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We have two little girls already -- K, who just turned 3 last Saturday, and R, who just turned 19 months old (also last Saturday). We have been thinking that we would have my mother keep the girls busy while I'm in labor. Around, but busy. I don't want them to see me in pain, and I don't think I could concentrate or make the noises I need to make if they are right there. However, we were thinking about bringing them in right at the very end to see their sister be born. K has seen lots of births on TV (we watch House of Babies on Discovery Health channel).<br><br>
Last night, though, my dad called me with his concerns about the girls being around for the birth. He said that when he was 4 1/2, his mom gave birth to his sister at home. He said his grandpa took him outside, but he could still hear his mother screaming and it really, really traumatized him. Now I'm not sure what to do...<br><br>
I'm POSITIVE he had never seen a baby be born, on TV or otherwise; whereas, K has seen it many times (on TV). K and I have talked about how mamas make a lot of noise when babies come out.<br><br>
BUT... She is also a very sensitive child and does not respond well to other people crying, especially me. I really don't want to freak her out.<br><br>
Now I'm thinking I should have my grandmother or somebody take the girls back to her house during the birth.<br><br>
Gosh, I don't know... What are your thoughts?
 

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I have a 2 year old and I've thought about this lots. Because she is very sensitive to my needs and any time I feel pain or get hurt, I'm having my mom take her away to her house for the birth. My DD has also seen videos of babies being born and talks about how the baby will come out of my vagina, but I still feel that if she is confronted with my pain or yelling or discomfort, she will lose it, and I don't want to inflict that on her or feel the need to care for her while I am trying to give birth. There are times I wonder, though, and think it would be so nice to have us all there as a family, but I think she just won't be able to separate my pain from the joy of the event.<br><br>
Every kid is different, though, so it seems like there are no across the board answers to this one.
 

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I'd go with 'every kid is different'. The 3 year old just might be totally fine if you explain everything to her about the pain and the vocalizations and the blood. Then again, she might not. I would suggest just what you are doing--having your mother there with the sole duty of paying attention to the childrens' reactions and doing what is right for them. I have heard of children who have had both negative and positive reactions. When I was a child my parents tried to shelter me from things that are normal parts of life like my dog dying and going to my great grandfather's funeral and I still feel like I missed out on those important passages.
 

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All of my kids have always been there for their siblings births, and none of them have had any issues. I have always had someone there to take care of them. When my kids were younger, it was either my MIL or my mother. As the older kids grew, they took over and were there for their younger siblings. The door was always open, and the kids could come and go as the pleased. When my mother or MIL were there, they stayed out of the birth room, so if any child needed to come out, there was someone for them. At my last birth, my 2yo ds stood next to the pool, just watching me and occasionally talking to me.<br><br>
I think it depends on the individual mother and child. If you feel like you won't be able to labor effectively, then make arrangements so that you can. I just always felt that birth was a natural part of life, and that there was not a need to shelter my kids from it. I am glad that they all view birth as a normal life event and not something that always needs to be treated by a medical professional. My girls are not afraid of birth, and my boys are not completely mystified by it, and they all respect the power of birth. To them, it is a normal part of life.
 

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My DD (4) is really sensitive (as in she will cry if I am uspet). At first I wanted her there for the birth, but people convinced me otherwise. I am really glad, because I had a long painful labor and I don't think she would have delt with it well, and I think it would have been harder for me to labor if she was upset at my reactions to the pain, or even just asking questions ot something.<br><br>
Each child and mother as well as labor is different, but this is my take on DD1 and I.
 

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my oldest was 2 and 10 months when i had #2, i had my parents take her while having prelabor for about 10 hrs, the moment they left real labor started, they then brought her to the birthcenter when we went and she was There for that part, she was trying to be loving and touch me i couldn't handle it and had her go play in another room with Papa. with #3 the girls where 4 1/2 and just turned 2( 3 days before) we where staying at my parents becacuse they lived closer to the birth center, it was middle of the night and we just left them sleeping with at there house with their papa and then he brought them after Sam was born. this time is a lot different, we are having a homebirth and my children are 9,6,4 so they are all going to be here i think i am hoping they are asleep and we can just wake up the 9 year old for the actual birth part... who knows if things will work that way tho! but all 3 have been told if they can't be quite and i can't relax and if i need them to leave they will be going to a friends or grandmas house till baby is born, but i hope they can stay.<br><br>
I would say have them there make sure you have a support person just for them that can maybe take them out somewhere for a while if you need them to.
 

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I just had ds2 at home 2 weeks ago and ds1 was there. He's 27 months. My labor started right after I put him to bed so he slept through the first part and was awoken by the noise I was making. Initially he was worried about me, but once he could come give me a kiss and see I was okay he was fine. We had prepared him a lot for the birth by reading "Welcome with Love", watching homebirth videos, and talking about labor and the birth. We had someone there just to take care of him and while ds1 watched most of the delivery, at the very end he decided he watned to go into the living room since it was too much for him. My father read him a book and then once ds2 was born they were right back in the room. Ds1 watched as they cut the cord and seemed happy to snuggle with his new baby brother. Ds1 is quite independent and I think that it was important that we spent so much time talking to him about "mama making noise", how hard I would be working, and that we were happy about it because we then would have our baby. It can work, but you need to have some options since you don't know how any child will react.
 

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My kids did great they are almost four and dd was 22 months. I was screaming for part of it and they handled that fine as well. But each kid is different like someoe else said.
 

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I think it really depends on your kids and how you'll react to them being there. For me, I did not want my kids in with me. We discussed having my older son there when I delivered my daughter, but decided he would just not handle it well and even if we had someone else there to care for him he would have been trying to get his Dad's attention and I needed my husband's attention on me. My dd is very attached to me and would have wanted to be up in my arms. When I was in labour they can into the room to see me (they had not seen me in over 24 hours) and my son looked terrified and my daughter tried to climb onto my lap while asking "Mommy, your belly hurts?" And suddenly I felt less able to cope with the contractions because I found myself trying to downplay the pain so I wouldn't scare them, kwim?<br><br>
We did have them in the waiting room down the hall with my dad and brother so they could meet their new sibling as soon as he arrived. That is what worked for our family.<br><br>
I do know of other people who have had their older children with them when they delivered and it went very well. It's one of those situations where you really are not going to know how it'll work until you do it, and hopefully your predictions are correct.
 

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Not in your DDC but wanted to say hi! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> My DS1 was 2.5 (almost exactly) when DS2 was born. Our plan was much like yours. He was well prepared (books, videos, lots of discussion) and was allowed to do what HE needed. So they didn't stay the whole time - when things got tough (and loud) they went to dinner, but were called when we were close to delivery. They'd come in and check on me, then go back to the couch to read the applicable sections (at his request) of "Welcome with Love." He was there for the actual birth, and was nearly jumping out of my mom's arms, he was so excited!! He's 5 now and still remembers his brother's birth and wants to be there for the next one, too. (Though he says it's messy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)<br><br>
So, I think if you have a well-prepared and interested DD AND "outs" for her, with someone well attuned to her needs, then she'll do just fine! Though, of course, YMMV. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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My oldest dd was 8 years old when we had #2 and it really traumatized her, in spite of watching videos, reading about birth, etc. She cried the whole time I was in transition and it made it harder for ME because I was worried about her. This birth, the kids went to a friend's when I started having regular contractions. If you think your child will not be able to handle it, find another place for them to be. You and your child will be better off for it.
 

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We watched MANY birth videos and talked about the baby coming out w my 2.5 yo DS. We had a very good friend on-call, to be w him when active labor started. DH went down and got them settled when she arrived at 6 am. THey told him mama was working HARD to bring the baby out. He kept asking Heather, Do you hear that? Is it a cow? Oh, it's mama doing her work!<br><br>
After the MWs got the after-cleaned up and we were settled in bed. Heather brought him up and we introduced them. He wasn't traumatized at all.<br><br>
I did, however, worry about him during pushing and it slowed me down. I almost asked them to go for a drive. Good luck deciding. Oh, BTW, if things had started up during the day, the plan was for NANA to come out and pick him up and take him to their house.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We had our baby girl last night! Little L was born at home in the water at 10:42. It was a pretty fast and furious labor. I had friends playing with my girls and keeping them busy. When bedtime rolled around, our youngest went right to sleep, but our 3-year-old was bouncing off the walls. I was getting louder and having a hard time being uninhibited with her in the house, even though she was really doing pretty well, because I knew I would only get louder. I had my mother take her back to her house, where my grandmother watched her. Good thing, because I was SCREAMING loudly at the end and I do believe she would have really been upset.<br><br>
Anyway, thanks for all the advice!!!
 

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Congrats, mama!! Sounds like it all went well! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I forgot to mention that it actually helped me to have ds1 around at the birth. During a few contractions when I was getting to my edge and feeling like I couldn't do it I heard him laughing and thought that was why I was going through all of the pain and it was definitely worth it. His laughter was incredibly powerful.
 
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