monday, september 10

i have been thinking a lot about our upcoming birth. since this will be my first experience without having any family around, i am really feeling the need to wrap my thoughts around the many scenarios of how this may play out. it is not the birthing process that is my concern (not yet anyway), it is the whereabouts of my children while i am birthing. i think when every mother has her second child, you surrender in that first contraction knowing that for the next several hours you are actually the only person who can't look after your older child. in the beginning i was thinking anyone in our montessori community would take my boys if i was to labor durning the day, without a doubt i could ring anyone and know my children would be cared for. we also have amazing neighbours who would scoop them up in a heart beat, feed them, and make them a bed for the night.

as i approach my third trimester my thoughts on the subject seem to be changing. it is a sacred thing to give birth and those indivuals you invite into that circle should be carefully selected. most of my dear friends work and have other children of their own to look after, and squeeze into their cars. their lives are full and busy. i guess what i am getting at is i don't want the situation to occur where my children are gathered up sort of randomly, or split up due to car space.

which leads me into my thoughts on having the children present at the birth. i want them to be prepared, as well as myself, if that is where this journey takes us. i know people have strong views on this subject, and actually i never thought it would be something i would ever choose until recently. i am still doing my research on the subject but would love to hear of others experiences with it. advise? criticism? all views are welcome on the subject so please do share your opinion.

i am comfortable birthing with just the midwives, i've been placed on the "team midwife program" which is a group of midwives that birth in the most wholelistic way...for lack of a better description. i have faith that they would be sensitive and aware of my children as well. if michael needed to wait with the children in the "family room" in the midwives section of the hospital, which would most likely be just down the hall from me, at least he would be close to join in when the baby does make it's entry into the world. i realize michael would be going back and forth from both rooms, but if the children got curious then they would have the opportunity to do the same. to participate as much or as little as they choose.



  1. I think this is the hardest thing of living away from home. There are new friends for a new place, but still so hard to find someone you can truly call in the middle of the night for such an event.

    I think many children might become more demanding if away from home in a strange place e.g. family room, which could seriously tie your husband up during the entire night.

    Could you consider having them there, but with a babysitter (e.g. an overnight "Dial-an-Angel" service) so that your husband is not the primary carer? Costly, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime event!

  2. There's lots to think about isn't there? I remember caring for a woman in labour whose 7 year old son was present in the room. She was unbelievably calm and composed during her labour but when transition came along, things naturally got a bit more intense (as they do!) and her little boy struggled to see his muma like that. I opened the door to the balcony and he wandered out when it got too much for him and then had sneak peaks to make sure she was ok. I'm sure she prepared him for everything...but in the end of the's a personality thing...and the power of birth overwhelmed him.

    Skye was fast asleep when Joy was born. But if she was to have woken up I would have called my mum...because I felt she was too young (and too distracting for me) to witness Joys birth. But I think for our next babe, she will be old enough. But then again, who knows...and that's where family around is so valuable - to help out in tricky situation like these.

    I think your plan of having them there but allowing them to wait in another room with Michael ducking out to check on them is absolutely fine.


    PS. Looking gorgeous as always!
    PPS. Alison at This Cosy Corner has a beautiful birth story where her two boys were present at her third sons birth.

  3. Gosh, I hadn't thought about it from that perspective. Can I say firstly as a friend, I would be amazed if your friends didn't drop everything to help you, so don't think it would be too hard for them. I know if you asked me, as an example, I would make it my priority and would make sure it was amazing for the boys and I know you would do the same for a friend.

    I love the ideas of the children present at a birth and would have loved it if I'd gone for another. HOWEVER, I think my decision would have been made on how well I think I would have coped with an audience of little ones. Would you feel you had to control yourself more..? I don't know, but interested to hear what you decide in the end.xx

  4. I haven't thought much about it but I am curious to hear what you decide. If I had another ideally I would like someone we trust to have the children close by- backyard if I was at home or at a nearby park if I was at a hospital (and it was daytime) and they could be ushered in at the last moment if they wanted. I laboured with Indi for around 26 hours and 25 of those were at home. North watched my labour progress from nothing to quite strong but he was quite young (almost 2) so we wasn't totally aware and thought I was just making funny noises sometimes. But I did find being at home and doing semi-normal things with him and Brad was a lot more calming than being in the hospital all that time.

    Hope you share what you decided to do with us! .... or at least what your bub decided to do- it's always their choice isn't it! xo m.

  5. I don't have much of a thought or opinion on children at birth yet since my daughter is only 10 months. But I have experienced birthing in another country without my family. Could you maybe have a doula with you so that when your husband needs to mind the children atleast you have some constant support? We had a doula at our birth and it was great in the sense that my husband was able to take a break yet I still had the support other than the midwives who often get busy with others?!

    I am enjoying your journey!

  6. I know families who had their birth together with the kids, in the same room - but I am not sure it would be anything for me.

    With the girl the labour was long and giving birth was hard, with the boy it has been good but I can't imagine having had the girl around, well, she was quite small, just 1,5 yrs but still. I would have been too focused on myself and she would have been too focused on me... I am not the loud labour person but I think it all might be scaring for little ones? I don't know.

    I am sure the boys would be fine at a friend. What about the lady who took care of Quinn once a week? Who read stories and crafted? She did not seem to have small kids and maybe she would be coming to your house at any time and provide the kids with their usual day routine?

    I can understand your thoughts and feelings and I hope you find a solution which is good for you all, ask your friends, I believe they are more than happy to help.

    1. miss s...she is due with her first bub seven days before me.

    2. What coincidence, oh dear. Nevertheless I am sure there is something up there, knowing your thoughts and fears and will present a solution.

  7. I think the two room option is good so the boys can be nearby and attend only if they want to. Perhaps that would put your mind most at ease during labour.
    Otherwise, it may be a good opportunity to trust your new friends and allow them to show you what they can do for you. Its ok to stipulate that you want them together. Good luck. xxx

  8. i do trust our friends completely. it just comes down to the logistics of when and where and who's working. if it works out that would be great, but if it doesn't i want us all to be prepared. there are really only about three homes that my children would feel comfortable at and i would feel comfortable with them being at as we all go through the process of me birthing and adding to our family. i imagine it may bring up some things inside my boys and i would want the right people to be with them.

    thank you for your comments, it gives me lots to think about and i will keep you posted.


  9. I have not yet been in that situation, but for me, the idea of having the other children around is beautiful. What a way to include them in such a life changing event, should they want to. Having them in another room with the ability to come in to check on you if they wish puts them in if it is too much, they can wander away. With my Daughter, I had a very LOUD natural birth...and I think she may get scared if we went down that road again, but I would be happy to let her make that choice...your boys are much older than she is. I'd go with your heart...and do what you feel comfortable with because at the time, you are only going to be able to focus on you and the life you are about to bring into the world. Best of luck :)

  10. When I was a pediatric nurse, I taught a class on "Sibling Rivalry" that was mandatory for children who were to be present at the birth of a new baby. I know Kelly's best friend, Kandyce, who has 9 children, believes they should be a part of the experience, especially with home births. However, you know your boys and even though it's a "good pain," they still see you in pain and that may be hard for them. I know you'll make the right decision, XOXO

  11. i am a nurse in labor & delivery, although i work at a "high risk" hospital so i'm not in a birthing center type setting. i have seen children present during birth & i feel it totally depends on your personality & theirs. are they more on the laid back side? able to sit & keep themselves entertained while michael is tending to you through contractions? or are they more on the high maintenance side {for lack of a better description & in NO way a negative one} & needing his attention more....taking away from your needs {our midwives still have other patients to tend too & so that can't sit with one patient for hours and hours, nor can the nurse}. along with your i can't handle a bunch of chaos & negative energy when i'm stressed or in makes me more anxious &/or upset. so if my girls were extra needy or hyper or having an off {bad} day i couldn't personally handle that during my labor. along with the fact that my husband is a bit high strung, so while he could handle supporting me through contractions he wouldn't deal well with helping me & dealing with the kids if they were not behaving. we have a curtain that can be closed so the family can be in the room and be a part of the delivery yet the mom still has privacy if needed {is that something your hospital offers?}. i think that the family room sounds ok yet in the end are you going to be disappointed if you are already not with your family & then michael is not present for the birth of your baby? do you have a friend in particular that can be on speed dial to be what you described above for michael to be? you guys go to the hospital as a family of 4 & if things got to the point that you felt like they needed to be out of the room for a bit yet you didn't want michael to leave you could call her to step in & care for the boys yet be close to your room to come in & out......& actually come in for the birth? i feel like birth is very natural, bloody & screaming in this situation doesn't mean bad & death. so i am VERY free in letting my girls watch birthing stories on tv ALL THE TIME. it's actually what they ask to watch quite frequently, so while my girls are a tad older than yours {8 & 6} they would handle watching me birth just fine!! i definitely think there is much to be considered personality wise for all 4 of you. then to have a friend on stand by that is 100% committed to stepping in to help you if needed. i think it's awesome if you choose to have your boys with you in the room but i also think realistically you need to be prepared that despite all the preparing in the world, it might not be enough when it actually comes down to the birth. i'm with you on thinking it's best to having all your ducks lined up.....i would feel very unsettled & anxious if i didn't know exactly what my plan was going to be without family near by!! ending the writing of this mini book i've written!! xxxx

  12. The belly is growing and it is looking low to me at least in these photos. Decisions, decisions....I'm sure you will come up with the right one for your experience and for the boys. Love Ya, Mom

  13. Hey it's been a while. But this seemed like the perfect post to comment on since i had my third last year. I had my second at home and planned to allow my eldest to sleep and come and watch if she wanted and just to have someone else there just to hang out with her and take her out if it all got a bit too much. As it happened. It was all a bit too much for me and i found i was stopping the labour from progressing and holding back whilst she was there. I couldn't entirely focus on what i needed to do and so i was relieved when she went to stay with her Grandma instead. The serious bit kicked in within minutes of her leaving. I think i relaxed.

    With my third i went back into hospital so it wasn't an option either way.

    I think the point i would make is that you know your children, the way you birth and how comfortable you are with leaving them with other people.

    Your boys are older now and may be much better at understanding what is going on than my little girl but for me I have to birth totally focussed and no distraction and i found it so difficult not to be 'present' in parenting my older children whilst also focussing on what i needed to do to deliver my baby.

    I think it is good to have people on stand by and then you can assess how you feel when it begins because i think only you will know.

    P.S SO happy for you! I felt a bit teary seeing your bump. I didn't realise i hadn't been over in quite a while until I saw your beautiful bump. I am wishing you every happiness for your family. xx

  14. sorry its taken me a while to comment. i read this and it brought back a lot of memories .. I was present aged 10 when my sister was born. it was a really important experience for me, kind of like a rite of passage, growing up, seeing my mama birth a little one who was my much hoped for sister. understanding (on some level) what goes on to bring life into the world. I was quiet and present and helped the midwife (she was born after 20 minutes at the hospital) and was the first person to see her and cut the cord. my own mum remembers that I was more calm than my dad was and i never left elise's side even when she was being weighed etc. mum's said she was grateful for that. my brothers (aged 7 and 5 at the time) were not there but were at a cousin's house close by and joined us very soon after the birth. it was quite important that we were all in the same place after - i remember the room and the warmth and how it was just us and my auntie and our new addition.

    i know that you'll figure out whatever it is that is the best way for you and your family .. your so aware of the journey - for yourself but also for your boys and whatever you work out will be the best arrangement. just as your already preparing so will your boys be. all my best wishes to you and your growing family.


  15. Sorry for wuch a late response ... I wonder if you've decided what you will do? I remember having the same thoughts when Nina was born as we have no family around either. It didn't feel right to leave Ike, I wanted him so close. In the end I had a friend who did pop over for a couple of hours in the last little bit of labour while we went to the birthing centre. We were home four hours later. I felt ok with that and I admit it was lovely to have a couple of hours with Nina when she was born. It's a hard decision to make and it's a very personal one. I hope that you come to a decision that is right for you and your family and that you have a peace that settles over you. x

  16. my friend did the same but at home. she had an 18 month old and was giving birth at home. she invited me to come over and help out with her daughter. she instructed me to let her daughter come and go as she pleased. when the baby actually came out. her daughter and i were standing at the threshold of the door. we saw him come into the world but from a safe distance. i stopped at the threshold because her daughter did. she was curious but cautious. it was a beautiful experience. i think it's great if the boys could be there for the birth.