Children at birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think we talked about this before...but maybe we did.

Anyway, I figured that my kids would be around if they wanted to come by and see what was going on. My kids will be just 6 yrs (girl) and almost 10 yrs (boy). I would prep them both.

Last night dh and I were discussing a little about it and I was surprised to hear that his gut impression is that we should discourage (esp the almost 10 boy) from coming to see "his naked mother."

Where are others on this? My son was present for my daughter's birth, but he was almost 4 at the time. I forget that they get bigger I guess. He may not want to be anywhere near this time. We haven't talked much about it yet.


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#2 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 09:46 AM
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I think that how you feel is what is most important.
My DS will be 10yo as well and we decided (with him) that the children will not be there. He would have a hard time with me in any pain and also doesn't want to see mama naked LOL!
I also like all the attention on me (like a hog) and if DD is there she likes to have daddy all to herself and that would be an issue for my selfish reasons.

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#3 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 12:08 PM
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Have you talked with your son about it? If you want him there, and he wants to be there, there are certainly ways he could be apart of the birth without being embarassed about the nakedness. Positioning him at your head toward the end of pushing so that he can see the baby lifted but would be out of the way, etc. I would take his lead in the matter, let him know he is welcome but not push the issue.

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#4 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 02:14 PM
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I agree that you should talk to your son about it. I wouldn't discourage or encourage him either way, but would ask him how he feels about it and allow him those feelings, even if they're not what you hoped they would be.

My kids won't be at my birth and never have been. Ideally, I'd like them to walk in and see little bit *right after* birth, like within 15 minutes, but realistically I don't know how likely that is if I'm in the hospital. Last time Silas was born at 10:00 and they came to see him at 7 the next morning or so. They were already in bed at my friend's house by the time he was born and I didn't want to disturb them.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#5 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 02:19 PM
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I agree with asking him his thoughts.. My oldest two are 9 and 10 and if they wanted to stay, they could but if they didn't then that would be fine too. I always make it their decision. I honestly don't think my 10 yr old ds would be up for seeing that.

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#6 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 02:30 PM
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I'd leave it up to him if he wants to attend. I don't think mom being naked really matters, and honestly during birth, it's so secondary. My oldest (12) watched her sister being born, but it certainly wasn't the first time, recently at least, that she's seen me naked. But also she'd never seen me quite *that* naked before though.

I left it open is she wanted to be there or not. She said she didn't and ended up watching the whole thing.

Karen happily married mother of 3 great children (19, 6, 5), in my last semester for my Masters in Nutrition and started a six-month internship.
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#7 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 03:11 PM
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We will start watching births on video in February or so, and then discuss with DS (6.5y.) and DD (3y) what they want to do. I somehow have the feeling/confidence things will just work out allright.....when DD was born, DS slept right through it, beginning to end, we woke him up to meet his sister only after the m/w was gone and we were ready to crash in bed (DD was born at 11:30 p.m.). So either this one will be born at night, or when DS is in school, I suspect. Should he be home, I expect he'll choose to watch one of his favourite DVDs when time comes, while I expect that DD wants to be around. Well, let's review this once the baby has been born!

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#8 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I really appreciate it.

I just asked the kids and my dd wants to be there, my ds wants to play video games, but might want to peek in. Doesn't seem to have strong feelings either way. We reviewed where the baby comes out.

I really don't care either way, but wouldn't want to ship them off if they wanted to be around. I think they'll be fine in the house and if they want to come and see they can.

I have the Children At Birth book by Marjie and Jay Hathaway. Just skimming through it last night it talked about where the child is positioned. I think that will be a good thing to remember. Invite the child to a place where they are there, but not necessarily getting too much to see.

Thanks again. If anyone else has older kid stories, keep them coming!

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#9 of 15 Old 11-13-2009, 11:54 AM
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For me, its been different with each birth. Each time my kids have said without a doubt that they WANT to be there though. It'd be different if they didn't want to.

My ds was asleep in the room nextdoor when I had the surro babe, my dd was in the room but only 18 months old so I don't think she understood anything.

With Pai, they were asleep but my ds was woken up by my noisiness. I had decided not to wake them up, but since he woke up on his own, it was fine. He ended up standing just inside the door-he didn't want to watch THAT closely, but still wanted to be there. We woke up his sister immediately afterwards and she got to see her right away too. It was nice

They all wanted to be there for my youngest as well but I ended up having no one there (surprise cesarean at 33 weeks). Not that they could've been in the room with a cesarean anyway .

Anywho, they very much want to be there again, so barring any problems, they will be. My ds is 9, will be closer to 10 by then, but he still wants to be there. I think it helps that he's A.) been there before and B.) I've watched hundreds of birth videos on my computer and they've all seen quite a few-I think that helps up the comfort level. I also would never force any of them to watch the baby come out. They can stand where they feel comfortable. They know where the baby comes out and what happens. At the same time though, I'm not a shy person and while I don't parade around naked, my kids do see me naked from time to time-mainly in the tub or after a shower when I forgot to get my clean clothes (lol). So the nudeness isn't a big deal either.

I would always leave it up to the child though. If they are very sure, I think they should be allowed to be there. If they are the opposite, they shouldn't. And if they are in the middle, perhaps a bit more education and talking is needed. But regardless, it should be the child's decision (provided mama is ok with them being there as well!)

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#10 of 15 Old 11-15-2009, 02:46 AM
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My 12 year old daughter has chosen not to watch the birth. She will be attending her 2 year old brother instead. They will both be at the house though.

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#11 of 15 Old 11-16-2009, 10:45 PM
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My girls want to be there, my son doesn't care. I want someone there to attend to their needs (I want DP to be able to help, and not be pulled away by a hungry child right when I need him. )
If they are curious and are in the bedroom or where the birthing tub is, then I would encourage them to stay...

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#12 of 15 Old 11-27-2009, 09:31 PM
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My son was here when my dd was born, but he was not yet 3 at the time. Now he is getting close to 7, so he may have different feelings about it. My 3yo daughter really really wants to see. I don't think it will be a very big deal for him, though as I haven't birthed the other two completely naked - both times were with pj's on. This time I plan to wear a binsi skirt and tank top just to make sure ds will not feel uncomfortable. (And I won't either!) Not sure how many people will be here, but for sure dh, my sister, midwife and her apprentice. Possibly a friend or two as well. Anyway, the kids each have their own rooms, so if they don't want to be around they can go play...

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#13 of 15 Old 11-27-2009, 10:44 PM
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My dd/5 and ds/7 want to be there so bad, in fact dd wants to hold my hand and ds wants to cut the cord , but my eldest dd/11 does not want to be there at all. She has not wanted to be at any of our births, and I've thought about not letting her know that I am in labor, but she knows before I do that when I'm going to have the baby! I might let your boy decide if he wants to be there, and if not, he can go play video games! Just give him an out if he gets uncomfortable.

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#14 of 15 Old 11-28-2009, 04:24 PM
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My daughter was in the house when my son was born, but not in the room. I really needed her not to be near me in labor for some reason. Then I hemorrhaged so it was good she wasn't there. Dh took ds to see her while I was lying on the floor. It was good for him to be out of there (he has some PTSD from ds's birth) at that time and let the midwives do their thing. Dd was 27 months when ds was born.

With this baby, neither will be there and I'm okay with that. This baby will be a hospital birth because of my hemorraging issues (I've done it both times now) and I want to be near the happy blood products just in case. The hospitals have no one under 18 except patients rule so they won't be able to see him at all in person until we are relased. I'm hoping we'll be able to teach my mom how to use video instant messanger so they'll see him on the computer.

Mama of three.
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#15 of 15 Old 11-29-2009, 12:22 PM
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DS was at the birth center, but not in the room when DD was born. My parents hung out with him in the kitchen/play area they have. As soon as she was born they all came in the room. He was not quite 3 and was pretty sensitive, and I'm not sure he would have been ready, even though my birth w/ her was pretty calm.

This time around he'll have just turned 6 when the baby arrives. He wasn't initially into the idea of being in the room (kept saying he'd play w/ the Mr. Potato head that he played with when I was in labor with DD...a toy they have at the birth center). But my DD, who will be just over 3 when this baby is born, has baby fever, watches birth videos all of the time, etc. and wants to be in the room, cut the cord, etc. so now DS says he wants to be there too. I don't know how DD will actually react in the moment though. Our birth center's policy is that kids must have an adult attendant, so my parents will be there and we'll just see how things are going w/ whether or not to have them in the room. They both like watching birth videos right now though.
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