Kids at birth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-13-2008, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How are you preparing them and how old are they? I don't know if mine will or will not end up being in the room, but I know DS is very interested and has asked several times if he can watch, or if he can hold my hand (he does know that it will hurt and there will be a lot of blood, but that it's okay).
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Since Levi was cesarean, my kids weren't present, but DD1 was 6 y/o when DD2 was born and she was present. We talked (very up front) about sex and where babies come from and how they come out. We also watched natural birth videos together. She went to a few of my midwife appts with me as well and got to help measure, use the doppler, etc. She loved being a part of the experience and was disappointed that she couldn't attend her brother's birth this summer. She now wants to be a midwife when she grows up! During DD2's birth, she reassured the midwife that it was just "extra blood" and was the only one of us who was interested in the placenta.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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with the ages your kids are i would guess their attention span for anything, even something as amazing as birth, is very very short. i would suggest you have a friend or grandparent come over to hang out with them if it's happening when they are awake.

my son was 4 when we went to my friend's birth and her daughter was 3 and they were so over it after like 2 seconds, they wanted to go play! my son, now age 7, remembers the birth as being "weird and disgusting and why was andy wiping maari's butt?", lol. he certainly wasn't scared as far as i could tell, he was just not interested.

i have arranged to have my dad come over and hang out with DS age 7 and DSS age 6 and DSS age 7.5 if they are awake and if they are even here- we have shared custody so it's very possible none of the kids will be here. i might call my son's dad and have him bring over DS if i am in labour during the day and he is at his dad's house cause i want him to meet his sister asap. i have been watching homebirth movies on YouTube with DSS age 6 who is very interested in it all but the other two could care less.

my midwives said their experience with kids at birth is that kids usually find it ammusing and boring. kids don't think of it as a big deal like us adults because they really have no context for it, people are just born, ya know? they hopefully havent heard lots of drama and scary stuff about birth yet so they really just see it as it is; a natural bodily function that is hard work for mom and not all that interesting for them!

oh, one thing my midwives said is that it seems like birth often or almost always happens in the middle of the night and then they kids wake up instinctively just as the baby is coming out.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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I went back and forth. At one point I was dead set against the kids being there. Then I softened my stance, discussed it with them, and gave them the choice. Neither has any desire to be there. They can't wait to see the baby later, and are looking forward to hanging out with Papa.

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Old 10-13-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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So far, the "plan" is to have DS go to my in-laws. He's almost 3. For me, it just doesn't sound relaxing to have him around trying to play, getting hungry, yelling "PEE-PEE" at the top of his lungs and running off, etc. If it happens overnight and he's asleep we may just leave him be. We'll see!

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Old 10-13-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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DS (2.5) says he wants to be there, and I will likely have another fast labor but I am hoping it happens while he's asleep and he wakes up while I'm pushing or right after. We only have one friend who is able to watch him and she's not keen on sticking around, so she'd take him back to her place. I'm sure I won't care at the time but I don't know, I guess we're just not that close.

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Old 10-13-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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My daughter was almost 4 when she watched the birth of her younger brother. She loved it and actually said "Thank you mommy for my baby brother" when he was born. Everyone teared up it was so sweet. We watched a few videos and she knew that I might scream. I did scream and when it was over, I'd smile at her and say "I'm ok, don't worry" and she would say "ok" She didn't seem too traumatized at the time, but for awhile afterwards, she was very concerned with her own eventual pregnancy. I assured her that it wouldn't happen unless she wanted it to and eventually, she stopped thinking about it. My son was almost 6 at that time and not interested in the baby's birth at all. He slept through it, but woke up very early in the morning to see the baby and thought that was cool that we had him while he was sleeping.

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Old 10-14-2008, 05:32 AM
 
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DD will be there. She is adamant about seeing "our baby come out of your vagina". I really want her there as well. I had a 6 hour labor with her and I am already dilating and effacing with this one, so I think it will be very fast. She has seen many birth videos. I have explained what happens during labor. Although, my birth plan may have changed, so I have explained that as well. She can't wait to meet her sibling. She has been very connected to him/her this whole pregnancy.

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Old 10-14-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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This has been a source of a lot of discussion in our house. DD is 17 months and historically has not been the most patient of children, lol, so while DH and I were totally hoping that she would be able to be there (so that our whole family unit could be present to welcome this babe into the world) we weren't sure that DD would be up for it. However, her disposition and patience has been improving tremmedously as of late (I think she is getting less frustrated these days because she is starting to be able to verbally express herself to us) and when I had a couple of scares this pg she has been with me at the MW and the hospital and behaved wonderfully, so we are cautiously hopeful that she will be able to be there. Right now the plan is for us all to go to the birth center together, and for DH and DD to be present during labor if they/I want or as long as Em holds it together, and if she melts down DH plans on having all of her loveys and care items plus ample snacks, etc. to keep her entertained in a separate room until it is time for the birth, then my MW will grab them so they can be there when Pen is born. Our backup plan for if Em is sleeping when I go into labor or is really not in the right mood (for those of you with toddlers, I'm sure ykwim, lol) then my MW's daughter (who's our sitter) has agreed to come anytime day or night to watch her for us...so, yeah I think it is a tough decision if you have LOs at home, depending on their ages and temperments, good luck mamas with your decisions!!

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Old 10-14-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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I would love it if our son was at our homebirth but I am not attached to it in any way. We're setting things up so that he can choose when the time comes (by having someone designated to be there for him to take him out/play/explain/work on birth project/etc.). He will be almost three and is quite curious about my big belly and how the baby will come into the world.

In terms of preparation, we answer his questions as they arise, talk about what will happen, read books and talk about his homebirth.

Some other things we are planning to do as my EDD approaches: watch birth videos, role play, look at photos from his birth and just continue to treat it like the natural miracle it truly is!
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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I'd actually figured we'd have DS#1 (4) there but not DS#2 (2) because I didn't think DS#2 would do well. But now DS#1 tells me he doesn't want to see the baby get born, and I think DS#2 would actually do ok. He loves coming to my appts and seeing/hearing the baby and is very interested in the baby, whereas DS#1 isn't as interested. So we will just see. I will leave it open to both of them if they want to be in the room or not at the time.

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