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Making arrangements for childcare during labour

(29 Posts)
mrsalwaysawake Sat 22-Sep-12 22:56:57

Right, I need help getting my head round what we're supposed to do here.

Dc2 is due when DS will be 19 mo.
My mum is retired, and lives 3 hours away by train, and doesn't drive. My dad (and his wife) lives about the same distance away, isn't fully retired, is not a big part of our lives. MIL is ill and might not even be alive by then. FIL (and wife) is about half an hour away, works shifts. BIL (and fiance) also half an hour away, both work ft, no experience with children.
DS really likes FIL.
DS attends nursery 3 days a week (v local to us).
Hospital is about 30 - 40 mins away.
DS has never spent time apart from us with anyone other than the nursery ladies. He has never stayed away overnight. DS finds it hard to settle to sleep away from home.

My ideal scenario would be to have someone we can phone in the middle of the night to come and look after DS, but we don't have anyone who fits the bill. DH won't even ask his dad to come and stay over, he thinks I am utterly unreasonable to want this

mrsalwaysawake Sat 22-Sep-12 22:57:17

Sorry, posted too soon!

mrsalwaysawake Sat 22-Sep-12 23:04:43

I think the only way we can guarantee someone can be here with DS is if my mum comes to stay for a long time!
We don't even have a spare room though, so she'd be sleeping on the sofa-bed sad

DH thinks we should send DS to sleep at FIL's to get him used to it in case he needs to for dc2's arrival. I hate this idea, but think he might have a point.
But if I go into labour in the middle of the night, I think that, unless my mum is staying over, I am quite possibly going to have to go into hospital on my own.

Has anyone dealt with this successfully?
What should we do?

TheDetective Sun 23-Sep-12 00:56:03

FIL sounds ideal. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

And kids are a lot better at adapting to new situations than we give them credit for.

I wouldn't worry, just make the arrangements.

WhereAreMyShoes Sun 23-Sep-12 01:26:56

My 2yo DS has never been looked after by anyone else (DP is a SAHP) and he was not at all keen on anyone having him till he's much older.
My mum was on standby to come and be my birth partner and DP and DS stay at home.

I wasn't sure if I wanted mum there in the end and got DP to drop me off and wait at home.
Laboured on my own with midwife with me throughout.
It was honestly the best decision I could have made. I was totally focused and in complete control. I was in and out in less than 7 hours to DP's total shock!

I reckon my labour was so easy because I was able to just get on with it and not worry about upsetting anyone or doing poos in front of someone you know!

Before I got really going I had a bit of a wobble about being alone but I think the midwife will take extra care of you. Don't be afraid to do it this way if it's most convenient.

This was all of 2 days ago by the way!

HowToChangeThis Sun 23-Sep-12 03:33:04

FIL would be the best bet but are there any local friends, especially with kids the same age that could take him. Dd is cared for at home too but when I have dc2 she's likely to go to one of my NCT friends for the day or night. It'll be a bit unfamiliar but I know she'll be physically well cared for and it won't be for long. I reckon she'll quit screaming the minute cbeebies is on hmm

Dd is the same age as your DS. She won't remember it afterwards and it'll be 24 hours at the most.

ZuleikaD Sun 23-Sep-12 06:53:07

I definitely wouldn't pack him off to FIL or anyone else. Have someone come to you, whether a friend or FIL. We didn't have anyone close when I was going to have DC2 either, so I went to hospital in a taxi by myself while DH waited at home with DD for his parents to arrive. I think your FIL should come to you when you know you're in labour. If he's only half an hour away then he'll probably get to you before you actually leave for the hospital anyway, and it's not that bad labouring by yourself with a midwife.

tamster83 Sun 23-Sep-12 07:11:36

i think your fIIl is your best best esp if your son likes him , id have an over night bag ready and waiting for him just incase it does happen in the day time and if you were to go into labour in the middle of the night i dnt think its unreasonable for him to come to your house. in fact would seem most logical rather than wake lil un in the middle of the night and i bet your f l would agree ,.........aswell

mrsalwaysawake Sun 23-Sep-12 07:49:55

Thanks for all your replies.
FIL is obviously a good option, but if I go into labour in the night, and FIL is working, I am going to have to go into hospital on my own, which is quite scary, but I'm glad it is not complete madness!
DH has suggested 'well, DS would just have to come to hospital with us then'.
Err, no.
I don't think DH wants to phone his dad in the middle of the night to come round even if he's not at work. I'm not really sure why. We've put the discussion on hold for a little while.

No local friends. Our NCT group live further away than DH's family.

comixminx Sun 23-Sep-12 08:00:51

I felt like it would be rather a big ask, ringing people up in the middle of the night to get them to come over; probably DH also sees it as too big an ask though he shouldn't, really? In any case I did get someone over to stay during the likely time scale: I had my mum in standby for some of the time (she's 1.5 hours away) but for the time before she was able to be 'on call'I had my oldest friend come to stay for a few days. In fact I went into labour while my friend was here, and she was excellent!

ZuleikaD Sun 23-Sep-12 08:25:14

I can see why you'd think it would be a big ask to get someone up in the night, but in reality I think people don't mind all that much - they've often been through it themselves and generally understand. You should at least run it by your FIL so you know in principle whether he'd mind or not.

mrsalwaysawake Sun 23-Sep-12 08:25:48

I don't think it's too big a deal to ring your dad in the middle of the night because your wife has gone into labour and you need someone to look after your son, but DH seems to think it is.

ZuleikaD Sun 23-Sep-12 08:27:08

Ask him yourself. grin

mrsalwaysawake Sun 23-Sep-12 08:27:49

Might have to!

neverquitesure Sun 23-Sep-12 08:47:16

Sorry, no useful advice but wanted you to know that if it all goes tits up and your DS ends up coming up the hospital with you it won't be that bad. We had a bullet proof plan. It went something like this:

1. Home birth booked
2. My parents (retired but 2 hour drive away) on standby to jump in the car at the first contraction.
3. Next door neighbours (elderly but 18 month old knew them well and was happy to stay with them) on stand by in case of emergency.

Of course when I did go into labour I did my usual am I/aren't I for too long, then the midwives were busy and I had to go in. It's 11:30pm and DH is about to wake next door and ask them to come over and babysit when an ambulance pulls up to their house and paramedics run in shock

Ended up sketching a map to the hospital and sticking it on our front door for my parents to find & hot footing it to the hospital with DS still in his PJs. The staff were great and fetched him blankets and pens/paper. My parents arrived minutes before DD was born. DH came back from switching the car seat and one push later she was born.

My point is that although it didn't exactly go to plan it wasn't overly stressful and we still laugh about it 2 1/2 years later!

Cies Sun 23-Sep-12 08:52:29

Another option is paid childcare of course. Is there any way any of the nursery workers could do some babysitting for you before the big day, and be on call for the birth?

mrsalwaysawake Sun 23-Sep-12 09:14:22

That's an option I'd not really considered, Cles. Might be possible, but if I haul a nursery worker out of bed in the middle of the night to look after DS, she'll be knackered and not on good form for looking after everyone else's children in the morning?

mrsalwaysawake Sun 23-Sep-12 09:17:00

Is it really ok to take a toddler onto the labour ward?

newby2 Sun 23-Sep-12 09:32:07

I'd have a run-down list. i.e if FIL at work/refuses, ring your mum at the first contraction. Then ring your brother to cover until your Mum gets there etc. They may not have experience but its only about putting on a DVD until DS falls asleep and putting him to bed.

Put yourself first. The person you need to focus on is you and your baby. If your DS had to go to hosp with you then so be it, if there were any delay/complication though, it wouldn't be very nice and you'll all be stressed.

My answer: get every-one involved and list them.

Rowanhart Sun 23-Sep-12 09:33:18

I'd love to be in this position. Perfect excuse to labour alone.

Really want to do it alone as know I'll cope much better, but DH really wants to be there. Can't really rob him of the opportunity.

mrsalwaysawake Sun 23-Sep-12 09:38:27

I think I have to let DH think about this for a while. Then try to convince him that phoning your family in the middle of the night is ok!

javotte Sun 23-Sep-12 10:19:59

Please have a backup plan with someone who lives nearby, just in case.
My Mum was supposed to come and look after DS but never answered the phone as "it was late so she thought it was a wrong number" hmm. We had to take DS to the hospital with us and it was very unsettling for him.

neverquitesure Sun 23-Sep-12 10:27:25

"Is it really ok to take a toddler onto the labour ward?"

Didn't faze DS in the slightest but we were lucky there were no complications as I would have been on my own as DH's first priority was him not me. Staff were very lovely about it, not least because we were onto Plan D at this stage.

I wouldn't plan for it though!

ZuleikaD Sun 23-Sep-12 11:00:40

javotte, wow. Even though she knew you were going to phone her when you went into labour! I'd have been angry

comixminx Sun 23-Sep-12 11:20:44

Also, not sure how long it is before your due date, but have you considered having a doula? That would be someone who could help support you even if your DH is doing childcare stuff. Mind you we had a doula and still didn't want to leave DP focusing mostly on the childcare, but it's an option! And having a doula is really good anyway as someone who will support you and also DH assuming he's not off with DC...

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