In this country, where most births happen at hospitals with rules about who can be in the birthing suite or operating room, it's not typical to have a child attend a sibling's birth. And in a culture that is uncomfortable talking to children about bodies and reproduction, it can be difficult to even imagine showing a child, especially a small child, the full reality of birth. Hell, some full-grown adults have a difficult time stomaching labor and delivery.
But Emmett, 3, was there to watch his sibling enter the world. In fact, with his new preschool scissor skills, he helped cut the cord. (For the record, his Papa was too squeamish to cut the cord himself.)
My family and friends were surprised, skeptical, and even critical of my plan to let Emmett attend the birth of his sibling. But I stood by it, regardless of the raised eyebrows and condescending tones, and I'm so glad I did. And while my decision was just the result of a gut feeling, the consistent questioning from friends and family forced me to consider my choice on a deeper level. So, with that in mind, here are some reasons why I wanted my oldest to attend the birth of his sibling: