3 year old at home during home birth?(28 Posts)
DS1 was born at home in birthpool. WHole experience was great and I'm hoping for DC2 to be born in exactly the same way, if all goes well. OF course second time round there's the complication of what to do with the little spectator. I'm fine with the idea of him witnessing the birth (I think it could be nice, as long as he's happy and not worried about Mummy Shouting) but I know that if he's trying to get my attention while I'm in labour it will push me out of my "zone" and make things hard. I'm confident DH can keep him distracted for all the early bit but when it comes to The Big Push I really needed DH's full attention and support (physical as well as emotional) last time, which would mean he's not able to actively keep an eye on DS and make sure he's not freaking out / drinking the birthpool water / etc.
I could call my mum when labour starts and get her to come up and be the on-site baby sitter for DS1 but to be honest our relationship is not brilliant and in an ideal world I wouldn't want her (or anyone else) around. I feel it's a very private experience that I just don't want lots of spectators for. Asking her to come up and look after DS but not enter the room where I'm labouring would be torture for her. As would asking her to leave as soon as the baby is born (which is ideally what I would like, so we can have private time as our nucelar family before introducing baby to others).
I'm just wondering if other people have had similar issues and how they dealt with them. It seems like getting my mum up is the most sensible option but if other people have managed with toddlers in the room and no babysitter I would be interested to hear how it went.
My gut feeling is that we would manage fine just us with DS1 (and midwives of course!) until and unless both he and I urgently want DH's attention at the same time!
My ds1 was a similar age when ds2 was born, it was at night and he slept through the whole thing (which was admittedly very quick).
My mum came over in case I needed to go to hospital, but in the event arrived after ds2!
I'm hoping for the same experience as squirrels, that I don't need anyone here for DD as she will be asleep. I've got the the same problem though, I don't want anyone else meeting the baby until DH DD and I have met them properly and I don't want anyone else in my house while I'm giving birth. DH can take her to my mums if necessary, then come back, that's our only option. I didn't have a home birth last time and I'm really hoping it works out this time!
You really need to sort some sort of childcare. Great if DS is asleep, or happy watching, but if you need to quickly transfer in, or DS gets very distressed, then you will need someone there or within a few minutes. Could your DM pick up DS and take him back to hers? Then DH could go and get him when you're ready. Or a close friend or neighbour on standby? Don't underestimate friends, people love to be involved with birth and most will happily say yes.
Thanks both. My mw assures me chances are it will all happen at night while he's sleeping but I don't know if i can just rely on that. Will take my mum about 2 hours to get here so we can't leave it to the last minute and see how things go. I've been wracking my brain for local friends we could ask to pop round but, much as i love 'em, my mates are totally unreliable!
Good luck with your homebirth hedgehog, it's a really wonderful experience!
Another option would be a doula, as long as you make it clear she's there to support DS in the first instance. She could then stay with DS if you needed to transfer in, as long as you're happy with that.
Line up several mates and DH could drop round to them?
I wouldn't bet on it happening at night, DC1 was born at 3pm and DC2 at 2:30am - both at home
Do you have close friends who would have him at theirs? My mum came and collected DS when I went into labour with DD, appreciate that might not be an option but if she hadn't been available or conveniently close I would have asked one of a couple of friends who DS knew well. And I have offered to have the older DC of other friends who opt for 2nd HB
Sorry, just seen your post about friends
Is he in childcare regularly? Could you ask his key worker of CM to go in the posisble list? Not to come to yours but for DS to go to them if needed.
DD was just under 3 when DS was born at home. Her auntie (DH's sister) came over and kept her occupied and out of the way - it was around bedtime so she got her ready for bed and read her
a lot of stories Once DS was born DH brought DD downstairs to meet her baby brother then she went to bed and slept through till the morning, completely unfazed by the events.
As for the birth being a very private experience, it can be, maybe, but for us things kicked off very quickly so it was suggested that we call 999 as the midwives didn't think they would make it. Enter 2 paramedics clutching gas and air (for which I will be forever grateful ) followed a while later by three midwives - 1 for the baby, 1 for me and a student who drove the car (and was the only one with experience of a home birth having had one herself). 10 minutes later DS turned up to join the party
The homebirth was a fabulous experience that I still rave about 9 years later but it wasn't the quiet, cosy, intimate experience I had envisaged.
atticus - have you seen this book? It's a lovely book, both DD and I loved it and it explains about possible shouting too
Took a long time posting that so have cross-posted with lots of people who are right, you need someone close because things don't always go to plan. Am a bit surprised at midwife saying it would probably happen at night
Your DS needs someone to be with him in case he doesn't want to be with you during the birth. I've been both a child a birth and then baby sat for children during the birth. I remember when I was baby sitting ( i was still youngish at the time as my mum was the primary birht support) that we left the labour women for quite a while because the children want to to play.
A doula and a trainie doula for cost might be a good idea. You could engage her for the birth and then she would leave you to it.
I definitely wouldn't rely on it happening a night or being quick.
With your mum 2 hours away you need other plans, our plan was for my mum to come over if needed (she is only 15 mins away) so if I needed to transfer she could have been here quicker than an ambulance would have been.
Do you not have any friends he could go to? All 3 of mine were homebirths but I always made sure older children were out of the house for the event. Did have a friend whose older son was in on his sister's birth though. He was fascinated - but older than your DS. PS the pushing may just do itself second time round... mine did...
Another saying make alternative plans if you can.
I'm just trying to picture my 3yo seeing me in pain. It could be very upsetting for them. They're not old enough to fully understand what is happening and that this is good pain. And like you said, they could be awake and wanting yours or your DHs attention. They might not settle even in another room with someone else - if it's day time, they'll probably still be able to hear you in another room, which could be equally upsetting. Plus it would be good to have some back up in case anything did go wrong with the birth and needed to go to hospital.
Good luck with the homebirth, but my gut feeling is that 3yo is just a bit too young to be around.
I think you need a childcare option for if you have to transfer to hospital. Are all of your friends that flakey? Surely one could get their act together in an emergency?
Thanks everyone. This pretty much confirms my gut feeling that the only real option is to get my mum up as soon as things start. Having her present is less worse (that's deliberately bad grammar before someone flames me!) Than possibly stressing out dh, dsand myself if the shit hits the
my friends are flakey, or a bit too far away, or have small kids of their own which they can't easily ditch or yank out of bed and rush round here. Depending on timing, day, wind direction etc it might work with one of them on standby but i wouldn't be feeling confident and that's not a good place to be when you start labour.
P.s. before anyone asks, no, dh can't take ds yo a friend's house easily. We have no car and nearest friends are at least half hour each way.
I had two straightforward home births plus a straightforward hospitalbirth, none of which I'd have minded my DC witnessing. My fourth DC was a planned home birth that ended in a transfer to hospital and a postpartum hemorrhage with a 3 litre blood loss - my initial plan had been to have the children at home because I really had nobody to look after them. But six weeks prior to giving birth we ended up moving nearer to family and friends, so we had plenty of help - I'm glad they didn't witness the pph and that I didn't have to transfer to hospital by myself. We'd have had no choice if we hadn't moved but if there's another option, I'd take it.
Could your mum take DS back to hers at least? Then she's out the way
Have you asked your friends. Even the ones with kids. Because I know I'd move heaven and earth to help a friend out while she was having a baby and that's with a 3 year old and being heavily pregnant myself. Why not ask one or two that you feel comfortable with and see how they react. the worse thing they will do is say no.
Do you not go to toddlers groups or anything I'm sure a mum there would help. I helped a friend during her home birth as it was it was day time but if I'd needed to I was willing to go round at night and sit upstairs with her son. This would have meant taking my dd too as I'm a lone parent but for a birth would have done it in a shot! As it was his dad dropped him off at 8am & we had a lovely day and I dropped him home ready for bed 12 hours later to a 1hr old baby bro! I dropped him off and Left and would never have dreamt of intruding.
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