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Childcare issues: How long do I have before I have to go into hospital in a situation like this?

(10 Posts)
petaluma Mon 12-Sep-11 23:09:35

I had a C section with ds1 and am due with dd2 in the next three weeks. I'm going to try for VBAC if all goes to plan, but the consultant said that I have to go into hospital at the first sign of established contractions as they need to monitor me because of my scar.

I'm desperately anxious about the whole thing, particularly as I will need to find childcare very quickly. DH and I don't have any family who can get here in the timescale I've been told (doc said to get into hospital straightaway) We also live in London so any friends who are willing to help us out, are scattered all over the place, none particularly near or able to necessarily drop everything at a moment's notice.

It's complicated more by the fact dh works a good 45 mins drive from home so even him getting home to look after ds and then take him to be looked after by someone else is going to take time.

We do have our next door neighbour who is primed and ready to be the one to take him, and a few other neighbours said they will help out - but it's all rather vague and if none of them is available, what the hell do we do?

Obviously, the worst case scenario is that dh has to stay at home to look after ds until someone else can and I go to hospital on my own but we really hope that isn't the case.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with childcare, and what did you end up doing?

isitmidnightalready Mon 12-Sep-11 23:39:27

My friend did and was avoiding the whole issue. We worked out a plan of attack and wrote down everyone's phone numbers and when they worked / were available, and confirmed with them that it was ok and woudl they really be able to help out, and when they could not.

In your case I would do the above as it will solidify options ( people will have to commit or tellyou they can't really do it.) You could then do a check every three days and see if the plan is still ok with them for the next three days. If it is not, then work out an alternative.

You could always take your DC withyou so that at least you get to hospital quickly., and then you DH or helpful neighbour can help you from there. Can you buy help in the daytime that you can continue to use if the delivery begins in the daytime. Is there a local babysitter that you can trust?

Is there a cousin or niece/ old aunt or someone you can ask / coerce into visiting for the next couple of weeks and so be availble for the childcare. Do you have room?

Hope you get some more ideas from others.

wompoopigeon Mon 12-Sep-11 23:48:07

I would definitely go with the advice above. Write down the name, contact details and precise availability of everyone who has offered to help. Then ask around if necessary to add to it. You may find a list looks better than the concept, IYSWIM.
Where in London are you BTW? If you were willing to say, you might find MNetters able to help in emergency.

whackamole Tue 13-Sep-11 07:41:29

Interesting to read this. We have no family nearby who can/will help out at the last second with the boys, no one with a car who can take us there or even pick us up, so I am kind of resigned to the fact that if I go in the week, I will be giving birth alone sad

Bit sad, but it wasn't long ago that dads weren't even allowed at the delivery so I suppose I'll be fine!

TastyMuffins Tue 13-Sep-11 07:47:05

Have you considered a homebirth?

MmeLindor. Tue 13-Sep-11 07:56:08

What Midnight said.

Make people who have offered help give you set times that they can help.

Or look for a local childminder who could perhaps take your DS on short notice.

Did you read the OP? She has to go into hospital as the consultant is worried about a VBAC.

Iggly Tue 13-Sep-11 13:09:09

You can have a VBAC at home although as it's high risk you usually have to end up booking with an independent midwife which costs and it's late on now.

I think your DH has to be prepared to look after DS depending on the time of your labour. Eg middle of the night. Ideally you need someone to come to you - you don't want to be worrying about that! I'd also see if family can come and stay with you for a period of time.

Finally, firm up arrangements with everyone who has offered.

petaluma Tue 13-Sep-11 20:45:40

Thanks so much everyone- all advice gratefully received.

I've just typed up a long reply and then somehow managed to delete it ..but here is the gist...

I've taken your advice and got a longer list of people willing to help out with dates and times available - including 2 mums from my local playgroups.

Next door neighbour says she will tell her boss she has to leave for an emergency if I ring her while she's at work - there's lovely neighbourliness for you! She temps anyway and looks after my ds regularly so I'd rather it be her who looks after him.

Family isn't an option in terms of coming to visit as my ILs would not be able to cope with ds, my mum died last year and my dad has work commitments before (he is coming down to help out after). Other close relations have their own families and jobs elsewhere in the country - they would love to but they can't just drop everything based on a 3 week 'what if'

In terms of a home birth, I wouldn't want one anyway based on my previous birth experience, but the whole reason this childcare situation has come about is because my consultant told me I need to come in to hospital asap after labour is established.

Whackamole, I hear where you're coming from - if all else fails, I'll just get myself to hospital as soon as dh is home to look after ds (he's only just turned 2 so wouldn't feel happy bringing him along to the hospital) and be there on my own until he can get someone to look after him - and if that means I give birth alone, then so be it. We made the decision to live in London, away from family and with a disparate set of friends, so we now have to accept this as par for the course!

Thanks all, and fingers crossed

TastyMuffins Tue 13-Sep-11 20:47:04

MmeLindor yes, I did read the OP. The consultant doesn't do home births, if it is a homebirth, a midwife can come out at the first sign of established contractions. The issue the consultant will be concerned with is the 0.5% chance of a c-section scar rupturing during labour. The risk is the same at home or at hospital. Homebirth should be possible on the NHS although can vary from area to area, does not have to be an Independent MW. A homebirth is usually monitored by a midwife who stays with the mother the whole time, a monitored hospital birth usually involves the mother being strapped to a monitor which is periodically read by a qualified person during intermittent checks

It is always possible to start at home and transfer for any reason, so if the OP goes into labour, calls out the on call MW, calls out childcare, carries on at home and later decides she feels she wants to go in, she can transfer with the MW.

petaluma Tue 13-Sep-11 20:57:58

Tastymuffins, I wasn't aware that was even an option bsed on the info I got from the various hospital hcp. Interesting! I have a mid wife's appointment next week so will investigate - I'll definitely want to go into hospital at some point but starting at home may just be the thing to do.


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