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Where to give birth, if cannot find childcare options for DD? Home birth?(22 Posts)
Hi everyone! I am in a bit of a pickle here and would love to get your advice. I have a 1 year old DD who doesn't go to nursery yet, and I will be looking after her full time while on maternity leave from November. My DH works 2 hours commute away, both our parents live abroad and can't come around to stay with us around the due date. I can't seem to figure out what is the best way for me to handle labour:
1) If I am alone at home when labour starts I can't take my LO with me to the hospital and God know when my DH will be able to get home.
2) I could ask friends to be on stand-by but this option doesn't work if labour starts on a week day during working hours.
3) The idea of hiring an emergency nanny and leaving my LO with her all alone at home absolutely terrifies me.
4) Having DH look after our LO, while giving birth at the hospital all alone also terrifies me.
I've had a straightforward VD with DD (aside from episiotomy and epidural), and hoping for an easy one this time. Home birth seems like the only options but the idea of not having a pain relief and risks of not being near the doctors makes me nervous.
Anyone in a similar situation? Successful home birth stories?
Can you ask for an elective induction? So at least you will know "when" the baby is coming?
Surely even if you have a home birth you’ll need someone to look after your daughter. She will need food, changing, attention etc. You can’t just leave her and you won’t be able to look after her while giving birth.
You have till November to find someone eg a very experienced babysitter?
I had my DD on my own, it happened accidentally but it really was ok.
Instead of worrying about my DH I could just concentrate on myself. The whole experience felt very primal and I found doing it on my own very empowering, Unlike my first birth which was terrifying!
My DH arrived about half hour after she was born and my DM came another half hour later with my DS. The whole thing was brilliant and i wouldn't have changed it. (DH said he was secretly glad he missed it too!)
Home birth doesn’t solve the problem. You can’t leave your baby DD to sort herself out while you are in labour for however many hours.
A friend on standby sounds like the best option (my employer would be v understanding in this situation, and let me take time off/leave work at a moments notice, some will be less generous) and if you have to go to hospital alone, then you’ll be fine.
What does your DH suggest?
I would ask friends to be on standby and they can declare its an emergency and leave work to help you. But if you have to take DD to hospital with you then do and call your friend or dh to come to the hospital and get her from there.
@hungryhippie haven't heard about it. I'll definitely ask at my next appointment. Thanks!
Hi guys! Thanks so much for jumping in with suggestions. Just to clarify, I am definitely going to get someone to look after my DD, like a nanny for a day or so, but at least I will be there under the same roof and won't have to worry about leaving her with the stranger. If you know what I mean. Finding a full-time carer for more than just a day is not an option financially unfortunately. Couple of friends said they would try to come over, but I guess it will depend on the date/time, I am just afraid that in the moment everyone will not be able to make it. @Scaredofthecity, WOW! Cudos to you for bravery and I'm glad that it went so well. Makes me less anxious about being at home.
Like scaredofthecity unforesee circumstances meant I was on my own and quite liberating. DH literally walked in the door as DS was pulled out!
I had a home brith with my DD. We are lucky to have very supportive parents and my inlaws collected my DS (17 months old at the time) for a sleep over at theirs. It was the first time he had slept away from me so I was more worried about this than the actual labour I think.
I would absolutely recommend a home birth. You get amazing care with much better continuity of midwives. Plus at home you have two senior midwives to yourself.
For pain relief they have gas and air (not sure if they have anything stronger as I didn't require it). I had a water birth which is good at easing the pain. You can buy excellent kits online for £100 (my husband is currently using my birthing pool as a paddling pool for himself in this hot weather!).
The midwives take great care of you and will only recommend a home birth if you are low risk. Any signs of complications on the day they will call for a ambulance and you will be blue lighted to hospital. But they have most of the emergency kit with them anyway.
A home birth is best thing I've done and if I ever have no 3 I will definitely have another one.
We had our childminder as our first option (I realise you don't have this choice) but had a variety of friends with different working patterns on call in case the childminder couldn't do it. Even without the childminder I know between them one (or several in shifts!) would have been able to do it. I would happily do this for someone else too.
In terms of an emergency nanny, I know it isn't ideal but it really will be ok. I had to use one for DD1 when she was 11mo as I was at my DM's hospital bedside for the week before she died. It was all too quick to arrange anything else and we were nearly 4hrs from home, so couldn't get a friend etc to watch her. She was/is a very clingy child and she wasn't in her own home (we were staying at DM's) but was still fine. The nanny was amazing and I'm not even sure DD1 missed me TBH.
I had a homebirth with DC2.
DC1 was 17 months old at the time and just pottering about as normal she was in and out of the room, and DH could see to her as needed. My mum turned up just before dd needed lunch so took care of that for us and put her upstairs for a nap. When she woke up, in she toddled, just in time to see her brother come into the world
I think the unknown is so hard. I had a home birth and at 3pm I was playing Duplo (happily, I might add) with ds1 and ds2 arrived at 5.43. We dropped ds1 to next door for about half an hour and to our surprise ds2 showed up during that window
I’m in a similar boat- absolutely no family near and most friends work 9-5 and live a good 30+ minutes drive away. DD is in nursery though. I’ve asked our semi-retired neighbours to help with childcare if I go in the night. My DD knows who they are and would be fine with them. DD is three though...
DD was really quick for a first birth, 4 hours established labour and she was back to back! So my fear is getting anyone else here in time to watch her!
The idea of hiring an emergency nanny and leaving my LO with her all alone at home absolutely terrifies me.
What do you find terrifying about this scenario? If you use a reputable agency and meet the Nanny in advance, the chance of getting someone dodgy is very, very low.
As your DD gets older she will have childcarers looking after her who are strangers you. It will be fine.
If you can afford to I would start having a nanny or babysitter look after her for a couple of hours a week so that they can get to know each other and so that you know and trust them.
I think it would be very unsettling for your DD to suddenly find herself being taken care of by someone she doesn't know very well at the same time as having something big afoot at home (home birth and then new sibling arriving).
We moved to a new city miles from friends and family wgen I was ecoecting dc2.
No family members could come and help out and I only had aquaintances in my new home, none I knew well enough to ask for help.
The solution I found was to find a local childminder who agreed to be on call when the time came. Dc1 went to her a few times in the fortnight leading up to my due date to get to know each other.
It wasn't ideal but it was the best (only) solution for us.
I'm sure if you have a list of friends for standby duties, then on the day at least one will be willing and able to leave work early if they need to. I know that my employer would let me if I explained the situation, so long as I wasn't in an external meeting for example.
I hope this is the case as it's my backup plan for if baby comes really this time and daughter isn't at nursery that day! I have 2 really good friends who've said they'll be able to drop things and run if needs be.
2 inductions here. First was good, second was brilliant. I was more or less allowed to negotiate the second one at 37+5 (did have a medical reason, but would have been low priority if others had needed to be in labour suite). Could be a good option for you?
I know it's easier said than done but I think you really need to prioritise building a support network where you are now. Do you bring your child to any baby groups, nursery rhyme time at the library, etc? If not, find some sort of baby-focused social group and become a regular - if there really aren't any, start one your self via facebook by suggesting a mum-and-buggy walk around a park or something one day a week. Or similarly with pre-natal yoga or something if you have time/money for that. Then you expand your circle of people in a similar situation and can clock up a few favours which you can ask for support similarly when needed. People are understanding around birth and priority times like that. Having a support network nearby isn't just for a birth of course, any kind of emergency could arise at any time and you will be much better placed to deal with it if you can call on a few people for help.
I really don't think a home birth helps your concerns. It would be wildly irresponsible to remain the main caregiver after active labour starts. Of course, the vast majority of labours will be just fine but labour can turn terrifying in seconds.
Otherwise, do you have any friends who have a childminder and could you work out some sort of arrangement with her? Allow your daughter become familiar with her via a few shared play dates and then pay for her to be cared for by the childminder when the time comes?
Elective induction is a good idea for certainty about hospital admission but inductions can take a long time to kick in, as you've had a baby before, several-day-long induction is less likely but not impossible.
The arrival of a new sibling into your family will be an upheaval and a big adjustment for your daughter, regardless. I don't think spending one day with a new minder will be anywhere near the most impactful part of it.
We were similar - relatives miles away although DH a bit closer. We took on a PHD student from the local college who came and got to know DS for a couple of hours a week for about 8 weeks before the birth. She had no fixed study hours so was very flexible so could have come at any time when other people were at work.
Then using her & friends as back up we cobbled together a rota of people. I didn't want a home birth and even if you do have a home birth there is no guarantee that you wouldn't have to transfer to hospital at some point anyway.
It worked out fine - DD was obligingly born on a Sunday so DH came to hospital and DS stayed at home with our student.
How well do you know your neighbours? When we were faced with the unknown of when DC2, then DC3 and DC4’s arrivals, each time our immediate next door neighbour offered to be the intermediate babysitter (even in the middle of the night) until the more permanent babysitter got there. Our DC were use to seeing him passing at the front door so he wasn’t a stranger to them or us. Just gave us a bit of breathing space if needed but in reality we didn’t need it due to timings. Could one of your neighbours do that until one of your friends got there?
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