Those of you that had homebirths...

KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
what did you do with your older children during the birth? My midwives seem to think it'd be best if I had someone take Dylan out of the house and bring him back when the baby is born. I see their point and I'm sure arranging it won't be a problem, but I kind of want him there. If he's in a good mood, he has a relaxing effect on me and I just plain like to have him around. It may also remind me what a wonderful prize you get for all that pain. Another option would be to ask MIL to come to the house to watch him and take him out if needed, but 1) I'm not sure if she'd be comfortable with it and 2) as long as D. is doing ok, I don't know that I really want her there. I guess I wouldn't mind, but we're not super close or anything. Or we could have her "on call" to come get him if he gets freaked out, but I worry that by the time she gets here, the damage would already be done (him really upset, me stressed out and then worrying about him when they leave).

What do you all think? If you had your older children there, how did they react (please include their age at the time as that's kind of important)?
*Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin

Comments

  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    I obviously haven't been through it, but I can totally understand why you want D there. We're seriously considering a homebirth for next time (whenever it is) and I'd really like to keep Sol here. I think the most important question is, how much of a role do you want your husband to have in labor/birth? Are you going to have a doula? Because if you want your husband's top priority to be YOU, then you'll need to have someone else watch Dylan, either at your house or elsewhere. If you don't expect as much support from DH for yourself, then he and Dylan can be there for you part of the time and he can be in charge of caring for Dylan the whole time. That's the scenario I'm leaning toward if we do it, and having a doula as my main support person. My reasons for this are (1) we don't trust leaving Solomon with anyone else overnight and we can't predict the time of day obviously, (2) we don't want to have any extra family members around for our next birth, whether it's at home or hospital/birth center and (3) I think my husband will be a better support person if it's not his primary job - if he's focused on Sol and checking in with me frequently.

    Hopefully webbie will pop in, I know she had Lex at home with her during her new baby's birth.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Have not had a home birth but I agree with Pixie. If you want D to be there (and I can see why - form many homebirthers being able to have sibs there is one of the reasons for choosing homebirth) then you need to have one person who is in charge of taking care of D and another person who is in charge of supporting you. I don't think the same person could do both effectively.
    I don't think seeing a birth would be at all traumatic for D. I think it's just a matter of both of you having enough support. Because the last thing you want to do is have to deal with a toddler meltdown while in transition.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I will not have a doula this time. I will have two midwives, so I figure that should be enough. I don't think the idea of DH taking care of D. and only popping in will work for us. I would probably be ok since my midwives are very attentive and would get me water/snacks/etc, but I don't think hubby would want to miss anything. I may also need hubby there to tell the dogs to stfu if any of them start barking. :roll:

    I am hoping my mom will come (if she promises not to freak out), but 1) she'll be driving from Miami so she may not make it in time and 2) I'm asking her to drive 6 hours in a hurry to be at my birth, NOT to babysit.
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    My kids were all home during my homebirth. They were ages 14, 9, and 2.5 at the time. I was alone with them for the first few hours of labor. They pretty much just played and watched themselves while I moaned in the shower and then in the hottub. The 2.5 year old rubbed my head, but then grew bored with me. Then the 9 year old slammed his finger in the door before my husband had arrived home. I doctored it as best I could, put ice on it and told him he had to be brave because I couldn't care for him properly just now. He was fine with it and took care of himself. Today that is his main memory of the homebirth.

    Once my husband got home, he set up the birth supplies for me, then ordered the kids some pizza, and had his sister come over. I don't remember seeing SIL til afterwards. She put the kids to bed for me and stayed out of my way. The midwives arrived about 2 hours before I gave birth...about 5 hours into the labor. They lived 2 hours away from me and got there with plenty of time to spare. The birth occured around 11pm, and all the kids were sleeping by then. If they had been awake, I don't think I would have wanted them to witness the actual birth, mostly because the older kids are boys and seeing mommy's hoo-ha as a teen or pre-teen probably isn't so cool. If they were girls, I would have wanted them to watch. We woke them up afterwards to see the new baby...except the 14 year old, he was just UNwakeable, as teenagers often are.

    I loved having them in the house. They got to experience birth as a normal part of family life, which I think is one of the most important reasons to have babies at home. They weren't traumatized by it at all. I had no other guests...birth isn't a spectator sport to me. I only had 1 midwife and 1 apprentice and that was plenty. The apprentice took photos for us.

    I do think it's a good idea to have a dedicated caretaker around for very small children though. You and hubby will be busy and won't be able to do everything for D while you're in labor.
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    Kaia wrote: »
    I will not have a doula this time. I will have two midwives, so I figure that should be enough. I don't think the idea of DH taking care of D. and only popping in will work for us. I would probably be ok since my midwives are very attentive and would get me water/snacks/etc, but I don't think hubby would want to miss anything. I may also need hubby there to tell the dogs to stfu if any of them start barking. :roll:

    I am hoping my mom will come (if she promises not to freak out), but 1) she'll be driving from Miami so she may not make it in time and 2) I'm asking her to drive 6 hours in a hurry to be at my birth, NOT to babysit.

    My midwives really did not want us to do this, in case they needed my husband. They said if it worked out that way, fine, but did not recommend it. However, they had no problem with daughters being there at all. In fact, they encouraged that. Rushing him out of the house me be upsetting to him as well as to you.

    Okay, original question: My niece and SIL came over both times. The first time it was during the day and nice outside, so they were in and out. As SIL recognized the birth was near, she shooed the kids outside. The second time, my first daughter who never sleeps, slept right through it. :-? Again my SIL came and brought my niece and they took daugther # 2 downstairs. But, my experience may be skewed, I went pretty quick both times. icon7.gif
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Yeah, I've heard you should have someone there with the sole purpose of caring for the other children. I just don't know how much that would help. Taking him to another room probably won't work. He always plays in the living room and would likely throw a fit if we made him stay in one of the bedrooms. The tub will be in the dining room, which is the same space as the living room. If he's willing to play independently in the living room, he will probably be fine. He plays by himself quite well normally, and most of the time I feel like he doesn't even care if we're there or not. The things that make me concerned is that sometimes he gets in these really needy, clingy moods. It's the only time he's ever really difficult, but he needs to be held NON-STOP. You never really know when he'll get that way, it seems totally random. The other is that even though he's seen me upset and in pain before and it didn't bother him (he usually laughs at me when I tell him I'm not happy with him :roll:), labor is obviously a different animal. I hope it will go smoother and I'll cope better this time, but I can't rule out the possibility of a repeat of last time and I was not a pretty picture. Seeing me like that would almost certainly upset him.
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    Alexander was a year and a half when Thelonious was born. He was on the bed right next to me and was my "coach". It wasn't planned that way. I was hoping to have him there and my SIL around in case Lex got freaked out and needed to leave. But with me going 42+ weeks and labor starting and stopping for several days, we couldn't really get a grip on when I was in true labor.

    I didn't realize I was in the last stages of labor before pushing since they weren't as intense. Lex sleeps with us in the bed so he would wake up from time to time as I was moaning in bed. DH was dead asleep. Lex wasn't scared or anything to see me in pain but he'd look at me to see if I was ok and sometimes pat me (it was kinda cute)

    When I was pushing, I did yell. Lex was right at my head and just watched. I'd say in between pushes "mommy's ok." He was right there, next to me when Theo popped out. After Theo was born Lex did cry a bit. I think the shock of the whole situation got to him. We both took some rescue remedy, which I think helped.

    Soon after Theo was born and afterbirth and stuff was taken care of, I gave him back to the midwife and took advantage of the warm birthing tub with after birthing herbs waiting for me. I used that opportunity to bond with Alexander and we sat in the birthing tub together for what felt like a half hour. I really liked that, and he seemed to enjoy a quiet moment with his mom.

    Ok some may find it a bit gross to take a bath with your kid right after birth, but Lex was not harmed by it.

    I'm really happy he was there.
    hello.world.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    webjockey wrote: »
    Ok some may find it a bit gross to take a bath with your kid right after birth, but Lex was not harmed by it.



    Nope, sounds beautiful to me. Juices of life.
  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    Ian was at Ryan's birth (hospital with CNM) at 2 years old. He and Ryan were both present for Nina's birth at home. I was fortunate both times. My first doula was comfortable enough with Ian (and Ian with her) that if something were to go wrong and Tony needed to step in she would be with Ian. Fortunately Ian sat with Tony in the hospital room content and asked only one or two questions.

    At the homebirth they were asleep the first part of the birth until about 1am (she was born at 9amish). Again I was fortunate enough to enlist my BF who is also doing the doula thing and both boys love her and see her often. But again, Tony wrangled the boys while my BF/doula did her thing with me. I also had a midwife and her apprentice. Tony's big on letting experienced women care for other experienced women. ;) LOL The boys got a little rowdy at one point what with all th excitement of getting to wake up when it's dark but Tony did a decent job of keeping them busy and they would check on me in the tub frequently.
  • DelmaDelma Posts: 1,121Registered Users
    my older son was there for part of my labor , I thought I would want him there for the whole thing but he ended up making me nervous so I didn't let him stay up for it. Keep in mind I went into labor at midnight.
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    I would say it depends on your kid. Mine gets very concerned about me for some reason. Like, not like he is with others.... If someone or something looks like it is hurt- he might say 'uh oh!" or "oh no!" and maybe go give hugs or kisses. But if I am hurt or he thinks I am, he gets very upset. I hit my knee on the coffee table once and was on the floor holding my knee going,"OOww!" <like a normal person ;) haha! > and he almost started crying. I told him I was okay and he was still screaming! If he saw me yelling or saw a baby come out of me, I don't think he woudl handle it well.
    But, he is also only 18 months. Old enough to get freaked out adn too young to really explain it so that they get that you are okay... (in our case anyway)

    If your kid will "get" it, you can maybe prepare them for what to expect.

    Do you trust someone to stay overnight at your house with him? Like, he can be in the room for whatever part you want him to be there for and if it gets too intense- whoever can be sleeping in another part of the house (not involved in the birth at all-just as a caregiver for when you and your husband are tied up!) Then, he will be there, but be cared for, be able to go elsewhere and wont have to sleep over somewhere other than your home.
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    No, I don't think he'll get it. I'm kind of counting on him not getting that I'm in pain in the first place. He doesn't seem to be bothered with me being in pain or upset now, but who knows.

    I don't really have anyone I would want around all the time, except my mom if she were to come in time. I'm considering putting the birthing tub in our bedroom now, which would mean he could be out in the living room being watched by someone (who wouldn't see me much). It would also be nice for me because we have dark curtains in our bedroom and I could make the room pretty dark if I wanted, which is not an option in the dining room with a sliding glass door and a sheer curtain. On the other hand, if it got late, we wouldn't be able to put Dylan to sleep since he sleeps in our room. So I guess I can try to make that call depending on what time I go into active labor, but I really don't like leaving it up in the air until the last second. I'm really torn on this now.
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Solomon would probably laugh if he saw me in labor pains. One time he was with me when I received a phone call that my friend's mother died, and he thought it was HILARIOUS when I started crying. On the bright side he did help cheer me up a bit.
    Kaia wrote: »
    I'm considering putting the birthing tub in our bedroom now, which would mean he could be out in the living room being watched by someone (who wouldn't see me much). It would also be nice for me because we have dark curtains in our bedroom and I could make the room pretty dark if I wanted, which is not an option in the dining room with a sliding glass door and a sheer curtain. On the other hand, if it got late, we wouldn't be able to put Dylan to sleep since he sleeps in our room.

    Could you put a mattress (or air mattress) on the floor in another room for him to sleep? We did that once at my parents' house during a party (we weren't staying there overnight, but were there past his bedtime) and once at our house when we had a party and the noise level would be heard more from our bedroom. At the end of the night when we were ready for bed, we brought him back to our room.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    I think I would use these last weeks to get D used to being with someone else if you need him to be. Your MIL sounds like your best choice. I would have a conversation about it with her also and see if you could come up with a plan that you are both comfortable with. I know you aren't close to her but if you consider that childbirth usually involves the help of women family members, its pretty natural for her to be involved in some way.

    The hardest thing for me is getting out of "mommy mode" and into "me mode" when I'm in the presence of my children. I can't focus on anything but their needs, even if someone else is there looking after them. I'll hear them cry/fuss and even if he's with DH or MIL, I'll be thinking "why aren't they listening to him? what does he want?".

    I laboured through the night with Karan in my bed asleep, but when Karan started to wake up, I took that as my cue to head in to the hospital (and delivered shortly afterwards). I had no expectations beforehand, but for me, the responsibility of my clingy boy, who won't really go to anyone else when I am around, felt overwhelming right at that moment. I knew he would be fine with MIL while I was gone.
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    He's comfortable with MIL. She watches him every Monday at their house.

    I guess my other issue is that I don't know how to approach it with her other than asking her to take him over to their house to babysit. I'm not sure how to approach the birth with her. She was never able to have her own children, and I know they tried just about every technology that was available at the time. She has two adopted kids, and this was all long ago, but I'm worried of bringing up old wounds. She could be completely over it and not care at all, but I have no way of knowing that. She is very reserved about her feelings like I am, so I could totally see her not let on that she's bothered by it when she really is.
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    Kaia wrote: »
    He's comfortable with MIL. She watches him every Monday at their house.

    I guess my other issue is that I don't know how to approach it with her other than asking her to take him over to their house to babysit. I'm not sure how to approach the birth with her. She was never able to have her own children, and I know they tried just about every technology that was available at the time. She has two adopted kids, and this was all long ago, but I'm worried of bringing up old wounds. She could be completely over it and not care at all, but I have no way of knowing that. She is very reserved about her feelings like I am, so I could totally see her not let on that she's bothered by it when she really is.

    Oh my goodness - I think she would be so honoured to be a part of this. My mom couldn't have children, and my brother and I were adopted. She was thrilled to be part of DS's birth - she even got to cut his umbilical cord.

    I wouldn't worry about bringing up old wounds at all. She was still a mother to two children (now adults) - it doesn't matter whether or not they were born of her womb or of her heart (as my mom would say)
    Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

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  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    So well put!
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Hmmm, but that's the thing... I don't really want her to be a part of it, just to help watch my kid. She definitely won't be getting to cut the cord, and I'm not too keen on her seeing me half naked. If it were my mom, it'd be different. I'm not her daughter, I'm her not-very-close-step-son's wife.
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Kaia wrote: »
    Hmmm, but that's the thing... I don't really want her to be a part of it, just to help watch my kid. She definitely won't be getting to cut the cord, and I'm not too keen on her seeing me half naked. If it were my mom, it'd be different. I'm not her daughter, I'm her not-very-close-step-son's wife.



    My SIL who watched my kids while I was in labor is not my favorite person in the world. She knew that...I'm sure I'm not her favorite person either. We have a very cool, polite relationship. Not close at all. She really kept out of my way. I remember whispering to my husband during a contraction to keep his sister upstairs, that I didn't want to see her. He did it. Maybe yours could do the same with his mother.
  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    I think her being involved was meant like she would be doing her part <watching your son> and that would be her involvement.
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    shellibean wrote: »
    I think her being involved was meant like she would be doing her part <watching your son> and that would be her involvement.

    That's what I meant when I suggested it. I'm sure she would be happy to help out in whatever way you need her. I don't *think* that she would assume that you are inviting her to witness the birth, especially if you aren't especially close. Even if you were delivering in a hospital, you would still need someone to watch D.
  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Here's an article written about a family that had a home birth last September.
    Midwifery in Arkansas
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.

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