From the article: Children at Birth
If you have already had one child, you know that as your next birth approaches you need to make plans for the older sibling. Will they attend the birth, stay with grandma, wait in the waiting room or what? Do you have activities or a special bag packed? Did you hire a doula to watch them during the birth? What will you do? Or what has worked for you? Share Your Advice
DD at Birth
- Its great to hear all the stories related to siblings at birth. DD is 8, she really wants to be there and I want her there I'm just still deciding if I want her there for the actual birth? She already has sympathy pains for mama, so I don't want her to get scared at all. She is well educated about birth as I am very open with her (age appropriate) she has been very active in the whole pregnancy i.e.: coming to doc visits, reading books, being included in nursery ideas. Its been nice to here what others have experienced so thank you!
They witnessed their sister's birth
- My older children were 6, 4, and 2. Their grandma and a family friend sat with them and played for about 2 hours in the waiting room. When I was about to deliver my husband went and got everybody. They were able to watch their sister be born. I was calm myself and had talked to them lots before hand, so I didn't think they would be scared. Mostly, they were curious. I hoped the experience would help with bonding, and I think it has. We were really lucky that our doctor was open to our plans. I understand many hospitals would not allow this.
- —Guest Maureen
- I planned to have my second child at home as I had such a straightforward labor the first time. My daughter was only 2 and I didn't want her seeing me in pain so we had arranged for grandma to pick her up when the time came. As it was I ended up going into labor at 2 a.m. and had delivered by 4 a.m. so she slept through the whole thing. When she woke up she came into our room to meet her new brother and we spent the morning all together in bed.
- —Guest libs
Children Not Allowed
- When I had my second at a military hopsital children were not allowed in the labor area. When I woke at about 4:00 a.m. with contractions I contacted our Mommy's Helper (a neighborhood teen) and arranged for her to spend the day at our home - that way dd had someone caring for her and she could spend time with me as desired. I labored at home for about 12 hours before heading to the hospital knowing that my mother who lived about 1 1/2 hours away would be arriving to stay with dd shortly. I gave birth to my son within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital and an about two hours later my mother and dd arrived for their first visit. Worked out well.
- —Guest DJTurr
- When I had my second son, my first son (who was 3) was such an active part of the pregnancy that he really thought of this new baby as 'his' baby, too. Part of including him in the pregnancy was including him in the labor. He hung out in the delivery room with the rest of the family and me as I labored, though my mother in law took him out when he got bored and when I actually delivered. Then he came right back in to meet his new baby. They have had a very close bond, and I think a big part of that is his feeling a sense of ownership and connection with 'our' baby (who is now 7).
- —Guest Elizabeth
- A premature birth blew any plans I might have had. My daughter decided to be born 6 weeks early on a day when my husband was off on a road trip two states away from our home with his father. My parents who live only one 70 miles away had gone off on a 3 day get-a-way vacation for their anniversary without telling anyone where they were going. When my water broke I asked my mother-in-law who lived next door to stay with my two young sons (ages 2 and 4) and drove myself to the hospital. MIL was none too happy about it insisting it was too early to deliver and that I should just stay home. This was early morning around seven o'clock. An hour later she arranged for a babysitter and dropped the boys off so she could go to work. When I found out they were at a sitters home I phoned a girlfriend who offered to go pick the boys up... but she came to the hospital first to sit with me and hold my hand for awhile because I was all alone. My wee-sized daughter was born at 7:32 p.m.
- —Guest lila
Babysitter and friends
- This was really a source of stress for me when my 2nd child was born. My older one was just turning 3 and we have no family within 100s of miles. Finally a friend told me, "I remember how hard it was worrying about what I'd do with [big kid] while [baby] was born. Would you like me to take your child for you when it's time?" SUCH a wonderful gesture. In the end, I went to the hospital right around the time my daughter usually went to preschool. So we took her there first, then our friend picked her up and kept her until the next morning.
- —Guest catherine