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First child at your second birth

(19 Posts)
Coldcuppacoffee Wed 25-May-11 15:59:14

The more I think about it, the more I think that it's odd to have your first child at your second birth?

My first birth didn't really go according to plan, and I would like to have the second at home, but I would like my DS as far away as possible.

I can't predict how I am going to be, and I certainly wouldn't want him to feel distressed (or does them being there make you calmer....?).

He's 2, so I can't really explain it to him in a way that could reassure him. If he were older it might be different but on "One Born Every Minute" I did feel sorry for the teenager watching his Mum giving birth too.

I know people do it, but I just don't trust myself to be the reassuring and "safe" Mummy in my son's life and push a metaphorical watermelon through the eye of a needle....

Anyone got any thoughts?

JellyBelly10 Wed 25-May-11 17:47:59

God no!!!! The last thing you need is a 2-year old whining and milling around when you're giving birth!!!!!!!! Can't think of anything worse for everyone involved!!!

AngryFeet Wed 25-May-11 17:56:44

My first child (2.4 at the time) was at my second birth but not by choice! I had put her to bed and gone to bed myself as waters had broken not expecting anything to happen until the next day. But my contractions came quick and fast and I ended up having an unassisted birth in my living room with DH! She slept through most of it but woke up as he popped out so we had to leave her crying for 10 mins while we tried to get hold of the midwife. So she saw my third stage and didn't seem bothered. Was quite exciting really although the poor thing slept all day in my Mums office as she was so exhausted at being woken up at 4am!

I wouldn't have planned it that way but I don't think it is a bad thing if you have plenty of help around and the child understands what is happening.

camdancer Wed 25-May-11 21:13:03

DS (4) has said he wants to be in the room when DC3 is born. I'm 39 weeks tomorrow and planning a homebirth so it could happen any day now. When DS announced this, DH just turned round and said "there are some things you don't need to see." I trust DH to know - he's been at 2 births whereas I've never seen one.

I don't think it'll traumatise him forever, I just don't think it is necessary for him to be there. If DS or DD (2) are there, then fine but I wouldn't actively want them there - mainly because I think DH has enough to cope with worrying about me and the baby. He doesn't need to be worrying about DS or DD as well. I doubt I'll be in a state to really worry. We have watched a few birth videos together though just so that if they are around they aren't scared by it.

ohbabybaby Thu 26-May-11 16:10:34

Completely different ages here, but my sister and I (then aged 14 and 12) were supposed to be there when our brother was born. We ran all the way to the hospital but he sped out much quicker than expected so we didn't see him until he was 5 mins old (and had been cleaned up slightly, phew). I am very glad we didn't see the birth - although it was straightforward, those are very impressionable ages and I think it would have probably put me off, and DEFINATELY put my sister off having kids ever - what were our parents thinking?!!!!. But seeing him 5 mins after was very very special.

saffy85 Thu 26-May-11 16:40:11

No way would I have a child there when I give birth. My ex boyfriend was forced to sit in the room by his mother when his older sister gave birth to his nephew. He was 9 at the time and said it was the most horrible thing he'd ever witnessed. His sister was only 18/19 herself so was incredibly frightened and distressed herself and spent the whole time either howling in pain or begging their mum to take her brother out which their myum wouldn't. Ex said he spent the whole time with his eyes clamped shut and his fingers in his ears whilehis mother kept smacking him round the head, telling him he should watch and learn so he didn't make the same fuck up as his sister.

This wasn't a homebirth btw. This all happened at the local hospital! Why the MW let this happen is beyond me, although ex's mum is a scary woman!

girlfromdownsouth Thu 26-May-11 16:51:28

It totally depends on how old the other child is. My DD was 19mths when I had my DS at home and it never occurred to me to have her at home - she was simply too young and would not have understood and perhaps become distressed. My friend came to pick her up at about 6am and had her for most of the day. Luckily my DS arrived mid morning and not in the middle of the night.

This time round with DC3 I am planning another homebirth but DD and DS are 7 & 8 yrs old so will probably keep them at home. If I go into labour during the night, I will go into the lounge and if it is during the day, I will labour in my bedroom upstairs and they can be in the lounge. Saying that, my MIL will be there and will be able to take them out if it gets too much for them.

saffy85 OMG - I have no words.....shock

DitaVonCheese Thu 26-May-11 23:50:36

Will be keeping an eye on this thread as am pondering the same thing. We are also planning a home birth and DD will be nearly 3. I've always thought it would be too traumatic and distressing for a child to witness so not entirely sure why I am suddenly wondering whether it might be good for them to be there confused

Tbh my main concern would be her wanting to breastfeed while I'm mid-labour! Also worry that she will distract DH too much (I am kind of imagining I'll be in my own little world by then). We are having a doula who is happy to look after her if necessary, or DH can and the doula will stay with me.

So hard to plan when you don't know what time of day or night it might all happen!

She is so excited about her little brother so I would quite like her to meet him as soon as possible post-birth.

Presumably in ye olden days when everyone shared a hut/cave, children watched their siblings being born, and it doesn't seem to have finished us off as a species. Also reading the Father's Homebirth Handbook at the moment and there are some nice stories about older children being present in there. Was speaking to my oldest aunt the other day and she remembers my mum being born, though was sitting outside on the stairs (and a bit overwhelmed - mum was breech so it all got a bit hairy I think) rather than in the room.

calmbirthmum Fri 27-May-11 20:36:09

My son was there for my second birth. He was 3. We had a great book about homebirth that our midwife leant us which we read a lot and he really took it on board.

When the time came, he and his dad were watching telly downstairs, and I had the baby upstairs (midwife present!). They both came up to say hello and meet the new arrival. My son went back to watch telly again (like a normal morning), and his dad cut the cord. Then went back downstairs to be with son.

All was fine.

Had slight doubts beforehand "in case" of this or that, but ultimately we didn't even have anyone to take him for the day/night.

I think there was nothing better than having my two babes in bed with me for a snuggle just an hour or so after the birth.

bumble34 Sat 28-May-11 08:09:38

DD 18yrs when ds born went from not wanting to be there at all to being at the action end and helping to catch him!
Due again in 5 weeks and ds nearly 3 yrs old. DD is going to be around to look after him at home for us so that dp can be with me. I'm not worried about him being present but think it's a good idea to have a backup plan or someone to focus on the siblings needs. Also if we need to transfer in to hospital like last time then he can stay at home with his big sis.

exoticfruits Sat 28-May-11 08:22:51

Absolutely not. It is the one time to concentrate on the new baby alone and not have to worry about the other DC and how they are finding it, not something you can predict how it will go, even if your first birth was easy.
DCs are forced into growing up too soon these days-seeing their mother in childbirth is one of those things they can do without!

freddy05 Tue 31-May-11 22:23:29

My DD was 3 when DD2 was born I had DD2 at home in the livingroom. I laboured all day in the livingroom on my own while DH looked after DD1. they baked a birthday cake for the baby!! My mam and dad arrived at 7.15pm and my parents started to reheat tea for them and DD. Midwife arrived at 7.20 to check me over and we checked with DD1 that she really wanted to stay and didn't want to go out for tea. She said she was sure so she stayed. DD2 was born at 8.01 and DD1 watched everything from the door way in the arms of her granny so she could see over the top of everyone.
We had our first family cuddle within 5 mins of DD2 being born and but for some very funny stories she told to anyone who would listen there has been no issues at all. DD1 is very aware that they baby came from my tummy and she knows it can't go back. She is not confused by why she was taken away somewhere and when she came back someonelse lived in her house or why mammy went to the hospital with a big tummy and came home with someone who took over her house.

I can honestly say that it was the right decision for us as a family to have her there, she wanted to be there and we wanted her involved. I may have felt very different if there had been any traffic on my parents 100 mile journey though because they only just made it in time to look after her for us and if the midwife had been much later DD1 may well have had to be more involved than any 3 year old should!!

DitaVonCheese Tue 31-May-11 23:15:47

Lovely story freddy smile Can I just ask how old your daughter was exactly - ie just three or nearer to four etc? My DD will be just under 3 when #2 makes an appearance so just wondering how they compare age-wise (though I know that isn't a sure barometer!).

freddy05 Tue 31-May-11 23:42:55

she was 3 years 3 months. It's her proudest story, how she saw her sister being born and then got to tell the midwife the name we'd picked for her. You do have to be aware that they will tell people things though, good job i don't embarrass easily wink

DitaVonCheese Wed 01-Jun-11 15:00:16

grin I think I lost any remaining inhibitions during childbirth first time round (now queen of the overshare blush).

cory Fri 03-Jun-11 10:11:12

I think in the olden days children were usually sent out of the hut/taken care of by neighbours.

dirgeinvegas Sun 05-Jun-11 20:56:46

Lovely thread, I am planning a homebirth when DD will be 2 yrs and 9 months. I sway on what I want but DD says she wants to be there and I would like her there. If she is distressed or wants me more than I am able to do then my mum is coming to have her.

I am hoping she sleeps through most of it but we'll see...

dirgeinvegas Sun 05-Jun-11 20:57:43

Oh and this is a nice read

coldcomfortHeart Sun 05-Jun-11 21:28:55

I think if they're not forced (a la 18yo and sister, horrible story!), and there is someone around to tend to their needs so you don't have to stress about that bit of it, then it can be fine.

One of the nurses at my health centre watched two of her siblings born at home and it means a lot to her- she is really pro home birth and normal birth as a result.

My DS is going to be around if it's night time and if it's during the day my mum will take him out for a walk/trip somewhere.

I have to agree with Dita though, I'm sure children have witnessed births through the ages without too much undue trauma smile

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