Our wonderful midwife Dyanna invited all of her soon-to-be-due-clients to a "Free Super Sibling Preparation Class," at her house last week. The purpose was to get the children ready for the upcoming births of their new little baby brother or sister.I thought it was the sweetest idea and was delighted to take our three boys. (Micah-daddy was out of town so he couldn't attend.)
I thought it was really funny that 3 of her clients (including myself) were expecting their 4th boy after already having 3 boys. There were a lot of big brothers there!
|LISTENING TO DYANNA AND PAIGE READ STORIES ABOUT BREASTFEEDING AND BIRTH.|
I personally think it's a really positive, gratifying experience for our children to see their mama give birth, and to be there to welcome their new sibling into the world. Someday they are going to be amazing birth coaches to their future, laboring wives!
When I gave birth to Odin in 2008, Zadok had just turned 2 years old. In the months before the BIG DAY, his Dad and I took great strides in prepping him for it, by talking all about the many sights and sounds associated with childbirth.
On the day of Odin's birth, I was in labor all morning and afternoon, and ended up giving birth at 1pm that day. We had our friend Katherine come over at 7am to be with Zadok, so Micah and I could focus on the labor.
That was pretty much it for him--once Zadok had a friend to play with, he didn't pay any attention to what I was doing. The long, deep sounding didn't phase him. He didn't even bat an eyelash as I screamed his little brother out into the world. He was happy as can be and gladly held his brother for the first time an hour or so later. It was really special for me to have Zadok there, and to see our whole family become bigger before my eyes.
|ZADOK AND HIS BFF KATHERINE, EATING PEANUTS WHILE I'M IN LABOR, 2006.|
|ZADOK HOLDING HIS NEW BABY BROTHER ODIN, HOURS OLD, 2006. (I'M IN THE BACKGROUND HAVING A PAINFUL UTERINE CONTRACTION. YEAH FOR ME!)|
|ODIN HOLDING HIS NEW BABY BROTHER JONAH THE NEXT MORNING, 2010.|
So, that's what Dyanna's class was all about: Preparing the children for baby's arrival! She started by explaining how babies come into the world, and what they are like when they get here. She showed pictures of babies giving different cues and signs of hunger, anger, fatigue, and happiness. The kids had to guess what the baby wanted. She explained how dependent babies are on us to take care of them.
Then her and her assistants Gina and Paige, read some of the most adorable children's books on birth, breastfeeding, and midwifery. The kids all crowded around and listened intently.
Lastly, she had the younger toddlers stay in the living room and color pictures of their new sibling, while she took the older kids into a room to talk about the sights and sounds of childbirth. This was the heavier stuff, like when mom pushes the baby out, and the arrival of the placenta--The more intense stuff that older kids will be able to process better.
My kids were done before this point and ran downstairs to play with Dyanna's kids, but I thought, "Oh well, I think they've seen enough birthing videos at our house to know there will be blood, body fluids, and loud noises involved."
In fact, Zadok keeps asking me, "Are you going to poop when the baby comes out?" And I keep telling him,"I don't know, dude. Many women do and it's no big thing. Now will you stop asking me?"
Then he asks me again a few days later.
Eight year olds, I tell ya. It makes me laugh every time.
Overall, I just wanted to share what an awesome class this was and how touching it was to see all these children getting ready for their new babies. Odin drew me this picture at the class and I smile every time I look at it. Because in truth, it is his baby, too. This is his little brother that he will have the rest of his life, and he knows how important it is to cherish and celebrate family.
Looking forward to his arrival! We've already picked out a name. More on that later....Aloha and goodbye. :)