UGH I keep getting pressured to have my two older kiddos taken somewhere else while I am in labor! - Mothering Forums
October 2010 > UGH I keep getting pressured to have my two older kiddos taken somewhere else while I am in labor!
Amila's Avatar Amila 12:41 AM 10-09-2010
This is just a rant. I have a 2 and 4 year old. I have some serious issues about being away from them, or leaving them with anyone but my husband. Our parents DO watch them once a month or so and we have date nights, but I generally am just not away from them. I also have major anxiety about people driving with them (even my husband). I know it is stupid. But I have yet to get over it, and I don't feel like I have to at this point.

Well my mom, sister, and even my husband now keep pressuring me to have the kids be elsewhere while I am in labor. I don't want this! I will be freaking out and worrying the whole time. We have a small house, but my mom will be here with them, upstairs, doing crafts and watching movies (or hopefully sleeping if it happens at night).

Is this awful and selfish of me? My daughter does have some anxiety about me being in pain, but I tend to be a quiet laborer.


holothuroidea 01:19 AM 10-09-2010
NO it is not selfish of you! The last thing you need to deal with during labor is the anxiety of having your children away from you!

Also, this birth is kind of a family event isn't it? I never understood why people think children shouldn't be around for a birth. Same thing for weddings and funerals... I just never got that. What are we protecting them from, life? Sheesh!
peainthepod's Avatar peainthepod 01:36 AM 10-09-2010
No, it is absolutely not selfish! I feel the same way about my two-year-old. I see no reason for him not to be here. I'm hoping to labor overnight so he can sleep through the whole thing, but if not my MIL has already agreed to keep him occupied in the yard or another part of the house. Knowing he was away from us for the first time ever would be hugely stressful for me!

Stand your ground, mama. You know better than anyone what you need during labor, and what will make you more comfortable. I'd gently say to your family, "I know you mean well, but this is what I need to be comfortable during labor. I want [DCs] to be here. Please don't ask me about it again, because all this pressure is starting to stress me out."

ILovePie's Avatar ILovePie 06:35 AM 10-09-2010
I think it's fine. My sister was present for my birth when she was almost 3. She's totally fine

DS1 sat with me and watched the video of my birth and he was fine with it. He even started talking about my mother by name (my mom has been dead for 16 years).

I have a friend whose 4y/o was present during her baby sister's birth -- it wasn't traumatizing. She just instructs other kids at school on how you're supposed to give birth (when you should be naked and when you should scream!).

I think it's wonderful!

I didn't want DS at a birth that was anything like his, because it was scary and not at all normal. But it would have been awesome to have him at his brother's birth (but it was the middle of the night, and I had a hospital birth).
GoBecGo's Avatar GoBecGo 07:02 AM 10-09-2010
i planned to have DD1 there, i too felt a lot of anxiety about her being away from me. but in the event i actually couldn't focus with her there, i had a weird labour (hyper alert, able to talk through all ctx except the last 2 when i was pushing, had to really concentrate to contract properly - turned out she had a knotted cord, and i think i was being primed to be able to save her if she got into trouble) and i did end up needing her to be elsewhere.

so i would say plan to have them there with you, but have a back-up plan too, just in case your labour demands a change of plan.
honeybee's Avatar honeybee 09:54 AM 10-09-2010
My kids have been in the house for my births. I don't see a need for them to go elsewhere. I think there is a birth energy that envelops everyone nearby, even if they are not present for the actual birth, and helps bond everyone to the baby. Ds1 was 2y 4 months and witnessed ds2's birth. I don't know how much he was able to see of the actual birth, but he did great watching from grandma's arms.

When ds3 was born, the boys were sleeping. It was just dh, me, and mw at the birth, which was really calm and peaceful and wonderful. But then we were able to wake the boys up to meet their new brother, and they were able to see him get measured and weighed, and check out the placenta.

I'm sure there are a lot of other factors involved, but all three of my boys are super close, and they've always loved the new baby right from the start. I'm not saying there is no sibling rivalry, or there weren't some transition issues, but it really seems minimal compared to other stories I've heard.

I think since you have a great plan for keeping them occupied and having grandma watch them, you're all set. I don't really have that set up this time, because my mom works a lot and can't leave at a moment's notice. But I still think we'll be fine.
rparker's Avatar rparker 06:19 PM 10-09-2010
I have the same "issues" with my 3 year old (including anxiety about her being driven places). She was in the same room for 75% of my labor yesterday and in the room immediately after the birth and onsite (hospital birth) the entire time. I think you'll be completely fine (and probably better than you would otherwise) having them at home for your home birth as long as there definitely is someone who can take them into another room if you require privacy and/or your husband's undivided attention.

That was my experience at least and it's still really recent I wanted her to be present for the actual birth, but I also ended up really wanting to be alone with my husband during transition and then ended up with a super short second stage that the birth attendants almost missed. IIRC she was present for the 3rd stage, but I'd have to ask my husband to verify. She definitely saw lots of blood and mess and had no issue with it.

Oh, if your kids are really looking forward to this be prepared for them to wake up and/or be too excited to sleep if you go into labor at night. We were co-sleeping when my water broke and once Alice heard that the baby would be born soon she lost all interest in sleep... despite it being the middle of the night.
BumkinsMum 06:52 PM 10-09-2010
It's your labor so you call the shots mama! If we have to have total strangers attend us in hospitals during labor (in some cases) then why would your kiddos not be welcome? It is a miraculous event and everyone should be a part of it

My 8yr old dd and 4yr old ds attended this last birth and my ds actually thought it was funny when mama 'growled' through her contractions... My dd was more uncomfortable being there seeing me 'concentrating' so she'd go out with her brothers and play in the living room between times, then we called her in when I started to push and they both got to see the birth. My mom was there as well 'just in case' and that's all I needed. All my births have been 'family/kiddo' friendly and like pp have said as long as you have a backup if things get challenging all will be well .
sheashea's Avatar sheashea 12:06 AM 10-10-2010
I have been back and forth about ds being there for the birth. He is almost 2yrs, 3 months. I'm not worried about my parents taking him - he loves his grandparents to bits and is very comfortable at their house. On the other hand, I am a bit anxious about him being upset during labour... not necessarily because I think he will be frightened by blood, etc., but he is very sensitive to my emotions. And I know that if he were upset or crying, it would be difficult for me to focus on labour. I'm also planning to hypnobirth, so I'm hoping to be pretty internally focussed.

Conversely, I really don't want to exclude ds from the birth. I was present for my brother's birth when I was 5 and I slept through my sister's lightning fast birth when I was 7, so I'm familiar with birth being a family affair from my own childhood. However, I know from last time that I don't want parents present in the house for the birth, so if my son stays home with us, we would rely on my sister for back-up and she doesn't drive. Hence, still undecided.

Interesting thread; It's good to read other's experiences/opinions.
treeoflife3's Avatar treeoflife3 12:36 AM 10-10-2010
My kiddo will be at the next birth almost guaranteed. And I don't even have the anxieties you do You aren't selfish and if you'd be more comfy with kiddos home, well then by golly why not?
MCatLvrMom2A&X's Avatar MCatLvrMom2A&X 12:50 AM 10-10-2010
Sounds like you have a perfect plan having them there with someone to tend to them as needed. I got a lot of grief about having dd at ds's birth from my parents but she was there with them watching her as needed and it turned out perfect. Your birth to do as you wish just ignore the nay sayers and enjoy your birth the way you want.
lovemyryguy's Avatar lovemyryguy 12:56 AM 10-10-2010
I chose a homebirth for my second baby for many reasons, one being my oldest would be just under 2 years, and I wasn't comfortable spending a few nights away from him in the hospital. He still nurses, and at that point I was the only person who had ever put him to bed. My mother came over (who he is very comfortable with) while I labored. Once my labor picked up, he went downstairs to play with her while I stayed in my bedroom upstairs. This was a "game time" decision for me. I wish I could have had him there the whole time, but I just couldn't. Towards the end, he did hear me "vocalizing" and my mom said he said "mama" in a kind of worried voice, and she told him I was fine, and then he was fine. As soon as the baby was born, I sent my husband down to get them, and it was a wonderful experience to have my oldest meet his new brother. Like others have said, its truly a family experience, and I think the more involved the older kids feel, the better.