California mother let her three-year-old help deliver baby

Tiff DeLancy, 30, husband, Topher, 29, and their daughter, Nora, now four, from San Juan Capistrano, Orange County were all there for the event.

A yoga instructor whose three-year-old daughter helped deliver her baby sister said inviting her into the birthing pool created a 'sacred bond' between her children - and will make her firstborn more confident ahead of her own pregnancy. 

Tiff DeLancy, 30, her photographer husband, Topher, 29, and their daughter, Nora, now four, were all there for the event, which was filmed by their family friend, Elaina Francis, 31.

Nora can be seen splashing her dad and even swallowing some of the pool water, before Violet was born on 28 October 2015.

But Tiff, also an aromatherapist and birth doula, from San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, said: 'From the moment Violet came from my womb, I witnessed a change in Nora.

'She became maternal and treated her little sister in such a gentle, nurturing manner. It completely melted my heart. '

Tiff DeLancy, 30, her photographer husband, Topher, 29, and their daughter, Nora, now four, were all there for her birth in a birthing pool in their home in San Juan Capistrano, Orange County

Tiff DeLancy, 30, her photographer husband, Topher, 29, and their daughter, Nora, now four, were all there for her birth in a birthing pool in their home in San Juan Capistrano, Orange County

Tiff insists that having her firstborn there helped create a 'sacred bond' between her children - and will make her daughter more confident ahead of her own pregnancy

Tiff insists that having her firstborn there helped create a 'sacred bond' between her children - and will make her daughter more confident ahead of her own pregnancy

Throughout her pregnancy, Tiff had taken Nora to scans and midwife appointments - always intending for her to be completely involved.

She said: 'We wanted Nora to be part of everything and it's created such a beautiful bond with our girls. It's unusual, but I would absolutely recommend it. It helped her and it soothed me knowing she was ok.

'I really think that because of her being able to witness her sister being born, she never felt jealous. She never felt the need to say, 'take the baby back,' or other similar things that you hear older siblings say about a new baby.

Delighted when she fell pregnant with her second child, Tiff and Topher decided to make the birth a family affair.

She explained: 'It came as no surprise that she also wanted to be right by my side through it all, because we had a very attached relationship.

Tiff and Topher, pictured now with their daughters, decided to make the birth a family affair back in 2015

Tiff and Topher, pictured now with their daughters, decided to make the birth a family affair back in 2015

'Even now, nearly two years later, as they laugh and run around together, the bond that they have is something sacred and special. It is endless,' Tiff said of her daughters 

'Even now, nearly two years later, as they laugh and run around together, the bond that they have is something sacred and special. It is endless,' Tiff said of her daughters 

The couple say they received no negative reactions from people they told about their decision

The couple say they received no negative reactions from people they told about their decision

Topher, Nora and Violet, shortly after she was born at their Orange County home

Topher, Nora and Violet, shortly after she was born at their Orange County home

When Nora woke up at around 8.30am, Topher gently explained that her baby sister was going to be born

When Nora woke up at around 8.30am, Topher gently explained that her baby sister was going to be born

Topher spent some time with his daughter before bringing her to be by her mum's side in the pool

Topher spent some time with his daughter before bringing her to be by her mum's side in the pool

The couple's friend Elaina was attending and recording the birth on video

The couple's friend Elaina was attending and recording the birth on video

The couple explained that Elaina was also there as a back-up plan, just in case Nora needed someone to have their full attention on her

The couple explained that Elaina was also there as a back-up plan, just in case Nora needed someone to have their full attention on her

Tiff started to feel contractions and realised the baby was on the way at 3am

Tiff started to feel contractions and realised the baby was on the way at 3am

'I believe that birth is a beautiful, natural process and that if children - especially young girls - are able to witness it, that it will instil a positive perception of it. They will, hopefully, then feel confident and trusting when entering on their own birth journey.'

Despite Tiff and Topher's decision to invite their daughter into the birthing pool being unconventional, they say they received no negative reactions.

'I really don't remember anyone having any opposition to the idea,' said Tiff. 'But, then again, our family knows us well, and knows that we will follow our hearts and do what feels right for us, regardless of what anyone else has to say.

'I think the only concern was having someone present who could tend to Nora's needs if, for some reason, she didn't want to be involved. I had the same concern myself, so we planned ahead.

'Our dear friend Elaina was attending and recording our birth on video, but she was also there as a back-up plan, just in case Nora needed someone to have their full attention on her.'

Waking up at around 3am on October 28, 2017, Tiff started to feel contractions and realised the baby was on the way.

Around 8am, Tiff got into the birthing pool to try to ease the pain and a short time later, her waters popped

Around 8am, Tiff got into the birthing pool to try to ease the pain and a short time later, her waters popped

Tiff said that she and her firstborn had a very attached relationship at the time so she wanted her there with her

Tiff said that she and her firstborn had a very attached relationship at the time so she wanted her there with her

As she had planned a home water birth, Tiff called her midwife team and told them the baby was coming.

Around 8am, Tiff got into the birthing pool to try to ease the pain and a short time later, her waters popped.

When Nora woke up at around 8.30am, Topher gently explained that her baby sister was going to be born, spending some time with her before bringing her to be by her mum's side.

Tiff added: 'We had a very attached relationship at the time. Because of that, I cannot imagine not having her there with me. It would have felt like going through it all while missing a limb.

'Of course, I originally had some concerns that she might need or want me, or that her presence might be distracting or disruptive to my birth. But, in reality, I was fully in the 'birth zone' with laser focus, and she was perfectly content just being there with us - excited even.'

Speaking about her decision to have her daughter there, she said: 'I cannot imagine not having her there with me. It would have felt like going through it all while missing a limb'

Speaking about her decision to have her daughter there, she said: 'I cannot imagine not having her there with me. It would have felt like going through it all while missing a limb'

After the birth, they climbed onto the sofa together and introduced the two little girls to each other

After the birth, they climbed onto the sofa together and introduced the two little girls to each other

Pregnant Tiff, Topher and Nora are pictured together before Tiff gave birth

Pregnant Tiff, Topher and Nora are pictured together before Tiff gave birth

Tiff says she still loves to watch the home video because she adores the curiosity in her daughter's eyes

Tiff says she still loves to watch the home video because she adores the curiosity in her daughter's eyes

After settling in, Nora told her parents she wanted to be in the pool with them and the family sat together. Nora even rubbed Tiff's back as she progressed through labour.

Tiff added: 'Nora handled the entire birth process wonderfully. We made it a point throughout my pregnancy to read children's books about birth and bringing a new baby sibling into the world, as well as talking regularly about what she could expect when mommy was in labour.

'I really believe children understand so much more than we give them credit for, and I think sometimes all they need is an explanation of what's happening, or of what to expect, so they can be prepared and not feel afraid.

'We told her that mommy would probably make some loud noises during labour and she may even sound like a lion roaring. We explained to her exactly how the baby would be coming out. I think speaking about it openly, without placing any fear on it, really can shape a healthy perspective.'

Tiff described the 'look of awe and amazement on her daughter's face'

Tiff described the 'look of awe and amazement on her daughter's face'

Discussing the video, Tiff added: 'She sprinkles water over her dad and she even tried to drink the water from the tub!'

Discussing the video, Tiff added: 'She sprinkles water over her dad and she even tried to drink the water from the tub!'

Nora even rubbed Tiff's back as she progressed through labour

Nora even rubbed Tiff's back as she progressed through labour

Discussing her decision, Tiff said: 'I really believe children understand so much more than we give them credit for, and I think sometimes all they need is an explanation of what's happening, or of what to expect, so they can be prepared and not feel afraid'

Discussing her decision, Tiff said: 'I really believe children understand so much more than we give them credit for, and I think sometimes all they need is an explanation of what's happening, or of what to expect, so they can be prepared and not feel afraid'

At 9.46am, the whole family watched as Tiff welcomed her second daughter into the world

At 9.46am, the whole family watched as Tiff welcomed her second daughter into the world

But it was only when they watched the video, after Violet was born, that the couple realised some of the things Nora had got up to.

Tiff said: 'I still love to watch the video, because I adore the curiosity in her eyes, and the look of awe and amazement on her face. She sprinkles water over her dad and she even tried to drink the water from the tub!'

At 9.46am, the whole family watched as Tiff gave birth to baby Violet, weighing 7lbs 2oz.

Afterwards, they climbed onto the sofa together and introduced the two little girls to each other.

Now, the sisters have an unbreakable bond

'Even now, nearly two years later, as they laugh and run around together, the bond that they have is something sacred and special. It is endless,' Tiff said.

Tiff gave birth to baby Violet, weighing 7lbs 2oz, and pictured in a baby shoot after her birth

Tiff gave birth to baby Violet, weighing 7lbs 2oz, and pictured in a baby shoot after her birth