to want to shake some sense into a clueless 38 week pregnant friend?(218 Posts)
Bear with me, this has quite a bit of a background story but please read all because I could really do with some advice...
Just over a week ago the boyfriend gets a text from a heavily pregnant friend (HPF)? in Hong Kong asking if he still has a spare room as HPF needs to come over to the UK to have the baby in order for the baby to qualify for a UK passport.
HPF manages to find an airline to fly her over at 37 weeks and she arrives with the plan to go into a clinic, have the baby, register the birth, get a passport for DC and fly back 2 weeks later. Later finds out that she can't fly until at least DC is 4 weeks old.
HPF arrives and it transpires that despite having 37 weeks to get things organised, she has nothing really for DC, here in the UK or in HK and is completely clueless in all aspects of childbirth, aftercare and looking after a newborn.
HPF's mother is due to arrive on the 30th (HPF's due date is the 2nd Nov) however she plans on only staying a week and her DH plans to fly over as soon as she starts having contractions. They all plan to fit into boyfriend's tiny boy flat, rendering him homeless and having to take shelter at mine.
We want to help HPF, she desperately needs it. HPF seems to think she can do everything herself, doesn't want to buy too much as she'll have to ship it back to HK and doesn't want to inconvenience anyone. However its very difficult to accept this when she claimed she didn't know what a cot was and believes she can just carry the baby everywhere. And don't get me started on her never hearing of PND and the concern of her being on her own without any preparation in an alien part of London with no-one around her.
Boyfriend and I have tried talking to HPF. We've spoken to friends with babies for their advice but HPF wont listen (we don't have children but like to think we have some common sense). So I'm after some help, stories, what to expect - the good and the bad. Advice to be directed to her (and a little bit to us as no doubt we will be involved in actually helping her once DC is here. We get the feeling that DH is just as clueless.)
So after your initial WTF reaction, which no doubt you will have reading this (everyone else has) please shower us with your knowledge and experience of newborn life for us to print this thread off and subtly leave it stuck to the fridge for HPF to hopefully read. Of course HPF has not read one book on any related subject.
Why are people WTFing? I don't get it.
Because she hasn't bought things she doesn't want to have to ship back to HK? Because she may or may not get PND?
Just let get on with it as women have been for hundreds of years.
Why didnt she arrange something properly earlier in pregnancy? She doesnt need to fly here for her baby to get dual nationality iirc.
What a nonsense.
You can take a horse to water but can't make it drink it
Once baby is born she will find out
She will need somewhere for baby to sleep, nappies, clothes, milk/bottles/steriliser if not breast feeding.
I had support but also had horrible pnd where I couldnt be in the same room as my baby. I left poor little DD with mystepdad one day and fucked off to figure if life was worth it! Months of hell was endured until I was able to cope. Coping is different from enjoying btw. Its still hell at times 15 months on,
Not sure I'm going to be much help to be honest.
I didn't have WTF reaction reading this.
I didn't read any books.
I didn't know about PND.
I was completely on my own in an unfamiliar place.
I did do everything myself
She does need a moses basket and some nappies, clothes. Does she have those?
But I can't really see what the reaction/fuss is all about.
Some people manage perfectly well without working themselves up into a flap about it.
I'm not sure why she will need a cot for such a short period of time,
well done you for helping out so much,
Is there any reason why she might be at risk of PND?
anyone can be at risk of pnd! I would think the fact she doesnt seem to have a clue the baby might be a massive shock to the system with the sleepless nights, hormones and responsibility. I read up on tons and tried for ages to get pregnant and hey pnd central.
Wtaf?? Ok now Ive got that over with your bf is incredibly generous to do this!
Practicalities - she needs
vests, sleepsuits and one large suit for going out in.
Pram, or if she's opposed, a sling - having to hold the baby constantly gets very old very fast, and you suddenly appreciate having hands a lot more!
Personally barely ever use cot, but your friend should read up about co-sleeping and understand there are dangers involved and things to be careful with.
Bottles, formula and steriliser. Even is shes planning to breastfeed its better to be prepared.
She also needs to consider support. It is very hard to even leave the house with some babies, two weeks stuck inside alone with a baby screaming for no reason can break the best of us!
She'll be fine, as said above; nappies, a few suits and she can co sleep or use a basket. I thought she sounds refreshing actually!
She doesn't need to buy lots of things now, as long as she has some baby clothes and nappies. Most things can be bought at very short notice! We never bothered with cot/moses basket, pram, bottles/steriliser (though essential if not breastfeeding, of course!) etc. And though some books can be helpful, they're not essential either!
Does she really need to be here for the baby to get nationality? Surely if she is British that means the child will have dual nationality?
My only wtf is the fact she waited until 37 weeks. Im 37+5 and the thought of flying halfway round the world leaves me speechless.
Do you know what exactly she has in HK?
Over here it's only going to be babgro's, nappies, blanket and little coat, feeding stuff unless she's breastfeeding, sling and a dummy or not if she chooses. The sleeping situation needs thinking about I'll give you that.
You sound a bit dramatic - sorry.
My concerns would be more around
A) has she considered that she may have to pay for her hospital care
B) if she or her partner are not British she will not be entitled to a British passport for her baby.
The other stuff, meh, baby doesn't need much. Reading lots of books does not make having a baby any easier!
This is pretty hard to believe. Is the friend British? Because the baby can't get a UK passport just by being born here, if she isn't. And if she is, then usually (with some exceptions) she would still be able to get the baby a UK passport if it's born abroad. So the whole plan sounds silly.
And with due respect, your boyfriend should have really just put the kibosh on the whole project from the get go.
She does sound unprepared but then not every culture has the same hyper-obsessions with researching everything, buying lots of stuff, etc.
She doesn't need a cot if she's only planning to stay a few weeks -- maybe a Moses basket, but even then my DS only slept on me for the first 3 weeks. Or maybe she will co-sleep. In many cultures people do without buggies and all that. Babies don't actually need hardly anything for the first month, just some clothes and nappies, a place to sleep, a source of food.
It's hard to tell from your post if she's really unprepared or just super confident. I think it's great you're trying to be supportive but don't go too far and undermine her either.
That should be if neither of the parents are British!
Why are you intent on freaking her out?
Some people can't walk for days, others don't miss a school run. Some people get crushed by the horror that is pnd, others breeze through. Some babies take long sleeps from day one, others get up 3 times a night until they are 2.
Get a pram with lie flat carrycot bit to sleep in, some nappies, a bottle of Milton and some bottles if she's not bf and a few vests and sleepsuits.
Babies don't do much but sleep for the first 4 weeks . If she breast feeds and sleeps with her baby she wont need much stuff at all just a few babygrows and nappies. Of course she can carry her baby around ... humans survived for millions of years without cots and prams.
I think you are over worrying. Its clear the uk passport means more to her long term and a chaotic, dissorganised, potentially lonely birth experience is the price she is prepared to pay. Your bf is very kind to give over his flat to her family .Her mother and dh will be coming over to support her at some point and could extend their visits if needed.
I would take a few steps back and have a bit more trust in HPF whilst keeping a bit of an eye on her so you can step in if she really needs help.
While she doesn't need the baby to be born here for the baby to have dual nationality, it will have fewer rights to pass on nationality to her children, so there is the incentive in the current nationality laws for her to fly home.
Your worries do seem a little extreme, a place for baby to sleep, some clothes and some nappies is all she needs, and she'll have her mother and partner, and you - it's a lot more support than many get.
My sister slept in a drawer for the first 3 months whilst my mum tried to get me out of the cot!
I'm assured the drawer wasn't shut.
She's very misinformed if she believes being born in Britain qualifies a baby for UK citizenship. Either it will be entitled via descent, in which case she can apply from Hong Kong, or it won't, and being born here will make no difference at all.
I'm not a fan of the Camerons, but even their baby slept in a box for a while until they were organised. Babies really don't need much.
nappies, a dozen vests and sleep suits and a couple of sheets and blankets for the box, plus a sling are all she'll need.
I hope either she or the father is British or has British parents as otherwise she may be in for a shock when she tries to get a UK passport. being born in the UK does not guarantee a passport any more. And if she isn't British, or even if she is and lives overseas, she will not be entitled to NHS care. I paid £1500 to have a non complicated delivery, but the cost increases dramatically for c-sections, and if baby had to stay in hospital, SCU was about £900 per day.
When I was researching flying with a newborn, I found out most airlines prefer you wait one week, but there are no rules ( that I can remember). Dd2 flew internationally at two weeks.
As for the stuff, she doesn't need a lot. If she co-sleeps, all she needs is a sling, nappies and some clothes. I agree with not wanting to buy a lot when traveling, but maybe she could get one of those pop up cots, they are lightweight and great for hotels or the beach.
She sounds a bit clueless, (she didn't know what a cot was?) but she'll figure it out at some point. I don't think there is anything you can do.
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