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considering a home birth- what do we 'do' with our 3 year old?(23 Posts)
That's it really. I'd be really interested to hear how other families deal with other DC when in labour and during birth. We have family who can take our just turned 3 year old and that's definitely what we'd do if things got started during the day. I'm imagining overnight labour however. Should we get him out of bed? Will it be more stressful to do this or have the risk of him waking up? What do others do?
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Umm yes. I think that's partly my concern. Not that DH would need to leave me but more that DS won't be satisfed with his dad. If he knows I'm in he house etc. He's quite clingy to me if I'm there. Happy as larry with others if I'm not though.
When I was a home birth mw I encouraged women to put child care into their birth plan. Basically it should be possible for the child to have 1:1 adult care if needed. They might sleep through or they might need to be taken to the park! You really don't want them trying to climb on you in labour.
We'd plan for family member to come in the night to sit with child of the woke up or it could be quite frightening for them. Ideally they'll sleep through it! There's a lovely picture book "hello baby" about a homebirth we used to talk about it.
But also have a plan B on case you need to go into hospital during labour. I needed to be induced in the end (over 42 weeks) so it was a couple of nights at other people's houses.
I planned cover for if the baby arrived during the day, and arranged for an early rising friend to take my older two if I went into labour at night and hadn't had the baby by morning. She came at 7am and whisked them off for a few hours. I had the baby very shortly after that - I couldn't relax properly until I knew they were taken care of so that DH could look after me.
Thanks for the responses and the book recommendation! I hadn't factored in a transfer to hospital, definitely need to plan for that too. I think I will be like you Drama and not be able to fully relax until I know he's taken care of/ out of the picture. I guess I'm trying to avoid having to have people on standby for what could be 5 weeks (DS was on the early side). I guess that is the nature of things when you already have children no matter where you give birth.
My DC1 slept through DC2's birth, which was in the middle of the night. we got DM over for the evening though so there would be someone there just in case there was an emergency and we needed to be taken to hospital, and also so if she did happen to wake up just at the 'interesting' bit there would be someone on hand to deal with her without DH having to miss it.
Luckily I am able to be quite direct with DM so I gave her strict instructions about her role (ie that she was there for DC1 and not to be present at the birth). Without this I'm pretty sure she would have been in the room with us throughout offering us
accounts of how she had it harder and did it all without a fuss and telling the midwives how to do their jobs the benefit of her experience. As it was, she was really pleased to be there to see her new grandchild and (despite many jokes to the midwives about how she was just the domestic help) she did not overstep the mark.
We had a list of people on the end that were happy to be oncall just in case ome wasn't free that day.
Goodluck with the birth how exciting.
I found having an extra birth partner invaluable so at DC2s birth I had my mum as well as my husband and then for DC3 I had my mum, my sister and my husband! I never actually needed any childcare as DC2 was born in the night and DC3 while the older ones were at school.
This time though we may end up having DC1-3 and my two DSC. I have my mum and sister on standby again but I'm hoping for another night birth as five children in the house while I'm trying to give birth doesn't sound very relaxing!
Dc2 was born at home at one in the morning. Dc1 was 2 and a half, and slept through it - was quite quick and relatively pain-free, so no screaming!
However, I still, to this day, wish we'd handled the introduction differently. Just wasn't thinking straight. Dc1 got up and wandered into our bedroom, to find me cradling dc2. How I wish it had been dh. Poor dc1 looked as though he'd walked in on a scene of horror, and I don't think he recovered for years! We had quite a bit of jealous behaviour to deal with, and I always felt dc1 had been traumatised by the whole experience. Definitely not the way to do it!
I had two home births, both overnight and the older ones slept through the whole thing. We had in-laws and friends lined up for childcare who would have been able to drop everything and get round quick if we'd needed them to.
i went and woke the older ones up when it was time to get up and brought them down to meet their new sibling. Really lovely experience, would highly recommend home births!
Meowli, you make an interesting point but I'm sure the introduction played a minor part. Most older siblings have a period of adjustment don't they?
Thanks for the well wishes mov1ngOn
Hb1, laboured overnight DC1 woke up 40 minutes before DC2 born, was whisked out of the house to relative in the village without knowing what was happening/seeing me.
Hb2, rang my mum who picked up DC at 8am ish, baby born 4.30pm, mum brought kids back at 6, they had cuddle and went to bed!
Hb3, laboured overnight, rang my mum who picked up DC1-3 at 6am, mw arrived 6.15am, baby born 8.45am ish.
I planned childcare for all eventualities as I knew I couldn't labour with DC around, I wasn't relaxed enough. Def consider transfer as well, you may be gone 24hrs or more
I'm sure you're right, Bees, but dc1 had been my 'velcro' baby, who was v. committed to b/f, and in fact was still having comfort feeds! I was trying to disengage from this because I didn't want to be feeding two dc, which didn't go down well with dc1 - but that's a whole other story of my parental mismanagement! I suppose I felt that the introduction started things off badly and it went downhill for a bit. Hindsight's a wonderful thing. All good now though, they're very close.
Best wishes for your family's big day!
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I thought that I wouldn't mind son being there over night but firstly I wanted my husband with me at all times and secondly I think I would have been inhibited in my (ahem) vocalisations if he had been upstairs. So he was packed off to the in laws. I don't think people mind being on call for a birth - it's quite exciting!
We had a friend nearby who was ready to take our 2 yo at any time, she had 6 kids of her own! Started at 04:00, midwife arrived at about 05:00. Friend picked up DS once his father had got him ready, breakfast etc. 2nd DS born at 14:00. Eldest came home at tea time, all exited, but rapidly disappointed as his brother didn't want to play!
Yes, I'll never forget when my friend brought my two boys, aged almost 4 & 2, back home a few hours after their little brother had been born.
They came up to the bedroom, I was there with baby in the moses basket beside me, and there were presents for the two boys from the baby. The boys were so thrilled & excited to see their new brother. My eldest can remember it, which is lovely.
It was such a magical time
Can the family plan to come to the house also? So if in the daytime they collect him and take to theirs, if at night family member comes to your house and stays nearby 3 year old room. If he wakes they deal with him or take him home to theirs in pjs if needed.
one of the reasons we chose a homebirth was because we already had a daughter, 5 at the time! like you we had no family close by and although we had friends, the one friend I probably would have used was also pregnant and due in the same month as us. obviously your child is younger and it may not be something you would consider but we just carried on as normal. i had a 16 hr labour and my daughter was either with us or my husband took her out for a walk. in the early stages she put on a very entertaining magic show??! she was there for the birth (water birth) and she was amazing.
Had I needed to go into hospital we decided I would either go alone in the first instance whilst my husband sorted our childcare with a friend or he would drop her off first depending on the urgency.
I would try to plan as much as you can but also go with the flow a little. it was important to us that she was involved and we had spoken to her before hand about what to expect (again the age difference might make this more difficult for you) and she was a superstar!
Our DS was 3 when number 2 was born. He was left in front of Cbeebies with his dinner and wandered in and out of the room while I was labouring. He stroked my back a few times and went back to his dinner (bolognese, his face is bright orange in all the photos of him and his newborn brother)
When we phoned everyone it was gorgeous to hear him telling everyone about his 'new baby budder.'
DS3 should have been a homeborth, but there were no midwives and we ended up having to go into hospital. Friend came at 5.30am to sit with the kids and organise getting them to school.
DS4 was a homebirth, waters went at 1am and he was born at 6.30am. Big brothers woke just as I was delivering the placenta so DH whisked baby upstairs and still a bit sad I didn't get to see them meeting, but it was a bit messy downstairs at that point.
A friend who had a homebirth and had discussed with the kids that if they woke up and found a basket of goodies outside their room to play with that and not come downstairs. Wish I'd thought of that.
I searched out nicer youtube videos of mums having homebirths and played them to the kids (with the sound turned off) so they wouldn't be freaked out if they happened to walk in and see a baby emerging
Good luck. Homebirths are amazing.
Glad your two are close now Meowli. Thanks everyone lots to think about. I think getting him out the house is probably what I'll try and aim for. That way I can concentrate on the job at hand! Some lovely homebirth stories too thanks
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