I may be prematurely freaking out here, but this is my second and I'm worried about who will be around to take care of my 3 year old when I go into the hospital.
The plan now, is that my mother will come down and help out - but she is kind of a flake! DD is in full time daycare, so that helps, but my mom works 6 days a week - including 2 evenings. We haven't seen her in over a month, and then it was at my DD's busy birthday party with 30 kids and parents bouncing around. Needless to say, DD isn't at all used to being alone in her care.
My first labor was pretty quick - 10 hours - so I'm expecting this one will probably be just as quick if not faster. My mom lives an hour away (without traffic) and works even further... I'm a little worried that DD will have to come to the hospital with us. I really don't trust that my mom will pick her up from daycare on time (they close at 6pm), or even recognize the urgency of getting to our house quickly if we call in the middle of the night.
What do other people do? Do you have a contingency plan set up with neighbors or friends?
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I'm having a home birth, but have an emergency plan set up for my 4 y/o daughter. I already have an agreement with a friend who will come and stay at the house (in a guest room, not participating in the birth) and be there just in case we need to transfer and I have to suddenly leave my daughter home with her. I also have another friend who has agreed to be the first friend's backup. My first friend is going back to school and may have an exam and not be able to make it, so the second friend will come stay over in that case. My daughter already knows one or the other will be there just in case something happens and she's comfortable with that.
Is the father of the baby around? If worse comes to worse, she can come to the hospital with you and most labor and delivery places have a family room (a waiting room essentially), so your mother or another caretaker can step out for the active labor part. I don't have a partner around, so my mom will be taking myself and my 3 year old son to the hospital and then take him home overnight and bring him back the next morning. I have his bag pre-packed (clothes, toys, books, crayons, things he can entertain himself with while in the family room or while at her house) and it is in the same place with the hospital baby bag, so he goes where I go initially.
Writer/Designer/Hip Hippie Russian Mama to T (3yo) and K(4mo)
My friend was having a homebirth in 09. She did an emergancy transfer. (meaning she got into transition and decided she couldn't take it anymore and went to hospital. Not a true emergancy) She, The midwife, midwife astnt and husband took DD to the hospital. Her DD was in the labor and delivery room for the birth. (She was four or five at the time.) She STILL talks about how amazing it was to see her brother be born. That said they then had to stay because baby was born with meconium all over him. Once the hospital found that he was an automatic three day stay. So she just slept on the cot the hospital provided with her dad. She went home with her dad sometimes and came back with her dad. I must say however, I would have and ended up offering to keep her for them.
Do you have friends? I would not have minded that in the least. Sometimes friends can be better than family. Infact my friend didn't realize it was appropriate to call on me. She did this time. She just had a baby earlier this year.
All that said, for us my MIL is coming to stay here while I am in labor. If we need to leave then she will take care of the children until we return.