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Home birth - siblings present or not?

(9 Posts)
CarrieLouise25 Tue 19-Jan-16 13:28:00

Home birth planned, and very excited smile

There's no question that DS13 will be avoiding the birth grin

But my 5 year old DD will want to be a part of it all. She has been amazing throughout the whole pregnancy.

Midwife came round today and said children present, no problem at all, and never had any issues with children seeing or witnessing the whole experience.

I'm fine with it all, but DH is not. He's really worried about how she will cope seeing me in pain, and of course, seeing the actual baby born.

How has everyone else's children coped? And what ages were they?

Of course I don't want to cause any emotional scarring for life (!) - but at the same time, it's a natural process - confused

Also, there's the issue if something were to go wrong and I'd need to transfer, I will prepare them both for that.

Any tips, greatly appreciated smile x

IAmAPaleontologist Tue 19-Jan-16 13:32:31

It can be great for kids. Have you shown her any births on YouTube?

I would however suggest having someone who is happy to sit in another room and be ready to take your dd if necessary so if she decides she doesn't like it, if anything goes wrong so she doesn't have to see, for eg, a shoulder dystocia or a haemorrhage or so you have babysitting there if you need to transfer.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 19-Jan-16 13:35:48

We had picture books to read beforehand aimed specifically children who might be present at home births. They were recommended by the midwife.

I think one was called My Water Baby. Can't remember the other one. They were good.

I had to take them off the bookshelf eventually because babysitters would pick them up thinking "Oh look, I've never read this one, makes a change from the Gruffalo. " Then their eyes would pop out of their heads halfway through the story.

In the end, I didn't have other DC present because I knew it would be too distracting for me. I needed to focus entirely on my own needs during labour. I can't switch off focus on DC needs hence they were packed off to friends for the main event.

CarrieLouise25 Tue 19-Jan-16 13:39:41

IAmAPaleontologist - thanks, great advice. Think that's definitely the option to let her decide if she's happy to stay, and if not somewhere she can go and have someone with her smile

RunRabbitRunRabbit - That's a good point about it being too distracting, and not being able to switch off. Unfortunately we've got no family between us, or any friends local enough to pack them off. But DS13 may be called upon to look after her smile

PipersOrange Tue 19-Jan-16 13:47:22

I was present at all three of my mums home births of my younger sister (and got in the pool with her straight afterwards as well, apparently I didn't notice the mess blush). Not been scarred by it in any way and don't have any memories of her screaming in pain, not sure if I was taken out for the louder parts but my mum really enjoyed me being a part of it apparently

CarrieLouise25 Tue 19-Jan-16 13:54:52

PipersOrange - thanks for sharing! I forgot about that side; the ones who had witnessed a home birth of a sibling as a child, that's great to hear smile

IAmAPaleontologist Tue 19-Jan-16 16:04:04

My children slept through the birth of their sibling/siblings but got woken up afterwards by the baby and came down while I was waiting for the placenta. Ds1 doesn't remember when dd was born, he was not yet 2 but both he and dd remember coming down to see ds2 smile

CarrieLouise25 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:41:46

Yes, that's a thought. They might be sleeping through a lot of it! smile

I had two - ds1 was 2 when I had ds2 at home, and he was 4 and ds2 was 2 when I had ds3 at home - and both times we sent them to stay with friends whilst I was in labour and delivering - we felt they were too young.

My friend, who had her dad at home shortly after I had ds2, had a ds who was about 5, and he stayed at home throughout. Iirc, they had a close family friend there throughout, so there was always someone to look after their ds and someone to support my friend while she laboured.

In the end, their dad was born early in the morning, so their son slept through quite a lot of her labour, but came down in time to see his sister born (in a birthing pool) - my friend felt it was a lovely experience for them all, and a very positive one too.

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