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Siblings at homebirth?

(20 Posts)
jennifersofia Sun 23-Sep-07 10:19:53

We are due to have our 3rd, and want to have it at home. Other 2 have been homebirth, and having siblings there wasn't an issue as dd1 slept through dd2's birth. Children are 6.5 and 5. Dh thinks it would be traumatizing for them to be there - wierd and scary for chidlren(although he is v. supportive of homebirths and has been at them). I think it could be fine, and would quite like to give them the option of being there.
Has anyone had their other children present at a homebirth? How old were they? How did it go? Would you recommend it?

purpleturtle Sun 23-Sep-07 10:22:13

I was open to the possibility of dd (then 5) and ds1 (then 3) being around for ds2's entry to the world, but actually, once I was in labour, they were driving me nuts and I sent them straight off to a friend's!

thomcat Sun 23-Sep-07 19:40:04

I had DD2 at home and bought DD1 in at the last moment, when I was no longer contracting. The head had crowned and she came in and sat at the end of the bed and was so excited and happy. It was amazing, watching her little face absolutely glistening with excitement as I gave birth to her sister. Best moment of the whole birth and I'm so, so glad she was there.

Having DC3 at home any day now. Would love to have them both there again for the last moments but DD2 is 20 months and think she'll want to be cuddled by me and not really understand. Plus it's a waterbirth and think they'll, or at least DD2 will want to get in as she's a proper water baby and not sure this time. Will jude it at the time and see.

Peachy Sun 23-Sep-07 19:51:22

Something we're wonderinga bout as ds1 in aprticualr has asked to be present (although still 6 months off for us). My only worry tbh is if something went wrong at the last minute and he would be traumatised (as we have no local childcare to call on, and I'd be rushed off in ambulance and dh would have to drive them to Mum's an hour away before he could come to me).

Current plans are that if its obviously going to be in middle fo the day 9and baby due in holidays) then we'llca ll a friend who will tkae them to Mums (we ahve 3 ds's), as Mumd oesn'tdrive; if in night though or if baby comes after they go abck to school, then we'd probably bring them in immediately afer, iyswim.

Loopymumsy Sun 23-Sep-07 20:35:32

Message withdrawn

jennifersofia Sun 23-Sep-07 21:55:02

Thanks ladies, this is all interesting. It is so hard to know what to do. Do you think it is unfair to ask a 6 yr old what she would like? Maybe this is too big a decision for a little person to make?

NappiesGalore Sun 23-Sep-07 22:04:21

my two were 2an half and 18m roughly, when i had no3 at home... dp was against the idea of them being there, so they were kept away with a family member an brought in just afterwards. which was nice enough.

i see what thomcat means about them not really understanding and maybe wanting to be held/get in the way if they are so young...

but personally? i'd have had them all at home and they each would have been there or not there, as they wished (each child with a designated adult to take care of them and take them in or out as they wish).

i was at the homebirths of my brother and sister when i was 3 and 6... and remember them as magical events... with staying up late and unlimited biscuits - great!

neither i nor any of my siblings were in any way traumatised by any of the births we witnessed. it just seemed like a totally natural, but completely amazing, thing to experience tbh.

my parents arranged the designated adult thing for each of us, i believe. worked fine.

ladymac Sun 23-Sep-07 22:21:14

Dd1 was 4 when ds was born at home; she applauded when he popped out. She was 12 and ds 8 when dd2 came along.

I made sure there was someone they knew very well around to look after them. She was prepared to take them out of the room if they decided they didn't want to see what was happening. They watched TV (their choice) whilst I was in labour, only coming into the room when I was close to pushing.

I prepared them by talking about what might happen and also borrowed some videos to show them. I seem to remember they were bored by the videos though and my son just said 'yuk'.

Dd2 loves asking them about her 'birthday' and the great thing is that their memories of the day are very different to mine.

gappy Sun 23-Sep-07 22:35:11

I personally worried that any blood or noise might frighten my boys (aged 8 and 3) and also that I needed all my energy for handling my labour, and that if they were around I wouldn,t be able to completely let go, and so I arranged for them to be taken care of elsewhere by a trusted friend. Birth went fine and they came to meet their new sister soon after.

purpleturtle Mon 24-Sep-07 11:56:28

Maybe some of it depends on how much space you have in the house. We were in a terrace when I had ds2 with a birthing pool in the kitchen, and me in the front room, where I did not want to labour in front of CBeebies! There was nowhere else for dd and ds1 to be kept out of the way really, and they were so excited that they were doing my head in!

WestCountryLass Mon 24-Sep-07 20:25:15

DS was at DDs homebirth, but a friend came and looked after him. With DS2's birth, DS1 slept straight through it and DD woke up, she was with me most of the timebut she was a bit scared of the Drath Vader noises when the gas and air came out and I called my friend and she came and looked after her for me.

I would suggest having a friend on stand by for all eventualities

babalon Mon 24-Sep-07 21:31:13

DD was 2yrs old and slept through my home labour with ds1 but woke up about 2 hours before he was born and grandad was called to take her away.

ds2 born at home last year dd (10) and ds1(8) were woken up when I started pushing. DD watched the birth and cut the cord. Ds1 couldn't quite drag himself out of bed and came down when ds2 was a minute ot 2 old.

It definately helped that I laboured over night with the boys but then I've read that your body will often wait until your relaxed before it labours properly so I think I was just waiting for them to go to sleep.

Both beautiful experiences but might have been different if kids were around throughout labour

DaisyMOO Mon 24-Sep-07 21:45:20

I would strongly recommend having a friend around to look after the kids and be able to take them right away if necessary. I doulaed at a homebirth where all the children were around and it was daytime. It was quite sweet seeing the little boy cuddling his mum when she had a contraction, but he also spend a lot of time trying to climb on her head...I don't think it was very relaxing for her! I have to admit that the older girls were quite freaked out by it - and they did have the option not to be there, but chose to stay anyway. I spent quite a lot of time with them reassuring them that everything was OK. I don't want to sound unduly negative and I'm sure for most people it's fine - the girls certainly weren't traumatised, but I think it did make it a bit harder for their mum because she was distracted by them.

Also bear in mind that if you needed to transfer to hospital for some reason you will need someone to look after them - you will need your dh there for you.

marjean Mon 24-Sep-07 21:58:42

Loopymumsy - could you please tell me where can I get the book 'hello baby'?

Am hoping to have a home (water?) birth in January and dd will be 20 months. Thinking of dh looking after her in the house if she's awake. It's really important to me that people don't know I'm in labour - don't know why - so I don't want anyone coming round to take care of her, would rather it was just the three of us to deal with the whole experience. Remembering dd's birth, whilst my dh was a huge support, I think it's more important this time for him to be there for dd.

jennifersofia Mon 24-Sep-07 22:31:37

These are all really helpful insights, and making me thoughtful about it all. We do live in a small house (and dvd area is where I would be labouring!) and I do think it could be potentially very distracting and hard to relax for labouring mother. I do have family who could quickly and easily step in though.. Will read this to dh and keep thinking.

purpleturtle Mon 24-Sep-07 22:43:43

In the end, because labour was somewhat protracted with ds2, dd and ds1 were with our friend for 24 hours. Ds2 put in an appearance about 10pm, and it was actually very special having him all on his own that first night. Just another way of looking at it...

(In case you weren't confused enough already wink)

Loopymumsy Tue 25-Sep-07 13:39:02

Message withdrawn

pagwatch Tue 25-Sep-07 13:45:43

I think it is difficult because a child cannot imagine what it will be like so their opinion must be tainted by that. You have to decide for them. I know when I had DS2 my DS1 was pretty upset at seeing me in pain ( as we headed to the hosipital)and I was really struggling and anxious because at a time when i should have been concentrating on what i was doing i was actually upset for him and trying to reassure him. In the ned I had to get DH to get him away pretty quickly.
Once he had gone ( literally imediately) I had a massive contraction and babe was born almost straight away.
When DD was born ds1 was nearly 10 and he siad he didn't want to be around as he still remembered being frightened.
DH did have him and DS2 very close to hand though and DS1 was on hand to give first bath etc and dressed her for the first time. My nicest memory was sitting with him while she slept on him.
grin when asked how birth wnet he cheerfully told friends "great - blood EVERYWHERE, but just great"

needmorecoffee Tue 02-Oct-07 19:25:37

I'd say no. My 3 were at number 4's birth (they were 12, 11 and 9) and were/are traumatised because it all went wrong and I had a brain damaged baby.
Best to bring them in afterwards when everything is clean. Not nice seeing mum in pain either.
Although I guess its good contraception!

jamila169 Tue 02-Oct-07 22:50:21

DS1 wanted to stay for DS2's birth (He was 4), so my mum looked after him and he popped in and out to see what was going on and saw his little brother born -his reaction? 'Oh Man! It's a baby!!!' He still gets one up on any of his mates whose mum's have babies - yeah but you didn't see it come out!
He didn't stay for DD's birth , was a bit blase - been there done that etc but he is adamant he's staying for the latest passenger's arrival, as he went to the scan and it's really fired him up, seeing the baby. DS2 is unlikely to stay as he's a very young 4 and we think it would distress him, and DD is both too young (2) and too bossy to have to deal with!
Lisa x

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