Our very own Madeline Holler did – and she recounts her home birth in a piece on Salon that induced me (ahem) to laugh out loud more than once.
Madeline’s daughters – Beatrice, 7, and 3-year-old Frances – both vehemently agreed that they did NOT want to watch their little brother being born. But Madeline, like a lot of busy moms with two kids, sort of kind of didn’t really have time to make plans for her girls to be elsewhere during the birth. And besides, Madeline admits, she secretly wanted the girls to attend the birth, as “sort of a health class video meant to supplement the textbook and lectures.” A real-live medical demo that had her daughters running into their rooms and crying out of fear. Giving birth is a miracle, right?
Yes, but it’s also overwhelming – even to adult men – so it’s no surprise Madeline’s kids were rocking back and forth on their beds, thinking, “TMI, Mom! TMI!” At least, that’s what I’m guessing they were thinking. Madeline reveals that Beatrice’s only communication with her parents from her room was that “she said she’s going to faint,” but her daughters did eventually come out into the living room/birthing center and support their mother’s labor.
I have to admit, I cried when I read the sweet details of what happened the moment after Beatrice and Frances saw their little brother, thinking that maybe someday my daughter will be around to watch a sibling of hers get pushed into life. Then again, I’m single, so who knows? By the time I meet someone, break up with him, meet someone else, get broken up with, meet the man who proves that the third time’s a charm and marry him – my daughter could be old enough to give birth. And if she lets me, I’ll be there watching – and probably crying, too.
What do you think? Would you let – or even make – your kids watch you give birth?
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