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.
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!
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."
Loving wife and mama to my sweet little son (Fall 2008) and a beautiful baby girl (Fall 2010)
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 .
E & K (13yrs) and our flock of 6!
"Hey little one, why don't you go get cleaned up, you look like a country bumkin."
"Mum, I am a country bumkin"
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.
SAHMlovin' to DD 10/00 & DS 10/04 If your son is intact, keep him safe, visit the Intact Care forum Circ, a personal choice, Your SONS 11/98 6/99 Thyroid cancer survivor. With 5 & 2 Boxers wishing for
Kara, SAHM to two wonderful boys (7/08 & 5/10)