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Home birthers: what did/will you do with your other children?

(13 Posts)
Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 04-Aug-11 06:44:00

My original plan was to send DD (who will be just on 3) to her Nana's (my Mum). She adores her Nana, sees her every week, considers it a second home although hasn't ever overnighted there, so, all fine. Was thinking this because I don't want to feel like I have to be quiet so as not to scare her, she is very much a mummy's girl, etc.

But now I'm wondering. Midwife is used to children being present, gets along well with DD. My Mum is happy to do whatever but has suggested she stays downstairs with DD while I labour upstairs, so that DD feels included in big life event. I tend to believe those who say that children who watch birth aren't scared or put off by it, it's just another event to them. So now I'm not sure.

I'm not a yeller or a screamer anyway. Just not sure what's best for DD. Opinions?

flimflammery Thu 04-Aug-11 06:51:39

I sent DS to a friend's (luckily only for half a day) once labour had got going, not because I thought he would be upset by seeing the birth, but because I wanted to be able to focus completely on the birth and my body and not be distracted by him. I also thought he might not understand (at 2yrs) why I couldn't respond to his demands (he was used to me being always available). It was his first time at a friend's without me, but apparently he was fine, up till the car ride home when he was tired. He cried when it wasn't me answering the door, but as soon as I came staggering out to see him and give him a big hug he was fine.

vigglewiggle Thu 04-Aug-11 06:55:15

Your second option sounds entirely sensible. Plus, my midwife told me more women labour overnight than in the daytime, so you may need to plan for labouring while she sleeps and calling your mum over if she wakes. My ideal scenario was to labour while DD1 was asleep and I think it happens a lot. Older sibling wakes to find baby has miraculously arrived! But I over-ran by an hour and my mum popped down and fed her rice crispies as she watched a DVD turned up loud!

Only you can make the call about you DD actually being present, but while my delivery was straightforward, I'm not sure I would have wanted DD to see it. She looked shocked enough when she came out of the lounge to see her Dsis had arrived!

Good luck - home births rock!

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 04-Aug-11 06:57:54

I should say, my husband will be there as well, so if it's at night he can handle night wakeups. My Mum's just in the picture because she's DD's favourite person in the entire world, so is more likely to be able to entertain her than poor old DH, who is usually the recipient of many "go WAY Daddy I want Mummy" instructions.

pinkytheshrinky Thu 04-Aug-11 07:01:51

The first time my dd was 2.5 and she slept through it and woke up to find a baby sister. The second time my friend came round and kept the girls company and played whilst I had their brother (they were 7.5 and 5) - all was fine they came up and saw him about 5 mins after. The third time, same again except there was a bigger delay in them coming up due to the huge amount of mess and blood this time (for some reason is was just so much messier........) and was worried about mu younger dd a she would have been a bit scared about all the blood (she has mild asd and can worry a bit) - but I am not a screamer either and labour quite quickly so it is not a problem. It was all fine and the 10 mins after each baby has been born and we are all together on the bed have been some of the most precious times of my life.

Best of luck, home birth is the way ahead...

vigglewiggle Thu 04-Aug-11 07:06:30

What I meant about waking was if, like me, you are at the pushing stage when it is time for DD for wake up then you may want to have your mum ready for an early morning call. I wanted DH with me and he wanted to be present at the birth so my mum dashed down at 6.30 and DD2 was born a few mins later.

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 04-Aug-11 07:23:37

DS was 2.5 when DD was due. We arranged for my mum to come and stay the day after my due date as I didn't expect to deliver any earlier than that (mum is about 3 hrs drive away). I also had local friends standing by to have DS for a couple of hours if I went into labour before mum arrived.

It all worked out really well. Mum arrived late afternoon, I pretty much started having mild contractions when she walked through the door, then my waters broke at midnight after I'd had a few hours sleep. DD was born just before 6am. My mum stayed upstairs on a spare bed in DS's room, although she did pop down briefly and saw her being born. DS slept through it all (and I was tramping up and down stairs by his room mooing/moaning). He did wake up a bit early, but because Granny was with him he was happy to go back to sleep for another hour.

By the time DS came down everything was tidy and we all had breakfast together. Then my mum took DS out for a walk so DH and I could nap with DD (at about 8.30am, in mid-December - my mum is a legend grin)

Hope things work out well for you too smile

PinkFondantFancy Thu 04-Aug-11 07:45:24

I don't have any actual experience, but I went to an active birthing class recently where the MW was saying that it's fine to have siblings around, but it's important that they are either in the room with you, or completely out of the house (I'm assuming she means when they're actually awake). I think this is because her opinion is that hearing labour from behind a closed door sounds much worse than it actually is, so she'd be better off actually being with you.

rhinestone that sounds like such a lovely birth!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 04-Aug-11 09:22:23

not sure to be honest, we live in a small 2 bed flat and my mum lives 1.5 hours drive away. DS (who'll be 3) stays over there regularly and also regards it as a second home - I'm torn between him being able to come and meet his new sister quickly or just asking my mum to come and get him when contractions start then DH will go and get him once the baby is here and maybe we've had one night together. A friend has offered to have him, who lives 2 mins away, her daughter is his "best friend" and he knows her really well, but she will probably be back at work.

The timing of mum being so far away though is the last labour was 12hours in all, but only 3.5 established with 6min 2nd stage, homebirth with same midwife as this time and she's convinced this one will be very quick.

If I go into labour at night though we'll let him sleep. Wish we had a big house so I could be upstairs and he could be downstairs, or a spare room so my mum could come and stay too!!

startail Thu 04-Aug-11 10:03:51

My 3 yearold DD1 was supposed to go to a friends, but she was fast asleep when I went into labour so we left her.
The MW had requested I arranged child care for her, but on the actual night I don't recall her even being mentioned. She simply slept through the whole thing (no one was quiet, we went up and down stairs and I had the baby in our bedroom which is just across from hers)
In the end I heard her get up just as I was about to push the baby out.
Silently whispered "please go to the loo before coming in here like you usually do" and she did. She walked in totally unphased by two MW (who she knew) and wandered straight over to see her 2 minute old sister. She took no notice of her mum delivering the placenta, I don't even think she noticed DD2, daddy and the nice MW were all more interesting.
The MW cleaned up, while I had a bath and DH, DD1 and DD2 got to know each other. They left and we all had breakfast/ lunch in bed, in a winter sunbeamsmile
Rang my friend, who came over with her DH and her two DDs and we chatted and played for a bit which was absolutely lovely because her DDs wouldn't have been allowed in the hospital. Dd1 then went off for tea and DH, DD2 and I had a rest.
The whole thing was just unbelievably laid back and relaxed compared with the PN ward where I just felt I was both being watched and ignored at the same time.
OK it did help a lot that DD2 understood that babies evolved to drink breast milk, something DD1 never did resulting in lying on the feeding chart to get out of bl**dy hospital!

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 04-Aug-11 14:48:01

My midwife is a private midwife (it's not covered by the govt over here so it's private or nothing) and she does home visits throughout the pregnancy so by the time I'm due, she'll have met DD lots of times. She's used to catching babies with toddlers right there having a cuddle, apparently. It's just that, as flimflammery said, I want to be able to concentrate on what my body's doing. And the idea of DH, midwife, my Mum AND DD all being there is a bit horrifying, actually. Last time I did almost all my labouring, including transition, in a dark room silently with DH asleep. I don't like an audience.

TerrysNo2 Thu 04-Aug-11 15:04:35

I am due in November and DS will be almost 3 (or just 3 depending on when baby arrives!) I don't want him about during the birth as I think I will then be worried about him too much and I want to concentrate on birthing.

All of our family are at least 2 hours away so I have arranged for him to go to a friends house locally as DS loves their DD. Not sure what I will do if I start labouring while he is asleep but I think I will get him there asap as I don't want him waking to coincide with baby being born.

From personal experience I was at my mums HB with my sister and honestly I wish I hadn't been, it wasn't a nice experience for me seeing my mum in so much pain but then I was 10 and so perhaps I had more understanding which a toddler wouldn't.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 04-Aug-11 20:14:40

to add, I was 3.5 when my mum had my brother at home. I think she must have laboured through the night because all I remember was sitting outside her bedroom with my godmother's son (she was the birth partner because my Dad was in Africa and my brother graced the world 2 weeks early, she had her two DS with her and was heavily pregnant with her third!). Her son kept telling me I couldn't go in til his mum said I could, and I argued back it was my mum who'd had a baby....then a hazy memory of my mum sat up in bed with the baby, all clean and soft focused!!

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