My husband and I are planning a homebirth for April. We are considering whether or not to have our older children (9yrs, 6yrs, and 4yrs) present at the birth. I want to remain flexible about the issue. I have asked them if they want to be present, and they are thinking about it. Whatever comes when it is time for the arrival of our new addition, I want them to be prepared. Does anyone have recommendations for some videos that might be helpful in this regard?
I am also very open to hearing your experiences about older children being present at your births. :)
When I was planning my homebirth of baby 3 (turned hospital induction at 42 weeks), ds1 and Ds2 wanted to be there, so to prepare we watched tons of home births and animal births in YouTube... They were a little frightened at first by some of the sounds the moms made and the blood, but after talking to them about it and watching more they realized that all the moms made different sounds when they were having their babies and that the moms and babies were just fine, even with the blood :). No other advice or experience, but it was pretty cool to watch my then 2 and 4 year old boys eyes pop out as the babies emerged :). They were so excited about it! I'm hoping the next one is a homebirth so they can be a part of it :)
Now that our 3rd is on the way, we're starting that process all over again.
Crunchy mom of three great kids and one on the way!
DD May 2007 **** DS February 2010 **** DD August 2012**** ?? Oct/Nov 2014
I had my kids at my last birth (at the time, ages 4 and 2) and they loved it. The midwives talked with them at the appointment about it being "healthy blood" and about how mommies make strong sounds. The midwives even had my kids practice making roaring sounds like mommies. It was really cute. We never showed them any videos, and they were super excited. They still talk about it to this day (even the one who was only 2 still remembers it in her own way)
our dd had just turned 5 when my last babe was born. it was a hospital birth and she wanted to be present. we watched lots of natural birth videos on youtube. she's very into medical things and wasn't scared at the idea at all. for the birth, she did amazing! she colored quietly at the table for a while and then about the time i needed to push she requested a movie on the laptop. i'm nopt sure how much she was actually paying attention to the birth, but she was right there beside me as soon as her brother was born. she cut the cord and then climbed up into the bed to snuggle and check out her brother. it was nice to have her there when we found out the sex as well (stayed team green the whole pg) because she had very much wanted a sister. she was disappointed for a second or two but was quickly excited again.
this time, we're having a homebirth and will allow any/all of the kids to be present. they'll be 20mo, 3yrs, and 6.5yrs. we've started talking to them some about the birth, and they come to all midwife appts. our 2yo is excited because it's his turn to make the baby's bellybutton (cut the cord) this time.
just had another thought...did you by chance video tape any or all of your last delivery? we taped the last 2 births, though not from the business end, but rather from up by my shoulder. i let dd watch her first brother's video so that she could hear the sounds that i might make during labor, and i intend to let them watch both cideos this time around. we talked a lot about ho wdifferent mama's make different noises while birthing. i also made sure to explain to dd beforehand that, while it does hurt at times, it's a good kind of hurt and not a scary one because it's helping the baby be born.