We are due ( well overdue) to have have a baby any day now!  This will be our first home birth.  We had our first child in a birth center.  We have our birthing pool and supplies all set up and now we wait and wait and wait.  I love our midwife and am comfortable with our decision, but that doesn't mean that I'm not extremely nervous.  I'm not scared of the pain or actually having the baby, but the actual birth process.  Little thoughts of all the things that could go wrong or if the baby gets stuck etc keep rolling through my mind. 
 
We are also still debating on whether to have our 3 year old daughter present.  She is extremely excited about the baby and I think she understands that concept of having the baby.  I just want her to have a very positive experience with childbirth and I don't want to scare her.  Any thoughts?

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Please have a look at my website
www.bellydanceforbirth.com
I hope that it can help to relieve some of you fear regards pain.....I teach women to work with and into this v productive pain with breath, visualising baby moving down and thru your pelvis...opening..surrendering..softening..moment by moment
and if it helps I brithed my third child 15 mths ago at home in water at 46 years of age..you too can do it..TRUST and follow yr instincts....
i wish you peace
maha al musa
www.bellydancefobirth.com
I was undecided about having my 3 year old present as well, up until the real deal labor hit, then I opted to let her go play at grandma's with my 1 year old instead. It worked out better for us. I know it is a great experience for some families, but I know I would have been concerned for her the whole time and it would have held me back from doing what I had to do. Everything went great and I wouldn't have had it any other way. My mom brought her back home right away and she was able to meet her newest sister within an hour of birth. She didn't seem resentful to be left out and she bonded immediately. It's a tough decision, and you may not know what's best until the time comes, but trust your instincts. It's such an amazing experience, especially in the comfort and security of home. Best wishes to you and your growing family.
I would go with the flow. Let her stay until she says she wants to go. My 2.5yr old was there off and on during labor, but missed the actual birth.
Now she is 5 and her sister is 2.5 They are both very excited about the baby. They have the option of leaving if they choose. They know that they can come and go as they please.

Do you have any birth affirmations? They worked wonders for me during labor. I had them up on walls in rooms that I would frequent. By the time labor started, I was saying them to myself. You can make sticky notes to tape to the fridge, bathroom mirror, or computer. You could also make some bigger ones to put up on your walls. Pick and choose the ones you feel you need the most.

Best wishes to you for a happy, safe homebirth experience!

http://babydustdiaries.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/positive-birth-affi...
I completely understand how you feel. I'm 2 weeks away from my second homebirth for our third child and we're still not sure what will happen with our other two. My son was 5 just before Christmas and my daughter is 2.5. Charlie is adamant at the minute that he wants to be there, and we've talked loads about what will happen and I've watched and discussed several births with him, but I'm still not sure how he'll react to seeing me in labour. Hannah I still think is too young to understand - she gets that it will hurt me and knows the baby will come out of my bottom not my tummy, but again you can't predict how she'll react to my experience. We have decided however that if it happens at night, we won't wake them up, unless they get disturbed and come and see what's going on by themselves.

I'm very grateful to have my mum over from the UK for the next few weeks to help out and take some of my stress away! The children can them come and go as they please, and have someone to care just for them. Do you plan on having another family member/close friend there that she knows well that can really support her needs? You need to be able to relax and focus on yourself and not be constantly worrying about her. I would deeply love both my children to be there this time, but I know that if they aren't, they'll be able to meet their new brother or sister just moments after the birth.

Good luck and I hope you have a wonderful first experience of homebirth.
Hi Calimom,
I had my 1st homebirth on Nov. 18th. My older son is 3 and was born in the hospital. I truly believed that if I thought positively and was confident in both myself and my midwives that everything would be okay. I kept envisioning the baby traveling down and I also focused on pictures of my older son and then later a beautiful beach! (What was a 36 hr. labor with my 1st son became a 12 hour labor with my 2nd) When the baby was born he wasn't breathing so well (he ended up just having some mucous in his throat) and honestly in that moment I felt no fear at all. I saw my midwife spring into action in a very calm but deliberate way, she suctioned him and he was perfect.

My older son was present for just the actual pushing (the rest of the time he was playing in his room, oblivious to what I was doing in the next room) on my mother's lap, and he handled it very well. When the baby was born, he asked "Is that MY baby? (In other words, the one he had asked for and been waiting for all this time!). He did watch a few minutes of some of the baby shows so he had seen that part and what the baby looks like as they're born. Another thing that was important is that I allowed him to hear and see me go through some of the more intense Braxton Hicks and then early labor so I could explain to him that that mommy was ok and that the baby was coming out. He even took out his Fisher Price doctor kit and used it to give me a checkup in early labor. :)

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