Every other time I've given birth the children were too young to truly understand or want to be there.
But this time my 5.5 year old daughter is set on being there. She's excited and kind of hardcore about it. I said there is blood, and there might be yelling. LOL. She's thrilled.
What did you do to prepare your children? I was thinking of watching some animal births on youtube...ideas?
DD's stepson was 8 and 10 when Reed and Ivy were born. He attended MW appointments, listened to heartbeats, and watched films that the MW provided about home births and installing car seats etc....
I found a few children's books about families having new babies which he enjoyed but most of all a detailed scientific photography book from the library interested him. It had those gorgeous month by month photos of baby's development.
When the time came for Reed's birth though, computer games in the basement seemed most interesting. He joined everyone in the hot tub immediately upon his brother's birth though and he remains very proud of that. He was afraid to cut the cord, worried he'd hurt Sarah or baby. For Ivy's birth, his Mom had other plans and only told him much later in the day about her birth. He came over that evening to meet her for a little while.
This time he is still super excited. He and his Dad have a bet: DGS says "boy", DSIL says "girl". It's funny because neither has his heart set either way. His biggest worry is that his mother won't tell him when the time comes and he'll miss the birth. Unfortunately, that is a distinct possibility. So keep your fingers crossed that surprise baby comes during his time with his Dad! We're almost down to counting weeks in the single digits!
Leo (3 1/2) with Malcolm the cat
I don't have personal experience with this but my DH does. He was present for the birth of his 4 younger siblings and old enough to remember the latter 2. He says his parents didn't do much more than tell him that mommy's OK if she's yelling. He said he was still scared so he'd leave the room. I'd personally want to do more to prepare my own children.
Your daughter sounds naturally inquisitive about the birth. I think animal birth videos are a good idea. I think there are some good books you can read to smaller kids to prepare them.
Here's a webpage with a list of books and DVDs for preparing siblings for birth.
I'm so glad you asked this question! My 5 year old boy will be present for our home birth as well and I'm starting to feel the need to prepare him more than just what we have talked about. I've had no luck with finding any good books at our local library or bookstore so I'm going to have to check out that link. Also never thought of letting him watch animal births. That might be a good intro into it.
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)
You can see kittens being born in the movie "Milo and Otis" too...I'd forgotten about that.
My 6yo stepdaughter wants to be at the birth and I was wondering the same thing. I borrowed a couple of books from my midwives. One is called "Welcome With Love" by Jenni Overend. It has great illustrations of a woman in labor and giving birth - not too graphic or anything. DSD really liked it. We have another one called "Sophie and the New Baby, by Catherine and Laurence Anholt, but it's not quite what I was looking for. It's more about adjusting to a new sibling, rather than about birth. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
This is from the Resource sticky:
I don't have any personal experience with this. DD was too young and since we were having a hospital birth, it was kind of easier for her to not be there, though it was her first time being away from us overnight and was very difficult for her...hopefully none of my other kids will go through that. I think we'll probably plan a homebirth next time, and DD should be old enough to possibly be interested in it.Books for Children about homebirth and natural birth:
Runa’s Birth: The Day My Sister Was Born, by Uwe and Inga Kamieth Spillmann
Mom and Dad and I are Having a Baby, by Maryanne Malecki
Welcome with Love, by Jenni Overend and Julie Vivas
Being Born, by Sheila Kitzinger
I get that, Brittany. Our plans have always included sending the children to my ILs if our homebirth turns into a hospital birth. I'm just not comfortable having them there, particularly because if we transfer it's because there is a complication.
DS is too young, but he's already watching youtube births with me I say go ahead and find/censor youtube births of ladies that would help and go ahead and show her that. I think animals are good too, but I've seen several great videos that I love watching that I would show my son and my two nieces anytime!
I would love to have DS at our next birth, but given the screaming I did last time, I don't want to scare him!