Homebirth with toddler

(67 Posts)
Catsize Fri 24-Jan-14 21:35:36

I have this crazy idealistic vision of going into labour in the night and then giving birth in the night too. If my toddler awakes, he will potter downstairs and witness the calm birth of his sibling.
The reality may be much different I guess.
Son's birth was meant to be at home but ended up as 3-day induction hellishness. And I was very ill afterwards. Hoping for a different experience this time!
I was not a screamer first time, and suppose I won't be second time. Hoping to have a pool birth.
Son has been fascinated by the whole baby bump business, the tests, scans etc. so far and my inner hippy would hate to exclude him from the final stage. However, I am concerned that he might want to come for a swim in the pool at a crucial moment and may get distressed by the sight of blood. Do young children just take it in their stride?
Planning to have a neighbour or two on stand-by anyway.
Anyone any experience of such things? Thanks.

ooh I am due to have another home birth in the next few weeks (38w today) and have a ds who is 2.10 months. I am pretty adamant that I am going to turf him out of the house as soon as contractions start as otherwise I think If he see's me labouring on all 4's he will try and jump on my back and sing "horsey horsey" grin. I can't see that being conducive to labour grin BUT I am a big believer (hoper) that labour will not kick off unless ds is asleep or a week day so I can send him to the child minder (who has offered to take him day or night, for free - I LOVE HER)

Izzyalex Sat 08-Feb-14 17:39:01

I'm 37+5 with an 8yo daughter and planning a home birth so good to read this thread. I like the idea of doing it through the night and her waking up to a baby brother.
Although she can be a light sleeper if there's noise around the house so worried about her waking up and coming downstairs in the middle of things! Got MIL on hand if needed though.

notquiteruralbliss Sat 08-Feb-14 18:13:01

Apart from my eldest, mine were all still the birth of their younger siblings and seemed very happy to be there and not at all bothered. I didn't get to hold my youngest for over half an hour as her sisters were happily passing her between them!

Stockhausen Sat 08-Feb-14 18:46:42

What a lovely thought, waking up to a new baby sibling! smile

Id go with the flow, but have a contingency plan.

I wanted to be left alone in labour, totally zoned out... I guess I'd find it hard to cope with a toddler's demands during that time, from a selfish POV

LovesToBake Sat 08-Feb-14 18:53:28

This is really good to read as I'm 38+2 and planning a home birth. DS is almost 2. I'm slightly winging it hoping that the baby will appear during the night while DS is asleep upstairs (we do have friends locally who can come and stay in the house with him if I need to be transferred to hospital and DH can go to him if he wakes) or on a weekday when he can do an extra day at nursery assuming they can fit him in at short notice (which they told me is likely).

SleepPleaseSleep Sat 08-Feb-14 19:45:10

I was in hospital for my births, but dd was brought too and witnessed ds being born. It was 2 am, she got pulled out of bed about 1 am to come with us (got no one to leave her with; dh wanted to come with me; got no one else to come with me either).

She did throw up at one point. No lasting ill effects though. She loved coming to the hospital to visit for the next week and seems to remember that now.

The only problem was she was there for the complications too, which I wasn't happy about, but nothing I could do at the time.

Zorra Sat 08-Feb-14 20:30:44

I had a homebirth with DD when DS was 3.5. He knew the baby was coming at some point, and we had talked about what he might expect and how much he wanted to be involved. My labour started full on after he was asleep. He woke up just after the midwives arrived, when I was about 8cm, and I explained what was happening and had a cuddle with him, then he got into bed with my dad (who arrived along with my mum to be on hand for him - my H is out of the picture so my mum was my birth partner) and went back to sleep. He woke up after she was born at about 2am and had a quick cuddle and a story in bed all together whilst she had her first feed. It was quite civilised!

NaturalBaby Sat 08-Feb-14 21:04:53

I had all 3 of mine at home. Ds2 arrived in the middle of the night, ds1 woke up just as the midwives were getting up to leave. Ds3 arrived at lunchtime when ds1 and ds2 were having an afternoon nap. I did wake ds1 up and DH found him standing in the office but he hadn't been there long and could come straight in for a cuddle. Fortunately it was a quick labour (1/2hr active labour!).
I was very particular about the timings that I wanted to give birth and both times my body went into labour just after the older dc's went to bed.

Pascha Sat 08-Feb-14 21:08:09

My home birth in the pool was only 2.5 hours long and quite calm but I ended up in hospital anyway afterwards with a PPH so in the end, it was much better that MIL took him off to her house before things got properly going.

girlynut Sat 08-Feb-14 21:40:46

DS1 was almost 4 when he witnessed his brother being born at home in a pool. It was 8am so he'd just woken up.

The midwife advised to just let him wander in and out as he wanted. He gave me some biscuits and went off to watch tv, coming back to check on me every so often.

He wasn't scared when the baby came out as he couldn't see anything too graphic in the water and I was quite calm.

The best part for him was inviting all the neighbourhood kids in to see the pool after because it looked like a "strawberry jelly"! The poor midwife had to shove the door shut with her foot whilst doing my stitches so 20 children didn't get an eyeful of my fanjo! grin

Lucylouby Sat 08-Feb-14 22:16:11

I've had three dc, 2 hb. Please have a back up plan for your older dc. With My third child, although she was born at home, we nearly ended up being transferred, as she passed mechonium. It was a bit stressful, an ambulance arrived and my eldest, who was four would have been very traumatised by it all if she had witnessed any of it. There was a lot of mess and i panicked a bit. We didnt have to transfer and everything was fine in the end, The older ones slept through it all, but I still had a neighbour with us in case we had to transfer.
We woke dc1 up after the birth and the first photo of dc3 is with her sister at less then half an hour old.
I have read that a lot of women wait until their other children are safe and asleep before going into labour. I guess it's a survival thing from the caveman days.

Ericaequites Sun 09-Feb-14 00:53:00

Only let the sibling(s) watch the birth if you can afford lots of therapy for them later on. Birth is much too primal for little ones.
On the other hand, every thirteen year old should have to watch the Lamaze film.

hazchem Sun 09-Feb-14 06:43:13

Ericaequirtes I'm an adult now and witnessed a birth. In fact I held the torch for the doctor to see what was happening. I'm don't need therapy. Birth to primal for children rubbish!

weebairn Sun 09-Feb-14 08:59:30

Watching with interest. Had a home birth with my first - 30 hours from waters breaking! Hoping for a quicker one this time…

DD will be 2. I have no idea what to do really. I think I'll try and get my mum to stay with us around my due date (was 5 days late last time) and then in the night hopefully DD will just sleep and if it's in the day my mum can take her out.

If it's 30 fecking hours again maybe I'll go to the hospital and get an epidural grin grin

weebairn Sun 09-Feb-14 09:00:09

I saw a birth when I was 8 and I thought it was incredible.

Turvytopsy Sun 09-Feb-14 09:36:56

My experience is slightly different as ds1 was 8 when ds2 was born. I had no family or local friends so planned a home birth as I had nowhere for ds1 to go.
I had a 25 hour labour and dp was able to keep ds1 happy all day, ds2 was born at 5.40am and ds1 had slept solidly most of the night. He watched Cartoon Network for the last hour. When ds2 was born mw cleaned up a bit then ds1 came in and cut the cord. He was first to get a cuddle with his little brother too.
I had a hypno birth (self hypnosis) so I was worried that it may be loud and distressing for ds1 but it was fine. So much nicer than his own birth which was in hospital with pain relief and intervention.
I'm sure ds2s birth is the reason why my boys are so close and always have been. My mw still talks about my birth experience to her ladies and it's 12 years ago now. She was bloody brilliant though and made it all possible
Good luck op!

Izzyalex Sun 09-Feb-14 11:55:46

turvytopsy what a lovely experience! It's given me a lot of hope that I can have the same!

HobbetInTheHeadlights Sun 09-Feb-14 12:51:15

My second lot of MW tried to say we couldn't have a HB with other DC in house- but they were anti-HB and had to go management for a variety of their antics.

With first HB - labour early morning but not usual MW insisted it wasn't established. When she finally came back - I was ready to push then DD1 woke up - she was just under 2 and DH took her downstairs and fed her.

She did want me at some point and DH was a bit crap at dealing with that, they were downstairs I was upstairs , but she was the 4th person to met DS. She'd decided day before she was having a sister so first comment was no Daddy it's a sister. Then DH took her to work and I had morning with new baby till they came back at lunch.

Second time labour started soon after they went to bed. Wasn't a long - MW weren't in time - I was down stairs they were up. DD1 3 came out of room when MW took me upstairs to sew me up and asked nicely to see new baby - MW were amazed - she saw asked if baby could sleep with her then went back to bed herself. Hour later feeding new baby DS - 2 woke up found me in bed room eating and feeding new baby - and quick look at baby then ate my food and went back to bed.

Worked for us - though DH did have option in first HB birth of friends house to take DD1 to if things did get difficult which they didn't. We couldn't sort anything with second HB.

Wouldn't have wanted toddlers near me during birth - as I do tend to focus and small DC wanting me wouldn't have helped that but same house nearby wasn't an issue.

LilyBolero Sun 09-Feb-14 13:15:55

Hi, only read the OP, ds1 was induction in hospital, dd2 was born at home (ds1 went to park with friend), ds2 was born at home (ds1 and dd went to a friend's house).

Ds3 was born at home, went into labour about 12 midnight, he was born at 5:30 in the morning, at about 6:15 ds1 heard a baby crying, came through and found his new brother, whereupon he woke up dd and ds2. It was such a lovely lovely experience, and a real family bonding time.

Having said that, ds3 also had shoulder dystocia, and it was all a bit panicky, so I am glad the kids weren't ACTUALLY there, but slept through it iyswim. I don't think I would want a child to witness the actual birth as they couldn't understand fully and I would worry that they would have a traumatic memory, whereas the memory they have is very lovely.

IdaClair Sun 09-Feb-14 13:39:42

I've done this, dc1 was 6 and witnessed the birth, placenta, cord cutting, the lot. She chose to, she could have left the room if she wanted, anytime. She is sat next to me and says the whole experience made her feel happy. I asked her if she felt worried. She says she felt excited (nearly 8 now) and that the baby was very warm and that she wanted to see the baby straight away.

She was able to ring all the relatives and friends and tell them she was a big sister, and she was a celebrity at school the next day.

higgle Sun 09-Feb-14 14:47:10

It happened to me! We had all sorts of plans in place for care for DS1, who was just 3 1/2 when DS2 was born, and as we had a live in nanny at the time it should all have gone according to plan. DS2 was born at about 5.30am and DS1 just got up and came downstairs as all the action was underway. DS2 got a bit stuck (shoulders ot presenting right) and midwives had to do a bit of tugging but we were all to busy to send him away so DS2 just stood there and welcomed his brother into the world. The next day he told everyone at nursery school that I'd had a big blue lump come out of my bottom and now he had a sister ( he seemed to get confused about his new brother) . They are very very close - even now they are 22 and 19. I wouldn't have planned it but it all worked out very well.

NunoBettencourt Sun 09-Feb-14 21:45:49

DD1 had just turned 2 three weeks before DD2 was born at home.

She'd been getting increasingly excited about labour and delivery when I'd watched birthing programs on TV and the nearer it got to my due date the more we thought about having her there for the birth.

I went into labour around 3am and when DD1 woke up at 8am she came downstairs, had some breakfast in her highchair and then came into the living room with me and her dad. MW was there by then and the second one arrived soon after. There were a few moments when I must have yelled a little bit and DD1 didn't like it but she was easily reassured. Teletubbies on silent helped for that bit of time when she was bored and then it was time to push.

She was a little star. She sat somewhere to the right of my feet on her dad's lap and I had these lovely little shouts of 'push, mummy, push' and 'you're doing well' (she was following the MW's). Then when DD2 started crowning this voice piped up 'I can see my baby sister!'.

It was such a wonderful experience for us all and DD1 can still remember a lot of it. She came for a cuddle with me and DD2 very soon after. They've been inseparable ever since smile

We did have my Mum on standby though in case it hadn't gone quite as much to plan.

tyaca Sun 09-Feb-14 23:10:08

dd was 1.3 when ds was born at home. part of my reason for a home birth was not wanting to leave her and the family to go into hospital. we've no local family so we'd've had to have people travel and stay and i would have found that intrusive.

it helped that neither dh or i were that bothered about dh witnessing the actual birth. we knew that he could always look after dd elsewhere in the house/garden if needs be. as it was, ds was born at three in the morning and she slept through the whole thing. dd woke shortly after the midwives left at half five. i was cuddling ds in bed and having some much needed breakfast. she pointed at ds in delight and said "baby!" she then clocked my food and said with equal enthusiasm "toast!"

Wishihadabs Mon 10-Feb-14 06:19:08

Go for it . I wish I had done this....I went into labour with dd (dc2) late afternoon, I was able to look after ds till dh came home, then dh put him to bed around 8. Dd was born at 12:40 smilein hospital we had to arrange care for ds and drive there, I was home by 3am so ds never realised I was gone, but I would much rather have stayed at home. I think your body knows what to do tbh and there is a good chance you will give birth while dc1 is sleeping. Good luck smile

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 10-Feb-14 09:11:15

I have been watching home births on youtube and many of them have young children at the birth (along with vile comments from user about how evil and disgusting the mother is for doing something so disgusting in front of her children hmm). If we have a hb children this time the children will definitely be around..and noo, I am not a quiet birther so if they seem distressed dh will take them out. But they have been watching the videos with me and seem very prepared that this is how babies come out (2 and 3 years old).

My dh's grandmother grew up in a 2 up/2 down with 12 children. I bet they saw a few births! I think we forget that it wouldn't have been unusual back in the day to have a much better knowledge of how babies came in to the world.

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