I'd really like to have DD at her baby brother's birth (I'm due in two weeks), but not sure about the logistics of it.
Our current plan: if I go into labour in the middle of the night when DD's asleep, we'll call my mother to come over and sleep in our bed, and try to sneak away without waking DD up. Then in the morning, if I'm still labouring, Mum can bring her in (or not, depending on how I feel about it).
If I go into labour at a respectable time, I'd like to take DD along to the birthing centre with us. If all goes well, she can stay for the birth; if not, it's no harder for Mum to pick her up from the birthing centre than from our house (we live, like, a 3-minute drive away).
Here's the thing, though: I don't want someone present at the birth to "attend" DD. I'm private, and just want DH, the midwife and (possibly) DD. I don't want Mum there, or a doula, or a friend - even if the DD-wrangler kept to the other side of the room and was discreet, I'd feel very inhibited and embarrassed. So that's just not an option. I could *maybe* deal with Mum waiting in the whanau room, and DD going out to her as she got bored; but that's about it (and would be rather inconvenient for Mum, who's a busy woman!).
Is it totally unrealistic to expect a three-and-a-bit-year-old not to be a liability during labour, without a dedicated wrangler? I was planning on bringing lots of snacks and setting up DH's laptop with movies, so DD could watch them if she got bored. And of course, I'll labour at home for the first part anyway. I am planning to do Hypnobabies, so I'll need to concentrate; and with my last labour I was pretty clingy towards DH, but I'm hoping Hypnobabies will make me less so this time.
DD has watched a bunch of birth videos on YouTube, seen a lot of graphic photos etc, and is totally unfazed by the birth process - she mostly comments on how cute the babies are. She knows they come out with umbilical cords, and often covered with gunk; she knows ladies often make lots of noise during labour; and in theory, she knows that birth can take a long time. She's seen me in pain before (vomiting, heartburn, my current case of flu) and is sympathetic without getting freaked out (but obviously, labour pain isn't quite the same thing!). During DD's birth I was apparently very calm-seeming, to the point where my MW found it hard to pinpoint when I was having contractions; it in no way reflected my actual mental attitude, but it does seem likely that I won't be screaming and flailing all over the room this time, at least.
Anyone had a child about this age attend a birth, particularly a hypnobirth? Without a support person? How was it?
ETA: A tad more info: DD likes my midwife pretty well. She isn't attached to the idea of being at the birth (too young); in fact, if she were bored during labour and I suggested she go to Gran's house, I'm sure she'd leap at it. The birthing room has space for DD to lie down and nap if necessary. I plan to waterbirth (in a room attached to the birthing room), so DH will probably be in the tub with me for the last part of labour. I'd rather DD didn't get in the tub. :p
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i only have a second to reply but i wanted to share my experience.
i have a wonderful, bright, emotionally mature 3 yr old. I had a homebirth in January and had planned for my 3-yr-old to be present. she had seen multiple youtube videos, liked my midwife, and was very excited about her new sibling. she has seen me in pain from migraines. when i actually went into labor, however, she mother-henned me so much that i REALLY needed her to leave the room. she and her designated caretaker played in her bedroom and outside. She wouldn't stop patting me and petting me and trying to rub various body parts! it was very sweet but not something that was helpful during labor.
DD1 was only 26 months when DD2 was born, but I can't imagine her now trying to stay occupied while I labored (she is almost 3). She came into the room for the very end (seriously less than 2 minutes) and it was perfect. She watched her sister come into the world and was so excited, but the rest of the time she was playing with my mom and MIL in the other room and outside. I would have been fine and I think so would have DD1 if mom was in the other room and DH went to get DD1 just before pushing baby out. But your mom would have to be there, just in case, even if it was just in the other room.
Just my opinion.
SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)
DD1 was 3.5, almost 4 when DD1 was born. She drove me nuts during labor as well. I'm a very private birther as well, I ended up having Dh call my mom (also 3 minutes away) to come wrangle her. DD1 was fine, she wasn't upset, I just couldn't tolerate her right there with me while I was laboring. She would chat and ask questions, break my concentration, it got to the point where her voice was like nails on a chalkboard to me. My mom came over and I went and hid in another part of the house just to escape. I only emerged at the very end to climb in my tub and give birth. For #3, I made sure I made plans for someone to keep children occupied in another part of the house away from me. The plan was to bring them in at the very end but DS came way too fast so they got to meet him in his second minute of life.
both of my 2 eldest have been present at the births that came after them when they were around 3.5 yrs. they were fine, they camme and went, but it didn't bug me. dd1 even rubbed my shoulders when i was pushing dd2 out. they both had a support person though, and needed that support. they get bored, you know?
i would ask mum to come be in the waiting room for her, personally. but if you try it your way, make sure you bring headphones for the lap top. a kid movie in the background would have driven me crazy!
Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...
I definitely agree toddler siblings need a support person all their own. Just a thought...(and I'll warn you ahead of time, BOP) What if you have a change of plans and your birth goes differently than what you have in mind? An assisted delivery or a csection is a possibility when considering at a hospital birth. Would you have a csection without your dh present just so he could look after your dd? I agree with the pps that having your mum in the waiting room may be your best solution.
Loving mama to ds C (6/07) and dd N (11/08). Joyously welcomed our , dd2 A (8/11).
I was the designated child wrangler at a friend's Hypno/home birth. I mentioned it in our DDC at some point. She has a 4.5 year old and a newly 3 year old. I also brought my 3.3 year old. I went over in the middle of the night. Her older son did wake at one point, so hung out with me and DS. At that point, the mama was heading downstairs to the birth tub anyway. The boys and I watched a movie and went down for the actual pushing only. Though she'd talked a lot about it and watched videos, her son got scared when she was making pushing noises. He said she "didn't sound like mama" that she sounded like Hulk. He ran into the other room. She only had 3 or 4 pushes. We went in, ran out, went in, ran out, then the baby was born. We went in immediately after he was born. The very bloody looking water was also disturbing for him. In water, a little blood looks like a lot, like the whole pool is filled with it.
What if you had your mother or whoever hang out in the waiting area with DD and had a nurse or someone come get them during just the pushing part? You'll be concentrating so much, you really won't notice. DD won't get bored waiting around through the whole scene.
I'm planning on having DS with us with no attendant at home, then having an attendant meet us at the hospital. That was also a stipulation my midwife had to bringing him. If he gets bored, my friend can take him in the other room. I'll have someone go get them if they aren't in the room at pushing time.
eta: I just realized that you're going to a birth center. That might have made a difference for me, because I know that DD would be too hyper and distracted in a new environment, trying to check everything out, and I would be distracted trying to pay attention to where she was and what she was doing.
I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
ds was 27mo when dd was born (HB, not hypno though), and he was totally fine with the whole thing. I did have my mum there, so she and dh took turns hanging out with him in the next room while the other hung out with me, though honestly I would have been fine alone with the MW if we didn't have the extra help. I'd say it depends on your needs in labor--if you're like me, and don't need a lot of fussing over, back-rubbing or hands-on support (ie, if you don't need dh there every second), then you'll probably be fine. But everything I've ever read or heard says you should have someone else there for the sibling, and I think this is true: whether it's a dedicated outsider, or just your dh.
Sarah ~ ds X 12/05 ~ dd E 3/08 ~ 7/12
Drat, I was afraid you all would say that. :p
Babydoll: In the event of a transfer, I guess DH would call up Mum, and she'd pick DD up from the hospital once we got there? I doubt DH would be allowed to watch an emergency C-section anyway, though... Mum's house, my house, the birthing centre and the hospital are all about 5-10 minutes' drive apart, so I'm not really worried about that aspect of things. DD would love an ambulance ride anyway. :p
So I don't think I'll change my plans at this stage, in that I'd still like to have DD there for the birth if possible, and can't see any harm in starting her off with us (given how close Mum is). But I'll be prepared for her to have to leave, and I might talk to Mum about hanging around in the whanau room, or bringing DD back when I'm pushing (so that DD can watch, not Mum!), if the time of day is right and so on.
Of course, there's a pretty good chance I'll go into labour at night and DD will just miss the whole thing.
And yes, DH's laptop has headphones. :)
If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.
I do think you need a wrangler that can fully devote themselves to your LO at any point, up to and including leaving. So that might be DH or you might really need him to be present for you ever minute. Labor is hard to predict.
In the US, they wouldn't allow your LO to ride with you. LO and DH would have to ride in their own car.