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.

Homebirthquestion Sat 25-Jan-14 09:55:45

I planned this but when it came to it I was noisier than expected and the DC asked to leave the house. It wouldn't have been nice for them.

If I'd stayed calm it could have been lovely but with hindsight I'd always have somewhere for them to go quickly.

My midwife also said it's usually the mother who ends up wanting the other dc gone when it comes to it and I was glad when they had gone but it wasn't what I'd had planned.

I also wasn't on great form straight after the birth so for me it was a welcome few hours without them.

We read the book Hello Baby lots in preparation and it made them really aware of what would happen.

I'll be very envy if you manage it - what a lovely memory!

Seff Sat 25-Jan-14 10:09:39

Hello I'm planning a home birth and have a 3.5 yr old so have been wondering the same thing.

I'm thinking of finding some (pre vetted!) birth videos on youtube to watch together and gauge her reaction, just in case, but I also think she'd want to join me in the pool.

We've got options, both for daytime and night, of people who can look after her. It would be lovely if she slept through it all though! Anecdotally, I have heard mums talk of how they felt labour couldn't really get going until they had sorted out the older children, so I guess it may depend on how much you feel you can let go with a toddler around.

Catsize Sat 25-Jan-14 21:02:35

Thanks both of you. Like the video idea, and will maybe try that if i can face watching them myself. Will try to get a copy of Hello Baby.

Homebirthquestion Sat 25-Jan-14 22:33:43

I will warn you that the DCs' favourite game is now playing midwives. One puffs her tummy out and says the baby's ready and the other one delivers it. Often in the bath for the full birthing pool experience. grin

TerrariaMum Sat 25-Jan-14 22:51:48

I had DD2 at home while DD1 slept. Labour didn't really kick off until DD1 was v. asleep plus FIL was there ready to take DD1 away if necessary. As it happened, DD1 woke near the end, FIL looked after her and then she came in and saw her new sister. We read There's A House Inside My Mummy as our book of choice.

Catsize Sun 26-Jan-14 21:19:51

Thank you. Have had a look at the books. Not sure if they would help or confuse further, as we are two mums and the books are very nuclear family. Having said that, am guessing he has picked up that most families seem to have a man and a woman as the parents. Just in case he hasn't, is now the time for him to realise, whilst looking at the books about how babies come into the world. Youtube, coupled with a bit of gentle explaining may be the way forward. Who knows...
To be honest, he is scarred enough from the panto we took him to yesterday. The monsters and beasts weren't a problem, but every time that fairy poofed out of the trapdoor with a bang, well...
Thanks for your experiences and advice. Love the midwives game! grin

Catsize Sun 26-Jan-14 21:21:48

Our son was 2 last month. Just realised I haven't specified his age.

Mignonette Sun 26-Jan-14 21:26:55

My husband's three were all home births. For the second he said she slept through it (the eldest) and for the third an aunt was on hand to distract the two eldest. Neither of the children witnessed the births.

He said after the first birth he opened the door to find the dog and cat sitting as close as they could to it, noses sniffing the air. They apparently never came upstairs until that night and seemed to know something was amiss!

Slippersandacuppa Mon 27-Jan-14 22:11:23

I've had two of my three at home and they both cooperated thankfully! In both cases, contractions started in the early evening (the last one when I was putting the other two to bed. That was interesting - thank goodness my mum was there!), the babies were born at night and the brother/s woke up the next day and met their new sibling, so it can happen! I had a backup plan - an extra pair of hands in case the children needed anything and if they'd wanted to come and watch, that would have been fine too. I'm hoping this one goes the same way. I mentioned to my midwife that the others had arrived at night and she said, "Made at night, born at night." I'd never heard that before - and I'm saying nothing!

fuckwittery Mon 27-Jan-14 22:16:23

My toddler was 3 so a bit older, but she stroked my back and then left me alone. I needed her out the house to concentrate though, snd DH was distracted by looking after her so I laboured alone in active labour until the mw arrived. I would make a back up plan. However you might not be crazy with regards to timing of labour, I believe your body wikl go into labour when its safe and so you might get your night birth and morning meeting! For me, I kept saying it would be perfect if I could go into labour in the morning and get the kids off to childminder for the day, have the baby before tea time for them to come home, and that's exactly what happened!

Boobz Tue 28-Jan-14 11:26:17

Not sure if this link will work, but I had my 1 and 2 year old in the pool when I was labouring with their brother.... older one went to a neighbour's for a play date and the middle one went for a nap for the last 2 hours of labour and then 10 seconds of pushing (they whoosh right out when it's number 3!)

So maybe have your DS around for the first bit if it's not the middle of the night and then pack him off for transition?

Hope this works

Catsize Thu 30-Jan-14 21:07:24

Thanks for the posts folks. boobz, your link didn't work, sadly. sad

I gave birth to dd1 while ds (19 months at the time) slept. I woke up at 2am and she was born at 4.30am so it was very quick. Randomly ds was asleep downstairs in the buggy as we hadn't managed to settle him in his bed that evening.

Dd2 was born at home at 9.30 pm. The other two ( 5 and 3.5) we're put to bed rather hastily at 6.30 when I realised I was in labour. They slept through it all and we had the wonderful moment of them coming in to our room in the morning to find they had a new sister smile

Each time I did have a back up babysitter willing to take the children out of the house though.

Good luck, I'm a big fan of home births!

I actually had one of those ideal situations where toddler stayed asleep upstairs while I laboured overnight and DD was born just before 6am, so they do happen!

I did have contingency plans in place for if I went into labour during the day before my mum arrived (she's 3 hrs drive away). Basically had a list of friends who wouldn't mind either coming over to keep us company or to take DS for a couple of hours until mum arrived. Also had DH of course, but I kind of wanted him around to support me rather than worry about looking after DS (who was 2.5yrs at the time)

BuffyFairy Thu 30-Jan-14 21:31:14

Definitely make contingency plans. I had an unplanned home birth as DS decided to arrive rather fast so DD (2.3) witnessed it all. Having a toddler slipping over in my waters going 'what you doing, Mummy' as DH was on the phone to the ambulance and catching DS was not part of my nice calm birth plan grin

DD wasn't traumatised by it although she did insist the baby was still in my tummy for 2 days after.

ChickenLickenSticken Thu 30-Jan-14 22:36:37

DD will be 2.7 when DC2 arrives this coming summer, so am watching with interest.

DD was a quick homebirth (approx 5 hour labour) so am expecting it to be quick this time and am dreading being home alone with her whilst mooing away, though hopefully DH will be working closeish so will be able to get home fast.

My midwife said that DD might be ok with it, that I should explain to her a few days before that mummy might make some funny noises and look uncomfortable but that I would be ok. If she's still into Peppa at that point I reckon she wouldn't notice a thing whilst watching an episode of that... Just a shame they are only 5 minutes long!!

We have asked my brother to be on standby to take DD off somewhere if necessary.... Our parents are a bit too full on and there is a certain level of competition between the grandparents so easier to leave them out of it and get someone more neutral involved (ie DB).

But yes, ideally labour will start when DD is in bed - I'd like to then be snoozing with DH and our new baby come midnight so that we can get a good night's sleep before DD wakes up grin yes I live in a dream world

Good luck OP, when are you due?

LydiaLunches Fri 31-Jan-14 08:07:31

I have had quick labours at home with dd1 and then dd2 catching most if the show, they could not have been more unphased and I am not calm! Dd2 in fact at 3 stroked my hair and told me not to worry I was just pushing out her nba sister smile.

LydiaLunches Fri 31-Jan-14 08:08:05

baby!

JanePurdy Fri 31-Jan-14 08:11:43

I had the classic went into labour after putting dc1 to bed scenario! She slept through the whole thing, although we had my mum there in case she woke up & needed attention. We are lucky that my mum is 20mins away so we just left it flexible as to whether she would take dc1 away or entertain her at home etc.

My mum had 3 homebirths, all at night while the older children slept through! I still remember waking up to find my youngest brother had arrived.

Catsize Tue 04-Feb-14 18:02:28

I have enjoyed your posts - thank you. Looks like my plans may not be so daft.
Buffy, what a vision!
Am 38wks now. Still rather in denial and have yet to brave the homebirth videos.

hazchem Wed 05-Feb-14 03:01:16

I can't help but post on threads like these.
I attended my first birth when I was a little over 2 years old. I don't remember it but apparently I was worried that I scared the baby because it crowned and then slipped back in. I also attended the birth of my brother when I was nine. I remember this more clearly. It is a great bond between my whole family. I'm really lucky to have those experience because when I went to give birth I had a whole load of trust in my own body's ability to give birth.

here are 30 kid friendly videos all listed as to how much and how little is on show.

Catsize Wed 05-Feb-14 05:15:42

Brilliant hazchem, thank you.
There is a big part of me that would like my son to know that birth is an ordinary part of life, not to be feared, and not necessarily to be hospitalised and treated like a life threatening illness, which most of us have been conditioned to think. I still have this niggling a bit!
He was there at the conception, and really lovely, looking after me like he knew something special was happening (had IUI treatment, before anyone thinks this is TOTALLY weird! smile). As I say, save for the 20wk scan, where there was a 'no tiddlers' rule, he has been involved in every appointment etc. and I feel funny about having him taken from his own home in order for me to give birth to his sibling. Possibly at a strange time of night. Still, we have (very vague) contingency plans, not least because the midwife said (and as has been said upthread), contractions can be haltered by presence of other children. And there may be a trip to hospital.
On a general point, I am staggered by his apparent appreciation of what is going on.

hazchem Wed 05-Feb-14 05:24:49

Could you find an adult who you are comfortable being at the birth that you also trust to look after your son. When my brother was born one of the birth helpers was also my helper so if I needed to be taken out or something that was their job.

Catsize Wed 05-Feb-14 06:37:52

Thanks hazchem, we are seeing a friend this weekend who will hopefully be there as moral support for my partner, and who may well agree to look after our son too, if necessary. We also have a couple of neighbours on standy-by. Need to get more organised though. blush

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.

agendabender Mon 10-Feb-14 09:12:59

We read "hello baby" with our three year old, and discussed how mummy would do lots of shouting and make dinosaur noises. He also saw a couple of birth videos. In the event I laboured very quickly at night (two hourse from first contraction to baby) and he slept through most of it. He woke up just at the last minute, and wandered into the hall to see what was going on. Everyone missed the birth at the business end, but DS could see my head, and saw the baby attached to me soon afterwards. He took it all in his stride, asked to cut the cord, pointed out the placenta etc. He also had no problem understanding that the baby on the inside and the baby on the outside were the same. I'd recommend it, but would also recommend having someone available to take them into another room and play with them if they want it. With a two hour labour, our baby arrived before our nominated person!

crunchyfrog Mon 10-Feb-14 09:21:21

My older two DC, aged 5 and 3 at the time, slept through DC3's birth. It wasn't quiet! He arrived at 6am, the kids got up at 8, a lovely surprise for them.grin grin

DuskAndShiver Mon 10-Feb-14 12:07:19

I had dd1 at home but didn't want to have her around for the birth of dd2. I just didn't want to have to think about how it might be affecting her (usually I can walk and chew gum but when giving birth I prefer not to multi-task) and when I left to go to the MLU at 7am I was glad to get out of the house before she woke up and saw me in pain.
I think this is very personal (to you and your child) whether it is a nice thing, or an extra stress, but I would say keep your options open - if there is someone around who could take your child away if you want that (or the child seems to want it) then that would be best.

Vagolajahooli Mon 10-Feb-14 13:11:28

Hi watching this thread with interest. I had DS2 at home and wanted ds1 who was 3.5 at the time to be present. However, my DH refused, he is very open to anything and everything normally (he actually caught ds2, loved it, highly recommend it, just make your DP/DH's sign a waver saying he won't give all his IT geek workmates a graphic description of baby emerging from fanjo). His reasons where very good though. He felt that during the birth of DS1 that he wasn't supportive enough, a bit freaked out by it all. So he was determined for DS2 to be a much better support. He felt that if he had to support me and look out for DS2 that he couldn't be the support he wanted to be. And to be honest he was right, he was amazing, seriously amazing. I would hire him out as doula, he is wasted in IT. He really got to be involved in the birth the way he wanted and I'm grateful for that.

If we had had a family member or someone else there to be with DS2 if he did wake then I think DH would have gone for the idea. As it was I went into labour at 7.30am wandered around for a while then started the 2nd stage a 8pm and had ds2 at 9.20pm. So really it would have been a pretty boring day for DS1. Instead he was picked up by a friend, went to football, a birthday party and had a whale of a time. I couldn't wait until the next day to introduce him though, so DH went to our friends house and picked him up at 11.30pm and we all snuggled up together and slept our first night. SO in the end was quite lovely.

Let us know how you go.

Lindt70Percent Mon 10-Feb-14 14:04:58

I had my 2nd baby at home. My son was 2.5 yrs old at the time.

My labour was only 45 minutes long (about 20 minutes officially). As everything was so quick I laboured downstairs with DS as by birth partner while DH was upstairs trying to put a plastic sheet on our bed. My mum was on her way over to look after DS but as she lives a 45 min drive away she didn't make it in time. DS and I had the 'Fun Song Factory' video on while I was coping with contractions and I have a strange memory of him saying to me, "Come on Mummy, all the words and all the actions" and trying to get me to join in with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Anyway, due to the speed of everything I ended up giving birth downstairs. DS was there almost throughout but was out of the room at the actual point she was born as H had to go upstairs to get the birthing box and DS had followed him up there. H shut him behind the stair gate while he carried the box back down, saw DD being born and then went straight back up to get DS. DS was absolutely thrilled when he saw DD which was a relief as he hadn't been particularly looking forward to her arrival. He was even more thrilled when he was given a celebratory chocolate biscuit.

A couple of weeks after her birth, DS was in the bath and I was trying to do some sit ups next to the bath when he peered over the side and said, "Are you having another baby?".

Aww, happy memories.

Another birthing in the night one here. DD1 was 16 months when her sister arrived. I laboured between 1.30 and 5.30 and DD1 woke at 6 to meet her sister.

I had a plan as my mum lives close by and I would have called her if needed but I had planned to just let her be otherwise.

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 14:16:24

DS is 3.5 and I am 38 weeks - I love the idea of him sleeping upstairs during the labour and waking up to meet the new baby, but I think I would find the reality too stressful. I had a planned homebirth with DS but had to transfer into hospital by ambulance at 8cm, it was very long and difficult and there were about 6 midwives at my house by the end (!) so not really calm and serene.

I know second births should be quicker and easier but I think if I am worried about DS and how he is coping I won't be able to concentrate on actually having the baby. He's going to stay at grandma's anyway.

WoTmania Mon 10-Feb-14 15:13:32

my younger two were both born at home in the early hours while the older sibs were asleep.
From chatting with other friends who have had HBs a common theme is that they have early niggles and once the older DC are asleep for the night or napping during the day things kick off.
I loved being able to have my older DC hop into bad and have cuddles with the new baby.

mckenzie Mon 10-Feb-14 17:37:04

I was in pretty much full labour when DH took DS, then nearly 4, upstairs for an early bath and bed. DS been helping me fill the birthing pool during the evening so he knew the birth was imminent. While they were upstairs, DS kept asking what the funny noise was and DH told him I was watching something on TV. Thankfully he went to sleep no problem and slept through the midwife arriving and the main noise about 45 minutes later.
It was lovely when he came into our room the next morning and we showed him our new arrival.

scrivette Mon 10-Feb-14 20:20:54

My Mum had an (unplanned) HB when I was almost 3.

My Nana was there and was with me downstairs whilst my Mum had my brother, as soon as he was born the nurse (midwife hadn't arrived and they had called the nurse who lived next door in to help) called me into the room and I was the first person after her to hold him.

It was a very special day and one that I remember very well despite being so young.

casperthefriendlyghost Mon 10-Feb-14 20:34:17

DS2 was a HB when DS1 was 3.2. I went into labour in the morning and laboured through the day - DS1 was around but being entertained by my Dad. My Mum was there to look after me and DH and DH was looking after me so it all worked really well! Things got a bit awkward towards the end of the day as DS2 was back to back so was taking his time changing position and coming out so I was really glad that we had this support network around us - I could fully focus on the birth and know that DS1 was well looked after. DS2 was eventually born at around 9.30pm so DS1 was not there to witness the birth - but family snuggles in bed the next day were amazing! DD1 was also a homebirth - hers was much quicker. Started to labour at dinner time, kept quiet as was expecting a 24hr timescale like previous 2, put DS1&2 to bed then got into sorting out moses baskets etc. She arrived just gone midnight - about 10 minutes before my Mum arrived to help out! Neither DS1 or 2 heard a peep as when they got up next day we had to point out the moses basket in our room they had run around and the baby sleeping quietly in it... So, like many others it can be done & is highly recommended!

aniseed Mon 10-Feb-14 21:18:29

I had a planned homebirth with my third and I do believe that the baby comes when everything is ready. Contractions began at 6.00pm so carried on with dinner and bed with older two dc. Contractions were not painful or regular and was unsure whether I was actually in labour. Dc in bed and asleep by 8pm so I had a bath. Still contracting but not painful. First painful one at 8.55. Baby born at 9.21 delivered by (very squeamish) husband as left it too late to ring midwife! Was perfect birth (although we know we were very lucky that nothing went wrong - baby cried as soon as born and no problems). Midwife and ambulance came 5 mins later. Tucked up in own bed by 11.00pm. I was so relaxed the whole time and baby (now 4 months) is a very chilled out baby.
With hindsight I am glad that dc were asleep as there was a lot of blood and mess and I wouldn't have been able to 'let go' which I think is very important for labour. I don't know how they stayed asleep though!

ISpyPlumPie Mon 10-Feb-14 21:29:59

DS1 slept through Ds2's birth which I am still amazed at as he wasn't the best sleeper and I was somewhat vocal!! It was exactly as I hoped - went into labour about 1am, Ds2 born just after 5am so the first DS1 knew was when he got up the next morning and met his new brother. All down to total good luck - realised early on that this was the bit I couldn't really 'plan' at all. We did have DM upstairs in case he woke up/ I needed to transfer in and I think if it'd been daytime she would have taken him back to hers, so there were arrangements in place. I just mean that it was do fortunate that it all happened with no disruption to him and that was down to chance really.

Hope everything goes well for you smile

FelizFuturaMama Mon 10-Feb-14 21:34:19

Huge yes from me, as long as you have lots of grownup support as well. My DD1 (2.2) woke up when I was in the early stages of labour for my home birth (I think she instinctively knew), we did stories together and she went back into her cot to 'read'. During my final stage, when I did scream a lot (but only for the six minutes it took for DD2 to put in an appearance!) my Dad played with her, while Mum and DH looked after me. Dad brought her down straight away and it was just magic, she said, "My baby's here" and stroked her cheek, then asked Granny to clean up the red paint! We had a bath together afterwards and she then snuggled in with my parents. The next morning she woke up knowing her little sister had arrived. I would thoroughly recommend having a toddler present as there's been no jealousy towards baby and I think me not going away to hospital really helped.

Catsize Tue 04-Mar-14 12:37:51

Hi All, thank you so much for the many many wonderful stories. I feel that I should share some of what actually happened, even though nobody might read it now!
Just over a week ago, I gave birth at home to a beautiful baby girl. The contractions started on the Saturday, at 5am, but soon stopped when my son got up and put Thomas the Tank on. So, we got on with our day and they started again about 10pm, but quite mild, so tried to get some sleep. Just after 1, not so mild. Called the midwife an hour or so later, and she arrived but my contractions slowed. I went back to bed, where they had been quite effective. Son still at home, and at one point woke up and came to see me, but quite late on. We decided to call a friend and he went to play there. Soon after, our midwife said to my partner to start filling the pool. I was thinking that this was going to be very difficult, as I was in a lot of pain, and knew how long the pool took to fill, so figured I wasn't very far dilated etc. Back-up midwife was telephoned at 07:15, but she lives quite a way away and never made it. Our daughter was born at 07:34 (45 mins after our son left the house) with one slight push. It was a case of waters broke, I said she was coming, and she came. With some velocity! There wasn't even time to turn on the lights in the bedroom, and she was born by the light of the midwife's headtorch (she had just nipped up to check I was okay). I gave birth lying on my side in bed (not the plan but she was coming ready or not!), cursing that I had a zillion shower curtains etc downstairs but none upstairs, as I wasn't supposed to be in the bedroom giving birth! Managed to avoid the cream carpet at least. Mattress not so good, Oh, and the Tens machine batteries ran down towards the end (partner later confessed that she had used some from the drawer that 'might have been used for something else'). Anyway, the whole experience was amazing, drug-free, and celebrated with an early morning glass of champagne. Such a cathartic experience after my last birth, and the recovery has been a million times better too. With hindsight, it was the right decision for our son to leave. Even though I was more of a groaner than a screamer, I think the sight of what happened would have been too much for him. If I had been in the pool (which was filled to about two inches!), it might have been different.

Seff Wed 05-Mar-14 19:08:13

Congratulations, I think we'll probably do as you did and play it by ear WRT the toddler smile

What a lovely birth story! Congratulations smile

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