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childcare whilst in labour - solutions needed please!(62 Posts)
Hi all, I've got a bit of a dilemma regarding childcare whilst in labour with number 2 and I'm just after a bit of solidarity/advice from anyone who's been in the same boat.
My son has just turned two and I'm due to have our second at the start of June. The problem is that we don't have anybody to look after our son whilst in labour. My parents and parents in law all died really young so we haven't got grandparents to call on. We were counting on my brother and sister in law but they found out that they can't have children at the same time that we found out I was pregnant and are really struggling with the news. It seems horribly insensitive to ask them to babysit whilst I give birth. They are also on holiday from my due date for two weeks. My sister lives at the other end of the country and has agreed to book a week off work to come down and help out but that's a bit of a lottery given that we have no idea when the baby will arrive. I've got a few friends I could ask but every single one of them has just given birth to their second babies in the past few weeks. I can't help but feel that my request would be pretty unpopular!
I have considered a homebirth but a recent urine sample revealed group b strep so that's a no go. I really can't come up with a solution that doesn't involve my husband missing the birth (which I'm fine with but he is not willing to consider). I saw the midwife this morning and she said I wouldn't be able to take my son to the hospital with us (I was thinking that I'd have an epidural and thus it wouldn't be too traumatic then maybe my husband wouldn't mind waiting outside with him during the final push). I have heard that some nannies offer an emergency service but I'm reluctant to leave my son with a stranger given that I've never left him with anyone before (no childcare)! I realise that this may be a compromise that I'll have to accept ultimately but I'm just wondering if anyone has any pearls of wisdom as I'm driving myself crazy trying to think of a solution! Thanks in advance.
Do you know your neighbours at all?if they seem ok could you get to know them a little better in the run up to the birth and ask them if they woulfd mind popping to your house to look after your son when you go into labour?
Thanks for the suggestion. That is an option and I'm probably going to mention it to them as they're really nice but they're quite elderly and are having a lot of health problems of their own at the moment. I thought that they might be willing to pop over in the middle of the night but I'm not sure if a full throttle two year old who's going crazy wondering where his parents are is really fair on them!
One of your friends will have him even if they have recently had their second they will have had similar concerns when having their second. Just talk to them now.
Currently 32 weeks with dd3 and it's amazing if you say your struggling with labour childcare issues how many people have said just to drop them at their house any time of the day or the night. Just get him used to spending time at the house of whoever you have chosen now.
we were in this situation. DH looked after DC1 (in the hospital corridors) whilst I delivered DC2.
If you don't have close friends or family nearby, I'd probably get prepared to have your DP looking after the child and giving birth without DP. Your DS is only 2, you may be going into labour in the middle of the night and it may not be a quick birth either. You really will want to make sure that you don't have to worry about DS whilst in labour.
I found the birth of DC2 with it the midwife present a lot more relaxing than my first birth.
Could you look at getting some paid childcare on board now so you can introduce ds to them slowly over the next few weeks? Given that you have limited support it might be a good idea to get him used to being looked after by a couple of other people anyway? Just in case?
Otherwise perhaps you could look into a doula? She could assist you during the birth whilst DH looks after ds until one of your friends can take him? I'm sure one of your friends will step up. I would in the circumstances! Even if it was a right pain! Good luck!
I can sympathise and I'm sorry you're in this situation. I would start by telling friends you are really dwelling on it, they will offer solutions (especially if have been in same boat in recent weeks), and I've found that you really have to start taking offers of help seriously. I'd be very surprised if no-one offered once you made it known that the alternative is for DP to miss the birth. It could be easier than you think, you're just not used to asking for help. Otherwise you have plenty of time to get him used to a babysitter or nanny in the next few months and can have a little break at the same time! Only needs be a few hrs a week. Also, are there toddler groups at local children's centres/ libraries/ churches? I found that women at these were SO helpful and constantly offering when I was struggling (especially a local church group I went to - non churchy, just a playgroup- where many of the helpers were grandmas and therefore really knew their stuff). Good luck. Let us know how you get on
I think your husband will have to miss the birth. It could be quite upsetting for your little boy if both his parents disappear and then come back with a baby.
We were in this situation and opted for a home birth (although I see that's not an option for you.) DD1 woke up when I was in labour anyway so DH missed DD2's arrival as he was with DD1. Anyway, I was so much calmer and the whole thing was so much easier second time round I didn't really miss having DH there IYSWIM? Although obvs he was in the house. The MWs were amazing and you know what you are doing the second time. It's much less daunting. So if you do end up having to leave DH with DS don't worry too much.
Does your DS go to nursery at all yet? My MW said it's amazing how many mums with older children labour once the older DC are at nursery/school/asleep!
Can you try and find a childminder that might be willing to help out? Locally we have a childminder that doesn't take children on a permanent basis and just does ad hoc hours. I use her when I need a morning or afternoon or a day as and when. You could send yours for a few hours a week to get them used to it in the run up to the birth. Definitely worth looking for someone like that if you can afford it. My childminder is worth her weight in gold although I might only use her once a month or so
Does your child go to nursery? Sure you could hire one of the nursery nurses. If not then a nanny who could get to know him beforehand, friends? I was just N standby for a woman in my post natal group when she had her second.
They will not allow your son on the labour ward.
Have a doula instead of your dh with you and he stays with son?
There are lots of options 💐
You have timefor your DSto build up a relationship with Babysitter who is willing to be on call if you wanted to.
But I would ask a friend - I would honestly do it for anyone even when I had a small baby. It's a one off (& an honour!).
I solved the problem twice over by giving birth at home but if I had to transfer the deal was that DH would stay with child(ren).
What about sitters.co? You could get to know one before the birth and have her available.
Also why would GBS make you not eligible for a home birth? Can't they give you a penicillin injection? I had two home births with GBS and that was the protocol (but both births were so quick I missed getting the antibiotics...)
I'd really advise trying to get some childcare on board now, because it would be so useful in the immediate aftermath of the birth too. Try childcare.co.uk, I have found some great temporary nannies on there, and get him used to it beforehand. Even if it doesn't work out for the birth then you might have someone to take him out to a group or a walk while you establish feeding or get some sleep! It is so hard not having family around, I was in the same boat, but funnily enough, like Gunpowder said, my labour coincided exactly with the childminder's hours! Started just as DS1 was due to go to her. However, as PP have said, when I shared how anxious I was about it, so many people offered to help out, even though they had small babies of their own, and I would always do it. Much easier though if you have established a contact beforehand... Good luck!
Could your husband stay at home with your little one, and you hire a doula to attend the birth with you?
Or get 2 nannies on stand by now, introduce them to your child and then call them when it happens
It's a tough one
My DH had DS and i was alone with the midwife. It was actually ok, there was someone with me the whole time. Not ideal, but was five years ago, and we don't feel regretful. It is what it is.
You have a solution that works for you - that your husband stay with the child - but your husband has discounted it. Yet it seems from your post that the entirety of the childcare question is falling on you. Why not tell him that you have tried your best and not succeeded in finding an alternative, therefore it is up to him to either stay with your eldest or sort out something else?
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I think I will have to ask friends it's just that we're reasonably new to the area and whilst they're all lovely, it's not the same as asking people that have been friends with us for ages. I guess my biggest concern, as someone mentioned above, is the stress it will cause my son to suddenly have us both disappear and then potentially have to stay in a strange house rather than his own. He doesn't go to nursery so we don't have a network of childminders around but I will certainly look into the ad hoc suggestion. oh and we found out this morning that one of my lovely neighbours just had a stroke so they're out. I hope that my husband will come around to the idea of me giving birth by myself (it really doesn't bother me) as it gradually dawns on him that our options are limited. I think he's just really upset at the thought of missing it as he said it was really special with our son. I'd happily trade places! Thanks again for all the help. It's nice to hear that we're not the only people in this situation. The midwife yesterday made me feel like there was something wrong with me and that I was just being a drama queen as 'everybody has somebody' according to her! Nothing like rubbing it in!
Even apart from the birth, it's a good idea to have some back-up childcare options in case of emergencies - you could have complications before or after the birth, some hospital appointments are very difficult to manage with a 2 year old in tow and you might not always be able to rely on your DH to be there.
I would look at finding a local childminder who could do some ad-hoc hours for you and could do an overnight or two if needed around the birth. You've got plenty of time between now and June to get your DS settled with a few hours here and there. In later pregnancy you might be grateful for a few toddler free hours to rest, sort out baby stuff etc!
and don't feel shy about asking friends - I have been really honoured to be asked to be on 'standby' for friends and also overwhelmed by how generous friends have been for me in planning the same situation.
Ideally you need more than one option as few people are available at the drop of a hat 24/7 - so perhaps a childminder and a couple of friends you have sounded out to be there in an emergency.
Don't be shy asking for help. I bet if you asked your new friends if they know a nanny who could help they would offer to help themselves.
your DS is 2, no nursery or childminder. Doesn't sound like he is used to staying with people other than you and DH.
I think it is a ridiculously absurd in these circumstances to leave such a young child with other people he is not used to esp potentially in the middle of the night. I cannot see how this is supposed to work.
Because she isn't due until June so has time to get her child used to a new carer.
it's not that simple esp if you don't have a regular arrangement such as nursery or CM (and they are not usually open at night - baby can be born at any hour of the day or night).
Definitely ask your friends - if I knew someone in your position, however new the friendship, I'd want to help if I could and be pleased to be asked. Good luck!
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