Would love advice regarding DS attending this birth...

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Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624
Would love 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 know a lot of you, especially you lucky girls who get to have home births, are all about having your kids witness the wonderful moment of your babies being born, and I would totally be the same way if I had the option. But I have my babies in a hospital, and even though I go all natural and have a midwife, I still have them in a hospital. I don't think there is anything wrong with having one of our children be part of the experience.

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!!!!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

I think it's fabulous whenever any child can witness a sibling's birth, and I think boys should have the opportunity just as much as girls. It makes me so sad when I read women here on this board who want to have a natural birth but their DH doesn't think *he* can handle it, or they want a home birth & their DH is too scared. Imagine that your son experiences his mom as a strong, powerful birth warrior and experiences his father as a loving & supportive active partner in his child's birth, and takes that into adulthood and into his marriage & fatherhood. We need more men who embrace natural birth, who truly support their women, and who aren't scared of the process. You'll be helping your future DIL, your future grandchildren, and the future of natural birth.

Not to mention it's an excellent real-life example in support of abstinence & birth control. Wink I wonder if there are statistics on teenage pregnancy rates for kids who witnessed a natural birth?

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

I loved this whole post! Thank you for your thoughts.

That is exactly why I can't have a home birth. DH is scared of what could happen. I think when we first started having kids, I couldn't have done a home birth because of the fear myself...but I have grown a lot since then and I know I could do it. Now the problem is DH being afraid of something going wrong with the baby or even me. I completely understand his reasoning and its not worth it to me to get into a huge fight about it, but I still wish he had a little more confidence and was willing to give it a try.

So the next best thing we can do is labour naturally in a hospital setting but with a midwife and as little intervention as possible. I have had all my kids drug free, completely natural, had the lights dim, room quiet, etc. It was a good experience, but I think having a home birth would be so awesome! I try to do as much of the labouring at home as I can, so I am not in the hospital for too long before having the baby. Plus its a 30 minute drive to the hospital and if I had a home birth, and something went wrong, thats a ways to go if something were needing care/attention immediately.

But what you said about my son witnessing me being a strong mother delivering our baby and DH being supportive and loving as he helps me birth our child, that will be an amazing thing to witness in addition to witnessing the actual birth. Loved those thoughts! Thank you for sharing.

And LOL about the abstinence and statistics. I really wonder if there are any differences from kids who have witnessed a natural birth also. Smile

ambie719's picture
Joined: 10/03/07
Posts: 811

That is so hard since you and DH are on completely different pages. I have no personal experience with it, and since my kids are 2 and 3 there is no way I'd want them around for it, but with an older child I'd consider it if he was interested. Have you tried maybe sitting down the three of you and watching a birth video together so you can see how he really reacts and he can ask questions? My biggest concern would be not necessarily DS, but DH. If he's so concerned with everything DS might be seeing or hearing he might not be as present for you as you need him to be. I hope you guys can come to some sort of agreement.

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

"ambie719" wrote:

If he's so concerned with everything DS might be seeing or hearing he might not be as present for you as you need him to be. I hope you guys can come to some sort of agreement.

i was thinking this too...that if your DH is feeling like he needs to attend to your DS or worrying about what he is seeing, he will be less supportive for you. Although you have already done this a few times, so maybe you don't need your DH as much as some of us would. I guess if your DH doesn't want anyone there, this doesn't solve the problem, but could you have someone be there as DS' support person to help talk him through what is happening, sit with him, go with him if he needs to leave the room, etc.? I'm sure your DS will be totally fine. I don't know what your usual birthing attire is, and maybe this is off-base, but since you said DH was worried about him being a boy and seeing things he shouldn't be seeing at 8 years old, I wonder if DH is worried about DS seeing you naked for that long? What if you promised to wear a sports bra and a binsi skirt or something? I love all the stuff about DS witnessing you as a strong woman and DH is a strong supporter, I'm sure it would be such a great experience for him, especially since he WANTS to be there. If you can get DH to tell you in more detail exactly what he is worried about (why does he think he is "too young"? What exactly is he worried about him seeing?) you can figure out some kind of compromise or respond to his concerns in some way.

Joined: 08/03/07
Posts: 3348

Since your DS is 8 that's plenty old enough for him to know if it's too much and he wants to leave that he can just go head to the waiting room. Can you convince your DH that this could be a good start for him becoming a doctor? Smile


Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

Another idea is to check with your hospital on what age they allow kids in the delivery room. Some hospitals allow siblings of any age, as long as they have a minder who will explain things & usher them out if necessary. Some hospitals have a set-in-stone age limit, and if your son is older than that, then your husband shouldn't be able to say he's "too young." And some hospitals allow siblings only if they've taken a class about what to expect and how to behave. Sometimes men can change their minds more easily when the information comes from whatever they perceive to be an authority figure, LOL. Wink If an 8yo is allowed in by the hospital, with or without a class, then I say the burden is on DH to prove exactly how he can still be considered "too young."

AmberC727's picture
Joined: 06/05/06
Posts: 226

I haven't read all of the responses here, but I did want to add my experience. My son witnessed the birth of his baby sister back in 2010. He was 3 years old. The experience totally amazed him and he loved his sister intensely from the moment he first saw her. There is no sibling rivalry and he is so protective of her and talks of when she was in my belly and when we went to the "midwife's office" for Lindy to come out (it was a birth center). I'm expecting again in January and both kids will be there.

Joined: 04/23/07
Posts: 624

Yes, my son was almost 3 when my daughter was born and he witnessed that birth. It was great to have him there, although it was not planned. We just did not have any time to take him to my sisters before I had to get to the hospital so he was there because we had no choice...but looking back I am glad he was there and it was an awesome moment to have him there to be able to see his sister born and be there to get up close and touch her and kiss her right away.

I think its awesome that your son was able to witness his sister being born and that both of your kids will be there again when you have the next one. I wish my husband was more willing to allow that. Sigh...