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Thread: toddler in birthing room?

  1. #19

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    Just looking back, The OP hasn't replied yet about any of the posts to her OP.

    I would be interested to hear how she feels about children being present. She only said she didn't want her DD to be there. But why? Is it because she feels that birth is traumatic? maybe reading others birth stories where siblings have been present will help her with her choice about having her DD there or not.



    If grandma lives 4 hours way, her DD might not be comfortable with her. I am just assuming this because of distance, may mean visits with grandma are not as often as if they lived closer.
    Birthing a baby can be a traumatic event but with the right information leafding up to the birth like others have posted I think it could be a beautiful family thing.

    FireFly said that she feel it was nice for the new dad & mum to spend a little bit of time with their new baby.

    I think having the older sibling involved with the birth as much as possible could actually help alot with them adjusting to the new family member. It may help them understand that this new person is a part of the special bond that they share with mum & dad. I think having a baby is a family thing, not just a husband & wife thing.

  2. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Natalie~ View Post
    I guess it depends how you labour. I'm a raving lunatic, so probably not a good idea, but for those ladies that manage to do it quietly and calmly, I think it would be great
    Yep, this needs to be looked at as well. If you know you are not going to cope well with the labour then you need to think about that.

    When I think about it, BIRTH its self isn't traumatic. Seeing mummy in labour & how she deals with it is what could be traumatic.

  3. #21

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    There is no right or wrong here. Its a personal decision. I've seen children that I know would cope well and others I know that wouldn't. I think its a decision you need to make with your own family. But I also think that if you are going to make this decision there should be some level of preparation.

    I had Paris present with me up until I got loud then MIL went out for a walk and came back later in the afternoon. Paris wasn't there when Seth crowned but she was there a minute after, not bad I think. And she was present for the majority of the birth.

    So it really is up to you, how you birth, and what personality your child has and the level of understanding they might have iykwim?

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  4. #22

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    FionaJill, the OP did post again, about 3 down in the thread I think....

    Renee, you have have had so many interesting replies. Looking at them I think I would add more to my post. Like Caro, I had the impression that you didn't especially want DD there, and were hoping that she could be distracted by toys etc. If you would PREFER that she not be there, if you don't have a person dedicated to looking after her, then I don't think it's a good idea to take her along with only a bag of goodies to help (and I'm pretty sure Maitland won't allow it w/o her own carer).

    It's tricky isn't it--because if you find someone to look after her at the birth, that adult is also someone you have to feel comfortable with to see you in labour. I had the impression (wrong?) that you felt a paid babysitter either at home or in hospital was unaffordable. It sounds like you might be a bit isolated because obviously if you had a friend or relative to watch her, then this wouldn't be an issue

    If you would LIKE to have her, and have someone to watch her, then I agree it can be a very meaningful experience for both you & her, definitely doesn't have to be traumatic. It just depends on what you would like and on a bit of advance planning.

    I was in a similar situation when my 2nd was born. We had lived only 8 months in that town and family were not nearby. After going back & forth a bit, we decided not to bring DS no. 1, then 21 months, to the birth (the midwife had said it was A-OK either way). I'm glad I didn't...I am not a screamer or anything, but the labour ended up being long & needed all my attention.
    We had to change our care plans for him at the last minute because DS no 2 came a bit early, and the original person who was to come over, was away! We ended up taking him to the wife of someone dh worked with. He had met her before but hadn't yet been to her house. Although it would seem like a setup for trauma....midnight dropoff at a strange house...he had a great time. He and her boys, a bit older, had a fantastic time playing the next day. I went home 6 hours after delivery anyway. In later months whenever we went to her house, he did remember (with enjoyment) that special night. LOL, years later he asked to come to the birth of no 3. I said yes with no hesitation, but a couple of months before the birth he changed his mind.

    Not only do I have 4 children, I used to teach in a preschool. I can tell you that how YOU feel about the whole thing will have a big impact on how your DD responds. If you are enthusiastic about having her there, have a carer, & take time to prepare her....then it's an excellent chance that everything will be great. If you're not sure, or would rather not...she will pick up on those feelings too. If you arrange a babysitter at your or their house, & feel really secure about that, then she will probably feel very happy with it too.

    I think that making friends with a few of your neighbours, as you said, would be a good idea. I bet that one of them will offer to babysit anyway! Good luck.

  5. #23

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    Sorry, I did go back to check but must of missed it!

  6. #24

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    If you are enthusiastic about having her there, have a carer, & take time to prepare her....then it's an excellent chance that everything will be great. If you're not sure, or would rather not...she will pick up on those feelings too. If you arrange a babysitter at your or their house, & feel really secure about that, then she will probably feel very happy with it too.
    I think this is so true Castle. If a woman/family takes birthing in its stride so will the child. This is one of the big keys to this. You are absolutely correct. Renee if you are not comfy then your child probably won't be. However, maybe after hearing some differing opinions (and the glorious diversity on Belly Belly gives us that) you may either be certain of not wanting yoru child there or you may be thinking it may be an option.
    As Castle says, if you haven't got a designated carer, unless you are happy for your husband to focus on your child and not on you in the labour than you would need another person on board.

    To digress slightly. After our son was born Ruby came home from preschool a few weeks later to announce that one of her little friends had a new sister. She said, "gee mum it was so wierd he wasn't even there to see him born". Now, in sharing this it is to illlustrate to my daughter the whole process was normal. It was normal to give birth, to poo while I did it, to holler, to cry, to laugh, to do all of the things that labouring women do. It was also normal to my daughter to be a part of it. For my daughter (because she was born into a home that birth, birthing, boobies etc were so openly and often discussed and seen) it was abnormal for her little friend not to be present at his siblings birth.

    So, it is about different families also. My MIL and older SIL were absolutely horrified at our birth choices - they are very medicalised so some of my choices are difficult for them to get their heads around. However, many of my friends hold similar views so we had huge support.
    Again, I have been at many births where children are present. They will watch in awe, go to sleep, eat an apple, laugh, breastfeed... They are just so earthed and normal birthing is so grounded that with the right preparation they almost always take it in their stride. However, if a parent were nervous or unsure as Castle says this will be reflected back onto the child.

    With reference to what Fiona Jill says about a child being present at birth helping them to adjust to the new baby. I think that this most certainly has an impact. We haven'thad any issues with sibling rivalry (when a new baby is born) - and many parents report similar. My daughter now almost 12(eek!) has such a confidence in how women's bodies work. She isn't afraid to talk of her own body and knows just how much work goes into producing a baby. I think these are all good things.

  7. #25

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    Wow, what a lot of discussion this one small post has prompted!!
    I can't provide my own experience here but my SIL had her second child at home and her 20mth son slept through the whole thing. With the 3rd, she had her in a birth suite with both siblings present but also had her parents to help with the kids. The napped on beanbags and watched some of the time. They reckon it was great as a family to welcome the new bub. I think it depends a lot, as everyone else was saying, on the womans labour and the childs preperation and sensitivity.
    How about making friends with mums at playgroup, or mothers groups? Can a friend come to stay? Anyone that DD is comfy with, is responsible, and are happy to have in your home... doesnt have to be your mum or necessarily another parent. Does DD have any special friends?. If you have plenty of time to prepare her, any of the options is a possibility.
    Good luck with your decision.

  8. #26

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    WOW how inspiring some of your stories are, it ahs just occured to me that I may well be in a similar position, as my dh works out on the gas fields at moomba and is only home for 10 days a month so my mum will have to step in and be my support if he is not here, then it just hit me 'who is going to look after my kids' MIL works full time and so does my dad and step mum and both my SIL's are due within a month of me so they cant possible feel up to accepring the care of 2 children, and teh only friend I have that is close by her hubby may not be to happy about it and i dont want to cause them stress or probs, OMG I can tbeleive I had not thought of this yet ( sorry Renee I dont mean to hijack your thread )

    I have always had the opinion that no way no how is a child to be present at the birth of another child and I was pretty set on that one, but after reading some of your views and seeing how special this time was for you I think its not such a bad idea after all is it, I love the thought that my children could be a partof bringing our new baby into our home, my son 6 will love to pamper me he is a very sensative boy and my daughter is just facinated by babies and is very excoted so I think they would be ok so I think I may need ot discuss this with dh.

    any way back to your Problem Renee ( again sorry for hijacking your thread ) my ds was 2 and a half when DD was born we did not have him in the room with us during her birth but he was at the hospital he cam ein and visited me regularly and went for lots of fun walks with his nana, once she was born my mum and him came in with in a minute or so, so he was there in a sence.

    I think that if your only option is to take your daughter in with you then try to do it in a posative way as others have sugested I think being honest and making her very aware of the things that happen is a great way to make her comfortable and I love what smickers sugested about practicing with her I think that is a great idea. on the other hand if you really do not want her to come along I think finding someone in your area that could take care of her would be a good idea and get her familiar with them, perhaps as was sugested in another thread a few days back check with a local day care centre and see if any of the workers there do provide babysitting out of hours, or I guess the other option would be that you mum to come and stay with you for a little while so taht she is there when the baby is born.

    Good luck with it all I hope you work something out.

  9. #27

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    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

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  10. #28

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    With Patrick, Bella sat there in her pram and watched the whole thing. She wasn't traumatised and if anything it has made her closer to Patrick than anyone else. After Patrick was born and they had him on the warming pad checking everything, the midwives asked James to bring Bella over so she could see her baby brother. Bella was only 1 yr and 10 months. If I was to have another, I would definately allow the children in the delivery room so the could meet their brother/sister as soon as they arrived(never going to happen though!)

  11. #29

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    Oh Kelly, that artical made me tear up!

  12. #30

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    Me too!!!! Beautiful article and I can truly relate to it

  13. #31

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    wow thanks everyone, gives me so much to think about! Im actually thinking of maybe having my mum come up now and sit with DD (unless its night) til i give birth then have her come in for first cuddles The reason I didnt want my DD there was she gets very upset when I leave her. I had an ultrasound and she was nearly in tears thinking I was in pain and wanted to sit with me. But at least now with all these ideas I have a few months to decide! So many different perspectives

  14. #32

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    I think that if you want to have your kids with you, and they are prepared, and you are prepared, then that's great. But I think that you will need to have someone there to care for the little ones, and someone there to help you. And I think that there should be another room available for the little ones to go, if they do seem to be upset by everything. I think that birth is normal and natural, but that doesn't mean that every child is necessarily going to be ready to see it!

  15. #33

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    Renee, I didn't want DS to be in the birthing room, but things didn't go to plan. I had my MIL coming to stay from 37 weeks - unfortunately Tom decided to arrive at 36w. I have a history of quick labours so didn't have time to take Jack anywhere first. As it turned out we did the right thing taking him - the labour was 3 hours and the ob said thank goodness we hadn't taken the time to drop him off or wait for someone to come to the house. He wasn't there for the birth, as soon as I got the hospital and discovered the birth was imminent, we rang a friend to come and pick Jack up (she has a car seat). But let me tell you, a 3 hour labour is intense and Jack saw me in a lot of pain before he left. He wasn't phased at all. We just were calm with him and told him the baby in mummy's tummy was coming (he was 19months but understood). Once Tom was born DH went to pick Jack up and bring him back to meet his brother. Jack was really excited to meet Tom and showed no signs of trauma at all. In fact, I would say seeing mummy in the room before the baby came, and then again after, actually helped him to process it all.

    Things don't always go to plan, often it's how you deal with it when it happens that makes the difference.

  16. #34

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    See Renee, there are options! I imagine it was feeling like you didn't have any that was more worrying.

    I for one have my children in with me - the connections you make as a family are priceless.
    You never know how and when you will go into labour too - my DD missed the last one (much to her disgust) as she had to stay home and look after DS as it was in the middle of the night. She actually called my step-dad and made him bring her to the FBC so she didn't miss out!

    One point though - Yvette had enough intervention that she didn't want and if things could have been as she wished Angus would have been there too.

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