My Kids Will Be in the Delivery Room When I Have My Third Baby

family birthAmong the many things on my to-do list, 16 weeks into my third pregnancy, is figuring out what kind of labor I want to have. Do I want to do a water birth? Use the same birthing stool I used the first time? Use a home birth midwife or regular midwives? All these questions are swirling around in my head as I prepare for my third (and probably last) labor. I am excited and nervous -- this third labor has a lot to live up to considering how perfect and quiet and meditative my first two were. But one thing is clear: I want my two older children in or near the place where I deliver.

This wasn't something I realized right away. It has come to me in a series of moments. My kids have spent the summer kissing my growing belly, cuddling it, and talking almost non-stop about "our" new baby. My daughter will be 7 when her sister is due and my son will be 5.5. They are on the young end for being in the delivery room, so it hadn't even occurred to me that they might be able to be there.

Until I heard from friends who'd involved their children even younger than my own.

Soon it seemed almost cruel NOT to have them there. There is this huge event that we have been anticipating for months. It's a family event, something we are all celebrating. And yet, I am leaving them out of the best part? How can that be?

I have some experience in the matter, too. Back when my sister was born 27 years ago, I was in the delivery room. I was 8. At the time, I was well-prepared. My mother had brought me to hospital birthing classes throughout her pregnancy. She had made sure I had watched videos of more than one birth and also that there was an adult who could whisk me out of the room in case things became dangerous.

I spent the morning of my sister's birth in and out of the delivery room (she had a family suite), alternating between reading a book with my babysitter and watching my mother and father and her doula breathe, walk, and go through contractions. When my sister started to crown, I have never been more excited in my entire life. It was scary (the episiotomy, for instance), but it was also moving, thrilling, and really important that I got to be part of it.

Twenty years later, almost to the day, I gave birth to my own first child. Because I had been there for my mom's natural drug-free labor, I wasn't scared. I took the surges as they came, rode them, listened to my midwife, took a long bath, and when it was time, I pushed her out on the birthing stool. No fear. That was what being there did for me. The fear most women have from years of watching movies and A Baby Story on TLC was totally absent for me. I'd seen it done. I knew it wasn't as bad as all that.

In part, that's what I want to give my kids. But it's more than that, too. Sure, there are some scary parts to birth. I am sure I will be loud and moaning and out of it, but this is life pain. This isn't bad pain. To see how we come into this world firsthand is a gift I am only going to be able to give my kids once. I know I want my daughter there. My son may not be able to handle it, and if not, that's OK. I will have someone there to take him out.

But I suspect he will be fine. They have both seen the videos of me giving birth to him. They have seen the miracle of life at the Museum of Science. I think they can handle it. Besides, if my past labors are any indication, this should be fast and furious anyway.

For now, we are planning to have them there, assuming they both want to be there. It's a family event.

Now, I just need to figure out how to make that happen.

Would you ever let your kids watch you give birth?


time for mom


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Caera Caera

Absolutely not.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Absolutely!! As long as there is someone attending willing to hang out with the child should they choose to leave- it is a wonderful experience for everyone involved. What better way to grow a family and for siblings and the whole family to bond.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Absolutely!! As long as there is someone attending willing to hang out with the child should they choose to leave- it is a wonderful experience for everyone involved. What better way to grow a family and for siblings and the whole family to bond. I wouldn't think twice about any age of my children having the choice to attend.

fave82 fave82

Ummmmm no.

nonmember avatar Cynthia

In a heart beat! I have 3 children-10, 7 and nearly 5, and if I were to have another child I would love to have these ones with me and my husband. If they don't want to see the mess of birth, they don't have to see that, but to give them the wonderful experience of being there when the family expands and see how birth is not scary and full of bad pain. Unfortunately, where I live that would mean a home birth as you're only allowed 1 person with you in the hospital, and I would be at a bit of risk as I tend to have too much water and risk cord prolapse so I'm encouraged to be in hospital.

Cleo07 Cleo07

My kids were 14 and 12 when I had my third baby and were part of the delivery from start to finish. It was a wonderful thing for them to see although it looked too easy since the whole labor was 5 hours start to finish and I only had to push twice. They didn't stay in the room when I was in active labor since I was in a lot o pain. They are extremely attached to my one year old and I am so glad they got to see it (plus my daughter brought her best friend too).

2teen... 2teens2LOs

Don't be surprised if this doesn't happen like you have planned.  I had my two boys present at the hospital for the birth of my 3rd child.  My boys were 8 and 10.  When they came in and saw me hooked up BEFORE I was in real pain, they teared up, it scared them just seeing me laying there- and therefore we knew without a doubt they def. could not handle seeing me in pain, thus they went back to the waiting room w/ family and greeted thier sister with all the other family who was waiting.  It doesn't just matter what you want, alot of things go in to play when dealing with your children and a baby who has plans of its own often times.  And in the event an emergency happens in the labor room and children are there- imagine how they would feel being rushed out and something happening to you or the baby.  Not saying its a "bad" thing, just saying weigh out ALL sceniros before bringing in what looks to be like children even younger than mine were.

Sarah... SarahHall58

Yea absolutely no. I didn't want to watch it in health class and I definitely wouldn't want my kids to see that part of me.

livel... livelaughlove88

i would definately not ... i jus had my baby boy a month ago and my 6 year old son was so excited to meet his baby brother. i would never have had him in there with me. my son is a very big mommas boy seeing as how i have been the only one really there for him his whole life. he gets extremely upset when im in pain he cried when he saw me after i had my gallbladder surgery. i could never put him through that, watching me go through labor. besides he tends to be very protective of me and if someone hurts me he not only gets upset that im hurtin he gets mad at whoever did it and i couldnt take a chance of him being mad at his baby brother. hes such a good big brother and he loves the baby so much i wouldnt ever have it any other way

1-10 of 65 comments 12345 Last