Since I’ve been asked a few times about it, I thought I would share (I am a sharer afterall). The question of whether Jack will be present for the birth is still unanswered. Jack is obviously still pretty little. If he was closer to 4 than 3, it might be a more clear question to answer, as I have heard several of the midwives talk about their kids attending births around that age and doing great.
Some women might think it is crazy to even consider letting Jack be around for the birth, but here’s the thing: this whole event is about building our family. So part of me sees the argument for not wanting Jack to fill excluded from an obviously huge event in our family. The other part of me sees the side of things that this moment should be just about this baby….basically I understand and can relate to all sides of the discussion.
My home birth inspiration – as I’ve talked about several times – is my best friend’s mom, Carol. She had both her boys at home back when it was illegal to have a midwife-assisted home birth. Her midwife was literally put in prison when the cops threatened to take away one of her client’s children if she didn’t give her up…..what a different time that was and how thankful I am to be living today.
Carol’s boys are spaced just about the same as Jack and his brother will be. She told me about the birth of her second and that her oldest was present. She said he was being so sweet and loving and was trying to pet her on the arm to soothe her. But that she was in a place that she didn’t want to be touched by anyone, so she ended up growling to her husband “he’s being so sweet, but please get him away from me”.
Which is a hilarious story because it is so true that you get to the point where anyone touching you is annoying as hell, but at the same time could be a bit emotionally traumatic for your kid.
Karen said that more often than not a mother will birth the baby when the older child is upstairs taking a nap. Which makes total sense in that women birthing are very “animal instincty” in that they seek dark quiet spaces that feel safe.
Basically I don’t know how I will feel on the day of, or how Jack will feel. So I am sort of leaving it open-ended.
We’ve talked about it with the midwives and with Jack’s grandma. We’ve put grandma in charge of him and I feel confident that she will make a good call as to his state of mind. I don’t want him to feel excluded from the process, but obviously I mostly don’t want him to be scared or worried about me. So if he seems fine and mildly-interested, then she will keep him at the house, paying him lots of attention and playing with him (what grandma’s do best). If he seems too worried or distraught then she will take him to her house and spoil the crap out of him and he will meet his brother after all is said and done. I feel pretty good about that plan.
In the meantime we are trying to prepare Jack for if he is at the birth: talk about the funny noises mom is going to make, that I won’t be able to pay as much attention to him because I will be working hard, that there will be blood and I might look like I am in pain, but that he shouldn’t be scared, etc. So far he isn’t all that into listening for more than about 20 seconds, which leads me to believe he will most likely not be at the birth, but we’ll keep talking to him so at least he gets some understanding of what is going to happen.
I am not worried about it. I think everyone around me is prepared for any situation that may occur and whatever happens, happens. Honestly my biggest concern about him being at the house is that we will fill the tub and he will be so excited about having a pool in his house that A) I won’t be able to get in it and B) he will insist on always having a pool inside our house. I can totally see that happening. Hahaha.