siblings at the birth

Cara - posted on 11/27/2008 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My 7 yr old son has asked if he can come to the birth of our baby due in 4 wks........... I wasn't expecting that! Have planned a hospital birth and really not sure how he will cope when we get there..... Have any of you taken older children to the birth of a sibling and if so did you put anything in to place for them? Also what was it like for you having your child there?

Would really love to here ideas thoughts or events.

thanks Cara

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Cara - posted on 11/30/2008

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Wow! Thank you to all for your comments and suggestions.

Have had several chats with our son he would really like to be there to meet his sister and isn't worried about the gore - admittedly he probably copes with it better than me and def better than hubby! The more gross the better as far as he is concerned!

Have asked my mum if she would come to support and as she was there last time I have no probs with that, mum just wn't be supporting me this time and can leave at any time if it's too much for charlie. Have discussed with Charlie that mummy might cry or scream or even get cross because having a baby hurts but thats ok because thats part of how a baby gets here, he's cool with that and is ok that he might need to go and wait in another room whilst she is born - he is adamant that he wants to be her first visitor! I am so pleased he is so excited about baby coming.

Am looking in to a programme about how babies get here and will see how he feels after that but looks like he's coming for definate.

Once again thanks for all your input and warm wishes

Take care

Cara

Dianna - posted on 11/29/2008

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I let my 10 year old son see the birth of my daughter. We did several things ahead of time to prepare him. We gave him books to read, and let him watch the Miracle of Birth (we thought he would back out after that) We also prepared him for seeing me in pain. You will also need to talk to the hospital and make sure they will let him participate in the birth. It went really well for us. He still talks about it (his sister is 9 now), and it was a good experience for our family.

Laura - posted on 11/29/2008

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It's really a personal decision, can he handle it? Are you comfortable with it? Are you willing to have another adult in the room? Because if he comes, you will have to have someone there in charge of him (not your husband). This would have to be someone who knows him very well, who can take him out if it becomes necessary because of an emergency situation or because your son just can't handle it.

Nicole - posted on 11/29/2008

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Hi Cara,

Overall, this is you and your husbands decision to make, you know how your 7 year old handles situations ... like for instance, when he falls and possibly skins his knee, how does he handle it, does he freak out over the sight of blood and everything or does he do pretty well ... I mean I know that a 7 year old that falls and skins his knee is going to cry because it hurts, I mean heck, I skin something on my body and I'm nearly in tears ... but overall think of how he handles "different" situations involving things that he might not be used to ... or even if you have a channel available on your TV that offers live births of babies, they don't show any "privates" but maybe the hustle and bustle of a real live birth might give you a relatively good idea of how he might handle yours ... the only thing I can imagine that would be a little difficult to figure out is ... those women he doesn't know personally .... you he does. Talk to him about the possibilities of what could happen ... like lots of screaming, lots of blood, something possibly going wrong (Heaven forbid!!) etc., etc. Or even bring him to your next prenatal appointment and have your doctor explain everything to him ... the best thing you can do is explain things to him in great detail so he's prepared for everything so in case if the end decision is made that he can be in there he's not freaked out by the slightest thing going a little out of whack.

Gretchen - posted on 11/29/2008

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Well, I have no experience to go on, and the other moms had really good suggestions, I can see both sides! If you're not comfortable with your son being in the room with you, maybe you can give him another "job". Are there going to be other family members at the hospital with you? Maybe you can explain that you really need his help making sure everyone outside the delivery room is ok - it would be great training for his new role as big brother! Maybe something like, "Oh, you know how worked up Grandma gets, it would be a huge help if you could make sure she stays calm!". Like I said, no experience, and you know your son better than anyone! By the way, congratulations, and good luck!!!

Heather - posted on 11/29/2008

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My 7 yr old was there when I had a c-section. He wanted to see his brother born. I did have my mom be right with him and explain things that were going on and she was ready to take him off if it got to be too much...good luck with your decision

Kathy - posted on 11/28/2008

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I HAVE NEVA HAD ANY OF MA BABES IN THE HOSPITAL WITH ME... THE EXPERIENCE THAT I HAVE HAD IS WHEN MA SISTA HAD HER AT THE TIME 4 YR OLD AND 7 YR OLD WITH HER WHEN SHE DELIVERED HER LAST DAUGHTER (NOW 6) WELL THE PROBLEMS ENDURED WITH THIS WAS THAT ONE OF THEM I CANT REMEMBER WHICH ONE I THINK THE MIDDLE ONE, WAS SO AFRAID THAT IF SHE WENT TO THE BATHROOM SHE WAS GONNA HAVE A BABY....SO SHE STARTED TO HAVE ACCIDENTS AGAIN.....BUT AS SOME OF THE MOMS SAY THIS IS YOUR DECISION OF WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, JUST MAKE SURE THAT SOMEONE WILL BE THERE IN CASE HE WANTS TO WAIT OUTSIDE...THATS WHERE MY SISTA'S GIRLS WHERE WHEN I HAD MA FIRST BORN......AND EVEN THEN THEY WAS STILL A LIL SCARED CAUSE THEY WAS OUTSIDE THE DOOR....

Emily - posted on 11/27/2008

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i think it depends how you were with your last labor. if you were very loud it might scare him and i wouldn't bring him. but if you handled the pain well bring a grandparent or friend with you and let him be with you. that way if he gets scared someone can take himm out and also during the delivery i would have him step out.

[deleted account]

Oh I forgot to tell you that for me it was wonderful for her to be there! Being surrounded by the ppl I love and love me. She that it was really cool but gross and it is also something that she tells everyone she meets, that she got to see her brother being born. Having someone there for her that I trusted to take care of her was great and relieved any anxiety I might have had. I actually forgot that she was there when I was in very active labour!

[deleted account]

My daugther was at the birth of my son and she was a month shy of her 8th bday. I had my parents there to keep an eye on her, and she was great! She helped me during my labour ( rubbing my back) and sat and talked with everyone. She knew what was happening to me and that I was in pain but that it was necessary for Ethan to come. She did get a little scared at the end when I was screaming she said it scared her. That I did not fully prepare her for ( also didn't know I would scream lilke that though!). I had a homebirth so it made things a little easier because she was in her own surroundings so she went to her room. She came out after my mom talked to her.

If I were to have had him at the hospital I would probably try and see if I could take her on a tour so she can see the room and the equipment, so she knows what to expect. Also explain what is going to happen, there are books and probably something online that will help explain to him to will probably happen and remember to explain that you will be in pain and have that one person that will take him out of the room if he cannot handle the situation.

Good luck and I hope this helps!
Jamie-Lea

[deleted account]

My 5 yr old really wanted to come to watch the recent birth of his brother. We finally decided not to let him. He definitely is mature enough; however, even though it was my third pregnancy and the other two were "textbook" delivery.. you never know when something unexpected might happen. We thought it would be too much if I were to start hemorraging or there was something wrong with the baby, etc. We did let him go to my appointments and see my baby magazines with pictures of a delivery and talked to him about what would be happening. Even though it wasn't the same, he was okay with that. We gave him the "job" of staying with hi little sister and taking care of her while mommy and daddy were t the hospital. I think it's neat that he wants to be there! If you decide to take him, have a back up plan for emergencies If you decide not to, have a special task for him to do at home that makes him feel like you need him to be home to help and that has him involved with the baby.

Rebecca - posted on 11/27/2008

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Hey!! When i went in to have my son, my daughter was there, but the doctors and nurses asked for her to leave. I wasnt really thinking about her beening in the room but after my son was born i was really glad that she wasnt there (i have no time for drugs so i was not a happy camper) But she was one of the first people to see her like brother and she loved it!!!!!

Melissa - posted on 11/27/2008

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Hi Cara hun, I was 16 when my mum asked me to be with her at the birth of my baby sister (now 15). I found it both fascinating and exciting but as well I felt did feel a big sense of pressure to take care of my mum during this time. I was of course much older than Charlie and felt capable of dealing with that pressure, but I think it was because I cared so much about my mum and seeing her in pain hurt me too! The memory of being there when my sister was born outweighed any fear or pressure I had felt but again I was older than Charlie. I think it's lovely that he's been taking so much interest in the baby, if you do decide to let him go I would probably just suggest ensure you have someone on hand to take him if he gets bored, tired, upset, etc, and perhaps check out some appropriate childbirth video's to introduce him to it so that he's not too shocked by the whole experience. Good luck witht he decision making and of course with babe - take care of yourself - see you soon xx

[deleted account]

My 15 year old daughter was with us when I had my last son. (now 9). She chose how invloved she wanted to be and was old enough to understand what was going on. Personally, I think 7 may be a little young. It might upset him to see you in pain or to see "it" happen 'to you". I know many people do let there little ones watch, but I think any upset they might experience would out weigh any benefit . Also I would have been worried about him when I needed to be concentrating on the birth. Sarah was old enough to get food, go to the bathroom or leave the room if she wanted to. Good luck with the new baby and the decision!!!

Toni - posted on 11/27/2008

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I didn't take any children into the birth, but I did take my husband. I know I spent valuable labour time and energy being too involved in his feelings. I know now that I would prefer to take only those who were supporting me at this vulnerable time. Even though there are beautiful moments after the baby is here, I think birth and labour can be a violent time, even good births. I would prefer my children to not watch me giving birth. What about letting him see an animal being born first? that might give you a good idea of his reaction.

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