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Older children present at the birth?

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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June 8th, 2013, 07:41 PM
GranolaMamaOf3's Avatar ~Heather~
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: GA
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Did you, or would you have your older children present at your birth? Why or why not?

If you have done this; How did it go? Would you do it again? How did you prepare your children for what to expect?

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June 9th, 2013, 12:05 AM
daneeleigh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
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Lol we have this discussion all the time. What to do with my son during labor?!!!!

Honestly, if he was older I wouldn't care less if he was there or not. He'll be 20 months though and I know I would be completely distracted by him so we're hoping to have a sitter lined up. I'm just now getting to know a couple really well and I hope they will be our sitters when the time comes.
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June 9th, 2013, 06:09 AM
UrbanMomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My oldest son, who is 18, was present when his oldest sister (10) was born at home. It was only because he happened to wake up during the birth. He cut the cord.

He was also present for the birth of his youngest brother (now 15 months). I have the greatest pic from the hospital of my him holding his just born baby bro.

I have no issues with any of the kids being present if they choose to.
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Nehemiaah Franklin 11/10/14 4:16am 9lbs 9oz
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June 9th, 2013, 10:03 AM
ashj_1218's Avatar Hiya!
Join Date: Jul 2010
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If mine were older, we would consider it.

But as it stands, I think they are too young to get any benefit from it. And it could potentially be a negative experience for them. Plus, I would be too distracted to really concentrate on the task at hand.

A friend of mine had her 5-year-old at the birth of his younger brother and he did rather well. She had an epidural, which I think helped, since he didnt perceive his mom in pain. And he thought it was neat to see how the baby came out. So that is about the youngest age I would consider letting a child at my birth.
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June 10th, 2013, 12:46 PM
GranolaMamaOf3's Avatar ~Heather~
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: GA
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With my last birth my oldest was 18 months old, and he was there the whole time. He was so little though he was kind of oblivious of what was going on at times, and my mom/sisters were there to care for him and distract him.

this time, we are planning on just playing it by ear. If my two boys (ages 2.5 and 4) get wrestles or uncomfortable I will have a friend lined up to come pick them up and take them to her house. Otherwise I'm going to have someone at our house that can help care for them during the birth, and take them in/out as needed, especially if it gets long or too intense. We've been doing lots of reading and watching birth videos and talking about birth to try and help prepare them, but if the time comes and they are not cool with being there, they don't have to be. But I do want them there soon after.

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June 10th, 2013, 06:38 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga
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All of my kids were home last time around, but only my daughter was present for the actual birth. I labored in my room by myself most of the time, they just came in to give kisses and say hi every now and then. My daughter loved being there. She tells everyone about it.
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June 10th, 2013, 08:26 PM
keekopeeko's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't think I could.. I like to focus internally.. And with my kids present I would be focused on them and their perception of me that I think it would be really difficult for me
~Em, Married to Matt since 7/3/04. Mommy to Layla 3/29/06, Eva 10/18/08, Zeke 2/4/11, and Jonah 7/28/13

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June 10th, 2013, 10:48 PM
Kelllilee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My kids have always been welcome at subsequent sibling births. With my second baby, my first was 23 months, with the third the older two were 2.5 and 4.5.

To prepare I watched birth videos with them and talked them through what was going to happen. I always have had an adult they were comfortable with at the birth specifically for them.

It went just fine both times. I really think it helped with the transition and we had little to no jealousy of the new baby.

This time around the girls will be 8, 6, and almost 4 and of course will be welcome to be at the birth.

That said, if I were having a hospital birth I would not have them be there for various reasons. I also know how I labor and I stay very calm outwardly so it doesn't freak my kids out and I very effectively tune out the world around me, so I am not bothered by them for the most part.
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Last edited by Kelllilee; June 10th, 2013 at 10:51 PM.
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June 11th, 2013, 02:16 PM
Memi's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I birthed at the hospital and since DS is only 2 1/2 I didnt even consider it. I also know that id be totally distracted with him there tho as id feel like I was on "Mommy duty". I really knew I needed all attention on the task at hand.
Expecting #3 in January 2016!

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June 11th, 2013, 08:33 PM
KtKuKi's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Maddie was right at 3 when Cooper was born. She was at the house, but mostly was interested in what my parents were doing. My midwife said she could call her in for the last two pushes, but when the time came, I had her stay upstairs. She was fine with me during contractions, but there was always someone there to take her if needed.
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July 3rd, 2013, 04:14 PM
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We had every intention for DD to be present as much as she felt comfortable. In the end she wasn't there when the baby was actually born, but she rode with us in the car and our birth center has a playroom for the big sibs. I was 9cm when I arrived so I was focused on her at all. DH basically left her in the playroom, someone turned on a DVD for her at some point (<20 minutes was still in previews when DH got her). I can't remember if she came in before or after the placenta, but I know I was still in the water. She saw it bloody and said "Ewwww" she went back to hang with her uncle until I was out of the water.

All I'd say is whatever they see they will repeat! It's fun when DD says, "yeah, my mom was sitting in bloody water after my sister was born" or "my sister was born in the pool." Espcially the second one to a friend her age who thinks a literal pool that you go swimming in. LOL! BUT, all it all it was a very memorable experience for her and something to counter more traditional births. I'd do it all again.

In the moment she didn't distract me at all! I was so zoned into breathing and working through each contraction. She could have been playing with fire and I probably wouldn't have bat an eye.
Mommy to H (6) and E (brand new)
4 Angels gone too soon

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July 18th, 2013, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I really considered asking my daughter (10) to be part of the birth last time, but i was concerned that my hospital birth would paint an inaccurate picture of how normal labor and delivery unfold. But then again, she will be 12 this time around, so maybe we will revisit the issue.
If so, i would want to prepare her by exploring the differences between giving birth in the hospital setting and birthing as a natural (non-medical) condition, and how unneeded most interventions are. That way she will be better prepared to think critically. Besides, even if it wont be my ideal birth experience, it will provide an alternative to the ridiculous tv/movie birth scenes shes seen, most of which sadly seem to depict the woman as a victim of the most horrific pain imaginable.
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October 13th, 2013, 01:56 PM
TiggersMommy's Avatar Super Mommy
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Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 708
My DD will be about 3.5 for this birth. I've already been watching animal births on YouTube with her. I'll kick it up to human births after I tell her about this pregnancy. I very much want to give her the opportunity to see this birth as it will be my last birth and potentially her only chance to see a birth. My plan is to have a birth babysitter (a good friend) at the Birth Center with us. My friend will whisk her away if she gets scared/annoying/bored and will be in charge of making sure she meets her sibling ASAP. I'm a loud birthy mama so I'll have to prepare DD for that.
DD Teagan 9/25/10

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November 12th, 2013, 02:48 PM
HeatherLyn429's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm thinking about having my daughter (8) there this time.
Heather, Mom to: Devon 17, Trevor 12, Bobby 10, Ryan 9, Breanna 8, Oliver 2
and introducing my new baby princess Penelope Kate born 3/18/14 5:35am 9lbs 5oz 22"
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November 12th, 2013, 03:20 PM
Earthy.Mama's Avatar .*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.
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Kailey watched me push out Nola but was asleep for most of the birth.

Both girls are welcome to be present with #3. In fact, Nola asked me the other night if she could watch me push the baby out Fine by me! My oldest is obsessed with birth and watches human and animal birth videos quite often.

Co-Host July 2014 DDC

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November 20th, 2013, 07:17 AM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,232
Yes, my children are asked if they would like to be present. I do waterbirths so they don't actually see much at all. I have someone to watch the littlest ones because they aren't all that interested until baby is born. It is a really special experience to hear your kids encouraging you. One of my favorite moments was my 6 year old saying, "Mom, I really want the baby to be born. Can you please hurry up!" when I was pushing. My Doula is great at explaining why Moms make noises during childbirth and explaining what is happening. She knows our kids really well and knows if she needs to take them out or redirect them.
Alison - Mom to: Emmeline (7/14), Augustus (2) Maximus (4) Eleanor (5) Reid (6) Evelyn (8) Lucas (13) Christopher (14)

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