Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Young child in birthing room?

I recently caught up with a friend who had her little boy a few weeks before I did.  She also had a very quick birth - just 2 hours, so we had a few things in common.

My main concern before having my little boy was who would look after my kids whilst I was giving birth, as circumstances change with every hour.  Some of our backups worked, some would be away on certain days, some had young children themselves, etc.  So needless to say I felt a wave of relief when my doctor booked me in for a induction and my mum could fly down from Cairns with ample time.  I really wanted the experience of me going of to hospital and bringing home a new baby to be a special and relaxed time for my older children (4 and 6).  And it was, and they were terribly spoilt by Grandma, but what are Grandma's for?

I had thought about what would happen if I went into labour early and could not find anyone available on short notice to look after the children.  I imagined having them in the hospital room with my husband and I whilst I was in labour.  Of course this was me going through the worst case scenario for our family, but I was very anxious at the thought of the children seeing me in such pain.  I have no doubt if that had been the way things panned out, I would have been going through labour on my own whilst my husband looked after the children until their aunts arrived to look after them.  Not the ideal way to bring a child into the world.

Whilst I respect women's decision on what sort of birth to have, I was very surprised when my friend told  me her husband and her seriously considered having their 5 year old with them at the birth of their second child.  Again, each to their own, but I imagine that seeing his mum go through such pain (not to mention the blood, etc that goes along with child birth) would have been far more traumatic then missing being with his parents at that time.

What do you think?  Do you know someone that has included their children in the birth of their siblings?  What was the outcome, did the kids enjoy the experience?  I would be very interested to hear these stories.


1 comment:

  1. For a split second my husband toyed with the idea of our then 4 year old to be at the birth of our 3rd baby. Needless to say I was mortified and after discussing the potential trauma he could experience from seeing his mother in pain, blood (and other bodily fluids) and seeing his baby brother born covered in the usual goop - we both firmly decided against it. He was waaaaay too young and I'm certain he wouldn't cope with any of what would go on in a labour room, not to mention if things went wrong with the labour/baby. In saying that, some friends of ours let their 12 year old in for the birth of his baby brother and I'm led to believe it was a really positive experience for them. As you say, each to their own....I guess it comes down to the age and maturity of the child and making sure you prepare them for the worst. I can't say I'd be doing it with a 5 year old that's for sure.