Need advice regarding DS attending this birth...

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Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624
Need advice regarding DS attending this birth...

Hey ladies,

I need some advice...

My first born is 8 years old and he is very smart and mature for his age. He is super excited about this baby especially since its the chance he might finally get a brother. He has two younger sisters and desperately wants a baby brother this time around. We are being surprised on gender so the big reveal when I have the baby will be a really cool moment. He wants to be at the birth and I am more than happy to have him there. I think he could totally handle it. He was actually at DD1's birth...not planned but we had no choice as we had to rush to the hospital when I was in transition and we had no time to get him to my sisters house. So he witnessed her birth at age 3 and handled it really well. He also claims to remember that and said he would be fine this time around also. He understands where a baby comes out of and that there may be blood and I will be in pain, etc. but he thinks he could be just fine to see it all.

My problem is this: DH thinks he is way too young to see that. Granted, he was younger when he witnessed DD1 being born but we had no choice in that situation so it couldn't be helped. He thinks he is too young and also thinks since he is a boy he should see it. I really want to bring up the topic again and see if we can discuss it and come to an understanding about it.

We had a talk the other day about it and he revealed to me that he doesn't really think anyone other than him and the hospital staff, my midwife, etc. should ever be there...but in the past I have had two sisters and DS at one birth, and my mom at my most recent birth. I asked him if he wished they weren't there and he said he preferred that others are not present, but he agrees to it because it is ultimately up to me to decide who gets to be there. The only reason he is putting his foot down regarding DS being there this time is because of his age, and also maybe because he is a boy.

I think part of the reason DH feels this way is because he was raised in a home where they didn't show a lot of public affection for eachother. He hardly ever saw his parents hug or kiss, they kept that kind of thing to the bedroom when they had privacy. When we first started dating he had a hard time just showing affection to me in public...even something as simple as holding my hand. So maybe he thinks something like this should be very private and not visible for just anyone to see and be a part of.

I think DS would love it and it would be such a special moment especially if we have another son. Any advice or thoughts on how I could bring it up again and approach it in a way that would make him understand that it could be a great experience for all of us and such a wonderful moment for DS to be a part of....anything would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1316

What a cool thing that your son wants to be at the birth.
I think that as long as your son is prepared then it shouldn't be an issue. Him being a boy shouldn't be an issue. Just because he doesn't own a vagina, doesn't mean he shouldn't know how it works. He'll find out eventually. Your hubby isn't a girl and he gets to be at the birth.
I say if your hubby is concerned then you should prepare your son by watching videos and reading books together so that he grasps the idea of what he is about to witness.

Maybe explaining to your husband about what an amazing opportunity it is for your son. Not only to witness a birth, but to witness the birth of your younger sibling. Such a cool learning experience. Nature first hand! I suggest having a support person "on call" in case your son decides he can't handle it and wants to go somewhere else.

Not sure if any of that is advice... I think it's awesome your son is interested. Usually kids his age could care less! LOL!

Military Mom's picture
Joined: 09/09/04
Posts: 369

That is a difficult one.... I guess I say that because I know personally sometimes getting DH onboard with your thoughts or opinions can be a challenge sometimes, especially if they feel very strongly about something. What I would recommend doing is sitting down with him and ask him what his concerns are and express how you feel - that it would be a special moment that once missed, he may not have another chance (or at least until his wife, 20 years from now gives birth Wink ) and see if you can find someway to sell it to him.

My oldest DD, who is 16 - almost 17- wants to be there for the birth. I told her that I would think it over and I think it might be a good thing for her as well... I actually knew I thought it was ok but wanted to let DH know before I gave her the yes or no answer... well turns out, I dont have to even answer it bc at the hospital here, I was told that you are only allowed to have person in the room at a time. And if I end up with a c-section, its just one person the short time I am in there. And I dont want to take that experience away from DH. Of course her being smart, she said we he was there for DD#2 so its my turn LOL...

I am sure I wasnt too much help but I hope you all can come to an agreement! Smile

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

I think it is difficult because you need to be able to respect your DH's feelings, yet you are confident that this is a rare opportunity your son would not want to miss.

In my daughter's case, her children are around the house for the birth of their siblings. Close friends are there to help keep the atmosphere calm (no buddies running around playing video games etc) and to explain anything they question in a gentle way. The kids are prepared according to their ages. The biggest difficulty was dealing with her stepson's mother's feelings. She was pretty much thinking along the same lines as your husband, that the 10 year old should not witness this event. Her DSS definitely wanted to witness his surprise sib's arrival. In fact, years ago it was DD who had explained the "facts of life" to him, so their relationship is a close one. It was eventually determined by where DSS was staying when the baby arrived. It turned out he was there for the birth. He hopes to attend the new baby's birth in August too. It's a pretty natural part of family life for him by now.

Brothers

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

"azin_may" wrote:

What a cool thing that your son wants to be at the birth.
I think that as long as your son is prepared then it shouldn't be an issue. Him being a boy shouldn't be an issue. Just because he doesn't own a vagina, doesn't mean he shouldn't know how it works. He'll find out eventually. Your hubby isn't a girl and he gets to be at the birth.
I say if your hubby is concerned then you should prepare your son by watching videos and reading books together so that he grasps the idea of what he is about to witness.

Maybe explaining to your husband about what an amazing opportunity it is for your son. Not only to witness a birth, but to witness the birth of your younger sibling. Such a cool learning experience. Nature first hand! I suggest having a support person "on call" in case your son decides he can't handle it and wants to go somewhere else.

Not sure if any of that is advice... I think it's awesome your son is interested. Usually kids his age could care less! LOL!

Alison,

The bolded section made me laugh!! But its so true...I completely agree. I have been watching the TLC shows a baby story and babys first day and my kids walk in the room and often times watch with me. My son has also watched the two videos of his sisters being born, so I think we are good there. Thanks for your thoughts! Very helpful. Smile

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

"Military Mom" wrote:

That is a difficult one.... I guess I say that because I know personally sometimes getting DH onboard with your thoughts or opinions can be a challenge sometimes, especially if they feel very strongly about something. What I would recommend doing is sitting down with him and ask him what his concerns are and express how you feel - that it would be a special moment that once missed, he may not have another chance (or at least until his wife, 20 years from now gives birth Wink ) and see if you can find someway to sell it to him.

I am sure I wasnt too much help but I hope you all can come to an agreement! Smile

Thanks for your thoughts Jill! I especially will try the bolded section. Smile

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

"gardenbug" wrote:

I think it is difficult because you need to be able to respect your DH's feelings, yet you are confident that this is a rare opportunity your son would not want to miss.

In my daughter's case, her children are around the house for the birth of their siblings. Close friends are there to help keep the atmosphere calm (no buddies running around playing video games etc) and to explain anything they question in a gentle way. The kids are prepared according to their ages. The biggest difficulty was dealing with her stepson's mother's feelings. She was pretty much thinking along the same lines as your husband, that the 10 year old should not witness this event. Her DSS definitely wanted to witness his surprise sib's arrival. In fact, years ago it was DD who had explained the "facts of life" to him, so their relationship is a close one. It was eventually determined by where DSS was staying when the baby arrived. It turned out he was there for the birth. He hopes to attend the new baby's birth in August too. It's a pretty natural part of family life for him by now.

Brothers

What a sweet picture of brothers bonding! Thank you for sharing. I loved reading your thoughts also. Thank you for taking to time to give me some input. Its much appreciated!

Joined: 11/17/06
Posts: 437

I agree with others, asking for his concerns will be key to getting him on board. It's important he understands you have considered his concerns and not just dismissed them.

Perhaps asking him something like, "I understand you are worried that he is young and he is 8. Can you be a little more specific about what makes you feel like he's not mature enough to attend?"

Maybe he's concerned about where witnessing the birth could go or if it could open up conversations he is not comfortable/willing to have just yet. Perhaps you could suggest the three of you sitting down and watching a live birth together before the actual event to see how he handles it and what questions arise. This might give DH peace of mind that he needs.

I personally think it's wonderful that he is interested and wants to be there. It's a good sign that he has been taught the value of family and very much cherishes his siblings which is adorable and a great kudos to you mom!

Once you've heard your DH's concerns ask him to allow you the chance to explain why you think it's a great idea. Then maybe you could come to compromise if you can't get DH fully on board. Like he could be at the hospital and the first one in to see the baby afterwards? This way he doesn't feel left out.

Good luck!

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

Maybe he could be in charge of announcing "It's a .....!!!"

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Sorry you have to deal with this. I can understand being a private affair, but I also think that DS is “not just anybody” – as I would consider nurses who walk in and out of a room haphazardly. I also think that DS would definitely need a support person. Could some of DH’s feelings come out of mild jealousy that he wants to meet the baby first, or that his “job” at the birth will be taken over, or that DS would require too much attention and DH wouldn’t be able to do his “job”? All these things can be dealt with, so yes, a talk about the specifics is in order.

As for “being a boy”, DSS was there for two of his sibling’s births. At 8yo, he was more interested in playing his video game than the birth of his brother, though he came up shortly after brother was born. He was supposed to cut the cord but got scared at the last minute that it would hurt the new baby.
At 10yo (DD’s birth), his mother refused to wake him up and bring him over to our house for the birth. He was very upset when he found out that it was his mother who wouldn’t let him come over – she’d led him to believe that we hadn’t tried to tell him.
At 11yo, he was there for the whole thing, and super excited (“I knew it would be a brother!”). He didn’t have any issues whatsoever with nakedness – as he likely would on any other occasion, and I was completely naked!
Now at 13 – he wants to be there and has asked that we arrange the time schedule to be sure that he is there. Unfortunately, his mother has arranged for him to be out of the province for the first 2 weeks of August, and I’ve been 2wk2d and 3wk early, so there seems to be a pretty good chance that he will miss the birth, but I hope not.

Personally, I think that there is so much to be gained from a child at a birth, that isn’t just about family. It’s about the facts of life. It’s about not being scared of the natural process of birth that is an “unknown” to many of us – particularly boys and men. It’s about understanding how life works. It’s about family. It’s about supporting women and the birthing process in general later in his life. It’s about connection with your family.
To me, telling a sibling that they are not allowed at a birth instills fear of the unknown, tells the child that “they can’t deal with it”, makes birth a mystery and scary as opposed to normal (after all we were all born – why should it be a mystery?), and brings up all sorts of questions about development that can be answered simply from experiencing it.

And then there are the obvious things like knowing your sibling from the time they were born that brings an extreme closeness.

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

Thank you for your thoughts. I really appreciate them. I agree with them and will see if using this approach will help...

So far, I have not been able to sway DH on the matter. Sigh...