Older Sibling Present for Birth - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
cindyleed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 96
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm wondering what you would say the benefits were for you or your older child to be present at the birth of their new sibling. I'm contemplating having my 3 year old present for my next birth. Well, actually he'll be pretty close to 3.5 at the time of birth in Dec.

I think personally he'd find it a really cool experience. He's very into talking about the baby and discussing how it will be when the baby is here. He's been very interested in learning all about how the baby grows in utero and has asked a few times about how the baby comes out. We've been very open and honest and he knows all about the "bilical cord" and the when the baby is ready to come out mommy will have "labor pains" and it will come out of my "gina". We've discussed with him as openly as possible what labor might be like and I asked him if he'd like to be there and he says yes. Even though he knows it might not be pretty, there may be some blood and mommy might seem very upset or be loud.

Also we are having a hospital waterbirth attended by a Midwife, if that makes any difference. I believe there is a preparation class that he will need to take if we do allow him at the birth. It might also be worth saying that if the labor/birth is at an inconvient time for him, such as the middle of the night, I wouldn't have him there. Or obviously if things go horribly wrong or I just feel different then I thought I would at the time. And lastly I don't really have a huge interest in him being present for all my labor, mostly I just think it'd be good for him to be present at the actual birthing part.

I think it could help him with bonding and it'd be an interesting learning/life experience for him. I also think it'd be kind of a neat whole family first experience. But this is just speculation. So, what are the real benefits you think your children have gained from this experience? My husband is semi "wishy-washy" about the idea. He's not completely opposed to it, but on the other hand he doesn't see any real benefits to having our son present, other then to please me. His point is what's the major difference going to be if our son gets to meet the new baby a few minutes after the birth as opposed to seeing it all happen? I honestly don't have a real answer besides, I think it'd be a cool experience for him to have with our family and his new brother/sister.
On a slightly seperate thought- I do have my MIL currently lined up to be able to chaperon him during the event. But I'm not completely comfortable with this idea because she (although she's agreed to do it) doesn't personally think it's a great idea and that it could possibly be upsetting or tramatic for him. I could ask my own Mom (whom I'm almost certain would be more then thrilled and on board with the idea) but for some reason I'm not as okay myself with the idea of her being present for the birth.
cindyleed is offline  
#2 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 12:10 PM
 
WetMntMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Wet Mountains, Co
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wish I had advice, am looking forward to what others experiences have been, planning my homebirth in a few weeks and depending on what time this baby comes I may not have a support person for my almost3 y/o. Someone can pick her up and take her to their house, but I am very attached to the idea of her being present for birth, my midwife can bring her assistant, and if I labor the same way, my partner will be free to help dd as needed. I just hope she doesn't want to climb in the tub with me!

SAHM to dd 12/07, ds 12/10, 4 dogs, 3 cats and happy partner to Matttreehugger.gif
WetMntMomma is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Qbear'smama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: between the two solitudes
Posts: 1,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I posted a similar question in the I'm Pregnant forum and got some good advice, sorry I dont have time to locate it now, if I find it later I will attach the link. My 4 year old wants to be there and I was surprised but agreed. I would be concerned about your MIL's position on this and how it will affect his experience of being there. For me it was of utmost importance to find her a support person who was fine with her being there, was fine with natural birth and so would have the sense of when to take her from the room, but also when to explain things that were going on in a casual way so she wouldn't be scared. None of my relatives would be able to be cool about the birth, I think they would freak her out unnnecessarily and my MW pointed out that at a birth, anxiety is contagious so I wanted very much to avoid that vibe. She said the child looks to those around them to figure out how to react; if your MIL thinks it will be traumatic for your DS, if you are making noise or what have you, she may transmit something negative to him about it or want to hustle him out of the room rather than be casual "oh, Mommy's working hard to get the baby out, how exciting!" or somthing like that. I don't want her there for the whole thing, either, just the end, but she may be around in the birthing centre during labour. My MW is supportive and doesn't think it would be traumatic, as long as those around her don't present it as such.

I don't really know what the difference is, but I offered DD to be there shortly after the birth and she said no, she wanted to see the baby come out. I guess it will be cool for her to know she was there when her brother was born and I do think it will help with bonding and making her a part of the experience, rather than apart from it.

Mama to DD 4/06 notes2.gif  new DS stork-boy.gif born 17/12/10 familybed2.gifnovaxnocirc.gif
Qbear'smama is offline  
#4 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 01:48 PM
 
starshine1001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Foggy, smoggy Fresno
Posts: 1,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My son was 3.5 when his brother was born, and he was there. He pretty much just chilled and played and stayed away up until the end...but when he knew that his brother was coming out, he really wanted to be there! I had a waterbirth, so it's not like he saw me all splayed out, etc. His summary of the birth story was "We went to Miss Harmony's house (the birthing home), and waited a really long time, then Mommy said "AHH!" in the yucky water (there was some blood) and Gavin came out!!" He told everyone who would listen that story. He wasn't traumatized at all, but then he wasn't forced to be there, either. We just let him come and go as he pleased.

He adapted really well to having a sibling, and really loves his brother. I don't know if that has anything to do with the fact that he was there, but I'd like to think it did. Now he can't wait for Connor to be born...he keeps asking when he's going to come out...we're having a homebirth. He's 6 now, and the other day he told me with the most serious face "Mom, if I'm outside playing when Connor is ready to come out, you had BETTER come and get me!"

Jess ~ RN & student CNM, Blogger (see profile), wifey to T-Rav & momma to sons Buggy ~7/04 & Newt ~1/08 & Tad 6/19/09 & Con-man 1/11!  <3
starshine1001 is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 10-26-2010, 04:29 PM
 
Fat Scottish Gal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: somewhere in the middle of America
Posts: 458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It really depends very much on your family dynamic, how mature your son is, how confident he is or how much work he'd be in the labor room etc.
I always found the hardest part of my hospital births was saying goodbbye to my kids. I never usually leave them and it really upset me to have to leave them with babysitters/grandparents. I would cry and cry and it would stop my contractions. That's just how I am though.

We had planned for them to go to a neighbors for last homebirth. They would be a few steps away, with one of their favorite friends, and they could come back as soon as the baby was born. As it turned out, I went into labor in the night while they slept and I had a very fast labor so they never went to a baby sitters. My then 6 year old woke up in time for the birth and she even filmed it for us! The midwife hadn't arrived yet, and my daughter was a trooper. It was incredibly bonding. We hadnt prepared her for being there since we hadn't planned it. But it worked out great.

This time we are not planning on babysitters. I'm hoping for another night time labor, and am a little conserned that if my kids are up and about and demanding attention, I'll switch into Mommy mode and it will slow down labor. I'm not sure if you are wired the same way, some women are so laid back and can labor easily with their kids in the room. I'm not sure how I'd do with that. You should take that into consideration. Will you have good helpers in the room?

Yes there were benefits with having my 6 year old there. She was helpful and it was a great experience for her. A 3 year old, I'm not sure what the benefits to him would be as he's probably too young to gain much from the experience. But I don't know him so I can only generalize. For me, the main benefit of having my kids here is I don't have to take them to a babysitter and stress about missing them.

Scottish Expat Mummy to: 1 angel and 5 earthlings (4 girls, 2 boys)
Fat Scottish Gal is offline  
#6 of 12 Old 10-27-2010, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
cindyleed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 96
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qbear'smama View Post
I would be concerned about your MIL's position on this and how it will affect his experience of being there. For me it was of utmost importance to find her a support person who was fine with her being there, was fine with natural birth and so would have the sense of when to take her from the room, but also when to explain things that were going on in a casual way so she wouldn't be scared. None of my relatives would be able to be cool about the birth, I think they would freak her out unnnecessarily and my MW pointed out that at a birth, anxiety is contagious so I wanted very much to avoid that vibe.
This is what I'm sort of worried about. I honestly think my son will be fine with it. MIL is generally for natural childbirth, at least in most repects. She did have 2 vaginal drug free births herself. But she actually said to me that if she thinks things are getting "out of control" that she would take him out. I replied back to her that of course I don't want him there if I think things are getting too chaotic for him or that he's not dealing well, but that I don't want her to make that call herself especially if I think things are going fine. I think and am hoping that if she attends the preperation class with him maybe she'll get some guidance there. Obviously if things were way out of hand, the midwives would probably sugguest he leave. I obviously need to talk to her about it some more though or possibly find a new chaperon for him.
cindyleed is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 10-27-2010, 05:04 PM
 
MyFullHouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 593
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I considered it last time, but decided against it at the last minute. For me, it came down to the fact that I wasn't confident in my two options for caretakers. I worried that one might find herself overwhelmed and want to step out, and the other might NOT want to step out if the kids got overwhelmed. It was too big a risk for me. If I had more faith in the people/person watching them, I think I would have attempted it.

As it turned out, I delivered just after midnight, and there were a few scary moments. Because of the time, it probably wouldn't have mattered. But if it had been earlier and they were there, I don't know what my sil or mil would have done, or how annoyed I would have become with them!

So, yeah, for me, it comes down to the caretakers.

Carrie .. 
Raising a full house- Kings (12, 3, new) over Queens (8, 7)
 
MyFullHouse is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 11-01-2010, 05:43 PM
 
Bebegim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 312
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My almost-4 year old daughter will be present. Anyone who seems to be handling it poorly will be out until the head crowns. I dont want DD to pick up on their fears. She is very intuitive. Im probably going to put my super hippie sister in charge of being my DD's "birth partner." While my sister and I dont really get along in real life, I know she is behind me 100% with the natural childbirth stuff, so no negativity and fear will be passed to DD. My mother (who had 1 terrible natural childbirth experience in a hospital and 2 pleasant medicated ones) is super negative about the idea. Although, not very vocal, emotions dont need to be verbalized to be read by my DD.

i say go for it. no better way to share lifes beauty with your kids then letting them see their sibling born. i have been preparing DD ever since we decided to do the homebirth, by watching home and water birth videos online with her. She very matter-of-factly told my midwife that her "brother will come out of my mommy's vagina, because thats where babies come from." haha, cracked me up. i think preparing your LO in advance by letting him watch online videos of other babies being born might help. So, you can explain you might yell or scream, but sometimes when people are really excited and working really hard on a project they need to yell a bit.

Worst case scenario, DD starts to freak out and we send her upstairs to hangout with grandpas and uncles who aren't interested in seeing the whole event either

Lauren , DH , DD 02/2007 and expecting #2 (12/7/10)! We
Bebegim is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 11-01-2010, 10:23 PM
 
northcountrymamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: in our magical forest
Posts: 1,154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My dd will be present...mind you it's a totally different scenario with her being nearly 7 when the babe comes. However, this is what I have in mind...

my sister is going to be her "birth partner" and while she has never been to a birth, has no children of her own (nor does she intend to have any), has no idea of what natural childbirth is all about....her perspective is that she wants to be able to be there for dd to process what she experiences in the moment. I thought for a while it might be helpful to have my sister read through books, watch a few videos etc...but in the end I know and just trust that she will know how to nurture dd when she needs a helping hand with what is going on. I am sharing this because it really does come down to trust. I think the person that is going to be the child's birth partner really needs to be someone that you trust to just know how to help your LO be present to the extent that they want to be, to process their experience and to understand and read your child's cues in a similar way that you yourself would. I don't think my sister's lack of childbirth expereinces matters nearly as much as her respect for what I want for dd and what dd needs.

All this said, the most important part is preparing dd. She has watched about 10 homebirth videos with us, has been reading about birth with me and DP, has a few children's books about homebirth and has been to every midwife appt to get to know the midwives. She has also had some time with our doula to get to know her. We have explained what the experience could look like in all different scenarios and gone through the details of homebirth and hospital birth in the situation that we are transfered. She has been joining us in the preparation process all along and it has been great for her understanding of what is coming. She even listens to my hypnobirthing affirmations each morning on our drive to school/work. Tonight I was standing over a stool and stretching my back and swaying my hips and she intuitively stood behind me and rested her head on my hips and swayed along with me. She didn't say a word, it was a very precious moment...I think in her mind she was just practicing.

Sorry...this turned long, just wanted to share what I think can be an amazing experience for children to welcome their siblings into this world. My personal view is that by involving them we help them to transition more easily into having a younger sibling. We help them to see that they have an important role in the family as the older sibling...it helps them to recognize that they are not only there to watch so to speak, but to welcome and enjoy the baby coming earthside.

earth honouring, tree hugging, yogi mamma to dd - my forest faerie (Feb/04) and ds - our new little bean born peacefully at home (01/02/11)
 
 
 
northcountrymamma is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 11-01-2010, 11:06 PM
 
MyLittleWonders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Always learning something new.
Posts: 8,275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My older two were present when ds#3 was born. In retrospect, I would not have had them there. My mw's apprentice was awesome with them (she took them out of the room when they got scared, etc.), but I was the one that had the most problems. They definitely did not like hearing me in pain (they are pretty sensitive to me being sick, etc.), and they still talk about it to this day, but more than that, I was not able to stop being their mom (worry about them) to be able to focus on the birth itself. Ds#3 came hard and fast and I think it would have been a more positive experience for me had I been able to focus on what was going on with me instead of worrying about how my older two were handing the whole thing.

All that said, this time all three boys are going to my mom's house. I learned a lot about myself last time and realized my need to focus completely trumped my desire to have my children experience the birth of their sibling (I agree in theory with having them there, but it just doesn't work for me). So, I wanted to just throw that out there ... though the children might do well handling it, it may get in your way of being able to be fully present with what is happening to you.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
and dd born 11/21/10 - our T21 SuperBaby ribbluyel.gif heartbeat.gif
MyLittleWonders is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 11:59 AM
 
Qbear'smama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: between the two solitudes
Posts: 1,239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
I was not able to stop being their mom (worry about them) to be able to focus on the birth itself. Ds#3 came hard and fast and I think it would have been a more positive experience for me had I been able to focus on what was going on with me instead of worrying about how my older two were handing the whole thing.

... though the children might do well handling it, it may get in your way of being able to be fully present with what is happening to you.
This is something my MW asked me, whether I would be able to focus with DD there and I do worry that she may distract me, but I am hoping I can focus on what I need to do and that her caregiver will be there for her in the way she may want me to, if I can't. I trust her caregiver to handle things and everyone in the room can help her understand what is happening to me if I am 'in the zone'. Worst case scenario, she plays with her caregiver in another room til her brother comes. DD is very decisive and she is the one who really wants to be there, by the same token she can/may very well decide she wants out when things go down.

Mama to DD 4/06 notes2.gif  new DS stork-boy.gif born 17/12/10 familybed2.gifnovaxnocirc.gif
Qbear'smama is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 02:58 PM
 
venusthrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Asylum
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DDCC

I won't being have my girls there. My oldest is so excited about births and labor and delivery and loves watching her sister's birth video but then I take her to a doctor's appointment and she freaks out about mommy being on the bed and if mommy is okay. She might be okay if I educated her more about what is going on but honestly I worry that I will get too stressed out and won't focus on relaxing while giving birth. Plus honestly as much as she would love it I think she would have more fun at her grandparents house.

Mandy, Mama to three wildfire girls and another little one on the way. Due 1/30/13

venusthrow is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off