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where were your toddlers during your homebirth? i'm almost twenty-four weeks along and we found a homebirth midwife recently and will be meeting her in a few weeks. everything sounds good so far so my husband and i have been talking about the birth. the first time, we were in the hospital. this time, we'll be at home and the girlie will be nineteen months old. among the many reasons i want a homebirth is because i want her around. i'm able to visualize parts of the labor but i'm unsure of how she fits in :LOL. what did your toddlers do? how did they react? who did you have there to watch them?
 

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: I'd love to hear about this, too. My ds will be 31 months when new baby arrives and I'm asking my mom to come down to be his support person...but that's the only plan I've got so far!
 

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I'm glad you brought this up! My dd will be 20 mon. when we hb. I've read the suggestions about watching movies and reading books, but she really doesn't have the attention span for much. I try to talk to her about the "baby in mama's tummy," but she only seems interested in playing with my belly button.
I'm certain it'll be different once the baby arrives, but right now it feels like a hard concept to present. I'd love to hear about how other mamas handled it. I'll probably assign my mom to toddler duty since dd loves her house and it would probably be easiest to send her there.

Oh, and my great fear right now? How to handle it when dd wants to take a "bath" with mama. We planning for a water birth, and I know to her it'll just be a great big bath tub. :LOL Anyone have this problem?
 

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I also envisioned having my two year old right there. We enlisted his favorite babysitter/family friend to come and be there just for him, and they stayed downstairs for the whole thing. Good thing! I was making a lot of noise - the second one was much more painful than the first, which I didn't expect -- and I think it would have been really hard on the little guy. He could hear me, and I heard him saying mommy, mommy a few times. Then when he heard the baby cry he said "It's a baby!" and fell asleep immediately, 2 hours past his bedtime. We couldn't even wake him to come see his new brother. It's hard for me to watch the birth video without crying... I think it's just too much noise for a little kid. I know some people can birth silently but you just never know what's going to happen! It's good to have someone there just for the toddler.
We also had a big birth tub rented for the occasion, and let big brother play in it a few times before the big day. Luckily our timing was good - we decided to empty and refill it one morning, and that afternoon labor started.
 

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I didn't want my other kids near me during the homebirth, but that was just me. It was very painful. I hadn't thought it would be that way beforehand.

They were upset when I asked them to leave, I probably should have warned them ahead of time I might ask them to "scram."

They were not in the room when the baby finally came out but we called them up right away when she was out and I was in bed. They were very excited.

It would have been nice to have a trusted babysitter so DH could have interacted with me a little more.
 

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My girls have slept through the birth only to wake up or be woken right after the baby was born. I have night births/ labors so that makes it handy for us. Though with our second and third we had somebody lined up to help with the girls should be need them.
 

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we have had people's kids sleep through which is probably best because then they can be awakened soon enough to meet the baby. But many times toddlers are awake, they don't have usual sleep hours, and startle easy anything different going on and they are more insecure, want mom more--mom is busy....so who gets along with this little one the best? This is who I recommend coming over to take care of your toddler. One of our more recent births they had an older couple that were long time friends of the family and the woman is somewhat a surrogate grandma, she brought over special food that the kids could eat and kept them in a room playing- she went on one errand and for a brief time the boys were under foot- although mom can handle them best she was not doing so well herself when this happened, so I would also recommend having the support person for the kids if they run on an errand to be prepared to take the kido along- car seat set up...If the person hardly knows your child some kids can flow with this but many toddlers cannot, they really do best with grandma(if they like her) or a friend of mom's who also has a toddler or older kid the toddler looks up to- houses full of kids usually do well with just one adult that can break up disputes, organize food and reassure children, this person should also know what most of the family rules are
 

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DD is almost 2 1/2, so I'm wondering about how this will work for us. She's absolutely fascinated with the phots in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth that show babies coming out of their mommies' vaginas, and she even points to her own and talks about the baby inside *her*. I'd really like for her to be present at least for the end, so she can see the baby coming out, but I suspect that during labour I would get irritated with her a bit. On the other hand she can be quite nurturing, so she might be good to have around! My sister is my first choice, but as she's in Unversity, she might not be able to make it.
 

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My kids were 6.5 and 2.5 when the baby was born. They both slept through most of my labor and when the 2.5 y.o. did wake up I was pushing in the tub. She just came in, sat down beside the bathtub and watched. When my MW woke up the 6.5 y.o. he also just sat and watched. I was very loud but they werent scared. They just put their hands over their ears! It was so funny!

I had planned on having a good friend come and watch them, but she didnt arrive until a few minutes after the baby was born. It still worked out fine though, but I was def. glad to have her around after the birth so I didnt have to worry about them.
 

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My oldest was almost 3 when dd2 was born. I didn't feel that she was very well prepared for the birth although I did my best. She has some developmental delays so I think she was operating at more like an almost 2 yo capacity at that time (she didn't acknoweldge that there was a baby in mommys belly or anything like that). Still, I really wanted her there. I arranged to have my mom (who she's very close with) to watch her during my labor if she wasn't doing well in the room. If she was becoming too big a distraction then my mom would actually take her to her house until we called. If labor happened at night then the plan was to call my mom and have her show up around 5am (about an hour before dd normally wakes). That way she'd be taken care of no matter what. As it happened though, my birth went very fast and dd2 was born while dd1 slept. She woke up about an hour later (I think she heard the midwife leave) but I heard her getting out of bed and sent dh to put her back in bed before she knew what happened. I figured at that point it would be better to just let us all sleep and introduce her in the morning. I still had my mom show up before dd woke up and we brought her into our room to meet her new sister an hour or so after that. She did great (which was a huge relief to me)!!!
 

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Ds1 was almost 2.5 years when ds2 was born. We had an unassisted birth and there was only dh, ds, and I. I prepared him by watching lots of UC birth videos and we talked about it a lot. It went really well. I had 27 hours of hard, hard labor and the worst points were when I had to stop him from nursing at bedtime because I just couldn't handle the pain of laying in one place, or the pain that nursing was causing. At that time nursing was the only way he would sleep, so he stayed up. Dh kept him busy while I got in and out of the tub and we ended up going for a long, very slow walk. We had to stop every time I had a contraction (which was contantly), but the fresh air was good for all of us. Eventually he fell asleep and I got to labor all night by myself (which is just what I wanted), but he only slept for about 5 or 6 hours. When he woke up dh kept him entertained until I called them in for the birth. Dh and ds watched from the bathroom doorway while I delivered ds2. When ds1 heard the baby cry he cried and ran away. He came right back though and got very excited. He spent a while just stroking the baby's face and body and admiring him. It was intimate and perfect!!

We aren't planning to have outsiders entertain the boys this time either. Deshi will be 19 months and Akira will be 4. I prefer to be by myself during labor and require very little from dh so it works out well for us. I say just figure out what kind of birth you want and make plans accordingly. If you want lots of support people then choose wisely (find someone that you feel comfortable with, but you also know dd will do well with). If you prefer less people then find lots of things to keep her busy. What works for each family will be different depending on what you desire for your birthing environment!
 

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DS was at DDs birth. The only preparation we did was to read "Welcome with Love" by Jenni Overend (?) My mom was there to keep him company, and my sister decided to come on over last minute. They spent the time going for trike rides, colouring, and they made a trip to the grocery store for strawberries. The midwife helped by saying "Your mom sure is making some strong noises!! Making noises helps the baby come out." and stuff like that. My sister is more of a novelty to DS, because he doesn't see her quite as often as his Gramma, so they hung out together more when it was time to push. My mom came in the room with me. We sort of took our cues from DS... he wasn't interested in being in the room with us, but when my mom called out that the she could see the baby, he came running. I'm not sure if he saw her come out, or if he got there right after (I was on my hands & knees) He was interested in his sister until just after the cord was cut, when he announced "Time for cake!!" I'd bought an icecream cake & told him it was for the babies' birthday. He had to wait until after DD had her first nursing & I got cleaned up a bit, so my mom took him out on the front porch to celebrate by banging pots & pans. The cake had a "0" candle on it & he got to blow it out. Basically, as far as he was concerned, the day was all about him... I think that was key in how well he handled it. The only thing that has made me question the wisdom of having him there is that hes told several people that "Claitlin came out of mommys own vooovah!" He hasn't said it to anyone that I was embarrassed about it... but the potential sure is there!! At any rate, thats a pretty trivial concern...
 

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I had asked this question a few months ago but now that I am SOOOOOOOOO close, I have changed my mind a few times. DD is turning 3 in a few weeks and DS is due any day. At first "everyone" , including DH was horrified at the thought of her being here and went to great lengths to try to arrange care for her with trusted friends and relatives. But, now that the time is closer, DH is the one telling me, "Don't worry about it - she'll be fine." We are planning on having a doula and a midwife - so DH will be able to entertain DD. If we decide that she is being too much of a distraction (I have been having weeks of prodromal labor and have found being with her alternately annoying and comforting - depending on her mood and mine) or if she feels upset, my brother and sister in law live about 10 minutes away and I also have my mom and hour away. But, I think most likely the actual birth will be at night so hopefully she'll be asleep. If not, DH will take her out or downstairs to watch TV. I have been telling her that mommy has to rest a lot - I haven't said anything about making noise - because I don't know if I will or not and I don't want to set up any expectations. Our midwife is great, btw, and DD knows both her and the doula - so they will be able to talk to her if needed.

HTH
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by heket

Oh, and my great fear right now? How to handle it when dd wants to take a "bath" with mama. We planning for a water birth, and I know to her it'll just be a great big bath tub. :LOL Anyone have this problem?
YES! My Ds is sure to want to climb into the tub with me! I haven't taken a solo bath since he was born.
But, he'll be just about to turn 3 when this baby arrives, so I think I can convince him ahead of time that he won't be able to get in with me during actual labor. I'll start really stressing this when we set up our tub and test it out.

If he is really adamant about getting in with me during labor, I'll have my mom take him downstairs. (We live in a three flat - she lives on the 1st floor, we live on the 2nd) If there's any hot water left, he can take a bath there.

Little DS says he wants to see the baby "pop out". He LOVES looking at birth photos and videos, and doesn't seem to mind the mess or noise at all. So we are going to play it by ear. My mom will be there for him and she'll take him in and out, feed him, play with him, etc. during and after the birth.

He's so excited about it, that I think I may even have to wake him up if the birth is in the middle of the night or he'll be dissapointed. I haven't decided about this one yet, I'll probably wait until it occurs to decide.

My sister is coming to hang out at my mom's with my older DS, who wants NOTHING to do with nudity or body fluids. :LOL I guess 11yo boys are less confident about birthing than 3yo boys.
 

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My son and I walked around in my mom's garden during the beginning of my labor. He napped for the hard part and woke up shortly before the birth. My sister played with him for about 15 minutes and then he came running in just as his baby sister was being pulled to my chest. He was so thrilled! He was 17 months at the time.
I think we instinctively labor when we feel our family is safe and comfortable and situated.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by heket


I'm glad you brought this up! My dd will be 20 mon. when we hb. I've read the suggestions about watching movies and reading books, but she really doesn't have the attention span for much. I try to talk to her about the "baby in mama's tummy," but she only seems interested in playing with my belly button.
I'm certain it'll be different once the baby arrives, but right now it feels like a hard concept to present. I'd love to hear about how other mamas handled it. I'll probably assign my mom to toddler duty since dd loves her house and it would probably be easiest to send her there.

Oh, and my great fear right now? How to handle it when dd wants to take a "bath" with mama. We planning for a water birth, and I know to her it'll just be a great big bath tub. :LOL Anyone have this problem?
I let my son join me in the tub. He eventually got bored and got out.
 

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punkprincessmama said:
Quote:

Originally Posted by heket
Oh, and my great fear right now? How to handle it when dd wants to take a "bath" with mama. We planning for a water birth, and I know to her it'll just be a great big bath tub. :LOL Anyone have this problem?[/QUOTE


I had planned on letting dd in with me, I think there will be enough room...are there any reasons not to? (seriously, I'm not being snotty or anything. I'm thinking maybe I'm overlooking something obvious due to pregnancy brain :LOL)
My son was fresh out of hte bath tub and clean and my midwife never thought it was a problem.
I found that including my son whenever he asked helped me feel better about laboring with him around. I think my labor progressed according to our needs and it wasn't like a run away train with my toddler wanting me and my contractions overwhelming me. Or maybe that was just coincidence?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HomebirthHarriett
DS was at DDs birth. The only preparation we did was to read "Welcome with Love" by Jenni Overend (?)
I love this book, although it freaked out my male coworker (I work in a library). Does anyone know of any other titles like this? I was going to start sharing this one with dd along with some videos I plan to borrow from my mw.

And thanks to the mama's about sharing their bath stories. Dd is pretty adamant when she wants to be, so I think it'll be difficult to not have her get in. I'll be laboring downstairs in our tiny living room. It's the only one with the most room for the tub and is closest to the bathroom.
 

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For the birth of my third, my just-turned-3yo and 4.5yo were sitting on the couch, about two feet away from my own feet.

It was actually my 3yo's idea that this be a waterbirth. He was quite insistent, actually, that 'baby come out in a water'. He was quite horrified to see any other type of birth, when we played a couple of videos to familiarize the kids with the process. I hadn't seriously considered waterbirth until he was so insistent that this was how I was going to have this baby - it made me re-examine my thoughts about it, and my midwife made it so easy to have a waterbirth (provided the pool, the pumps, the hoses, did all the work...)

For a while at the very end of my pregnancy, any time I'd get into the tub the kids would ask me excitedly if the baby was ready to come out yet. But they never had an interest in being in the water with me, they were just very excited about being able to see the baby being born. In fact they needed much reassurance that I would make sure they were there. At the time of the birth, it was the middle of the night but we woke them up and set them up on the couch, and they were excited enough and happy enough to stay awake and alert through the birth and about 2 hours of baby-time afterwards.

We ended up not calling anyone to help out with the kids - but we were prepared to call up MIL if they seemed to be having trouble dealing with anything (or we were having trouble with them) - she lives less than 10 min away. It was so quiet and peaceful, and the kids were so calm and balanced about the whole thing, that we didn't call anyone. It was great that it was just our little family and the midwives.

But keep in mind that what happened to us was kind of a best-case scenario - happy, excited but calm kids, easy delivery, calm environment. I'm all for having kids at births, but if mine seemed unprepared mentally or if I thought that I was going to traumatize them (or DH made that call during labor), we would have called on my MIL to take them elsewhere and help them out.
 
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