Baby's Siblings Present at Birth?


#1

Has anyone had their older children present during the delivery of a sibling? What ages were they at the time? Thought this may be an interesting expansion of the fathers present during delivery discussion :slight_smile:


#2

No. My oldest son was 2 1/2 years old when my youngest son was born. I don’t see any value in a child that age seeing childbirth. It was hard enough on me!

Peace

Tim


#3

Call me an old lady, but unless they are chronologically old enough, mature enough, and prepared for it by Mom and Dad- not a good idea. My daughter was going to have our eldest granddaughter, then 20 months, present at her sister’s birth via c-section. It was a godsend that everybody in the hospital was so busy with the prep, and didn’t think it was such a hot idea, either. Instead, we made Daddy stay (his first and last time as a willing participant in her little life), and took the new big sister for her first trip to a “big people” restaurant.

I don’t think the staff was too cool on sibs being directly present for average delivery either, as there was a staffed sibling waiting room.

Even the folks I know who do home delivery don’t have the other sibs present during the actual delivery, esp. at a very young age. The sibs are not allowed in until Mom has had a few moments to freshen up, and the baby has been at least wiped up.


#4

My oldest was 6 when her youngest sister was born. She got to be present at the birth. She had her own “coach” and they could come and go as needed. She got to go with the nurses and our Ped. to weigh and measure her while I delivered the afterbirth and nearly bled to death :).

She was not allowed back into the room because of the hemorhaging until after it got back into control but she did get to see the heavy bleeding. Her one comment about birthing is “boy it sure is bloody busines!” She was not traumatized by it though as she is now 26 and would like to get married and have children of her own.

I did a lot to prepare her as well as attending classes the hospital put on for siblings, parents and coaches.

I will say though that I probably wouldn’t allow her youngest sister at a birth at a similar age - different temperaments. I would like them in the hospital at the time of delivery so they could greet their young sibling as soon as possible though.

Brenda V.


#5

My kids freak out when I stub my toe and it bleeds just a bit. They would be so disturbed watching me in labor & delivery. My husband was queezy! Plus I need to focus all of my attention on the task at hand, not worry that they are upset or hungry or tired or bored or whatever. So it’s BIG NO for me.

But to each her own.


#6

I voted no, but wanted to explain that my births were c-section & DH wasn’t even allowed to go in with our first.

My oldest is 10 now & I’m due in Dec. Even if it wasn’t a c-section I don’t want him there. I only want my DH in w/ me.
I don’t want an audience…not my mom not my friends…no one but my DH. That’s just me though.

I had a close friend who had a home birth and her children came & went as they pleased.


#7

My rule of thumb for who gets invitied into the delivery room: anyone who was present for the conception can attend the birth. That usually takes care of crowd control.

Additionally, as someone who had very healthy and utterly uncomplicated pregnancies–followed by complicated deliveries for 2/3 of my kids–I would never want a young child exposed to that kind of unpredictable trauma. It still haunts my husband at times–I can’t imagine how you could manage to support your spouse, contain your own concern for your baby, make vital medical decisions AND calm an anxious sibling.


#8

As you know, Cecilia was born in a Birth Center in a home-birth type environment. She was born in the water. The kids were all playing in the toy room. Dad got called in at the last moment. They got to see her laying on my tummy still in the tub moments after birth. I don’t think they would have gained anything at their ages (9, 8, 6) by seeing me laying flat on a bed with legs spread,etc. If you have a water birth, they can be present because they won’t see all that much. If you are a screamer (I’m not) it may scare them. So I think it depends on the style of birth and the birthing behavior of the mom.

My personal experience with having them there was great. It felt like such a whole-family experience. My hospital births all felt like something I went away to do.

What kind of birth are you planning, CatholicSam? Is Santa going to give you a digital camera as an early present before baby is born? There are too many pictureless posts from you on the Shameless picture threads. Not that I want you not to post! :stuck_out_tongue:
I just feel like you other moms are like family. It’s nice to put a face with the name.


#9

Amen!


#10

My sister and I (8 and 13) were present at the birth of our youngest brother. My other brother (11) was there up until hard labor, and then got a little weirded out and decided he had to go to school for a test.

A neighbor-friend who was a midwife for a different hospital came with us and made sure we understood what was going on. We did have to leave at one point when they needed to make preparations for a potential c-section, and we would not have been allowed in the room if that was the case (hospital policy). Thankfully the OB was not in favor of unnecessary c-sections and the birth was vaginal.

It was really great to be a part of it, especially after all the complications during the pregnancy and almost losing both of them. We could see and hear the baby’s heartbeat, watched as the head started crowning, and witnessed the episiotomy. Between the umbilical cord being wrapped around his head, losing the heartbeat several times, and the extra bleeding risk since my mom had to be on blood thinners, it was a rather complicated delivery. His head was blue, and that was the scariest moment for me. I thought he was dead. We were part of the surprise when he popped out and realized we had a little brother. We felt really important as breathing coaches, and I got to cut the cord.

Mom walked us through what would happen for months prior to the delivery, and the whole experience was quite fascinating. I feel much better prepared to give birth myself because of it, but at 13 it’s a lot easier to understand and remember what went on. The only problem is she made it look easy :stuck_out_tongue: . My mom is an amazing woman.


#11

LoL, funny way to put it hehe

At my second birth I wasn’t planning on having my first in the room for labor and delivery, but we did all arrive together at the hospital and I thought it would be ok for her to be there while I was on the bed getting waiting, getting the IV on and stuff. Well, as soon as the nurse pulled out the needle and started putting it in my arm my one year old was in tears. I was smiling and talking to her the whole time, but she could not keep her eyes off what the nurse was doing. That’s when we decided it was time for grandma to take her out. My husband was the only one there for the birth. My husband, my mom, and my inlaws were allowed to come in while the pitocin drop was still being gradually increased and I was not in hard labor. I didn’t mind having my mom around every now and then during hard labor, but I was soo glad to have my husband :slight_smile:


#12

Right now a home birth is a little too adventurous for me. We’re going to the hospital down the street–and our two year old (who cries when we listen to the fetal heartbeat at the OB’s, the sissy!) isn’t going to be present unless the birth happens unexpectedly :eek: I can see how a water home birth would be a completely different kind of setting for siblings to participate in than a hospital delivery. It reminds me of the days of Little House on the Prairie :slight_smile:

I’ll see what we can do about the pictures :smiley: Our scanner is playing up, but maybe we can figure it out. Technology is sometimes a bigger pain than convenience, isn’t it?


#13

I think my DD could have handled it. She was 2 and half when DS was born, She almost did get to see it too since we made it to the hospital in the nick of time.

I was in terrible agony but I wasn’t screaming. I was just breathing really loud and hard.

I remember seeing one of those “Birth Story” shows on Discovery Health and a lady was trying to give birth with her son present. He looked like he was about 5 or something. This poor lady was screaming her head off and she just couldn’t get that poor baby out. Every few seconds they would switch to a clip of her in a different position. They even had some kind of trapeez thing she was holding on to while trying to push. But everytime she would scream (which was often), that poor little boy got a look or horror and started to scream too. He was also looking right at her cha-cha too. I’m positive that that little boy has been traumatized. They eventually made the dad take him out and I think they ended up using the vaccum to help pull out the baby. (This might have been the episode that my husband made me quit watching that show. I was pregnant with #1 and SCARED SILLY)


#14

i didn’t vote because we didn’t this time but don’t know about the future…


#15

DS1 was only 15 months old when DS2 was born, so we had a friend watch him for us (no family in town) after I started hard labor.

For this baby (due in June), we plan a homebirth. My sister and/or mom and/or MIL will come over to watch the kids and help DH coach me. DS1 will definitely be allowed to be there, since he’ll be 4 years old. Of course if anything goes crazy or he freaks out, there will be someone to play with him elsewhere. DS2 we’re unsure about, and are just planning to see how he does. Of course we’ll prepare them well for what a birth is like so they aren’t shocked if they see mommy making lots of noise, and a huge mess with the baby.

Janelle


#16

We made sure our older children had an adult relative responsible for their care during our home births. During the labor the children were free to come and go as they felt. Sometimes, one or more would stay very close, sometimes all would leave and play in a nearby room. The children were well prepared for the process and yes, sometimes it was a little scary for them. That might be when they decided to leave the room and have grandma read them a story. They would usually return pretty soon. Almost always they would come into the room for the actual delivery. By the time our 5th was born, the children were 8, 7, 5, and 3. The eldest saw all 4 of his siblings born. I know that all of my children, now aged 13 to 21, want to marry and have very large families. Being a part of this process seemed to be very good for them. When our 6th child is born in May, the audience will be smaller as the two eldest are in college! God bless you and your family.


#17

I think it depends on the type of child you have. Some can handle seeing a birth, others can’t. Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted to tbe there for my brother’s birth, and I was 10 at the time.


#18

I had a home waterbirth with my second. (not especially Little House on the Prairie-like…our water comes out hot from the tap and we have carpet…and I’m sure some other small differences as well :wink: )
My son stayed downstairs (2 weeks shy of 3 years old) and watched tv and played. DH was almost downstairs too because I told him to go ahead and go down and eat his lunch…I didn’t even know I was in transition!! My water broke just after he left the room and he came back upstairs just in time.
I didn’t have a specific plan for my son during the birth. He was happy to see his sister a few minutes after she was born.


#19

My own personal feeling are that this was a very special time, each and everytime between me and my husband as we brought our child into the world together. That was our personal monment to share alone, of course Doctor and nurses, but they were there to do a job. I never felt closer to him or he to me holding the new life we created. Sorry to sound selfish but there is so many other things I shared with my children.:slight_smile:


#20

Same here. We take the hospital birth route as opposed to birth center or home, and I think I might want my daughter there, but not actually in the room when the baby is born. Maybe my mom can walk her around the halls or something. There is just too much going on, and I can imagine seeing all that blood might be a little unnerving for a little one.


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