Where was your 2-2.5 year old during your homebirth? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Where was your 2-2.5 year old during your homebirth? (Choose all that apply.)
-right there with me, watching the whole thing 10 100.00%
-asleep in bed 10 100.00%
-with a caretaker outside of my home (i.e. at a friend's house, playing outside) 9 100.00%
-with a caretaker in my home, in another room 16 100.00%
-other 1 20.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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DD will be 27 months when DS is born. Since our apartment is tiny and DS is due in January I am assuming I need to make plans for a friend to watch her at their home (playing outside the whole time not being an option). What did all of you do?

In particular -- do you wake up a sleeping toddler when you go into labor so they can go to a friend's house? If so, do you wait for active labor or do you transition them earlier, while there is still time and while you're still yourself? If you had a long labor, did you have multiple friends taking turns watching your toddler? (Or did you wish you did?)

My last labor was 28 hours, but with lots of back labor, and limited access to water. Planning to have a birth tub this time, and I don't know how much (if any) that will speed things up.


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#2 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 05:10 PM
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I had a fast labor in a small house - walked home from work and rolled in the door at 5:25, baby born at 8 p.m., so YMMV if you have to go longer or at a different time of day. DS1 followed me around filching the cookies I was trying to eat between contractions, then he went upstairs with my sister and watched youtube videos of goats playing and elephants painting pictures, and they came down when I was pushing and sat on my sister's hip as she stood at the foot of the tub. I am really, really glad he was there at his brother's birth. He remembers it and has asked subsequently if some of our friends' babies have been born in the water, so I know it made an impression on him.

Can you have somebody come to the house, take child away when child wakes up in the morning if it seems like what needs done? They often sleep through middle-of-the-night births, but it would be good to have a caretaker there in case she does wake up at 2 a.m. and you either want her there but supervised, or want her out of the house.

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#3 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 05:42 PM
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She was in the birth pool until about 5 minutes before the baby was born! She did amazingly, took it all in stride and was very happy and excited to be there. We had planned for her Grandma to come take care of her and take her away if needed. But, the birth happened way too fast for us even to have a chance to call anyone other than the midwives. She was 27 months at the birth. I think she was as prepared for it as she could have been.

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#4 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 05:52 PM
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DD was with my mom for most of my labor w/Ds1, but had gone to bed not long before he was born.

Both slept through Ds2's birth, but my mom was in the house in case they woke up before it was over.

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#5 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 06:13 PM
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Would a toddler really sleep through screaming?

My DS will be just shy of 3 (32 mos) when this babe is due in March. I'm tempted to keep him there simply because odds are good my labor could be quick (was under 5 hours for 1st stage with DS, my 1st.)

But I did scream during transition & expect to be noisy again. Not sure how upsetting that'll be for him to be woken up to Mommy screaming!

Also, he LOOOVES to swim, so if he's nearby, he'll definitely want to get into the tub - and I suspect I'll find that really annoying. I labored in our in-ground pool with DS & DH jumped into the pool when he got home from work & the waves he created annoyed me. Plus, the pool will be too deep from him to stand, so someone will have to constantly monitor him so he doesn't drown! Ha - ok, sounds like I've already made up my mind that DS has to go.

There are few people I feel comfortable having in the house while I birth to look after DS. One is my sister who lives nearly a 2-hour drive away. Hm, I still might see about calling her anyway though.
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#6 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 06:16 PM
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28mo DS1 slept through my second labor, but just barely. I was desperate to get him to sleep, and as soon as he was out, my labor kicked into high gear. We did have a close friend at the house in case he woke up. I was not interested in him leaving the house, but was not into his high-needs energy.

Every birth is different - for some unknown maybe positional reason pushing DS2 was just horrifically painful and I SCREAMED and cursed him out. I am glad DS1 was not around for it and if he'd been awake, my friend would have kept him entertained downstairs. DS1 did sleep through it, though he woke up to greet the new baby just as we were getting settled into bed.

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#7 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 06:18 PM
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I dunno. I know during the 6 minutes of pushing I was shouting some obscenities, but I didn't scream Ds2's birth. They didn't wake up from me shouting, though. During Ds1's birth, I yelled as he was crowning, but I was in the basement family room at the opposite end of the house from DD, so she didn't hear it loudly.

You could try screaming a few times from where ever you'd be birthing and "test" whether your toddler would sleep through it

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#8 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 07:58 PM
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The plan was to have him there (hoping he might sleep through it), but to have my mom ready just in case.
By the time he woke up that morning, I was in active labor and being very very noisy. It really upset him. He was crying and said it scared him. He wanted to go outside to get away from the noises.
I think he would have been OK eventually--as he woke up and maybe if he did go outside for a bit. But I just could not handle hearing him cry or the idea of him not being OK. It was taking me out of this very tiny calm place I had created for myself mentally. So we had my mom take him. They stayed close by and we called them immediately after the baby was born so he could meet his baby brother. It worked perfectly!
If I were to have another baby/homebirth, I would still attempt to have my older children there and have a relative or close friend ready to take them if they/I couldn't handle it.

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#9 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 10:13 PM
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I went into labor at 3am, My DS, 28 mo, went to grandma'a house when he woke up, she came and picked him up (we called her earlier so she knew to come get the kids at the time they usually wake up), i was in the bedroom & DH got him dressed and ready to go- he (& my DD) came back after lunch to meet their new sister.. (born at 1pm) there was no way he could have stayed in the house with all the noise i was making ...

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#10 of 21 Old 09-20-2010, 11:24 PM
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Ok, so of course I love my children but they annoy the heck out of me while I am in labor. I just want to focus on me, do whatever it is to get me through it without having my children right there next to me. I've had two homebirths with my children in the house with a caregiver watching them, perfect for me. I called DD1 in right before DD2 was born and I intended on having DD1 and DD2 watch DS's birth but he came so quickly that only DH ended up being in the room. We called them up right after though and that I am ok with.

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#11 of 21 Old 09-21-2010, 12:11 AM
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DD1 at 29 mo slept right through my labor with DD2, but came in just after baby was out -- it was 1am, and my planned support person for DD1 (my mom) hadn't made it in time.

DD1 and 2 both slept through DD3's birth... and didn't wake up until their normal time in the morning.

Oh, and my house is an old manufactured home with cardboard walls (I can hear DD3 breathing though the wall with the door closed...), squeaky floors, and my kids are lousy sleepers! But my labors are on the short side....

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#12 of 21 Old 09-21-2010, 12:58 AM
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ds was 27mo when dd was born. I labored alone for the first few hours (from 1:30am until 6:30am or so--very easy), then ds woke and everyone else awoke, MW arrived, everything started happening all at once! dh and my mom took turns being with ds, reading books, making soup etc. I was in the pool in the dining room, so they were in the next room, able to see/hear me, and occasionally wandered through. My mom brought him in right when dd was born

He was totally fine with the labor part. We'd watched a lot of birth videos, talked a lot about the noises I might make (at one point during a loud contraction, I heard him saying--very matter-of-factly--"what's my mommy singing about?" Cracked me up!). So he didn't seem bothered by it at all. But it was definitely good to have people there for him.

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#13 of 21 Old 09-21-2010, 01:09 AM
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My homebirth, I labored for two days. There was a lot of different stuff happening in that time, mut my kids (28m and 5y at the time) were pretty close the whole time. For the really intense laboring and actual birth, my mom was there and supposed to be with them...she turned on a movie for them and came to watch me instead My younger girl fell asleep and slept right through my roaring out the baby-it was short but very loud.
I'm due in January, and plan to have all three of my kids there, without an extra caretaker. My youngest will be 30m.
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#14 of 21 Old 09-21-2010, 01:41 AM
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I chose "right there with me" but should also have chosen "with a caretaker in another room." When my 2nd as born my eldest was 2.5. It was a very long labor and he mostly stayed with us, though went out with Grandma, too. He was free to come in and out as much as he wished, and when the baby was born, he was right next to the bed in Grandma's arms, cheering for his new baby.

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#15 of 21 Old 09-22-2010, 11:42 AM
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We didn't have any friends or family available, so we hired a doula specifically to take care of our two-year-old during the birth. I was thinking about letting DD see the birth, but when the time came, I needed to concentrate and didn't want her in the room. She did hear the birth from the next room (and fell asleep shortly thereafter).
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#16 of 21 Old 09-22-2010, 01:35 PM
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I haven't had the baby yet, but our plan with DS (32 months) is to have a homebirthing mama friend come to be his doula. Overall we're just planning on being very flexible and keeping options open. I've watched youtube videos with him and talked to him about how mommies have to make lots of noise sometime since it's hard work getting a baby out. So if he is doing fine and I'm doing fine, the plan is to have him "around" during labor. Otherwise we have playgrounds, friend's houses, and videos lined up to keep him occupied (with our friend taking care of him). If he's asleep when I go into labor, I'll leave him be and call our friend over if he wakes up or as it gets close to his normal waking time.

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#17 of 21 Old 09-23-2010, 01:34 AM
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DD slept through everything and she is generally a rubbish sleeper. We put her to bed in her room (right beside ours) when I started labor and she didn't wake at all despite 4 people in the room next door talking and me being a pretty noisy birther. I was shocked! We had someone there to take her if she was awake and not keen on being at the birth though.

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#18 of 21 Old 09-23-2010, 01:46 AM
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If you are thinking about having your older child there with you, there's a great book called "Welcome With Love" that I've been reading to my dd. She loves it and I love it too (although it's hard to get through without getting teary!). It talks about the mommy making noises and the baby coming out. It's got beautiful illustrations too.

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#19 of 21 Old 09-24-2010, 12:04 AM
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My then 4 1/2 year old and 25 month old sons played in the living room until my friend and sister arrived, then they played with them and watched a movie while I labored in my bedroom. My 25 month old son ended up napping during my youngest son's birth and my 4 1/2 year old sat on the bed with my hubby and watched the birth.
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#20 of 21 Old 09-24-2010, 01:49 AM
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DS was 6 days from his 2nd birthday when DD arrived. My labor became difficult at 2:30 pm. DH got home at 4 pm (a very long 90 minutes!) and he took DS to a friend's house until bedtime and then brought him home and put him in bed. DS slept until 5 minutes before DD was born (7:40 am). My BF took him into the kitchen to get some milk thinking it would be a few more contractions--heard DD cry as the milk was coming out of the fridge. I'm so thankful. Once hard labor started I could not cope with DS. I feel bad but I kind of knew it would be like that--I just need to fully concentrate when I'm in pain.

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#21 of 21 Old 09-24-2010, 10:18 AM
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My labour started at around 6am, we woke up the grandparents to come get our boys. They live down the street and as much as I love my kids, I really could not have handled the noise and madness two little boys add to the mix while trying to focus on my labour. I really prefer the quiet while I suffer. The grandparents brought them by a couple hours later to meet their brother and then kept them overnight so DH could focus on me and I could focus on baby. I don't think I'd do it any other way, but that's just me.

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