Advanced search

second time labour... how long, trying to make a child care plan, your experiances please!

(28 Posts)
mrswee Mon 24-Sep-12 20:47:58


I'm 31 weeks now with my second. I'm trying to make a few childcare plans for my 3yo DD. I am wondering realistically how long I might have from first contractions to needing to get to hospital having, got someone to look after DD. We don't have family near by so it will have to be friends and different plans depending on the day of the week and froends commitments they have and what time of day it is AND how long I might have before I need to be in the hospital.
My last labour was VERY long, latent fase lasted 5 days from first contrations, then 28 hours in hospital with a back to back baby... but the consultant has said there is no reason time why I won't have a simple quick second birth.
I am wondering what other experiances were of how long they had from start of contractions to full blown labour and birth.

Hamkin Mon 24-Sep-12 22:11:21


My second was FAR quicker and easier than the first. I started with contractions around tea time and DS2 was born at 4.30am the following morning. Lovely and easy birth, home by 8am done and dusted! grin

BiggerAndBadder Mon 24-Sep-12 22:19:23

so difficult to say!
first long and second we too had no family. had friend on stand by and when in the early hours we decided to go to hospital rang them and dropped dd on the way bt around 1 or 2 am.
had dd 2 around 7 and dh picked up dd1 around 10.

vvviola Mon 24-Sep-12 22:24:32

1st was about 8 hours waters breaking to delivery.

2nd - 45 minutes! Went to a routine appointment only to discover I was 5cm. Got to 8cm without really feeling any contractions. They broke my waters & then I went to full scale contractions with no break. DD2 was born 45 minutes later.

We had sent DD1 abroad to stay with my parents (a huge treat for her) so at least we didn't have to worry about that.

BiggerAndBadder Mon 24-Sep-12 22:29:54

my dd1 26 hours 2nd dd 5 hours

lindsell Mon 24-Sep-12 22:39:32

In established labour ds1 was 2.5 hrs, ds2 was 45mins.

Luckily both times my waters went a few hours before I went into labour so when that happened 2nd time I got my friend to come round straightaway so she was there already when it started - otherwise ds2 would have been an emergency home birth as no way she'd have got here to look after ds1 and then us to the hospital - it was almost a car park job as it was grin

As ds1 was so quick for a first I did have a bag of stuff in case of an emergency home birth.

Spaghettivongole Mon 24-Sep-12 22:55:17

Similar to you OP, my first was back-to-back and pretty out and drawn out. 2nd was about 45 mins in established labour so took me by surprise and was born at home!
I had my neighbour on standby to look after DD in the event that my mum couldn't get to us quickly enough, however when it came to it and i was in labour DD worked out something was up and wouldn't have gone to anyone else without a lot of trauma. Which I would have found very upsetting and hard as (at that stage!) she was really my main concern. But in the end the baby arrived before we had decided what to do with her so it wasn't an issue! But do bear this in mind!

I remembered afterwards that the midwife at the birthing centre (in the hospital) had said that if childcare was an issue then they'd rather we bought DD with us than risk an unplanned homebirth or birth en route (shame I didn't remember that at the time!). But it might be worth you checking the hospital policy on this to help you bs prepared. It would mean DD waiting in another room and I assume DH may be with her and miss the birth, but it could be an option if all else fails.

Also, part of the reason I was taken by surprise with DC2 was that the contractions were nowhere near as painful as with DD, I'm assuming because she was back -to-back.

golemmings Mon 24-Sep-12 23:04:23

We had 3 different friends on stand by. Our first choice was our nextdoor neighbour but we had back up of another friend in the village but we knew she might be busy and a friend in next village who would be around but doesn't drive so if we'd needed het we would have had to drop dd there on the way to the hospital. We also had nursery on standby to have dd from 8-6 any day of the week, even the days she's not normally in.

As it happened my contractions started at 4 am on a nursery day so DH took dd to nursery, came back and took me in to hospital at 10.

I do labour slowly because I seem to have babies who want to come out on their sides so DS wasn't born until half 7 that evening. Still 13 hours was better than the 36hrs with dd...

Meanwhile, neighbour had picked up dd, taken her home fed her, stuffed her in the bath with her own son (a couple of years older), shared stories with both kids then taken dd to our house and put her to bed.
DH got home at 10 which allowed neighbour to go home to bed.

We also left an instruction manual for dd setting out her routine, identifying favourite and critical teddies, food likes and dislikes and anything else that might help her settle given that she had never been put to bed by anyone other than us before.

She was absolutely fine, settled beautifully and treated it all like a big adventure.

LittleWhiteWolf Mon 24-Sep-12 23:08:24

I was induced, which I had dreaded but it turned out to be great actually as it meant that dh and I could drop dd at nursery with child care in place for afterwards (my mum picked her up at one). My waters were broken at 10 and DS arrived at 14:19. We were at my mums house by five, eating pizza and having a small celebration by six. I panicked about the logistics for months but in the end it was so simple.

Good luck!

rogersmellyonthetelly Wed 26-Sep-12 09:11:00

Second was much shorter than first, 12 hours from first painful contraction that woke me up until she was born. I went to hospital after 2 hours as was sure I was in labour and wanted to make sure I didn't miss the epidural window! I was 4cm when I arrived and already at the agonized grunting/groaning stage.

EMS23 Wed 26-Sep-12 09:16:41

DD1 - 24 hours from waters breaking to delivery, with last 9 hours in hospital.

DD2 (last week) - less than 4 hours from first proper contractions and only 2 hours in hospital. We also had child care issues and I didn't think I was actually in labour but delivery suite said that if it was easier for me, with my child care arrangements to come in sooner rather than later, to do so.
So I did, dropping DD1 off on way.
By the time I got to hospital I was pretty much ready to deliver!!

Good luck op.

Lizzietow Wed 26-Sep-12 09:29:40

I'm thinking the same- 37 1/2 weeks currently. Takes the MIL around 40 mins to get to ours. I am reassures by all the stories of quicker second labours though! My first was 18 1/2 hours xx

ilovedjasondonovan Wed 26-Sep-12 09:34:58

DD1 - 8 hours
DD2 - 2.5 hours from the very first not painful twinge.

We don't have any family closeby (2 hrs closest), but neighbour had kindly offered to house sit overnight if it was an overnighter with DD2.

As it was DD2 wasn't very painful, didn't realise I was in full blown labour until about 10 mins before she was born. Went to the toilet to have a poo and out came a baby; expertly caught (no pushing) by dad in a towel.

So as it was DD1 was asleep and neighbour wasn't needed as it was a surprise homebirth.

FuzzyGOLDwood Wed 26-Sep-12 09:36:58

DD first labour about 9 hours. DS 2 hours from waters breaking and first 'proper' contractions I had a few contractions throughout the evening but not established labour. MIL had taken to spending the night at our house that week as DS was late, 11 days over due by the time he decided to put in an appearance. We're lucky she only lives 10 minutes drive away. We left the house about quarter past midnight, DS born about 1.30am back home by 4am. DD now thinks babies arrive like presents from Father Christmas as she slept through it all!
Good luck grin

nextphase Wed 26-Sep-12 09:39:40

err. 2.5 hours first contraction to baby. Three pushes.
We didn't make it to the hospital, so childcare wasn't an issue in the end. DH juggled 2 yr old DS, ambulance control and labouring wife!

TittyWhistles Wed 26-Sep-12 10:17:46

First was 3 hrs <pop>.
Second was 18hrs with incredibly fascinating complications. Sorry but it's best to be prepared for any eventuality.
Shame your family is not close but friends can be brilliant in these situations, its not an everyday occurrence and it as such a pleasing result that most people are glad to help.

ProudMamma Wed 26-Sep-12 10:25:16

This is all very reassuring- thank you!
I am 34 weeks with number 2 and my son was born at 37 weeks, and established labour was only just over an hour- so have been a bit worried about this one, and actually making it to the birth center especially with the added concern of childcare. I definitely intend to have lots of friends on standby and will inquire with the BC to find out if children are allowed (as a last resort!).
I had a lot of pre-labour signs with my first (waters broke early, non-painful contractions for about 12 hours) so I am hoping that I get a few similar signs this time around too- fingers crossed!

mrswee Thu 27-Sep-12 20:35:50

Thanks for all your ghood luck wishes, you are making a hard hearted woman cry!

It looks like I should make a few differnt plans and call on one of them at the first twinge just in case!

I never even considered that I might not even reconise I am in labour properly second time around, but reading this it seems it happened to quite a few of you. Because DD was back to back I will be looking for a high level pain as a sign I am in established labour but I might have to re think that as the pain could turn out to be much less and make me think I've got lots of time. Note to self.

If it comes to it then we will take DD to hospital and get a friend to pick her up from there.

ellangirl Thu 27-Sep-12 20:46:39

You have me worried here! My first labour was 8 hours from first contraction to birth, 3 ish hours to get from 4-5 cm to fully dilated and 1.5 ish hours pushing because DS came out with elbow by his head which no one realised until he was born.
For this one we have to get MIL here (hopefully within 15 mins) and have half an hour drive to hospital. I really do not want to give birth in the car! Most of your second births are so much faster than your first...

Mmmchampagne Thu 27-Sep-12 20:53:07

DS1 5.5 hrs from waters breaking/first contractions to birth.

DS2 1 hr 10 mins from first contractions to birth. Didn't make it to hospital and am pretty sure I reached the transition stage within ten mins of waters breaking/contractions starting. But I don't think my labours are normal...

This thread is worrying me shock

Hospital is over an hour away and arrangements for DD rely on PILs or her dad. Both live on the way but PILs are going away in two weeks (Im due in 5) so if I go early it will all rest on DDs dad who works full time and is sometimes quite far away.

There is noone else. Oh god.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 27-Sep-12 21:12:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 27-Sep-12 21:13:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrswee Fri 28-Sep-12 09:02:31

Also we had to go to the hospital recently at 4.30pm and it took over an hour to drive there in traffic! It can take as little as 15/20 mins but not in busy times

notcitrus Fri 28-Sep-12 09:13:38

First labour, 39 hours. 2nd, started in the night, at 7am rang my parents to say you know you were coming over today, can you come right now and take ds home and overnight (as planned but due date wasn't until 10 days later).
They came 90min later by which time I was well in labour and was about to get neighbour in until they showed.
Within 5 min was out of door and on epidural 30 min later. Got dilated quickly, then ventouse late at night and then it was late and my issues meant I stayed overnight. Next day it took lots of checks and arguing and was finally out at 8pm, so my parents had ds for a second night which was tiring for them all but fab for us. Third day my parents came up with ds and dropped him at nursery for the afternoon and then brought him home to see baby etc. Nursery had already agreed he could come in on any days even ones he didn't normally, and we'd had staff pick him up to go there for a couple weeks.

SIL had homebirth partly for childcare and conveniently had her entire labour while dc1 was at nursery!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: