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I thought I had a reasonable child care plan worked out, but as the time draws closer I am having lots of second thoughts and discomfort about this issue. Trying to keep the story short, DS is 2, and my due date is in two weeks, so technically it could be any day now. We have no family or close friends who live anywhere near us, so this was going to be a struggle no matter what. I have one local friend (lives 45 minutes away, but that's local in this large metro area) who volunteered to help out, and my best friend lives in another large city about a 5-hour drive from me. My plan was to have the local friend take care of my son first until my best friend could get down here. She (best friend) is teaching and has the whole month of July free of work commitments, also she is single. Local friend is someone I met in childbirth class and has a daughter the same age as my son. She also works from home so I don't want to burden her too much.

Now I am getting the impression that best friend is not really so into this idea of hopping in the car and coming down here on a moment's notice even though we will pay for her trip down. Local friend seems to have a lot of work commitments and I am not feeling comfortable leaning on her to take care of DS even though I did not ask, she offered. With best friend, I asked, and I now think I shouldn't have, even though we have known each other for 10 years and talk at least twice a week.

The thing is, we need the help. Unless DH is going to be completely checked out of the labor and birth process, we need child care. If I am in labor during daylight hours on a weekday, we have day care, but who knows if that will happen. If I am laboring during the night, he will likely sleep through much of it, so there is that. That leaves weekends not covered as well as this Friday, when day care will be closed. But I keep envisioning DH missing the birth because DS is demanding his attention (which I think would be an issue even if we had a person to care just for him; if he is inside the house, he will want to be near us). We have never had a paid babysitter, so that's not an option. Plus I don't want DS to be traumatized by this whole thing -- otherwise I would have signed up with a nanny service from the beginning and just paid for someone to take care of him. I thought it would be better if it was someone he knew.

And then if god forbid we had to transfer to the hospital, we would really need child care because I would not want to be alone there with the baby in a physically and emotionally vulnerable position. That really scares the crap out of me.

I don't know what my point is, really, or what kind of advice I'm asking for, I'm just stressing about this and don't know what to do. I have a hard time asking anyone for help and feel that this is really too much to ask of anyone but immediate family, and our immediate families are too far away to be of help during and immediately after the birth (they don't know we are planning a HB, and they will come later on), so . . . I'm at a loss. Any thoughts?
 

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I have no advice, but we are ttc soon and will be in the same situation, so I didn't want to read without responding. I can totally sympathize and it really sucks! I know that doesn't help you at all, but I feel your pain.
 

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I agree that you should see if you can get a doula, even a student doula who needs the births.

Then you don't have any guilt, and could relax into knowing that the doula is 100% into being at your birth helping you and your ds out.

This is too much stress for the end of a pg. Labor is enough work without having to worry about all this.
 

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We didn't have anyone to watch dd, and it worked out great. She did sleep through a lot of it, and when she woke up, she seemed to understand without being told at all that she needed to be quiet and unobtrusive....she did cry and freak a litle as i screamed realy loud as i was pushing (and ds was literally tearing my insides apart as he came out) but dh was able to calm her and catch the baby all at once! (we had a uc, there was no midwife)
 

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Besides the neighbor who will call in case of emergency transfer, we have nobody either (we are new in this country).
Last time I happened exactly after their bed time - so lucky!!
I am crossing my fingers that it will be at night again this time. If not, I have some videos, snacks, books ready for the kids.

I guess I am not nervous because my 11 and 9yos are great kids and are happg to help with the little ones. I am also not nervous with DH stepping out when the kids need anything, as long as midwife is there with me.
 

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I agree about getting a doula, if you can. True what the others have said that if you find a doula in training, they will usually be very reasonable and be dedicated to supporting you if your husband has to be away for a few minutes to take care of your son.
 

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Is your DD's day care a home center or a larger facility? Can you ask one of her caregivers there if they would be willing to watch her for a few hours? She knows them already, right?

As for "good friend", she offered. Talk to her about your fears here. She may be busy, but if she is truly a good friend she will want to help when you are most in need. Just approach it like you just need everything finalized, not like you are giving her an out.
 

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2 thoughts- first what about asking her daycare teacher to be an on call babysitter? second, except in the event of transfer, i think it is completely doable to have a 2 yea rold at a birth- my last two home births had 2, then 3 kids attending, both times one was two. both times they were great, quite and in awe. very undemanding. and at a friends birth i attended with her two year old we had a portable dvd player we set him up with in the adjoining room for when he got bored. again worked out fine.
 

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I am in the same boat, sort of. My MIL lives in town and does not know we are planning a HB, but we have thought of calling her when I go into labor if it's during the daytime and having her come over to watch DS (he'll be very nearly 3 when I have the baby)--but I am really not comfortable with this as she is a former nurse and a very nosy and medical-minded person who won't, I fear, be able to just watch DS in another part of the house and keep her mouth shut and stay out of my space--I really dislike her and fear that her presence in the house, even if I can't see her, will cause problems for my birth. My DH is currently unemployed so finances are extremely tight, but I am going to be looking into hiring a student doula so that I can have some support if DH needs to care for DS, that way we don't have to deal with MIL at all.
 

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Can you start talking to your son about what may be happening and then prepare "special" activities and movies for him to watch? I have found with my own son that when I prep him ahead of time about a particularly challenging experience coming up, he is a real trooper about understanding, even when he was much younger.
 
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