Madeline Holler wanted her whole family, including young daughters Beatrice and Frances, to be involved in the home birth of her third child. She failed to make other plans for them because secretly she "wanted them with me, the image of their brother's birth burned in their brains," she write in a tell-all article on Slate. Having talked openly with her kids about how babies come out, she figured it would like be a health class video, only live…and starring your mother.
So she prepared them best she could, explaining the screaming, the pooping, and modern-day childbirth in general. Though they resisted, she wanted them there when she went into labor. When the time came, they freaked. Holler writes,
I couldn't hug her because I needed my arms to tear off my pants, I was so desperate to get into the pool. "Don't worry, sweetie," I called out, half-naked and stepping into a pool where our coffee table had been. "This is all very, very normal." There was no way to stop and no way to muffle the noise. Our house is small. Less than 700 square feet. She heard every sound I couldn't stifle. I heard her every stressed-out whimper my groaning triggered. "Go tell her I'm fine," I barked to Wayne. "Tell her it only hurts during the contractions." Another contraction. I was really loud and couldn't help it. Wayne was back at the pool. "She said she's going to faint."
Moms who had home births, what did you do with older children while you were in labor? Did you allow them to see Mommy give birth, or did you think it best to shield them?