Sunday, May 23, 2010

How to prepare your first born

Elijah will be two years old in less than a week. There is so much about the world that he has yet to understand. Still, he is very in tune to people's needs and emotions. He is concerned about his friends and can tell when something is wrong or someone is hurt. His vocabulary is ever growing and now he uses words to express himself more than using actions or signs. I would love for him to be with us at home during the birth of our second baby. He knows there is a baby in my belly and he loves to talk about how no one else has a baby but mama.

Me-"Does Elijah have a baby in his belly?"

Eli- "NOooooooo, Eli not have a baby!"

Me-"Does dada have a baby in his belly?"

Eli- "NOoooooo, dada not have a baby!!"

Me- "Does mama have a baby in her belly??"

Eli- "Uh huh!" or "Yup"

The trick will be helping him understand what is going to happen when the baby comes out. Of course, nothing can really prepare a little person for such a huge change, but I do want to prepare him for what he might hear or see while I am in labor should he be awake. Birthing at home means your kids can be with you, heck, anyone can be with you. It's your house! Depending on the timing of the actual birth, I would LOVE for Elijah to be by my side to welcome his new little brother into this world.

When I was a teenager, I went to a birth with my mom. Her client was giving birth for the fourth or fifth time. All the older kids were there around the bed softly singing "Jesus loves me" as the baby was born. It was amazing.

I am afraid that Eli will be freaked out. The last thing I want is for him to be traumatized by the experience. Timing will be everything. As well, I like to think that his presence will give me the confidence to push through (literally!) instead of loosing my focus.

Sadly, there is very little children's literature on the topic but this is what I have found:

My Brother Jimi-Jazz: A children's book about homebirth told from the perspective of the older sister. It's very pricey and looks kind of new-agey, but the artwork looks beautiful.
My Brother Jimi Jazz - homebirth children's book

Mama When is the Baby Gonna Hatch?: This is an interactive book that allows your child/children to learn more about the actual process of birth. It seems as though each page is blank for them to color. I LOVE the page about midwives and the dot-to-dot umbilical chord activity page.
Mama When Is The Baby Gonna Hatch ...interactive, fun, natural childbirth preparation for kids

Mama When Is The Baby Gonna Hatch ...interactive, fun, natural childbirth preparation for kids

I've been known to "shake it" and love moving around during labor. The page below does an awesome job explaining why this is totally normal and makes it kind of silly for the kids.

Mama When Is The Baby Gonna Hatch ...interactive, fun, natural childbirth preparation for kids

We're having a homebirth!: This is the cheapest option which also seems to be the cheesiest. I don't appreciate some of the terminology. It's kind of dumbed down instead of teaching your child the real words. Still, it takes you through all the preparations and how to help the "mama" while she is in labor.

Within the next couple of weeks, I hope to get one of these books. I'll let you know what I decide and will share my final opinion when it arrives.


  1. another children's book you might like is "welcome with love" by jenni overend. (i have not read it with my kiddos, so i can't give it a personal recommendation based upon their reactions. i did, however, read it in cindie brown's office and enjoyed it as a mama!) it is the story of the home birth of a baby brother told from the perspective of the new big brother (just like elijah!) the illustrations are lovely, but they're also pretty realistic - probably not every parent or every child would feel comfortable with them. (for example, there is a tasteful picture of the mom, nude, standing with her arms around the dad's neck while the midwives behind her deliver the baby.) but the book deals well (i thought) with the little boy's varying emotions as he watches his mom in labor.

    our third hobbitling is due in two weeks, and we are not planning on beothan or elasaid being present for the birth. it's not so much to shield them from what they might see/hear as it is to provide me with permission to focus on the (delightfully!) hard work of childbirth. (i'm not good at multitasking as it is, so i can't imagine i'd improve during labor! =0) however, we've spent nine months explaining to our kids where the baby is (ie. NOT in mommy's stomach with her lunch!); and how mommy eats, drinks, and breathes for the baby through the umbilical cord (which our resident four year-old nerd actually calls the "power adapter cord"!!!); and how the baby is now head-down and getting ready to "pop out" (ela's term) through the birth canal and "NOT through mommy's bellybutton!" (this part is extremely important to her.) should labor begin suddenly and move fast, i think they'll be just fine participating in the home birth of their new little sibling.

    your impending home birth sounds well-planned and beautifully peaceful - as the big day approaches, i will pray the Lord gives you all the desires of your heart when you, dan, and elijah finally welcome your new little boy to the world!

  2. I was going to suggest that book that Whit mentioned too. And, I wrote my own book for Ezra, complete with stick figure drawings :). It was a big hit. Funny, a couple pages were exactly the conversation you posted about who doesn't and does have a baby. Ez used to love talking about that too.

    I was glad for Ez to be out during Ivo's birth, but for my sake, not his. I wanted to be able to be loud/ potentially scary (even though I wasn't really this time). Also, I loved having only Ivo to think about that first night. If Ez was 3 or 4, I might have felt differently. It would have been fine for Ez to be there if he needed, and I prepped him for it ( we had fun making pushing and mooing sounds together). Still, those first hours with ivo had enough distraction already. I trust that God will give you all exactly what he wants for you just like he did for me (and all the other multips around here having AWESOME second births). Now, if only I could be at your birth... or at least soon after... miss you!