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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seriously considering allowing my son (he'll be 8 when the baby is born) be present at the birth. I am hoping for a home birth this time (I had planned it with him but had to go in to hospital due to high blood pressure) and I feel like it isn't really fair to kick him out of his house while his little brother or sister is being born. I haven't told him about the baby yet but I think he might find it a bit hard to come to terms with after being an only child for so long and I think involving him as much as possible would help him. When my partner's little nephew was born recently and he had to go and look after his toddler niece my son said when he has a sibling he wants to be there. He's very scientifically minded and not bothered by blood or anything and I think he'd find it interesting and would be delighted to be first to hold the baby.
My mum will be there to look after him and if I had to go to hospital he'd stay at home, but at home if he was uncomfortable or bored he could go to his room. I wasn't loud in labour with him.
I mentioned it to my midwife and she thought it'd be nice if it was what everyone wanted. We are advised here (UK) to birth at home if everything is normal so it's not a very unusual situation but people seem to have *very* strong opinions on it!!

I just wondered if anyone else had considered it, really!
 

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Birthing is a huge family event for us. Aside from my husband, there was at least 3-4 people with us at all times. So I'm thinking having my daughter (who will be one then) with us would make sense. Anyone who typically babysits her will be there, and she has issues being away from me for more then a couple of hours. And my OB is completely supportive of the idea. Birthing is natural, and exposing her to things is better than hiding life.

Part of why we chose our OB is because of how open he is to things, and how he values our choices. And he loved the family environment we created last year in the delivery room.
 

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My son will be 4 when his sibling is born. I don't think I'll want him present, because when he is around I find myself responding to his needs a lot. I think I will want a break to focus on giving birth. I can't wait to introduce him to his new sibling after the birth, though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My son is very independant and my mum will be there to deal with his needs so I don't think that will be a problem for me. I think if he was much younger It would be a harder decision to make though. I'm pretty sure nothing would have distracted me from labour last time!
 

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My oldest son, who was about 2 1/2 at the time, was present for all of the laboring but decided he wanted to go do something else when I was pushing. We did a lot of preparation for him, which I think helped him both prepare for the process of labor, as well as for actually having a brother. We talked a lot about what labor would be like, that I would make lots of funny noises and do funny dances. We also showed him photo montages and videos of births which we found on the internet (I previewed all of them, and we started with the ones that were totally not graphic and had music in the background, then moved on to ones that were more graphic and had the actual sounds of labor). I think the most 'traumatic' moment of all of the prep we did was something that seemed totally innocuous to me when I previewed the video: it was a photo montage where there was an older brother there while his mother labored. When I pointed out to my son that he would be an older brother just like that little boy, he started sobbing and it took him over a week to readjust to normal. I think that was the moment that he wasn't watching videos like when he was born, but that there would be another baby coming.

Anyway, I think we had a lot less sibling rivalry and that my son was far better prepared to step into the big brother role than he would have been had we just shown up with a baby and a deflated tummy one day. We plan on doing something similar this time around.
 

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I'm still considering this. My son with be 2 1/2. I think it would be nice to have him stay at home during the birth (assuming we don't have to transfer to the hospital like last time) but I am worried about not being able to concentrate enough with him there. I think we won't decide for sure for a few more months.
 

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I'm still considering this. My son with be 2 1/2. I think it would be nice to have him stay at home during the birth (assuming we don't have to transfer to the hospital like last time) but I am worried about not being able to concentrate enough with him there. I think we won't decide for sure for a few more months.
Hi ItyBity, I had the same concern. We would up agreeing that anyone (me, husband, midwife... anyone) could ask that he be taken out to play. And he had his own doula to monitor how he was doing and explain things to him, who could also unilaterally take him out. As a result, by the time we got to the birth I was confident that if I was distracted, he'd be taken somewhere else, or if there was an emergency he'd be taken out of the room, etc.

I think it's important, though, to realize that having children there isn't something you have to do... it's something you should do only if it's something you really want. I think having too many people, of any age, around when you're laboring can be stressful and inhibit your ability to just give birth.
 

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For us, DD will only be 23 months and I honestly can't imagine having here there, lol. If she was older it's something I'd like to do (especially if I were at home, which would make it way easier), but I'm afraid at her age I'd be distracted by her neediness and I also think it would upset her to see me in pain since she won't be old enough to understand why.

But if your son is 8, I think it's a great idea, as long as you have enough people there who can explain things to him, look out for him, etc. For DD's birth my husband, mother and sister were all present and I loved having all my family there to help welcome her into the world. It was such a special moment for everyone. But I know for some people that's stressful. All depends how you respond!
 

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When DS was born, DD was 23 months. I don't think she would have done well at the birth. For this baby, she would probably do well (almost 5 then) but DS is very clingy and territorial of me and I don't know how he would do (will be almost 3). We don't know what we are doing with them yet for the next birth.
 

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My oldest son is 13 and has already asked if he can be at the birth. My husband is a little hesitant, but I think it's awesome that he wants to be there. How many teenage boys want to do that? Lol He's old enough that he could go play on his phone in the waiting room if I wanted him out. We'll see.
 

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I'm okay with having my daughter there if she wants to be there, I just have to figure out if we'll have someone there to help with her. When my youngest niece was born at home, I was in charge of the three older girls, and they did fine with it, though only the youngest stayed awake through most of it. My daughter will be 3.5, so I think she will understand enough of what is going on. We haven't discussed it with her yet though, so as we get closer I'll sort of discuss it with her and read some books with her and see what she thinks. Then if she is interested, I'll start prepping her with some videos as well. That all worked out well for my sister who had basically the same age gap.
 

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My son is 4 and I plan to have him there. He was born at home, and we are looking forward to another home birth. He loves watching the video of his own birth, and I can't imagine him not wanting to be around for this one. My sister in law and mother in law were there for his birth, and will be there to help with him. I'm looking forward to it, and I also think the transition to big brother will be easier for him if he is there and a part of it. I definitely understand those who don't want their kids present, though. If he were not so independent and more clingy to me, I couldn't - there's no way I could have him needing me during the birthing!
 

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Love this thread! My DD will be 3.5 years when #2 comes along. She is a "mature" 3 year old already, but am definitely worried about being able to stay focused on my own needs if she is present, but I want to make that option available. She is baby CRAZY right now. She "checks" me everyday with the stethoscope, constantly snuggles "sprout", and in general talks about being a big sister quite a lot. She is pumped.

I'm wondering if those that mentioned books and video clips could share the books and links to videos? I'd love to see the resources you are sharing with your LO's in preparation!
 

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I'm wondering if those that mentioned books and video clips could share the books and links to videos? I'd love to see the resources you are sharing with your LO's in preparation!

This is a link to the list of slideshows and videos that I mainly worked from to prep my older child a couple of years ago -- still make sure you preview before you view with your child. We found that DS preferred to watch the same video over and over prior to moving to the next one. http://codenamemama.com/2011/09/30/natural-birth-videos/

This is the book we read every night: Baby on the Way http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Way-Sears-Childrens-Library/dp/0316787671/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435687601&sr=8-1&keywords=baby+on+the+way

This is a book a homebirthing mama friend of mine read to her kids every night. We tried it but the paragraphs were too long for my son at the time. I loved it, though, and cried :) Hello Baby. Unfortunately, it's out of print. http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Baby-Jenni-Overend/dp/1845071107/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1435687629&sr=8-4&keywords=homebirth+children%27s+book
 

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This is a link to the list of slideshows and videos that I mainly worked from to prep my older child a couple of years ago -- still make sure you preview before you view with your child. We found that DS preferred to watch the same video over and over prior to moving to the next one. http://codenamemama.com/2011/09/30/natural-birth-videos/

This is the book we read every night: Baby on the Way http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Way-Sear...id=1435687601&sr=8-1&keywords=baby+on+the+way

This is a book a homebirthing mama friend of mine read to her kids every night. We tried it but the paragraphs were too long for my son at the time. I loved it, though, and cried :) Hello Baby. Unfortunately, it's out of print. http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Baby-Jenni-Overend/dp/1845071107/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1435687629&sr=8-4&keywords=homebirth+children%27s+book
Thank you! This is wonderful!
 

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Thank you AnkaJones! I'll have to look over some of these and see if I think my 2 year old could handle any of them. I'm kind of leaning towards having him at the birth with an exit plan if needed.
 
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