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Does this sound like a crazy plan?

(20 Posts)
CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 14:52:22

For background, DC1 was born at 40+12 after 12 hour induction with drip and eventual epidural. No labour signs of any kind for me. Both the 1st pregnancy and this one are very routine, few symptoms. Am now at 27 weeks with DC2.

So this is the crazy plan. (Disclaimer: All these places are very familiar to me, and I stay with close family throughout.)

1. Will give birth in my 'home' country, not where I am living now. Will travel there at 35 weeks with DC1. Travel is a flight under 2 hours.
2. Until 38 weeks, I will stay in a city that is 2-3 hours away from where I am due to give birth. Then I will go the 'birth' city, same hospital as for DC1.
3. DH will only be around at weekends from the time I am 37 weeks. He is my only birth partner. He'll take extra holiday days here and there from 40 weeks to tag onto the weekends.
4. Wait for labour/induction, with toddler in tow, and get DH on a plane at first signs of labour.

My reasons for not giving birth where we live:

1. We have no childcare for DC1, so I will be guaranteed to have no birth partner/advocate, as DH will be with DC1. Worried about going through this on my own in a foreign language.
2. I don't feel I speak the language fluently enough for a vulnerable medical situation.
3. I don't know the birth culture.
4. Potential future nationality red-tape for DC2 or descendants.

Am I mad, or is this do-able? confused

CailinDana Thu 20-Oct-11 17:39:22

It sounds very complicated. As far as I know, most airlines won't let you travel beyond about 30 weeks. Have you checked this out? Why aren't you giving birth in the city where you'll first plan to be staying? Why are you travelling a further 2-3 hours? I suppose if everything goes exactly to plan it'll be fine but there are a lot of things that could go wrong - you could go into labour early, DH could have difficulty getting a flight on time and completely miss the birth, baby could be poorly (god forbid) and you could be stuck at home without DH, etc etc etc. Either way you'll end up travelling with a very young baby and another child which sounds like a nightmare to me.

Would it be easier to hire a doula in your current country, one who could translate for you? And perhaps have one of your parents over from 40 weeks to look after your other DC? Seems easier to me.

BartletForAmerica Thu 20-Oct-11 18:07:31

Assuming you are just having one, most airlines will let you fly to 36 weeks.

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 18:52:08

Thanks Cailin and Bartlet. The airline I'm flying with do let you fly till 36 weeks.

I'm changing cities because the hospital I gave birth in first time around is in the second city, and I feel so
much more relaxed to go back there. Any hint of a reason for baby to come earlier than 38 weeks and I'd go there earlier though.

I know, it does look very complicated in black and white... I just feel like I'm so likely to end up with a very planned induction etc like last time, in which case it's no problem for DH to be there.

fraktious Thu 20-Oct-11 18:54:30

I think it would depend on the countries involved and distances TBH, but having been in a similar situation you need a backup birth partner.

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 18:58:36

I think I'm trying to plan the unplannable grin

DH and I do tend to lead a very complicated life, it seems it doesn't stop at giving birth...

fraktious Thu 20-Oct-11 18:59:46

There's no harm having several plans to cover the various contingencies.

Word of warning though - are you planning to give birth on the NHS? If so you may be charged for being non-resident.

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 19:04:28

Fraktious, it's France to UK, yes. I'm giving birth privately, thankfully that part is all sorted.

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 19:08:49

Back-up birth partner is tricky, I can't think of anyone I'd feel comfortable seeing me in a labouring state apart from DH!

Is it very uncommon for women to give birth on their own with just the medical staff?

fraktious Thu 20-Oct-11 20:05:50

I can see why you're going back if you're not comfortable negotiating in French whilst in labour - it is a very different culture.

If you'd be happy doing it on your own then there's no reason not to but you may not have 1-1 care, so nay literally be on your own (less likely in private but still possible). I would consider a doula for peace of mind.

fraktious Thu 20-Oct-11 20:07:41

There's nothing in the way of nationality red tape btw, unless your DC2s children aren't born in the UK and their children aren't too. Otherwise, assuming you or DH are UK born, it's really very simple smile

Just to reassure you in case you end up giving birth in France on that score!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 20-Oct-11 20:08:37

Just a word of warning - ds1 was induced at 42 +5, with no signs of labour being imminent at all.

DS2 arrived on his EDD. Waters went at 3am, twinges started at 1pm, proper contraction about 4pm. He was born at 4.55pm.

iskra Thu 20-Oct-11 20:16:31

Ditto to Iwish dd1 was born at 40+14, dd2 was 40+1, I had assumed I'd go late again & was surprised! She was also a 3 hr labour where dd1 had been 24hr and eventual forceps. Try not to plan too much based on the model of your previous labour.

Do you have childcare for Dc1 in the UK?

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 20:30:18

Iwish - that's the kind of thing I'm worried about, yes!

Fraktious, neither of us are UK-born, though we are British. You're right that it's then straightforward for DC2, but not grandchildren. I only found out about this a couple of weeks ago on MN in fact.

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 20:37:39

I do have childcare in UK, so would be able
to leave DC1 asleep in bed if I had to go to hospital in the middle of the night, for example.

So really I need to plan to be in labour without DH there in case things move fast. sad I wish he could arrange to work from the UK for the last couple of weeks, but it's not the kind of request he can make at the moment.

AngieM2 Thu 20-Oct-11 22:02:56

If you are paying (and given the complexities involved)...why not book an induction for 39/40 weeks?....obviously not medically indicated but I'm sure your consultant would agree to it?

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 22:14:51

Angie, hadn't thought of that, thanks. I was Group B strep positive last pregnancy, so if I test positive this time, they may set an induction date anyway to make sure I can get the antibiotics. Fingers crossed I'm not of course, but I'll bear the planned option in mind when I see my UK consultant at 35-36 weeks.

CountingDown321 Thu 20-Oct-11 22:26:35

Oh god, reading up on Group B Strep and induction. Glad I did, as the advice is to avoid internal examinations, invasive procedures etc if positive, as that can increase risk of infecting the baby.

That wasn't really followed for DC1, I had an unsuccessful membrane sweep, and then ARM during the induction itself.

AngieM2 Thu 20-Oct-11 22:33:03

You may not be GBS this preg so not relevant. Also, 2nd baby, MS more likely to work (depending on gestation), and an MS might be all you need to get you going.

xlatia Thu 20-Oct-11 23:01:13

CountingDown321, my situation is similar-ish. I'm German and thought long and hard whether to have my (1st) DC here in the UK or back home, my main worries being horror stories I've heard about the NHS and the language. In the end I decided to stay put because of logistics and will take my German DP with me as a birth partner - I briefed him thoroughly on my plans, so he'll have to do all the communicating. But there definitely are doulas or even MWs who speak foreign languages (turns out there's a Germany MW in my hospital!), so probably explore that road before heading abroad.
Good luck, whatever you decide!

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