldn't totally count on yours having a tantrum if you need him out of your space.  If he is happy and occupied with your sister that may do the trick.  My friend had ds1 inside for awhile but he was laughing obnoxiously so I asked my dh to tell them to take a walk and they did, coming back in right at crowning.  That was perfect.  I loved having ds1 there at the end and he was thrilled to see ds2 be born.  He immediately got into the tub to see him and it was a really sweet moment.  He still talks about it and now we're having another and he cannot wait. 

 

He did not seem at all phased by my noises, but in laborland I really didn't care.  That is probably partly due to personality.  :)  We did a lot of prep for that too-lots of videos, talking, books, etc.  I believe it did help. Plus everyone attending the birth was really calm and things went smoothly.  I can see not wanting a child there if things were not going well, kwim?  My vote is to keep open to it if you really want your him there.  Things may change moment to moment and that's okay! 

 

Have you seen the book, Hello Baby, by Jenni Overend?  It's about a homebirth.  Great book!  Good luck with your decision.  Mary

 

ETA: correcting the title of book recomendation


Mary, Mama to 3 boys! 9/05 & 8/08 & 7/12
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#9 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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My dd (who was 3.5 at the time) was at the birth of my second (and I expect both to have to option to be at the birth of the our third).  Before the birth we did a lot of talking about what was going to happen.  With a doll under my shirt we acted out how the birth would happen.  We also talked about how I would be making a lot of noise and we moaned together.  We set up the birth tub for a test run and everyone got in at one time or another and played in it.  But it was made clear, that when the time came, I would be the only one in the tub.  We also planned to have my mother there (though we didn't call in time and it was the middle of the night and she wouldn't have heard the phone anyway) to be there to take care of her.  If she got to scared or bored the plan was then my mother would do what was needed (comfort and/or remove her from the situation) so my husband or I or the midwives would not have to deal with her.  As it was she and my husband huddled together in a corner and watched while the midwife caught the baby in the tub.  It worked out beautifully for us.

Oh we also watched A LOT of birth videos together and talked about the different births.  My daughter was bit older, but I can imagine (and will be soon) doing all the same things with my youngest at this point, who is 2.5.

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#10 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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Some thoughts in bold:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post

I asked my sister to come be DS' support person & she readily agreed - actually, said she was going to volunteer before I asked! :) She's my best friend after my DH & I'm more than happy for her to be in the house during labor, and in the room during birth. So we're good there.  I think this is a great idea, and absolutely key to having a good experience with having a toddler (or any kid, but *especially* a toddler) at a birth. 


I plan to set up the birth pool in my bedroom (plenty of space) & the house is big enough that if my sister is playing with him down in the family room, he'll be 'removed' enough. (I prefer solitude in 1st stage, so I'm expecting DS to be present only for 2nd stage.)

 

However - I'm still torn.

 

CONS of having DS present:

1. He LOVES to swim, so if we have time to get the pool set up, he WILL want to get in. I'm pretty sure his presence in the pool would distract & annoy me (DH made waves in the pool when I was laboring with DS & it annoyed me!), so we'll have to have him leave the room - which will prompt quite a protest, I'm sure.

 

2. Said temper tantrum will annoy me. Not sure how much his presence overall might annoy or distract me, even if he's on the 1st floor while I'm upstairs.

 

3. I was noisy with his birth, so I expect to be noisy again. Not sure if this will scare him. Even if we watch videos together, I still think it could be a risk that it'll upset him to witness "live" vs. watching videos. So I might worry about this.

 

PROS of having DS present:

1. As my MW said, it is less of a "disconnect." There isn't suddenly this extra member to our family - he will SEE the family member emerge & thus understand how his baby sister came from Mommy. I'm hoping this will make the transition to big brother easier.  I get this, but I don't know that I would particularly fear a big "disconnect" otherwise.  I assume that, while he may be young to *totally* grasp the whole process of what's going on, he understands when you tell him there's a baby in your belly, notices the increase in your size, and will understand (more-or-less) when you show him the new baby and explain that this is "the" baby we've been talking about/waiting for.

 

2. I like the idea of him seeing a HB & seeing that birth is normal & something to celebrate (& healthy, normal birth BELONGS in an undisturbed state, & at home is great place for it.) Granted, this is low on my list. At 2 years 8 mos, he may not even remember! Plus he'll grow up hearing birth stories, so he's not going to be raised by me & escape hearing it - ha! ;)  I agree with this last part, and I think that hearing you talk about birth as a normal process and hearing the stories of his (?) and his sibling's birth at home will be "normalization" enough.

 

It feels like a toss-up! I'm having trouble deciding. At this point, I'm leaning towards leaving him at daycare if labor starts on a work day (My DCP is a friend, & happy to keep him late or overnight if need be), but having my sister come if it's weekend or evening, so he's already home. But I'd love other input on things I may not be considering.

 

TIA!

 

I'm not trying to talk you out of having him there at all, but I've been to a lot of home births (I'm an apprentice midwife) with young children, and I normally feel sort of ambivalent about the experience (for the child and parents, that is, not for myself).  In my experience, most toddlers do not particularly *enhance* the environment/experience for the parents, though I've almost never seen them really hinder or encumber the mother, either.  I was at a precipitous birth recently where the very overwhelmed mother was lying on the floor pushing the baby out to the soundtrack of her excited 3-year-old shouting, "She's POOPING the baby out!  She's POOPING the baby out!"  But, honestly, many kids that age are pretty oblivious to what is going on.  I will say, I've never seen a 2-4 year-old at a birth where I felt like it was a really life-altering and important experience for them.  Most of them seem rather nonplussed.  (And, of course, I'm sure that's not everyone's experience and you will hear from people who think having their 2-year-old at their birth was *totally* life-altering and extremely special to everyone involved, and I don't doubt that that could be someone's experience...just not what I've seen.)
 

ETA: I think your plan to be prepared (by lining up your sister) and then sort of "play it by ear" is absolutely perfect--leaves you the flexibility to do what feels best/makes the most sense in the moment.

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#11 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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Our kids are 23 months apart. The plan for DD's birth was for my MIL to come over when I started active labor so she could watch/distract DS outside or in another part of the house. But I went into labor late at night and it was precipitous--90 minutes from start to finish. Since it happened so fast, we didn't even call MIL (who was about 40 minutes away). DS slept through almost the entire thing but did wake up when I was pushing at the very end. I was in the birthing pool in our living room and he was upstairs in our bedroom/sleeping loft that overlooks the main floor. DH looked up and saw him standing at the railing, wide-eyed, frantically signing "baby".

After DD was born, DS was so excited his little hands were shaking when he reached out to touch her for the first time. He spent the rest of the night running around the house, signing "baby" and saying, "esstah" (sister) and pointing at DD. It was amazing and adorable and I wouldn't change a thing.

But I had a really short labor, and he slept through most of it, and I had a plan for in case he woke up. I wouldn't expect a 2-3-year-old to understand labor and birth, but then I never would have expected DS to somehow know what I was doing in that birthing pool, despite never having seen it before. shrug.gif

Either way, congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck with whatever you decide! I do think having another adult there whose only job is to care for your toddler while you labor is a very good idea.

Loving wife partners.gif and mama to my sweet little son coolshine.gif (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl babyf.gif(Fall 2010)

 

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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