Older children during labor... - Mothering Forums
August 2005 > Older children during labor...
hjshan's Avatar hjshan 04:21 AM 06-26-2005
I have a 2 year old DS and am very concerned about what will happen with him when I go into labor. He has never been away from me for any length of time (+4hrs) and still nurses numerous times day and night. I also plan to have a VBAC over 1 hour from home. Most of my close friends have babies or toddlers, so that would be very difficult for them. My parents are a little on the busy side - work, work, work - and some selfish dysfunction mixed in. What are others planning for their older children? And, any suggestions on how to make the transition for him as smooth as possible. I really want him to enjoy and love his soon-to-be new brother without too much jealousy or insecurity. Change can be hard and I'm sure pretty confusing for a 2 yr old. I plan to continue nursing him and we will continue to cosleep as long as he wants. We talk about the baby, but he gets frustrated and wants to hold and see the baby "now!" Anyway, just wondering what others plan to do with their older children.

K's Mom!'s Avatar K's Mom! 06:16 AM 06-26-2005
because I've been thinking about this a lot too! My DD will be 31 mos. old when baby is born. I've decided to have her at home with me and Dh and doula while I labor and then Dh will take her to my mother's house (if labor is slow) when we go to birth center and then will call my mom to bring her when I'm 8 cm. So, she will be present when baby is born. I feel strongly that she should be there when baby is born. I've read that it helps families' bond better and your DC 1 will feel more included; plus given a more normal outlook about birth vs. a medicalized view that our society has. I've been reading lots of stories of birth with her (Welcome With Love, Baby On the Way, etc.) and we've watched birth videos. I feel that if I'm going to have her there than I also have a responsibility to prepare her for the experience. I also feel that it will be important to have my mom there for her just in case she is uncomfortable with my laboring (noise, etc.) and can have someone focus just on her. If you have no one that can be there for your DC than perhaps hiring a doula specifically for you child would be a good option. I also asked my CNM about my DD being there and she said that in her 8 years of experience children that are young often do better than older children simply because they don't know to be afraid of birth. And also they don't yet understand that lots of blood is usually a bad thing. She (CNM) also said that it depended on the families' attitude towards birth. If you have a healthy, natural attitude towards birth than your kid will pick up on that and be less worried. My close friend just had a baby on Tuesday and her 3 year old was wonderful. Not phased in the least over the labor. He too was prepared though. So, I don't mean to , ,but I have lots to say about this

~~~ : Andrya, my Dh's girlfriend and AP SAHM to K, awaiting DD#2 August 19th!
Momsteader's Avatar Momsteader 05:40 PM 06-26-2005
My children reeeallllly want to be there. They will be 9 and 5. They have watched a lot of birth footage, seen pics, and also seen animals births during calfing/lambing season at a relatives ranch. My 5 yo's only firm requirement for the birth is that he is "NOT holding that baby until she's not slimey!" :LOL

For a younger one, I'd definitely want someone else there who could take the child out of the room if needed and also just be 100% focused on the child's needs just in case they didn't want to be there, or wanted to go on a walk, get a snack, take a nap, etc.

During my second one's birth, my first was 3.5 but wasn't allowed to the birth at the hospital, because it was during a huge influenza outbreak and they didn't allow anyone under 12 on the OB floor...period. But, it worked out okay, because I worked full-time at the time, and he was actually at daycare when I went into labor and stayed there until his baby bro was born. Then grandma went and got him and brought him to the cafeteria where I was able to go down and see him. He didn't get to see his brother in person until 3 weeks later! (Baby had breathing probs and was transferred to a big hospital 80 miles away...ALSO under a quarrantine!)

But...despite the fact that he couldn't see him for weeks....they are absolute best of buddies. I have never known siblings more bonded or close. We never had any sibling rivalry issues. They've just always been buddies. So....I don't think you HAVE to have your dc there to have them have a special bond
heldt123's Avatar heldt123 07:06 PM 06-26-2005
Haven't decided on this one yet. In a way, I'd like my 3 yo there, but as Holly mentioned, I'm concerned about his needs during that time - snacks, drink, time away, etc.. I was also wondering if I would be able to totally relax with him there, thinking about his needs or seeing him get upset for any reason. Now, if I arranged someone to watch him, I'd have to tell about my plans to UC, which I'm not comfortable doing with family yet (wanted to tell them afterwards so no negativity before, bla, bla, bla). I guess it would be ideal if I just went into labor at night when he's asleep, but what would he think waking up in the morning with a new babe suddenly in his territory? Boy, I'm a big help--NOT!! Sorry about the ramble.

.....suppose I should figure this one out soon, huh?
Momsteader's Avatar Momsteader 07:54 PM 06-26-2005
Jamie, I was a friend's UC in April. Her older kids 5, 4, and 2 were there, but didn't realize they had a new sibling until the morning. It actually was perfect! Mom, dad, and new baby got a few hours to spend just them together and as the sibs woke up...they climbed on in bed w/ mom/dad and new baby! She went into early labor at about 8 p.m. and I was there just hanging with the kids. Then daddy came home and helped out and helped her and then the kids went down for bed and so did I....and then he was with his wife. A scenario like that would work okay for you as long as you could labor alone some with hubby working with your ds.

Do you have a friend or trusted relative you could call? You wouldn't necessarily 'have' to tell them it's a UC would you? Just call them to come and watch ds while you're "laboring at home". You know... it's common these day to labor as long as possible at home before going in
heldt123's Avatar heldt123 08:21 PM 06-26-2005
Thanks Holly, glad to here that things went well with baby at night.

Don't have any friends in the area. I've thought about calling the in-laws, but I'm not sure anyone would buy the laboring at home thing. My last labor was four hours and the hospital is a half-hour drive. We'll see, I might call them. I just don't want them freaking out and calling an ambulance or anything.
Aeriane's Avatar Aeriane 09:24 PM 06-26-2005
I'm not usually that controlled during labor to want my children there, I'd think the way I act would be scary. As much as I don't want to, I get a bit irrational at transition. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde :LOL The whole feeling like your spine is splitting in two thing really makes me : My stepdaughter, who's 20, is visiting late July until about Aug 18 and so I'm hoping SO so much that baby comes before she leaves because then there'll be an adult present and I can just GO! She'll probably get ticked that I assume she'll stay but honestly, it makes the most sense and I hope to convince her. She's bringing her new fiance' so perhaps she'll try to impress him and agree to it! She's still got a smidge of the teenage self-centered-ness.

The older kids have expressed an interest in being there but I'm not one to want to have them see me all naked etc. I don't know how they do those births on tv shows with Mom's all covered up etc. I end up with the gown tied at my neck and everything else showing...

Ok I"m rambling on and on. Suffice it to say..no, the children will not be there. KItty
Momsteader's Avatar Momsteader 09:34 PM 06-26-2005
Well Jamie...you could always plan to call the in-laws if it starts during the day....do they live far away? Perhaps your hubby could be persuasive about them needing to take Nathan to their house/the park/the zoo someplace else. So that you work on your early labor at home, and then head to the hospital and you'll call them at their place when you're all settled in You could always just call from home if it's taking "too long" and they'd be concerned....just let them know that this labor is totally different....and going sooo slowly....(hehehe even though you're actually at transition and dh had to run outside to make the call so they didn't hear you....lol).

I'm not one to invite too much worry about how it all will end up. Have a few possibilities available....and roll with it! Not sure how forceful your hubby can be with his parents, but if he can convince them in the above scenario...or something similar...it would work out fine. I wish people wouldn't freak out so badly about UC! My own mother (a nurse) threatened to call 911 if she called and realized I was in labor and wasn't heading in...oy!!!!!
hjshan's Avatar hjshan 11:07 PM 06-26-2005
Thanks for all the feedback! I like the idea of DS coming with us and being present during delivery. I just hope I will not scare him - this will be my first labor since he was breech 1st time around. Do you think DH can be the one to care for DS if I have a doula present? I just can't imagine having family around during labor - negativity and unwanted opinions, etc. Also, I really want this to be a special family time - just immediate. I made the mistake of allowing mother-in-law and others in too soon after DS was born and they just held him while he rooted and searched for my breast. I had to ask for him numerous times. Also, nothing like a vaginal exam in front of distant relatives. I think DS can handle it, you are so right about him not knowing what is scary or not (blood, etc.). He is very used to the medical environment, grandfather is ER doc and I am a RN - he pretends to be a nurse all the time. I just hope DH can handle it!
ChiroWife's Avatar ChiroWife 11:12 AM 06-27-2005
DD is almost 4. We are having a homebirth. My Mom will be here for sure, but she wants to be there when the baby is born. So MIL is going to come up (3.5 hr. drive) when we call her to be there for DD in case she doesn't want to be around for the birth and to attend to her needs. We are going to play it by ear as to whether or not DD is there for the birth. It's kind of up to her. If it is the middle of the night we probably won't wake her. I actually think it would be kind of cool for her to wake up and have a baby brother.
nancy926's Avatar nancy926 04:14 PM 06-27-2005
I am torn on this issue.

DD will be 2.75 (or so) when "Binky" is born. We've read the books, talked about birth a lot (though not about what Mommy might sound like), but haven't watched any videos of birth. Right now I'm planning to send her to the neighbor's house when things get intense...but part of me would really like her to stay. I will have to ask DH what he thinks. I don't want to ask the neighbor to come over here instead, because she has 22-mo-old twins and has plenty to take care of on her own. And the only local other person I'd be really comfortable with coming to our house is really allergic to our cat and can't be in the house for more than 5 min or so.

If DD does freak out and/or start crying, it will definitely affect me. I really just don't know how she'd take it.

She does think that the baby will be able to walk and talk right away, and that it won't need to share the milk (nursies). She said the baby "can have fruit and chocolate instead." She knows a couple of newborn babies so I'm not sure where all this is coming from...but I'm sure she'll work it out.
lilgreen's Avatar lilgreen 12:02 PM 06-28-2005
I highly recommend the book "Welcome with Love". It might be a little too old for your ds, but you could always modify the text and the illustrations are great. My ds (3) LOVES it and is finally interested in the baby again.

Best of luck!