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-   -   Children at birth!!!!! (https://www.justmommies.com/forums/f341-home-birth/348570-children-birth.html)

abigailsilva October 25th, 2006 09:06 AM

Are/will yours be present for the birth? Will they cut the cord or help in any way, or just watch? Do you bring extra people to watch kids or send them away?

erinjacob October 25th, 2006 09:26 AM

my little ones are 2 half an 1 half so they wont realy be much help but they'll be there ill have my sisters hear so if they get scared or need anything they will lokk after them

MrsPil October 25th, 2006 09:29 AM

If I had little ones I'd like for them to be there. But as I don't I think it will be me and DH and a couple of close friends.

ShawnaCAN October 25th, 2006 10:06 AM

Mine will most certainly NOT be there. They are 4, 3, and 14 months. My reasons:

a) I think it would be too traumatizing for them to see Mommy in so much pain; the blood and everything
B) DH would be so busy managing them that he wouldn't be available to me
c) They would probably be trying to splash around in my birthpool and completely distract me, I don't need the chaos when I'm trying to cope with labour pain
d) My BIL was present when one of his siblings was born and it's an experience he wishes his mother had never forced on him. He was scared, he thought it was gross, and he really doesn't appreciate having memories of his mother like that. So.....if I were to have children present, they would have to be older and they would decided themselves if they wanted to be there or not (we would probably watch a birth video first so they have an idea of what they are getting into before seeing ME like that).

If it happens during the night, we may just let them sleep - otherwise we have several people "on call" to take them when I go into labour. The IL's will pick them up from there and keep them for a few days - except to bring them back to meet their new sibling.

momma6_2angels October 26th, 2006 08:11 AM

We had all our kids here.

My midwife brought her teenage daughter to assist (help carry in supplies, do favors for her, and help with other children). My kids LOVED getting home from school and seeing them here. They would pop in on me occasionally to see how I was doing. My toddler got mad at me (think he realized he was not going to be the baby, lol).

When it came time for pushing we had all the kids come in. The only one who wasn't realy thrilled was my 8 year old. He thought it was gross and was mad that he had to get off the computer for a few minutes. None of them were scared because they had seen me labor before. I also don't make a ton of noise until pushing time.

One of my main reasons for having a homebirth was so that i wouldn't have to worry about what we were going to do with 4 children!

Tiggy October 28th, 2006 04:53 PM

My 22 month old was present at our daughters birth - he sure didnt mind - he wasnt scared at all. He just looked at me wondering what I was doing and would just play with grandma happily

LaLa November 3rd, 2006 09:54 AM

my 7 yr old son was there. We prepared him over the months, and knew what to expect, having seen many videos of birth (even graphic ones), and almost all of them natural births, some of them homebirths. Hes seen a few hospital ones, and we discussed all the things that happened, and the benefits of a homebirth, and what kind of emergencies could arise, and what would happen in each of those situations. he went with me to a lot of prenatals, and helped participate even then.

When i went into labor it was the middle of the night. We had someone there (my cousin) to tend to him in case he woke up & needed anything (support, something to eat, entertainment, etc).

But - he never did wake up lol. We had to send for him when I was pushing, and he came downstairs, and made it in time to see his little sister be born in the tub. He also cut the cord, and helped clean her up & with a few other little odds & ends afterwards. My DH cleaned out the birth tub, so my son helped the MW take care of me and do the little things in the couple hours after birth, and we just snuggled.

He did get a little "taken back" during the birth though. I think part of it was b/c he was woken up in the heat of it, he woke up to hearing me push (and yell! lol), then came downstairs just in time. If I coudl do anything different, it would only be to have had him come sooner. I remember pushing, and just catching a glimpse of him wakl past me and I looked up and asked if he aws ok... then went back to business. He asked me later why I was yelling, and we talked about it some more... to which he responded "Ok, thats what I thought, I just wanted to make sure".


He did great, but I think a lot of it was b/c we prepared him, he knew what to expect, and although its still hard on anyone watching someone they love, esp their mommy, in pain, he knew it was natural and necessary, and part of the process. And in the end, I think he has a great bond with his sister that is due in part to him witnessing her being born :)


abigailsilva November 3rd, 2006 11:50 AM

that's AWESOME!!! I'm having my three year old there and most people think i'm NUTS! But i think that for children, normal is what their parents tell them is normal...Birth IS normal, and only stopped being that way in the last hundred years. My midwife was telling me that her three daughters are already fighting over which one gets to come help with my DD, they love coming to the births!!

wonderfullymade November 3rd, 2006 02:21 PM

I posted this on another board that I am part of:

Bri is 6 and Kairi is 3. I prepped them by teaching a children at birth class: watching birth videos, simulating what mommy might do in labor, and learning the anatomy and physiology of labor (sights, sounds, smells, fluids, etc...). Kairi was slightly worried when mommy started yelling at the mw to get her 'hands out of there.. that DOES NOT feel good!' and when I started to pp hemmorhage. But, I had prepared them for the latter chance and my mom simply gave her her cue 'would you like to go hold mommies hand or color Xander a picture until Brenda says mommies done?'

Briaunna, OTOH, wanted to get as close as possible to everything (can I touch the water? What does it smell like, can I feel the cord? Daddy has scrubs on so he doesn't get splashed and that is why he can be so close and I can't? Where can I get some scrubs then? etc...) and was not freaked out or worried about anything.

I think it is VERY important to have a caregiver there for the kids so that they can ask questions to their hearts content. I also believe that childbirth is only not scary for kids if it is done as CLOSE to normalcy as possible (the more monitors, wires, and gadgets involved, the more kids tend to be fearful). It also depends on mom and dad's perception of childbirth. If mom or dad are scared of cb and its process, then the kids will pick up on that. If it is viewed as a normal and natural event, part of life, then the children are much more apt to embrace that same idea.

I think it is vital for our GIRLS to be reintroduced to the idea of childbearing. I think that could be at least, SOME, of what is contributing to the outrageous view of sexuality that our children (girls in particular) have. I think that boys (preteen) can benefit from it as well. But, after they get to that puberty stage, the appropriateness of it is up for debate. Prepuberty, though, is a GREAT time to establish a positive female body image for a young, impressionable boys' mind - one of strength, beauty in fullness (fullness of baby figure - and wholistically), God's plan for woman's body - not world's image, as well as allowing him to learn, and thus, appreciate, the 'final act' of a love relationship between a man and woman, etc... etc....

I know that, for some, I might be a bit on the liberal team when it comes to much of childbirth and childbearing, but it is no wonder that, men who have been witness to their children's births have an easier time bonding with their children and have a fuller appreciation and love for their wives (and acceptance of their wives changing bodies as a result). What if we were able to begin to establish that understanding and heart before they even met their wives or even thought of them? What if they could see their father's model the behaviours FOR them BEFORE they became fathers themselves?

And, as far as little gals go.. childbirth, throughout the ages, has always been a woman's affair - with only the father, and then only in some cultures, present. When a woman began laboring, the most seasoned and knowledgable women would come to 'deliver her' of the child (midwife), the newest mothers and THE mother of the laboring woman would come to serve her and help her (doula), and the young women of childbearing years were invited to cook, clean, and observe (protige). Finally, young girls, either siblings of the new baby or young girls of the family and friends that were there, were sent on errands, given misc. duties, and made to be a part of the celebration. Childbirth was an EVENT, and a time for learning. It brought women close and taught trust in the birth process, our bodies, and the act of life-giving (marriage, sexuality, and childbearing). It was natural, normal, and viewed as such. It was never viewed as a 'condition' or given the sense of shame and secrecy that it was given in the 1800's and early 1900's and sometimes even carries over to today.

It has only been in recent years (the last 100 or so) that we have lost that generational bonding that was so intrinsic and necessary for a young woman's 'initiation' into motherhood. Is it any doubt that so many of our young girls see their bodies as 2-D sexual images? They are missing the most vital component - life-giving and life-bringing - the cusp of a sexual relationship between a husband and a wife. Is it any doubt that so many of us go into our childbearing years FEARING childbirth and its unknowns? We have lost the sense of natural/normal that it is - we have lost trust in our bodies, the act of bringing forth children from our wombs, and the inherent knowledge of the process. That is why there are so many 'methods' of childbearing out there now - we are compensating for what has been lost... so we make up methods of childbearing (Bradley, Hypnobirthing, Lamaze, Medicated, etc...) to help us understand and cope with this 'thing that happens sometime between marriage and retirement'.

It was no surprise to me when Bri began crying when Xander was born - 'He's here! He's here!!' - a 6 year old was embodying the sense of awe and trust that we have lost as a culture. It was no surprise to me when she was given a job (cutting the cord) that she felt an inclusion, not a repulsion, to the process of childbearing and said 'Now I KNOW I want to be a doctor' (now I just need to hone that to say 'midwife' - lol). It was no surprise to me that my 3 year old says she wants to have 'twenty babies' when she grows up and, if anyone asks her what the birth was like, she wipes her brow and says 'hard work'. What if all of our little girls learn these valuable lessons? What if our young boys can appreciate these too? What if we reclaim that passion, belief, trust, and awe that our ancestors understood? What would the impact of that be on, not only our children, but on our culture? Would there be less child abuse? Would there be fewer dead-beat dads? Would there be more traditional family values and less teen pregnancies? I don't know... it would be neat to see though....

OK... I am going to stop now.

momma6_2angels November 3rd, 2006 02:40 PM

I LOVE havimng you sharing here!! That was beautiful!

JensJulyBoy05 November 4th, 2006 11:04 AM

That was beautiful !! and so well said it gave me butterflies lol.
Ug i wanna TTC right now!!! lol All your fault. :wub:

wonderfullymade November 4th, 2006 02:42 PM

LOL @ Jennifer - haha, gave you the TTC bug. :D

mummyof8boys November 9th, 2006 01:24 AM

<div align="center">Caleb was 4 when Amos was born & we showed him videos & books of babies being born

He was in the room when from start to finish when we had Amos & he cut the cord with the help of his support person

When Elisha & David were born Caleb was 6 & Amos was 2 & they were both there as well but it wasn't as good an experience because they were 6 weeks early & Caleb & Amos had to stand to the side with their support people & couldn't get involved like we had hoped

When we had Peter & Malachi we planned on having a home birth but they turned breech at 35 weeks & stayed that way so because I wanted them naturally with no drugs I had to have them in hospital & because I might have needed an emergancy c-section we didn't want the older 4 there & being worried, having to be rushed out of the room because things were going down hill

I really regret not having them there now because I had them breech, naturally with no drugs in 2.5 hrs

abigailsilva November 9th, 2006 06:51 AM

Nichole that was amazing, it is what I have been trying to express in many different forums. My mother is pretending to be on my side for the homebirth, but she would drive me to the hospital in a second, I"m sure. THe other day we were talking about it and she said that allowing my daughter in the HOUSE while I'm giving birth would be traumatizing!!! I told her I was sorry that she saw birth that way. I am having the midwife's teenage daughter there, she's very knowleadgable and can answer ANY questions DD might have (who will be almost three and is very emotionally mature) and could even drive her to get ice cream if things got really intense. Emmy has watched numerous birth videos with me and thinks it is the collest thing! She watched the HB one that our midwife made over and over again, LOL! She can't wait for it to happen and she is thrilled to be included so much, she comes to our prenatals and the MW lets her find the heartbeat. WE talk about what is going on inside mommy. My mother says that seeing me in pain would be damaging. First of all, I don't intend to be talking about how much it hurts, I'm not going to think of it that way, (per Ina Mae) they might very well be really intense sensations, but I see no reason to think of them as pain. Pain is a bodies response to something unnatural, it is how your brain knows there is a problem. ALso, yes, I caved in the hospital with the Pitocin, but for the seventeen plus hours BEFORE I got the epidural, I never made a sound. No scary screaming or grunting or even moaning. I may feel more like making some noise being comfy in my own home, but I'm not worried about being scary. I just kind of breathe and stay quiet. I was considering breifly having my MIL at the birth, as it's an experience that would be very eye opening for her. Plus she'd help me with the house after ;) But, since she and I don't share the same views on birth, I was afraid she might discourage emmy from coming in the room with me, and make emmy feel wierd about it. I don't want that.

So I guess this turned into a rant (sorry, my mother has that effect on me) and I guess I am looking for some support, thank you nichole for this unknowingly timely post! I really love having this outlet!!

LaLa November 9th, 2006 07:17 AM

Kids definitely pick up on other peoples anxieties. I think thats one thing that really helped my son. Granted, hes a bit older, hes 7, but u know - a lot of kids have the same concerns regardless of their age. They worry for mommy. I made a LOT of noise, the most of it while he was in there, and I think he did get concerned (esp when I screamed "HELP ME" lol. ) But he knew to expect it, and both my doula & my DH said about that time, when he got that concerned look, he looked around at everyone else's face - he was trying to see if anyone else seemed worried, because he was unsure if he should be or not. When he looked around, both my DH & my Doula smiled & nodded to him and whispered "That means your baby sister is just about to come out - look for the head!", and he grinned. Still a bit cautious, but happy that nobody else seemed worried. Had someone looked concerned or worried, im sure that he would have picked up on it. But - I had a room full of people who all had done this numerous times, and who knew what was happening & everyone was confident in the birth process. :)

So, just consider that when deciding about your MIL. perhaps if youd like her there to show her how normal it all is - you could have her in the house, but doing something like cooking a stew or a meal for the midwife & assistant & you while youre ni labor, and then just bring her in for the actual birth (if at all). Maybe not even all of the pushing stage, but just the birth part. If shes doing something to feel helpful & keep her busy like cooking, it might not be so bad.

i debated having my SIL there, b/c she would have been a good help & she has simliar views as your MIL from the sounds of it. But - i ended up deciding against it - mostly b/c shes also a very "blunt " personality & I was worried shed give the MW a hard time with all the "are you sure thats ok?" and "isnt there something you should be doing?" etc lol.


[email protected] November 9th, 2006 09:55 AM

Since I am having this baby at home my children (3 and 4) will be here too. That does not mean that they'll be in the same room when the baby is actually being born but they will be able to come in right away after. AND I'll be accessible to them during labor. I have very calm and mellow births...No moaning, screaming, crying or whatever...usually very silent and peaceful. Hopefully this will be the same. I think having the kids here in the house while I birth will foster more of a bonding experience with the new baby. Hopefully my Mother will make it here (it's a four hr. drive) before the baby comes so she can help with the little ones...or maybe I'll have the baby in the night and not have to worry about it. I just wouldn't want my husband to miss the birth because he was entertaining the children.

wonderfullymade November 9th, 2006 11:03 AM

I agree that one of the keys to childbirth prep for kids is to instill the 'normalcy' of childbirth into them. Let them know what a priveledge it is, for sure, but that it is normal and natural. Also, keeping from the idea of 'pain' and, instead, focusing on the HARD WORK that labor is instead.

Covered - what I ended up doing with my dm and mil was to say 'this is how it is, if I find, hear, or feel that you are not supportive or will do more harm than good in labor for my child and myself, I will have to ask another person to take your place'. It wasn't a threat, and I explained that children pick up on adults emotions and perceptions and internalize them. I also explained how a laboring woman is the same... so - basically, get on board in mind and spirit, or let me know you can't and I will get another person. At one point during my labor, my younger dd asked my mom (who was not completely on board for a long time - thinking 'can this REALLY be good for them??') "why is she so loud"? My mom said, "because labor is pai..... I mean.. hard work. Sometimes it can hurt, but it is worth it - and mostly it is just REALLY HARD WORK".

she didn't know I could hear her (she was whispering) and that moment assured me that she really understood.

I also made sure to 'role play' with them and we mimicked women making 'labor noise' and what to day/when to say it...

abigailsilva November 9th, 2006 02:24 PM

That's awesome! Me and emmy looked at a ton of those pics this morning she got really into. I know I should do the labor imitation noises, but I feel SOO SILLY! You're so mature, I think I might start giggling!

wonderfullymade November 9th, 2006 02:28 PM

heck no - mature??? We were making some noises and dds and I started laughing so hard she snorted. I said 'great, we have a cow (me) and a piggy (her)'.

We had fun with it. Its ok to have fun with it too... after all, it is the JOY of childbirth is it not??? :D

LaLa November 9th, 2006 03:49 PM

Yep - youll probably get giggly.
We did a birthing from within class where the instructor did what she called "Labor Theater". She did a very loud imitation of a woman in all stages of labor, including after the birth.

Even my DH was cracking up lol.

But - it was really good at showing it. And so when we go thome I did the same.


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