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Need a bit of a rant about childcare arrangements when I'm in labour! :)

(6 Posts)
openjarawayfromface Fri 26-Sep-08 10:42:39

I should probably point out right at the beginning that I know that I'm much luckier than a lot of people here, and that this is just a pregnancy hormone-style rant. I have name-changed in case someone recognises me. blush


We have a DD who is almost two, and I'm due to have another baby in the next month. We organised ages ago that my parents would look after DD when I go into hospital (home birth is not an option). My parents are separated and live over 2 hours away, so the plan has always been that I will phone either or both of them as soon as I feel contractions and they will drive here right away. As this is a second delivery and could be really quick, I have a friend locally who has agreed to take DD temporarily if I have to rush into hospital before they can arrive.

Both my parents are in good health, both are retired, and both have a good relationship with DD, so I am really lucky. Either one of them could step in to look after her. But their disasterous marriage is messing stuff up again. My Mum asked me last night if it was OK for her to work in the next month (she is a supply teacher to supplement her pension). I told her that it was perfectly fine, and she could work whenever she wanted as long as she co-ordinated with my Dad that someone would be available to take my labour phonecall. She was not happy about this, and told me that it was OK, because she would take her mobile into work and check it during every break. So I pointed out that we had arranged that the babysitter would come straight away because I'm going to be quite stressed out (traumatic experience last time) and worried about DD1. She offered to keep her mobile switched on while teaching. So I pointed out that this wouldn't solve the problem as she could hardly leave a class of children to their own devices to leap in the car and zoom up the motorway!

She is now sulking with me, as she then wouldn't be the person to look after DD1, and she might not be the first to visit me and the new baby in hospital. Even worse, it would be her ex-husband who would get to babysit and see the newborn. I was planning on phoning them both anyway, to be honest, so that I couldn't be accused of favouritism. Now my Dad has arranged to have family staying with him when I'm 39 weeks (I'm unlikely to go overdue) and I'm getting worried about what he will do if I go into labour at 39 weeks, especially as they don't seem keen to co-ordinate with each other any more, and my Mum now wants to spend time with the visiting family too.

I know that they are well within their rights to cancel being my childcare support if they want to, and that I can't expect everyone to put their lives on hold for potentially a whole 5 weeks. But I'm so worried about another delivery, and having a newborn (DD1 almost died), and I seem to have chosen the (potentially) swift delivery and childcare issues to really worry about.

Any reassurance out there?

frogthistle Fri 26-Sep-08 11:08:45

GRRR, that must be so frustrating for you. I understand completely, my own parents can do very similar things.

I hope you won't mind if I say that - it doesn't sound (whatever the rights, wrongs or reasonableness of the above) as if you need to have the hassle of sorting this out, now or closer to the date, with them. They appear to be lost in their own world right now - sulking FGS!

Could you find a couple of more reliable options closer by with friends or neighbours and then just stick to the plan to phone them after the birth. You wouldn't even have to tell them about cancelling the original plans. An airy wave of the hand and 'I'm sure everything will work out and I'll phone you if I need you as discussed' would work.

Good luck, hope you find a solution to this. In a similar (but not identical) situation, we arranged to leave DD1 with friends and only announced to famiily that we were having a homebirth when we phoned them the morning afterwards. All the nonsense of death & destruction which had been spouted off earlier in my pregnancy appeared to disappear when presented with the fact of a successful birth. They've left us alone to a greater extent since then in terms of their opinions!

Thinking of you, best of luck - I don't think you're unreasonable, if it helps!


openjarawayfromface Fri 26-Sep-08 11:23:43

Oh good, I know that I'm getting very hormonal and focussed on the birth and I do worry that it's making me an irrational lunatic! grin

Part of me wants to shout at my Mum "how on Earth do you think that you can be my emergency labour childcare when you are at work in a different city?!?!!?". But I have bitten my tongue. Mind you, I only just found out about my Dad having family stay over. I don't understand why he didn't think that it was important to let me know, especially as he is convinced that the baby will be born that week. hmm It was my Mum who told me, because she asked if it was OK to spend time with them (Mum and Dad were together a long time and so family on both sides have tried hard to keep up relationships with both of them).

I think that part of this is that I want to keep my labour very private until the baby is born. I feel really strange about everyone knowing that I am in labour, and don't really want the pressure of excited family hanging on to know every detail. But I'm not going to get a that privacy if I have to phone when Dad is entertaining family, or if I have to phone Mum at work. Then everyone will know. Maybe that's just the way it is when it's the second time around and you have to arrange childcare...

mamatilly Fri 26-Sep-08 17:33:57

gosh it is intense with second birth... i live between 2 and 3 hours from folks, and mum has said she will come any time day or night, but still am anxious about how quickly she will be able to set off, she works part-time and is always super busy with life.

just praying that it all works out...

good luck.

woose Sat 27-Sep-08 15:08:25

Yes, I have found the childcare issue quite an anxious one during my 2nd pregnancy. Different situation though, but for a few weeks it was all I could think of and got really stressed by it.

My mum had just assumed that she and my Dad would look after DS when I went into labour. They live quite close by and so it makes sense. However, my mother is not experienced with looking after my son and is not at all hands on. My in laws are though but they live a fair distance away. I had been trying to work out what to do because I didn't want to upset my mum by saying I would prefer MIL to look after DS. She since had a few days of practicing looking after him and I felt happier leaving him in her care. However, then her father became really ill and she has been looking after him driving over 4 hours each way. Now he is a bit better he is living with my parents and I don't know now if they are up to looking after DS and my grandfather at the same time. All a bit crazy. To make things worse, when I have told my in laws about this, they now think they will be looking after DS and keep phoning up to see what is going on (I am due tomorrow BTW). This is driving me mad and so I am just hoping it will all work out. It is such a sensitive issue isn't it, and it is not as if we haven't got enough to worry about already.

Hope it all works out for you openjar

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sat 27-Sep-08 15:14:33

lol! my sister could be having a c-section next week at v short notice, she has also been told that she could go into labour at any second an must get straight to hospital if she does as her baby is breech.

she has a dd and a ds and her hubby has just gone camping with her dd. she has no emergency babysitter set up, that i know of, though i have been instructed to always have my phone on and with me! i wonder if i am the babysitter hmm

you are very organised. dont panick you will be fine. with two babysitters and a close friend there will be some one available.

good luck with it anyway. im sure once it happens childcare will be the last thing on your mind <seashells tries to remember who had dd1 while she was in labour with dd2....and fails>

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